Most Interesting People 2014: Deidre McPherson

Deidre McPherson


Why she's interesting: McPherson founded the Cleveland chapter of Sistah Sinema, a monthly film event centered on queer women of color, in 2012. The selected films present stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer women of all minority groups and come from a variety of genres including dramas, documentaries and comedies. The chapter, which meets at venues such as Arts Collinwood and Spaces Gallery, aims to explore the stories and struggles of women just like them.

The Right Fit: When McPherson returned to Cleveland after living in diverse cities such as Boston and Washington, D.C., for 13 years, she didn't know where to start looking to find a community in which to fit. After some online research, she discovered Sistah Sinema. "It was nice to do something outside the bar and the club scene. It was really difficult to find originally."

More than Movies: There has to be a little fun when putting on events covering important topics, says McPherson, so she has put together panels of community leaders and even set up a dating game with contestants. "It's been really fun to organize these events, because each month we're seeing new spaces, and the audience is diverse."

Take a Seat: Attendance for the film screenings usually hits between 25 and 30 people but has drawn as many as 50 guests. "It's made up of queer women of color, but it's also people who are interested in learning more and supporting the community."

Social Skills: McPherson, who works at the Council of Smaller Enterprises as a marketing manager, sees parallels between helping small businesses evolve and her work with Sistah Sinema. "I love networking with different organizations and individuals that can help Sistah Sinema grow and reaching out to organizations that will find what we're doing on a monthly basis beneficial."

Feature Film: McPherson has seen her fair share of films, but her favorite is Pariah, a 2011 drama about an African-American teenager starting to develop her sexual identity. "It's just an amazing story about how she accepts herself and who she is."

Wheel Deal: You can find McPherson riding her bike through trails in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation or the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. "When you ride your bike, you actually see the city through a different set of eyes, because you're taking the time to explore surroundings."

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