Jazmine Hughes
2023 Icon

Writer & Editor

b. October 25, 1991

“When I came out … I delightedly rediscovered the new me over and over again.”

Jazmine Hughes is a highly successful young associate editor and writer at The New York Times and has contributed to numerous other publications, including Elle, Cosmopolitan, and the New Yorker. She draws on her experience as a queer woman of color to pen perceptive, quick-witted observations that are equal parts unique and relatable. 

Hughes grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. She was homeschooled with her four sisters until fifth grade. Her journalism career began at Connecticut College, where she studied government and creative writing. She joined the student newspaper during her freshman year and worked her way up, becoming the editor in chief in her senior year. From 2011 to 2012, she landed editorial internships at New York magazine and the New Haven Register and earned a certificate in publishing from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Hughes found her first job as a fact-checker for New York magazine. She was one of only two Black employees. She began writing, and in 2014 became a contributing editor for The Hairpin, a women’s blog. The Huffington Post named one of her blog commentaries among the 28 pieces from 2014 that every woman should read. 

Hughes’s work garnered praise for its accessibility, poignancy, and humor. She earned particular attention for writing about her experience with impostor syndrome. To increase visibility and opportunities for professionals like herself, she cofounded the website Writers of Color, a database of minority writers and their work, searchable by location and keywords. 

In March 2015, The New York Times hired Hughes as an associate editor. A few years later, she came out at the age of 26. In October 2019, Vogue featured her personal essay as part of its collection, “On Coming Out, Slow and Not Always Steady: 6 Stories.” In it, Hughes wrote: “I delightedly rediscovered the new me over and over again. I wanted to change the way I dressed and the way I smelled and the way I carried myself; I needed everyone to treat me exactly the same and yet entirely differently.” 

Praising her as an “innovative editor” and a “gifted writer,” The New York Times made Hughes a full-time metro reporter for the paper and a staff writer for the magazine in 2020.

Among other recognition, Hughes was named to the Forbes list of 30 Under 30 (in the media) in 2018. She received the ASME NEXT Award for Journalists Under 30 in 2020 and the National Magazine Award for profile writing in 2023.