Say it with us: Representation matters. As a wave of change rolls through the entertainment industry, it’s unveiling the thirst for different stories — and, just as important, different storytellers — to appear on our screens and pages. No longer are audiences content to hear from the same homogenous voices we’ve always heard from.
2018 has been a banner year for onscreen and on-page representation, with diversity spreading all across our favorite binge-worthy media. As we look ahead at the movies, TV shows, and books in store for the future, there are several LGBTQ-related titles worth highlighting.
June 19: The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
Makkai’s ambitious third novel centers on the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and the long shadow it cast. The story begins in Boystown, Chicago, where the epidemic has hit the queer community and a group of friends gather to mourn one of their own. The story jumps back and forth in time between ’80s Chicago and present-day Paris, where the sister (and only surviving relative) of the dead man searches for her estranged daughter. The Great Believers is filled with grief, but it also embodies the heart of the community.
June 26: Confessions of the Fox, by Jordy Rosenberg
Rosenberg is one of the first trans fiction writers to be signed by a major publishing house, and his forthcoming tome is proudly queer. It’s technically about 18th-century thieves, but it reimagines myths and fantasies of the old days in a more representative way, delving into LGBTQ subcultures and defying gender norms. As Rosenberg told EW, he “wanted to make that form of intimacy open to everyone.”
June 29: The Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls Live With the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra
As its title suggests, the legendary folk duo’s latest release was recorded with a college orchestra during a sold-out show in Boulder, Colorado, last year. It features 22 songs from their extensive catalog, such as “Galileo” and “Closer to Fine,” remixed with a little something special.
July 6: Years & Years, Palo Santo
Fronted by actor-singer Olly Alexander (of Skins fame), this U.K. band’s new album envisions a world where the minority is always the majority. Its lead single, “Sanctify,” was inspired by “I’m a Slave 4 U”-era Britney Spears. What more do you need to know?
July 24: I Can’t Date Jesus, by Michael Arceneaux
This debut essay collection — a meditation on Arceneaux’s life as a gay black author — is boisterously funny, melancholic, and at times devastating. Arceneaux is a frequent Essence and Complex contributor and has built up a huge following, thanks to his wry commentary on everything from race to sexuality to popular culture. Jesus touches on topics including his own coming-out story and how artists like Janet Jackson and Lil’ Kim helped to shape his identity.
July 27: Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
Rubbing elbows with (and the nether regions of) cinema royals like Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn at his same-sex brothel made marine-turned-celebrity pimp Scotty Bowers the unlikely keeper of closeted Hollywood’s secrets. But when documentarian Matt Tyrnauer peeled back the 94-year-old’s layers, he found a complicated figure whose glamorous past conflicts with his current hoarder lifestyle — a psychological anomaly begging for screen time too.
Aug. 3: The Miseducation of Cameron Post
This film, a recent Sundance breakout, stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a teenager at a gay conversion camp. It takes place in the early ’90s, and kicks off with the titular Cameron making out with the prom queen in the back of her boyfriend’s car. Her guardians send her to a “camp” called God’s Promise, which is exactly as disturbing as it sounds.
Aug. 31: Troye Sivan, Bloom
Only a handful of performers have parlayed YouTube stardom into successful pop music careers, and 23-year-old Sivan is one of them. His anticipated second LP includes the dance-heavy hit “My My My!”
Sept. 14: Lizzie
In this bodice-ripping cinematic take on the legendary maybe-murderess Lizzie Borden (who, if you’ll recall, was famous for being the prime suspect in the killing of her father and stepmother), Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart fall axe-identally in love, with all the bloody consequences one would expect.
Sept. 28: Boy Erased
Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe star in this film, based on the true story of a young gay man whose parents send him to conversion therapy. It’s based on the memoir by Garrard Conley.
Oct. 5: Studio 54
This definitive documentary recounts the rise, reign, and fall of ’70s New York’s most hedonistic hot spot.
Nov. 2: Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek transforms into Queen’s Freddie Mercury in a film that charts his life in music — and his legacy as a queer icon.
Date TBD: Him or Her, HBO
Issa Rae (the mastermind behind Insecure) and former Daily Show writer Travon Free are developing this comedy, which chronicles the dating life of a bisexual black man.
Date TBD: AJ and the Queen, Netflix
Written by RuPaul and former Sex and the City showrunner Michael Patrick King, this comedy just got a 10-episode order. It stars the Drag Race host as a drag queen traveling across the country from club to club with a recently orphaned 11-year-old stowaway.
Date TBD: Thom and Carson Project, Bravo
Original Queer Eye alums Carson Kressley and Thom Filicia have reunited for this upcoming reality series in which they whip up impressive and affordable redesigns for their clients.
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