In the last few years, LGBTI entertainment has been right there at the forefront of pop culture, from Carol, Moonlight, and Call Me By Your Name on the big screen to Looking, Sense8, and Orange is the New Black on the small.
Here’s a sampling of the queer pop culture we’re excited for in 2018.
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Let’s be real: despite the triumph of a film like Moonlight or the queer characters on series like Dear White People, One Day at a Time and Master of None, LGBTI representation remains overwhelmingly white, cisgender and male.
This isn’t a bad thing, but it is somewhat myopic. As more queer films and TV shows get made, there are greater opportunities for more diverse storytelling, to see stories that aren’t usually told on screen.
This isn’t to say we need fewer films like Call Me By Your Name, simply that the scales could stand be more in balance.
That said, 2018’s big, studio-driven gay dramedy – Love, Simon – seems set to subvert those expectations and deliver a more timely and diverse version of the gay coming-of-age story.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is just one of two films about conversion therapy coming out this year.
Directed by Desiree Akhavan, who made the terrific Appropriate Behaviour, and set in 1993, the film follows a girl who is sent to conversion camp after being caught having sex with the prom queen, and was just awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
The second, Boy Erased, is based on Garrard Conley’s memoir and is directed by its star Joel Edgerton, with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe co-starring as the parents of Lucas Hedges’ Garrard.
Look for that one to be a big thing come Oscar season at the end of the year.
February sees the release of A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián Lelio’s wonderful Chilean drama starring Daniela Vega as a trans woman who is mistreated at every turn after her older boyfriend suddenly dies.
Lelio has another film coming out later this year called Disobedience, starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, about a rekindled romance between two women in an Orthodox Jewish community.
Also released in February is The Wound, a South African film exploring the complex sexuality of its two leads in the context of a masculinised initiation ritual.
Greta Gerwig’s wonderful Lady Bird is also sure to be a hit with LGBTI film fans.
Later in the year look out for Lizzie, an intimate drama starring Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart about the relationship between famous axe-murderer Lizzie Borden and her housemaid.
Stewart factors in again with JT LeRoy, in which she stars alongside legend and icon Laura Dern as the two players in the wild, gender-bending saga of ‘JT LeRoy’.
Norwegian thriller Thelma has garnered raves and adds a genre thrill, while Vita and Virginia stars fabulous Australian up-and-comer Elizabeth Debicki as Virginia Woolf in an account of her relationship with Vita Sackville-West.
It’s also a big year for British rom-com icons in queer films, with Colin Firth playing the exiled Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince, while Hugh Grant stars in an account of the truly wild Jeremy Thorpe affair, A Very British Scandal.
Because TV programming is more fraught, there’s a smaller pool of anticipated titles to draw from.
Beyond returning series with queer representation, from 13 Reasons Why through to The Handmaid’s Tale, there are a few intriguing prospects to look forward to. As ever, Ryan Murphy seems to be making most of them.
TV’s most prominent purveyor of sometimes fascinating, sometimes half-baked queerness, Murphy has chosen a very gay story for the second season of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
The first season of the anthology series, looking at the trial of O.J. Simpson, was surprisingly great.
Whether this follow-up, starring Édgar Ramírez, Darren Criss, Ricky Martin (!), and Penélope Cruz as Donatella (!!!), achieves the same heights remains to be seen since it has no planned air date in Australia.
Murphy’s other big show will be Pose, another anthology series set in the 1980s which follows, in part, the ball culture which so defined the New York City of the era.
Pose will become the first TV show with the most regular trans cast members as well as the most queer characters ever, with Murphy saying there will be more than 50 across the first season.
The series is also enlisting trans activists and ballroom legends to produce and consult on the show, in addition to an initiative to mentor emerging trans directors throughout its production.
Perhaps the big question is the TV reboot of ‘80s cult classic Heathers as yet another anthology.
The film – an ultra-dark comedy containing teen suicide, closeted gay jocks, bombs, plus Winona Ryder and Christian Slater – would never be made today.
But the series re-envisions the trio of Heathers as stereotypical outsiders – including a genderqueer Heather – who in this social order are the uber-popular kids J.D. and Veronica plot to kill.
This shake-up of the film’s power dynamics could go horribly wrong, but there’s so much talent involved in Heathers that we can’t wait to see how it turns out.