Queer representation means more than just a queer character plopped in a plot line.
Pride month is here and Drag Race is over, and unfortunately, it's hard to find many other shows for queer people by queer people. Supporting and celebrating pride month isn't just buying a rainbow shirt from Target; it's buying directly from queer artists and giving back to the culture. With representation more important than ever, these TV shows and films place queer characters right in the center where they belong. Here are some to look out for and catch up on.
Now Apocalypse (Starz)
Gregg Araki, known for his great contributions to the New Queer Cinema Movement, is at it again with this bizarre new show. Avan Jogia (of Victorious and Twisted fame) stars as Ulysses, a gay man who has disturbing, premonitory dreams that the world is ending. Ulysses's romantic and platonic relationships are explored with consideration for sexuality and fame in Los Angeles. Now Apocalypse takes LGBTQIA representation to the absurd and it couldn't be more fun. All episodes are now available for streaming on Starz.
Ryan Murphy's latest phenomenon is back for its second season on June 10th. The show centers on POC queer, cis and trans men and women as they navigate different NYC scenes and find purpose through the African American and Latinx ball culture. The show also investigates each character's place in society during the AIDs crisis, reclaiming the narrative and the hysteria of the era. If you're not caught up yet, the FX show is now on Netflix.
Executive produced by Elton John himself, Rocketman was released last weekend to a surprisingly solid first weekend. Bohemian Rhapsody's fill-in director, Dexter Fletcher, captures the life of a queer icon. Besides Rocketman being the first major Hollywood studio production to show a gay sex scene, the film does what Bohemian Rhapsody wanted to do but Queen would not allow: put a global icon's sexuality on display, explore the creative depths of a genius, and feature a lead actor that actually sings. Sing along and enjoy the breadth of great performances and direction.
Queer Eye (Netflix)preorder Tan France's book, Naturally Tan: A Memoir.
Not many know what this show is actually about, but the trailer seems to center on the complicated lives of youth today. Sexual and gender identities are at the forefront of conversation today, especially from adolescents aware of their pertinence in a way previous generations were not. LGBTQ activist and trans woman, Hunter Shafer, will star as a trans girl who befriends Zendaya's character and their relationship potentially becomes something more. Down the rabbit hole viewers will go! Premiering on June 16th, Euphoria gives everyone a reason to keep their HBO subscription.
White feminism aside, Booksmart is an important film because of its lesbian representation. Beanie Feldstein, break-out star of Lady Bird, explained how important her co-star's character is to her and society, "For me in my life, it is a part of who I am but it is not at all my defining feature. It doesn't mean I don't love my girlfriend, it's just part of who I am. And [the character]'s the same way. To see that in Amy and how beautifully Kaitlyn plays her and how beautifully Katie [Silberman, screenwriter] and Olivia [Wilde, director] crafted her, it's gonna change a lot of people's lives." Booksmart is still in theaters nationwide.
One Day at A Time (Netflix, for now)
MOBIfest, a wellness festival by and for Black gay men and queer communities of color, will stream on June 4th.
For the past few years, MOBIfest has provided a free celebration of wellness and pride for queer communities of color.
Every year, MOBI (Mobilizing Our Brothers Institute) offers a circuit of community care and artistic expression through a variety of initiatives, culminating in an annual Pride festival. This year's MOBIfest will happen virtually, but its spirit and mission promises to be as strong and important as ever.
The actor's Instagram post about being detained during a Santa Monica protest shared thoughtful reflection on racial and class privilege.
With 32.3 million followers, the 27-year-old Riverdale actor knows very well that eyes are on him.
But during this current moment of national protest and collective outrage over the death of George Floyd, police brutality, and all forms of oppression against people of color, attention shouldn't be on rich, white, straight actors–and Sprouse knows it, according to his recent Instagram post. While participating in Santa Monica protests, the actor was among a small group of protesters who were directed to disperse by police but found their exit path blocked by police. In the resulting confusion, a few dozen individuals, including Sprouse, were zip-tied.