From groundbreaking television to record-setting events, this year in LGBTQ pop culture has been explosive. Legends were remembered, new icons were formed and history was made—one certain gay athlete even became America’s new sweetheart.
Here we have compiled just a snippet of the LGBTQ impact on movies, music, television, sports and fashion in 2018 with our annual LGBTQ Pop Culture, A-Z.
Adam Rippon becomes the first openly gay male ice skater to win a medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and goes on to become a household name. Rippon then wins “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” and—sorry, Reese Witherspoon—dubs himself America’s new sweetheart. Rippon announces later in the year that he is retiring from competitive skating.
Batwoman, an openly lesbian superhero who is played by Ruby Rose, appears in CW’s big DC Comics crossover event known as “Elseworlds.” Even with a minor Twitter backlash from those who are totes jelly, she is a hit. CW announces they are working to giving Batwoman her own series in 2019.
Chanel says beauty knows no gender as they launch Boy de Chanel, a makeup collection marketed to men. The line features foundation, an eyebrow/facial hair pencil and non-shiny lip balm; because you’re worth it!
Dion, Celine also knows no gender when it comes to children as she gets into the clothing business with children’s retailer Nununu to create a gender-ne-ne-neutral clothing line called Celinununu. Now no matter near, far, wherever you are; gender-ne-ne-neutral Celinununu can come to youyouyou. And that’s the way it is.
Ellen DeGeneres decides after 15 years of sitting down she wants to get back to standing up. The queen of daytime talk hits the streaming streets with a new Netflix comedy special, “Relatable.”
Funko releases the first line of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Pop! Vinyls. RuPaul, Alaska and Trixie Mattel become the first set of queens to be immortalized as plastics. You ladies can sit with us anytime, we wear pink on Wednesdays.
Great Americans medal, an honor bestowed on someone “for lifetime contributions that embody American ideals and ideas” is awarded to tennis legend Billie Jean King at the National Museum of American History. Love-love!
Hunter, Tab—the 1950s’ teen heartthrob who would later become a prominent figure in the gay community—dies in July. He was 86. It’s also announced that J.J. Abrams and Zachary Quinto are looking to make a film about the love affair between Hunter and “Psycho” actor Anthony Perkins.
Ian McKellen voices Dr. Cecil Pritchfield in the “Family Guy” episode “Send in Stewie, Please.” In the episode, Stewie opens up about his sexuality to Dr. Pritchfield, the school psychologist. Stewie doesn’t officially declare “Ellen-style” that he is gay, but does think “Grant Gustin and I would make the most adorable Instagram couple.”
John, Elton announces he is retiring from touring after one last, big three-year concert tour that will take him all around the world. John kicked off the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” in September. A few months later, a nasty ear infection would sideline John for a few days and force him to reschedule his Orlando and Tampa shows.
Kehinde Wiley—an openly-gay artist—has his portrait of Barack Obama unveiled at the Smithsonian. Wiley and Amy Sherald, who painted Michelle Obama, are the first African-Americans commissioned to paint official portraits of a first couple for the National Portrait Gallery.
“Love, Simon”—Hollywood’s first mainstream LGBTQ teen rom-com—is a hit, earning a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92 percent from critics and earning more than $40 million at the domestic box office. The film earned a place in all of our hearts for being “romantic as F.”
Marlon Bundo, the Pence family’s pet rabbit, becomes an LGBTQ icon after he is spoofed in a “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” picture book depicting Marlon as a gay bunny wanting to marry his bunny boyfriend. What we want to know is if Marlon Bundo will refer to his new bunny husband as Mother?
“Nanette,” a filmed version of Hannah Gadsby’s comedy tour, is released worldwide on Netflix and gets everyone buzzing on Twitter. In the show, Gadsby shows that humor and humanity are not mutually exclusive and proves that laughs through tears really are the best medicine.
Obama, Michelle releases her memoir “Becoming,” in which she talks about trying to sneak out of The White House with daughter Malia to celebrate the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. “Becoming” goes on to sell 3 million copies in its first month, becoming the best-selling book of 2018.
“Pose” is an instant hit when it premieres on FX in June. The series came out of the gate making history as it featured the largest LGBTQ cast of any scripted TV show ever. Before the first season even wraps, FX renews “Pose” for a second season—scheduled to be released in 2019.
Queen, one of history’s biggest rock bands, is back on top of the charts with the release of the band’s biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The film went on to become the highest-grossing LGBTQ film and musical biopic in U.S. history and sparked a new Queen tour with Adam Lambert.
Ryan Murphy can do no wrong at FX. “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” is a hit with audiences and critics, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” cleans up at The Emmys and “Pose” becomes the breakout hit of the year. All that success leads to Murphy getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.
“Star is Born, A” is the fourth remake of the cautionary fame tale. The remake—directed by actor Bradley Cooper and featuring drag queens, addiction and Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga—takes in more than $200 million at the domestic box office and has had the phrase “Oscar-worthy” attached to it more than any other film this year.
Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum announce they are saying auf Wiedersehen to “Project Runway” after 16 seasons on the hit reality-competition show. Gunn and Klum say they are departing the series to work on a new project for Amazon. “Project Bezos,” maybe … Alexa?
Urie, Michael stars alongside Mercedes Ruehl in Harvey Fierstein’s new streamlined production of “Torch Song Trilogy” called “Torch Song” on Broadway. “Torch Song” closes Jan. 6, 2019 after which Urie will lead a multi-city, national tour of the production. We hear Florida is a fine place to do a show all year long.
Vega, Daniela—who stars in the 2017 Oscar-winning film “A Fantastic Woman”—became the first openly transgender person to present at the Academy Awards in March. No harm in going from first trans presenter into first trans host. We hear they’re still looking for one.
Wright, Robin flies solo as the lead in the final season of the Netflix series “House of Cards” after co-star Kevin Spacey is let go from the show due to sexual misconduct allegations. In an interview with TODAY, Wright said of Spacey, “We were coworkers, really. We never socialized outside of work. Respectful, professional relationship.”
X-Mansion is an open and tolerant house, as “Deadpool 2” shows mutants Teenage Negasonic Warhead and Yukio in a lesbian relationship living among the accepting X-Men. “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds also hopes to explore his title character’s pansexuality in future films.
YouTube issues an apology to the LGBTQ community in July after anti-LGBTQ political ads are found to be running on videos created by LGBTQ YouTubers and featuring LGBTQ content. In other terrible social media news, Tumblr starts running terrible fan fiction over all of our favorite porn.
Zander Hodgson, a British model and actor, comes out as gay on his YouTube channel. Thank goodness for this great news; our team gets another hottie and I have something for the Z spot on this list. A win-win for everybody!