Representation is a vital aspect of helping marginalized communities feel accepted, and luckily for LGBTQ people, 2018 has seen more queer people in the spotlight than ever before.
The internet has even dubbed the year #TwentyGayTeen because of all the music and media that’s been released by queer artists or for a queer audience.
Now that we’re officially halfway through the year, let’s explore the best TV series that have been flooding our screens with Pride so far in 2018.
When Netflix announced that it was reviving the early-aughts reality series Queer Eye, the news likely elicited eye rolls from people who didn’t know why the reboot was necessary. But all it took was one episode of the streaming series to realize that Netflix had a bonafide hit on its hands. The show instantly went viral across social media and has become a huge hit. Can you believe? The new Fab 5 have incredible chemistry and instantly stole the hearts of viewers. But the best part has to be watching Jonathan, Karamo, Bobby, Tan, and Antoni interact with the people they’re making over — folks who often have very different beliefs than their own. Seeing people with different points of view come together, especially in the social climate we’re currently living in, has proven to be a beautiful, emotional, and overwhelming experience. Queer Eye is a must watch, but be sure to have tissues on hand. Trust us.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The second season of Ryan Murphy’s ripped-from-the-headlines drama American Crime Story took us inside the 1997 assassination of Gianni Versace, and it was just about as gay as a show can get. Sure, the main queer character in this was actually a serial-killing psychopath, but hey, this was based on real life — we can’t all be good! While telling the backstory behind Andrew Cunanan’s murder spree, we got a chilling reminder of the homophobia that existed in the ’90s, with the FBI not bothering to engage the gay community during their investigation and with Versace feeling the pressure to not come out of the closet. Plus, we had out musician Ricky Martin in the role of Versace’s longtime lover, Antonio D’Amico. Twentygayteen, indeed.
You know the catchphrases Drag Race fans are always quoting? Well, most of them actually came from 1980s ball culture, which is exactly what Ryan Murphy’s groundbreaking new FX show, Pose, is focused on. The series is set amid the ’80s New York ball scene and features over 50 LGBTQ characters and the largest number of transgender leads in the history of television. Plus, trans icons Janet Mock and Our Lady J are producers and writers on the series. But all of this means nothing if the series isn’t any good. Luckily, though, it’s fantastic. The actors are amazing and the storylines, which tackle issues like AIDS, transphobia, and of course, the magical underground ball scene, have fans giving the show 10s across the board.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10
Drag Race All Stars 3 had quite a few missteps when it aired at the start of 2018 (#JusticeForShangela), but VH1 tried to make things right by immediately airing Season 10 the week after the All Stars finale. And thankfully, the celebration of 10 years of the best reality show on TV did not disappoint. All of the contestants brought their A-game in a fight for the crown and it was difficult to tell who would wind up in the finals. Best of all, half the cast was made up of queens of color, and they opened up an important dialogue about how the Drag Race fandom treats contestants who aren’t white. And the cherry on top? Fans got one of the most quotable, highly-memed inside jokes in the history of the franchise in the form of a little lady now simply known as Miss Vanjie. Miss Vanjie. Miss… Vanjie.
Wait!!! Don’t run to Twitter to yell at me just yet. The revival of ’90s sitcom Roseanne may have been problematic, thanks to racist tirades from its titular star, but the show’s portrayal of a gender non-conforming child is still worth celebrating. Darlene and David’s 9-year-old son Mark liked to wear dresses and clothes that are traditionally worn by women. He didn’t see a problem with it, but the rest of the family had to adjust. When Connor patriarch Dan struggled, we learned that it’s mostly because he feared what the other kids would do to his grandson on the playground. But in an emotional arc, Dan learned to throw his love and support behind Mark and let him shine brightly as he truly is. It was a beautiful moment and almost makes you forget those Roseanne tweets. Almost.