The best queer moments in culture in 2018
It was a bad year, yes, but it was also a queer year.
It was a bad year, yes, but it was also a queer year.
Image: bob al-greene/mashable

2018 has been a banner year for hot queer people on television. Growing up as a queer kid, this was kind of all I ever wanted (besides being accepted for "who I was," blah blah blah). 

But that's the not the only form of progress. Wherever you look (that's not the Trump White House), queer people have been making headway — in Congress, film, music, theater, and on social media. 

The queers are taking over, and for good.

Just look at all the strangely uplifting facts before us: Queer and trans people had a record-shattering year on television. They broke absurd amounts of ground in government. They made some charmingly slubby and kind cis men look handsome and good. 

In the midst of this apocalypse, we had Janelle Monaé and Tessa Thompson locking eyes in hot pink vagina couture. 

Here are the best queer moments in culture in 2018.

1. America elected its first queer Native American ex-MMA fighter to Congress.

Congratulations to Sharice Davids, the first openly queer elected official from Kansas, and the first Native American woman elected to Congress. Plus, she's got guns (the good kind).

2. Janelle Monaé's black, queer, feminist, sci-fi dystopia, "PYNK," came out.

Who cares what Kanye West thinks about anything when you have videos like this one?

3. Disobedience, one of the first films to ever depict lesbian sex accurately, came out.

They swapped spit, and it was extremely graphic and good.

4. There were two movies about conversion therapy this year, and only one of them was painfully corny.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is nostalgic and thoughtful. Boy Erased is a movie.

5. King Princess and Amandla Stenberg became the most delightful example of queer young adult love.

How often do we see celebrity queer couples in the public eye, forget young adults? These two have great politics, a tender relationship, and wonderful fashion, especially for Los Angeles, where things can easily go sideways. For god's sake, they're currently reading Price of Salt together. Go to Instagram and watch them like each other's posts and support one another in the comments.

6. Hayley Kiyoko won MTV's Push Artist of the Year.

Known as the "lesbian Jesus," "Queero" Kiyoko had a groundbreaking year in music. Not only did she win MTV's Push Award, given to socially conscious artists who make progressive change, she accepted it with this line: "This validates any queer woman of color, that you can follow your dreams.” 

Her debut studio album this year, Expectations, won critical acclaim and plenty of Instagram likes from one of the toughest critics in the industry (me).

7. It was a banner year for bisexual lighting.

Sometime in 2014, bisexual lighting, characterized by neon blue and pink light, became a meme on Twitter. The meme was borne out of an episode of the BBC's Sherlock where Watson appears to express homosexual desires for Holmes, all while bathed in pink and blue light. Pink and blue are colors of the bisexual flag.

We saw a lot of that lighting this year, including in the movie poster for Black Panther and in Janelle Monaé's music videos for Dirty Computer.

Bisexual lighting at its finest

Bisexual lighting at its finest

Image: mashable composite/getty images



8. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy were very out and very proud at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Rippon was America's first openly gay ice skater to perform at the Olympics. He turned down an invitation to meet with notorious homophobe Mike Pence, then heading the U.S. delegation. Both Kenworthy and Rippon treated us to a lot of adorable queer-affirming selfies and biting jokes on Twitter.

9. The country elected its first openly bisexual senator, Krysten Sinema.

Democrat Krysten Sinema will be representing Arizona and all the queer government nerds desperate for representation.

10. Notorious anti-same-sex marriage county clerk Kim Davis lost her election to a Democrat.

Davis became famous among the Mike Huckabee set after she refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. In the 2018 election she lost to Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr., by about 650 votes.

11. A Fantastic Woman, a movie about a trans woman in Chile, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The movie's star, Daniela Vega, was also the first openly trans presenter in Oscars history.

12. Broad City's Abbi Jacobson came out as bi.

Jacobson came out in an interview with Vanity Fair while promoting her movie 6 Balloons. She's bi, and she appears to be a great person. What a combo. 

13. Ronan Farrow came out as a member of the LGBTQ community.

The man responsible for some of the New Yorker's best scoops and basically anything good on Twitter came out in a speech at an LGBTQ awards ceremony.

14. Kristen Stewart and Chloe Sevigny played lesbian serial killers in love.

They both starred in Lizzie, the movie about the infamous, supposedly queer Lizzie Borden, rumored to have killed her parents with her maid and lover, Bridget.

Was the movie good? No, it was awful and monumentally tedious. I nearly fell asleep during the murder scene.

Still, I'm so here for queer romance on screen, especially when one of those actresses is actually queer.

15. LGBTQ people had a record-shattering year in television.

According to a GLAAD report, 2018 was the best year yet for LGBTQ characters on broadcast television. The report found 8.8 percent of all regularly occurring characters on broadcast TV to be LGBTQ. And 50 percent of LGBTQ network regulars are now people of color. 

16. Pose put together the largest cast of openly trans actors to ever appear on television.

The show, which features a record five actors, tells the story of New York City's ballroom scene in the 1980s. It's deliciously weepy and good.

17. The Favourite came out, the second queer movie this year for Rachel Weisz.

A soon-to-be Academy Award-winning queer period drama? Yes, please!

18. The Queer Eye guys made America a better place.

Queer Eye is the best thing to happen to toxic masculinity since forever. This season's cast was particularly woke, kind, and tender. They went deep into the heart of red America and brought out the best of that place.

For that, and for everything else on this list, we should be grateful. Here's to an even more magically queer 2019.

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