It's #20gayteen. Here's the LGBT content you should be looking out for this year
From #Kana to Hayley Kiyoko to Black Lighting, you won't want to miss all this awesome queer representation
It’s 2018, or, if you’re familiar with the term coined by singer Hayley Kiyoko - #20gayteen. So to celebrate this momentous year, I’ve created a list of all the LGBT content you should be looking out for.
Coronation Street - Kana
Faye and Bhavna (who play Kate Connor and Rana Nazir, respectively) recently discussed their “completely natural” chemistry in an interview with DIVA - and they’re completely right. Their relationship has been beautiful and heart-wrenching in equal measures so far, and all we want is for these two people who so dearly love each other to be together. The groundbreaking relationship between Kate and Rana first started on Coronation Street last year, granted, but considering how it’s set to be developed (with Faye and Bhavna recently revealing that another declaration of love between the two is on the cards very soon), 2018 looks to be an unforgettable year for the characters and shippers alike. So it's definitely worth tuning into Coronation Street this year to see how things play out for the two. Here’s hoping they get a happy ending!
Emmerdale - Liv’s asexual storyline
Emmerdale is also making history this year by giving their teenage character Liv Flaherty, a storyline concerning her sexuality, in particular, her realising that she is, in fact, asexual. So far in 2018 we have seen Liv feeling extremely confused about her sexuality, but she’s slowly starting to confide in others and figure out who she is. Hopefully this storyline only improves this year and Liv will finally be able to not only put a word to her feelings and realise that she is asexual, but that she also becomes more comfortable with that, and who she is. Props to Emmerdale for giving asexual people representation, as asexuality is not typically discussed or mentioned at all on TV, and the fact that a teenage girl on such an iconic British soap is asexual is great.
Holby City - Bernie’s Return (Berena)
Not only have we started 2018 with Serena returning to Holby City but despite Jemma Redgrave (who plays lesbian trauma surgeon and Serena’s girlfriend Bernie) on the show recently being unable to say whether she’d be making a return in a recent interview on Radio DIVA, a few weeks later Catherine Russell (who plays new Holby CEO and bisexual surgeon Serena on Holby) revealed in a TV interview that Bernie would actually be returning to our screen sooner rather than later.Jemma Redgrave is returning to film a few episodes in a couple of months, which means that not only will both incredible characters grace our screens again soon, but that also means the return of Berena in 2018!
Hollyoaks - Myra/Sally (McClaire)
It’s only been 2018 for a couple of months but already Hollyoaks has given us another lesbian relationship, and this one was certainly a long-time coming, but no less heartwarming. McClaire is a relationship between transgender lesbian headteacher Sally St. Claire and “straight” mum Myra McQueen, who is the current head of the mouthy yet lovable McQueen clan on the soap. Sally and Myra did have a previous relationship, prior to Sally’s transition and have a child together as a result of that. However, since Sally appeared in the village and back in Myra’s life, they become fast close friends. However, Myra quickly realised this month that she wants to be with Sally, and isn’t as straight as she first thought, starting a lovely relationship that hopefully goes from strength to strength this year.
The Miseducation Of Cameron Post
The Miseducation Of Cameron Post was originally a coming-of-age young adult novel published by Emily M. Danforth published in 2012. It’s about a 12-year-old girl who is discovering the fact that she’s gay, and is sent to conversion therapy by her conservative relatives. The novel has been praised for its “emotional” writing and features Cameron’s defiance to be “re-educated” and the friends she makes when she’s sent away. The film adaptation starts Chloe Grace Moretz, was released in the USA this year, and won Sundance’s highest honour, the U.S. Grand Jury Prize when it was screened there. It has a 2018 release date at the moment, and sounds like an incredibly emotive, heart-wrenching story that really values loving and accepting who you are, particularly in the face of adversity and hatred, as well as the beauty of friendship and love.
Black Lightning is a DC superhero series produced and airing on The CW in the US, and airing weekly on Netflix in the UK. It focuses on a retired superhero taking up his mantle again to become a vigilante who fights for justice. The daughter of the main character, Anissa Pierce, is a black lesbian superhero. Known as Thunder (her superhero alias), Anissa has the powers of density control and invulnerability - meaning that she’s pretty much untouchable. She’s also dating someone at the start of the show, so there’s no long wait to see her happy with a girlfriend. The show has been praised for being “fresh” and “powerful” and looks incredible just from its trailer alone, so it’s definitely the perfect series to binge-watch this year.
Hayley Kiyoko - Expectations
Expectations is the debut studio album of the incredibly talented singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko, an openly gay women who has penned and released Girls Like Girls, and Gravel To Tempo, along with Sleepover, Feelings and Curious. Kiyoko as an artist has said on a few different occasions that she writes songs for girls who love girls, and to help young women who are feeling the same struggles she felt growing up as a gay woman. Her music is categorised as electro-pop and her songs are upbeat and catchy, and feature incredible song-writing. She’s only released EPs so far so the prospect of a full album coming out this year is so exciting!
Drunk Lesbians (Queer Women) Watch
Drunk Lesbians Watch is a YouTube web-series created by the channel Girl Ship TV, and both the series and channel were created by Amanda Holland. The series features Holland and a variety of different guests (who are either lesbians or identify as bisexual, queer or pansexual, and then the series becomes Queer Women Watch). The premise is that in every video, the guests get drunk and watch a different lesbian movie or piece of media, such as a specific episode of a TV show (like their most recent video where they watch the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror). Other films that have been watched include Carol, Imagine Me And You and I Can’t Think Straight. While the channel and this series aren’t new to 2018, the series will be continuing this year and it looks like there’s plenty of lesbian media for Holland and co. to delve into this year, so I for one can’t wait to enjoy more episodes of this series!
One Day At A Time
One Day At A Time is a Netflix original series (and a reboot of the 1970s sitcom). The programme follows a Cuban-American family, made up of Penelope, a single mother and veteran who has PTSD, her young son Alex, her teen daughter Elena, and her mother Lydia, who all live together - and their landlord Schneider shows up every so often too. The show itself showcases an incredibly loving family, and discusses themes such as immigration, strength, family, love, mental health, and sexuality, as Elena is a lesbian. All the characters are so real and strong, and the series itself radiates warmth and genuine humour. It was so great when the show’s second series was released earlier this year. It’s absolutely worth a watch from the start as it’ll quickly become a favourite.
Vita And Virginia
Based on the true story of their love affair, the upcoming British film (which according to IMDb should be released this year, fingers crossed) is about the relationship between authors Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. The film is set between 1927 and1928, a year into their relationship when Woolf wrote the book inspired by their love, Orlando. Based on the contents of Sackville-West’s letters, this is set to be an emotional, intriguing and romantic period piece.
Set to air in cinemas this August, Disobedience is the story of two Jewish women who are drawn to each other when they meet again as adults after a forbidden relationship when they were both adolescents. The film focuses on the rekindled romance between Esti Kuperman (Rachel McAdams) and Ronit Krushka (Rachel Weisz) although Esti is now married to Rabbi Dovid Kuperman, (played by Alessandro Nivola). The film already has 92% on Rotten Tomatoes after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and receiving critical acclaim. Based on its trailer alone the film looks emotional, electrifying and incredibly well made.
My Solo Exchange Diary
My Solo Exchange Diary is the manga autobiographical sequel to the acclaimed My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, both by Nagata Kabi. (My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness received rave reviews from the likes of Teen Vogue and was named one of The Advocate's Best LGBT Graphics Novels of 2017 and Publishers Weekly Best Books 2017). Using the same unique format to continue her life story, Kabi will explore her deteriorating relationship with her parents as she struggles with living alone, her identity, her mental health and intimacy. Her first book was praised as being “powerful”, and it looks like its sequel, due to be released in June, will be very much the same.
The Bright Sessions
The Bright Sessions is a science-fiction podcast about therapy patients with very unique conditions - like mind-reading and being an empath. It also has a lot of LGBT representation, including a bisexual guy, an asexual character, and a lesbian in one of its newer series. It’s been running for a few years now, and its creator, Lauren Shippen, has recently revealed that it will be ending when its last few episodes are released later this year. However, there are a few spinoffs in the works, tie-in novels (one of which is about Rose, the lesbian character) and The Bright Sessions has also been optioned for TV. All that aside, The Bright Sessions is incredibly imaginative, engaging, well-written and well-acted, and very quick and easy listening too. So if you’re looking for a new podcast fix, then this is definitely one to start listening to.
The Summer Of Jordi Perez
The Summer Of Jordi Perez is a novel by Amy Spalding. It’s the story of Abby, a fashion-obsessed gay teen who focuses on her plus-size positivity fashion blog and plans to “take the fashion world by storm”. But in focusing on her goals, she’s neglected her love life. However, she’s elated when she lands an internship at a fashion boutique and starts her career, until she meets fellow intern Jordi Perez. Her love life quickly gets tangled up in her work life when she competes with the girl she likes to win a paid job at the boutique. This sounds like the perfect fun summer read, and it’s set to be released in April.
Everything Sucks! is a Netflix original series that was released at the start of the year. Set in 1996, it follows a group of high schoolers as they try and navigate life, focusing on Luke O’Neil, an amateur filmmaker with a crush on the Principal’s daughter, Kate Messner. However, Kate realises that she’s a lesbian, leading to a lovely friendship between the two as Luke offers to pretend to be her boyfriend to stop people at their school from finding out and bullying her, but then they do “break up” after a while. Luke and Kate are both in their school’s AV club, and with the help of Luke’s friends and the school’s drama club, they set out to make their own film. The soundtrack is incredible, and Kate’s character and storyline are incredibly touching. This is great representation, particularly for anyone the same age as Kate, or who went through a similar experience as her growing up. (And don’t worry, without giving out any spoilers, series 1 ends happily!)
Happy #20gayteen! I hope you all have a great year, and if the above LGBT content is anything to go by, it should be a great one in regards to representation too.
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