2019. Well, it was no 2018, but it had its moments. Here are 10 really important lesbian, bi and queer things that happened this year.
The L Word Returns. Yes, after some serious teasing, The L Word returned to Showtime with some original favorites and a new crew of cast members to love. This time around, the show has a new leader, show runner Marja-Lewis Ryan, and a diverse writers room and cast of characters. The L Word Generation Q may not have all the bite of the original, but things are very different in the world from the last time The L Word graced our screens. Same-sex marriage is legal in the US. DOMA was overturned. However, the new L Word realizes there is still much to be done and based on the first few episodes, I have no doubt those important issues will be addressed and addressed very well.
Juliantina takes over the shipping world. Juliana and Valentina, a couple from the drama Amar a Muerte out of Mexico, found a way to break through and become an internationally beloved couple. The couple, played by actors Macarena Achaga and Bárbara López was so popular, that even though the show ended earlier this year, it was announced that Juliantina would have their own spin-off and a feature film.
Megan Rapinoe becomes an icon. Rapinoe has been on soccer fans’ radar for many years, but it wasn’t until 2019 that she really stepped into the spotlight and became even more than a superstar soccer player: she became a queer icon. Outspoken in her political beliefs and the need for equality in the game, Rapinoe has become one the the most important figures in professional sports.
Car company Renault take a beautiful stand. Are commercials pop culture? You bet, especially when they have as much of a cultural impact as the 2019 Renault UK commercial featuring a couple who share a lifelong bond of friendship, which turns into romantic love.
Anne Lister swaggers into our hearts. Anne Lister, the 18th century lesbian about town and diarist, strutted onto our screens (and through the fourth wall) this year in HBO’s Gentleman Jack. Expertly played by Suranne Jones, Lister is finally getting the funny, touching, passionate story she deserves.
MTV’s Are You the One changes the game. Reailty dating shows don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to LGBTQ representation, but 2019’s Are You the One asked us to hold its queer beer. This season’s cast was made up of 16 sexually-fluid contestants, who were all looking for love, or at least some quality time in the boom-boom room. Did anyone end up finding their soul-mate? Probably not, but it was a hell of a ride.
Fans fight to save Wynonna. Something I’ve said for years is never underestimate the power of queer fandom. That couldn’t be more evident than when Wynonna Earp was in danger of cancellation due to studio IDW’s lack of funds. Earpers pulled together and launched a huge Twitter campaign (#FightForWynonna) which then led to numerous billboards being purchased by fans in Times Square and Los Angeles. Their determination worked, and after a year delay, Wynonna Earp is filming a new season as we speak.
Booksmart redefines the teen comedy. Actor/director Olivia Wilde really brought her A game when she made the teen comedy, Booksmart. The film stars Beanie Feldstein (who is queer in real life) and Kaitlyn Deaver as two best friends, one straight-is, one lesbian, who have the night of their lives the day before high-school graduation. The film deals frankly with sex and sexuality, and coming of age in a totally refreshing way.
Young Hollywood is living its life out loud. Young Hollywood stars are having a gay ol’ time in 2019 and they don’t care who knows it. From couple Ashley Benson and Cara Delevigne, sharing their love on Insta, to Kristen Stewart pledging her love for her girlfriend on Howard Stern, to Tessa Thompson playfully teasing Marvel fans, to Janelle Monaé speaking frankly about growing up queer – these public figures are living their lives out loud in big and impactful ways.
OITNB takes a final bow. It’s hard to say goodbye to a show that changed the television landscape as much as Orange is the New Black, but in 2019, that’s exactly what we had to do. Featuring a number of lesbian and bisexual leads, and one of televisions most diverse casts, OITNB will have an impact on shows to come, and in fans’ hearts forever.
Robyn Crawford opens her heart in a memoir about life with Whitney Houston. Robyn Crawford spend many years by pop superstar Whitney Houston’s side, and she finally broke her silence this year about rumors that have followed Robyn and Whitney for decades. Yes, they were a couple for a time, and even after their breakup, remained in each other’s lives until Whitney’s untimely death in 2012. Crawford’s book, A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston, has been hailed as a sensitive and loving portrait of a lifelong bond.