Kayce Brown and Sara Medd Subscription-delivery services have been growing in popularity lately, and Kayce Brown and Sara Medd are leading the queer vanguard. Their Greyscale Goods company just surpassed its Kickstarter goals and is on-track to launch in 2015, offering customers a monthly box of the best androgynous clothing. Greyscale seeks to end the divide between the men's department and women's department at clothing stores by providing awesome gender-neutral apparel.
Christopher Bratten and Shane Schell Shane and Christopher are the co-creators of For the Record, a live show that pays tribute to the soundtracks of our favorite films. For each show, they pick a director, and then present "songs and scenes inspired by the films" of that auteur, complete with an all-star cast. So far they've covered Garry and Penny Marshall, The Coen Brothers, John Hughes, Tarantino, and more. We're looking forward to the day they honor Robert Altman, mostly because we want to see Sutton Foster sing "He's Large" from Popeye.
Louis Virtel Louis Virtel is basically gay president of pop culture comedy, possessing the rare ability to make you laugh at a reference even if you have no idea what he's referencing. (You don't need to know anything about music to know that "Bing Crosby is our greatest singer who sounds like gay Dracula" is funny.) And even better, he's a smart cookie who marries encyclopedic knowledge with a huge throbbing brain to make you say "I wish I'd thought of that" after his every sentence. In the coming year, he'll continue his marvelous two shows, The Snap and But What I Really Want to Know Is..., while also lining up more standup gigs. And keep an ear to the ground for more news soon -- Virtel plans to dive into podcasting in the next year.
Maggie Keenan-Bolger She's an actress! She's a playwright! She's a sex educator! There's seemingly nothing that MKB can't do with aplomb, and these days this student of queer and feminist studies is turning heads with her shows From the Inside, Out and Her Train of Thought. She also recently released Queering History, a fantastic journey through our shared -- and often overlooked -- history.
Harry Hains He's more than just a chiseled pouting face. (Although isn't that enough?) Harry Haines is an up-and-coming actor with a few indie credits under his belt and more greatness on the horizon: keep an eye out for him in 2015's The Surface and Nowhereland. Naturally, he's a Ford model, by which we mean he's appearing in high-end fashion spreads, not that he's an F-150 pickup truck.
Charlie Williams Charlie Williams first came to our attention as an adorable dancer in NBC's bizarre Peter Pan show. And then when we discovered that he also played the alligator in the production, well, our hearts were his. Also, according to his resume, he knows CPR, is a dual British citizen, and can ride a horse, so he's basically the Astronaut Mike Dexter of 2015.
Craigery Morgan You remember Craigery Morgan from his adorable hunky shirtless lip-sync to Kristin Wiig's "Surprise Party" skit on SNL. These days, he's hunkier than ever, having beefed up his muscles and grown a beard. He moved to Chicago in 2013 to pursue a comedy career, but recently discovered that his kidneys are failing and he needs a transplant. The cutie who won your heart on YouTube a few years ago needs your support in 2015 more than ever.
Kevin Kauer Seattle's most dangerous DJ is on a mission: get the gays dancing, scare away the censors, and spread the gospel of awesome music. You have Kevin (aka DJ Nark) and his friends to thank for such parties as Dickslap (which is coming to Precinct in Los Angeles in 2015), Arf!, Shade, and Bottom Forty at Kremwork, all of which started in the Pacific Northwest and are now making their way toward world domination. His annual Pride party is the talk of Seattle, raising tons of cash for LGBT nonprofits. Keep an eye on Nark Magazine for can't-miss parties.
Katherine Cross Game theorist, feminist, and trans Latina lady Katherine Cross has been a strong, thoughtful voice amidst the rancor of 2014's lousy "Gamergate" debacle, and we're looking forward to more of her writing in the coming year. When she's not defending marginalized groups from angry boys on Twitter, she can be found penning thoughtful analyses of narrative structure, Supreme Court decisions, and the unconscionable praise of Pope Francis.
Quentin Crisp Yes, we know he's long-deceased, but that's no reason to stop paying attention to one of the greatest dandies to have ever lived. If you're not familiar with this great British raconteur, make 2015 the year you dive into his magnificent stories about being a fearless gay man in the early-to-mid 20th century. And if you're already a fan, take some time to revisit his greatest hits. We recommend The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp, Resident Alien, and The Naked Civil Servant.
Steven Reigns The first City Poet of West Hollywood, Steven Reigns is also responsible for a very moving art exhibit called The Gay Rub, for which he traveled the world to create charcoal rubbings of queer-related plaques and gravestones. The exhibit is touring the country in 2015, starting in North Carolina. He's also releasing a series of books about his performance art events, entitled 3-Pack Jack; and he teaches the only class in the country on autobiographical poetry for LGBT seniors. Keep an eye out for his traveling exhibit of rubbings, as well as readings around the country throughout 2015.
Wes Hurley Creator of the otherworldly web show Capitol Hill, Wes Hurley will be bringing us Season 2 of the series in 2015, featuring appearances by Jinkx Monsoon. He's also hard at work on an autobiographical feature entitled Potato Dreams of America, about growing up gay in the Soviet Union during Perestroika and escaping to the U.S. with his mail-order-bride mother. His previous projects include a strange drag queen fairy tale called Waxie Moon in Fallen Angel, the and campy-porn adventure James Bondage in Double O Sexy, so we can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve next.
Spookeedoo Nothing to see here but hot gay yiffing porn. Spookeedoo is one of the the furry fandom's most reliably sexy artists, featuring big beefy musclebears, musclewolves, and muscleorcs. His work's explicit, sweaty, and more adventurous than anything you'll find in mainstream erotica.
Isaac Oliver Isaac Oliver's first book, Intimacy Idiot, comes out in 2015, and is a collection of delightful essays about his misadventures as "an extremely single gay man" in New York. You might know Oliver from the How I Learned Series or On This Island. And if you don't, you're probably about to.
Frank Ocean We're anticipating a new album from Frank Ocean soon, and all indications are that it'll be something great. He teased just a snippet of new music recently, and hinted that he's been experimenting with some innovative new sounds. Ocean's always been a hard one to predict, but we're crossing our fingers for an album and a tour in 2015.
Justin Saint Vancouver's superstar of cosplay, makeup, genderqueer drag and fabulous nerdiness has some big plans for 2015. Justin Saint is well-known for his appearances at West Coast Geeks Versus Nerds, a live show where a panel of entertainers dive deep into sci-fi and fantasy. Now he's working with the BC Superfriends to develop something called "Queer Geek 101." It's a panel and workshop that will travel around to Northwest American conventions, educating allies and newbies about gender and sexuality. Keep an eye out for it wherever nerds congregate.
Zackary Grady Actor and playwright Zackary Grady has been climbing his way up from assistant positions and off-Broadway roles for several years now, and now has several fab projects of his own under his belt. There's Dead Letter Office, an interactive murder mystery in which the audience wanders through rooms wearing headphones to augment their experience; a game show called TRAVIS that pits the entire audience against each other; and the captivating Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding tribute piece Toe Pick! We are on the edge of our seats for his next creation.
Barbara Smith Go ahead, we dare you to have a conversation about identity politics, community organizing, and social justice without mentioning Barbara Smith. Activist, political powerhouse, pioneering feminist, and all-around great thinker, Smith has been a vital and unstoppable force since the 1970s. She pioneered the understanding of what we today call "intersectionality," or the way in which various systems of oppression interact. There's never been a more important time to follow her work, to learn from her, and to be inspired by her.
The Supreme Court OK, so none of them are queer (as far as we know). But they'll probably be settling the issue of national marriage equality once and for all this year -- or at the very least, advancing it toward its inevitable conclusion, and a victory for same-sex couples everywhere. Keep your eyes on SCOTUS on January 9, when it will decide whether to take a marriage case in 2015. And if they do, expect a lot of celebrating and teeth-gnashing sometime before the end of June, when they conclude their term.