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10 Queer Things to Light Up 2021
YouTubing for Change
LGBT Asylum Project cofounder Okan Sengun has launched a YouTube channel, where he says he "won't be scared to discuss human rights abuses and which governments are oppressing different minorities, including LGBTQ people." In the channel's introduction, the San Francisco-based attorney tells his own immigration story and says he plans to use the platform to highlight global LGBTQ+ issues.
A Podcast for Aqui and Now
Its name inspired by the "SAP" button on TV remotes that turns on Spanish dubbing, Spanish Aqui Presents is breaking new ground in Latinx representation. The Earwolf network podcast is hosted by four members of the first Spanish-language troupe of the Upright Citizens Brigade, two of whom are queer. Every week, SAP's hosts bring an array of comedy, politics, and other current topics as well as fun and exciting guests. And with episode titles like "Adios 2020" and "My Diva Cup Overfloweth," how can you go wrong?
Bad at Love, Good at Makeup
Get jazzed about bisexual musician Halsey's cool new line of cosmetics. With About Face, the performer says she wants to focus on the fun and creativity of makeup, rather than trying to attain some filtered idea of perfection. Not only does the multitalented star typically do her own makeup, but she also created all the looks in her video promos launching the brand. Halsey made it official on Instagram, stating that makeup "is one of my greatest loves, but I have always stood firm in the belief that makeup is about feeling cool -- not looking perfect. I have worked tirelessly on this for years with an incredible team and I hope you feel my DNA all over it. Plus, it's vegan and cruelty-free."
Tegan and Sara TV
One thing fans of indie-rock sister duo Tegan and Sara can look forward to in 2021 is a new TV series based on their life. LGBTQ+ icon Clea DuVall (But I'm a Cheerleader, Veep), whose career has steadily forayed into directing, writing, and producing, is at the helm of the IMDb TV project. The series is being adapted from the queer twins' best-selling memoir High School, which coincided with their chart-topping album Hey, We're Just Like You, comprised of revisited songs written when the two were in high school. "Through a backdrop of '90s grunge and rave culture, the series tangles itself in the parallel and discordant memories of two sisters growing up down the hall from one another," the official announcement on Deadline stated. "This is a story about finding your own identity -- a journey made even more complicated when you have a twin whose own struggle and self-discovery so closely mimics your own."
Drag in the Name of Love
Get a glimpse into queer Latinx life with the colorful and conscientious Netflix show A Queen Is Born. In the Brazilian series (now available dubbed in English), watch multitalented drag performers Gloria Groove and Alexia Twister bring a few lucky individuals' ultimate drag fantasies to life. More than just a fun, glitzy makeover show, A Queen Is Born focuses on healing queer and gender-nonconforming folks' past traumas and building them up -- despite their often-unaccepting family and culture.
Relax — Just Do It
Though they only had two official studio albums, Welcome to the Pleasuredome and Liverpool (named for the band's hometown), 1980s new wave group Frankie Goes to Hollywood left an indelible mark on the era. Now the Frankie Goes to Hollywood collection is being reissued on CD and vinyl, and includes nostalgic feel-good hits like "Relax," "The Power of Love," and "Two Tribes." In addition to the two albums, the collection includes Bang!...The Greatest Hits of Frankie Goes to Hollywood (originally released in 1993).
The Art of War
Minor Incident of War is an award-winning, Oscar-qualified animated short that tells the harrowing story of gay World War II veteran Edward Field, in his own words. Teddy Grouya, founder of the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival, said the film "is more than an animated work, it is a tour de force in historical relevancy and worthy of an Academy Award."
A Boy and His Doll
In the beautifully poignant bilingual kids' book Pepito Has a Doll/ Pepito Tiene una Muneca, author Jesus Canchola Sanchez touches on childhood bullying, cultural taboos, and unconditional love. "I was a little boy who played with dolls because my imagination craved it," Sanchez says of the semi-autobiographical story illustrated by Armando Minjarez Monarrez. "I was a little boy who was afraid because adults around me said I was wrong for wanting to be me. I was a little boy who learned how to be fearless in order to become the man I am today."
A First for First Peoples
Dr. Alicia Mousseau was recently elected vice president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, making her the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to the tribe's executive council.
Black Lives Still Matter
Unapologetic, the directorial debut of Ashley O'Shay, has created a buzz since its premiere at the BlackStar Film Festival last fall. The documentary focuses on two young Black female activists and organizers, Janae Bonsu and Bella BAHHS, in the aftermath of the killing of two Black people by Chicago police. Unapologetic examines the movement for Black lives in 2020 and the tension surrounding the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot through a Black, queer, and femme lens.