With 2024 just around the corner, we’ve been looking back on all that this year has had to offer.
Today, we’re specifically celebrating the LGBTQ+ pop culture moments that we still can’t stop talking about.
These 20 listed items are not just fun and entertaining — they’re also vital for LGBTQ+ representation. They continue to show the world that we are everywhere, we matter, and we aren’t a monolith.
In no particular order, read our list below.
Beyoncé’s Iconic Renaissance Album and Tour
Bey’s seventh album and corresponding tour were heavily influenced by the ballroom scene and the Black LGBTQ+ roots of house and disco music. They also featured contributions from multiple queer and trans artists like Big Freedia and Honey Dijon.
Additionally, Beyoncé noted that Renaissance is a tribute to her Uncle Jonny, who died of complications from AIDS when the musician was just a teen.
Gay Thriller Saltburn, Directed by Emerald Fennell
“Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.”
The Debut of Trans Barbie
In the box office blockbuster Barbie, the Doctor Barbie character was played by trans actress Hari Nef. The movie hit theaters about a year after Mattel released an actual Barbie doll honoring transgender actress and LGBTQ+ activist Laverne Cox.
The NBA’s First Out Nonbinary Trans Referee
Che Flores is the first out nonbinary trans referee in the NBA’s 75-year history — and in American professional sports, period. “One piece I was missing for myself was that no one knew how I identified,” Flores said in a GQ profile about their career. “[Now] I can go through the world and even my job a lot more comfortably.”
LGBTQ+ Representation on Reality Dating Shows The Ultimatum, Love Island, and Perfect Match
This year, we saw bisexual representation on Perfect Match and Love Island USA. Netflix also released The Ultimatum: Queer Love, a season focused entirely on LGBTQ+ couples looking to take their relationships to the next level.
Grammys Consideration List Features Historic Trans and Nonbinary Representation
This year, there was a record number of trans and nonbinary artists up for 2024 Grammy consideration. Part of that prestigious group was rapper and songwriter 2am Ricky, who made history as the first Black trans man to make the Grammy Awards consideration list.
The First Black Trans Woman to Speak at the March on Washington
This past summer, Hope Giselle, an author, artist, and advocate representing the National Black Justice Coalition, became the first openly Black trans woman to speak at the March on Washington.
“If your fight, if your advocacy, if your moments, if your words do not include the struggles of all Black people, then it is trash,” Giselle said. “If you willfully look over the transgressions happening to your Black and Brown, queer brothers, sisters, and siblings while expecting us all to move into this movement without resentment, you’re sadly mistaken.”
Kokomo City Documents Lives of Black Trans Sex Workers
“In the wildly entertaining and refreshingly unfiltered documentary Kokomo City, filmmaker D. Smith passes the mic to four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City – Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell, and Dominique Silver – who unapologetically break down the walls of their profession. Holding nothing back, the film vibrates with energy, sex, challenge, and hard-earned wisdom.” Lena Waithe also served as an executive producer.
The First Openly Nonbinary Actors to Win Tony Awards
Alex Newell (Shucked) and J. Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot) became the first openly nonbinary actors to win Tony Awards. “Thank you for seeing me, Broadway. I should not be up here as a queer nonbinary fat black lil’ baby from Massachusetts,” Newell said during their acceptance speech in June. “To anyone that thinks they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in your face [and say] that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
First Living Trans Woman to Have Street Named After Her
Atlanta resident and longtime activist Dominique Morgan had a city street renamed in her honor back in August. It marked the first time a living trans woman in the U.S. received such an honor.
Trans Folks Running for Office
Trans actress and activist Angelica Ross announced in September that she would be “walking away from Hollywood” in order to run for office in her home state of Georgia.
Meanwhile, Sarah McBride is hoping to become the first openly trans member of Congress in 2024. She is currently the first openly trans state senator in the U.S., representing Delaware’s First District.
The Debut Album from Boygenius
LGBTQ+ indie rock supergroup Boygenius released their debut album, the record, in March. The project earned bandmates Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker seven Grammy nominations, as well as multiple sold out tour dates.
Longtime TV Celebrity Comes Out as Pansexual
TV host, comedian, and actor Wayne Brady came out as pansexual over the summer.
The First Black Trans Woman to Be Appointed to Public Office in Chicago
Precious Brady-Davis became the first Black trans woman appointed to public office in Cook County, Illinois. The LGBTQ+ rights and environmental activist was sworn in as a commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, an agency that protects Lake Michigan’s water.
Doctor Who Debuts Trans Storyline and First Black LGBTQ+ Doctor
The first Doctor Who 60th anniversary special introduced the character of Rose Noble, the trans daughter of Donna Noble. The role was portrayed by trans actress and Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney. Additionally, Ncuti Gatwa became the first Black and openly LGBTQ+ actor to play the protagonist, officially taking over as the series’ 15th Doctor.
Netflix Series Heartstopper Season Two and Glamorous
This past April brought the return of Netflix’s hit teen drama Heartstopper. The show’s second season saw “Nick and Charlie navigate their new relationship, Tara and Darcy face unforeseen challenges and Tao and Elle work out if they can ever be more than just friends.”
Meanwhile, the summer ushered in the release of the new Netflix comedy-drama series Glamorous: “Marco Mejia (Miss Benny), a young gender non-conforming queer person, lands a job working for legendary makeup mogul Madolyn Addison (Kim Cattrall) and tries to revolutionize the fashion industry.”
Janelle Monáe Inspires Soul Train Awards to Create Inclusive Category
The 36th Annual Soul Train Awards changed the name of one of its categories in order “to honor the diversity and inclusivity” of this year’s winner: the one and only nonbinary icon Janelle Monáe. Originally titled The Lady of Soul Award, and created for women artists, it’s now known as the Spirit of Soul Award.
Bella Ramsey Pushes for Nonbinary Awareness at the Emmys and Beyond
Nonbinary actor Bella Ramsey earned their first Emmy nomination for their portrayal of Ellie in the HBO drama series The Last of Us. The 20-year-old has also used their increased visibility to push for nonbinary-inclusive award categories, noting that it was an “uncomfortable” decision to submit themself for the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy.
“I don’t want the limitations in terms of the language in the categories to be a reason that non-binary actors like me can’t be celebrated,” Ramsey told Vanity Fair.
Red, White & Royal Blue Film Adaptation
Released over the summer, Red, White & Royal Blue is based on Casey McQuiston’s romantic comedy novel of the same name. “Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zachary Perez), the first son of the United States, and young Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) fall in love. However, considering their high-profile public lives, they must keep their relationship a secret at all costs.”
Tracy Chapman Makes History at Country Music Awards
Tracy Chapman became the first Black artist to win the Country Music Award for Song of the Year. Although her winning lesbian anthem “Fast Car” originally came out in 1988, it experienced a resurgence after country artist Luke Combs covered the song in April.