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The Ultimate LGBT Pop Culture Preview
To celebrate pride month, here's your guide to the year in gay entertainment.
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Looking: The Movie
While it lasted only two short seasons, HBO's Looking developed a small but passionate fan base. Created by Michael Lannan, the series followed three gay friends—Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez), and Dom (Murray Bartlett)—all searching for love and fulfillment in San Francisco. Funny, frank, and romantic, the series didn't attract the number of viewers the network had hoped for, and it was canceled in March 2015. But HBO didn't give up on the guys entirely. Instead they let producers Lannan and Andrew Haigh (Weekend) craft a movie to wrap up the series' story lines. Looking: The Movie premieres on July 23 on HBO at 10 p.m.
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I Am Jazz, Wednesdays, 10pm
TLC's docuseries on transgender activist Jazz Jennings balances the 15-year-old's fight to normalize her gender identity with typical teen drama. Case in point: In the second season, Jazz starts dating—and considers having gender-affirming surgery before she's 18—while also learning to drive.
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The Fosters, Returns June 20, 8pm
One of TV's most inclusive series, Freeform's family drama chronicles the ups and downs of an interracial lesbian couple and their biological and foster children, including Jude (Hayden Byerly), the youngest, who questions and learns to accept his sexuality after falling for his best friend, Connor (Gavin MacIntosh).
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Take My Wife, Debuts Aug. 11
Newlywed comics Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher bring their humor on relationships to the small screen in this semiautobiographical half-hour comedy, streaming on Seeso, about a married lesbian couple mining their domestic life for material.
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DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Fall
Überproducer Greg Berlanti's latest DC Comics-based series includes one of the only LGBT superheroes on screen: Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), a time-traveling assassin. "It's never our sole agenda," Berlanti told EW in May of his CW shows, "but we want the shows that we work on to be representative of society."
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The Real O’Neals, Fall
When each member of the eponymous conservative Irish-Catholic family reveals a secret—the parents are divorcing, the older son is anorexic, the youngest questions her faith, and the middle son comes out as gay—the family learns to accept one another's confessions in ABC's stereotype-busting sitcom.
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Fox's breakout star and openly gay actor Jussie Smollett returns as Jamal Lyon, the out son of homophobic hip-hop mogul Lucious (Terrence Howard). "This is the gig of a lifetime," Smollett told EW about Jamal's significance to the African-American LGBT community. "These are the types of stories that I want to tell."
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NBC's workplace sitcom revolves around a diverse cast of kooky characters, including Mateo (Nico Santos), a gay Filipino man who's just as capable of stocking shelves as he is at glibly reminding his religious boss, Glenn (Mark McKinney), to be open-minded.
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Amazon's Emmy-winning dramedy about the Pfefferman family and their transgender parent (Jeffrey Tambor) takes an intimate look at how sexuality affects close-knit relationships. Caitlyn Jenner has a cameo in season 3.
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RuPaul’s All Star Drag Race Season 2, Returns Aug. 25, 8pm
Back in 2009, you'd be hard-pressed to find an average American who knew the definition of a "death drop" or how to read a queen for filth. That all changed with RuPaul's Drag Race, the must-see competition series that's returning this summer with its second All Stars season on Logo. And it promises to be bitchier and funnier than ever.
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Suited, June 20
In this HBO doc, producers Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner offer a compelling portrait of a Brooklyn tailoring company that caters to transgender and gender-nonconforming clients.
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Independence Day: Resurgence, June 24
The aliens may take center stage in this blockbuster sequel, but director (and longtime gay rights advocate) Roland Emmerich has emphasized that a gay couple features prominently in the film.
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The Intervention, Aug. 26
More than 15 years after starring in the beloved movie But I'm a Cheerleader, Clea DuVall and Natasha Lyonne reunite as romantic partners in The Intervention, in which they go on vacation to Savannah with a group of thirtysomething friends.
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Other People, Sept. 9
Saturday Night Live writer Chris Kelly makes his directorial debut with this Sundance dramedy, starring Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights) as a gay comedy scribe returning home to his mom (Molly Shannon), who's dying of cancer, and his father (Bradley Whitford), who refuses to support his sexuality.
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The Handmaiden, Fall
Oldboy director Park Chan-wook took Cannes by storm with this noirish, 1930s-set Korean thriller, which follows a reclusive heiress and the pickpocket who poses as her maid. What begins as an attempt to swindle the aristocratic lady out of her inheritance quickly devolves into a tangled lesbian love story of eroticism and brutal revenge.
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Free CeCe!, Date TBD
Laverne Cox (Netflix's Orange Is the New Black) executive-produced this powerful doc about CeCe McDonald, a transgender woman locked in a men's prison after defending herself with deadly force.
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King Cobra, Date TBD
This ripped-from-the-headlines drama stars Garrett Clayton (Freeform's The Fosters) as a young gay porn star torn between competing producers (Christian Slater, James Franco) and sucked into a lecherous world of murder and sex.
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Uncle Howard, Date TBD
Cult filmmaker Howard Brookner (Bloodhounds of Broadway) was a rising figure in Hollywood until his life was cut short by AIDS in 1989. His nephew Aaron pays tribute to his legacy with this affecting doc that also looks at Brookner's relationship with beat counterculture icon William S. Burroughs.
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When We Rise, 2017
For his latest project, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), 42, has created, executive-produced, and codirected an eight-hour miniseries (premiering on ABC in 2017) about the gay rights movement. In addition to San Francisco activist Cleve Jones (Guy Pearce), the series focuses on feminist crusader Roma Guy (Mary-Louise Parker) and black civil rights pioneer Ken Jones (Michael K. Williams).
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Barbra Streisand, Encore, Aug. 26
Streisand returns to Broadway with an LP of duets from classic shows with Hollywood stars like Daisy Ridley and Anne Hathaway. The LP follows the gay icon's 10-date tour, where she'll perform for two nights in her hometown of Brooklyn.
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Alaska Thunderf--k, Title TBD, Late Summer
After her 2015 debut peaked at No. 3 on the dance charts, the RuPaul's Drag Race season 5 star is returning with another set of hilarious and raunchy club-wreckers that she describes as "frivolous and fun and a little filthy at times."
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Big Freedia, Title TBD, Fall
The Queen of New Orleans Bounce has gone mainstream with a Fuse TV show and an appearance on Beyoncé's "Formation," an experience she describes as "one of the best moments forever." She'll return with a new genre she's calling BDM, a.k.a. bounce dance music.
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Troye Sivan, The Suburbia Tour, Starts Oct. 16
The 21-year-old synth-pop wunderkind is touring this fall to support his excellent debut album, Blue Neighbourhood. A portion of ticket sales will go to the Ally Coalition, which funds LGBT causes. "We're trying to make the experience more LGBT-friendly," Sivan has said.
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Melissa Etheridge, MEmphis Rock and Soul, Fall
The iconic lesbian singer-songwriter will honor her roots with this set of tracks paying tribute to Memphis' Stax Records label. She'll include interpretations of songs by the Hodges Brothers and Otis Redding.
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Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs, June 28
Dave Holmes' memoir of his closeted, Catholic St. Louis childhood and eventual career as an MTV VJ and writer is a delightful, heartwarming read—and includes fun interludes like a breakup playlist and celebrity stories.
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Here Comes the Sun, July 5
In Nicole Dennis-Benn's Jamaica, the opulence of Montego Bay beach resorts is juxtaposed against the grindingly difficult lives of local residents—particularly Margot, an ambitious young woman struggling with her sexuality.
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As I Descended, Sept. 6
Robin Talley's novel—a chilling reimagining of Macbeth with queer girls playing the title role and Lady Macbeth—is set at a boarding school in the South.
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Beast, Oct. 11
Beauty and the Beast gets an intriguing update in Brie Spangler's YA novel: This "beast" is a hairy, teenage loner named Dylan, and "beauty" is his crush Jamie, who worries about what will happen when Dylan finds out she's a transgender woman.
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Tranny, Nov. 15
In Laura Jane Grace's highly anticipated memoir, which blends childhood diary entries with straightforward narrative, the transgender rocker recalls growing up with gender dysphoria and fronting the punk band Against Me! for nearly two decades.