20GayTeen 4YE Feels 4YE's Year In Review Assassin's Creed: Odyssey clexacon Fashion Halsey Hayley Kiyoko love simon Special Coverage

A Year of LGBTQ+ Pop Culture History Part One – 4 Your Excitement

A Year of LGBTQ+ Pop Culture History Part One – 4 Your Excitement

Credit: Atlantic Data, BBC America, Sara Krulwich/The New York Occasions

2018 really was a yr of up and downs, from the rallies and marches for freedom, rights, and safety for all and a extra numerous illustration on the large and small display, to the disastrous state of politics, notably sexual and gender politics, everywhere in the world.

However we, the individuals, proceed to struggle – and  particularly the LGBTQ group has been making waves that ought to not go on ignored. So a bunch of our 4YE editors acquired collectively to spotlight some of their very favourite moments of the yr. These embrace influential individuals, particular films, television exhibits, video games, performs, and many extra. 

There was a lot to speak about that we would have liked to separate this up into two elements.

So, with out additional ado, let a quick however nonetheless very private evaluation of #20GayTeen in well-liked tradition begin!



The second annual ClexaCon was in April, and it was superb to see how a lot it had grown from its first yr. There’s one million cons on the market these days, however the factor that makes ClexaCon stand out is that it focuses on and celebrates queer ladies in all types of media. The weekend is crammed with necessary conversations about illustration and an opportunity to satisfy some of the individuals serving to to deliver that constructive illustration on display. Clexacon is an opportunity for lots of LGBTQ individuals to chill out and be themselves and be surrounded by their individuals and it’s all the time a superb time.

ClexaCon can also be the place the place I had a chance to satisfy Chyler Leigh and she or he held my hand and actually, how can that not go on a evaluate listing?? 

Murderer’s Creed: Odyssey

Final yr, in case you had advised me that I might be placing an Murderer’s Creed online game on an LGBTQ evaluate, I might have referred to as you loopy, however right here we’re. This yr, Ubisoft did one thing they hadn’t carried out earlier than and added an RPG facet to Murderer’s Creed: Odyssey along with giving gamers a selection of enjoying a male or feminine character. Whereas not the primary alternative to play a feminine character within the franchise, it was the primary time gamers got the choice to ONLY play a feminine character aspect eyes Murderer’s Creed: Syndicate.

The gameplay is just about the identical for those who decide Alexios or Kassandra and you may romance women and men, supplying you with the chance for a hella queer recreation. AKA an opportunity for each queer ladies to lastly fulfill their fantasy of operating round Historic Greece and seducing each lady potential.

GIF: Tumblr


Hayley Kiyoko

2018 was the yr of Hayley Kiyoko. Regardless of making music for years and having launched three Eps prior, Hayley launched her debut album Expectations in March. This was adopted by a North American Tour in Spring, in addition to a European leg within the fall of 2018 (which can proceed early in 2019). She additionally toured with Panic! on the Disco in the summertime and carried out with Taylor Swift throughout her Popularity tour – as a result of why take issues sluggish whenever you’re on a roll.

The brazenly homosexual singer additionally launched music movies for her singles “Curious” in January and “What I Need” in Might, each of which have already surpassed 15 million views. And her first music video, “Girls Like Girls” (2015) has simply crossed the 100 million views mark in December. However these will not be the one milestones in Miss Kiyoko’s life in 2018. She additionally gained the Push Artist of the Year award on the 2018 VMAs in New York Metropolis, a win which she devoted to queer ladies of color, and Billboard named her their Rising Star on the Billboard Ladies in Music occasion (a night she spent flirting with Ariana Grande just like the boss she is). NPR named her one of probably the most influential ladies in music of the 21st century, alongside the likes of Beyoncé, Woman Gaga or Rihanna. Not a nasty bunch of queens to be thrown in a pot with.  

After struggling together with her sexuality for a few years Kiyoko is now dwelling her absolute best life whereas her followers have fun her as “Lesbian Jesus”. Her music movies, many of which she directs herself, depict lesbian relationships in an effort to normalize them, and her video for “One Bad Night” sheds mild on violence towards transgender ladies. She continues to be an advocate for LGBTQ rights and a supply of hope for queer ladies all over the place. After the VMA’s she stated her win was “proof that every time someone tells you ‘no’ because you’re not straight enough, masculine enough, feminine enough, or simply that you are just not enough, you are more than enough. And you can do this. So keep going.”

I’m grateful for Hayley’s artwork, for having songs and really beautiful music movies depicting female-female relationships as regular, and playful, and difficult, as sensual and extremely attractive however by no means oversexualized, as all of the issues they are often. This artwork is providing women-loving-women a platform, whether or not they be lesbian, bisexual or pan, and has  created this excellent group of help the place, most of the time, the LGBTQ group is made out to be “the other”. Thanks, Hayley, for making 2018 slightly bit extra bearable.


One other influential musician this yr was Ashley Frangipane, higher recognized to many as Halsey. She started 2018 scorching off of her second album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, which debuted in summer time 2017. HFK, extra so than Halsey’s different work, consists of references to her bisexuality with songs about same-sex relationships, reminiscent of her collaboration with Lauren Jauregui, “Strangers”.  Halsey has been extremely open about her sexuality, and has been a vocal activist. She was awarded the GLAAD award for Excellent Music Artist in Might 2018, and used her acceptance speech to supply info on homeless youth, particularly amongst people who determine as LGBTQ, and inspired others to become involved with native shelters.  

On January 20th, Halsey attended the Ladies’s March in New York Metropolis, and delivered an emotional rendition of a poem she wrote referred to as “A Story Like Mine”. She addressed her personal experiences of sexual assault and about how she carried out by means of a miscarriage, earlier than calling for motion, and asking for inclusivity. “But we are not free until all of us are free, so love your neighbor, please treat her kindly, ask her story and then shut up and listen”, the actress stated. “Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian. Listen, listen and then yell at the top of your lungs, be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues”.

Halsey spent most of 2018 touring the globe, from the US and South America to Australia, Asia and Europe, earlier than dropping her most profitable solo single ever but, “Without Me”. She went on to carry out the very private music numerous occasions, from late night time speak exhibits and the EMAs to the Victoria Secret’s annual trend present. Nevertheless, after feedback made by Victoria Secret’s Chief Advertising Officer about how plus-size and transgender fashions will not be half of the “fantasy” they’re making an attempt to promote, Halsey took to Instagram. She stated she had “no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity” and made a sizeable donation to GLSEN, a charity defending LGBTQ youth.

And but, no different efficiency sparked as a lot controversy as her newest efficiency of the track on The Voice. Through the finale of the competitors collection Halsey carried out the music alongside dancer Jade Chynoweth. Their interpretative dance has had the homophobes raging, expressing their anger over its overtly sexual nature. Halsey remained unbothered, stating she was proud to upset much less tolerant viewers. The younger singer has beforehand expressed annoyance about individuals oversexualising the same-sex couples in her music movies, and set the document straight that they “do a lot more than pretend to finger each other with giant acrylic nails, which doesn’t happen in real life, by the way.”  

Oh Ashley, there’s really nobody who provides much less of a rattling about heteronormativity and gender norms and appears so rattling good whereas doing it. Keep indignant babe, and use that ache for good – like that third album we’re all ready for. Halsey is an artist I’d be proud to battle alongside.  

Love, Simon

In Spring of 2018, 20th Century Fox launched the romantic comedy Love, Simon, based mostly on the guide Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and whereas it might not have been probably the most critically acclaimed movie of the yr, it was nonetheless a massively necessary one.

Love, Simon tells the story of a teenage boy making an attempt to make sense of his sexuality whereas maintaining this huge secret from his family and friends. He finds a pal in “Blue”, one other homosexual child at his faculty whose id is unknown. They strike up a friendship, and ultimately extra, by way of e-mail however when Simon needs to satisfy the opposite boy, Blue stops contact. Issues go from dangerous to worse when the emails are leaked and Simon’s homosexuality is revealed to the entire faculty, in addition to his household.  Simon’s household and associates are supportive and ultimately each Blue and Simon collect the braveness to hunt one another out.

We comply with Simon by way of his journey from insecurity via the misery of having your popping out taken from you to lastly accepting who you really are. However we additionally witness him falling in love. Whereas there have been many films depicting LGBTQ relationships (most notably Brokeback Mountain or Blue is the Warmest Color) Love, Simon is the primary big-budget wide-release blockbuster to function a homosexual lead AND have a cheerful ending.  It’s a feel-good movie which isn’t meant to alienate. It’s a movement image meant for mass consumption which depicts a cheerful non-hetero relationship, and whereas that shouldn’t be a milestone it’s. And it makes us so rattling completely satisfied.

GIF: Tumblr

What are your private favorite LGBTQ moments of the yr?

Share them with us within the feedback or tweet us at and make sure to take a look at our second half for extra feels!


Verena Cote

Verena Cote

twenty one thing, television fanatic with a ardour (however not essentially the price range) for touring and exploring the world. london-based. working in movie pr. loves canine, netflix, and white wine. present obsession: stepping into the great place.

Verena Cote

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