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While we are far from full and proper representation in the entertainment and media industries, the last several years have seen some important milestones for stories about, for, and by the LGBTQ community, and starring LGBTQ actors.
From the rise of Emmy award-winner Laverne Cox to Moonlight’s show-stopping Best Picture win at last year’s Oscars, to this year’s Love, Simon, we’re getting more and more opportunities to look to the screen and say, “Hey, that person is like me.”
So what’s in store? We take a look at what 10 of our favorite LGBTQ actors are working on in 2018.
1. Tituss Burgess
Audiences immediately fell in love with Burgess and his character Titus Andromedon when Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt debuted in 2015, and they have plenty to look forward to in the coming years.
Out in July, I Hate Kids co-stars Burgess as The Amazing Fabular, a self-proclaimed psychic who joins an author and a 13-year-old boy claiming to be the author’s son on a road trip for answers.
Burgess has also been cast alongside Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Kathryn Hahn in Central Park, an animated series about a family of caretakers who live and work in Central Park and end up saving the world. Central Park comes from the creators of Bob’s Burgers and will be one of Apple’s first streaming originals.
Burgess will also play “a brassy flight attendant” in the coming-of-age drama Departures, which stars Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev and Tyler Hoechlin.
2. Hari Nef
After appearing as Gittel in Season 4 of Transparent, Nef has been adding to her credits, including a starring role in Assassination Nation, a modern-day which hunt thriller that recently premiered at Sundance. Nef is cast alongside Colman Domingo, Joel McHale and Bill Skarsgard.
In the biopic Mapplethorpe, debuting at the Tribeca film festival in April, Nef plays Tinkerbelle, a friend of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, close associate of Andy Warhol and contributor to Warhol’s Interview magazine.
Later this year she can be seen in Lifetime’s original series You, which stars Penn Badgley with a recurring spot for John Stamos, about a man who becomes obsessed with a woman he meets at a bookstore and will do anything to become her perfect partner.
3. Luke Evans
Who says gay men can’t be action stars? From his role as Owen Shaw in the Fast and the Furious franchise to bringing Gaston to life in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, Evans shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
He can be seen currently in the 19th-century crime drama The Alienist on TNT, in which he plays a crime reporter. On April 13, he can be seen in the thriller 10×10, in which he plays a man quietly obsessed with seeking revenge against a woman.
Later this year Evans will star alongside Oscar-winner Helen Mirren and Cillian Murphy in Luc Besson’s latest action thriller, Anna.
4. Sara Gilbert
Gilbert has turned her iconic childhood role as Darlene Conner on Roseanne into a steady stream of work since the groundbreaking series went off the air in 1997. Most notably she produced and co-hosted The Talk from its launch in 2011 until 2016.
Currently she can be seen as Cheryl on the CBS comedy Living Biblically, but what most fans are eagerly awaiting is the return of Darlene. Gilbert will reprise the role for ABC’s new, eight-episode run of Roseanne, which debuts March 27.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Darlene will have a son, Mark, who prefers to wear girls clothing. Gilbert says the character is “based on a few kids in my life that are boys who dress in more traditionally feminine clothing.”
5. Ben Whishaw
This year, Whishaw is part of Disney’s revival of one of its most classic films. In Mary Poppins Returns, set for Christmas 2018, Whishaw plays a grown-up Michael Banks living in the house of his childhood with his own children and the family’s housekeeper. “It’s good to see you again, Mary Poppins,” Whishaw’s character says in the teaser. Disney is counting on many of us feeling the same way.
If musicals aren’t your thing, expect Whishaw to reprise his role as Q in the next James Bond movie, which is currently being written.
6. Colman Domingo
Domingo is probably best known for his role as Victor Strand on Fear the Walking Dead, but he got his start in theater and has won many awards for his work there.
This year Domingo is set to appear in two films. First Match, which will be released on Netflix March 30, is about a teenage girl who signs up for an all-boys wrestling team, the coach of which is played by Domingo. Domingo has also been cast in Moonlight director Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the novel If Beale Street Could Talk, written by queer writer James Baldwin.
7. Michelle Rodriguez
Beloved by (and also loving both) men and women alike, Rodriquez has defined herself by being herself — doing as she pleases in her career and personal life. This year she adds to her résumé with two highly anticipated films, Widows and Alita: Battle Angel.
Steve McQueen directs Rodriguez alongside Viola Davis in Widows, his first film since 12 Years a Slave won an Oscar in 2013. The story follows four widows who take up a heist after their husbands are killed during a job gone wrong, and is released come November.
Alita: Battle Angel is an adaptation of a manga and is directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron. It tells the story of a young cyborg girl who wakes up with amnesia and must rediscover who she is. Rodriguez plays Gelda, a mentor character to Alita. The film is out Dec. 21.
8. Ezra Miller
Miller was warned not to come out as queer in 2012 around the time that Perks of Being a Wallflower saw release. But his career has defied that advice of the Hollywood status quo. He’s a good actor, so he’s gotten work.
Great work, in fact, in movies like Trainwreck and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and of course landing a superhero role as The Flash in Batman vs. Superman and Justice League. His solo Flash movie, Flashpoint, just started pre-production, but you won’t have to wait too long to see Ezra on-screen again.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premieres Nov. 16, with Miller reprising the role of Credence Barebone.
9. Lena Waithe
If you’re like me, you think one of the best parts of Master of None is Lena Waithe. While we might have to wait a little longer to see Denise on-screen again, Waithe is busy off-screen as a writer and producer. She created the Showtime series The Chi, following a Southside Chicago community after tragedy strikes.
Waithe is also in production on a TV movie called Twenties that follows a queer African-American woman and her straight best friends as they make sense of life.
10. Guillermo Diaz
Diaz’s career has been full of druggie, bad-guy characters, like Guillermo in Weeds, and this year he adds to that list by starring in Warning Shot. This inspired-by-true-events thriller with James Earl Jones, David Spade, Bruce Dern and Tammy Blanchard tells the story of a single mom and her daughter who have inherited a family farmhouse on land a business wants access to.
Diaz also continues his role as a member of the crisis management team at QPA on Scandal.