As LGBTQ characters and stories become the norm — mercifully, no longer an outlier or cause — it’s more important than ever to check your sources.
Just like you study the labels on your food or the sustainability of your clothes, the public should be educated about who is behind the camera (and the pages) when it comes to queer stories. While we’d never dictate what stories creators can write, the proof is often in the pudding when it comes to queer TV and film. As demonstrated by the devilish gay delights of “The White Lotus” or the lustful stares of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” things change when we’re in charge.
In an industry that often claims to celebrate difference until it comes to the big bucks, LGBTQ talent often has to work twice as hard to get their half in Hollywood. Trace Lysette executive produced her new film “Monica,” which took her more than six years to get financed despite her already having Patricia Clarkson. As far as TV goes, even when queer-led projects get critical acclaim and a dedicated following, it’s rare to get more than two seasons. “Work in Progress,” “Los Espookys,” and “A League of Their Own” are recent examples of beloved queer series that got canceled too soon.
When it comes to directing and performing, mentorship is the primary way emerging talent can gain experience on film and television sets. As the recent WGA strike has been billed as one of the union’s many talking points, workplace learning opportunities are falling by the wayside in the new system. For marginalized creators who might be shut out in other ways, this discrepancy is felt exponentially. While the demand for LGBTQ content is on the rise, there seem to be fewer paths to success for queer creators than ever before. With such narrow margins, every success deserves major recognition.
In the spirit of being in the know, it’s important to highlight and celebrate the queer filmmakers, writers, and creators who are setting — and raising — the bar for queer storytelling. Whether they’ve been household names for a while or are just starting to make their presence felt, here are 10 LGBTQ creators on the rise in June 2023.