Exciting LGBTQ-inclusive entertainment to look forward to in 2017!


With the new year just about knocking on the door, here is a brief sampling of LGBTQ-inclusive films, TV series and comic book offerings to look forward to in 2017.


Tom of Finland Taschen CoverThe long-awaited biopic of the pioneering Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, more commonly known as Tom of Finland, is due for release in February.  A gay icon of the late 20th century, Laaksonen’s drawings were known for his depiction of stylized, muscular masculine bodies clad in leather.  In those decades, in the U.S. and abroad, there wasn’t a gay leather bar in major urban cities where his prints and posters were not on display.  Produced by Protagonist and Helsinki Filmi, director Dome Karukoski stated that Laaksonen “lived in a time when the laws and norms of the society tried to deny him the right to be himself.  His story is an indication how a man can change the world with only the artists’ tools as ammunition.”  (Finnish Trailer w/o translation)


The 2017 Sundance Film Festival lineup was announced recently for the annual festival in Park City, Utah coming up next month. The festival takes place January 19-29 and tickets are on sale now.  (While these projects are premiering at Sundance, there are no guarantees of post-festival distribution at this time.)

Bayard & Me B&W photo stillBayard & Me / U.S.A. (Director: Matt Wolf) —  A master strategist and tireless activist, Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the U.S. He brought Gandhi’s protest techniques to the American civil rights movement, and helped mold Martin Luther King, Jr. into an international symbol of peace and nonviolence.  Bayard was also 30 years older than his boyfriend, Walter Naegle. In the 80’s, Bayard decided to adopt Walter for legal protection.  Walter reflects on the love story that unfolded at a time when gay marriage was inconceivable, and reflects on the little known phenomena of intergenerational gay adoption and its connection to the civil rights movement. 

Gigi GorgeousThis Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous / U.S.A. (Director: Barbara Kopple) — This world premiere, groundbreaking film portrays the journey of Gigi Lazzarato, a fearless woman who began life as Gregory, posting fashion videos to YouTube from his bedroom, only to later come out as a transgender female. With never-before-seen personal footage, the film spotlights a family’s unwavering love for a child.   This YouTube Red Original film is directed by two-time Oscar® award winner Barbara Kopple and executive produced by SelectNext.

Call Me By Your NameCall Me by Your Name / Italy, France (Director: Luca Guadagnino, Screenwriters: James Ivory, Luca Guadagnino) — The sensitive and cultivated Elio, only child of the American-Italian-French Perlman family, is facing another lazy summer at his parents’ villa in the beautiful and languid Italian countryside and Riviera when Oliver (played by Armie Hammer), an academic who has come to help with Elio’s father’s research, arrives.


Rosie O'Donnell WHEN WE RISEWhen We Rise, an original 7 part mini-series event set for February on ABC, written and created by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, set-backs and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBTQ men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today. Starring: Guy Pearce, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Denis O’Hare, Mary-Louis Parker, Rafael de la Fuente, and more.  Creator Dustin Lance Black has shared that:

“It’s been the honor of my life to research and craft these stories of family, diversity and equality over the past three years. To have collaborators of this caliber sign on to help bring these stories to life is a tremendous vote of confidence, and I hope a testament to the relevancy and necessity of our continued march toward justice for all.”


With a premier date now set for May, Star Trek: Discovery will be the first Trek series since Enterprise ended its run in 2005.  After its premier on the CBS broadcast network, subsequent episodes will stream exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access.  Of note is that Discovery’s timeline is set to take place a decade before the original Star Trek series.  And after showrunner Bryan Fuller announced at last summer’s Comic-Con that he wanted to cast a woman of color in the lead role, Sonequa Martin-Green has landed that role, and will continue as a series regular on AMC’s The Walking Dead.


Set among a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug, Netflix’ comedy series Dear White People is a send up of “post-racial” America that also weaves a universal story about forging one’s own unique path.  Based on writer/director/producer Justin Simien’s critically-acclaimed, Sundance award-winning satirical indie film of the same name, the 10-episode, 30-minute series is in production and will premiere on Netflix around the world in 2017.  Brandon P. Bell will reprise his role as Troy Fairbanks, the son of the dean of students and a charming political science major who is campaigning to become Winchester University's first black student president.   (Take a look at the 2014 original indie smash hit’s trailer.)


From the award winning team behind Doctor Who, Class is a BBC America spin-off set in Shoreditch, London. It’s a new term at Coal Hill Academy and students are preparing for their Autumn Prom. But when the school comes under attack, four alienated students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them. And this incursion is only the beginning!  These four Coal Hill School students have hidden secrets and desires. They’re also facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow — and possibly the end of existence.


In addition to the above television series, there are several returning favorites.  The 2016 GLAAD Media Award recipient for Outstanding Drama Series, Sense8, returns on Netflix with the story of eight strangers from all over the globe who find out they are "sensates" -- humans who are mentally and emotionally linked, and can interchange their knowledge of everything from languages to fighting skills.

Hulu has picked up popular series Please Like Me for a fourth season. The Australian comedy focuses on the life experiences of creator and star Josh Thomas, who is openly gay. The series previously aired on Pivot, but that network shut down this fall.  Since then, Hulu has acquired exclusive SVOD (subscription video on demand) rights to the series.



America ChavezAmerica Chavez, the queer Latina dimension-breaking superhero from Young Avengers, will be receiving her own solo series America from Marvel Comics beginning next year.   Raised by two moms in a woman-only Utopian Parallel universe, this genre-subverting character was a much-needed response to the call for greater diversity in comics, and was first introduced in the 2011 miniseries Vengeance, before writer Kieron Gillen revived her for the 2013 reboot of the Young Avengers, also appearing in Hawkeye, A-Force, and The Ultimates comics. Young adult author Gabby Rivera, who also happens to be queer and Latina, has been tapped to write the comic.

BatwomanTwo additional solo stories are highlighted to appear in 2017. Written by Marguerite Bennett, with art by Steve Epting, the new Batwoman series will spin out of a two-part story in DETECTIVE COMICS.  Batman Group Editor Mark Doyle was quoted as saying that:

“Batwoman is yet another example of the character depth, richness and diversity present in Gotham City. Fans have really responded to her role in DETECTIVE COMICS, and we all love Kate here in the Bat-office, so that made it an easy choice to return her to a solo series.”

Iceman #1Iceman, aka Bobby Drake, is one of the longest-running, most popular X-Men in the Marvel series. Thanks to time travel, there are technically two Bobby Drakes running around the present comics. An adult, very powerful Iceman, and a teen Iceman from the past, who was brought to the current timeline alongside several other teen mutants by Beast.  Now, one of them (presumably adult Iceman) is getting a solo series.  Iceman came out as gay earlier in the series when he was confronted by his younger self and Jean Grey about his sexuality.  Fans look forward to Iceman’s journey through the world Marvel creates for him.

Legend of KorraFinally, a three-part Legend of Korra original graphic novel series will reunite Korra, Asami and Republic City in “Turf Wars” from Dark Horse Comics.  According to co-creator Michael DiMartino, it will focus on “Korra and Asami’s relationship [revealed in the show’s final episode] as a new threat emerges.  It’s kind of like the aftermath, dealing with the new portal in the city, and all the evacuees coming back to find their homes wiped out cause of the portal.”  The first graphic novel in the Legend of Korra: Turf War series is due to hit comic shops in June.