The GLAAD Wrap: Lady Gaga joins 'American Horror Story'; Bessie Smith biopic gets air date and more!

Every week, The GLAAD Wrap brings you LGBT-related entertainment news highlights, fresh stuff to watch out for, and fun diversions to help you kick off the weekend.

1) The Queen Latifah-starring biopic Bessie, a film about bisexual blues singer Bessie Smith, is set to premiere this May. Written and directed by out filmmaker Dee Rees, Bessie stars Queen Latifah as the eponymous singer, and features Mo'Nique as queer blues singer Ma Rainey and Tika Sumpter as Lucille, a performer and Bessie's love interest. The film will premiere on May 16 at 8:00 pm (ET/PT) on HBO.

2) Following an acclaimed, pared-down performance at the Academy Awards, Lady Gaga continues to surprise spectators: the pop singer announced via Twitter this week that she will star in the next season of FX anthology series American Horror Story. Lady Gaga previously appeared in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills and Sin City as well as Men in Black 3 in minor roles. No details about Lady Gaga's character have been released yet, but the singer did reveal the fifth season's title and theme. American Horror Story: Hotel is set to air this October on FX.

3) After a recent guest spot on FOX's Empire, out actress and singer Raven-Symoné will return to TV as a recurring guest character on ABC's Black-ish. The That's So Raven star will play Rhonda, Dre's (Anthony Anderson) gay sister, who is uncomfortable with talking about her sexuality. Raven-Symoné will appear in an episode titled "Please Don't Ask, Please Don't Tell," which will air later this season. Black-ish is on Wednesdays at 9:30 pm (ET) on ABC.

4) Out singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile is set to release her new album, The Firewatcher's Daughter, on March 3. Described as having a "loose and live feel," Carlile's fifth album reflects her love of both classic country and pop music. Carlile worked on this album with frequent collaborators "the Twins," Tim and Phil Hanseroth, with whom she shares the vocal leads. Listen to her new track ”The Eye” below and pre-order the album on Carlile's website, iTunes, or Amazon.


5) Out singer Sam Smith has added two more trophies to his collection following wins at this week's Brit Awards. After picking up four Grammys earlier this month, Smith won the award for British Breakthrough Act and the Global Success Award. Smith was also nominated in four other categories and performed In The Lonely Hour track "Lay Me Down" for the audience.



6) Almost 30 years since its TV debut, animated program Jem returns as a comic series titled Jem and the Holograms #1 from publisher IDW. This revamp, spearheaded by creative team writer Kelly Thompson and artist Ross Campbell, will also feature classic characters Kimber and Stormer as a couple. Thompson and Campbell hope to add other LGBT characters and include "additional diversity" throughout the series. Jem and the Holograms #1 is scheduled to hit comic book shelves next month.

7) In the newest issue of Catwoman, writer Genevieve Valentine and artist Garry Brown confirm that the DC Comics character is bisexual. Valentine expanded on the decision to have Selina Kyle/Catwoman fall for rival character Eiko in a recent blog post, stating that she wanted to establish "Selina as canon bisexual." Valentine confirmed that Selina and Eiko will be in a relationship in future issues, although she hinted at complications that may arise between the two. Issue No. 39 of Catwoman is now available.

8) Status Unknown, a short film based on the experiences of Caroline and Laurie Hart, is seeking help to complete its funding. Donations will allow writers Laurie and Caroline Hart to tell the true story of their struggle for marriage equality after Caroline, a British citizen, faced deportation from the US despite the fact that she and her wife had a valid Massachusetts marriage license. Learn more about the project and read their story on Status Unknown's GoFundMe page.