Is it because we’re all swimming together in the toxic Trump pool that makes every new addition to the LGBTQ cultural canon feel like an act of rebellion? Probably. But even if we were living in a queer-friendly political era, 2018’s (they’re calling it #20GayTeen on the Internet, just FYI) pop culture output would still be impressive. And not just among ourselves – the mainstream took notice and we didn’t have to dilute or code ourselves to make a splash there. The receipts:

  1. Haley Kiyoko was MTV’s Push Artist of the Year at the 2018 VMAs. Do you know her yet? You will when you go watch her video for “What I Need,” which features queer singer Kehlani. Then you’ll wonder why this story of young women running away to be together wasn’t a feature-length film. Neither of these young ladies came to play, and you’ll soon be seeing and hearing more from both.
  1. Here for lesbian drama: Disobedience with Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams had the hottest sex, Skate Kitchen had better skateboard skills than Mid90s, Lizzie had the best violent attack on the patriarchy, and The Favourite had the fanciest, iciest, lady-on-lady seduction in the biggest royal costumes and tall wigs. All of them matter.
  1. Listen, we still like Queer Eye even if we think Tan’s fashion advice is a bit too transparently product placement for Bonobos and overly reliant on shirts that are only half tucked in (don’t blame France for it, dude). We’re into Jonathan’s gleefully defiant attack on the masc4masc aesthetic. All day. Every day.
  1. About a transgender woman going for and getting everything she knows she deserves in the face of much adversity, Chilean film A Fantastic Woman won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and made a rising star of Daniela Vega.
  1. Vida was the Starz network’s queer Latinx show you haven’t watched yet, but when you do it will become your very favorite thing. About two Mexican-American sisters in East Los Angeles, it’s a dramedy about identity and the making and breaking of family bonds. Go stream it!

Check out the Top 5 Best Queer Pop Culture Moments of 2018