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10 LGBTQ stars changing the film, TV and music industry

Attitude 101 empowered by Bentley celebrates LGBTQ trailblazers.

By Thomas Stichbury

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural list, Attitude 101 is back and once again we’re celebrating 100 LGBTQ trailblazers across 10 categories, and one person of the year. This time around we’re proud to be empowered by Bentley

The categories are Politics; The Future, supported by Clifford Chance; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths; Media and Broadcast; Travel; Sport; Business, Financial and Legal; Third Sector and the Community; and Fashion, Art and Design supported by Klarna. Our Person of the Year is game-changing rapper Lil Nas X. 

You can check out the full list and interviews with some of those included in the Attitude 101 issue — out now to download and to order globally. Check out our Film, TV, and Music, supported by Taimi, category below.

SHERELLE — DJ & music producer

Credit: Vicky Grout

On the beat, SHERELLE is one of the most in-demand DJs in the country – and she is looking to pay it forward. It is all hands on decks for the North Londoner — who specialises in jungle, footwork and drum’n’bass — as she seeks to take up space and platform Black, queer artists within the white, male-dominated electronic dance music genre, starting with the creation of her initiative Beautiful. SHERELLE, aka Sherelle Thomas, recently made some noise with her EP, 160 Down the A406.

Bowen Yang — actor, comedian & writer

Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

Making his debut on Saturday Night Live in 2019 — as the long-running sketch show’s first Asian cast member — Bowen has been bringing the funny and upping the ante for queer representation ever since. The Emmy-nominated performer will next be seen in Billy Eichner’s Bros, the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio, as well as a Pride & Prejudice remake set on Fire Island — hold onto your bonnets, or rather jock straps… Bowen, 31, also turned up the heat with an appearance on People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive list.

Victoria Scone — drag performer & artist

Credit: Ray Burmiston

Victoria Scone secured her place in herstory when she competed on series three of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK as the franchise’s first AFAB (assigned female at birth) contestant — we love to see it. However, her time on the show was cut short when she was forced to retire with a knee injury. Widely expected to return for the fourth run, Victoria, aka Emily Diapre, 28, from Cardiff, is currently getting — ahem — bread-y for her Jam Packed tour, which kicks off with a spread of dates in January.

Omari Douglas — actor

Turning heads as Roscoe in Russell T Davies’ powerful Aids drama It’s a Sin, Omari, 27, shored up his ‘rising star’ status by treading the boards in the West End revival of Constellations — as one half of the show’s first gay couple, opposite Russell Tovey — and the upcoming Cabaret, alongside Eddie Redmayne. He’ll next go for gold in Midas Man, a biopic about Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Many are tipping the actor to clock in as the new Time Lord in Doctor Who, too; we wouldn’t say no to seeing Omari’s sonic screwdriver…

Kylie Sonique Love — drag performer & artist

Patience really did prove to be a virtue for Kylie Sonique Love. After appearing on season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Georgia-born superstar waited more than a decade to make her triumphant return to the franchise on All Stars season 6, sealing her fate with an immediately iconic stumble-turned-somersault in the final lip-synch to become the US show’s first transgender winner. “I’m so grateful that I got asked to come back,” Kylie, 38, told Attitude. “It wasn’t so much about reintroducing myself, but introducing myself properly.”

Joshua Bassett — actor & singer

Credit: Petros Kouiouris

Hitting all the right notes as Ricky in Disney+ smash, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Joshua Bassett, 20, struck a chord earlier this year when he addressed speculation around his sexuality to proudly proclaim that he is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The American actor and singer would go on to grace the front cover of Attitude’s September issue and relive his coming-out moment: “There was no part of me that was anxious, no part of me that was hesitant at all. It felt so right. I put it out and I’ve never looked back.”

Michaela Jae, aka Mj Rodriguez — actress & artist

Credit: BBC_FX_Eric Liebowitz

Category is… trailblazer and Michaela Jaé, aka MJ Rodriguez, sweeps the board. Changing hearts and minds as Blanca Evangelista in Pose, MJ this year became the first trans performer to be nominated in a lead acting category at the Emmys. She’ll continue to light up the screen in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s feature directorial debut tick, tick… BOOM! and an as-yet-untitled Apple TV+ comedy created by Alan Yang (Master of None) and Matt Hubbard (30 Rock), co-starring Maya Rudolph. This summer, MJ, 30, dropped her debut single, ‘Something to Say’.

Murray Bartlett — actor

Credit: Greg Vaughan

After making waves in Home & Away and Neighbours in the early nineties, Australian actor Murray Bartlett went on to carve out a successful film and TV career in the States. Standouts include roles in the queer-tastic Looking — hope Dom is still winging it with his chicken shop — and Netflix’s recent(ish) re-do of Tales of the City. But 50-year-old Murray well and truly bloomed this year with his performance as madcap hotel manager Armond in the white privilege-skewering comedy drama, The White Lotus. Also in the bag is HBO’s videogame adaptation, The Last of Us.

Jesse James Keitel — actress

Credit: Jason Benson

One of the few ‘out’ trans non-binary performers working in television, Jesse James Keitel broke through in US drama, Big Sky, from David E. Kelley (creator of Big Little Lies and Ally McBeal). They’ll follow that up with a starring role in the latest US reboot of Russell T Davies’s classic, Queer as Folk, chronicling the lives of a diverse group of friends in New Orleans. Jesse, 28, is on board as a reformed party girl struggling to grow up — highly relatable stuff — and will be joined by Ryan O’Connell (Special) and Sex and the City legend Kim Cattrall.

Rosie Jones — comedian & writer

Credit: Zoe McConnell

Rosie Jones is just as adept at lassoing laughs as she is at raising awareness of the lack of media representation of disabled people. A force to be reckoned with on the stand-up circuit and on panel shows such as Would I Lie to You? and 8 Out of 10 Cats, the comedian — who has cerebral palsy — this year travelled across the country for Channel 4’s Trip Hazard: My Great British Adventure, then led The Last Leg’s coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. In 2020, Rosie, 31, received the Attitude Comedy Award and said: “My disability will always be a part of me and it’s something that I am in no way ashamed about — I love it.”

Check out the full, detailed list in the Attitude 101 issue, which is out now to download and to order globally. The Attitude 101 issue includes the FREE Attitude 2022 calendar, presented in association with Taimi.

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