We can always fit a little more joy in our lives.
Angelica Ross, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Laci Mosley, and more LGBTQ stars share the pieces of pop culture that bring them joy, including TV shows, music, podcasts, and cult classic films. Check out their picks below.
Transparent star Alexandra Billings looks back to an iconic series for joy: I Love Lucy. "That show changed my life," she says. "That's one of my favorite shows." It was a show about a white woman and a man of color in a loving, caring relationship at a time where that didn't happened. "Remember at the end of every episode they ended up in each other's arms," she explains. Not only did they have love, but the couple made us laugh with episodes full of great situational comedy.
If there's one thing Angelica Ross is going to do, it's listen to a new episode of The Read podcast the day it's released. The podcast, hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle, began in 2013 covering pop culture from the hosts' humorous, honest, and heartfelt lens. "What I love about it so much is they're able to attract an audience that is not just Black, that is not just queer, but you got straight folks, you have folks of all backgrounds that want to listen in on the fun," Ross, who will appear in this year's Framing Agnes, says. What the Pose star thinks draws people in is also what she believes is missing from pop culture: people getting read. "A good read is fundamental," she quips.
Growing up there wasn't a lot queer content Crush co-writer Casey Rackham saw that was joyous, so she found herself seeking out queer-coded film and TV shows. "For me the top of that tier has to be Josie and the Pussycats," she reveals. Whether it's the music, the writing, or the trio of women in the band, Rackham connected to the queerness of the 2001 film starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson.
Pose brought it to us every ball, so it's no surprise the game-changing series brings iCarly star Laci Mosley joy. The groundbreaking series ran for 3 seasons and starred Michaela Jaé Rodriguez and Billy Porter among others. To Mosley, it was cool, fun and queer, but in a entertainment landscape where voguing and other aspects of ballroom culture are showcased, Pose honored its roots, which is not always the case. "It really honored ballroom culture in a way that was authentic," she shares.
Batwoman star Javicia Leslie loves to hear Kehlani sing. "I love her voice, it's so beautiful. It gives me late '90s, early 2000s vibe obviously with a current twist," she says. The singer, known for hits including "Distraction" and "Nights Like This," not only delivers great music, but also representation for LGBTQ folks with her music. Leslie notes she appreciates listening to Kehlani's music because she can hear a woman sing about other women.
Jasmin Savoy Brown
Yellowjackets star Jasmin Savoy Brown is loving the Binchtopia podcast, in which hosts Julia Hava and Eliza McLamb dissect pop culture through a sociological and psychological lens while also making listeners laugh. "They get me thinking about things in a different way," Brown explains. The queer hosts are everything as far as the multi-hyphenate artist is concerned.
Crush co-writer Kirsten King loves 1999 satirical comedy But I'm a Cheerleader. Directed by Jamie Babbit, the film stars Natasha Lyonne as high school cheerleader Megan Bloomfield who is sent to an in-patient conversion therapy camp by her parents. "That was a film that felt ahead of its time and it secured itself as a cult classic among queer people," she explains. To King, as a queer person this is the type of film you want to make. "It is talking about something that is so important and so real and happening, which is conversion therapy, but it's speaking about it in a way that feels unexpected and fresh," she explains.
Maisie Richardson-Sellers, like many others, absolutely loves Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Legends of Tomorrow alum was inspired by the experimental and playful multiverse film starring Michelle Yeoh to take some risks as a filmmaker. "The story was so human and I love the fact that when you break it down it's really about a mother's journey to accepting her queer daughter and looking at the damage that it can do when we are regretted by those that we love," she says.
Fried Green Tomatoes is "the gayest movie of all time. It's so perfectly gay," says The L Word: Generation Q showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan. Based on a novel written by Fannie Flagg, the 1991 film centers on an unhappy housewife who befriends an elderly woman in a nursing home who tells her stories about people from her past, including one very notable relationship.
V. E. Schwab
First Kill author V.E. Schwab loves that Our Flag Means Death exists. Set in the 18th century, the HBO Max series centers on the adventures of a pirate and his crew as they encounter captain Blackbeard, played by Taika Waititi. Schwabs is ecstatic that we get to see queer characters on a genre show. "It is such an unapologetic and joyful genre show. It's about pirates! It's about so many things, it's also so gay," she says. Luckily for her, and fans of the comedic adventure series, it's returning for a second season.
In Good Trouble star Sherry Cola's eyes, Kehlani has "trailblazer energy." "The fact that she's making music and singing about her love for women" is something Cola is excited to listen to because it more closely speaks to her experience. She especially loves seeing Kehlani's unapologetic love with 070 Shake on social media.