It’s been a tough year—from Orlando and the election to the unfathomable loss of so many allies and icons. And sure, there’s plenty to be worried about in 2017, too—especially after January 20.
But there’s also a lot to be excited about—new movies, books, and music, advances in health, and even glimmers of hope in the political sphere.
With that in mind, we’re sharing 27 things we’re looking forward to in 2017. May it be the best yet.
Bette Midler is back on Broadway.
The Divine Miss M returns to the Big White Way as the titular matchmaker in Hello, Dolly!. As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got Glenn Close in Sunset Blvd., and Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole co-starring in War Paint. It’s divas everywhere you look.
“When We Rise” airs on ABC.
The long-gestating miniseries from Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant chronicles the history of LGBT rights, starting with the Stonewall riots in 1969.
Featuring big names like Mary Louise Parker, Whoopi Goldberg, Guy Pearce and Rosie O’Donnell, the eight-hour series premieres on ABC in February.
“Moonlight” shines at the Oscars.Moonlight
Okay, this one is isn’t a given, but COME ON. Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed drama about a young black gay man in 1980s Miami has already topped numerous critics’ lists and scored major nominations from the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes and other ceremonies.
Moonlight taking home the gold on Oscar night would also go along way to combatting the #OscarsSoWhite problem the Academy has been facing.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9
Hold that wig on tight, henny, because your favorite show is coming back with a vengeance in the new year. Season 9 promises new queens, new challenges, new celebrity judges and, of course, new DRAMA.
Also premiering in 2017: the second season of Finding Prince Charming, and the debut of Logo’s new reality series Fire Island Pines, set in the East Coast gaycation paradise.
Kate Brown becomes the country’s first openly LGBT elected governor.
Brown, who is bisexual, became governor of Oregon when John Kitzhaber resigned on February 18, 2015. On Election Day 2016, though, she earned the spot in her own right in a special election—and became the first openly LGBT person in America to become governor. (Her new term starts in January.)
While many of us feel embittered by the recent elections, it’s important to cheer on those who continue the hard work of ensuring equality and inclusion for all.
“Batwoman” swings back into action.DC
The coming year will see more LGBT superheroes starring in their own comic books that ever before: Kate Kane, Gotham’s out defender, gets her own comic book again, starting in mid-February.DC Comics
“There has never been a heroine I have loved more than Batwoman,” says Marguerite Bennett, who will write the new comic. “To be a queer woman and to see a queer woman as not just a part but a pillar of the Bat-family was life changing, inspiring and gave me the courage to pursue this career in comics.”Marvel
On the Marvel side, both Iceman and America Chavez (a.k.a. Ms. America) will be getting their own titles in 2017, too.The CW
And on the CW Seed, the networks streaming service, the light-powered superhero will be openly gay in a new online cartoon.
“Tom of Finland” hits the big screen.Tom of Finland
Coming in February 2017, Dome Karukoski biopic recounts the life of artist Touko Laaksonen, whose drawings of hypersexualized macho men have been a hallmark of gay male culture for decades.Tom of Finland
It turns out Laaksonen’s life was just as fascinating as his artwork: Born to Finnish schoolteachers in 1920, he was drafted during WWII and was made to serve alongside Nazi officers, who inspired his fascination with men in uniform.
In the years that followed, artists, filmmakers and advertisers took their cue from him in sexualizing the male form.
“Star Trek: Discovery” beams onto CBS.CBS
We were already excited about Discovery before it was confirmed Anthony Rapp would play openly gay science officer Lt. Staments and The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green had signed on to be the first woman of color to anchor a Trek series.
“Nashville” lands on on CMT.Mark Levine/ABC via Getty Images
The countrfied drama makes its debut on CMT on January 5. If you were already tuning in for gay crooner Will Lexington (Chris Carmack), get ready for even more LGBT characters—including a therapist played by Jen Richards, and Looking’s Murray Bartlett as a fashion designer making mischief in Music City.
PrEP use on the rise.Getty Images
As awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis increases, so does its use: More and more countries are approving its use—a new major PrEP trail is launching in the UK, where the NHS has previously dragged its feet, and Norway has started offering the therapy for free.
Additionally, clinical trials have just started in the U.S. for a new, injectable version that only needs to be administered every eight weeks.
“Queer British Art” opens at the Tate Britain.Tate Britain
The first exhibition dedicated to queer British art opens at the Tate Britain in April, featuring works from 1867 to 1967, when modern understanding of sexuality and gender were unrecognized. Among the artists included are John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington, Duncan Grant and David Hockney.
Cher goes back on tour.
Don’t call it a comeback—the ultimate diva is playing shows in Las Vegas and Washington, DC.
More “Transparent” on Amazon Prime.Amazon
The fourth season of this Emmy winning series won’t arrive till fall or winter of 2017, giving us plenty of time to ruminate on what Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) will do with the news that she can’t have gender-confirmation surgery.
Roy Cooper sworn in as governor of North Carolina.Getty Images
Cooper is as excited as we are for him to take office—and undo the damage of Pat McCrory and HB2: He’s not waiting until January 7, the scheduled inauguration day. Instead he’s choosing to be sworn in on January 1.
New gay shows from Lisa Kudrow and Amy Poehler.
Two of our favorite ladies are producing new comedies, which is cause enough for celebration. But Kudrow’s Rebel Law, coproduced wuth Dan Bucatinsky and written by Eastsiders creator Kit Williamson, centers on a gay attorney who returns home to Mississippi to join his family’s law practice, as personal and political differences play havoc inside and outside the courtroom.
And Poehler is giving us Family Style, a single-camera, half-hour comedy following two mismatched men who find love working in a restaurant in Miami.
More great gay lit.
Rahul Mehta, author of the prize-winning collection Quarantine, has written his debut novel, No Other World, a compelling coming-of-age story about a gay Indian boy finding his place in his immigrant family—and his adopted homeland.
Patricia A Smith’s The Year of Needy Girls , meanwhile, sees Dierdre and Sara Jane’s new life as an out couple threatened by the murder of a 10-year-old and accusations of sexual molestation.
In the nonfiction arena, there’s new memoirs in the new year from Armistead Maupin and Roxane Gay.
With Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Gay speaks frankly about self-image, food, eating issues and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.
“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe,” she writes. “I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere.”
Also hitting the shelves: Bernadino Evaristo’s Mr. Loverman, Dawn Lundy Martin’s Good Stock, Strange Blood, and Lonely Christopher’s The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse, from Dennis Cooper’s Little House on the Bowery series.
The Magnetic Fields release “50 Song Memoir.”
Out March 3, the band’s 11th studio album is an autobiographical concept album chronicling the first 50 years of out songwriter Stephin Merritt’s life, with one song for each year he’s been alive.
Tammy Baldwin takes the lead.Tammy Baldwin
After a bump year (to say the least) the Democrats have tapped the first openly gay U.S. Senator to join the Senate Democratic leadership team, where she’ll to shape policy, set priorities and send a message to Republicans.
Go get ’em, girl!
“Wonder Woman” hits theaters.YouTube
Batman and Superman have had their chance to shine, and now its the amazing Amazon’s turn. All signs point to Gal Gadot being completely badass in the WWI-set film, which costars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor.
“Marsden Hartley’s Maine” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.Marsden Hartley
An important figure in modern American painting, Hartley (1877-1943) was always ambivalent about his homosexuality: He was active in gay artistic circles in both in the U.S. and Europe, and the deaths of two lovers figured prominently in his art, but to discuss such matters openly was impossible.
His complex and sometimes contradictory relationship with his home state is explored in a new exhibition running at the Met July 8 through November 12, 2017.
Laverne Cox stars in “Doubt.”CBS
CBS’ new midseason legal drama will be the first broadcast series featuring a transgender regular character played by a transgender actor.
Taiwan gets marriage equality.SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images
The country is tipped to be the first in Asia to pass same-sex marriage—a bill has already cleared two readings in the Legislative Yuan.
And marriage equality will officially start in Finland in 2017, after passing last year.
“Sense8” returns to Netflix.Netflix
If you watched the Christmas special that dropped on Netflix last year, then you’re no doubt waiting with bated breath for the rest of the season, which drops on May 5, 2017.
“Significant Other” arrives on Broadway.
In this hit show making its Broadway debut, Gideon Glick stars as Jordan, a young gay man who sees his best girl friends get married off one by one.
Could be the perfect date night for you and your best girl—or then again, maybe not.
TVLand’s queerific “Heathers” reboot.
The new version of this classic movie has been described as a “pitch black” anthology series set in the present day.
As for the titular mean girls: Heather McNamara is a black lesbian, Heather Duke is a gender-queer male (Out actor Brendan Scannell) whose real name is Heath, and Heather Chandler reportedly “has a body like Martha Dumptruck.”
World Pride in Madrid.Senhan Bolelli/Anadolu Agency/Getty
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the first Pride demonstration in Spain, and more than three million people are expected to fill Chueca (the city’s gayest barrio) for parties, concerts, conferences, music, performing arts, film, children’s activities and more.
“Will & Grace” returns…?
To the powers that be: You OWE us this.
Dan Avery and Chris Rudolph contributed to this feature.