EW’s Pride Cover Features Queer Celebs and… the Stonewall Brick?

Choices!

It’s mid-May, which means LGBTQ Pride Month is right around the corner. Publications have already begun unveiling their Pride campaigns, including Entertainment Weekly, which has released its illustrated cover for June.

In the immortal words of both my Queer Studies professor and my mother on vacation, there is a lot to unpack here.

The crowded cover is meant to feature “LGBTQ storytellers” past and present, hence why Ellen DeGeneres can be seen cozying up to… *rubs eyes* wait, is that Rock Hudson?

In a letter explaining EW’s Pride cover, editor-in-chief JD Heyman said it was inspired by “the great murals and magazine covers of the 1920s and 1930s. And sort of like a mini-WPA, which employed artists across the country during that time period, we wanted to put the spotlight on talented artists at a time of great economic hardship.”

To EW’s credit, the cover was illustrated by Jack Hughes, a London-based visual artist who is queer. It also offers a fairly diverse snapshot of the broader queer community, with famous LGBTQ people of color like Laverne Cox, Janelle Monáe, Lil Nas X, George Takei, and Mama Ru herself featured prominently.

The stylized illo did attract some confusion for one bizarre inclusion: a brick, which eagle-eyed Twitter users spotted to the right of Lil Nas X’s leg.

I’m assuming it’s meant to symbolize the first brick thrown at Stonewall, the famed 1969 riots in New York City that marked a watershed moment in the fight for LGBTQ rights. I’m also deeply confused as to how an inanimate object earned its spot among some of Hollywood’s preeminent LGBTQ icons.

Critiques of the cover aside, EW did garner praise for the campaign on social media—including shoutouts from talent like Takei and Schitt’s Creek co-creator Dan Levy, who was also featured.

It’s no American Society of Magazine Editors’ Best Cover Award-winning “Red, White, and RuPaul” moment, but I’ll allow it.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella