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.
Taking Hollywood by storm! These LGBTQ storytellers and icons are creating unforgettable work in TV, movies, music, life, and so much more! Take a peek into how they landed a spot on our June cover. https://t.co/XjBzjakcbc Illustration by Jack Hughes for EW pic.twitter.com/gZJWD2BTBz
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 13, 2020
If you're worried someone is missing, this is only half the full cover (visible if you click through the article). The artist has a twitter, too: @jackmrhughes and the article itself has a list of all those depicted, so you can stop asking :v pic.twitter.com/nBR6OZw0GL
— Krey (@starskein) May 13, 2020
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.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) May 13, 2020
— Adam Moussa (@adamjmoussa) May 13, 2020
The Stonewall Brick on the EW cover pic.twitter.com/gN3edNvzBh
— Ira Madison III (@ira) May 13, 2020
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.
I only wish this beautiful illustrated opening spread for @entertainmentweekly was real life. What I would give to be embraced by John Waters while standing in front of Marlene Dietrich while also managing to pull off a turtleneck! Illustration by @jackmrhughes. ✨ pic.twitter.com/AWpD99th0o
— dan levy (@danjlevy) May 14, 2020
It’s no American Society of Magazine Editors’ Best Cover Award-winning “Red, White, and RuPaul” moment, but I’ll allow it.