Looking at some of the queer pop culture favourites from 2022

David Ferguson recaps his favourite LGBTQ+ comics, music, books, film and television from the past year.

Blue and red portraits of LGBTQ+ artists represent some of the best queer pop culture of 2022.

I thought I’d continue my what-may-become-a tradition with a ‘review of the year that was’ post. Although 2022 was an up-and-down year for me, I think it was mostly up for queer pop culture.

Comics
2022 saw another good year for Pride month with DC and Marvel LGBTQ+ superheroes.

Other highlights of the year for me included the anthology Young Men In Love, which had a bunch of talented queer creators involved, Luke Healy’s very personal and very funny Con Men, and the continuing story of Anna Fitzpatrick’s Alien Heart webcomic (which you should immediately go and binge read if you haven’t yet).

And not to be overlooked, the spooky and queer Darkboy + Adler. I also must mention the excellent comic conventions I attended in 2022.

Books
Again, another quiet year on the book front for me. I did manage to read My Name is Phillipa by Phillipa Ryder, which was eye-opening and compelling.

Music
Dare I say Troye Sivan again in 2022? I really need to broaden my horizons in this area. I do have a music article fermenting in my brain for 2023.

TV
As with 2021, and It’s A Sin, there was one TV show to rule them all in 2022 and it was Heartstopper. As my brain is weird this way, I had to binge all four volumes of the comics before I could check it out, which was late in the year so I didn’t get to cover it last year.

It retains all the charm of the books and adds rather than takes away. I know what’s coming up and you are not ready for it. I will not spoil it. I’m looking forward to seeing how they treat the stories. March sees the concluding volume of the books.

I want to talk a bit about mainstream stuff for a minute: Doctor Who had queer companion, Yas, try to reveal her feelings for the female Doctor, the excellent Sandman had a lot of queer representation (and with a possible second series, we will get to see some more of Desire) and Star Wars finally got a queer couple in Andor (I did a piece on it for Journey Planet issue 69).

As for some more queer-centric series, it was a stacked year (so shout if I’ve missed anything good) with shows like Uncoupled. It covered a sudden break-up of a long-term relationship and older men dealing with the perils of modern dating, starring Neil Patrick Harris in the lead role.

There was Smiley, a Spanish series where a guy leaves a heartfelt message for an ex that ghosted him but gets the wrong number. Some have compared it to Bros, but I think it is unfair to compare a film to a TV show.

I may be obsessed with the star of Smiley, Carlos Cuevas, and will be bingeing his other queer show, a show recommended by my husband, Merlí: Sapere Aude. (Sidenote: my husband loves a good Spanish show so I think I need to try Elite too, but I find getting through six seasons to be a daunting task).

There were also two excellent docuseries in the Andy Warhol Diaries and, the gateway to more queer horror stuff, Queer For Fear.

Movies
There were some interesting mainstream outings. There was Bros, a movie I honestly only tried as I was going to be doing a review of the year and it felt like something that needed covering. There was nothing ground-breaking but I enjoyed it despite myself.

I’m a fan of diversity in movies so was delighted to see Fire Island, written by and starring Joel Kim Booster (also starring an SNL favourite of mine, Bowen Yang). I was a little underwhelmed by it but it was nice to see some Asian stories taking centre stage. I think rom-com fans will enjoy both.

My movie of the year was Everything, Everywhere At Once, and I am delighted to be able to include it on my 2022 queer pop culture list (don’t want to spoil it in case people haven’t seen it, but you can see why it merits inclusion here).

I eventually got to see Troye Sivan in Three Months, which is an interesting look at how we have progressed when it comes to HIV testing and attitudes to HIV. Of course, it wouldn’t be the movie section without tipping my hat to the folks at GAZE and their wonderful 2022 programme. As I said earlier in the year, I thought the short films stole the show.

Musical Theatre
Special bonus category this year as your pop culture guru got to go to a bit of culture (my dozen or so mainstream musicals in 2022 don’t count for this list). I saw an excellent musical featuring Xnthony in the lead, Oliver Cromwell Is Really Very Sorry!

This year also saw the return of the excellent variety show Spicebag with Stefan Fae and Sarah Devereux and featured queer talents including The Wild Geeze (who have a regular show called Stoneybanter).

And that was my 2022 or at least the queer pop culture stuff I haven’t blocked from my memory. Feel free to @ me with stuff I overlooked. I’m off to start my 2023 list!

Make sure to follow David on Twitter for more pop culture news.

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