20 queer moments that made 20GayTeen iconic

7 December 2018, 16:59 | Updated: 7 December 2018, 17:01

20GayTeen - Love Simon, Cheryl Blossom Riverdale
20GayTeen - Love Simon, Cheryl Blossom Riverdale. Picture: 20th Century Fox / The CW
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

The best queer moments that turned 2018 into 20GayTeen

All it took was one tweet by Hayley Kiyoko, aka Lesbian Jesus, at the start of the year to start a social and cultural movement across the world. In fact, it's probably the most important movement in the history of mankind since the enlightenment.

It was called #20GayTeen and, in essence, it was the gay agenda in action. The gays (well, the entire queer community...) decided enough was enough and that it was time to take over.

20GayTeen has had some truly great moments. Think it's just a hashtag? Well think again. Here's some of the best queer moments from 2018.

1. Ellen Page kicked off #20GayTeen by announcing her marriage to Emma Portner.

We're not crying you are.

2. Almost everything Hayley Kiyoko did this year.

Hayley Kiyoko - Curious [Official Video]

We couldn't not include the inventor of 20GayTeen, could we? In 2018, Hayley Kiyoko released her long-awaited debut album Expectations, won MTV's Push Artist of the Year and the Rising Star award at the Billboard Women in Music Awards. 20GayTeen was literally hers.

3. Pose put the LGBTQ+ experience front and centre.

Pose. Picture: FX

Ryan Murphy's latest TV show about ballroom culture in the 80s was groundbreaking, not least because Murphy hired an unprecedented amount of LGBTQ+ talent, including five transgender women of colour to star as leads in it. It is the first show with a predominantly trans cast to be nominated for a Golden Globe. Billy Porter — who plays Pray Tell, received a nomination for best actor in a drama TV series.

4. Troye Sivan released a song about bottoming.

Troye Sivan - Bloom

'Bloom', our 20GayTeen sex anthem, arrived in June, complee with lyrics like "Take a trip into my garden / I've got so much to show ya" and "Put gas into the motor...We'll ride the rollercoaster". Troye Sivan prefers not to reveal too much about the song's meaning though. "The only reason I haven't spoken about the specifics of it is purely because sex is embarrassing", he told GQ. "My parents listen to my music. My parents read every single interview I ever do, I'm not speaking on it for personal reasons."

5. Timothée Chalamet was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Call Me By Your Name.


Yes, Timothée Chalamet is straight, but his incredible performance as Elio in Call Me By Your Name helped propel this small, LGBTQ+ movie to a global audience. And for that, Timothée should be awarded an honorary membership to The Gays. Someone send him a gay card immediately.

6. Courtney Act wins Celebrity Big Brother UK.

Drag Race alum Courtney Act spent most of her time in the CBB house educating her housemates about gender and identity politics and, to almost everyone's surprise, she won the competition - making her the first drag queen to ever do so. But more important than that was the national conversation about gender and sexuality that happened up and down the country thanks to Courtney's willingness to combat prejudice and ignorance in the house.

7. Queer Eye had a modern makeover and won the hearts and minds of millions worldwide.


Queer Eye was a beacon of light and positivity in a year that seemed increasingly bleak as it went on. Tan, Jonathan, Bobby, Karamo and Antoni are officially the guardian angels of 20GayTeen.

8. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy at the Winter Olympics.


Rippon won a bronze medal in the figure skating team event as part of the U.S. team at the Winter Olympics, making him the United States’ first openly gay athlete to win a medal at any Winter Olympics. While US teammate and skier Gus Kenworthy shared a kiss with his boyfriend on live TV, much to the delight of the internet.

9. Love, Simon became the first big-budget teen film with a gay love story at its heart.

Nick Robinson - 'Love, Simon' Special Screening And Performance
Nick Robinson - 'Love, Simon' Special Screening And Performance. Picture: Getty

Love, Simon touched the hearts of thousands of viewers around the world and reached an audience that most gay films hadn't before. It finally gave young queer kids the kind of representation that they deserve.

10. Talking about Love, Simon, #20GayTeen blessed us with Keiynan Lonsdale.

💫 @terroirmagazine feature out now.

A post shared by 🌊❤️💫🌸 Keiynan Lonsdale 🔑🎶🍭🌱 (@keiynanlonsdale) on

As well as starring in Love, Simon, Keiynan opened up about his sexuality and released 'Kiss The Boy', a 20GayTeen anthem.

11. Miss Vanjie

Never has there been an exit, or a contestant, as instantly iconic as Miss Vanjie on Drag Race. Not only did Vanessa Vanjie Mateo achieve online infamy thanks to all the memes made in her honour, but IRL, her name and spirit was ubiquitous (seriously - we were at a music festival and people were chanting her name for no reason - months after the show aired!) You can't talk about gay celebrities in 2018 without talking about Miss Vanjie...Miss Vanjie...Miss VANJIE!

12. Cheryl & Toni's relationship in Riverdale.

Cheryl's sexuality storyline during Riverdale's second season touched upon important issues like family rejection and conversion therapy. It all came to a triumphant peak when Toni rescued Cheryl from the Sisters of the Quiet Mercy and they kissed in front of Veronica, much to the delight of Choni shippers the world over. The most popular ship on the most popular teen show is queer, and that fact alone is worth celebrating.

13. A lot of amazing people came out.

Brendon Urie MTV EMAs 2018
Brendon Urie MTV EMAs 2018. Picture: Getty

Every coming out is important, and there were a number of coming outs that caught our attention. Amandla Stenberg and Glee's Kevin McHale came out as gay. Alyson Stoner came out as bi, as did Tessa Thompson and Broad City's Abbi Jacobson. Brendon Urie came out as pansexual too. One of us! One of us!

14. Drag queens Farrah Moan and Shea Coulee's iconic clap back at homophobes in a kebab shop in Newcastle.

Farrah Moan and Shea Coulee being insulted by random girl in Newcastle

"We're touring the world being gay while you're living in Newcastle with your crusty ass eyelashes" - Farrah Moan, 2018. Forever a mood.

15. Janelle Monáe introduced the world to bisexual lighting and then wrote an ode to vaginas.

Janelle Monáe - PYNK [Official Video]

First there was the bisexual lighting in the 'Make Me Feel' video and then the not-so-subtle ode to vaginas, 'PYNK'. Janelle took the concept of 20GayTeen and fucking ran with it all the way to Venus.

16. King Princess and Amandla Stenberg made it Insta official.

In this house we stan King Stenberg.

17. Not one but TWO films about conversion therapy are released.

Boy Erased / The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Boy Erased / The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Picture: Focus Features / FilmRise

Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron Post earned rave reviews for their depiction of conversion therapy camps, helping bring exposure to the cruel practice which thousands of LGBTQ+ teens are subjected to every year.

18. Rafiki sells out one week run in Kenya after being banned.

'Rafiki' - Official Trailer (Exclusive)

After being banned in its home country for "homosexual themes", the ban was temporarily lifted in Kenya so Rafiki could be eligible for an Oscar in the best foreign-language category. After its first day, the film sold out in theatres and more screenings had to be arranged.

19. India decriminalised gay sex.

Delhi's Queer Pride Parade
Delhi's Queer Pride Parade. Picture: Getty

The Colonial-era law was struck down by the Indian supreme court, bringing an end to a 160-year-old law banning gay sex.

20. The US elections saw more openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people elected to office than in any previous election.

Kansas Congressional Candidate Sharice Davids' Holds Election Night Party In Olathe, Kansas
Kansas Congressional Candidate Sharice Davids' Holds Election Night Party In Olathe, Kansas. Picture: Getty

We can't think of a bigger or better 'fuck you' to Trump than this. The rainbow wave arrived and oh boy was it glorious.