Adam Lambert (right) became the first openly gay musician to have an album debut atop the Billboard charts. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)
By JIM FARMER
The old activist slogan “We are everywhere” proved true for arts and entertainment headlines in 2012. LGBT individuals and issues were omnipresent in the media this year, with very little controversy.
Here are some of the biggest moments from television, music and movies.
Gay dads are “The New Normal.” NBC’s gay-themed sitcom has sharply divided audiences but it’s still kicking around. Bryan (openly gay Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) are a gay couple who want a baby. Single mother Goldie (Georgia King) decides to become their surrogate, which doesn’t sit well with politically incorrect grandmother (Ellen Barkin). The series could come back for a second season, although let’s hope if it does it’s better written.
“Modern Family” stays way gay. Still TV’s funniest and most awarded sitcom — and possibly its gayest, now in its fourth season on ABC — “Modern Family” doesn’t skimp on the interplay between male couple Mitchell (openly gay Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), whose adopted young daughter has provided more comic fodder.
“American Horror Story” queers and scares. From Ryan Murphy of “Glee,” who’s gay, comes this scary, twisted series. Its fall/second season follow-up “Asylum” is more popular than its first, with plenty of gay and lesbian touches and out performers such as Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson.
“Partners” breaks up. Michael Urie, who’s gay, of “Ugly Betty” starred in this comedy as one half of a straight/gay best friend bromance. Louis (Urie) and Joe (David Krumholtz) are lifelong friends and now co-workers, but new people in their life (including Brandon Routh as Louis’ boyfriend) have changed the dynamics. Unfunny and forced, it has already been canned by CBS after a few months.
Frank Ocean comes out. Hip hop/R&B artist Frank Ocean came out at the beginning of the year about falling in love with a man, though he does not like to label his sexual orientation, and got little to no flack for his announcement. In December he was nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for “Channel Orange.”
Adam Lambert tops Billboard charts. Adam Lambert became the first openly gay musician to have an album debut atop the Billboard charts. Released in May, “Trespassing” had both ballads and his traditional dance-until-you-drop music.
Madonna delights LGBT fans. After a successful performance at the halftime show of the Super Bowl this year, Madonna’s long-awaited new album, “MDNA” dropped in March. The immortal one came to Washington and the audience was packed with LGBT fans.
Enjoying “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” One of the year’s best films, this adaptation of the Stephen Chbosky novel about an outcast and the new crowd he falls in with was well cast, with Logan Lerman as the main character whose new best friend Patrick (Ezra Miller) is gay. The likes of Emma Watson, Dylan McDermott, Paul Rudd, Joan Cusack and Melanie Liskey shone, but Miller (who came out as queer earlier this year) was the standout.
“Pariah” brings visibility. Out director Dee Rees turned her acclaimed short film into a feature, detailing the coming out of 17-year-old, poetry-writing Alike, played wonderfully by newcomer Adepero Oduye. Bold and beautifully shot, it is one of the few films with African-American lesbians.
“Keep the Lights On” wins raves. Ira Sachs’ heavy-hitting tale of a love affair between a filmmaker and young man with a drug problem started the year winning raves at Sundance and ended the year shocking many by getting a number of Independent Spirit Award nominations alongside some heavyweight motion pictures.
“Any Day Now” worth waiting for. Out actor Alan Cumming, in one of the finest performances of his career, stars as a gay man/drag queen by night in the ‘70s who tries to get custody of a teenager with Down Syndrome, who lives down the hall and whose mother is unfit. Based on a true story, it’s heartbreaking stuff.