There is no denying that “20GayTeen” — the encouraging nickname given to our year by pop singer Hayley Kiyoko — has been a year of significant representation for the LGBTQ community. Ranging from new music from the likes of Kiyoko, Troye Sivan and Janelle Monáe, to blockbuster films and television shows featuring major LGBTQ characters, 2018 has given queer people the spotlight.
Those accomplishments by queer artists are now being celebrated in Out Magazine’s annual Out100 list. The new list, which celebrates the most influential figures in LGBTQ culture from 2018, features avant-pop star SOPHIE (Artist of the Year), the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye (Entertainers of the Year), Pose star Billy Porter (Performance of the Year) and more among their top accolades.
The theme of this year’s Out100 is “Generations,” celebrating mainly young queer people and their move toward greater activism, but emphasizing the importance of dialogue between both the old and new generations. That idea is reflected on the list, with young people like Parkland gun control activist Emma González being featured as “Newsmaker of the Year,” and more seasoned queer talent like Dr. Renee Richards and Rupert Everett in the list.
SOPHIE’s title of “Artist of the Year” comes after the producer and singer’s most influential year to date. An artist who long was only known by her stage name and whose fans didn’t even know what she looked like, SOPHIE revealed herself publicly in 2018 through her music video for “It’s Okay to Cry,” along with delivering one of her best albums to date, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides.
“Even now, it’s difficult for me to reenter the headspace I was in before,” the star says in her Out profile. “It’s not a totally natural state of being for me to be visible. But it’s something I’m learning a lot from — it can be helpful and nourishing to feel embodied. I didn’t used to feel like my physical self bore any resemblance to what I felt inside.”
Along with SOPHIE, Out named a number of queer artists in their list: Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie is featured after coming out as pansexual earlier this year; Kiyoko is featured for her album Expectations and coining “20GayTeen”; Kehlani is featured after spending most of her year collaborating with major mainstream artists; and Kim Petras is featured for bringing her transgender identity to the forefront of the pop genre.