15 Best TV and Movie Performances by LGBTQ+ Actors in 2022
15 Best TV and Movie Performances by LGBTQ+ Actors in 2022
2022 was a great year for movies and television. With shows like A League of Their Own, What We Do in the Shadows, The White Lotus, and Los Espookys, queer actors and storylines were some of the best TV of the year. In film, several high profile gay movies (Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Whale, Tar) were released as well as plenty of great movies starring and made by gay actors.
While the Oscars and most other year-end awards will most likely go to straight actors, most of our favorite performances were from actors of the LGBTQ+ variety. Here's a look at 15 of the performances from across TV and film that we thought were among the very best of not just this year, but recent years as well.
A League of Their Own is possibly the best lesbian show ever to grace our TV screens, and co-creator Abbi Jacobson's performance as a shy and closeted small-town Idaho baseball player is a big reason why. She's both hilariously awkward, inspirationally strong, and deeply relatable. She's us, and she just might be our favorite lesbian TV character ever.
Ana Fabrega in ‘Los Espookys’
Los Espookys was canceled far too soon. This year, Fabrega, who also writes and directs on the show, took her character Tati to absurd new heights on the show. Her blank stares and unearned confidence are always perfectly timed and perfectly executed. Tati was only around for two seasons, but she's one of our all-time favorite TV characters.
Aubrey Plaza in ‘The White Lotus’
The White Lotus always has some of the best TV performances of the year, and this year Plaza joined those ranks. Plaza has been leaning into dramas and dark comedies recently, and here she got to revel in both of those genres as a jealous and jaded wife on vacation with her newly rich husband.
Ben Aldridge in ‘Spoiler Alert’
Both leads in Spoiler Alert pulled at our heartstrings, but we want to honor Aldridge here. As the subject of the movie's titular spoiler alert (he dies from cancer), he held us tight as the photographer Kit Cowan. Playing opposite Jim Parsons as journalist Michael Ausiello, Aldridge delivers a performance that shows the complexities, messiness, corniness, and beauty of true love.
Billy Eichner in ‘Bros’
Billy Eichner is a leading man. Bros deserved better, and as the movie's lead, Eichner proved he's a true star, creating a unique but relatable gay protagonist who we couldn't help but root for. Hopefully, we'll get to see Eichner leading movies for years to come.
Conrad Ricamora in ‘Fire Island’
Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang were amazing in this movie, but it was the stoic Conrad Ricamora who really stole our attention. Playing the Darcy role in this Pride and Prejudice adaptation, he brought a seriousness and gravity to the movie that helped elevate it to a truly classic rom-com.
Emma D’Arcy in ‘House of the Dragon’
The star of the biggest HBO show of the year is nonbinary. It's wonderful to see them get to flex in such a meaty fantasy role as the strong-willed, dragon-riding Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen. D'Arcy has stepped up to the plate in a role that would make most actors stagger, and has become an instant star in doing so.
Evan Rachel Wood in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’
Was there a more perfectly unhinged performance this year than that of Evan Rachel Wood as pop icon Madonna in this Weird Al biopic? We think not. Wood's over the top performance was a perfect fit for this equally over the top "biopic." We need her in more comedies now.
Harvey Guillén in ‘What We Do in the Shadows’
Guillen keeps on killing it as familiar-turned-bodyguard Guillermo. This season, his frustration with his vampire lords (or are they just his friends now?) reached a boiling point, when Nandor used one of his djinn wishes to make his wife into an exact replica of Guillermo's boyfriend. As always, Guillen is a comedic genius, and also knows how to pull of the stunts and dramatic scenes to really sell the show.
Janelle Monáe in ‘Glass Onion’
Monae was the perfect addition to Rian Johnson's Knives Out universe. In a movie full of enigmas, Monae stands out in a multi-layered and colorful performance. If Ana de Armas was the breakout of Knives Out, Monae is the breakout of this film.
Jeremy Pope in ‘The Inspection’
Pope is one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood. In The Inspection, he plays a gay man who joins the Marine Corps. When he can't disguise his sexual orientation, he's subject to near-lethal hazing in the drama. He's already been nominated for a Golden Globe for the role, and we hope an Oscar nomination is in his future.
Keke Palmer in ‘Nope’
It's always a crowded Oscar field for actresses, but we wish that Keke Palmer was getting more attention for her role as a hustling lesbian trying to reconnect with her brother while a UFO keeps appearing on their ranch in Jordan Peele's excellent Nope. She was truly a standout this year and after a long career of great performances, we want to see her get her due recognition.
Matt Rogers in ‘Matt Rogers: Have You Heard of Christmas’
He really is the true Prince of Christmas. Comedian and actor Matt Rogers' new Showtime Christmas Special was one of our end of the year surprises. Rogers isn't just hilarious, he sings beautifully, and makes us think about what's really important about the season - like having sex with the Grinch and Santa and Jesus being best friends.
Murray Bartlett in ‘Welcome to Chippendales’
After winning an Emmy for his portrayal in The White Lotus last year, Bartlett turned in another top-notch, award-worthy performance as Chippendale's choreographer. This is the age of Murray and we're all lucky to be living in it.
Neil Patrick Harris in ‘Uncoupled’
Following a gay real estate agent in NYC who just got out of a 17-year relationship, Uncoupled gave us a great chance to see Harris get to flex his acting chops in a juicy gay role. It's a deeply human portrayal that reminds us to keep on trying.