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2018 Out100 cover: Billy Porter
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Billy Porter & queer people fought back against the Trump era in 2018

SOPHIE, X González, and the original Fab Five cast members of Netflix's Queer Eye reboot also graced our Out100 covers.

As Donald Trump entered his second year as President of the United States in 2018, fighting back against his conservative policies through art and self-expression became an even more prominent focus in the entertainment industry.

The fight against anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric manifested itself at the time through the release of queer-inclusive films and TV shows like Pose, Boy Erased, the Queer Eye reboot, Love, Simon, Killing Eve, Élite, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Vida, Legacies, and 2018's A Star Is Born, to name a few.

This was also the year when Janelle Monáe released their unapologetically queer album Dirty Computer, Lil Nas X released the original version of his breakout hit "Old Town Road," Cardi B released her debut album Invasion of Privacy, and RuPaul's Drag Race won its first-ever Emmy Award for Outstanding Competition Program. And between Tessa Thompson, Brendon Urie, Kehlani, Lee Pace, Rita Ora, Jason Mraz, Amandla Stenberg, and Lucas Hedges, this was also a busy year for celebrities who came out.

The cover stars of the 2018 Out100 were Billy Porter, SOPHIE, X González, and the original Fab Five cast members of Netflix's Queer Eye reboot.

Out100-slideshow-750x422OUT100 2018: Generationswww.out.com

A Broadway veteran known for stage productions like Grease and Kinky Boots, Billy Porter's career was elevated to new heights with his role as Pray Tell on Pose — for which he won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2019. Porter was subsequently cast in other TV shows and films such as Prime Video's Cinderella (2021), American Horror Story: Apocalypse, 80 for Brady, and Our Son.

Porter also explored other creative outlets over the years, such as making his directorial debut in the coming-of-age romantic comedy Anything's Possible featuring a trans lead character in 2022 and releasing the studio album Black Mona Lisa in 2023. Over time, Porter also turned legendary looks on the red carpet while attending awards shows, special ceremonies, and fashion events.

Grammy Nominee SOPHIE Was Misgendered on the Red CarpetOUT100: SOPHIE, Artist of the Yearwww.out.com

DJ, music producer, and songwriter SOPHIE maintained a pretty anonymous image of herself for many years, but was featured in the 2018 Out100 after appearing for the first time to the public in the music video for "It's Okay to Cry," which also served as SOPHIE's coming out as a trans woman. Between 2015's Product and 2018's Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, Sophie's body of work has had a huge influence on pop and electronic music moving forward.

SOPHIE tragically passed away in 2021 at age 34. However, her legacy is very much still alive, with artists like Charli XCX, Sam Smith, St. Vincent, and Kim Petras referencing SOPHIE's work and shouting out her name in both recent and upcoming projects.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for March For Our Lives

X González was a survivor of the 2018 Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, which is the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. González, only 18 at the time, has since become an advocate for gun control and cofounded the Never Again MSD organization that popularized social media tags #NeverAgain and #EnoughIsEnough.

Besides being honored at the 2018 Out100, González was also named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People that same year. In 2021, González disclosed the use of they/them pronouns and updated their name to X González.

With the ongoing rise of conservatism in 2018, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy cocreator and producer David Collins envisioned the idea of a reboot that became the Netflix series Queer Eye featuring an all-new Fab Five cast of experts: Antoni Porowski (food and wine), Bobby Berk (design), Jonathan Van Ness (grooming), Karamo Brown (culture and lifestyle), and Tan France (fashion). All five Queer Eye stars became overnight sensations around the world and were featured on the Out100 list this year.

OUT100: The Cast of Queer Eye, Entertainers of the YearOUT100: The Cast of Queer Eye, Entertainers of the Yearwww.out.com

In subsequent years, Porowski released two cooking books, launched an acting career, and made appearances on various shows. Berk also became a bona fide television host, released books, and became the first cast member of 2018's Queer Eye to depart the series in 2023 after filming eight seasons. Van Ness, who disclosed they were nonbinary in 2019, has created a multimedia empire consisting of podcasts, books, comedy tours, and product sponsorships.

Brown made several cameos on TV shows, grew his popularity with mainstream audiences, and eventually guest-hosted several episodes of Maury. Eventually, Brown was named the official successor of Maury Povich and landed his own syndicated talk show, Karamo, with NBCUniversal. Last but certainly not least, France has also become a superstar who's gone on to cohost Netflix's competition series Next in Fashion, write a memoir titled Naturally Tan, and even host the reunion of Selling Sunset.

OUT100: The Cast of Queer Eye, Entertainers of the YearOUT100: The Cast of Queer Eye, Entertainers of the Yearwww.out.com

See All 2023's Most Impactful and Influential LGBTQ+ People
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Step into the Out100 Vault & celebrate 30 years of history-making LGBTQ+ folks!
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Step into the Out100 Vault & celebrate 30 years of history-making LGBTQ+ folks!

It's been 30 years since the annual Out100 list started highlighting the best and brightest of the community. To honor that milestone, let's take a look back at the many LGBTQ+ people who have changed the world.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Out100, Out’s storied annual list of LGBTQ+ people who have changed culture — and the world.

In celebration of this milestone, we are so proud to launch the official Out100 Vault, which highlights the Out100 covers from our archive as well as fresh essays and insights from past honorees.

The preservation of the LGBTQ+ past has never been more important, as the recent right-wing attempts at queer book bans and censorship demonstrate. For over three decades, Out has fought against mainstream erasure, telling the stories of the artists, warriors, and changemakers who made our history and our movement. Looking to the future, we hope you find inspiration from them in the ongoing fight for visibility and equality.

And if you, or someone you know, deserve to be on this list, please let us know through the Reader’s Choice submission page. Your stories and accomplishments need to be heard, and Out as always is here to tell them.

Sincerely,


Daniel Reynolds

Editor in chief, Out Magazine

Raffy Ermac

Editor in chief, Out.com

See All 2023's Most Impactful and Influential LGBTQ+ People
Artists
Disruptors
Educators
Groundbreakers
Innovators
Storytellers

Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.