The Newest Generation Of Hollywood Is More Queer Than Ever

As Hollywood grapples with greater calls for meaningful diversity, it’s the next generation of LGBTQ+ actors who are the keys to true inclusion. And though they’ve traditionally been secondary or part of an ensemble, the queer characters they play are far from the stereotype. Check out eight actors taking the leap to center stage below.

Acting was not Hunter Schafer’s desired career goal. She was a theater girl, but lived backstage and actually wanted to work as a fashion designer. Making it to New York City from her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina wasn’t going to be easy (or cheap), but she knew she fit some of the standards of a “conventional” model, so she reached out to agents she found on Instagram. During a visit to the big city in her senior year of high school, the now 19-year-old signed with Elite Model Management.  “A little over a year of modeling made the camera a lot less intimidating,” she says. So when the audition for HBO’s Euphoria came her way, she was prepared. The drama, which is Schafer’s first role, follows a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma, and social media. “I thought I was gonna be in college right now,” she says. But when she discovered that some of her life experiences lined up with her character Jules, she felt she could handle it. As she looks to getting more involved in acting, “a huge motivator is just to create and world-build,” she says, “because I think trans and gender non-conforming people are the best at that.”