10 LGBTQ Film and TV Creators on the Rise in 2023

As LGBTQ characters and stories become the norm — mercifully, no longer an outlier or cause for surprise — it’s more important than ever to check your sources.

Just as you study the labels on your food or the sustainability of your clothing, audiences should be informed as to who is behind the camera (and pages) when it comes to queer stories. While we’d never dictate what stories creators are allowed to write, the proof is often in the pudding when it comes to queer film and TV. As proven by the diabolical gay delights of “The White Lotus” or the lustfully longing glances in “A Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” it just hits different when we’re in charge.  

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In an industry that often purports to celebrate difference until it comes to who gets the big bucks, LGBTQ talent often have to work twice as hard to get half as far in Hollywood. Trace Lysette served as an executive producer on her new film “Monica,” which took over six years to secure funding despite having Patricia Clarkson attached. On the TV side, even when queer-led projects earn critical acclaim and dedicated followings, it’s rare to get more than two seasons. “Work in Progress,” “Los Espookys,” and “A League of Their Own” are recent examples of beloved queer series that were canceled too soon. 

When it comes to directing and showrunning, mentorship is the main way emerging talent can gain experience on film and TV sets. As the recent WGA strike put forth as one of the union’s many talking points, opportunities for learning on the job are falling by the wayside in the new system. For marginalized creators who may be shut out from other ways in the door, this discrepancy is felt exponentially. Although demand for LGBTQ content is rising, there seem to be fewer paths to success for queer creators than ever. With such narrow margins, every success deserves major recognition.

In the spirit of being in the know, it’s important to highlight and celebrate the queer filmmakers, writers, and creators who are setting — and raising — the bar for queer storytelling. Whether they’ve been household names for awhile or are just beginning to make their presence felt, here are ten LGBTQ creators on the rise in June 2023.

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