GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, in partnership with The Black List, the writer-focused organization whose work includes its annual list, screenplay marketplace, screenwriter labs, and film and television productions, today announced The 2022 GLAAD List, the third annual curated list of the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts in Hollywood that have been hosted on blcklst.com.
The scripts on The GLAAD List represent the type of LGBTQ-inclusive stories that GLAAD would like to see studios producing on big and small screens to increase the presence of LGBTQ visibility in Hollywood. With the proper attention, and with the collaboration of the right directors and actors, these scripts show tremendous promise and should one day become films and series that will both entertain audiences and change hearts and minds around the world. In previous years, The GLAAD List included 10 features. This year, GLAAD expanded the list to 12 feature film scripts and 8 episodic pilot scripts.
In order to advance efforts to discover underrepresented storytellers, GLAAD and The Black List previously announced the formation of The GLAAD List Founder’s Circle, a group of production companies, studios and streaming services that are instrumental in driving cultural change and amplifying voices from marginalized communities. Members of the inaugural GLAAD List Founder’s Circle are Berlanti-Schechter Films, Hello Sunshine, Hillman Grad Productions, Netflix, MGM’s Orion Pictures, Ryan Murphy Productions, and Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. Thanks to the generous contributions of our inaugural GLAAD List Founder’s Circle, over 100 writers received fee waivers to host and have their material evaluated on blcklst.com as a part of this year’s submission process. Representatives from these companies participated in an intensive reading and feedback period for all shortlist scripts selected by GLAAD, The Black List, and three independent readers, and provided input on which scripts were most promising and most inclusive.
GLAAD and The Black List are honored to announce the scripts that have been selected for the 2022 GLAAD List. They are presented below in alphabetical order.
BLUE BOY by Nik Dodani
A mischievous Indian-American boy grappling with adolescence thinks he’s the reincarnation of Krishna, the Casanova of Hindu gods.
ELECTRIC HOMIES by Roberto Fatal
In the near future, a queer Latinx curandera reluctantly inherits leadership of their lowrider car club after the club’s founder uploads their consciousness to a new digital utopia that is devastating their barrio.
FIRST LANGUAGE by Josh Feldman
When Ezra travels to The Hague to help a young deaf woman testify against a war criminal, he becomes entangled in a global conspiracy.
I LOVE YOU, MARGOT ROBBIE by Sav Rodgers and Taylor Gates
A teenage trans boy navigates first loves, broken bones, and high school woes with the help of his imaginary friend: A-list actor Margot Robbie.
JORGE IN PARADISE by Andres Perez-Duarte
Jorge, a Mexican teenager, explores his sexuality and passion for tennis as he breaks every rule to win the love of his life.
QUICK QUICK SLOW by Jett Garrison
It’s 1992 and Jesse McAllen’s been kicked out of the military for being gay. Disowned by her small town family, she buses it to Austin, Texas where she’s taken in by two queer men running a gay country and western bar.
THE QUIET KIND by Justin Geldzahler
Hired by an orphan to avenge her parents’ murders, a taciturn bounty hunter barrels into a mystery of white supremacists and land grab conspiracies, only to face the most difficult question — can the strong silent type learn to talk about his feelings?
RE-LIVE: A TALE OF AN AMERICAN ISLAND CHEERLEADER by Rain Valdez and Rachel Leyco
A transgender woman returns to her estranged home island of Guam for her High School Reunion’s “Do Over week” to live out her childhood dream of becoming a cheerleader, but she discovers a different reunion – family.
SILENT SPRING by Elise H. Greven
Biologist Rachel Carson takes on the government and powerful chemical industries as she struggles to write Silent Spring, the book that sparks the creation of the American environmental movement.
WASPS! By Zeke Smith
A video game designer fighting imposter syndrome is dragged along by his mother on a cross-country road trip in which he must break out of his self-imposed limitations to thwart the WASPS (White Anglo Saxon Protestants) who pursue them.
WE ARE OKAY by Karina Ansley
Based on the award-winning novel by Nina LaCour. The winter break of her freshman year, 18-year-old Marin Delaney can’t bring herself to leave her desolate college dorm in upstate New York and go home to San Francisco — but when her estranged best friend Mabel visits, Marin must finally confront the ghosts of her past and the tragedy she fled from.
THE YOUNG PUNKS by Q. Allan Brocka
When a tragic accident suddenly gives a 70-year-old Filipina store clerk sole custody of her rebellious teenage grandson, they manage to forge a bond and move forward with their lives by starting a rock band together.
30 DAYS IN BAYSIDE by Jose Useche
José, a depressed and out-of-work dancer, has lost control of his life. He’s back home in Queens, staying with his supportive – but very Catholic – mother and his alcoholic – but very functioning – sister. Now, he has one month to get over his ex-boyfriend, start telling the truth, and get the f*ck out of Bayside…again.
BADASS by Noni Salma
At the cusp of a precarious episode that turned her into an internet viral sensation, a down on her luck trans woman must team up with her devious friends in hopes of extending this 15 minutes of fame.
THE BARON by W.A.W Parker
Love is a battlefield when a queer Prussian military commander runs into his ex at Valley Forge after being hired to whip the fledgling American Army into shape.
BLACKSEED by NOVA CYPRESS BLACK
When a non-binary adoptee’s 21st birthday arrives with news that they have 6 months to live, they apply to join a life-saving Black town with hideous secrets.
BLAZE by Deborah Puette
In this sexy, soapy drama, a brilliant but struggling Chicago chef lures away the talented protégée of her former partner, igniting a battle for domination that threatens to engulf them all.
FRAUD by Dana Aliya Levinson
Shira Rose Loewenstein, a Jewish trans woman struggling to escape her fucked up family through her side hustle as a credit card thief, is recruited into a dangerous criminal enterprise that is hell-bent on taking down the one percent.
SPESH by Jeff Locker
When a man with lifelong mental health struggles begins to suspect his imagined childhood superpower might be real, he must find a way to secretly develop his ability while trying to maintain his relationship with his first real boyfriend. And when he discovers he might not be the only one who’s special, his world will never be the same.
THE TELL-US-YOU’RE-GAY COMMITTEE by Frank Paiva
Two queer teenagers start an underground support group after their high school’s gay-straight alliance is taken over by straight people.
“As calls for greater diversity and inclusion in Hollywood continue to grow, the scripts on this year’s GLAAD List spotlight new and powerful LGBTQ stories that have the power to both entertain and educate audiences,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Thanks to The Black List and our Founder’s Circle members, we are not only able to create greater pathways of opportunity for marginalized voices, but also provide studios and networks with clear opportunities to tell groundbreaking stories that people want to hear.”
GLAAD and The Black List unveiled the first edition of The GLAAD List at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and the second edition was announced at Sundance the following year. At least nine scripts (45%) from the first two years of The GLAAD List have been optioned and are in some stage of production currently, including:
- BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND by Trevor Anderson & Fish Griwkowsky was produced by Loud Whisper Productions and Outside Line Studio, funded by Telefilm Canada, Alberta Media Fund, and Epic Pictures.
- Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman’s adaptation of THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay has been optioned by FilmNation.
- IN THE CITY OF SHY HUNTERS by Sam McConnell has been expanded from a feature into a five-part limited series, with Janet Mock attached to executive produce and Julie Christeas of Tandem Pictures attached to produce.
- Becca Roth directed a short proof-of-concept for MARGO & PERRY, starring Sofia Black-D’Elia (SINGLE DRUNK FEMALE)and Annie Parisse (FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE.)
- Harry Tarre’s QUEEN was optioned by Red Crown Productions and is currently in development with its star, Corey Rae.
- THE SILENCE OF MERCY by Chris Basler is currently in post-production with The Black List and Luma Pictures. The film was directed by Floria Sigismondi and stars Annabelle Wallis and Raffey Cassidy. (On the GLAAD List as THE ENCLOSED.)
- Jared Frieder’s THREE MONTHS premiered on Paramount+ to rave reviews in February 2022. The film stars Troye Sivan, Viveik Kaira, and Ellen Burstyn.
- TRAPEZE OF THE FLESH, a Tennesse Williams biopic by Damon Santostefano, is set to star Jared Harris as Williams, and is being produced by Paul Schiff with Relativity Media attached to finance and distribute.
- ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE (formerly titled WHAT IF?) by Ximena Garcia Lecuona was optioned by Killer Films for Orion Pictures, directed by Billy Porter, and is currently in post-production. The film stars newcomer Eva Reign, Abubakr Ali and Renee Elise Goldsberry.
Methodology for selection:
Unlike The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, The GLAAD List is not voted upon via a survey; rather, it is curated by GLAAD based on a pool of the highest-rated scripts provided by The Black List which feature lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) characters. A script may remain active on The Black List and The GLAAD List up until the first frame has been shot during production. GLAAD’s selected scripts represent the most promising stories from the pool provided.
Scripts, provided by The Black List, were evaluated by GLAAD using the following criteria:
1. Fair, accurate, and inclusive LGBTQ representation
2. Boldness and originality of the content
3. Potential impact of the project
4. Overall quality of the written project
5. Passes the Vito Russo Test*
* To pass the Vito Russo Test, the following must be true:
- The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).
- That character must not be solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. the character is comprised of the same sort of unique character traits commonly used to differentiate straight/non-transgender characters from one another).
- The LGBTQ character must be tied into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a significant effect. Meaning they are not there to simply provide colorful commentary, paint urban authenticity, or (perhaps most commonly) set up a punchline. The character should matter.
If you’re an entertainment industry professional who is interested in reading any of these scripts, please contact Nick Adams, Vice President of the GLAAD Media Institute, (nadams at glaad dot org) and Meghan Bartley, Director of Agencies, Brands & Engagement, (mbartley at glaad dot org).