It’d be an understatement to say 2017 was a rough one. But there are plenty of great things to be excited about in the coming year: New movies, new music—new midterm elections.

Before Baby New Year kicks Father Time to the curb, grab a cup of cheer and read through the events we’re looking forward to in 2018.

  1. The U.S. military officially begins accepting transgender recruits.

    As of the first of the year, trans Americans will be able to enlist in all branches of the Armed Forces. Trump’s ban has been swatted down by federal courts, so unless the White House seeks an emergency Supreme Court intervention (don’t jinx it), America will be a little more equal come 2018.

    Enlistment will be open to transgender Americans on January 1, 2018.

  2. “Love, Simon” queers the teen rom-com.

    Out producer Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, The Flash) directs this coming-of-age dramedy based on Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

    A mainstream movie about the romantic life of a closeted high school student? We’re in.

    Love, Simon hits theaters on March 16, 2018.

  3. “Call Me By Your Name” gets Oscar love.

    Sure, this one is more of a prediction than a certainty, but the love story of a graduate student and his’ professor’s teen son is already racking up plenty of awards. Who knows? Timothee Chalamet could wind up being one of the youngest Best Actor winners in Academy history.

    (There’s also plenty of queer entries in the Best Foreign Language Film category, including Taiwan’s Small Talk, France’s BPM, , Chile’s A Fantastic Woman and Norway’s Thelma.

    The 90th Annual Academy Awards are Sunday, March 4, 2018. (Nominees are announced January 23.)

  4. Danica Roem is sworn in.

    In November Virginia voters elected Roem to the Virginia House of Delegates, making the the first out trans person to win office at the state level. That she unseated homophobic, transphobic Republican Bob Marshall was just icing on the cake.

    Representing the 13th district, Roem will take the oath of office in January.

  5. Love wins in Australia.

    It was a long and sometimes ugly fight, but Australians finally won the right to vote this year, after a massive public ballot and parliamentary vote.

    There is a 30-day waiting period after requesting a marriage license, so the official date same-sex couples can begin tying the knot is January 8, 2018. Some couples have gotten special permission to marry early, but that’s gonna be a beautiful day to behold.

    This year could also bring marriage equality to Austria, Taiwan and beyond.

    Marriage equality begins in Australia on January 8, 2018.

  6. “Angels In America” swoops into Broadway.

  7. Cher headlines Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

    Yes, we know we probably won’t be there. But thousands of people will—and just knowing that Cher is out there in world still making gays swoon at 70 makes us feel better.

    It’s also the only thing that will make us actually go see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again .

    Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is Saturday, March 3, 2018.

  8. Oprah stars in “A Wrinkle In Time”

    Disney’s highly anticipated adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s fantasy novel is finally here. Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a precocious 13-year-old on a cosmic adventure to find her missing scientist father (Chris Pine). She’s aided by three celestial beings, played by Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey.

    We’d definitely breach space and time for Oprah’s return to the big screen.

    A Wrinkle in Time opens March 9, 2018.

  9. The midterm elections are in November.

    From the moment—the very moment—Donald Trump won the presidency, we’ve been laser-focused on the 2018 midterm elections. Whether he stays in the White House till 2020 or not, Trump’s agenda will be seriously hampered if Democrats can win either or both houses of Congress.

    The midterm Congressional elections are Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

  10. Prince Harry gets married.

    Once we accepted it was never going to happen for us, we were happy Harry found his bride. And in May, he and Meghan Markle will wed at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

    Not to be outdone, Willam and Katharine are expecting their third child in April.

    The royal wedding takes place on May 19, 2018.

  11. Illinois enacts its ban on the “gay panic” defense.

    In June, Illinois lawmakers passed a ban on the use of the so-called “gay panic” defense in court.

    California is the only other state to enact such a ban, which also covers “trans panic.”

    Using the gay-panic defense is no guarantee you’ll get off, of course, but an Illinois jury acquitted Joseph Biedermann of first-degree murder in 2009 after he stabbed his neighbor 61 times. (Biedermann claimed the man made unwanted sexual advances and he was only defending himself.)

    “At the heart of gay and trans panic defenses is the idea that individuals who do not conform to gender norms are abnormal and should be feared,” wrote Anthony Michael Kreis, who helped draft the legislation. “They reinforce outdated notions that LGBT persons are mentally ill and predatory [and] that violence against LGBT people is excusable.”

  12. Charli XCX drops a new album.

    Charli XCX’s “Boys” was was one of the bigger bangers of 2017, and her upcoming LP promises to offer more of the same.

    There’s no word on a release date but, with two mixtapes out already, we expect it any day now.

  13. Lisa Kudrow pals around with “Grace And Frankie.”

    What could make us even more excited about Grace and Frankie coming back in January: How about Kudrow will as Grace’s rhinestone-worshiping manicurist?

    The Season 4 trailer also hints at a run-in with police, and romance with Peter Gallagher for Grace, and trouble in paradise for Robert and Sol.

    Grace and Frankie returns to Netflix on January 19.

  14. Richard Lawson makes his literary debut.

    The debut novel from out Vanity Fair film critic Lawson, All We Can Do Is Wait isn’t out till February, but it’s already getting rave reviews: Among a group of teens whose lives change after a bridge collapses is Jason, a young man struggling to come out of the closet.

    All We Can Do Is Wait is out on Razorbill on February 6.

  15. Lady Gaga goes full Judy in “A Star Is Born.”

    If you’re going to remake a film that’s already been redone several times, casting Lady Gaga is a pretty savvy way to keep our attention. Going where Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, and Barbra Streisand have gone before, the latest iteration of A Star Is Born also marks co-star Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut.

    Whether it’s the next Dreamgirls or the next Glitter, we’re gonna eat every minute of it up with a spoon.

    A Star is Born arrives in theaters on October 5.

  16. “The Boys In The Band” opens to Broadway

    Next spring Ryan Murphy is bringing The Boys In The Band to The Great White Way, 50 years after its off-Broadway premiere in 1968. And in typical Murphy style, he’s corralled a bevy of Hollywood gays to star in it, including Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Jim Parsons and Charlie Carver, as the cowboy.

    The Boys in the Band runs April 30 to August 12 at the Boothe Theater.

  17. The Winter Olympics

    John Fennell missed his chance to make the U.S. men’s luge team at the 2018 Winter Games, but freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy and figure skater Adam Rippon are among the out athletes hoping to earn gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea, And while the Rio Games saw record involvement by LGBT Olympians, there has yet to be an openly gay male athlete compete in a Winter Games.

    Sexuality aside, the Olympics are always a grand time: The pageantry, the athleticism, the skin-tight Lycra.

    The 2018 Winter Olympics are held February 9 to February 25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

  18. “Let’s Talk About Love” hits bookstores.

    Claire Kann’s novel tells the story of Alice, an asexual teen who’s sworn off dating until she starts to fall for her new friend, Takumi.

    This YA debut blends humor with heartfelt moments and a pop-culture-loving protagonist.

    Let’s Talk About Love is out from Swoon Reads on January 23.

  19. “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3”

    Expect the unexpected when Aja, Bendalecreme, Chi Chi DeVayne, Kennedy Davenport, Milk, Morgan McMichaels, Shangela, Thorgy Thor and Trixie Mattel return to the main stage for another chance at the crown. The next edition of All-Stars will have all the high-caliber drag you expect, plus some twists and turns you never saw coming. (Remember “Lip-Sync for your Legacy”?)

    RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3 premieres January 25 on VH1.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he’s not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.

@adamsalandra