They took risks, defied expectations, spoke out, redefined cool and made us proud to call them members and allies of our community.
The Makers of One Day at a Time
It’s not something we expected to like: a reboot of the ‘70s sitcom One Day at a Time. But we had fond memories of Justina Machado from Six Feet Under, and the new Schneider seemed like a definite upgrade in the looks department. And Rita Moreno is a goddess. So we tuned in, and once we did, we were hooked. Gloria Estefan’s fantastic revamp of the theme song invited us in, and the comedy — though family-friendly — made us laugh. Suddenly, before we knew what was happening, we realized we were watching one of the most fresh and modern comedies we’d ever seen. Machado’s Penelope is navigating raising a family on a tight budget while dealing with a messy separation from her husband and an injury from serving in Afghanistan. The family’s Cuban heritage is mined for comedy to great effect but also with great respect — and allows Moreno to steal scene after scene with an accent and bravado to which words can truly not do justice. And, with so much subtlety that we almost didn’t see it coming, we realized we were also watching a coming out story. Isabella Gomez is simply radiant as a teen coming to terms with both her sexuality and the fact that her family wants her to have the kind of quinceañera that she (with the passion of a fiery young feminist) does not want at all. And when the big event finally arrives in the season one finale, well — let’s just say we dare you not to laugh and cry. Brava!
Check out our last honoree, Brit pop crooner Sam Smith.
Want more inspiration? Check out our People We Love section to learn about past year’s People We Love. Also from our archives, read Looking Back on the Heroes of Marriage Equality.
Last modified: September 23, 2019