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Top Gay Moments of 2012

Highlights of GLBT Life in 2012

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2012 was a big year for the GLBT community. We saw advances in politics, the media, teen life and sports (23 openly gay athletes compete in 2012 Summer Olympics!). Here are some of my favorites parts of 2012.

1. Teen Life

Image (c) Quil stock.xchng

GLBT teens made some real waves in 2012. Here are just a few highlights:

  • When the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their long-standing policy of banning openly gay scouts and leaders, scouts across the country took notice. Eagle Scouts from around the country even returned their badges in protest of the organization's anti-gay discrimination.
  • In October, California became the first state to ban something known as reparative or gay conversion therapy. Such programs, which falsely claim that they can turn gay people straight, have not only been proven to be ineffective but have caused demonstrated harm.
  • Teen, Katy Butler, herself the victim of bullying, successfully petitioned to have the rating on a documentary on the subject, "Bully," changed from R to PG-13 so that teens could have more opportunity to watch it.

2. Politics

Barack Obama
Image (c) Justin Merriman

Back in May, President Obama publicly voiced his support for same-sex marriage. Then in the November 2012 election he was voted in for a second term.

The voting population also favored some truly exciting measures for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights and issues. For example, same-sex marriage passes in Washington, Maryland and Maine, Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin became the first openly queer senator. Also, in Rhode Island, openly gay congressman David Cicilline was reelected, and in New York, Sean Patrick Maloney became that state's first openly gay person elected to Congress. Additionally, in the Senate at least three new marriage equality supporters were voted in.

Voters in Iowa also choose to keep the judge, Justice David Wiggins, who had decided for gay marriage in that state in 2009.

Many saw this election as a sign that the times are changing and that more people support GLBT causes.

3. Pop Culture

Kurt Mercedes Glee
Image (c) Michael Buckner

There were a lot of exciting developments on the GLBT front in pop culture this year. Here are a few.

American Idol alum Adam Lambert hosted VH1's popular Divas Live show and then became the first openly gay pop singer to top the album chart.

Multiple TV shows featured GLBT characters or story lines including a gay story line in the soap opera, Days of our Lives, featured a steamy gay storyline, Glee introduced a transgender character, Unique, to the cast, to its increasingly diverse cast, The New Normal and Modern Family continued to portray same sex parenting.

Ater initially being disqualified for being transgender, Jenna Talackova, was ultimately allowed to compete in didn't take home the title of Miss Universe Canada.

Even comics got into theact. In the X-Men series, Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle got married. So did Archie comics, Kevin Keller, Riverdale's first openly gay character who married his partner, Clay Walker in the January issue of Archie Comics.

And on the music front, Frank Ocean made waves when he sang about his relationship with another man then discussed it in subsequent interviews.

4. Coming Out

coming out gay
Image (c) a.u.s.t.i.n

People come out every day. But when these people are in the public eyes, it often makes a pretty big impression. For example, Lana Wachowski, the co-director of The Matrix and the film Cloud Atlas became the first major Hollywood director to publicly come out as transgender in July.

Another person to come out as transgender was Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of the band, Against Me!

Journalist, Anderson Cooper addressed rumors about his sexual orientation when he came out in an email to his friend, journalist, Andrew Sullivan, in July. Then in October, Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz announced that he is a "proud gay man."

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