Madonna and Britney (and Madonna and Christina) kiss onstage at the MTV Video Awards
Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera opened the VMA show dressed like brides singing Madonna‘s "Like a Virgin," which then segued into Madonna’s "Hollywood" as Madonna stepped out of the wedding cake wearing a modified tuxedo. Madonna was the "groom" and Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were her virginal brides, and it all culminated in kisses between Madonna and Britney, then Madonna and Christina. Was it a publicity stunt? A pro-lesbian statement? Or just your standard rock n’ roll spectacle? Whatever it was, it instantly became an iconic pop culture moment.
Lily Tomlin receives the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
The Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner adds a Kennedy Center honor to her list of accomplishments. She is the first out lesbian (and only the second woman) to receive the Mark Twain Prize.
America’s Next Top Model debuts
Model Tyra Banks didn’t just launch a reality series with ANTM, she created an empire of fierceness. Her modeling competition regularly featured lesbian, bi and trans contestants, making it one of the queerest shows on primetime.
Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels get married
The rocker and the actress tie the knot in a highly-publicized Los Angeles wedding.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer becomes the first network series to show a lesbian sex scene
After two and a half years of subtextual lesbian sexuality, Buffy finally gave us what we wanted when slayer-in-training Kennedy (Iyari Limon), seduced lesbian witch Willow (Alyson Hannigan). It’s safe to say that Buffy changed the world of lesbians on television.
All My Children features the first lesbian kiss on daytime TV
Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Lena (Olga Sosnovska) finally get to show some affection, thanks in part to lobbying by an outspoken fan base. Many local ABC affiliates, however, did display a "viewer discretion advised" warning on the screen during the "kiss" episode and during the episode prior to it (just in case the kiss was found to be more objectionable to viewers than the regular soap opera fare of drug abuse, death, abortion, attempted rape, and other criminal behavior).
Coupling introduces the first bisexual Asian-American character on TV
NBC’s ill-fated British knock-off featured Lindsay Price as bisexual Jane, who we barely got to know as the show was canceled in the first season (before November sweeps).
Grace Park plays lesbian teen on Edgemont
In Canadian teen drama Edgemont Grace Park played "Shannon," a Christian teen who came out over the course of the show’s five seasons. In 2003, her character came out to her parents, moved out of their house,and developed a crush on a girl who actually liked her back. Her character is the first teenage lesbian of Asian descent on television in North America.
Erica Friedman launches Yuricon
Erica Friedman relaunches her yuri manga website (AniLesboCon) as Yuricon and organizes the convention Yuricon 2003 in Newark, N.J. It includes an academic lecture series with five North American scholars presenting papers on women’s roles — as characters, readers and creators — in anime and manga. This kind of scholarly content is a first at an anime convention. That same year, Friedman founds ALC Publishing (AniLesboCon), specializing in what Friedman refers to as "100 percent yuri — yuri by and for lesbians, to express lesbian life and love."
— by Karman Kregloe