10 Moments That Made Us Proud in 2015

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It’s a remarkable time to be gay. As we make strides for equality, we frequently feel angry, occasionally swoony, and always determined. But there are some times when we can pause to look at how far we’ve come and take a moment just to feel proud. 

There was a time, quite recently, when the notion of being “proud” to be gay sounded like a bad joke. But like the word “queer,” we’ve turned the joke around and now wear our pride and our queerness on our sleeves. 

1. The Hoosiers backtrack on discrimination

We were hurt by the passage of Indiana’s “religious freedom” law: conservatives’ newest ploy to sneak discrimination into legality. But it made us both proud and moved to see the legions of allies who joined us in our outrage. Companies threatened not to do business in Indiana, governors enacted travel bans to the state, Wilco canceled a concert. There are still many battles to fight, but the outpouring of support reminded us that we’re not fighting alone.

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2.  Going to the Chapel

The tide of equality rolled on when Alabama became the newest state to legalize equal marriage. Weirdly enough, this news has not yet sparked a mass exodus of gays to Alabama, but be on the lookout for it as the year progresses.

3. Hilary Supports the Gays

Look, you can (and we will) debate the merits of Hilary Clinton’s background and politics, but you’ve got to agree that when the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nominations opens her campaign with an ad featuring lesbians, the conversation has profoundly changed.

<> on May 27, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.

4. Fun Home became the breakout Broadway hit of the season.

A tale of queerness both repressed and embraced, the adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s memoir connected audiences to the universality of its story in the way that only music can.  It was just nominated for 12 (12!) Tony awards.

5. Hi There, Sailor

In an effort to play upon Russia’s homophobia, a Swedish just launched “The Singing Sailor,” a neon sign that blasts the Morse code signal “This way if you are gay.” Meant to scare away Russian submarines, it also celebrates Sweden’s long history of acceptance and proves that we will always be funnier than the opposition.

6. Time For Trans Rights

Transgender awareness has made leaps and bounds in the past two years, thanks largely to the tirelessness, grace, and limitless patience of its most visible representatives: Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. This year, Cox made the cover of Time magazine and Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself on Vanity Fair.

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7.  Superstar is queer! Media Shrugs

When Ellen came out, it was a big deal. Hell, when Clay Aiken came out, it was a big deal.  But lately, the news that many celebrities prefer or have at least dabbled in same-sex relationships isn’t news at all. Miley Cyrus, the Honey Boo Boo clan and Maria Bello all openly discussed their queerness.  Meanwhile, superstars Taylor Swift and Kristen Stewart both had rumors flying, but they were outstripped in the headlines by arguments over whether a dress was white and gold or…whatever the rest of you crazies thought it was.

8. Films celebrate gay history

For too long, the contributions of LGBT people to the world have been forgotten or bowdlerized.  But in the past year, Pride brought attention to the alliance of LGBT Britons with the miners’ strike of the 1980’s, and the HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart reminded the world of what early HIV activists went through to make their voices heard.  In the next year, we can also look forward to Freeheld, which documents a policewoman’s battle to have her partner get her pension.

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9. FEMINISM

Pop culture has been having a little debate lately over how it feels about this term, but this year, feminism has taken the upper hand. Beyonce, Mad Max—everybody wanted in on the F word.

10. YOU GUYS!

Folks, pride is as personal and as universal as love. This list is made of just a few of the things you said gave you pride this year.

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