As 2018 draws to a close, many of us may be forgiven for being glad to see it go.
But despite having brought more than enough bad news to go around, the year held some bright spots for LGBTQ people. Here are some of the highlights.
LGBTQ athletes shone, in particular, this year.
- Canadian skater Eric Radford became the first out gay athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics, alongside his partner Megan Duhamel.
- Meanwhile, American skater Adam Rippon’s performance earned him the bronze medal and made him America’s openly gay sweetheart. Rippon would go on to become the first out gay person to win Dancing with the Stars.
- Transgender boxer Patricio Manuel made history by winning his first professional fight.
The entertainment world offered some exciting moments.
- Love, Simon, a feel-good, coming-of-age romantic comedy, opened in theaters nationwide to critical acclaim.
- Netflix dropped a trailer for its upcoming series featuring superhero drag queens in June and then released the series later in the year.
- A Fantastic Woman, a Chilean film about a transgender woman played by a transgender actress, won Best Foreign Language Film. Its star, Danielle Vega, became the first transgender person to present an award at the Oscars.
- Out writer James Ivory, who became the oldest person to win an Oscar at age 89, took home the trophy for Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me By Your Name and thanked “my life partners, who are gone.”
- Actor Andrew Garfield, in his speech accepting the award for Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Angels in America, honored the LGBTQ.
The deplorableness of the Trump administration notwithstanding, LGBTQ people got some good news in the realms of policy and politics.
- Colorado voters made history by choosing Jared Polis to become the state’s next governor, making him the first openly gay governor.
- Kate Brown, the nation’s first openly bisexual governor, won her re-election bid in Oregon.
- Kyrsten Sinema won her senatorial bid in Arizona, becoming the first openly bisexual person elected to the US Senate.
- In Kansas, Sharice Davids became the first Native American lesbian elected to Congress.
- Chris Papas became New Hampshire’s first openly gay congressman.
- Zach Wahls, who defended his lesbian moms in a public hearing on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, won his bid to become an Iowa state senator.
- Kansas governor-elect Laura Kelly affirmed that she would sign an executive order protecting LGBTQ state employees from discrimination once she assumes office.
- Maryland gubernatorial candidate Richard Madaleno made history by sharing a kiss with his husband in a political ad.
- New Hampshire’s legislature passed a bill to ban conversion therapy. Maine’s governor also signed a law banning conversion therapy. Delaware became the 14th state to ban conversion therapy for minors.
- Massachusetts voters defeated a right-wing bid to strip trans people of civil rights.
- Vermont’s governor signed a bill requiring gender-neutral public bathrooms.
- California passed a law stating that transgender foster youth have a right to “gender-affirming health care and gender-affirming mental health care.”
- Colorado made history as the first state to issue an intersex birth certificate to a person that is medically accurate.
Loads of famous, high-profile LGBTQ people came out.
- Grammy-nominated singer and actress Janelle Monae came out. “Being a queer black woman in America,” she said, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.”
- Rapper Cardi B came out as bisexual, tweeting that she has had “a lot” of romantic experiences with women.
- Singer Kehlani came out as queer on Twitter, writing “i’m queer. not bi, not straight. i’m attracted to women, men, REALLY attracted to queer men, non binary people, intersex people, trans people.”
- Panic at the Disco! frontman Brendon Urie came out as pansexual, saying that he’s married to a woman and “definitely attracted to men.”
- Journalist Ronan Farrow came out as “part of the LGBT community” during an LGBT award ceremony.
- Tadd Fujikawa became the first pro-golfer to come out as gay.
Our families got a stamp of approval in two studies.
- An Italian study showed that children raised by gay and lesbian parents develop as well psychologically as those raised by straight parents — and gay men apparently make the best fathers.
- In the longest-running study on the subject to date, researchers found that lesbian moms raise children just as healthy as mixed-gender parents.