Commentary

Our top 12 outlandish stories that will only make sense if you made it through 2020

Mike Pence and the fly (left), Paula White (top, right) and Pat Robertson (bottom, right)
Mike Pence and the fly (left), Paula White (top, right) and Pat Robertson (bottom, right)Photo: LGBTQ Nation composite

What even was 2020? How will we explain this to our kids, grandkids, or anyone in the future generation?

In a year that was almost entirely subdued due to a viral pandemic, there somehow were still plenty of absurd, ridiculous moments. This year saw too many abnormal events occur to list, but we found twelve that we believe would go great in a virtual time capsule and sum up 2020 in the future.

Related: Let these 10 best LGBTQ films of 2020 keep your holidays warm

One Million Moms tried to cancel OREOs for jumping into their “cultural war”

In a year where One Million Moms became even more irrelevant, other than when they were getting spurned by the likes of Hallmark, Dole, or Billy Porter, they had to find time to whine about anything LGBTQ-friendly that would bring them the attention that their one staffer, Monica Cole, desperately seeks.

In October, their opportunity arrived with OREO’s announcement that it was releasing rainbow Oreos for the first time. Cole, via her blog, urged fans to call out OREO’s parent company, Mondelēz International, for trying to “indoctrinate” children by “supporting the homosexual agenda” instead of “remaining neutral in the cultural war,” in a move that she claims is “just bad business.” Cole also wanted readers to pledge not to buy any more of Mondelēz’s products.

In front of cops, man shoots trans woman getting treated in ambulance

Unlike most of the stories on this list, there’s nothing amusing about this story. Monika Diamond was a 34-year old transgender woman and business owner from Dunn, North Carolina. She ended up murdered in the back of an ambulance in March – shot several times in front of police and the medics who were trying to keep her alive.

Diamond was in the care of EMS medics for ‘shortness of breath’ when she apparently wanted the assistance of ‘a friend’, so Prentrice Bess tried to get in the ambulance but was denied by the medics due to protocols in place by local hospitals.

Bess then left, and returned with a firearm. He fired at Diamond in the open vehicle ‘multiple’ times, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. He was taken into custody immediately.

To make the tragic event worse, Diamond was misgendered in reports following her death. She was the founder of NC Phyne Promotions and the co-CEO of the International Mother of the Year pageant system.

Retired judge admits he bought assault weapon as favor for Nazi-obsessed boyfriend

Karl Alexander pled guilty in March to knowingly falsified a form while purchasing an assault weapon – a Ruger AR-15 rifle – for 50 year old felon Dennis Alan Riggs, who was barred from owning firearms due to a prior conviction.

Alexander, a retired attorney and administrative law judge from Grove City, Pennsylvania, had a romantic involvement with Riggs going at least 18 years prior. Riggs’ home was raided by a FBI terrorism task force, and they found the AR-15 along with contact information for mass murderer Dylann Roof, and “seven guns among portraits of Hitler, swastikas and Nazi banners.”

Alexander claimed he “had no idea how [Riggs] was involved in weaponry,” but waited until he retired to purchase the weapon as to “not disgrace the bench.”

Alexander was sentenced in November to a sentence of 32 months, or two years, in federal prison.

Trump’s kids Eric, Tiffany, and the rest of the family desperately tried to make themselves out to be part of the LGBTQ community

The whole Trump family put on a bizaare year, but such things happen when you’re as detached from reality as they’ve become. While Donald’s favorite kids, Ivanka and Donald Jr., ingratiated themselves further into their father’s failed re-election campaign and spiraling administration, Eric and Tiffany tried to get attention by saying anything they could think of.

For Eric, that meant claiming that he was “part of that community” on FOX News in September, when speaking of the “incredible” LGBTQ community. He later issued a “clarification,” stating that “many of our close friends are part of the LGBT community, which was the intent” of his words. “As to me personally, as I think you know, I am a happily married man to my wife, Lara,” he told the New York Post.

Tiffany tried to one-up her older brother a month later, delivering a slurred speech after being sent to stump at a LGBTQ Pride rally for Trump. “We know you. We know your best friends are gay. We know your best friends are this, this, this,” she claimed her friends have said to her since her father became President.

While bragging about her father’s love for the community, she omitted any mention of transgender people, even dropping the “T” from “LGBTQ.” Shocking. At her next event, Tiffany was taunted by protestors.

These were somehow just a notch above the mess of a year the rest of the Trump family put on. First Lady Melania was somehow “shocked” that people felt her husband was anti-LGBTQ, despite the repeated anti-LGBTQ acts of his administration.

Don Jr., on the other hand, was obsessed with trans people all year, after he was caught reading our sister site Queerty last year. Meanwhile, witness-supported rumors that Ivanka could be in the closet herself began spreading like wildfire.

A fly mistakes Mike Pence “for a cadaver” after his embarrassing VP debate performance

At the one and only Vice Presidential debate for 2020, the eventual loser Mike Pence had the unenviable position of trying to defend the indefensible, starting with the first question about the Trump administration’s lethal coronavirus response. He didn’t have much of a chance running up against Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor who knows how to appeal to the jury – in this case, the American voter.

The fly landing on his head, and making a home in his hair for quite some time, surely didn’t help.

After his electoral defeat, Pence skipped town and is trying to avoid taking part directly in Trump’s continual refusal to acknowledge the election results.

US Marine who murdered a transgender woman was pardoned in Philippines… so they could make sure they got the vaccine

Joseph Scott Pemberton was pardoned in September by Rodrigo Duterte, the leader of the Philippines. Duterte bizarrely believed this pardon would appease U.S. leaders, and guarantee the country access to future coronavirus vaccines.

Pemberton was convicted in 2015 of murdering Jennifer Laude, a woman he met at a bar while on leave from service when he was stationed near Olongapo, Philippines. The court believed he paid Laude for sex and then caused her death by strangling and drowning her in a toilet when he realized she was trans on October 11, 2014.

His sentence initially called for him to serve up to 12 years, and he was expected to serve 10 years – but he will be released having served less than six, including credit for time served before conviction. Reports indicate that he was likely to be released on good behavior, but Laude’s family petitioned the legal system to keep him imprisoned.

Even weirder, the Laude family’s ex-attorney, who now works for Duterte, announced the decision.

Hobby Lobby tells employees to come to work because owner’s wife had a dream

Since the coronavirus made it to America and began ravaging the population, conservatives and Christians alike have fought against even doing the bare minimum actions to protect themselves and others from spreading the infection. Republican family-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby were chief among them.

In March, Hobby Lobby executives directed stores to stay open, even if they had to challenge or defy orders or laws put in place by different states. Many franchises of the outlet claimed they were “essential” retail stores, although they primarily sell arts & craft supplies.

On March 19, billionaire CEO David Green penned a letter trying to persuade its mostly minimum wage, benefit-less employees to risk their health and come to work. He reasoned that his wife, Barbara, had “three profound words” told to her by God: “Guide, Guard, and Groom.”

Despite that persuading message, employees slowly stopped coming and many stores were forcibly closed throughout the year across the country.

White Republican Dean Browning said he’s a “Black gay guy” & Patti LaBelle’s nephew/son got involved

In the story that probably still makes the least sense out of everything on this list, Dean Browning stated on Twitter in November that he is a “black gay guy.” Only thing is, he’s a straight, white Pennsylvania Republican politician.

“I’m a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me,” Browning said in the midst of a back-and-forth on the social network.

Others online believed that they had found a sock puppet account Browning was using, under the name “Dan Purdy,” that was claiming to be a Black gay man while making racist and misogynist comments and cheering on Browning’s posts regularly.

Browning maintained that he had copied the message and pasted it by accident, without quotations. It turned out that “Dan Purdy” was an actual person known as Byl Holte, the blood nephew and adopted son of music icon Patti LaBelle. Twitter ended up suspending his account, and LaBelle herself even acknowledged the situation.

Anti-LGBTQ school board member poops on camera during live Zoom meeting then resigns

School board trustee Frances Cogelja made headlines over the last two years for voicing her disdain of LGBTQ people, and opposing the inclusion of LGBTQ history in curriculum starting this year, as required throughout the state of New Jersey by law.

After pledging to “never” resign for her publicized anti-LGBTQ comments, Cogelja ended up resigning from the Hackensack Public Schools Board on November 24, after she visually and audibly subjected board members, students, and families to her “bathroom break” right in the middle of a virtual, public meeting.

Board Vice President Scott James-Vickery condemned her when she returned by telling Cogelja that “you need to go.”

Trump’s “personal pastor” Paula White went viral for losing it over Joe Biden’s victory

Trump’s evangelical base lost it for weeks after it became clear that he lost his reelection bid — and in some cases, still is. The highlight of all of them, though, has to be Trump’s “personal pastor” and White House adviser Paula White, who went viral online for trying to pray Joe Biden’s electoral victory away.

White delivered a flamboyantly passionate prayer for “angels” to help Trump to win, and repeatedly called for “angelic reinforcement” supposedly coming from South America and Africa. It inspired over 20 million views online, remixes, and condemnation mocking White and the like.

Pat Robertson says Black Lives Matter wants a “lesbian… Marxist revolution”

The fact that longtime televangelist and right-wing wacko Pat Robertson is still on the air is a bizaare thing all on its own. This year, the 90-year-old host of The 700 Club became fully out of touch, and in September denounced the Black Lives Matter movement, saying that it will lead to a “lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution.”

“Of course Black lives matter,” Robertson said. “But that legitimate thing has been hijacked by these radicals.”

Robertson accused Black Lives Matter of wanting to “destroy the nuclear family” and “destroying, essentially, Christianity as being racist.”

White “Karen” calls cops on gay black man who asked her to leash her dog in Central Park

Yes, it feels like it was ages ago, but this happened this year. A white woman, Amy Cooper, was caught on video throwing a tirade after being asked by a gay Black man that was birdwatching, Christian Cooper, to leash her dog in the Rambles area of Manhattan’s Central Park.

She then threatened to call the police. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she said — and that’s exactly what she did, despite video evidence clearly showing just the contrary. The video went viral and became the talk of the country right as the widespread Black Lives Matter protests and conversations about race took place.

Chrsitian Cooper, a well known birdwatcher who once was an editor for Marvel Comics and a guest host on the Gay USA podcast, managed to walk away from the brazen attempt to get him arrested (or worse) unscathed.

He chose the high road in the well-publicized aftermath to the incident, announcing that he did not wish for Amy to be prosecuted, and that he had “zero involvement” in the Manhattan district attorney’s subsequent prosecution. “She’s already paid a steep price,” he said in a statement. “That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on.”

There are many honorable (or dishonorable) mentions to note, such as the couple who held guns on Black Lives Matter protestors (that had previously sued to keep gays out of their neighborhood), the Pete Buttigieg adviser accused of running a shadow Twitter, Pete’s husband Chasten allegedly skipping out on an event because of a stripper pole, the “Pet Store” and “Swimming Pool Karens,” and of course, the alleged shocking and disturbing sexual activities of everyone’s once-favorite evangelical family, the Falwells.

We’d ask you to let us know if we missed any, but we’re sure there were many we did, and we would have to include pages and pages of amendments to this article. Happy Holidays!

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