In a year where a previously unknown virus held the globe in a death grip, the economy tanked, and hugging random strangers became a form of assault, it’s hard to remember that 2020 also had its sunny moments. Pop open a bottle of bubbly, put your feet up, and enjoy these highs that came in a year that brought too many lows.
But how many trombones were there? The LGBTQ community had an extra reason to be thankful this past Thanksgiving because (drumroll, please) The Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC), one of the first all-queer band groups ever in the United States, was the first-ever LGBTQ marching band to partake in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As the leader of the 250-piece band, artistic director Marita Begley said, “There are families out there in middle America, throughout the country, that is going to see this and it’s going to give hope to young people who are questioning their sexuality, their gender.” That’s worth tooting our collective horns about.
Gloria, you’re always on the run now. San Diego elected its first openly gay mayor. Todd Gloria, who can also lay claim to being the city’s first mayor of color, has a healthy grasp of his sexuality and power as a gay man. “I have a dear friend who likes to say that gay is a superpower, and that really resonates for me,” Gloria said. “I really found my way to being able to put myself out of my comfort zone, not just for me, but for other people. I hope to do that every day as mayor.”
Speaking of superpowers. We were sorry to see the luscious Ruby Rose hang up her bat wings after her groundbreaking portrayal as a lesbian Batwoman on the CW television network. But our sorrow has been assuaged by the fact that out actress Javicia Leslie has been cast as the new Batwoman. “I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television,” Leslie said. “And as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community.” Now let’s see a lesbian Joker.
Speaking of superpowers, continued. We loved Ellen Page’s non-binary portrayal of Vanya Hargreeves in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy and were thrilled to learn that portrayal would continue after Ellen came out as Elliot, declaring that they are transgender. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your love and support have been the greatest gift. Stay safe. Be there for each other. If you are able, support @transanta and @translifeline. See you in 2021 Xoxo Elliot” they posted on Twitter. Juno, I always had a feeling there was something Ellen was hiding under those over-sized man suits she loved to wear.
I’m lovin’ it. Pride Week in Helsinki, Finland got an unexpected Happy Meal when Burger King ran an ad depicting traditional rival mascots, the Burger King king and Ronald McDonald (arguably, the burger queen) in a super-friendly lip lock. “The idea behind the painting sprung from our desire to celebrate love in all forms,” Burger King Finland’s brand manager Kaisa Kasila said. “We thought, what a better way to convey our values than by portraying an all-encompassing kiss between Burger King and McDonald. We wanted to show that in the end, love always wins.” And yes, we would like fries with that.
Not fake news. When superjock sports legends Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird announced their engagement in October, the happy couple received a congratulatory message from an unexpected source. “Love will always win. Congratulations!” tweeted soon-to-be President-Elect Joe Biden. Now, that’s presidential.
Good Joe. Perhaps the best news of all came in repeated announcements that Joe Biden did indeed win the 2020 presidential election, despite the repeated attempts by the White House’s current resident to disprove the win. But Biden did indeed win, signaling a planet-changing victory. The LGBTQ community was a distinctive winner, in that the president-elect had released a comprehensive LGBTQ policy plan addressing equality for all. Biden specifically called out “preventing discrimination, supporting youth, working to end violence, expanding access to high-quality health care, ensuring fair treatment in the criminal justice system, collecting data to advance progress and supporting global rights” as pillars of this plan. Finally, the term “Happy New Year” seems like a very real possibility.
Service with a Scottish smile. The first part of this story is the fact that there is a Mexican restaurant in Scotland. Let’s not speculate about the authenticity of the cuisine and just be thankful that it exists. The second part of the story is the best part, though. After being closed for six months due to coronavirus, Wee Mexico reopened with this greeting on a signboard: “We’re back! Please do not enter if you have symptoms of Covid-19, racism, homophobia, transphobia.” “We have quite a diverse group of staff and this is something we stand for and we figured our customers would agree with it, and as the sign says if not we are not particularly keen to have them in here,” said the restaurant’s general manager, Ben Wyatt. Haggis enchiladas, anyone?
Happy 2021, everybody! Let’s make it a great one.