A kiss is still a kiss—but what a kiss it was! When a female naval officer smooched her fiancee during a military homecoming ritual, it indelibly marked the true and final end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The victories of the past year seemed to come fast and furious: New York finally legalizing same-sex marriage along with Maryland and Washington State; Chaz Bono busting a move as Dancing with the Stars’ first transgender contestant; the snowballing Occupy Wall Street movement demanding justice for the hardworking 99 percent. Even great tragedy, and the still-raw memories of America’s worst terrorist attack, failed to slow the rekindling of our optimism. (And if you want more proof, see GO’s landmark Tenth Anniversary issue this September!)
OWS’S RIPPLE EFFECT
The tired, the poor, the huddled masses took over Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan in September, initiating the grassroots Occupy Wall Street movement to empower the “99 percent.” Prompted by the Canadian group Adbusters, OWS activists demonstrated against social and economic injustice with nonviolent marches and 24-hour drum circles. Celebrities stopped by to lend their support and to nibble on the free organic buffet. Police evicted the campers in November, but by then, the message against income inequality, unemployment and financial institutions’ greed had caught fire across the globe.