2023 was a momentous year for lesbian and queer women. Olivia Hill became the first out trans candidate to be elected in Tennessee. The Bush, Bushwick’s only lesbian-centered bar, opened its doors. Brittney Griner made her triumphant return to the Phoenix Mercury. Laphonza Butler became the first out person of color to serve in the Senate. (Just to name a few!) It’s impossible not to be in awe of all the powerful queer women who dominated 2023. Especially during a year that was markedly hard on our community.
75 anti-LGBTQ bills became law in 2023. The laws span across 23 states and restrict gender-affirming care, trans participation in school sports, school instruction (“don’t say gay”), public drag performances, and more. Incidents of unspeakable hatred against our community took place. We lost LGBTQ+ family due to violence, disease, and age. O’Shae Sibley was attacked by a gang of men and stabbed to death for vogueing in the parking lot of a gas station in Brooklyn. Laura Ann Carleton, the owner of the Mag Pi clothing store in Cedar Glen, CA, was shot and killed by a man who ripped down the Pride flag outside of her shop. Two men were stabbed outside of a London LGBTQ+ nightclub. We lost too many legendary LGBTQ activists: Professor of public health and famed lesbian author Cheri Pies; Achebe Betty Powell, one of the first Black women to lead the lesbian & gay liberation movement in the 1970’s; and social justice and feminist activist Amber Hollibaugh. We mourned almost as much as we marveled.
But as you’ll see in these 100 moments, nevertheless, we continued to protest, protect, progress, and persist. As 2024 approaches, we reflect on the milestones of 2023 to be acknowledged, celebrated, and remembered. We honor the lesbian and queer women who made enormous strides in the realms of politics, social justice, music, film, sports, and more.
Here are 100 lesbian, bi, trans, and queer moments that had a significant impact on our entire community this year.
Appeal Against Iranian LGBTQ+ Activists’ Death Sentence Accepted – January 17, 2023
6Rang, the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network, reported that Elham Choubdar and Zahra ‘Sareh’ Seddighi Hamedani, two LGBTQ+ activists were sentenced to death in September 2022 had their appeal approved and their case sent to another court in Urmia for review.
Dylan Mulvaney, the TikTok star made famous by her “Days Of Girlhood” series, revealed her new look after undergoing facial feminization surgery. Her stunning look was debuted in a highly stylized video called “The Face Reveal” in which Dylan wore beautiful pieces by Cameron Hughes and AMSALE.
In October, hours before her heavily anticipated 10th album release, Taylor Swift dropped a video trailer on Instagram. One part of the trailer, in particular, got the internet hot and bothered — our girl T-Swift in bed with trans actor Laith Ashley. In the clip, Swift gently strokes Ashley’s back, producing an otherworldly stream of glitter. Fans took to twitter to celebrate this win for trans representation — oh, and to shamelessly thirst over how hot Swift and Ashley are together.
Miss Universe Australia Is ‘Obsessed’ With Her Girlfriend – January 31, 2023
In January 2022, Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil came out as bisexual. In 2023, Thattil is living her best life, and in true queer fashion, is obsessed with her girlfriend. The former Miss Universe Australia spoke to Stellar Magazine in January about her new love, Jorgia O’Hare, and how the couple was smitten with each other from the start.
LA Is Getting A Lesbian Wine Bar – January 31, 2023
Eszett, a beloved natural-wine bar on Sunset Blvd, poured its last glass in January. Eszett was famous among locals for its subversive food menu, natural wine selection, and let’s not forget their hot sauce. But there was no need for despair– in its place, The Ruby Fruit, a lesbian wine bar, announced that it would open in mid-February. The Ruby Fruit is the love child of some of Eszett’s staff, and so the spirit of the space will certainly live on, and clientele can expect the same level of excellence.
Sam Smith & Kim Petras Take Home Grammy For The Gays – February 5, 2023
Sam Smith and Kim Petras made LGBTQ history when the pair took home the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song “Unholy.” Smith graciously took a step back and turned the mic over to Petras to accept the award, as she was the first openly transgender solo artist to win a GRAMMY in the category. Petras acknowledged the historical gravity of her win, thanking the trans icons and allies who came before her, including Madonna, SOPHIE, and her own mother, who “believed me that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support.”
In 2023 fiction, messy queers — and their equally messy stories — ruled. Jen Beagin’s darkly funny Big Swiss, about a sex coach’s transcriptionist and the enigmatic client she ends up seducing, made Time’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2023 list, and has been optioned for HBO by Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer. If hilariously complex sapphic stories tickle your fancy, also check out this year’s high femme send-up Dykette, and Old Enough, a tribute to bisexual chaos.
Hijab Butch Blues and Other Queer Literary Memoirs Become Must Reads–February 7, 2023
Written under the pseudonym Lamya H, Hijab Butch Blues–a memoir in essays by a genderqueer Muslim immigrant navigating faith, friendship and love–was praised by Roxane Gay and Glennon Doyle, and named an NPR Best Book of the Year. The year of the raw, intimate queer memoir continued with Sarah Viren’s searing To Name the Bigger Lie, based on the author’s viral New York Times essay, and GO WWL Ani Ferlise’s Messy Bitch Magic, a colorful quest for spirituality that became an Amazon hit.
New England Is Getting A Lesbian Bar, Thanks To This Married Couple – February 9, 2023
Femme Bar, Worcester’s first lesbian bar, opened its doors at 62 Green St Worcester, MA 01604 in February, thanks to married couple Danielle and Julie Spring.
Oklahoma County District Judge Lynne McGuire ruled that a lesbian mom, Kris Williams, had failed to adopt her son and therefore forfeited her parenting rights to his sperm donor. Williams and Wilson raised their son together for two years until they couple split sourly in 2021. Wilson then moved in with the sperm donor and argued that Williams was not the mother of their son. Judge Lynne McGuire agreed and retroactively removed Williams from their son’s birth certificate last May.
Mussolini’s Granddaughter Supports LGBTQ+ Rights: ‘People Can Change’ – February 13, 2023
Alessandra Mussolini became living proof that literally anyone can change. The granddaughter of Italian fascist Benito Mussolini has had harsh anti-human rights stances, including exiling gay and trans Italians to a designated island off the coast of Italy. In an interview, Mussolini stated, “the most important thing is that you can give love.” She added, “people can change, you can learn from the young.”
Chloë Grace Moretz & Model Kate Harrison Soft Launch Their Relationship – February 14, 2023
Fans have long speculated that actor Chloë Grace Moretz is queer but we got a soft confirmation on Valentine’s Day. LA model Kate Harrison shared an Instagram story of a photo of her and Moretz snuggled up, with the caption, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” in which Moretz was tagged. Moretz then shared the (since-expired) story to her account.
Rebel Wilson & Ramona Agruma Are Engayged! – February 20, 2023
Rebel Wilson got engaged to Ramona Agruma at Disneyland wearing matching pink sweaters. On the heels of announcing her new queer dating app, the actress shared the news with her followers in late February.
Activist Achebe Betty Powell Dies – February 26, 2023
Achebe Betty Powell passed away at the age of 82, due to Covid at at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Brooklyn. She is remembered as an incredible LGBTQ activist, who was one of the first Black women to lead the lesbian & gay liberation movement in the 1970’s. She was a founding mother of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice org where she continued to serve for the last 45 years. She also was the first Black lesbian to serve on the board of directors of the National Gay Task Force and was co-chair of the board for several years.
Public Drag Performances Banned In Tennessee – March 3, 2023
Performing drag in public became a criminal offense in Tennessee. Gov. Bill Lee, who also signed a bill banning transgender health care for people under the age of 18, signed HB 9, making “a person who engages in an adult cabaret performance on public property” — or where it can be viewed by minors — a criminal offense. Tennessee was the first state to enact legislative bans on drag performances.
Lily-Rose Depp & 070 Shake Are Definitely Probably Dating – March 8, 2023
Lily-Rose Depp showed up to Paris Fashion Week hand-in-hand with rapper 070 Shake. The pair were also seen canoodling throughout the city, captured in photos cuddling, sharing a kiss inside of a restaurant, and just generally being all over each other. The photos made their rounds on social media, appearing to confirm what we all were already thinking: The two are totally dating.
The queer internet erupted in a collective awwww when Yellowjackets star Jasmin Savoy Brown hard launched her girlfriend on Instagram. In a collection of adorable photos, Brown revealed her new partner, Anouk, with the caption “J’étudie les bisous français,” which translates to “I study French kisses.”
Everything Everywhere All at Once Nabs Oscar for Best Picture – March 12, 2023
The multiverse dramedy scored 11 Oscar nominations, with Hsu up for Best Supporting Actress. It ultimately nabbed 7 statues, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Yeoh, the first Asian woman to win that category.
Indie rock band, Yo La Tengo, played a show at The Basement East in Nashville, Tennessee, using their second set to protest Tennessee’s anti-drag laws. Frontman Ira Kaplan and bass player James McNew came out on stage dressed up in women’s clothes, AKA, in drag.
The L Word: Generation Q Announces Reboot Set In New York – March 23, 2023
Has it really been almost 20 years since our beloved messy queers first debuted in the original L Word? Bette, Alice, and Shane returned for sequel Generation Q in 2019, with fresh faces in the mix. Then in March, Showtime announced it would ditch Gen Q after three seasons. BUT FEAR NOT! Word is the show’s creator, Ilene Chaiken is developing a spinoff, L Word: New York.
boygenius Release their Album “The Record” – March 31, 2023
Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker had us crying again…shocker! The Indie rock heartthrobs of boygenius released their debut studio album, “The Record” in March. The twelve tracks highlight the superb vocal and lyrical talents of the three musicians. A perfect blend of gay, sad, and poetic this album instantly became an essential soundtrack to our lives.
Mo’Nique Comes Out As Bisexual On Her New Netflix Special – April 4, 2023
Comedian and actress Mo’Nique came out as bisexual on her new Netflix comedy special My Name Is Mo’Nique. Audience members and viewers were left stunned as the Baltimore bred star cried and spoke about the moment she came out to her husband and manager, Sidney Hicks.
A Bush Grew in Brooklyn – April 14, 2023
The Bush, Bushwick’s only lesbian-centered bar, flung open its doors in mid-April to an enthusiastic line of patrons spanning three blocks. Catering to a broader queer, trans and gender-nonconforming community, the bar offers cocktails, mocktails, wine, and beer, as well as Caribbean patties. It’s now thriving as a space designed to connect and bring together a diverse clientele.
Florida Expands ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law – April 19, 2023
Florida’s Board of Education voted to expand the state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law to all school grades. This means that discussions on LGBTQ+ topics were effectively banned in all classrooms.
Fans of the OG cast of The L Word and The L Word: Generation Q got a treat when the White House played host to the cast and creator in honor of Lesbian Visibility Week. Karine Jean-Pierre, the out lesbian White House Press Secretary, was joined at the daily news briefing by OG cast members Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey, and Jennifer Beals, as well as co-creator and producer Ilene Chaiken.
“Love doesn’t always go as planned…Sometimes it’s immeasurably better.” Chrishell Stause captioned the joyous nuptial news on Instagram. She wore a white Gemeli Power gown plucked from her closet to the chapel, while G-Flip sported a black suit, tie and white sneakers. The Selling Sunset star went public about her budding romance with the non-binary Australian musician in a May 2022 reunion episode. The two first met at a Halloween party, and it’s been skeleton tattoos and rose petals ever since.
Lifelong LGBTQ+ advocate and lesbian icon Marge Summit passed away at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke. The LGBTQ+ community of Chicago were particularly impacted by Summit’s work, and Owen Keehnen, an LGBTQ+ historian and personal friend, said they wouldn’t be where they are today without her.
Brittney Griner Returns to WNBA – May 19, 2023
After a 10-month detention in a Russian prison, Brittney Griner made her triumphant return to the court with her team, the Phoenix Mercury. She was welcomed back with a standing ovation from the crowd, a huge courtside hug from Dawn Staley, and a locker room visit from Vice President Kamala Harris.
Netflix Releases Dating Reality Show: Ultimatum: Queer Love – May 24, 2023
Netflix followed five couples – women and nonbinary folks. One wants to marry, the other’s not ready for “Hell, yes!”. An ultimatum is issued: “Marry me or leave.” Cast members swapped partners in 3-week “trial marriages” then decided – will they marry the person they came with, propose to their “trial wife”, or leave single? Reality fans who liked a little trash with their orange wine didn’t miss a second of the drama: from non-negotiable dogs in bed to Vanessa taking heat for putting her fingers in the pie.
Since 2009, dapperQ has been the go-to digital publication for queer fashion. Under editor-in-chief Anita Dolce Vita, dapperQ has expanded to a powerful brand, producing New York Fashion Week’s queer runway show for eight years and now, releasing a gorgeous coffee table book. Said Dolce Vita of “dapperQ Style: Ungendering Fashion”: “It is filled with style inspiration and powerful words that contribute to our representation, archive a specific time in our history, and advance LGBTQIA+ literature.”
Just in time for Pride, Dykes to Watch Out For was released in audiobook form. Alison Bechdel’s seminal comic book strip about the lives and loves of a sapphic community, which ran in queer newspapers for 25 years, was adapted by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Only Murders in the Building writer Madeleine George, with an all-star cast including Roxane Gay, Carrie Brownstein and Jane Lynch, featuring music by Joan Jett, Faith Soloway and Bitch.
Pandora Events Made Magic with Girls in Wonderland — June 1-5, 2023
A magical weekend took place at the annual Girls in Wonderland event, held at the Grand Orlando Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. Highlights included the opening party Traffic Jam, a trio of pool parties, a comedy show, a black and white masquerade ball, all-night dances, and a queer prom.
Texas Bans Gender-Affirming Care For Trans Youth – June 2, 2023
To kick off Pride Month, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that banned gender-affirming care for trans youth. SB 14 bars trans people under the age of 18 from obtaining trans medical care such as puberty blockers and hormone therapies.
Before the White House’s Pride celebration, the Biden administration announced they have a plan to protect LGBTQ+ Americans. After an onslaught of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, both physically and politically, the White House ensured the community that Biden “has their back” and “will continue to fight for them.”
Elliot Page Publishes Memoir…and Spills Queer Celeb Tea – June 6, 2023
This summer, actor, producer, and director Elliot Page, who came out as trans in 2020, released his highly-anticipated memoir. Pageboy, the Academy Award nominee’s heartfelt chronicle of his gender journey and Hollywood career, rocketed up bestseller lists. Perhaps the juiciest bit of Page’s memoir was his revelation of a passionate secret affair with actress Kate Mara in 2014–with the support of Mara’s then-boyfriend. According to Page, he and Mara are still close.
Los Angeles Unified school board president Jackie Goldberg, a former assemblywoman who married her partner in 2004 in one of the country’s first same-sex ceremonies, spoke directly to anti-LGBTQ+ protesters who were upset about school readings of queer-inclusive books. In the viral six-minute speech, Goldberg said: “[Y]ou don’t have to love me. You don’t have to like me. You can think I’m the devil incarnate. But you better treat me like a decent human being because that’s how I treat you, even though you don’t believe I have the right to exist.”
Kathryn Schulz, staff writer for The New Yorker whose article about seismic risk won a Pulitzer Prize, was selected for a prestigious Lambda Literary Award for her lesbian memoir. Lost & Found: Reflections on Grief, Gratitude and Happiness chronicles Schulz’s journey of falling in love while dealing with the death of her Jewish refugee father. The book grew out of “Losing Streak,” Schulz’s New Yorker piece that appeared in The Best American Essays.
Seattle Storm Retires Number 10 In Honor of Sue Bird – June 11, 2023
Sue Bird’s illustrious two-decade career was honored by the Seattle Storm with a jersey retirement ceremony. Bird gave a 90+ minute thank you speech and was also honored by other speakers, including her fiancé Megan Rapinoe, who said, “Congratulations on, like, arguably the best career anyone has had in the history of any sport. Ever.”
Juneteenth Centered and Celebrated Black Queerness — June 19, 2023
The observance of Juneteenth got started early in Queens with Transcendence: The Juneteenth Takeover, followed by Center The Culture: A Queer Juneteenth Block Party at The Center in Manhattan. Events, parties, and cookouts honored the holiday from Broadway to Brooklyn, culminating in The Juneteenth March in Central Park.
NYC Pride 2023 Blew Our Minds — June 23-25, 2023
We always look forward to June, and few things in queer life are more exciting than celebrating Pride in the greatest city in the world. As usual, the March was the main event this year, but events were happening all month to keep the party going! Among the highlights: The Rally, PrideFest, YouthPride, Bliss Days, and Pride Island—plus TEAZE, featuring four BIPOC-centered queer party experiences.
Since its start over three decades ago, the NYC Dyke March has been a permit-free and sponsorless demonstration of the First Amendment right to protest. This year, there was a lot to protest, particularly the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which occurred 12 months earlier. Under a banner that read, “Not Your Fucking Body, Not Your Fucking Business,” thousands of dyke-identified humans stepped off from Bryant Park and took to the streets.
EVERY BODY – June 30, 2023
Focus Features released this engaging doc, from the director of RBG. It features the journeys of three openly intersex people – from a childhood of secrecy and shame following non-consensual surgery, to becoming empowered adults, advocating against unnecessary procedures intended to fit body parts “boy” or “girl” categories. Some history of medical abuse is hard to watch. But ultimately, Every Body is a colorful celebration of the variations on the space between female and male.
Cheri Pies, Groundbreaking Lesbian Parenthood Author, Dies – July 4, 2023
Professor of public health and author Cheri Pies died of cancer in her Berkeley, CA home. The first of its kind, Pies’s 1985 book Considering Parenthood: A Workbook for Lesbians led to what Newsweek magazine called a “gay-by boom,” and its legacy lives on. Pies’s widow Melinda Liner said, “Cheri and I could be anywhere in the world — on a hike in New Zealand or just walking in the Berkeley Hills — and people would see her and stop to thank her, saying how Ben or Alice or whoever would not be in their life were it not for Cheri.”
Girl Splash Got Us Wet in Provincetown — July 19-22, 2023
Provincetown, Massachusetts—New England’s queer Mecca—hosted its annual summer week for women, Girl Splash. Apart from a designated lesbian beach, events included a live BETTY concert, a comedy show, whale-watching, a white party, a kayaking adventure, and so much more!
The FIFA Women’s World Cup – July 20-August 20, 2023
With over 100 openly queer players, this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup was so gay that it even had its own L-Word-style chart. From Canada’s Quinn breaking trans and non-binary barriers, to mutual exes getting feisty on the field, you couldn’t write how undeniably lesbian the tournament ended up being.
The Gays Love The Barbie Movie – July 23, 2023
Trans Men Enter Pageant To Protest ‘Women From Birth’ Rule – July 25, 2023
Miss Italy’s official patron, Patrizia Mirigliani, said that only “women from birth” would be allowed to enter the 2023 competition. And so trans men took Mirigliani’s statement quite literally, and used it for their cause.
Groundbreaking Musician Sinéad O’Connor Dead at 56 – July 26, 2023
Sinéad O’Connor, groundbreaking Irish singer, died at the age of 56. Her family released a statement saying, “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad.Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Gay Man Killed For Voguing At NY Gas Station – July 29, 2023
O’Shae Sibley, 28, was attacked by a gang of men and stabbed to death for vogueing in the parking lot of a gas station. Sibley was with a group of friends listening to Beyonce’s Renaissance and dancing at a Brooklyn gas station when a group of men approached them. The men reportedly called Sibley and his friends gay slurs and told them to stop dancing. Sibley confronted the group and was then stabbed in the abdomen by one of the men. Sibley was rushed to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Beyoncé Honors Dancer Killed While Voguing to Her Music – July 30, 2023
Beyoncé paid tribute to Sibley by posting “REST IN POWER O’SHAE SIBLEY,” on her official website.
Former ‘Bachelorette’ Gabby Windey Is Dating A Woman – August 2, 2023
Gabby Windey, former Bachelorette, announced that she is in a serious relationship with a woman. On The View, she told the audience that she found “the love I always wanted going on these dating shows.”
Pope Says Gays Are (Kind Of, Sort Of) Welcome – August 6, 2023
Pope Francis told a crowd at the World Youth Catholic Festival in Portugal that the Church had room for “everyone, everyone, everyone.” This prompted the crowd to break out in a chant of “Todos, todos, todos!” (Everyone, everyone, everyone!). However, on the papal plane returning to Rome, one reporter pointed out that women are not allowed to become priests and same-sex couples are not allowed to get married. (Everyone? Everyone? Everyone?)
Sparks flew between Kyle Richards and Morgan Wade in the singer’s music video “Fall in Love With Me.” After dating rumors buzzed about the “housewife” and country singer, the pair committed to “trolling the trolls” in a steamy, sexy, and sapphic way. In the video, Richards dons glitzy attire while lusting over her “new neighbor” Wade. By the song’s chorus, Richards and Wade almost share a kiss but in real life, claim to be nothing more than platonic friends. Whether that’s fact or fiction is up for debate, but the chemistry between Richards and Wade is undeniable.
Becky Hammon Inducted to Basketball Hall of Fame – August 11, 2023
Becky Hammon was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame. She was the first woman in several NBA coaching positions and the first rookie WNBA coach to win the championship. She also led the Las Vegas Aces to become the first repeat champions in the WNBA in 21 years. Big year for Becky!
Two Men Stabbed Outside Of LGBTQ+ Club In London – August 13, 2023
Two men were stabbed outside of a popular London LGBTQ+ nightclub, Two Brewers, in mid-August. Luckily, the two victims, aged in their 20s and 30s, did not receive life-threatening injuries.
Niecy Nash Throws A Bachelorette Party For Robin Roberts – August 16, 2023
Niecy Nash threw the bachelorette blow-out of the century for Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts and her fiancée, Amber Laign.
Literary and Tarot Icon Michelle Tea Founds Dopamine Books – August 18, 2023
Michelle Tea, whose 2022 memoir Knocking Myself Up deftly and hilariously explored queer infertility, pregnancy and parenthood, launched her own publishing house. Dopamine Books is a nonprofit press that publishes queer authors and writing, and fosters community through literary workshops, reading series, and more. Dopamine’s first title, the anthology “Sluts,” will publish in May 2024.
Store Owner Shot Dead Over Pride Flag Outside Her Shop – August 18, 2023
Laura Ann Carleton, the owner of the Mag Pi clothing store in Cedar Glen, CA, was shot and killed by a man who ripped down the Pride flag outside of her shop. The suspect “made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton.” Carelton confronted him, and he shot her multiple times before fleeing the scene. When the San Bernadino police and EMTs arrived, Carleton was pronounced dead on the scene. She was 66.
Sha’Carri Richardson Breaks 100-Meter Record at World Championships – August 21, 2023
Sha’Carri Richardson showed out at the 2023 World Track and Field Championships with her record-breaking debut performance of 10.65 seconds in the 100-meter race. She made headlines in 2021 after testing positive for marijuana, which barred her from the Tokyo Olympics. Now, like she said, she’s not “back”, she’s “better.”
Bottoms – August 25, 2023
The absurd high school comedy you’ve been waiting was released. Bottoms is about two “gay, untalented, and ugly” besties who concoct a fight club (AKA “self-defense” class) to woo their cheerleader crushes. There’s no shortage of bloody noses, and the scheme seems to be working, until… Bring pompoms and a mouthguard!
Bradley Cooper honors the late Leonard Bernstein in Maestro, an emotionally fueled film highlighting the elaborate personal life of the composer. The biopic explores Bernstein’s unique relationship with his wife Felicia Montealegre, played by Carrie Mulligan, as the pair navigate Bernstein’s queerness. Maestro captures how expansive our love for another human being can be. Make sure to have your tissues ready!
Hong Kong To Create Legal Framework For Same-Sex Unions – September 5, 2023
The highest court in Hong Kong ruled that the city’s government must establish a fresh legal framework to acknowledge the rights of same-sex couples.
dapperQ Returned to the Brooklyn Museum with MUSE – September 7, 2023
Digital queer style magazine dapperQ returned to the Brooklyn Museum with Muse, the eighth annual edition of the biggest LGBTQ+ fashion show during New York Fashion Week. The night began with a happy hour hosted by Henrietta Hudson and pop-up shops featuring some of the evening’s designers before the runway showcase. The presentation spotlighted new designs from Hester Sunshine, SUN SUN, DANITHREADS, and many others.
Robin Roberts & Amber Laign Are Officially Married – September 8, 2023
Good Morning America icon Robin Roberts married her partner Amber Laign. The couple have been together since 2005 and finally tied the knot in what Roberts called “an intimate, magical wedding ceremony in our backyard followed by a joyous reception.”
Hall of Famer Billie Jean King was celebrated at the 2023 Legends Ball for the 50th anniversary of her iconic “Battle of the Sexes,” where she beat Bobby Riggs, who claimed he could beat any woman in tennis. Since then, she’s been a beacon of hope in gender and social equity causes.
Olivia Hill Is First Out Trans Person Elected In Nashville – September 14, 2023
Olivia Hill made history by being the first openly trans politician to be elected to Nashville’s Metro Council. According to the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, she was also the first out trans candidate to be elected anywhere in Tennessee.
The Dinah Absolutely Rocked Palm Springs – September 20-24, 2023
The Dinah, billed as the world’s hottest “queer girl / nonbinary event and music festival”—now in its 32nd year—was held in beautiful Palm Springs at the Margaritaville Resort. Attendees enjoyed wild parties all weekend, such as the famous Black and White Ball, The L Word Pool Party, and The Hollywood Party. Headlining performers included Princess Nokia, Doechii, Black Box, Phem, G Flip, and Xana.
Texas Drag Ban Ruled Unconstitutional – September 28, 2023
A federal judge in Texas ruled the ban on “sexually oriented performances” in front of minors under 18, which targeted drag shows, is unconstitutional. US District Judge David Hittner wrote in his ruling that Senate Bill 12 “impermissibly infringes on the First Amendment and chills free speech.”
California Senator Dianne Feinstein, LGBTQ+ Advocate, Dies at 90 – September 29, 2023
Dianne Feinstein, an advocate for women and the LGBTQ+ community and the longest-serving woman in the Senate, passed away at the age of 90. During her time as a United States Senator, Feinstein built an outstanding track record of advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community. She cast her votes against critical pieces of legislation such as the Defense of Marriage Act, the Federal Marriage Amendment, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Simultaneously, she lent her support to pivotal bills like the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Bestselling Author Leah Johnson Opens Store for Banned Books – October 1, 2023
Leah Johnson, whose debut queer YA novel You Should See Me in a Crown was an instant bestseller, officially opened Loudmouth Books in Indianapolis, Indiana. Loudmouth stocks titles for adults and young readers–especially books that have been banned or challenged. Johnson’s vision, according to her 2023 Women We Love profile, “is to be at the forefront of creating lasting community programming that gives LGBTQIA+ people, specifically those of color, safe spaces to read and write and explore issues of identity.”
Governor Gavin Newsom chose Laphonza Butler, a Democratic strategist known for her role in the labor movement, to assume the Senate seat previously held by the late Dianne Feinstein. With this selection, Butler, a lesbian, became the first out person of color to serve in the Senate and the first LGBTQ+ senator from California.
The Pope Is (Kind Of, Sort Of) Open To Blessing Same-Sex Unions – October 2, 2023
Pope Francis suggested that he is open to the idea of blessing same-sex unions. If Catholic priests were to bless same-sex unions, it would reverse the official Vatican position that it does not bless gay couples. (In 2021, The Vatican said that “God cannot bless sin” and therefore it could not support same-sex unions.) Pope Francis challenged that stance in early October by suggesting, in an official letter, “We cannot be judges who only deny, reject, and exclude.” But, just like when the Pope said “gays are welcome,” there’s a catch. He said that the same-sex unions to be blessed would be decided on a case-by-case basis and would not be on the same level as heterosexual weddings.
The topic of trans women in sports was a hot button issue this year. World Aquatics attempted to make an “open category” for trans and intersex swimmers following outcries due to Lia Thomas’s 2022 NCAA win. However, no one signed up for the category, and it was immediately canceled.
Record-Breaking Attendance of 34,130 at Megan Rapinoe’s Retirement Game – October 6, 2023
All around legend Megan Rapinoe celebrated her last regular season home game with her team Reign OL with a record-breaking crowd of 34,130. She ended her career a double World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist, an icon for equal pay in sports, and a fierce advocate for the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.
Joan Baez Opens up about Relationship with Woman in New Documentary – October 6, 2023
Folk musician and Civil Rights activist, Joan Baez, spoke candidly about her “I met a girl” moment in Magnolia Pictures’ new doc, Joan Baez I Am A Noise. Framed around farewell tour footage, Joan reflects on her career, struggles with intimacy and finding “another whole angle on love” with “Kimmie” – a fellow ruffian in boots and cut-offs.
Women’s Week Was Legit Lit – October 9-15, 2023
For the past 30 years, Provincetown has hosted a women’s festival in October like none other. Sponsored by the Women Innkeepers of Provincetown, it’s evolved into a jam-packed schedule of more than 150 different events. Some of this year’s memorable offerings were dances, sailings, a tap room takeover, a racial justice silent protest, wine tastings, comedy shows, live theater, arts and crafts, meditation. and yoga classes.
Ashlyn Harris & Ali Kreiger Are Officially Divorcing – October 12, 2023
US Women’s National Soccer Team star Ashlyn Harris filed for divorce from her wife, Ali Krieger, after nearly four years of marriage and over a decade together.
Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris Begin New Chapters as Dating Rumors Spark – October 17, 2023
Amid the divorce of U.S. Women’s National Team soccer stars Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger, former One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush and Harris began publicly dating. Bush had recently gone through a divorce of her own with ex-husband Grant Hughes. Although there was speculation of infidelity, Harris assured the public on her Instagram, “I did not step outside my marriage. None of this happened on a whim.”
Beyond the Aggressives: 25 Years Later – World Premiere at NewFest – October 18, 2023
In 2005, groundbreaking film The Aggressives showcased 1990’s drag ball culture and the fears and aspirations of six masc-presenting BIPOC – all assigned female at birth. Now, 25 years later, the sequel catches up with Kisha, Chin, Octavio, and Trevon – from gender-affirming care and ICE detention, to relationships and family. Showtime will air this spring.
Diane Nyak’s Biopic Released 10 Years After Her Historic Swim – October 20, 2023
Brutal weather and toxic jellyfish stings thwarted four attempts by Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad to complete the 110-mile Cuba to Florida swim. Netflix’ epic biopic follows (out lesbian) Nyad’s final attempt at age 64. Annette Benning nails Nyad’s fierceness, flaws and determination. Jodi Foster (also out) plays her loyal friend, ex-lover and coach. Come for the swim – stay for Jodie Foster’s legs!!
LGBTQ Activist Amber Hollibaugh Dies At 77 – October 20, 2023
Amber Hollibaugh was an activist, organizer and the author of My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home. She was instrumental in the feminist, LGBTQ, sexual liberation, and economic justice movements. Hollibaugh passed away at 77 years old in her Brooklyn home. The cause of her sudden death was complications of diabetes. She is survived by her life partner, award-winning novelist Jenifer Levin and stepsons Mak Levin and Van De Laurier.
Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause and her partner, Australian musician G-Flip turned heads this Halloween dressed as Troye Sivan and Ross Lynch from the “One of Your Girls” music video. The nonbinary drummer dressed in a slinky black corset to portray Sivan in drag while Stause wore a silicone chest plate and blue jeans emulating Lynch in all his hunkiness. This couple gets more iconic by the day and we can’t wait to see how they surprise us next!
The Center’s Annual Women’s Event Included a Fond Farewell – November 3, 2023
At the Ziegfeld Ballroom, The Center said goodbye to its incomparable Executive Director, Glennda Testone, as she celebrated her final gala with the organization. Hosted by comedian Sam Jay, the program also honored actor, comedian, and jazz singer Lea DeLaria with the Trailblazer Award and bestowed Stacey Friedman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of JPMorgan Chase, with the Corporate Leadership Award.
Danica Roem Makes History As Virginia’s First Trans State Senator – November 7, 2023
Democrat Danica Roem made political history (again!) after winning a seat in the Virginia’s state Senate yesterday. Roem is the first out transgender person elected to Virginia’s upper chamber.
Love Island’s Megan and Kyra Couple Up – November 8, 2023
Love Island USA’s Megan Barton-Hanson found a “genuine connection” at the Fiji villa with UK alum Kyra Green on spin-off Love Island Games. Their sweet and steamy kiss in Episode 5 set the internet aflame.
Ali Kreiger Retires After Winning the Championship – November 11, 2023
Ali Kreiger, in the midst of her very public and messy split with wife Ashlyn Harris, ended her career in the best way possible: by winning it all. Last season, her team Gotham FC finished last place in the NWSL. This year, she lead her team to victory, trading her wedding ring for a championship ring.
You may remember Shannon Beveridge from her Youtube days, her relationship with Cammie Scott, the inspiration for many Fletcher songs, or the ex-partner of Becky Missal (The “Becky’s So Hot” muse.) Beveridge is paving her way as podcaster in her new series, “exes and o’s,” a podcast focused on sex and relationships, with a weekly queer guest.
Queers In Gaza Say “We Are Here” – November 16, 2023
Through the online platform Queering the Map, queer Palestinians tell their first-hand stories, and fight to be remembered.
Janelle Monáe Accepts Soul Train’s Spirit Of Soul Award – November 26, 2023
Janelle Monáe accepted the Soul Train Awards’ highest honor: the Spirit of Soul award. This award was previously titled the Lady of Soul Award and is awarded to female R&B singers who have made an impact on the genre, with previous awardees including Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Jasmine Sullivan, and Beyoncé. Monáe uses they/them pronouns, and the award was renamed the Spirit of Soul when presented to them.
The First Woman To Sit On The US Supreme Court Dies – December 1, 2023
Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the US Supreme Court, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona. She was 93. Justice O’Connor made history when she was appointed to the US Supreme Court, America’s highest court, in 1981.
Anne Hathaway as a Hitchcockian blonde–but gay? Sign us up! The Academy Award-winner costars with Thomasin McKenzie in Eileen, the film adaptation of Otessa Moshfegh’s 2015 novel of the same name, about a parasitic relationship between a 24-year-old secretary and her older, mysterious colleague at the prison where both work. Moshfegh also cowrote the film’s screenplay, which Hathaway described as “Carol meets Reservoir Dogs.” (If you’re looking for more big-screen literary queer rep this season, check out the new The Color Purple film, as well as The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, featuring trans actress Hunter Schafer!)
Billie Eilish Thought It Was Obvious She’s Queer (It Is!) – December 2, 2023
The reason she hadn’t come out publicly before? Eilish doesn’t exactly believe in the concept of coming out. On the red carpet for Variety’s Hitmakers event, Eilish said “I don’t really believe in it. I’m just like, why can’t we just exist? I’ve been doing this for a long time and I just didn’t talk about it. Whoops.”
Cultural Icon & Gay Advocate Sophie Anderson Dies – December 5, 2023
Sophie Anderson, who rose to fame as one half of the Cock Destroyers duo along with Rebecca Moore, passed away at the age of 36. Anderson may have been known first for her overly done lips and boobs and pornographic content, but she and Moore became global icons for their ridiculously endearing personalities and fierce advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community, those with HIV/AIDS, and sex workers.
We Live Here: The Midwest Premieres On Hulu – December 6, 2023
The documentary, We Live Here: The Midwest, premiered on Hulu and transfixed audiences by following a gay couple with an infant daughter in Nebraska, a lesbian couple raising their son in Kansas, a transfemme couple in Minnesota, a gay teacher and his husband in Ohio, and highschool sweethearts in Iowa who have parented their children and strengthened their marriage after one of them came out as a trans woman.
Lizzo Gets Grinchified – December 12, 2023
Lizzo grinchified herself from head to toe in early December– complete with a prosthetic nose. The “Everyone Is Gay” singer showed off her green hair and makeup on Instagram, appropriately captioning the photos “🎄BINCHMAS🎄,” crediting her team for putting the look together: “Ib: @hayden_williams 🎄STYLED/CD: @reginaldreisman @matthewreismanPHOTO: @bonnienichoalds.”
Megan Thee Stallion and Renée Rapp release new Mean Girls song “Not My Fault” – December 15, 2023
For anyone who suspected Regina George to be a lesbian all along, the new Renée Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion track confirmed your suspicions. Rapp stars as Regina George in the 2024 Mean Girls movie musical and it appears she’s dropping hints about Regina’s queerness with the lyrics, “Kiss a blonde, kiss a friend/can a gay girl get an Amen?” Get in loser, we can’t wait for Renée Rapps’s portrayal of the infamous queen bee.
KStew’s New Movie Trailer Has Dropped & So Have Our Jaws – December 19, 2023
Kristen Stewart is back and hotter than ever. She’s starring in A24’s latest film Love Lies Bleeding, a romantic thriller that promises steaming hot WLW action. It’s been described as a “bombastic, larger-than-life sophomore effort” and “an off-the-wall, rambunctious lesbian love story,” and we’re obviously so here for it.
Janelle Monáe Channels The Grinch – December 25, 2023
Janelle Monáe made our Christmas extra special when they debuted a full Grinch costume on Instagram with the caption “Since it’s almost Grinchmas time. A little smelly fact, while trying to get into character to record “haute” I channeled this cunty legend. Listen closely.” Not only did Monáe pay Christmas homage to Mr. Grinch, they channeled his character for one of their songs!
Lawsuit Challenging Alabama’s Trans Care Ban For Minors Will Proceed – December 26, 2023
A federal judge decided against pausing the lawsuit contesting Alabama’s ban on gender-affirming medical treatments for minors, as similar legal cases are moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge Liles Burke turned down a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to delay the Alabama case. The Justice Department wanted to wait until higher courts decide if states can make these kinds of bans because “this exceptional legal landscape is quickly evolving.”
NYC Queers Gear Up For NYE – December 28, 2023
As another queer year approaches, what better way to welcome it than by dancing the night away at NYC’s hottest New Year’s Eve parties? GO Mag put together our top picks for where to ring in 2024 in NYC.