Our Year In Review: The Best Lesbian, Bi, and Queer Moments of 2017

Seattle elected a lesbian as Mayor, “The L Word” reboot got the “green light” and the Aussie’s have embraced marriage equality. These and more are the moments that kept us going through a very tough 2017!

Happy New Year, babes! Though it’s no secret that 2017 has been a harrowing year for our world, our country, and our community, 2017 has also been a year of lesbian political history, queer representation in pop culture, LGBT women dominating award shows, resistance, resilience, and more! To kiss 2017 goodbye and welcome 2018, we want to shine the spotlight on those who rightfully deserve to bask in it: the out women who provided us with the most important, sexiest, funniest, and overall best moments of this year. 

From “The L Word” reboot to marriage equality in Australia to our favorite celesbians getting engaged, we’ve compiled a list of the 50 best lesbian, bisexual, and queer moments of 2017. 

These are the stories that have inspired us to not only survive 2018 but to thrive in 2018.

1. Lilly Tomlin gives empowering speech during the SAG awards (January 21st, 2017)

Lilly Tomlin gave a funny and powerful acceptance speech for her SAG Life Achievement Award. In it, she gave a beautiful shoutout to her partner, “Thank those people on whose shoulders you stand. My partner, writer Jane Wagner, is the woman on whose shoulders I stand the tallest.”

2. Kristen Stewart announces her gayness on “Saturday Night Live” (January 26th, 2017)

“The President is not a huge fan of me, but that is so OK. And Donald, if you didn’t like me then, you’re really probably not going to like me now, because I’m hosting SNL and I’m, like, so gay dude!” Kristen Stewart teased the audience in her epic SNL monologue.

3. French Vogue gets a trans cover girl (February, 2017)

Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio became the first trans woman to grace the cover of the coveted French Vogue. She was featured in their Paris March, 2017 magazine; the issue focused on changing beauty standards, as noted by the cover line “Transgender Beauty: How they’re shaking up the world.”

 4. Ariana Grande features a lesbian couple in her music video for “Everyday” (February 26th, 2017)

“Everyday” by Ariana Grande ft. Future is not only a great pop song, its video has red hot Sapphic action. In this super-sexy and absolutely hilarious music video, a gorgeous lesbian couple is featured feverishly making out in a laundromat. This video is really worth a watch: it’ll both turn you on and make you laugh, plus the song is poppin!

5. Clexacon is the first ever queer women’s media conference (March 3rd-6th, 2017)

Clexacon 2017 was the first ever media and entertainment convention for the female LGBTQ community and its allies. The convention’s name was derived from two popular characters from the CW’s The 100,Clarke and Lexa. When Lexa was killed off of the show unexpectedly, members of the LGBTQ community formed ClexaCon. The first ClexaCon was held at Bally’s Hotel and Casino from March 3–5, 2017, in Las VegasNevada

6. The Lesbian Cherry Grove sketch premiers on “Saturday Night Live” (March 11th, 2017)

Anyone who has been to Fire Island knows how hilariously accurate this skit is.

7. Lane Moore releases her “Be My Rachel Maddow” song (March 20th, 2017)

One of  GO’s 100 “Women We Love”  Lane Moore, fierce singer, songwriter, actor, and comedian released a love song called “Be My Rachel Maddow” as a tribute to the political commentator.

8. Samira Wiley and Lo Morelli get married in Palm Springs (March 24th, 2017)

I do. . . . (Photo cred: @bradwalsh)

A post shared by Samira Wiley (@whododatlikedat) on

 Samira Wiley and Lo Morelli, who met on the set of “Orange Is The New Black” got married in Palm Springs, California on March 24th, 2017. The couple got engaged in 2016 and had a beautiful white wedding, with Wiley donning a gorgeous white gown and Morelli sporting a bejewelled pantsuit. We think Wiley and Morelli are one of the most beautiful couples to ever exist!

9.  “Say Yes To The Dress” features first transgender bride to appear on the show (March 25th, 2017)

Gabrielle Gibson was the first transgender bride to appear on the show “Say Yes To The Dress.” “I just wanted to have an experience, and to show that we as trans people can love, and be loved, in a normal setting, and do things that are not out of the norm,” Gibson said.

10. Ellen Page interviews Janet Mock for OUT Magazine (April, 2017)

In this engaging, vulnerable, and in-depth interview, Ellen and Janet talk coming out, self-actualization, the challenges of being in the media, and how they’ve handled viral moments in the public eye.

11. Sharon Purser of “Stranger Things” comes out as bisexual (April 19th, 2017)

On April 19th, “Stranger Things” and “Riverdale” star Sharon Purser came out as bisexual in a tweet. “It’s something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don’t like talking about it too much. I’m very very new to the LGBT community,” the actress tweeted.

12. Sarah Paulson is named one of Times Most Influential People (April 20th, 2017)

Not surprisingly, Sarah Paulson is named one of Times Most Influential People. Sarah Paulson has taken the world by storm and we couldn’t be more excited for (and in love with) her. Cate Blanchett describes Sarah Paulson: “When someone is as unique and unboxable as Sarah Paulson, it takes time for creative spaces to open up that are large and porous enough to hold the depth and complexity of her talent.”

13. “The Handmaid’s Tale” premiers on Hulu, and it’s extremely queer  (April 26th, 2017)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (based on Margaret Atwood’s bestselling novel) premiered on Hulu on April 26th, frightening 90% of the female population to the core with its eery timing. The most harrowing part of “The Handmaid’s Tale?” The castration of a lesbian lead character whom they refer to as a “gender betrayer.” The light at the end of this dark tunnel? “The Handmaid’s Tale” beautifully portrays our humanity in a time when it’s so desperately needed.

14. Poussey murals pop up in major cities (April 27th, 2017)

In one of the biggest queer television upsets in 2016, Poussey Washington was killed off “Orange Is The New Black.” Before the release of the fifth season of OITNB, Netflix commissioned artists around the world to paint portraits of Samira Wiley’s character. All of the artwork was created by local artists who were fans of the show; they were simply asked to bring their own perspective to the beloved character.

15. Lesbian movie “Below Her Mouth” premiers in the USA (April 28th, 2017)

The very sexy Sapphic Canadian film “Below Her Mouth” (directed and written by lesbians) premiered in the USA on April 28th, starring lesbian model Erika Linder. Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a sexy lesbian film fix, “Below Her Mouth” is currently streaming on Netflix.

16. Dinah Shore 2017! (March 29th, 2017)

Photo by Shea Carmen Swan, Kate Yerves, Natalie Neusch

Despite the political hardships of 2017, the legendary Dinah still managed to thrive, with guests saying this was the strongest Dinah to date!

17. Ellen celebrates 20th year anniversary of her coming out episode (April 30th, 2017) 

 Ellen DeGeneres celebrated the twenty-year anniversary of her famous “coming out” episode on her sitcom “Ellen.”  To celebrate this historic anniversary, DeGeneres brought special guests to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” including Oprah Winfrey who helped DeGeneres process how far she’s come. An emotional DeGeneres kicked off the episode with a simple statement: “I’m Ellen and I’m gay.” Other guests included the original cast of the “Ellen” sitcom, including Laura Dern who didn’t work for a year simply because she appeared in the episode. Michelle Obama also made an appearance congratulating Ellen via video.

We still have a long way to go as far as queer acceptance in Hollywood, but damn. We’ve come pretty far.

18. Halsey and Lauren Jauregui perform “Strangers” on “Today” (June 9th, 2017)

Bisexual mega-babe singers Halsey and Lauren Jauregui sang their song “Strangers” on “The Today Show.” Do yourself a a favor and WATCH this– thy both sound and look absolutely perfect. The song uses female pronouns:

She doesn’t kiss me on the mouth anymore
‘Cause it’s more intimate, than she thinks we should get
She doesn’t look me in the eyes anymore
Too scared of what she’ll see, somebody holding me

With lesbian relationships so underrepresented in pop music, this song is quite revolutionary.

19. QPOC led show “Brown Girls” gets an HBO deal (June 6th, 2017)

Queer-themed Chicago based TV series “Brown Girls” won the attention of HBO and creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey signed a development deal. We hope that this show will be released in 2018 because TV desperately needs more QTPOC representation.

20. NYC Pride March! (June 25th, 2017)

Photo by Shea Carmen Swan

New York City didn’t let hate win in 2017, with NYC Pride being one of the most alive, well-attended, and vibrant Pride events ever.

21. Kate Mckinnon graces the cover of Elle  (July, 2017) 

In July 2017, out lesbian comedian Kate Mckinnon graced the cover of Elle for their annual “Women In Comedy” issue. We are all about lesbian women being recognized by mainstream media outlets, as it proves to baby dykes around the world, that they too, are worthy of mainstream media success.

22. “The L Word” reboot is announced! (July 11th, 2017)

Photo by Showtime

On July 11th, 2017 the universe finally bestowed us lezzies with some brilliant news.  The Hollywood Reporter stated that Showtime is in the development stages of an L Word reboot. Based on the original series, “The L Word” sequel series would feature several of the main characters we know and love including stars Jennifer Beals (Bette), Kate Moennig (Shane), and Leisha Hailey (Alice). And BONUS: along with revered series creator Ilene Chaiken, Jennifer, Kate and Leisha will be serving as executive producers!

23. Queer ladies dominate the Emmy nominations (July 13th, 2017) 

Out lesbian, Samira Wiley was nominated for the first time for her riveting performance in the disturbingly brilliant Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s  “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Long time lez and my favorite actress to ever exist, Ms. Lilly Tomlin was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Gracie and Frankie.”

The fun doesn’t end there, either, kittens: Evan Rachel Wood, scored a nod for her performance in the series “Westworld” and the hilarious force of queer girl nature Kate McKinnon was up for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “SNL”.

Laverne Cox and Shannon Purser (of “Stranger Things”) were both up for Best Guest Actress in a Drama. Jane Lynch scored recognition for Best Actress in a Short Form for “Drop The Soap.” Director Jamie Babbit (of queer cult classics “But I’m A Cheerleader” and “The Itty Bitty Titty Committee”) was nominated for Outstanding Director. Ellen Freaking Page’s show “Gaycation” was up for Best Unstructured Reality Series. Wanda Sykes was up for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the show “Black-ish”. And writer Lena Waithe received a coveted writing nomination for an episode of “Master of None.”

25. Tello Films becomes the first lesbian network to get an Emmy nomination for “Secs and Execs”! (July 21st, 2017)

26. Lesbian couple Ellen Page and Emma Portner dance in a powerful viral video (Aug 5, 2017)

27. Invite-only lesbian party “Ellis” is deemed “The Soho House For Lesbians” by Vanity Fair (August 5th, 2017)

ELLIS PARTY BUS 2017Photo by Courtesy of Meghan Dziuma

Jane Goldstein, Blaire Preiss, Kelsey Hunter, and Sage Fuchs, the mastermind’s behind “Ellis,” an invite-only lesbian party in New York, took their party to Southampton for the chicest lesbian event of the year! It was so chic that it scored a Vanity Fair write-up…in which it was deemed “The Soho House For Lesbians.”

28. Documentary “Whitney: Can I Be Me” reveals Whitney Houston’s reported longtime love affair with Robyn Crawford (August 18th, 2017)

Showtime released an epic documentary about Whitney Houston’s life, revealing her intense relationship with longtime lover Robyn Crawford. In “Whitney: Can I Be Me” her friends and family confirmed what had long been speculated: that Houston died of a broken heart from not being able to live as her true and authentic self.

29. Katie Sowers becomes first LGBTQ coach in NFL history (August 22nd, 2017)

In August, Katie Sowers became just the second woman hired by an NFL team as a full-time coach. The offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers came out publicly as a lesbian in a report by Outsports, making her the first openly LGBT coach in league history.

“No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are,” Sowers told Outsports.

“With Katie’s announcement, athletes around the league and throughout sport will have a better understanding of how their words and actions impact those around them, only furthering the effort to make sport inclusive and accessible for everyone – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Hudson Taylor, the executive director of Athlete Ally, said in a statement. “While we’ve seen a growing number of athletes come out over the past 5 years, we’ve failed to see that progress on the coaching front, which makes coach Sowers’ decision especially heartening. We’re hopeful that her announcement will open the door for other coaches to follow in her footsteps.”

30. Pink’s VMA Speech makes us all weep tears of joy  (August 27th, 2017)

After Pink received the prestigious Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs on August 27th, 2017 she made one of the most empowering speeches of the year. After telling a story about her daughter telling her she felt “ugly” Pink went on to say,

“I went home and I made a Powerpoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rockstars and artists that live their truth, are probably made fun of every day of their life, and carry on, wave their flag and inspire the rest of us. And these are artists like Michael Jackson and David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and Annie Lennox and Prince and Janis Joplin and George Michael, Elton John, so many artists — her eyes glazed over. But then I said, ‘You know, I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself.’ And she said, ‘Well I look like a boy,’ and I said, ‘Well what do you think I look like?’ And she said, ‘Well you’re beautiful.’ And I was like, ‘Well, thanks. But when people make fun of me, that’s what they use. They say I look like a boy or I’m too masculine or I have too many opinions, my body is too strong.’

And I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?’ She said, ‘No, mama.’ I said, ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, Mama.’ ‘OK! So, baby girl. We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.'”

31. “Heathers” TV Trailer is released on YouTube and has lots of queer characters! (August 29th, 2017)

“Heathers” is being remade as a TV series– a super queer TV series. Heather McNamara (Jasmine Mathews) is a lesbian and Heath Duke (Brendan Scannell) is gender-queer. This modern-day remake of the well-known film will premiere in 2018.

32. Lauren Jauregui powerfully responds to homophobia (September, 2017)

Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui is an outspoken bisexual woman and proud of it. After her public coming out letter addressed to the newly elected Donald Trump in 2016, Jauregui continued to tackle homophobia this year. After making public headlines when kissing her then-girlfriend in public, she responded to critics saying, “but it’s like, why does it make you feel gross? You can watch a kid get bombed and not do anything about it, but you can’t watch me kiss my girlfriend?”

33. Sara Paulson’s lesbian character on “American Horror Story: Cult” is amazing and authentic (September 5th, 2017)

This moment was pivotal for lesbian character portrayal as Paulson is a lesbian herself. The more often LGBTQ actors are playing queer and trans roles, the better– it provides authentic representation.

34. Demi Lovato is rumored to be dating lesbian DJ Kittens and lesbian twitter goes crazy  (September 11th, 2017) 

Photo by shutterstock

GO reported on September 11th 2017: “So here goes: According to the tweet addicts at Twitter, Demi Lovato was seen clutching hands with a gorgeous brunette on an innocent trip to innocent little Disneyland. So who is the luscious mystery babe Lovato was spotted cozying up to? Oh, just one of our favorite lesbian DJs ever, Lauren “KITTENS” Abedini. We’ve only been crushing on her for years (by “we” I mean me). She’s like a real life Carmen, only better.”

That was the last we heard of the celesbian rumor, and Lovato never *officially* came out, so who knows? Maybe they were just hyper-affectionate “besties” or maybe they embarked on a passionate love affair? We will never know, babes. We will never know.

35. Hillary Clinton speaks at iconic lesbian activist, Edie Windsor’s memorial (September 15th, 2017)

This year, we all were devastated over the loss of iconic lesbian activist Edie Windsor. She was a powerhouse of a woman who fought for the rights of all LGBTQ people throughout her life. Hillary Clinton spoke on Windsor’s incredible life at her memorial in September. “That she experienced loss, grief and injustice made her only more generous, more open-hearted and more fearless in her fight,” Clinton said, “She refused to give up on the promise of America. There wasn’t a cynical, defeatist bone in her body.”

36. Lena Waithe wins Emmy and makes a wildly empowering, iconic speech! (September 17th, 2017)

Photo by istock

“The things that make us different, those are our superpowers,” Waithe said in her Emmy’s acceptance speech. Waithe is the first woman to ever win in the category of Best Comedy Writing for the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Masters Of None.” She displayed an empowering example of what Black queer love looks like.

37. “Battle Of The Sexes” is released after much anticipation (September 22nd, 2017)

Lesbians of all ages were overjoyed when September 22nd came around. Why? “Battle Of The Sexes” was finally released, the film that is loosely based on the famous 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Robert Larimore Riggs. The film starred Emma Stone (playing King) winning her a golden globe nomination for what many say is the “best role of her career.”

38. LGBTQ Survivors Say #MeToo (October 2017)

Members of the queer community, including Ellen Page and Portia de Rossi, bravely joined the #MeToo conversation. Our own GO writer Dayna Troisi tackled the issue of staying silent so no one would question her queerness in this essay.

39. “Madam Secretary” featuring Sara Ramirez Premieres (October 8th, 2017)

The series “Madam Secretary” came out in October, and we haven’t stopped obsessing over Sara Ramirez’s queer AF character since. Here’s to more butch representation in media for 2018!

40. Mothership partners with the Tegan And Sara Foundation (October 13th-15th, 2017)

Laura Wise, founder of MOTHERSHIPPhoto by Shelly Simon

“Lending our visibility, power, and privilege and redistributing back into the community. On the musical side we get to interact with fans and now on a festival side it gets to go further than just a Tegan and Sara concert!” Tegan Quin told GO after her talk at the womxn’s festival Mothership this past October. Mothership is a magical space where queer, trans, and feminist womxn are able to gather in community and hold space for one another.

41. Haylie Kiyoko’s super lesbian music video “Feelings” is released on YouTube (October 19th, 2017) 

On October 19th, our favorite queer pop singer released the music video for her song “Feelings” in which she embarks on a cute little flirtation with a mystery brunette. We think it’s the cutest, sweetest, queerest video of the year!

42. The Women’s Event At The Center raises money for LGBTQ women’s programming (November 4th, 2017)

Photo by Shea Carmen Swan

The Center’s Annual “Women’s Event”  took place at Capitale in lower Manhattan on November 4th, 2017.  The event raised funds that directly benefit women’s services and programming at the LGBTQ Center in New York.

Over the course of the evening, guests were served three voluptuous courses of food as they listened to some stellar speeches by the event’s honorees: the Corporate Impact Award presented to Bernadette Harrigan,  AVP & Counsel, MassMutual Financial Group; the Community Impact Award presented to Lisa A. Linsky, Esq. Partner at McDermott, Will & Emery; Visionary Award presented to Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City; Trailblazer Award, presented to Sara Ramirez,  Tony Award®-winning Actress and Activist.

43. Danica Roem becomes the first trans woman to be seated in a U.S. Statehouse (November 7th, 2017)

Virginia’s Danica Roem was elected as state legislator, making her the first trans woman to be elected to this seat. She beat out Virginia’s most socially conservative lawmaker who was against trans-inclusive bathroom bills. “We must focus on the issues that unite us,” she declared in her acceptance speech.

44. Jenny Durkan is Seattle’s first lesbian mayor (November 7th, 2017)

Jenny Durkan became Seattle’s mayor November 7th, the first woman since the 1920s to fill the role and the first lesbian to become mayor of Seattle ever. Jenny Durkan’s campaign centered around addressing homelessness in Seattle, creating more affordable housing, working for a city income tax, criminal justice reform, environmental issues, and taking on Trump.

45. Andrea Jenkins is a member of Minneapolis City Council, the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the U.S. (November 7th, 2017)

Andrea Jenkins is a black transgender woman poet , writer, performance artist, activist, and was elected as a member of Minneapolis City Council this past election cycle. Her campaign focused around police reform, affordable housing, and raising the minimum wage.

46. Australia votes “yes” for marriage equality (November 15th, 2017)

On December 7, 61 percent of the country voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia. “They voted ‘yes’ for fairness, they voted ‘yes’ for commitment, they voted ‘yes’ for love. And now it is up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. Love will always prevail.

 46. Demi Lovato brings Danica Roem to the American Music Awards (November 19th, 2017)

Demi Lovato walked the 2017 American Music Awards red carpet with her date, Danica Roem, the nation’s first openly transgender state legislator. The two looked absolutely gorgeous, both dressed in black. “We connected because I heard her story. I was just completely inspired by that,” Lovato told E! on Live from the Red Carpet. “My story with ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ is about bullying, and I wanted to have her in the audience with me tonight because I feel like we’ve been through some of the same things and now we get to share this experience together.”

47. Showtime Finally Chose A Showrunner For “The L Word” Reboot! (And She Sounds Awesome)

On November 21st, GO Executive Editor/L Word Superfan, Zara Barrie reported that “The L Word” had chosen a new showrunner. “So you can imagine that my fragile heart was extremely pleased to find out via Variety that “The L Word” reboot has actually gone ahead and chosen a showrunner,  Marja-Lewis Ryan! And she seems extremely cool, which is vital, as a showrunner oversees the entire creative direction of a series, and has full authority over the writing staff,” Zara wrote in this article. 

48.  Rutina Wesley comes out as she announces her engagement on Instagram (November 21st, 2017)

*heart eyes*Photo by @rutina_wesley on Instagram

“True Blood” Star Rutina Wesley came out through a discreet engagement Instagram post. The series of photos began with a quote, followed by photos of the happy couple, and ended of a picture of a diamond ring on Wesley’s finger. More famous queers!

49. Lena Waithe reveals she proposed to her fiancée on Thanksgiving Day (December 15th, 2017)

Emmy Winner Lena Waithe joined Dave Holmes and Matt McConkey on their podcast “Homophilia” on December 15, when she dropped some pretty big celesbian news: She proposed to her beautiful fiancée, Vimeo’s Head of Original Programming Alana Mayo, on Thanksgiving whilst in Tokyo.

Power couple alert!

 50. GO plans an amazing editorial calendar for 2018!

The GO editorial team is excited to bring GO readers everywhere diversified, engaging and informative content in 2018!

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