Twelve hours and counting! We’ve almost made it folks. As we inch toward a new year, and away from what has arguably been the most challenging year of so many of our lives, we reflect on the accomplishments and milestones of 2020 to be acknowledged and even celebrated.
Lesbian and queer women slayed in 2020 in the realms of social justice, music, film, sports, and more and helped provide hope for more change and achievement in the coming year. Here are 100 lesbian, bi, queer, and just plain human moments that had extra special meaning for our entire community.
‘The Circle’ Introduces Us To Some Iconic Queer Women — January 1, 2020
On January 1st, two major things happened: 2020 started and “The Circle” dropped its first episode on Netflix. When “The Circle,” now a well-loved game show airing around the world, first premiered, no one quite knew what to make of it. But as the show went on, America fell head over heels for the cast — including Sammie and Mercedeze (aka Karyn), two queer ladies who weren’t afraid to be themselves.
New Hampshire Adds Third Gender Option To Driver’s Licenses —January 2, 2020
New Hampshire residents gained access to a third gender marker option for driver’s licenses after the state legislature’s 2019 decision went into effect this January. According to the Movement Advancement Project, 40% of LGBTQ+ Americans now live in states where they can designate “X,” “male,” or “female” gender markers on IDs.
‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Is Renewed For Season Two — January 13, 2020
Last year ended on an incredibly gay note with the premiere of “The L Word: Generation Q,” the revival of the iconic lesbian TV show. And thankfully, that lesbian luck carried over into the new year when it was announced in January that the new show would be renewed for season two! Only six of the first season’s seven episodes had aired when the renewal was announced — absolutely iconic.
Katie Sowers Becomes The First Out Lesbian Coach In NFL History — January 20, 2020
The 49er’s Katie Sowers became the first woman and openly gay coach in Super Bowl history. Sowers is the team’s offensive assistant and was working alongside the other coaches to secure a Super Bowl victory for the 49ers. Despite losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, Sowers paved a path for future queer women coaches in the NFL.
Raveena Releases Nostalgic Queer Love Song ‘Headaches’ — January 30, 2020
In January, Raveena released “Headaches,” a dreamy pop-song so heartwarming it could have melted all the ice from your dashboard. This was a time when we still thought that making out in malls and playing footsie while eating indoors like in the video would be possible. It has a completely different resonance now than it did eleven months ago but it’s soothed many headaches (and heartaches) since.
Equipment & Rob Smith Release Genderfluid Collection – February 6, 2020
The Phluid Project founder Rob Smith teamed up with Collected Group’s James Smith to design a genderfluid line for the luxury brand Equipment, which is known for their exquisitely designed silk shirts and pants with an androgynous bend. The collection launch featured LGBTQ+ models, actresses, and influencers including Eric Rutherford, Cory Wade, Joslyn DeFreece, and Vidal Francisco during their fashion week event at the Soho store.
First Legal Gay Wedding In Northern Ireland — February 10, 2020
Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards celebrated their fifth anniversary by making history: they became the first gay couple to legally wed in Northern Ireland! Three weeks later, Edwards-Peoples posted this beautiful image, calling the wedding “100% the best day of my life.” Northern Ireland followed England, Scotland, and Wales in marriage equality, which is now legal across the entire United Kingdom.
Court Rules In Favor Of Gender Affirming Surgery Access For Prisoners — February 10, 2020
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Adree Edmo, a transgender woman seeking gender confirmation surgery while incarcerated in Idaho. Edmo is only the second person in the country to have received gender confirmation surgery while incarcerated; the first was Shiloh Heavenly Quine in California in 2017.
The Wide Release Of ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ — February 14, 2020
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” hit most screens around the country in February of this year. It also made an uncountable number of queer women bawl their eyes out. The film, which follows a royal woman and the female artist hired to paint her, was so real, so emotional, and so heartbreaking that it became an instant classic. The film — which was actually directed by a lesbian and featured her ex (I mean, come on, guys) — connected with so many people this year, and I have a feeling it will be considered an iconic lesbian movie.
Dana’s (Shane’s bar) Comes To Life — February 16, 2020
It all started with a genius idea from a group of LA-based “The L Word” enthusiasts. Compensating for the non-existence of lesbian bars in their city, they brought Shane’s “Generation Q” bar Dana’s to life. The group hosted lit parties in Semi-Tropic, a sleek bar in Echo Park where some of the show was shot. When March came and we all got “Quaran-Tina”ed (their term not ours), they swiftly shifted to cozy Generation Quarantine watch parties and lesbian movie nights.
Push For Change In Thailand — February 23, 2020
LGBTQ+ activists have taken center stage in Thailand’s growing democracy movement, which began in February. Protests, which have been ongoing throughout the year, have called for greater reforms, including marriage equality, from the country’s monarchy. Although the Thai government did approve legislation recognizing same-sex unions in July, the legislation does not afford equal protections to same-sex couples and has yet to go into effect.
Last Dyke Party In London Before Lockdown — February 28, 2020
It was February, one person was wearing a facemask, and people in the bathroom were singing “Happy Birthday” to time their thorough hand washing. There was uncertainty and a little bit of irony in the air; no one knew the gravity of what was to come. And so, we partied like free women in a wild, sweaty, liberating night of hypnotic techno and house rhythms. Little did we know, it was our last opportunity in who knows how long to burn that bright together on a dance floor.
Mask Up & Queer Out — March 1, 2020
Small, independent, queer-owned brands like A/C Space, Stuzo Clothing, and Kirrin Finch — who have all regularly presented the Dapper Q’s annual fashion show — have been producing masks to sell off their e-commerce sites. In an effort to support the frontline workers, genderless streetwear brand A/C Space donated well over 100 masks to hospitals throughout the US and at Columbia Presbyterian while also donating money to organizations like G.L.I.T.S and The Alley Forney Center during Pride month.
Colette Morales and Rachel Engel wanted to do something to show gratitude for and help the medical workers currently on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. To do so, they launched Beauty, PPE, and Essential Care For The Ones That Are There on Facebook at the end of March in an effort to solicit donations. By early May, the two had raised $17,000 in cash donations to purchase protective medical supplies. They also received a large amount of beauty and wellness products from large companies, small businesses, and individuals.
Major Events Continue, But Online — Spring 2020
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in-person events were postponed or canceled — from concerts to weekly meetings. In a world where community is so important — especially for the LGBTQ+ community — having an empty schedule and canceling all events seemed impractical. But thanks to the internet, events like Global Pride, speed dating meet-ups, and even graduations were pushed online to ensure that community could still be had in a pandemic — just virtually.
7 p.m. Became The Official Clapping Time For Our Carers — March-April 2020
This year, we saw medical professionals stepping up to the front lines to help keep the rest of the country safe from the coronavirus. Many of us felt like we wanted to help but didn’t know how — which is how the 7 p.m. clap came to be. For a full minute each night at 7 p.m., New Yorkers flocked to their windows, balconies, or front doors to yell, clap, and bang pots and pans in honor of our medical workers.
Queer Style Goes Virtual By Way of TikTok — April 1, 2020
So what do you do when you find yourself overbooked and overwhelmed by virtual meetings and FaceTime friend dates, followed by a deep, endless doom scroll? Forget the social media cleanse — just tap, scroll, and escape into queer/lesbian TikTok! The social media platform proved to be the ultimate feel-good escape this year and full of great examples of setting the bar high for queer style including influencers like @thestreetsensei, @drhandsome, @madisonpaige, @thisblis, and more.
8 Queer Doctors & Nurses Fighting On The Frontlines Of Covid-19 — April 1, 2020
The pandemic hit America hard, and at the very front of the Covid-19 crisis from the beginning — and even still — are our doctors and nurses fighting to help the infected stay alive and the un-infected stay that way. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers have been putting themselves on the line despite equipment shortages and the high-risk of contracting Covid. It feels truly impossible to ever repay these medical professionals for their work, but what we can do is say thank you.
NYC Hearts Cubbyhole — April 6, 2020
The tiny West Village queer bar of all our dreams has been powering through this year with our community’s support. After asking us to help build the bridge to get them over the troubled waters of this year, they doubled their target! Thanks to all of you beautiful Cubbyhoes, they were able to keep the liquor flowing by serving outdoors. And we’re not talking any old liquor — think delectable strawberry daiquiris, pineapple margaritas, and in the winter, apple cider, Irish coffees, and spiked hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Trust Cubby to always do the most to warm the cockles of your heart!
Although it started out as a modest mission — to raise $50 for 50 Black trans and queer people — Indya Moore managed to raise over $20,000 to help support queer persons during the Covid-19 crisis. Moore announced on social media that the proceeds will go to in-need Black trans women — “the last of us all to receive help and resources,” she wrote — and also toward Asian, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, as well as people with disabilities.
Journaling Becomes Us In ‘Queerantine’ — April 14, 2020
The online archive ‘Dear Queerantine’ was founded by video journalist Meghan McDonough and data analyst Wa Sappakijjannon as a place for queer persons to share their quarantine stories. The crowdsourced stories, sent in from LGBTQ+ folks from all over the world, are archived and available online and in the “Dear Queerantine” newsletter.
This year, Free Mom Hugs, a group of moms who give out free hugs to LGBTQ+ youth, faced a hard situation: How do you give out hugs in the middle of a pandemic? To fight that, the group switched their operation completely online. Their new mission became “Beyond the Hug,” which saw Free Mom Hugs holding virtual events for LGBTQ+ youth and helping parents understand the community.
Netflix Makes Us Cry Rainbow Tears With ‘A Secret Love’ — April 29, 2020
Netflix has been blessing us with tons of LGBTQ+ content over the past year, but one particular release really got us. “A Secret Love,” which followed two life-long partners through the history of their relationship, captivated audiences and gave many of us hope in a lasting lesbian love. The couple, who was together for more than 70 years, recount a history that includes having to keep their relationship secret for 60 of those years. Jason Blum, one of the documentary’s executive producers, told Time that “The love story between Terry and Pat is an inspiration and example to us all especially during this time where we are all looking to be uplifted.”
Singer Arca Unveils A Flaming Robot Venus In ‘Non-binary’ — April 30, 2020
In “Non-binary,” Arca captured all of 2020’s chaotic energy. She portrayed herself as Venus reborn with roses tied to her legs, surrounded by metal arms and flames. “Who do you think I am?” she asks. “It’s not ‘who do you think you’re dealing with’, no / Cuz you’re not ‘dealing with’ / There’s no deal.” This was a year where many of us wanted extra protection, and Arca gave us a surreal model.
The Kickflip Goes Queer — May 1, 2020
In the midst of stay at home orders, we were lucky to see the release of “Betty,” an HBO series that showcases a group of queer girl skaters in New York. We couldn’t be at the skate parks, but we could bear witness to queer girls skating at a high level and taking on a hetero- and male-dominated skate scene. The series offered the perfect amount of drama and showcased actual skaters like Rachael Vinberg and Nina Moran.
Sir Babygirl Makes Out And All Of Us Score — May 4, 2020
As quarantine loneliness really set in, Sir Babygirl released the video for “Cheerleader.” It’s an homage to teen movies past, except this time, the squad and jocks look like you. As the whole locker room breaks into make-outs, Kelsie Houge’s voice swells and fills the scene with triumphant pop music. It was much needed in a year with little joy and almost no touching in public.
Cara Delevingne And Ashley Benson Break Up — May 6, 2020
Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson were somewhat of a celesbian power couple. In particular, the couple caused quite a stir after being spotted carrying a sex swing into their home last spring. Delevingne was the first to publicly confirm their relationship in June of 2019. But in April, the couple called it quits after almost two years together; the news was made public in May.
Zara Barrie’s ‘Girl, Stop Passing Out In Your Make-Up’ Drops — May 19, 2020
Zara Barrie, who previously served as GO’s Executive Editor and as an esteemed staff writer, debuted her memoir earlier this year. A prolific writer with a million stories to tell (not to mention the internet’s “lesbian big sister”), Barrie’s book is packed with tales, advice, and knowledge that anyone who wants to own their shit and slay their lives should read immediately.
Wonderlust (Virtual) Women’s Dance Party — May 24, 2020
As tumbleweed rolled across dance floors the world over in 2020, Zoom and live streams stepped in to save the night. Wonderlust was a 4-hour feast of lockdown liberation as DJs streamed uplifting house sets from poolsides around the world (think Cape Town, Ibiza, Bangkok, and London). We sipped homemade cocktails, danced in our sweatpants, and were left dreaming of wild nights and (fingers crossed) pool parties to come in 2021.
GO spoke with Katie, a nurse practitioner working in a Long Island Hospital, to understand just what medical professionals are going through on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the early days, says Katie, they expected the spread to be similar to that of the flu — something hospitals could most definitely handle. But as ICUs started filling up in March while more patients flocked in, it became clear the spread was much worse than expected. All in all, even now, the situation is fairly unknown. “As healthcare professionals, we didn’t know how to save them, which is not something we’re used to encountering,” Katie says.
Costa Rica Approves Same-Sex Marriage — May 26, 2020
In May, Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to legalize same-sex marriage. The legalization followed the landmark opinion in 2017 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which interpreted Costa Rican law to award same-sex couples the same rights given to straight ones. Same-sex marriage continued to be a wedge issue in the country for the next three years before the legislation went into effect.
Lesbian Brides Are First Same-Sex Couple To Wed In Costa Rica — May 26, 2020
Just after midnight on the date Costa Rica passed same-sex marriage rights — becoming the first Latin American country to do so — Dunia Araya and Alexandra Quiros said “I do” on live TV. Though the officiant wore a face mask and guests were limited, queer love shone bright!
Black Lives Matter Protests Across The Country — May 26, 2020
Black Lives Matter protests took to the streets this spring, following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Tayler at the hands of police. Protests continued throughout the summer and fall, with protesters calling for racial justice, police reform, and the need to address systemic racism.
Hannah Hart Postpones Dream Wedding — May 28, 2020
In a lovely essay for Brides.com, YouTube star Hannah Hart revealed why she and partner Ella Mielniczenko chose to postpone their ceremony. “We want to throw a big, fabulous, loving queer wedding for all those who never got the chance to have theirs,” Hart said. “And we are willing to wait for as long as it takes.”
Velma Is Officially A Lesbian — June 2020
Although many of us in the LGBTQ+ community have suspected for a long time that Velma from “Scooby-Doo” was a lesbian, we were finally given the satisfaction of not one but two confirmations this year. First, producer of “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” — an iteration of the series that ran from 2003 to 2015 — Tony Cervone posted a Pride graphic featuring Velma and fellow character Marcie, driving home the point in the comments. Then, James Gunn, who wrote the screenplay for the 2002 live-action “Scooby-Doo” also confirmed Velma’s sexuality on Twitter — even noting that he tried to make her and Daphne a thing in the film.
Our Weddings Boost The Economy, Y’all! — June 2, 2020
According to a new study from UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy, gay weddings have revolutionized the economy. Since 2015, queer ceremonies have added $3.8 billion to state and local economies and supported 45,000 jobs.
Munroe Bergdorf Challenges L’Oreal Paris — June 2, 2020
Munroe Bergdorf spoke out against L’Oreal Paris after the beauty brand posted its support for Black Lives Matter on social media. Bergdorf, who’d been hired as the brand’s first transgender model in 2017, had been let go soon after for her own post regarding systemic racism after protests in Charlottesville, VA. Bergdorf called out what she saw as the brand’s hypocrisy, writing “You dropped me from a campaign in 2017 and threw me to the wolves for speaking out about racism and white supremacy.”
Black Lives Matter Becomes Largest Protest Movement In Country’s History — June 6, 2020
One June 6, The New York Times reported half a million people took part in Black Lives Matter protests in 550 places across the country, making the movement the largest ever in the United States. The mass protest movement resulted in change to laws and police practices around the country, including the banning of chokeholds in multiple states, the repealing of a law in New York that kept police records confidential, and the announcement from Minneapolis — where protests began after George Floyd was killed by police — that the city would dismantle its police force.
Department Of Health And Human Services Rolls Back Transgender Protections In ACA — June 12, 2020
In June, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized measures on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which would remove protections for transgender individuals. 22 states and the District of Columbia sued the administration over the rollback, which was twice blocked from going into effect by decisions in the federal courts.
Victory At The Supreme Court — June 15, 2020
In June, the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case Bostock v. Clayton County that federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. Six justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump-appointed Neil Gorsuch, sided in the majority opinion, ruling that Title IX protections cover persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
‘PANTS’ Debuts, Making Our Gay Audio Dreams Come True — June 17, 2020
Two of the most iconic celesbians of all-time (aka “The L Word” alum) Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig teamed up this year to answer our prayers for more real lesbian content. The two started a podcast in June of this year called “PANTS,” which is literally just the two actresses talking to each other about everything and anything — sometimes by themselves and sometimes with guests. “PANTS” reportedly comes from a nickname for Hailey and Moennig given by Mia Kirschner that alludes to them being an inseparable pair.
A Summer Wedding For Raven-Symoné — June 18, 2020
Actress Raven-Symoné announced on Instagram that she and girlfriend Miranda Maday were married in a small, outdoor ceremony. The couple posted photos of their nuptials on Instagram, with Raven-Symoné sharing this message: “I got married to a woman who understands me from trigger to joy, from breakfast to midnight snack, from stage to home.”
Sitting Out For Racial Justice — June 24, 2020
Natasha Cloud, a queer WNBA player and starter for the 2019 championship-winning Washington Mystics, chose to sit out of the 2020 WNBA season so that she could be more involved in the Black Lives Matter protests. Cloud called upon other athletes to get involved and helped organize an anti-racist protest in Washington, D.C. following George Floyd’s murder.
Jari Jones x Calvin Klein — June 26, 2020
Black trans activist and influencer Jari Jones graced a massive billboard overlooking Houston in Manhattan as the face of Calvin Klein’s #proudinmycalvins Pride campaign — owning it with a bold red lip, purple eyeshadow, and statement headband with the brand’s iconic sports bra and brief. In her own words: “I present this image, myself and all that my body stands for to my community and chosen family, in hope that they see themselves more clearly than ever and further realize that they are worthy of celebration , of compassion, of love and gratitude.”
Becca Mancari Sings About Hard Times In Happy Tones — June 26, 2020
In a radical departure from her earlier work, Becca Mancari‘s album “The Greatest Part” takes us back to her home in rural Pennsylvania and explores connecting with the childhood self, “finding a way out,” and forgiving our parents. Since this year didn’t need any harder emotions, all the conflict and anxiety are layered under blissful shoe-gaze pop. We danced as we worked through the hard stuff.
Global Dyke Day — June 27, 2020
In lieu of IRL Dyke Marches (and their raucous after-parties), this year, a group of activists gathered dykes and dyke marches from the world over. The 24-hour online dykathon delivered a powerful combination of community activism and hedonism with film screenings, talks, poetry, and pulse-raising DJ sets. It’s definitely one to watch for next year — whether we’re locked-down or not!
There were a number of events postponed due to the pandemic, and for a brief moment, Pride was one of them. But then, after over 100 global Pride celebrations were postponed or canceled, organizers decided to find creative ways to keep the season alive. In response, organizations from around the world created “Global Pride,” a virtual event full of live-streamed musical performances, speeches, and key messages from activists that allowed us all to participate in Pride no matter where we were from.
Global Pride Lifts Up Black Lives Matter Movement — June 27, 2020
With this year’s Pride coinciding with Black Lives Matter protests across the country, and with the Covid-19 lockdown, traditional in-person celebrations were replaced with virtual events that emphasized the continuing fight for racial justice. The first-ever Global Pride, a virtual, worldwide event organized by hundreds of LGBTQ+ organizations, centered Black Lives Matter and the need to address systemic inequalities.
Gabon Legalizes Consensual Same-Sex Relationships — June 29, 2020
Gabon joined the ranks of Lesotho, Botswana, and Angola by becoming one of only a handful of African countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex relationships. The country’s Senate voted to repeal a 2019 law that had criminalized homosexuality a week after the same proposal passed through the lower houses.
Girl In Red Becomes a Meme — Summer 2020
One thing that famously predates Covid-19 is lesbians being bad at flirting. That’s why it was so helpful when at some point this summer, “Does she listen to Girl In Red?” entered our lexicon. If the answer is yes, then good news, you two can pod up for the holidays and spend it listening to her new Christmas song “Two Queens in a King Sized Bed.”
Javicia Leslie Becomes The New Batwoman — July 8, 2020
After Ruby Rose, who was playing the titular character in The CW’s “Batwoman,” resigned from her role on the show, viewers were left wondering how the show would go on. Luckily, fans of the series found out that not only would the show go on but also that Kate Kane wouldn’t be replaced. Instead, Javicia Leslie was announced as the new Batwoman — a former drug runner named Ryan Wilder.
Ireland’s Nationwide Pride Inside — July 11-19, 2020
Over the last few decades, Ireland has rapidly transformed from a conservative Catholic country to a place where abortion and same-sex marriage were legalized by popular vote. Pride is therefore a fresh and significant event all over the country. This July, they hosted a very special virtual Pride Inside for the nation and its sizeable diaspora. Multiple smaller-scale Prides — Black Pride Ireland, Galway Pride, and Limerick Pride amongst others — banded together to create a big queer bonanza. It was meaningful and delightful in equal measure, with hilarious drag shows, watch parties (think “Queer Eye” and “A Secret Love”), fascinating talks (being non-binary, queerness in rural Ireland, sexual health), and dizzying DJ sets.
The “Betty Conspiracy” — July 24, 2020
While Taylor Swift has never explicitly come out — in fact she’s said the opposite — that did not stop Twitter from turning her song “Betty” into a full-blown conspiracy theory — the idea being that the “Folklore” song comes not from the persona of a teenage boy named James but from Swift herself. She was named after James Taylor, after all. Swift has gone on to confirm that the song is a straight ballad, but if believing otherwise makes the year easier, that’s fine — we get it.
All Out For Breonna Taylor — July 25, 2020
The WNBA takes the cake once again for their outspoken activism rooted in the diverse identities of players in the league. The 2020 WNBA season was dedicated to Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT and Black woman from Louisville, Kentucky who was murdered in her house by police in March 2020. From being the first professional sports league to establish a formal Pride Campaign in 2014 to fundraising for victims of the 2016 shooting at the Orlando Pulse nightclub, the league has always proved committed to defending Black Queer lives.
Polish Stonewall — August 7, 2020
Protesters took to the streets in cities across Poland following the inauguration of conservative president Andrzej Duda and the detainment of LGBTQ+ activist Malgorzata Szutowicz. The protests, which have been dubbed the “Polish Stonewall,” were part of the intensifying social conflict between LGBTQ+ activists and the ruling conservative party, which has declared homosexuality a dangerous “ideology.”
Megan Thee Stallion Says “I’m A Free Agent On The Ladies Side” — August 7th, 2020
“I’m looking for a new girlfriend if anybody trying to be a hot girl,” she said on Instagram Live. “I like little petite things with tattoos, that’s my type. I like Spanish girls with big old asses, petite Black girls, and thick Spanish girls.” If that sounds like you, shoot your shot and show off your body.
Love From Inside The Wubble — August 7, 2020
The WNBA was moved into a bubble to continue the season as safely as possible, but players were allowed to bring family into the bubble if they followed specific Covid restrictions. Thus, there were a number of queer wubble couples to stan. Couples posted TikToks, went live on Instagram, and were committed to giving us the queer sports content we all needed this year.
Harris Names Karine Jean-Pierre Her New Chief Of Staff — August 12, 2020
A day after being named Biden’s running mate, Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris announced that Karine Jean-Pierre would be her chief of staff. Jean-Pierre, an out lesbian and political campaign veteran, became the first Black person to serve as a Vice Presidential hopeful’s chief of staff. “I felt like this is my job as a mom to step in,” Jean-Pierre said in an interview with Hollywood Life. “I’m a Black woman, I’m a gay woman, and I’m an immigrant. And Donald Trump, he is someone who hates everything I am.”
First Same-Sex Wedding In A Hallmark Movie — August 15, 2020
I never thought we’d see the day, but it came! The Hallmark Channel wrapped up summer by featuring a lesbian couple tying the knot in its original movie “Wedding Every Weekend.” Hallmark’s recent “The Christmas House” also features a gay married couple (Brad Harder and Jonathan Bennett of “Mean Girls” fame) who set out to adopt a baby.
Further Success In The Courts — August 17, 2020; August 27, 2020; September 30, 2020
Following the Bostock ruling in June, LGBTQ+ plaintiffs emerged victorious in the lower and state courts. Judges in Virginia and Minnesota ruled in favor of transgender students using locker rooms and bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity while an Idaho judge issued a temporary injunction against the state enacting the anti-transgender bill HB 500.
Queer Artist Zhala Releases ‘Holes’ — Aug 28, 2020
Zhala’s “Holes” is a reworked version of a “pornem” — that is, a porn-poem — from Swedish performer Amanda Apetrea and an ode to holes and hiding places of all kinds. Zhala sings over a mysterious buzzing, “Canyon, I’m your wind” and “Your holes are the filthiest holes / And I lose myself inside.”
‘The Biggest, Queerest Wedding Of The Year’ — August 29, 2020
Were you in the Zoom room where it happened? Laughter and tears were heard ‘round the world on August 29th when Mechanic Shop Femme founder Chaya Milchtein wed her partner of four years, Jodyann Morgan. Without their parents’ support or a big in-person celebration, the couple opened up their nuptials to anyone with a screen, resulting in over 10,000 queers whooping it up. Mazel tov!
Mint’s Rooftop Brunch — August 30, 2020
The face masks were on when the UK Government released London from lockdown this summer. Mint — the longest-running lesbian party in Britain — held an open-air brunch at Century, a Members’ Club in Soho. The DJs served feel-good beats as queer women sat in a bar of their peers for the first time in months. Yes, there was a whole lot of Covid-secure eye-banging happening across brunch tables.
Niecy Nash Comes Out By Marrying Jessica Betts — August 31, 2020
“Mrs. Carol Denise Betts” changed everything. In late August, actress and TV host Niecy Nash posted a shot of her marriage to musician Jessica Betts to her Instagram. Nash now has a standing brunch invitation from us all.
Flamingo Lesbian Bar — September 2, 2020
On Greece’s island of Lesvos, the dreamy lesbian beach bar Flamingo decided to open for a few months in the summer (obviously in accordance with the country’s loosened lockdown restrictions). During the day, salty-skinned lesbians dried six feet apart in the scorching sun, drinking margaritas and pondering how lucky they were to be there. At night, DJ decks were set up outside and the socially distanced dance parties commenced. Every beat, every smile (hidden behind a facemask), and every shape thrown (from a chair) felt sacred — moments of joy snatched from the jaws of 2020.
Indya Moore Graces Vogue Digital Cover — October 1, 2020
Emmy-nominated breakout star Indya Moore graced the cover of Vogue India’s October edition decked out in Balmain styled by Anna Trevellyan and Priyanka Kapadia and photographed by Greg Swales. In the issue, they open up about their personal life and relate it to their on-screen character, Angel, from the Emmy-winning show “Pose.” Moore went on to poetically reflect on activism and the importance of compassion: “I acted very quickly because of the urgency around the safety and care my community needed. I felt called upon to take that on. But I feel like I am in a place where I am still also learning for myself, and I think that space is very important. For me to have grace is to be seen as a human being that gets to be flawed, gets to be misunderstood, and hopefully, still deserves love.”
Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 2 — October 2, 2020
The Savage x Fenty presentation released October 2nd on Amazon Prime wasn’t just a show but a milestone for raising the historically low bar of inclusivity in lingerie. It also served as a fanciful F*** YOU to the now-defunct Victoria’s Secret fashion show. With a size-inclusive ethos, its lineup included LGBTQ+ models, influencers, and opinion leaders like queer femme makeup artist Raisa Flowers, model/actress Cara Delevingne, model Jazzelle Zanaughtti, rapper CHIKA, and a performance by Willow. Once again, Rihanna pushed us one step closer to the revolution we’ve been waiting for.
Softee “Keeps On” — October 2, 2020
Before the pandemic broke out, Softee, aka Nina Grollman, was performing on Broadway. Locked off from the stage, she began recording “Keep On” at home. For every feeling of this year — from swoony longing to total whiplash — there’s a Sapphic song on this album. “Keep On” brought the gay bar back home.
Pope Approves Same-Sex Unions — October 21, 2020
Pope Francis gave his personal endorsement to same-sex unions in the feature-length documentary, “Francesco,” becoming the first pontiff to do so. His remarks were praised by Catholic LGBTQ+ persons and challenged by more orthodox members of the church, who argued that his statement was not in keeping with official church policy.
Fortune Feimster Weds Jacquelyn Smith On The Beach — October 23, 2020
Frank, funny stand-up Feimster and her fiancee teacher Jacquelyn Smith, have been engaged since 2018 but didn’t want to wait any longer for marriage. With only a few pals in attendance, the pair said their vows in Malibu. In true lesbian fashion, their rescue dog Biggie served as ring bearer.
Megan Rapinoe Gets Engaged To Sue Bird — October 30, 2020
Hot AF soccer star and Women’s US National Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe can’t stop, won’t stop. WNBA player and basketball icon Sue Bird posted this gorgeous image on her Instagram to break the news of their engagement. The two could become the first known married same-sex couple to compete at the Olympics. Go team!
Riding The Rainbow Wave — November 3, 2020
1,006 LGBTQ+ candidates ran for political office in 2020 according to a report by the Victory Fund. The “Rainbow Wave” shattered the lavender ceiling in both red and blue states, with historic firsts at both state and federal levels. Among those victories: Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones will become the first openly LGBTQ+ Black men in Congress while Sarah McBride, who won in Delaware’s 1st district, is now the first openly transgender person to be elected into a state senate.
Back To The Courts — November 4, 2020
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case involving a religious foster service whose contract with the city was terminated after it failed to adopt to same-sex couples. A decision from the court will determine whether or not religious organizations will be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.
Lesbian Couple Marries In Hungary — November 6, 2020
After the country’s parliament passed legislations in May forbidding transgender persons from legally changing their gender, it opened the way for Tamara Csillag — a trans woman stuck with male documents -—to marry her fiancee, Elvira Angyal -—a trans woman who had completed her legal transition and was identified as female. The couple married in a small ceremony in November.
‘A New York Christmas Wedding’ Premieres On Netflix — November 6, 2020
“Happiest Season” dominated the lesbian holiday movie hype, but “A New York Christmas Wedding” may be the next classic. This flick boasts a fab guardian angel; a gorgeous Afro-Latina heroine; and the sweetest, queerest Christmas Eve nuptials you’ve ever seen on-screen.
Joe Biden Wins Presidential Election — November 7, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden was elected President of the United States. Among his promises to the LGBTQ+ community were his vows to sign the Equality Act within the first 100 days of his presidency and end Trump’s transgender military ban. As president-elect, he has named multiple LGBTQ+ persons to his cabinet.
Go Kamala! — November 7, 2020
For the first time in our country’s history, a woman is going to the White House — and not as the First Lady. Senator and Biden running mate Kamala Harris became the country’s first woman elected to the office of Vice President. Harris, who started the 2020 campaign season as a candidate for president, was announced as Biden’s running mate in August. She will also become the first Black person and the first person of Asian heritage to hold the office of Vice President.
Goodbye, Trump — November 7, 2020
After four years of fake news, divisive rhetoric, and rage tweeting, President Trump lost his bid for re-election to Democratic nominee Joe Biden by a margin of over 7 million votes. While Trump supporters around the country protested the results, Biden supporters took to the streets to celebrate. Outside the White House, celebrants serenaded the soon-to-be-ex-President with “Y.M.C.A,” which had become Trump’s anthem at rallies.
Munroe Bergdorf On GQ’s 15th Anniversary Issue — November 9, 2020
British GQ dedicated its 15th-anniversary issue to Black trans lives, with model and activist Munroe Bergdorf designing the cover. The issue included illustrious figures in the community such as Devin-Norelle, Jari Jones, Tracey Africa, and Raquel Willis.
European Union Launches First Equality Strategy — November 12, 2020
In November, the European Union launched the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy — the first of its kind in the EU — to combat growing anti-LGBTQ+ policies in Eastern Europe, most notably in Hungary and Poland. “Everyone should feel free to be who they are — without fear or persecution,” said Vera Jourova, the Vice-President for Values and Transparency in a statement released by the Commission. “This is what Europe is about and this is what we stand for.”
Caster Semenya’s Human Rights Appeal — November 17, 2020
Caster Semenya, an incredible queer middle-distance runner from South Africa, has continued her fight for eligibility in the World Athletic’s 800-meter race. Her participation has been called into question by the International Association for Athletic Federations (IAAF) because her testosterone levels are said to be “too high” to compete as a woman in women’s track events. Semenya brought her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights and continues to lead the fight against problematic efforts by the IAAF to question her gender identity and eligibility to compete.
Rachel Maddow Shares Her Covid Ordeal — November 19, 2020
Rachel Maddow revealed that her partner, Susan Mikula, had been diagnosed with a near-fatal case of Covid-19. Maddow made the emotional announcement during her first show back after a two-week hiatus, during which she was quarantined at home with Mikula. “I would have done anything,” Maddow said during the broadcast. “I would have moved mountains for it to be me who was sick these past couple weeks instead of Susan.” Maddow herself had tested negative for the virus.
Lesbian Bar Project — November 22, 2020
This truly iconic Sunday evening saw GO’s Managing Editor Dayna Troisi in conversation with dyke royalty Lea DeLaria, Roxane Gay, and Rosie O’Donnell. Things kicked off with a tantalizing DJ set, followed by an inspiring and insightful chat with lesbian bar owners across the country. There are 15 lesbian bars left in the US (63,000 bars in total); the Lesbian Bar Project drew funds and attention to the plight of our vital community spaces.
Queer Women Sweep The Grammy Nominations For Best Rock Performance — November 24, 2020
People love to complain that “rock is dead,” but this year’s Grammy nominations further prove that it’s fully alive — and being run by queer women. This year, queer women made up a majority of the nominees including Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Grace Potter, and Adrianne Lenker (in Big Thief).
‘Happiest Season’ Finally, Finally Drops — November 25, 2020
We’ve been following Clea DuVall’s “Happiest Season” since 2018, when GO reported that Kristen Stewart would star in the film. Then, at the beginning of 2019, we learned that Mackenzie Davis would be playing Stewart’s love interest. But after that news, it was radio silence — that was, until September of this year, when we were blessed with first-look stills, followed by a trailer, and then, ultimately, the actual film’s release on Netflix. Its premiere blessed us with a film that caused some controversy in the LGBTQ+ community (but what film doesn’t?) but also gave us some massive, based-on-real-experience representation.
Queer Women Are Everywhere — November 28, 2020
Sarah Fuller, Vanderbilt’s queer star kicker from Wylie, Texas, became the first woman to play in a Power 5 College Football game. When questioned about her ability, Vanderbilt’s coach made it clear that Fuller was simply the best option if the team wanted to win football games. Fuller gained the team’s respect and is changing the game for the better.
Dalston Superstore’s Fundraiser — November 28, 2020
In “ordinary times,” East London’s riotous big queer pleasure palace, Dalston Superstore, hosts some of the most salacious dyke parties in the UK. Their virtual fundraiser bash, Super Glory Hole, drew all the lewks, excess, and ecstasy you’d expect from this iconic place.
Biden Promises To Diversify His White House Team — November 29, 2020
Karine Jean-Pierre and Pili Tobar, both lesbians of color, were named as the latest additions to President-elect Joe Biden’s all-female communications staff. Jean-Pierre, who’d previously worked in the Obama administration and as Kamala Harris’ chief of staff during the transition, will become Principal Deputy Press Secretary. Tobar, who’d previously worked for the Latino Victory Project and America’s Voice, will step into the position of White House Deputy Communications Director.
Bowling While Trans — November 30, 2020
Christine Rebstock, a 53-year-old bowler from Meriden, Connecticut, came out as a trans woman this last November. “I couldn’t fight ‘her’ being inside me all the time,” Rebstock explained. “I had to let ‘her’ out.” Rebstock is a member of four Bowling Halls of Fame in the area, and she has competed in the Bowling U.S. Open and the USBC Masters, two of the sport’s major competitions. She bowled for the first time as an out trans woman in the 28th Annual Thanksgiving 9-Draw in Waterbury, Connecticut.
NYC Loses A Number Of Iconic Venues To The Coronavirus — Winter 2020
The pandemic caused a lot of losses, including a number of iconic NYC venues that were forced to shutter. A number of gay bars closed down, like Bedlam NYC and 9th Ave Saloon, but other businesses faced hardships as well. Iconic restaurants like China Chalet and gathering spots like the Jazz Standard all were hit hard by the pandemic and forced to close their doors for good — NYC will miss them all.
Shooting Pucks, Increasing Salaries — December 1, 2020
Anya Packer is a queer professional hockey player and the Executive Director of the National Women’s Hockey League Players Association. She was listed on the 2020 Forbes “30 under 30” this year because of her labor organizing efforts that earned higher compensation for women’s sports players. The deal she helped negotiate won a near 30% increase to women hockey player salaries.
Elliot Page Announces He’s Transgender — December 1, 2020
At the beginning of December, Elliot Page — known for “Juno,” “Inception,” and Netflix’s “Umbrella Academy” — came out as transgender with a post across various social media channels. “I feel lucky to be writing this,” Page wrote. “To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.” They expressed that they now use he/they pronouns and asked for patience as they came into their new self in public.
Scent Beauty & The Phluid Project’s Scent Elixir Collection — December 1, 2020
The gender-inclusive clothing store (think Barneys New York, but make it queer AF) The Phluid Project recently partnered with Scent Beauty to launch a line of 5 unisex fragrances with the mission of “redefining beauty and scent, and to create fragrance which does not suffer the constraints of gender.” All perfumes are available to shop on Scent Beauty and Sephora.
Play Out Apparel Launches Genderless Athleisure Collection — December 10, 2020
For those of us (me included) planning on living that yoga pant life accessorized by a bottle of Sauvy B and a 3-month-long global deep dive into the trashiest reality TV shows, you’re in luck. The genderless underwear brand with styles for men, women, non-binary, trans, and GNC people launched their first athleisure collection. The line is composed of 9 mix-and-match separates with sizes up to 5X and features everything from sweatpants and leggings to holsters.
‘Ife,’ LGBTQ+ Short From Nigeria, Is Released — December 10, 2020
“Ife”, a romantic-comedy short centered around two Nigerian women who meet and fall in love, was released for streaming on Linktree. Since the release of the film’s trailer in July, producer Pamela Adie and director Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim had been in a tense stand-off with Nigerian regulators over the film’s LGBTQ+-related content. The Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board claimed that the film violates the country’s strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
Rosie O’Donnell Will Guest Star On Season 2 Of ‘The L Word: Generation Q’ — December 10, 2020
The Wrap reports that O’Donnell will play Carrie, “a brash and kind-hearted public defender who is thrust into Bette’s life and quickly gets under her skin.” She’ll be joined by Donald Faisson (“Clueless,” “Scrubs”) and Griffin Dunne (“I Love Dick”) who will appear as guest stars.
Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Begins — December 14, 2020
Nearly a year after the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, resulting in the first global pandemic since 1918, Moderna and Pfizer both announced that they had each produced a vaccine that is over 94% effective. The first vaccinations began in the United Kingdom and the United States in December, with the planned rollout continuing into the spring and summer of 2021.
Hungarian Parliament Passes Anti-LGBTQ+ Adoption Bill — December 15, 2020
The Hungarian parliament approved legislation that effectively bans LGBTQ+ persons from adopting children. The legislation permits adoption for married couples only or single persons who are granted exemptions. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has also proposed a constitutional amendment that would require children to be raised by families exhibiting traditional gender roles.
Switzerland passed a historic law that finally legalizes same-sex marriage, making Switzerland the 29th country in the world to extend that freedom. The new freedom comes after the Swiss National Council approved a same-sex marriage bill. And while the law focuses on marriage equality, it also extends protections allowing lesbian couples to use sperm banks for the first time in the country’s history.
Elliot Page, who recently came out publicly as transgender at the beginning of the month, posted on Instagram for the first time since the announcement. Page, known for roles in “Juno,” “Whip It,” and “The Umbrella Academy,” has been absent from social media since posting his coming out. In their most recent post, he thanked his fans for being by his side during the public transition and for their support. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” the Instagram caption reads. “Your love and support has 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.”