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Not-quite-so-terrible-things that happened in 2016

It wasn’t all that bad… right?

Florence Oulds

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 15:59:50 GMT | Updated today

It's hard to talk about the good things that happened this year without thinking about all of the completely awful things, but it's worth remembering that there have been some great moments for the LGBT community worldwide, and so it's not all doom and gloom.  


The Olympics Were Super Gay


"Sports lesbian" tropes aside, this year's Olympic Games in Rio were one to watch for LGBT brilliance, and possibly the cutest moment of the games was when Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo was proposed to by her girlfriend Marjorie Enya, a volunteer manager at the games. 


Isadora and Marjorie's proposal was the first of the games, but they weren't the only lesbian couple in the limelight, with Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh making history for the British Women's Hockey team as the first same sex married couple to play for the same team and win a Gold medal.


Despite the horrors of Nico Hines' coverage of the games, outing potentially-closeted athletes by using apps like Grindr in the Olympic village, it was great to see so many LGBT athletes proudly and openly representing their countries, as well as receiving overwhelmingly positive coverage from mainstream news sources. 


Malta Banned Conversion Therapy


This is quite a recent one, but a major breakthrough in LGBT rights was the Maltese Parliament's unanimous decision to ban conversion therapy, which they describe as any attempt to "change, repress or eliminate a person's sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression". This practice still occurs in the US, and was advocated by Vice President Elect Mike Pence, but hopefully Malta's banning of the harmful procedure will soon become standard across the world. 


If you want any more proof that things aren't all bad for us everywhere, the Guardian published an article earlier this year highlighting 6 countries making a stand for LGBT rights, including Jamaica and Mozambique, all of which are truly wonderful examples of worldwide progress. 


San Juniperno Restored Our Faith In TV


By this point, we are all far too familiar with the tired "Bury Your Gays" trope, and when I first heard there was an episode of the new series of Black Mirror that involved a relationship between women, I was worried that this was exactly the narrative that was going to play out.  Instead, we were treated to a wonderful, complex love story, which examined mortality and artificial afterlives, while not being afraid to have a serious bisexual character or a happy ending. 


The episode was a gold standard for media about women who love women, and it almost makes up for Netflix's dismal gay and lesbian section-there's only so many times one can watch Tig. 


On that note, comedian Tig Notaro and her wife Stephanie Allynne did have twins this year! The couple met on the set of the movie In A World, and have a bubbling on-screen romance in Tig's show One Mississippi, which presents a semi-fictionalised version of her life around the time of her mother's death, the show never making "a fuss" of her relationship with other women.


The Wonderful Ruby Tandoh Took On "Clean Eating" Culture


Back in May, GBBO-finalist Ruby Tandoh wrote a cracking article exposing the contradictions and dangers of the recent "clean eating" fad, finding that expensive detoxes and gluten free diets for non-celiacs weren't so "healthy" after all. In fact, Ruby found that there is scientific evidence to suggest that enjoying the food you eat actually increases your nutritional uptake. 


A few months later, Ruby released her second cookbook Flavour, packed full of wonderful recipes that focus on the joy of eating and enjoying food, rather than reducing our favourites to "lighter" options or raw alternatives. 


Flavour makes an excellent last minute gift for any foodie friend, or even a perfect treat for yourself if you want to feel better about the onslaught of Christmas dinner, or need something seriously delicious to cook this festive season-like Harry Styles' Dutch Baby


Victory at Standing Rock 


On December 4, just as things looked like they were reaching fever pitch, the United States Army Corps. of Engineers announced that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline would not be continuing along its current route through Lake Oahe


The DAPL was protested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who worried that the pipeline would eventually burst and contaminate their water supply. The Standing Rock Sioux were joined by many other tribes and protestors, who set up camp in order to block construction, which the US Army and Police went so far as to block supplies and medical aid to in order totry and deter protestors from keeping their position at the site.


The "victory" is not outright, and the Corps. of Engineers have suggested an environmental impact survey and consideration of alternate routes, rather than outright saying they will not build the pipeline through Lake Oahe, but it is a start. 


While this is not explicitly "LGBT" news, the success of the #NoDAPL resistance in postponing the build does feel like a welcome win in a year of political frustration. 


Indeed, while many of us are still upset from the results of the US presidential election, the voting period did produce some positivity, with Kate Brown becoming the first openly bisexual person to be elected as a US governor.


The Year's Nearly Over, So You Can Watch Carol On Repeat Without Scrutiny


I know you've been watching it all year anyway, but now you don't have to hide it; the holiday season is upon us, or "Carolmas", as I like to call it. 


Put your feet up, slyly lose your leather gloves in a toy shop where you shared lingering glances with an elfin beauty, and settle down with everyone's new favourite lesbian Christmas film. 


Also, if this festive romance wasn't already gay enough, in an interview with Steve Carrell, the gorgeous Rooney Mara admitted that her relationship with Cate Blanchett on-screen was so magnetic because it was " mirroring real life". 


You're welcome. 




What will you remember from 2016? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. 


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