Twenty-eighteen was a year full of ups and downs for many, but one thing for certain was that the LGBTQ+ community had made a lot of strides, which prompted the internet to dub the term “20gayteen.”
At the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, America had two openly gay Olympians competing; Adam Rippon competing in ice skating and Gus Kenworthy competing in freestyle skiing.
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 9, 2018
Rippon was the first openly gay American Olympian to win a medal in the Winter Olympics, recieving a bronze medal from his free skate routine.
The first openly gay Winter Olympian to win a gold medal was Canadian Eric Radford from his pairs free skate performance. There was a record number of 14 openly LGBT athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics, which is double how many were in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Kenworthy placed 12th in men’s slopestyle for freestyle skiing, but he is still proud of himself for being openly out at the Olympics for the first time.
In early February the reboot of the early 2000’s show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premiered on Netflix and took the world by storm.
The new fab five consisted of Tan France as the fashion expert, Antoni Porowski as the food and wine expert, Karamo Brown as the culture and lifestyle guru, Bobby Berk as the design expert, and the ever-fierce Jonathan Van Ness as the grooming expert.
The first season and second seasons brought tears to everyone’s eyes with heartwarming transformations and connections.
Moments in Queer Eye
Antoni: I had to find myself after I came out
Bobby: I prayed every day when I was a kid to not be gay
Karamo: being black & gay in America is difficult
Tan: u don’t always have to be loud & proud, b urself
Jonathan: POMADE BITCH!
— Mattison (Matty) Merritt (@24merrittgold) February 24, 2018
Helping people in Georgia seemed to come naturally to these five men who grew to be like each other’s family after only filming two seasons. The third season doesn’t have a release date yet, but fans are expecting it to come out in the early months of 2019.
Shortly after the Winter Olympics and the premiere of Queer Eye, the heartwarming tale of a teenager coming out was released in theaters.
Love, Simon, based on a book by Becky Albertalli, is about a gay teenager striking up an email relationship with another closeted gay kid at school. The only exception is that they don’t know each other’s identities.
This movie was a huge stride for the LGBTQ+ community because it was one of the first movies with a queer couple that didn’t include a toxic romance, harmful age gap or bullies-to-lovers plot line.
Nick Robinson, who plays closeted Simon Spier, said in an interview with Ellen that his brother came out to him around the same time that filming for Love, Simon began. Which Robinson claims is the best thing to have come out of this movie.
Love, Simon wasn’t the only outstanding LGBT movie of the year. Boy Erased premiered in November and is based on true events. This film follows a pastor’s son as he is pressured into attending a conversion therapy program while his parents struggle to accept their son and his sexuality.
This heart-wrenching movie was nominated for 10 awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and a Critic’s Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Openly gay artist Troye Sivan has not only starred in Boy Erased, but also came out with his second studio album Bloom.
— troye (@troyesivan) May 20, 2018
Bloom was nominated for three ARIA Music Awards and was well received among pop fans.
Another openly queer artist that released an album was “Lesbian Jesus” herself, Hayley Kiyoko.
Kiyoko was originally known for starring in the Disney Channel original movie Lemonade Mouth, but as of recently, she has made a name for herself as a solo artist. Her song “Curious,” which came out in January 2018, was a lesbian anthem for many and the music video has over 17 million views.
Kiyoko’s debut album, Expectations, was released in March and the LGBTQ+ community went wild for it.
Kiyoko’s loyal fans had dubbed her “Lesbian Jesus” and she even performed with Taylor Swift during her Reputation tour. Kehlani, an artist that came out as queer in 2018, sang a song with Kiyoko called What I Need.
Outside of the US, India decriminalized homosexuality, which is still a criminal offense in 72 countries.
In January, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that same-sex marriage should be recognized. This ruling applies to 23 Latin American countries. Costa Rica legalized gay marriage to follow this ruling, but there are still a few countries that need to change their laws.
Bermuda, which had originally legalized gay marriage then abolished it, had finally overturned the abolishment. This overturn came after the Supreme Court ruled abolishing it to be unconstitutional.
Josie Totah, a young actress, came out as transgender in a TIME article in late August. Since the article, Totah has started her transition and spoke out about how she was always thought of as a gay boy, but always felt like she was more than what Hollywood defined her as.
Josie was even honored by the Human Rights Campaign on the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day.
Nikita Dragun, a transgender youtube star, also made headlines in 2018 when she disagreed with Victoria’s Secret saying they don’t want to use any transgender models because they can’t sell the “fantasy.”
dear Victoria’s Secret,
you said trans women can’t sell the “fantasy” so here i am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY! ?? pic.twitter.com/rKQHp7SLNq
— Mama Dragun (@NikitaDragun) December 5, 2018
Dragun put on her own set of wings and made a video to show that transgender women can do anything that cisgender women can.
Even though 20gayteen is over, there are still a lot of strides that the LGBTQ+ community will be able to make in the upcoming years. Twitter is calling this year 20biteen, in hopes to crush stigmas and normalize bisexuality. Only time will tell what the future holds for progress.