With all of our year end lists, there haven’t been very many lists referring to us – the homos. Thankfully, E! Online has us covered and created a Top 10 Gay Rights Moments of 2011 list. However, try as they might to pull this list together, I feel like they offered a few great moments and a few that make no sense what-so-ever. While we may have had a trying year alongside a year of triumph, I feel like they have missed some key moments in 2011.
Inside the list are a few coming outs that include Zachary Quinto, Sean Maher and Amber Heard. And of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without adding the biggest success of 2011 for the gays, the legalization of gay marriage in New York. There may be some surprises on the list and I cannot wait to hear your opinions on them. Check out the full list below.
Wright made headlines when she became the first country singer to come out of the closet as gay in her 2010 memoir, Like Me. Not longer after, she met the woman of her dreams, gay civil rights activist Lauren Blitzer. They wore traditional white gowns when they got hitched in August in Connecticut, where same-sex marriage is legal. Could kids be next? Both have said they’d like to start a family.
Maher has not only been with his partner, Paul, for nine years but they also have two children together. But the public didn’t really know that until he landed a gig on the short-lived Playboy Club. That’s when he took giant and admirable leap out of the closet in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Heard also did some coming out—sorta. She told Playboy magazine in August she was in a relationship with a woman but, “When it comes to love I am totally open. I don’t want to be put into a category, as in ‘I’m this’ or ‘I’m that.’”
The weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries weren’t the only televised nuptials that took place this year. In November, Team CoCo headed to New York City to shoot O’Brien’s TBS show. They marked the occasion by toasting New York’s passage of gay marriage with O’Brien not only officiating, but also televising the wedding of the show’s costume designer Scott Cronick and his partner, David Gorshein.
The 30 Rock funny man came under fire after spewing a homophobic rant against gay men during a stand-up gig in Tennessee. But bravo to him for turning things around. He not only returned to the Volunteer State to apologize, he worked closely with GLAAD and met with several people at the Ali Forney Center, a New York City organization for homeless LGBT youth.
Is there anyone in the entertainment industry who has done more to shine a light on gay rights than Mother Monster? Along with her ongoing crusade to stop bullying, she pulled out of a lucrative deal with Target because she didn’t agree with the company’s corporate policies on political donations and how they impact the gay community.
The former Heroes star didn’t come out on a magazine cover, but simply talked about being a gay man in an interview with New York mag about his indie hit Margin Call. He later explained on his website that he finally decided to come out after the suicide of gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer. “[I]t became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it—is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality,” Quinto wrote.
Just days after the hit-making movie maker was blasted for using the f-word during a Tower Heist Q&A in Hollywood, Ratner resigned from producing the Academy Awards. In an open letter to Hollywood, he apologized for his bigotry and explained he didn’t want the controversy to cloud Hollywood’s biggest night of the year. The next day, his handpicked host Eddie Murphy bowed out, too.
Hosting veteran Billy Crystal stepped into save the day, as did producer Brian Grazer.
Editor’s Note: Not quite sure WHY this is a “Gay Rights Moment” and why it’s #4 on the list. If anyone has some insight on this, please inform me. On to #3.
Hollywood was ecstatic over the passage of same-sex unions in the Empire State. Twitter blew up with tweets of celebration from folks like Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Martin, Lady Gaga, Lance Bass, Alec Baldwin, Darren Criss and Kathy Griffin, among others. But it was Neil Patrick Harris and E!’s own David Burtka who marked the milestone by announcing their engagement. “David and I did propose to each other, but over five years ago!” Harris tweeted. “We’ve been wearing engagement rings for ages, waiting for an available date.”
The Glee star stepped out of her Sue Sylvester tracksuits and slipped into some gorgeous gowns to take charge of the television industry’s biggest night. And she garnered probably her biggest laughs when she introduced the stars of a certain HBO series. “A lot people are very curious as to why I’m a lesbian,” she said. “Ladies and gentleman, the cast of Entourage!”
From an award-winning documentary about his transition from female to male to his quest for the mirror ball trophy, there’s more to Bono than just being Sonny and Cher’s son. His weekly waltzes, tangos and foxtrots became a major force in the fight for LGBT equality—as did his mom’s fierce tweeting. If the past year is any indication, we’re going to happily assume that we haven’t seen the last of him.
Obviously, there are some moments missing from this list. What do you think they should have included. Sound off on your Gay Rights Moment of 2011 below.