Macklemore & Ryan Lewis join forces with Mary Lambert, Madonna, and Queen Latifah at the Grammy Awards in January. (x)
2014 has been a memorable year for the LGBT community. For one thing, this year saw the birth of LGBTeen, marking the beginning of our journey to provide LGBT youth with a voice and a community. But that’s just one of the many great things that happened for the LGBT community in 2014. As the year draws to a close, it’s a great time to reflect back on everything that’s happened. From politics to pop culture, here are the top ten LGBT-related moments from 2014.
10. Robert Marucci unfairly expelled from high school
This high school senior got expelled In January after news spread that he performed on a gay porn site. Once the story went viral, the school went into damage control mode, claiming he was never expelled and it had nothing to do with his adult career. Marucci’s mother said otherwise. He was soon allowed back to school and graduated in the Spring. Marucci is now serving in the United States Army.
9. Laura Jane Grace landed AOL series
After coming out as transgender to Rolling Stone magazine in 2012, Laura Jane Grace got her own AOL reality series this year titled “True Tans.” The show features stories from figures within the transgender community.
8. HBO’s Looking premiered and got renewed for a second season
After a successful first season which debuted in January, HBO decided to renew the series “Looking” for a second season. Starring Jonathan Groff and Murray Bartlett, the series follows the lives of gay friends in California. It was also announced that former Mean Girls star Daniel Franzese would join the cast for season two.
7. Laverne Cox covered Time magazine
Best known for her role on “Orange Is The New Black,” Laverne Cox made history when she landed the cover of Time magazine in June. Cox was interviewed for an article focusing on transgender issues. She is the first openly transgender person to be on the cover of Time.
4. Daniel Pierce got disowned by family after coming out and went viral
19 year-old Daniel Pierce was disowned by his family this summer after coming out. The incident was secretly recorded and uploaded to YouTube, and millions of viewers witnessed the verbal and physical assaults thrown his way. Pierce’s boyfriend set up a GoFundMe account to cover his living expenses, which reached over $88,000 in just two days. Pierce is now a board member of Lost-N-Found Youth, to help homeless LGBT youth.
3. Gay and trans “panic” defenses banned in California
California became the first US state to ban the use of “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses in court. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law after it was passed with a vote of 50-10. The “panic” defense would justify a hate crime by claiming the murderer “panicked” over the fact that their victim was gay or transgender. This defense has been used several times, including during the famous Matthew Shepard case.
2. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ memorable performance of “Same Love” at the Grammy Awards
During the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed their pro-equality anthem Same Love with Mary Lambert in January. During the performance, Queen Latifah officiated a mass wedding of 33 couples, both gay and straight. Afterwards, Madonna came on stage and sang a bit of her hit song “Open Your Heart.” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won four of the seven awards they were nominated for that night.
1. Marriage equality victories in the United States
One of the most outstanding things about 2014 is the fact that so many same-sex marriage bans got dropped. They seemed to be falling down like dominoes one by one. In May, a federal judge struck down Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban. The same happened in Utah, Indiana, and Colorado over the summer. Indiana, Wisconsin, Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming were other states that saw victories for marriage equality.
It can’t be doubted that 2014 saw a lot of positive change for LGBT people. As much hate and bigotry as we saw, a lot progress was made in our fight for civil rights. We also saw a large representation in pop culture and other memorable moments in the news. With so much that occurred this year, it makes you wonder what 2015 will bring.
What was your favorite LGBT moment of 2014? What are your hopes for the new year? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!
Rocco Papa is from Maspeth, NY. Rocco began writing for his high school’s newspaper in his junior year and his interest in journalism came to fruition. Rocco attended Northampton Community College, where he received his Associate in Arts degree in Journalism. Rocco graduated East Stroudsburg University cum laude, receiving his Bachelor’s degree. He majored in Media, Communications, and Technology.
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