Across the country, around the world, in fashion, and on our screens, LGBT people have made great strides. Looking back at the news and trends that dominated 2013, our staff and contributors have a lot to be thankful for. From the serious to the sublime to the silly, here are the things that left impressions on us. What are you thankful for this year?
Lesbian-Themed Films Getting Good Play in Theaters!
Television has made leaps and bounds in terms of representation of lesbian and bisexual women over the past few years, but mainstream cinema has grossly lagged behind. I am thankful however for the three excellent lesbian-themed films that were released in theaters this fall. This October Stacie Passon’s Concussion, starring Robin Weigert as a 40-something lesbian bored in her marriage who embarks on an erotic odyssey of having sex for money with female clients, was released in theaters. And just a few weeks later the Palme D’Or winning French film Blue is the Warmest Color hit the Cineplex running a hefty three hours and boasting the most graphic sex scenes of just about any art house film to date. It’s more than a month later and Blue is still playing in theaters. November saw the release of the film fest darling Reaching for the Moon, about the epic love affair between poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Let’s hope that these three films mark the beginning of a trend in Hollywood toward telling more and more diverse narratives about queer women. - Tracy E. Gilchrist
Marriage Equality in Illinois and the State-by-State Fight
My heart swelled as Gov. Pat Quinn signed marriage equality into law last week in my native state of Illinois. It swelled even more this week, when I learned that an old Chicago pal, Vernita Gray, and her partner, Patricia Ewert, would be allowed to marry immediately, even though the law doesn’t go into effect until June. The reason is a sad one — Vernita has terminal cancer, which led to an emergency court ruling letting her and Patricia get their marriage license — but I am grateful that they will be able to marry. And the Illinois law caps a banner year for marriage equality: 2013 has seen the freedom to marry extend to same-sex couples in Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Hawaii, the last state being the one that put the issue into the public consciousness with a court battle in the 1990s. With these states’ actions, plus the return of marriage equality to my adopted state of California thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, 37.7 percent of the U.S. population lives in a jurisdiction with marriage equality enshrined in law (16 states and the District of Columbia), up from 15.8 percent at the end of last year, more than a twofold increase, according to Freedom to Marry. That’s something for which I’m very thankful, and I’ll be even more so when we get to 100 percent!—Trudy Ring