The Top and Bottom of 2010

Five of the best and worst events of the past year

The Top and Bottom of 2010

Call me a curmudgeon, but I'm seeing more negative than usual this year. I want to maintain a positive and healthy attitude about gay struggles in 2010, but even some of our greatest victories seem tainted.

That being said, there were great steps towards full equality, acceptance and cultural integration.

The Bad:

5. Rupert Everett renewing his argument that gay Hollywood should stay in the closet.

I can't tell if I'm angry at Everett's stance because I believe visibility is key to social advance or because – for an actor's marketability, at least – he might be right.

4. Obama's position on gay marriage "is evolving".

Is there any clearer evidence that Obama's stance on gay marriage flips depending on audience, date and/or changes in the political wind? To me, the above statement reveals exactly where gay rights lies on his priorities. Not very high.

3. Sister's Edge II opens and closes.

Here's hoping for Lipstick24. I hear great things, but if the shelf life of Sister's Edge points to anything, it's the inability of a lesbian bar to create and sustain a loyal Austin clientele. Maybe proprietors just haven't found the right recipe for this city's lesbian population. I hope so, for the ladies' sake.

2. Persecutions of homosexuality in Africa:

It isn't just one country. It isn't just one religion. It isn't just one population of people. Nearly an entire continent's attitude towards its homosexual population is dangerously violent.

1. Local gay bashings

And before you feel any safer on the home front, just remember the recent strikes against our own nation's population. Our own city's. Hell, we almost own the warehouse district, where both this summer's incidents and this winter's occurred. We've been attacked in the places we should feel the safest; and no amount of blog posts, marches, vigils, political statements, or tears are going to stop it. Remember Queer Austin, some people are still out to get you. Be careful.

The Good:

5. The Red River and East Austin Queer Revolution

From TuezGayz at Barbarella to Queer Up Charlie's and bear parties at the ND at 501 Studios, our queer scene expanded past Fourth Street in 2010. It also incorporated a cadre of straight allies willing to embrace the queerest and coolest part of gay Austin. Thanks for redefining what it means to be gay in this city.

4. Biden describes gay marriage as "inevitable":

Nothing better describes Queer America's 2010 struggle with our current administration more than Biden's statement. Hooray! It's inevitable. Just don't expect it in the current administration. As loathe as I am to say it, this provides evidence for Joe Solomonese's infamous 2017 Message (the proper year to advocate for gay marriage). It serves the dual purpose of frustrating us with the slow mechanics of getting justice enacted but encourages us that it will happen. But do take heart. It will happen. Eventually.

3. It Gets Better

Born out of frustration and the need to express hope, Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project took off in 2010. Politicians may have attempted to hijack it for their own purposes, but it reinforces the message of slow, eventual progress. If there's one phrase that best defines Gay 2010, "It gets better" is hard to beat.

2. QueerBomb:

QueerBomb erupted against the more detrimental, hurtful, and exclusionary parts of Austin Gay Pride 2010. Its effectiveness and goal have been well-documented by this publication. For Pride to ignore this past in 2011 would be folly. It is time the two-sides worked towards reconciliation, not because QueerBomb should cease to exist. Far from it. QueerBomb reflects an undeniable aspect of our community that deserves as much recognition and celebration as any other part. To celebrate gay culture without its inclusion, reinforces self-hatred and denial.

1. DADT Repeal

Mark my words (and the words of many others). This is the watershed moment. This is the crack that will lead the wall to crumble. The same arguments that kept homosexuals form serving openly rely on the same tenets used to deny all of our other rights. These injustices will crumble because of their falsehood and the indignity they inspire. DADT is nothing more than proof. Very welcome, very happy, very wonderful proof. But it is simply proof of what will come to be in the years to follow.

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