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Most heated queer issues on the national stage of 2010

"It Gets Better" project founder Dan Savage (R) with husband Terry

A roller coaster of emotions swept gay America this year. Here’s a snapshot.

5 – University of Michigan’s Student Body President Stalked and Harassed by State’s Assistant Attorney General

When MI Attorney General Andrew Shirvell began harassing UMich Student Body President Christ Armstrong people started to notice, mostly prominently among them CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who interviewed Shirvell on air.

4 – Constance McMillan is barred from her prom and embraced by the rest of the world

When Constance McMillan planned to take her girlfriend to prom, organizing parents canceled the event and held a gay-free dance elsewhere. But instead of cowering McMilan powered along with an ACLU lawsuit and won the support of celebrities, public figures and the world-at-large. Her Facebook fan page has over 400,00 members and she has a scholarship care of Ellen Degeneres.

Even more important, she has inspired others to stand up, like Caera Sturgis, who was barred from her yearbook for wearing a tuxedo.

3 – Uganda’s death penalty for homosexuals

Spurred on by evangelical Christians such as The Family (yeah, it sounds like the mob to me too), Uganda’s parliament introduced a bill that would condemn a person engaging in homosexual acts to either life in prison or death. This technically happened in 2009 but the global uproar, as well as the growing evidence that the bill was connected to American religious organizations, continues to bring Uganda and the bill’s author David Bahati under fire.

2 – The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

I nearly chose this as number one. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was just repealed so it is fresh in our minds. It was a hard won victory that often took many forms, was in the news constantly, and teetered on a tightrope of possibility and death that swung quickly and wildly back and forth. But in the end, though I applaud the new level of equality the military still symbolizes war and conflict. I found it much more hopeful, universal and inspiring that Dan Savage called on us all to protect LGBT youth and let them know it gets better

1 – Teenage suicides and the “It Gets Better” campaign

In some of the saddest, yet hopeful news of the year, a string of suicides by LGBT youth made headlines. It spurred the community, and by that I mean nearly everyone with a heart, rally support in a grassroots campaign called “It Gets Better.” Now vulnerable teens are becoming nationally visible as well as publicly receiving love and advice from older queers and allies letting them know they’re not alone. It’s like the Care Bear Stare.

Apparently “It gets better” has come to be a catchphrase joke but I stil haven’t heard anybody singing the Heathers theme song by the fictional pop group Big Fun,  “Teenage Suicide. Don’t Do It.” What? Too soon?

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