Biggest local news stories of 2008

Thomas Beatie, aka the “preganant man” was clearly the biggest local gay news story of the year

The year end, countdown, best of lists are in full force around the web and yours truly is finally ready to get in on the action (no thanks to readers who provided no feedback!). I start today with the top 5 local news stories. Tomorrow we’ll move on to the national and global stage with the fun entertainment stuff to follow.

5 – Domestic partnership repeal effort abandoned

Last year gave the partnered among us the right to get some sort of legal documentation with the legalization of Domestic Partnerships. But 2008 saw anti-marriage folks out in full force trying to take our rights away. By summer it was clear that DMs were here to stay.

4 – Nike teams up with Weiden + Kennedy to produce hyperdunk drama

Both local companies, sportswear maker Nike and advertising gurus Weiden + Kennedy are known for being quite gay-friendly places. But when their new hyperdunk ad showing a man stuffing the the b-ball over another, his face buried in his crotch with the words “That ain’t right” folks went nuts. In the end it was pretty much a non-issue but it gave the people something to talk about.

3 – The Coquille tribe decides to recognize same-sex marriage

The Coquille tribe of Oregon’s southern coast decided to let one of its gay members marry another woman. Because Native American tribal law is federally recognized their marriage must also be federally recognized, unlike the gay marriages originating from states such as Massachusetts. Though this decision came down in August we have yet to truly see what will come of this.

2 – Silverton’s Stu Rassmussen becomes the first openly trans mayor

Elections this year may have brought America Obama and Portland Sam Adams but it also brought Silverton Stu Rasmussen. Openly trans but also self-identified straight and dude-like Stu is anything but the Donna Reed of the gay world and yet is wholly accepted by his close-knit small town. Ain’t it grand when there’s good news?

1 – Thomas Beatie, the pregnant man, has a baby and all kinds of media attention!

This year’s biggest local story, probably the country’s biggest, comes out of Bend, the home of Thomas and Nancy Beatie. The couple legally male and female and legally wed, wanted a baby…but only daddy had the capacity to carry one. So he did. This couple actually looking much more Ozzie and Harriet than Stu and his partner were camera darlings all year, even landing a spot on the Oprah Winfrey show, an interview with Barbara Walters, and all kinds of media coverage.

I’m happy mainstream America finally got their Trans 101, even if those of us in the know weren’t necessarily as impressed by the general frenzy. But thanks for the memories Thomas! You did right by this blog in ’08.

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