THAT WAS 2018

DNA Magazine - - CONTENTS - By An­drew M Potts

Wed­ding bells, ba­bies and a “rain­bow wave” – that was the good news. But 2018 threw us some curve balls with Brazil, In­done­sia and Egypt up­ping their anti­gay agen­das.

Wed­ding bells, ba­bies and a “rain­bow wave” across the USA – that was the good news. Else­where, 2018 threw the LGBTIQ world some curve balls with Brazil, In­done­sia and Egypt up­ping their anti-gay po­lit­i­cal agen­das.

AMER­ICA UN­DER TRUMP

Dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paign, Don­ald Trump claimed he would be a friend to the gay com­mu­nity, fa­mously learn­ing to spell out the let­ters “L.B.G.T.Q” at a Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion and wav­ing an “LGBTs for Trump” rain­bow flag.

But since be­com­ing pres­i­dent, Trump has el­e­vated many peo­ple with long records of opposition to LGBT rights into high of­fice, and has con­sis­tently at­tempted to tar­get trans­gen­der peo­ple, try­ing to legally de­fine them out of ex­is­tence and end their open ser­vice in the mil­i­tary.

In May, tech bil­lion­aire and phi­lan­thropist, Bill Gates re­veals that Trump did not know the dif­fer­ence be­tween HIV and HPV when he lob­bied him on AIDS preven­tion on be­half of The Gates Foun­da­tion. This is de­spite Trump’s own men­tor, celebrity lawyer Roy Cohn, dy­ing of AIDS in 1986.

In Septem­ber, porn star Stormy Daniels re­veals in her book Full Dis­clo­sure, that Trump has “yeti pubes and a dick like the mush­room char­ac­ter in Mario Kart”.

In June, in a back­wards step for LGBT Amer­i­cans, the US Supreme Court rules in favour of the right of a religious Colorado baker to refuse to bake wed­ding cakes for same-sex cou­ples.

How­ever, by Novem­ber, Amer­ica has had enough, and over 150 openly LGBT peo­ple are elected to fed­eral and state of­fice dur­ing the midterm elec­tions in a “rain­bow wave”.

Among them is Jared Po­lis of Colorado, who be­comes the first openly gay man elected state Gov­er­nor. Other states elect their first openly LGBT peo­ple to Congress, and New Hamp­shire elects two trans women to its state House Of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

GLAAD pres­i­dent, Sarah Kate El­lis calls the elec­tion “truly his­toric” for LGBT peo­ple, adding that it shows “a re­jec­tion of the hate­fu­elled pol­i­tics of the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion”.

This Rain­bow Wave is a part of a greater “blue wave” that al­lows Democrats to re­take con­trol in the House Of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, giving them a pow­er­ful check on the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing the power to launch in­ves­ti­ga­tions into his scan­dals and subpoena his tax re­turns.

On a lo­cal level, Ken­tucky County Clerk, Kim Davis, who fa­mously went to jail in 2015 rather than do her job and marry same-sex cou­ples, loses her midterm elec­tion to a Demo­crat clerk who, pre­sum­ably, will do the job!

2018 is also a year in which gay Amer­i­can ath­letes shine on the in­ter­na­tional stage with a kiss be­tween Olympic skier Gus Ken­wor­thy and boyfriend Matthew Wilkas be­ing broad­cast around the world, and fig­ure skater Adam Rip­pon be­com­ing the first openly gay male ath­lete to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Rip­pon goes on to win Danc­ing With The Stars: Ath­letes.

The US Supreme Court rules in favour of the right of a religious baker to refuse to bake wed­ding cakes for same-sex cou­ples.

AUS­TRALIA’S MAD YEAR

2018 in Aus­tralia starts with a tragedy for the LGBT com­mu­nity when Amer­i­can gay rights ac­tivist and film­maker Matt Palaz­zolo dies from ex­po­sure while hik­ing in the desert near Alice Springs.

On Jan­uary 9, 2018 Aus­tralia’s new same-sex mar­riage law goes into ef­fect and same-sex cou­ples across the coun­try start to marry. Over

5,000 cou­ples take ad­van­tage of the re­form to wed be­fore year’s end.

In Septem­ber, the Unit­ing Church Of Aus­tralia be­comes the first ma­jor religious de­nom­i­na­tion in to al­low its priests to marry gay cou­ples – though they are free to refuse if they don’t want to.

De­spite that progress, the Di­ver­sity Coun­cil Of Aus­tralia finds that in 2018 most LGBT Aus­tralians are still in the closet at work, and the Vic­to­rian po­lice re­port that only 42 per cent of young LGBTs say they trust po­lice.

In March, the Syd­ney Gay And Les­bian Mardi Gras cel­e­brates its 40th year with an ap­pear­ance by Cher on the pa­rade route and then a 20 minute live per­for­mance at the af­ter party, wow­ing thou­sands of gay fans.

In May, DNA favourite and My Kitchen Rules con­tes­tant Jor­dan Bruno be­comes the first Aus­tralian to win the Mr Gay World ti­tle. Then, in June, the Syd­ney Con­victs win their 5th Bing­ham Cup, the gay rugby world cham­pi­onship in Am­s­ter­dam, for de­feat­ing New York’s Gotham Knights.

The May fed­eral bud­get com­mits $180 mil­lion from the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment to fund Pre-Ex­po­sure Pro­phy­laxis (PrEP) to pro­tect HIV neg­a­tive LGBT Aus­tralians from ac­quir­ing the virus as part of reach­ing Aus­tralia’s UNAIDS goal of ending new in­fec­tions by 2020.

June sees the cast of Queer Eye fly Down Un­der, where they film an episode in the small coun­try town of Yass. The town’s mayor crowns the Fab Five honorary Yass Queens!

Af­ter pre­sid­ing over a di­vi­sive postal plebiscite on mar­riage equal­ity, Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull sets in mo­tion a re­view of religious free­dom to ap­pease con­ser­va­tives. It is feared the re­view could po­ten­tially lead to new av­enues of dis­crim­i­na­tion against LGBTs.

But in Septem­ber, Turn­bull is re­moved as PM by his own party and is re­placed by Scott Mor­ri­son – a pen­te­costal Chris­tian who

One ac­tivist warns of a ‘war on bot­toms’ if the in­halant mus­cle re­lax­ant pop­pers is banned.

sup­ported the No cam­paign on mar­riage equal­ity and ab­stained when the par­lia­ment voted on it, de­spite his own elec­torate vot­ing Yes.

Turn­bull re­signs from par­lia­ment, trig­ger­ing a by-elec­tion in the seat of Went­worth – con­sid­ered the gayest elec­torate in Aus­tralia. Dur­ing the Went­worth cam­paign, part of the gov­ern­ment’s re­port into religious free­doms is leaked, forc­ing Mor­ri­son to clar­ify where he stands on religious schools be­ing able to ex­pel LGBT stu­dents and fire LGBT teach­ers. They cur­rently can.

Mor­ri­son prom­ises to put a stop to le­gal dis­crim­i­na­tion by religious schools against stu­dents – but not teach­ers.

The opposition La­bor Party ups the ante, say they will pro­tect gay teach­ers and ban gay con­ver­sion ther­apy in Aus­tralia if they win next year’s fed­eral elec­tion. Mor­ri­son has pre­vi­ously re­fused to con­demn the prac­tice, say­ing it was up to peo­ple to make their own choices about it.

Mor­ri­son fails to de­liver on pro­tect­ing gay stu­dents be­fore the elec­tion and his pre­ferred can­di­date loses. Went­worth is won by high­pro­file les­bian doc­tor and lo­cal in­de­pen­dent, Ker­ryn Phelps. Mor­ri­son’s gov­ern­ment no longer has a ma­jor­ity in Aus­tralia’s House Of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and a sin­gle ma­jor scan­dal could po­ten­tially bring it down.

In Novem­ber, 34 Angli­can in­sti­tu­tions is­sue a joint let­ter in sup­port of “religious free­doms”. But pub­lic out­cry is such that in a head­spin­ning back­down, Angli­can Arch­bishop Glenn Davies an­nounces, “it is un­ten­able that religious free­doms be ex­pressed as ex­cep­tions in dis­crim­i­na­tion acts. Some ex­emp­tions, such as those re­lat­ing to sex­u­al­ity, we do not use and have no wish to pre­serve.”

In 2018 Aus­tralia’s Ther­a­peu­tic Goods Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounces it may ban pop­pers, pro­vok­ing one ac­tivist to warn of a “war on bot­toms” if the in­halant mus­cle re­lax­ant is sched­uled along­side drugs like heroin and co­caine.

New South Wales Po­lice ad­mit they “got it wrong” on dozens of his­tor­i­cal gay mur­ders in Syd­ney and be­yond. In Novem­ber, a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into ho­mo­pho­bic hate crimes is launched in New South Wales.

2018 will also be re­mem­bered as a year in which religious sports stars were called out for mak­ing anti-gay pub­lic state­ments. Boxer and Is­lamic con­vert, An­thony Mun­dine sug­gests the death penalty for ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity af­ter quit­ting I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Waratahs rugby player, Is­rael Folou says God’s plan for gay peo­ple is “Hell un­less they re­pent of their sins,” an­ger­ing his team’s spon­sors.

In 2018, it seems, there are no votes to be won or pop­u­lar­ity points to be scored by bash­ing the gays. The 62 per cent who voted in favour of mar­riage equal­ity last year have set a new pub­lic bench­mark on LGBT is­sues.

FA­MOUSLY LGBT

Kevin Spacey’s #metoo scan­dal con­tin­ues through 2018 when fur­ther ac­cusers come for­ward. Pre­vi­ously ac­cused of mo­lest­ing Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery ac­tor An­thony Rapp when he was 14 and Spacey was 26, by the end of 2018 at least 15 peo­ple have come for­ward with sto­ries about Spacey.

When a former male model ac­cuses Star Trek orig­i­nal se­ries ac­tor Ge­orge Takei of a his­tor­i­cal sex­ual as­sault, LGBTs, Twit­ter and Trek fans col­lec­tively hold their breath. By May his ac­cuser ad­mits he made it all up and Ge­orge for­gives him for mak­ing the ac­cu­sa­tion be­fore the month is even over.

In April, Ro­nan Far­row, the jour­nal­ist closely as­so­ci­ated with the #metoo move­ment, ac­knowl­edges his mem­ber­ship of the LGBT com­mu­nity pub­licly for the first time. Far­row’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions for The New Yorker mag­a­zine brought down Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein, New York State At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Sch­nei­der­man, and CBS CEO Les­lie Moonves – all ac­cused se­rial abusers.

Far­row nearly de­rails Don­ald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Ka­vanaugh when he re­ports more women had come for­ward with claims about his al­leged sex­ual mis­con­duct to­wards them. De­spite the up­roar and the shadow of doubt over Ka­vanaugh, the Republicans con­firm him any­way.

As same-sex celebrity re­la­tion­ships and fam­i­lies con­tinue to be­come more com­mon, Dustin Lance Black and Tom Da­ley have a baby, Colton Hayes gets di­vorced, and porn stars Brent Cor­ri­gan and JJ Knight break up.

2018 also sees the death of one of the gay greats of the Golden Age of Hol­ly­wood. Tab Hunter had been the sub­ject of gay ru­mours through­out his ca­reer but did not come out of­fi­cially un­til 2005 when he pub­lished Tab Hunter Con­fi­den­tial: The Mak­ing Of A Movie Star.

Of­ten paired up with stu­dio star­lets to main­tain ap­pear­ances for the pub­lic, be­hind the smoke­screen Hunter had re­la­tion­ships with Psy­cho ac­tor An­thony Perkins and fig­ure skater Ron­nie Robert­son be­fore set­tling into a 35-year re­la­tion­ship with film pro­ducer Al­lan Glaser. Tab dies aged 86 on July 11 in Man­hat­tan af­ter an un­ex­pected heart at­tack.

By com­par­i­son, com­ing out as gay as a celebrity no longer seems as dif­fi­cult in 2018. For some, it might even be a point of dif­fer­ence that boosts their ca­reer, though it’s prob­a­bly less of an is­sue for mu­sic stars com­pared to ac­tors who may still fear that they will be­come type cast or will no longer be a blank can­vas for au­di­ences.

69-year-old Day­tona racing leg­end Hur­ley Hay­wood re­veals he is gay in Fe­bru­ary when he re­leases an au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Hur­ley: From The Be­gin­ning. In the book he de­scribes how he has been out for years among col­leagues. “The racing com­mu­nity has been ex­tremely sup­port­ive,” he says. “I’ve never not got­ten a ride be­cause I was gay.”

Then in April, African-Amer­i­can singer, song­writer and ac­tress Janelle Monae con­firms that she likes girls and boys and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. “Be­ing a queer, black woman in Amer­ica, some­one who has been in re­la­tion­ships with both men and women, I con­sider my­self to be a free-ass moth­er­fucker,” she tells Rolling Stone.

Glee alumni Kevin McHale also comes out in April af­ter teas­ing fans about whether he’s in a re­la­tion­ship with fel­low ac­tor Austin McKen­zie when he tweets about a new sin­gle by Ari­ana Grande: “#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I AC­CEPT. Ty.”

In March, the ac­tor who plays the vil­lain in the Bat­man pre­quel TV se­ries Gotham comes out. Cory Michael Smith makes the rev­e­la­tion in an in­ter­view about an up­com­ing film role set dur­ing the height of the AIDS epi­demic called 1985. “There’s some­thing spe­cial about telling a story that feels closer to home. I’m not ex­actly like The Rid­dler in real life,” he says.

In June Min­nesota United foot­baller Collin Martin comes out. He may be the only pro­fes­sional soccer player who is openly gay in the United States but he re­veals, “I have been out as a gay man for many years to my fam­ily and friends, and this in­cludes my team­mates.” He de­cides to make it pub­lic when his team takes part in a pride game.

Af­ter play­ing Brent Cor­ri­gan along­side James Franco in King Co­bra, ac­tor Gar­rett Clay­ton comes out on In­sta­gram in Au­gust. Like many celebrity com­ings out these days it’s be­cause he’s started a se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship. He is dat­ing screen­writer Blake Knight.

Unav­i­sion and Tele­fu­tura pre­sen­ter Luis San­doval comes out live on air fol­low­ing a

Com­ing out as gay is no longer dif­fi­cult for celebri­ties. In fact, for some, it may even be a boost to their ca­reer.

seg­ment about Na­tional Com­ing Out Day in Oc­to­ber. He tells his Span­ish speak­ing au­di­ence, “I am gay, I am happy, I am a full per­son, re­spected, I think re­spectable, and I do not live in the closet, my fam­ily knows, my friends know, and I have a part­ner with whom I am happy.”

Grey’s Anatomy ac­tor Jake Borelli comes out in Novem­ber af­ter his char­ac­ter kisses an­other man on screen. He tells fans, “Tonight’s episode was so spe­cial to me,” af­ter it screens. “This is ex­actly the kind of story I craved as a young gay kid grow­ing up in Ohio, and it blows my mind that I’m able to bring life to Dr Levi Sch­mitt as he be­gins to grap­ple with his own sex­u­al­ity this sea­son on Grey’s Anatomy.”

Love, Si­mon ac­tors Joey Pol­lari and Keiy­nan Lons­dale both come out af­ter the movie’s re­lease, telling in­ter­view­ers how they re­lated to the film’s ups and downs when it came to the jour­ney of liv­ing openly as gay men. “You’ve been through those hard­ships, you’ve been through all that stuff. You can smile now. You can breathe,” Lons­dale tells one in­ter­viewer.

In Novem­ber, Ezra Miller, who plays The Flash in the DC comics movie uni­verse, who had pre­vi­ously come out as gay, an­nounces that he is even queerer than that! Spec­tac­u­larly, in the pages of Play­boy mag­a­zine, Miller dresses as a bunny and re­veals that he is not only queer and non-bi­nary but in a polyamorous group re­la­tion­ship. “I feel like I’m mar­ried to them 25 life­times ago. And then they are in the squad – the poly­cule,” Miller says.

In other su­per­hero news, out Aus­tralian model and ac­tress Ruby Rose is cast as Bat­woman on the small screen in a ver­sion of the char­ac­ter where she is both Jewish and openly gay.

In Septem­ber there’s a Se­same Street sen­sa­tion when former show writer Mark Saltz­man con­firms what many of us have felt for years – that he wrote Bert and Ernie as a gay cou­ple, bas­ing their dy­namic on his own re­la­tion­ship with an­other man.

How­ever, Bert and Ernie cre­ator, Frank Oz pours cold wa­ter on that and the Se­same Work­shop states, “they re­main pup­pets and do not have a sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion… Bert and Ernie are best friends”.

On the big screen in 2018, Lady Gaga wows in A Star Is Born, while Bo­hemian Rhap­sody di­vides au­di­ences. Some prais­ing Rami Malek’s un­canny per­for­mance, while oth­ers feel the movie has blanded-out Fred­die Mer­cury and taken too much cre­ative li­cence with the events of his life.

Boy Erased and The Mise­d­u­ca­tion Of Cameron Post bring the is­sue of gay con­ver­sion ther­apy to a main­stream au­di­ence. Love, Si­mon wins praise for its de­pic­tion of the life of a gay teen, while Call Me By Your Name wins Best Adapted Script at the Os­cars.

WHERE THINGS GOT WORSE

The year starts badly in Jan­uary when a group of gay men are de­tained by au­thor­i­ties in Egypt. Po­lice raid an apart­ment in Alexan­dria where they find nine men par­ty­ing to­gether. Ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is not tech­ni­cally il­le­gal in Egypt but au­thor­i­ties use a poorly de­fined “de­bauch­ery” law to crack down on sus­pected ho­mo­sex­ual gath­er­ings.

In March it is re­vealed that a drug re­sis­tant strain of HIV has been dis­cov­ered in the Philip­pines, where it is spread­ing rapidly. Dubbed Sub­type AE, it pro­gresses faster to AIDS than the treat­able Sub­type B that is found in most other parts of the world.

LGBT In­done­sians fear for their place in so­ci­ety through­out 2018, with gay men whipped un­der Sharia law in its au­ton­o­mous prov­ince of Aceh. Law­mak­ers in the na­tional assem­bly re­peat­edly threaten to crim­i­nalise sex out­side of het­ero­sex­ual mar­riage. Vig­i­lante groups be­gin round­ing up sus­pected LGBT peo­ple and de­liv­er­ing them to po­lice who then sub­ject the “sus­pects” to gay con­ver­sion-style ther­apy. This with­out trial.

In April, Grindr apol­o­gises for shar­ing the HIV sta­tuses of its users with two third-party companies. The in­for­ma­tion was shared so that Grindr could per­son­alise the app’s ex­pe­ri­ence for in­di­vid­ual users, but this will not be re­peated, says the com­pany.

In May, au­thor­i­ties forcibly cancel Beirut Pride, de­tain­ing or­gan­iser Hadi Damien on the or­ders of the Gen­eral Prose­cu­tor of Beirut. Plans to march the pre­vi­ous year had to be aban­doned af­ter threats were made against the event.

The Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test can­cels their con­tract with China’s Mango TV af­ter they re-edit their broad­cast of Euro­vi­sion to re­move gay el­e­ments. Ire­land’s en­try in­cluded a same-sex cou­ple danc­ing to­gether – it was not screened in China.

Pope Fran­cis dis­ap­points the global LGBT com­mu­nity again in 2018 when he im­plies same-sex cou­ples with chil­dren are not real fam­i­lies. “Peo­ple speak of var­ied fam­i­lies, of var­i­ous kinds of fam­ily,” but “the fam­ily [as] man and woman in the im­age of God is the only one,” he says in June ac­cord­ing to news re­ports.

Also in June, Vet­eran Bri­tish-Aus­tralian LGBT rights ac­tivist Peter Tatchell is ar­rested in Moscow for dis­play­ing a sign call­ing on Vladimir Putin to “act against Chech­nya tor­ture of gay peo­ple.” Rus­sian and Chechen au­thor­i­ties con­tinue to dis­miss re­ports of a state backed cam­paign of per­se­cu­tion against gay men in Chech­nya through­out the pre­vi­ous year, which in­cluded kid­nap­pings and killings.

That same month, a French gay cou­ple are at­tacked in St Petersburg dur­ing the World Cup. One of the men is left brain damaged.

In Septem­ber, Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad says his coun­try will not ex­pand any rights for LGBT peo­ple. “Some things are only meant for the West,” Ma­hathir says. “We can­not ac­cept LGBT as well as the mar­riage of man and man or woman and woman.”

It seems lost on him that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is out­lawed in Malaysia un­der colo­nial-era leg­is­la­tion that was in­tro­duced by the Bri­tish and that Bri­tain has since re­pealed those laws.

The gov­ern­ment of Tan­za­nia puts to­gether an ad­min­is­tra­tive task­force to “crack-down” on LGBTIQ peo­ple. Hun­dreds flee the ma­jor city of Dar es Salaam, where ac­tivists re­port that homes are be­ing raided and sus­pects ar­rested. A gov­ern­ment spokesper­son, Paul Makonda, says po­lice are tar­get­ing gay peo­ple and lengthy prison sen­tences will be im­posed.

Brazil elects “proud ho­mo­phobe” Jair Bol­sonaro as its new Pres­i­dent. He wants to clear the rain­for­est and ex­tin­guish indige­nous groups’ land rights, and he speaks favourably of Brazil’s past as a mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship. He wants to ban what he sees as gay in­doc­tri­na­tion in schools.

Brazil elects Jair Bol­sonaro, a ‘proud ho­mo­phobe’ as its new Pres­i­dent.

WHERE THINGS HAVE IM­PROVED

De­spite some of the set­backs, there are sig­nif­i­cant gains for LGBT peo­ple around the world in 2018.

In April, ac­tivists across the Caribbean re­joice when the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago ruled against Sec­tions 13 and

16 of its Sex­ual Of­fences Act, finding them un­con­sti­tu­tional and le­gal­is­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in the process.

The rul­ing may serve as a le­gal prece­dent for other former-Bri­tish colonies in the Caribbean that still crim­i­nalise LGBT peo­ple in­clud­ing Antigua, Bar­ba­dos, Do­minica, Grenada, Ja­maica, Saint Kitts and Ne­vis, Saint Lu­cia and Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines.

That same month, New Zealand erases all past crim­i­nal con­vic­tions for adult same-sex ac­tiv­ity. Peo­ple who were pros­e­cuted for be­ing gay be­tween 1965 and 1986 will be able to have their records cleared and, for those who have al­ready passed on, rel­a­tives will also be able to ap­ply to have con­vic­tions wiped.

Then in May, Chi­nese pro­fes­sional surfer, Xu Jingsen, also known as ASam, comes out: a bold move in China which has re­cently clamped down on ex­pres­sions of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in film and lit­er­a­ture and whose na­tional broad­caster edited out a same-sex dance from its Euro­vi­sion broad­cast.

ASam comes out on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia plat­form Weibo as part of an­nounc­ing he will com­pete in the 2018 Paris Gay Games in Au­gust. Surf­ing was not an event in the Paris Gay Games but he com­petes in swim­ming and bas­ket­ball. The 2020 Gay Games will be held in Hong Kong, so we may see ASam com­pete again.

In June, Ger­man Pres­i­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier makes a for­mal apol­ogy for the suf­fer­ing and in­jus­tice en­dured by the LGBT com­mu­nity in Ger­many un­der the Nazis regime and then af­ter World War II. While Jews and oth­ers were set free from the Nazi death camps at the war’s end, gay pris­on­ers were sim­ply trans­ferred to the reg­u­lar Ger­man pe­nal sys­tem and ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity con­tin­ued to be crim­i­nalised in both East and West Ger­many into the late 1960s.

Sci­en­tists at Antarc­tic Re­search Cen­tre McMurdo Sta­tion hold the world’s first Antarc­tic Pride on June 9. Of the re­search sta­tion’s 133 care­tak­ers, 15 iden­tify as LGBT. They hold the cel­e­bra­tion in a bar in the sta­tion with a games night and a movie.

In July, Amer­i­can sci­en­tists an­nounce they have com­pleted the first hu­man tri­als of a vac­cine against the HIV virus. All of the 393 test sub­jects from across East and South­ern Africa, the US and Thailand demon­strate some form of im­mune re­sponse to HIV. The vac­cine will now pro­ceed to a sec­ond round of hu­man tri­als.

In Septem­ber, In­dia’s Supreme Court strikes down the coun­try’s colo­nial-era Sec­tion 377 sodomy law af­ter nine years of ap­peals and de­lays. More than 2.5 mil­lion gay In­di­ans breathe a sigh of re­lief.

The world’s fifth small­est coun­try, the Repub­lic of San Marino, le­galises civil unions in Novem­ber, leav­ing Vat­i­can City as the only ju­ris­dic­tion in­side Italy where same-sex re­la­tion­ships are not recog­nised. San Marino only le­galised ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in 2004.

In­dia’s Supreme Court strikes down the coun­try’s colo­nial-era Sec­tion 377 sodomy law.

Out: Chi­nese pro-surfer, ASam. First: Antarc­tic Pride.

In­dia: de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion at last.

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