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2011 in queer internet videos – part 1

BY ROB SALERNO – As we all come down from our tryptophan and sugar comas and prepare for the debauchery that should be New Year's Eve, I thought I'd bring back some of the best queer internet videos of the year. In no particular order, here are the six videos that had queer people talking in 2011. Check back tomorrow and Thursday for the other 12.

1) Unconditional love for queer Jamaicans

This brother and sister decided to fight the rampant homophobia in Jamaica with a public service announcement telling Jamaicans to love their queer friends and family. Unfortunately, Jamaican television stations refused to air it. In a nice bit of end-of-year news, the leader of Jamaica's main opposition party came out in support of gay rights — like basic anti-discrimination and removing the sodomy law — in the run-up to the national election Dec 29. Unfortunately, they're expected to lose.

2) Two lesbians raised a baby and this is what they got 

When Iowa's Republicans decided to reopen the issue of same-sex marriage with a proposed constitutional amendment to ban it in February, 19-year-old Zack Wahls made an impassioned and articulate speech before the legislature defending his family's value. The surprising power of the speech made Wahls an overnight celebrity and even got him an invitation to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. It briefly returned to circulation in November when moveon.org decided to repost the video.

3) Pride Toronto's awful Pride Pump promo 

Well, we knew one of these videos would be embarrassing. This was one of Pride Toronto's rare flubs this year, a promo video that reinforced some awful stereotypes and made the event sound exclusionary. It's also about seven times longer than a silly promo video ought to be.

4) Weird Al Yankovic "Perform This Way" 

I'm not including any actual Lady Gaga videos here because we've all seen enough, but this one's got a nice story behind it. After Yankovic wrote this parody of "Born This Way," Gaga's people refused to give him her blessing to use it on his album. Yankovic retaliated by releasing the song to YouTube with a lyric video and a post explaining the whole back story. Lest she continue to look like a humourless Scrooge, Gaga made up with Yankovic and he released the song, with proceeds going to the Human Rights Campaign.  

5) Cazwell's "Get My Money Back" video

It's gay rapper Cazwell and a bunch of go-go dancers dressed as a gang of sexy bonobo monkeys. I never thought I would ever type the words "a gang of sexy bonobo monkeys" until this video came out in March.

6) Disappointing gay best friend

Disappointing gay best friend warmed the cockles of my heart with its short, pithy jokes mostly at the expense of Mikaela, the ridiculous fag hag who wants to kiss a drag queen on the lips and asks her friend if Lady Gaga ever makes him want to say "Girl, do you?" There's a whole series to watch.

Come back tomorrow and Thursday for parts two and three of the year in queer internet videos!