Rainbow Rewind 2019
3 min

Here are some of the biggest LGBTQ2 stories of the decade

Year in review Xtra
Credit: Tammie Arroyo-GG19/AFF-USA.COM; AP Photo/Andrew Harnik; O'Connor-GG19/AFF-USA.com; Hahn Lionel/ABACA; Francesca Roh/Xtra

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YEAR-END ROUNDUP

This year, we’ve seen events that made us happy, sad and salty. From LGBTQ2 political developments to pop culture milestones that made us proud to be queer, 2019 delivered and spilled piping hot tea. 🍵

In this special edition of Xtra Weekly, we’d like to highlight Rainbow Rewind 2019, Xtra’s series celebrating this very queer year—and even queerer decade.

YEAR IN REVIEW: BIGGEST STORIES IN LGBTQ2 HEALTH

LGBTQ2 health, Trump, PReP, and blood ban
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From a ground-breaking federal report on the health of LGBTQ2 Canadians to new rules on sperm donation to insight into the well-being of Two-Spirit, Black and bisexual people’s health, this year has shown that there’s so much to learn about our communities, and still so much to be done. Xtra’s senior editor Eternity Martis rounded up the top stories in LGBTQ2 health this year.

YEAR IN REVIEW: BIGGEST STORIES IN LGBTQ2 POWER AND POLITICS

Rodrigo Duterte Justin Trudeau Pete Buttigieg LGBTQ rights
Credit: EPA/Francis R. Malasig; The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld; AP Photo/Elise Amendola; paseven/iStock / Getty Images Plus; Francesca Roh/Xtra

We saw major wins and losses when it came to LGBTQ2 rights—and the people in power—in 2019. Across the globe, queer and trans people stood their ground, called out hatred, voted their conscience and tried to effect change. A gay American is vying to become president, activists battled a fast food restaurant’s anti-queer politics and the Canadian election was oh-so-gay. Xtra senior editor Erica Lenti and associate editor Arvin Joaquin talked about this year’s highs and lows in LGBTQ2 power and politics.

YEAR IN REVIEW: BIGGEST LGBTQ2 POP CULTURE STORIES

LGBTQ pop culture
Credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Arcuri; Tammie Arroyo-GG19/AFF-USA.COM; EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER; paseven/iStock/Getty Images Plus; Francesca Roh/Xtra

Was 2019 the queerest year yet in pop culture? Cheekily dubbed “20BiTeen” by internet teens, the past 12 months saw the rise of queer, non-binary and trans icons in music, film, TV and literature—and some in the most unlikely of places (howdy, country music). As the year comes to a close, writer Stéphanie Verge compiled eight of the most memorable moments in LGBTQ2 pop culture in 2019.

ALL THE QUEER STORIES THAT MADE US SALTY IN 2019

We spent the past year marinating in bitterness—and how could we not? U.S. President Donald Trump told us he could cure AIDS. Scarlett Johansson wanted to play trans characters (and wildlife). Grandmas were killed at gender reveal parties. It’s a salty, salty world out there.

DECADE IN REVIEW: QUEER RIGHTS

LGBTQ rights Randall Garrison Cristina Fernandez Barack Obama
Credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld; AP Photo/ Eduardo Di Baia; AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais; Francesca Roh/Xtra

From efforts to legalize gay marriage worldwide, to the complicated legacy of conversion therapy, to the ongoing battle for trans rights in Canada, contributor Megan Jones looked back at the most significant gains and losses to LGBTQ2 rights in the past 10 years.

DECADE IN REVIEW: RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE

Drag Race queens
RuPaul and some of the queens who appeared on ‘Drag Race.’ Credit: Nina Prommer/STREPA, Courtesy World of Wonder, Courtesy VH1; Francesca Roh/Xtra

It premiered in 2009 and became the quintessential TV show of the 2010s. RuPaul’s Drag Race launched just as the reality TV boom waned, and helped bring the genre back into fashion. It celebrated queerness at a time when the representation of LGBTQ2 communities was increasingly in demand. It even encapsulated some of the difficult conversations we had this decade, discussing issues of race, trans rights and more (although it didn’t always handle them well). But most notably, Drag Race catapulted drag itself into the stratosphere, making the art form popular and profitable on a scale never seen before.

Here’s Drag Race herstorian Kevin O’Keeffe’s essay that looks at the past decade of Drag Race.

DECADE IN REVIEW: POP CULTURE

 

Straight women fell for Megan Rapinoe, Lil Nas X topped the charts and trans folks began to get accurate representation on TV. The 2010s is one queer decade to remember. Xtra’s director of editorial Rachel Giese looks back on the past 10 years of LGBTQ2 pop culture.

DECADE IN REVIEW: QUEER WOMEN IN FILM

Queer women film
Credit: Jeong Park /© FilmRise /Courtesy Everett Collection; ©Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection; © Film Movement / courtesy Everett Collection; Francesca Roh/Xtra

Though a great deal of queer-women-themed films are campy, exploitative or poorly executed, the 2010s had some standout offerings in lesbian cinema. Film writer Valerie Complex looks back on the best women-loving-women movies of the decade.

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