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Monday, December 23, 2013

The L Wire's Review of 2013: October

October saw The Independent newspaper publish it's annual "Pink List"; comprised of 101 noteworthy LGBT figures from the worlds of broadcasting, sport, politics, entertainment and beyond.

To find out who topped the list and for more LGBT+ stories from the month, read on...

Paris Lees breaks new ground

October was all about Paris Lees.

If you haven’t heard of Paris yet, she’s a magazine editor, columnist, TV/radio presenter and equality campaigner. She's written for Diva, Gay Times and The Guardian amongst others and has presented programmes for the BBC and Channel 4.

In many instances, she was the first openly transgender woman to do so.

And October saw her continued to break down barriers by topping the Independent’s annual “Pink List”.


The award, which was decided by public nominations and a panel of judges, was given to Lees for her role in fighting for transgender rights and, in particular, for her work in challenging the media to improve the way in which they report on trans issues. Rather than just calling out individual columnists or publications when they get things wrong (whether deliberately or not), Paris works with organisations such as All About Trans to liaise directly with them to improve their understanding and, hopefully as a result, their future reporting.

She also made history in the same month by becoming the first openly transgender panellist to appear on the BBC’s flagship debate show, Question Time, since it began broadcasting in 1979 (before Lees was even born). Reaction to her contributions, both from the studio audience and those at home, were widely positive, but what was even more significant was the fact that an openly transgender person was finally given a platform on such a high-profile show.

I hope that the ground that Paris Lees has broken this year paves the way for more trans people to make their voices heard in 2014.

(Grand)parenting: You’re doing it right (part three)

Parts one and two saw parents getting it right when it came to their kids coming out. Part three sees a parent getting it totally wrong and an awesome grandparent stepping up to the plate.

The letter, first shared by FCKH8, is written from a father to his daughter, Christine, who has apparently kicked her son out for being gay.


In the response to the mother’s assertion that she didn’t raise her son to be gay, the grandfather wrote:

 “Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you.”

Once again, the authenticity of the letter has been questioned as the family haven’t come forward. But as with the similar letter posted in March, the hope that such an amazing response from a grandparent can exist, even when a parent reacts badly, would have undoubtedly helped people.

I guess it also goes to show that not everyone who’s homophobic learns it from their parents.

"Unromantic" girlfriend's bus-top proposal

Our review of September saw a gay couple getting engaged during a family flash-mob at Home Depot.

Not wanting to be outdone by the boys, October saw a video of a women proposing to her partner in equally original style go viral (although the event itself took place back in July).

When Alissa Haslam was called out of a meeting at work due to a "disturbance" outside her office window, the last thing she expected to find was her partner, Jeanne, standing on top of a bus across the street. But there she was, accompanied by many of their friends and even a brass band, and she had a very important question to ask.

The video of Alissa getting the surprise of her life has since been viewed well over a million times on YouTube:

Perhaps the best thing about Jeanne's proposal is that, just the night before, the couple had been discussing romance and Alissa "told her she wasn't romantic". I guess that would have made the surprise all the sweeter!

Did you watch both proposal videos? Did you have a favourite? Drop us a comment! Check back tomorrow for a look at November (the year's almost over!) and in the meantime you can catch up on the first nine months here.

What were your favourite LGBT+ moments of 2013? And what were your personal highlights? Did you come out? Get married? Do something life-changing? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow Julie Price on Twitter, @JuliePee

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