Coming out in Hollywood in 2012 became a casual affair. Gone were the days of the “I’m Gay” cover photo.
1. Matt Bomer thanked his partner, Simon Hall, and kids in an acceptance speech.
2. Jim Parsons’ sexuality was a matter-of-fact statement buried in a “New York Times” profile.
3. Andrew Rannells told “Vulture” that unlike his character on “Girls,” he was never closeted.
4. Anderson flew the coop in an email to Andrew Sullivan: “I’m gay … and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
5. Mika explained that his new songs were about a “relationship with a man.”
And no one batted an eye.
6. When Frank Ocean came out via Tumblr, the hip hop community embraced him.
7. Russell Simmons (pictured) and Tyler, The Creator immediately vocalized support for the singer.
And it became clear that hip hop was ready, more than ever, to publicly demonstrate support for the gay community.
8. Jay-Z led the pack as one of the first major hip hop artists to back same-sex marriage.
9. The hip hop duo, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, released a song in support of marriage equality.
11. Murs’ music video for “Animal Style” denounced intolerance and even addressed teen suicide.
12. Fans found a new icon in Azealia Banks: An artist who wasn’t afraid to embrace the LGBT community.
Jamieson Cox explains how she made him fierce.
In the sports world, where we are still without an out LGBT athlete currently playing in any of the major leagues, there were still significant advances.
In fact, the first gay major leaguer already has a lot of friends.
13. A record 23 openly gay athletes competed in Summer Olympics and 10 of them took home medals.
14. Megan Rapinoe proved she had balls by coming out at the height of her playing career.
15. Wrestler, Stephany Lee (right), became an Olympian and then a newlywed.
16. Featherweight Orlando Cruz won his match just days after he became the first openly gay boxer.
17. Pro poker player, Jason Somerville, came out to his peers in a blog post and became the first out player.
18. Kevin McClatchy, former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, came out after 25 years of trepidation.
19. Former NFL player, Wade Davis, came out nine years after an injury ended his career.
20. NFL punter, Chris Kluwe, was not afraid to be a vocal ally and stand up for LGBT issues.
Here are 26 reasons why he’s an awesome guy.
21. And neither was Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who backed marriage equality.
22. Rugby player Ben Cohen launched “StandUp,” a magazine to highlight the best in sports culture while also trying to end bullying and homophobia.
The gay community also dominated the Internet.
23. The web series, “The Outs,” was the best thing not seen on TV and was better than most cable programming.
Not to mention the many great gay series that stormed the web this year.
24. The Necki Menij Show turned out to be one of the greatest gay male love letters to our female pop idols.
25. Texts From Hillary was created in a gay sports bar.
26. Facebook Co-Founder, Chris Hughes, bought “The New Republic” with the intention of bringing it into the digital age.
27. Creator of the FiveThirtyEight blog and self-proclaimed geek, Nate Silver, correctly predicted the 2012 election.
Speaking of the election…
28. Barack Obama became the first sitting president to publicly support same-sex marriage.
And not only was Obama re-elected, there were also several landmark victories for the LGBT community.
29. Eight out LGBT candidates ran as major-party nominees for Congress.
Top row from left; Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate, Rep. Tammy Baldwin; Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. New York Democratic Rep. candidate Sean Patrick Maloney; bottom row from left; Republican U.S. House candidate Richard Tisei of Massachussets; former Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Congressional candidate Mark Takano of California.
30. In total, the Victory Fund endorsed a record-breaking 180 out LGBT candidates running for offices on all levels.
31. Tammy Baldwin became the first out LGBT senator.
32. Rep. Mark Takano of California became the first out LGBT person of color elected to Congress.
33. Kyrsten Sinema became the nation’s first openly bisexual Congresswoman.
34. Rep. Tina Kotek was elected as Oregon’s first out LGBT House Speaker.
35. Florida elected Reps. David Richardson and Joe Saunders, the state’s first out gay lawmakers.
Meet both of them.
36. Jim Humes was appointed as California’s first out gay justice.
37. Marriage equality won out in all four states with measures regarding same-sex marriage on the ballot.
But support for marriage equality was not limited to the U.S.
38. The Danes passed new laws regarding same-sex civil and religious marriage allowing same-sex couples to get married in the Church of Denmark.
39. Spain reaffirmed marriage equality in a constitutional court ruling.
40. Back in the U.S., it turned out that the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” had no negative impact on the military.
41. Brenda Sue Fulton (a key DADT opponent) and Penelope Gnesin became the first same-sex couple to get married at the Cadet Chapel at West Point.
42. Will Behrens and Erwynn Umali were able to profess their love to each other in the first gay union held on a U.S. military base.
Media also made even greater strides to incorporate out LGBT characters into the everyday fabric of their content.
43. Kate McKinnon became the first out lesbian to join “SNL” and quickly became one of the best cast members on the show.
45. Meanwhile, the total number of LGBT characters on scripted television reached an all-time high.
46. Ellen DeGeneres was awarded the 15th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
(Proving everyone loved Ellen.)
47. In the comics world, “X-Men” character, Northstar, married his longtime boyfriend.
49. “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” introduced Billy, the first out gay male slayer.
50. Less than a year after introducing its first gay character, Kevin, “Archie” penned its first same-sex wedding for Kevin and his beau.
LGBT allies also came in all forms and from unexpected places.
51. fun. and designer Rachel Antonoff launched an LGBT ally group, The Ally Coalition, in support of LGBTQ equality.
52. JCPenney named Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson and didn’t blink when One Million Moms protested the decision.
53. The retailer also released catalogues featuring same-sex families.
54. GAP followed suit and featured gay couples in its “Be Your Own T” and “Love Comes In Every Shade” ad campaigns.
57. Both Intel and UPS dropped funding for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) over its anti-gay policies.
58. Over 170 Eagle Scouts from all across the country pledged to give their pin in support of Ryan Andersen who was denied his Eagle award.
More on Ryan Andresen’s story.