A shocking murder. A scandalous reference. A delightfully casual coming out. The most read articles on Metro Weekly in 2021 represent LGBTQ news from across the spectrum, from local to international, Gen Z to Silent Generation, deadly serious to decidedly flippant.
In a year that brought attacks on transgender rights, a very different Pride, and the ever-looming presence of COVID-19, can you guess what our readers were most interested in over the past 12 months?
Well, end that burning curiosity by reading on — and don’t be afraid to click the highlighted areas to dive into the full articles! We’ll be waiting here for you when you get back.
10. Republican lawmaker calls LGBTQ equality a ‘rebellion against God’
South Carolina state Sen. Richard Cash co-opted a debate on anti-abortion legislation to blame LGBTQ equality for a “slow, downward moral decline” in America, as well as brand same-sex marriage a “rebellion…against God.” It was one of countless examples last year of GOP legislators using their time and publicly-funded salary to attack LGBTQ people — and Cash even threw in some transphobia for good measure. Read Full Story Here.
9. Cancun shooting: LGBTQ guests forced to hide after armed men ‘storm’ 5-star resort
Collective anxiety tore through social media after reports emerged of an armed shooter at a Cancún resort filled with a number of LGBTQ people who live-tweeted their collective ordeal while sheltering. What initially seemed like a major tragedy instead ended with one tourist suffering minor injuries and two drug dealers shot dead — killed in an apparent spat between rival gangs. Read Full Story Here.
8. Conservatives slam Jen Psaki over ‘homophobic’ tweet about Lindsey Graham
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki drew the ire of conservatives after she called Sen. Graham “Lady G” in a tweet — a reference to explosive allegations made by a gay adult film star who claimed to have been hired by a Republican senator, “LG.” That led to “#LadyG” trending on Twitter, allegedly a nickname used for Graham by sex workers. Conservatives, inadvertently supporting persistent rumors about Graham’s sexuality, loudly accused Psaki of homophobia for using the name to criticize him. Read Full Story Here.
7. Here are the 13 senators who voted against confirming Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg entered the history books when he was confirmed to be U.S. Secretary of Transportation, becoming the first openly LGBTQ Senate-approved cabinet secretary. While 86 senators supported Buttigieg’sappointment, a lot of people were apparently curious to know who exactly had voted against the gay former South Bend mayor and presidential candidate. (Spoiler: They were all Republican.) Read Full Story Here.
6. Kellogg’s new LGBTQ cereal wants to fill your mouth with Pride
While we can’t say if it left a bad taste in their mouths, readers apparently couldn’t get enough of Kellogg’s bizarre Pride effort, a mix of rainbow-hued cereal resembling heart-shaped Froot Loops and edible glitter that was earnestly called “Together with Pride.” A perfect example of rainbow capitalism, the sugary cereal did at least attempt to do good — every box sold donated $3 to LGBTQ media organization GLAAD. Read Full Story Here.
5. TikTok star condemned after racist, anti-gay texts leaked
It’s hard to escape the impact TikTok has had on popular culture, and that’s reflected in a story about Isabella Avila featuring in our most-read list. If you’re unaware of Avila, known as @onlyjayus on TikTok, she was widely condemned after leaked texts showed the young social media star using anti-gay and racist slurs. Avila, a lesbian, apologized — but few seemed willing to forgive her for telling another TikTok star that she hoped “everyone you love dies.” Read Full Story Here.
4. Alabama removes anti-gay language from sex education curriculum
April brought a rare moment of positive LGBTQ news from Alabama, after Democrats and Republicans worked together to remove a requirement that forced school teachers to condemn homosexuality and tell students it is “not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public.” It’s just a shame that it came mere days after the state banned transgender athletes from competing in sports. Read Full Story Here.
3. Lesbian couple shot dead in Utah after alerting friends to ‘creepy guy’ near their campsite
Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner, a recently married couple camping in Utah’s La Sal Mountains, told friends and family that they were moving sites after a “creepy guy” who was “freaking them out” camped near them. Days later, and after the couple failed to come home, a friend found their bodies. Five months after their shocking deaths, police are still searching for answers. Read Full Story Here.
2. President Biden issues executive order protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination
Few things signaled just how different President Biden would be to his bigoted predecessor than an executive order signed on his first day in office, prohibiting anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the federal government. The sheer number of people who shared this story on social media — almost half a million — is testament to how momentous Biden’s action was for LGBTQ people after four years of White House-led attacks. Read Full Story Here.
1. Disney star Joshua Bassett comes out as LGBTQ
Both a reflection of Gen Z’s unbothered approach to sexuality and gender identity as well as the LGBTQ-ification of traditionally conservative Disney, Joshua Bassett’s coming out was as casual as they come. The star of Disney+’s hit show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series revealed that he was LGBTQ after being asked about Harry Styles during a video interview. Bassett heaped praise on the singer, calling him “hot” and “charming,” before adding, “This is also my coming out video, I guess.” Bassett’s fans devoured the news, helping him become the most read story of 2021 — and one of the most read in the history of Metro Weekly. Read Full Story Here.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!