Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". What a great way to end the year! Not only was it the highlight of 2010 but ranks as one of the most important gay milestones of all time, reversing the ban against gays in the military dating back to 1942. Of course, the nearly 40 countries that already accept gay soldiers into their armed forces (e.g. Canada, Great Britain, Germany) shrugged their shoulders.
Honors for Modern Family and Glee. Straight actor Eric Stonestreet won an Emmy for Best Actor in a sitcom for his portrayal of 1/2 of gay couple/daddies Cameron & Mitchell on Modern Family while lesbian actress Jane Lynch won an Emmy for Best Actress in a sitcom for her portrayal of nasty cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (sexuality undetermined) on Glee. Modern Family also won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy.
Gay Bullying/Gay Suicide. In October Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate showed him online kissing another man. Coming in the midst of a spate of gay suicides in the autumn, Clementi's death was the tipping point. In response a video series titled "It Gets Better" was produced, starring celebrities (including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and regular Joe's.
Celebrating Sondheim. In celebration of Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday there was a celebration of his oeuvre at Lincoln Center and during the summer a limited-run salute on Broadway, Sondheim on Sondheim, ran. He also published a book Finishing the Hat and a DVD was released of a primetime musical from 1966, Evening Primrose, that Sondheim wrote the music for.
Paris, Berlin, ... Houston? Lesbian Annise Parker was sworn in as mayor of Houston on January 4. Governing a city of nearly 2 million, Parker became the gay/lesbian with the largest constituency in the U.S. (Not to negate the influence of Barney Frank or Lady Gaga!)
Razzle Dazzle at Winter Olympics. Johnny Weir's performance in the Men's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver was breathtaking, but unfortunately the judges weren't as enamored and he placed sixth. Another American, the more masculine (relatively speaking) Evan Lysacek (pictured, above, in black, near left) won the gold. The jury is still out on his sexuality, but an ongoing cat fight between the two skaters raised eyebrows.
Gay-themed Movies. Highlights for me were The Kids Are Alright (Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo), I Love You, Phillip Morris (Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor) and the Peruvian film Undertow.
Memoirs. Patti LuPone published her memoirs, Patti LuPone: A Memoir, in September (and also co-starred in the short-lived stage musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.) Ricky Martin (who finally came out in 2010) and Ellen DeGeneres' partner, Portia de Rossi, also published their respective memoirs, Me and Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss & Gain. Finally, Project Runway's Tim Gunn published Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work, a book on style that also touched upon some of his own life.
Same Sex Marriage. In March Washington, D.C. joined five other states (MA, IA, CT, NH and VT) in legalizing same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, in August a U.S. district court judge in San Francisco overturned Prop 8 saying it was unconsitutional; however, resumption of marriages was put on hold while a Court of Federal Appeals in District 9 reviewed the decision.
Baseball? The San Francisco Giants won their first World Series championship for the city, helped mightily by stud relief pitcher Brian "The Beard" Wilson. His intent stare, beard dyed a jet black, how he left the top buttons of his uniform unbuttoned, his well spoken manner - all were part of his appeal (for me at least). Eyebrows were raised upon the introduction of his friend, referred to as "The Machine", who walked around in a leather hood, harness and jock. The blog The Gay Highwaymen speculated whether Wilson might be gay. Curiously, after receiving considerable attention for a few weeks after the World Series, Wilson has kept a low profile ever since. Perhaps the Giants and Major League Baseball ordered him to tone it down?
However, not all that was gay glittered: Elton John sang at Rush Limbaugh's wedding; JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater (above) threw an alcohol-fueled hissy-fit; the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas closed after 31 years; Ricky Martin's aforementioned memoir had no photos in it and, sadly, the worst movie I saw all year was Burlesque (with apologies to Cher).