With the year coming to a close, we thought we’d share some proud moments in 2015 that showed the world that the people of the LGBT community are finally being considered equal and are just as amazing as everyone else!
The ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing couples in all fifty states to be — legally — with the one they love…
… and everyone felt a lot of feelings:
Jack Evans, 85, and George Harris, 82, of Dallas, Texas — who first met at a house party over 50 years ago — became one of the first couples to tie the knot following that important ruling:
And some lone hero put this sign outside the Rowan County Courthouse entrance after clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses:
Laverne Cox posed for a nude photo shoot and we all lost our minds:
“Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about her body might be inspiring for some folks,” the actress said of the image in April.
Remember when Abby Wambach, having just helped lead the U.S. Women’s national team to victory, ran to her wife in the stands and destroyed our tear ducts?
Or when this perfectly timed photo of two women kissing right in front of an anti-gay pastor in Dublin was everything we needed? Now you do.
“I meant to snap [the picture], but I didn’t realize I snapped the man’s reaction until I got home yesterday,” photographer James Delaney told BuzzFeed News.
Take a second to relive the smooch that made Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly the first same-sex couple to be married in Ireland:
And that wonderful smooch could only happen after the Republic of Ireland became the very first nation to enact marriage equality by a popular vote:
When voters in Salt Lake City, Utah, elected their first openly gay mayor? That was pretty cool.
Jackie Biskupski joins a relatively small group of openly gay U.S. mayors that includes Annise Parker of Houston and Ed Murray of Seattle.
Trans heartthrob Aydian Dowling managed tobreak the internet not once…
… but twice:
There was that time when Wellesley College, Barnard, and Smith all announced changes in their admissions policies to accept transgender women (finally):
Following an interview with Diane Sawyer, Caitlyn Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair with a little help from the one and only Annie Liebovitz:
And then that same cover sparked trans people to challenge beauty standards for trans people bycreating their own Vanity Fair covers:
“It is important to note that these standards are also informed by race, class and ability among other intersections. I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can,” wrote actress Laverne Cox, who helped spark the conversation, on her tumblr.
The world watched Polish priest Krysztof Olaf Charamsa stay true to himself and his beliefs even after the Vatican fired him for being gay:
“I know that the Church will see me as someone who has failed to keep a promise, who has lost his way, and what’s worse, not with a woman, but a man,” Charamsa told an Italian newspaper. “I also know that I will have to give up the ministry, even though it is my whole life.”
And we cheered when a kickass Seattle-based Girl Scout chapter stood up for trans rights and ended up getting a donation of $250,000:
After the group returned $100,000 to a donor who said the money couldn’t help transgender girls, a crowd-funding campaign made a donation that doubled the amount.
Theatergoers finally got to see FreeHeld, Ellen Page’s passion project, on the big screen and thenCarol totally owned the Golden Globes nominations with 5 bids:
Reddit user MeggoEgggo1 and her wife casually won the baby announcement game once and for all with these t-shirts:
And an amazing tattoo artist retouched his wife’s tattoo of their trans son to reflect his true identity:
Cara Delevingne silenced anyone calling her sexuality ~ just a phase~ :
“My sexuality is not a phase. I am who I am,” she said in response to those who might be questioning her bisexuality.
That was second only to the shut down delivered by soccer player Ella Masar after marrying fellow footballer Erin McLeod:
She wrote: “For all the congratulations, love, and support thank you. Erin and I feel overwhelmed and blessed with everyone that has reached out… Also, to the ‘other’ messages, thank you. Thank you for praying for me and reinforcing my own prayers because as you pray, ‘Lord please help Ella, allow her to see her sin for loving that woman, for respecting her, being faithful, honoring her, etc …’ Know I am saying the same thing, ‘My Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing me find my better half, for finding someone that strengthens my faith and allows me to be the person I always imagined. Thank you for teaching me what truly loving someone and others is all about, amen.’”
Landon Patterson of Kansas City, MO, became her high school’s first trans homecoming queen andslayed with the crown:
And when this video of a trans teen getting her first dose of hormones went viral everyone grabbed for some tissues:
There was that one time Senior U.S. Airman Logan Ireland, an out trans servicemember in the U.S. Air Force, spent an evening with Obama at the White House Pride celebration:
And one brave woman dared to interrupt Ryan Gosling to propose to her girlfriend:
YouTube lovely Ingrid Nilson came out in a heart wrenching video while rocking a completely flawless red lip:
And then she gave everyone relationship envy all year long with her girlfriend Hannah Hart:
Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor became PDA queens on twitter and the world almost couldn’t handle it:
And POTUS himself was lookin’ all fine as the very first president to appear on the cover of an LGBT publication:
Meanwhile, George Takei? He continued to be George Takei.