“I just want 2016 to keep going!” said no one ever. Fuh real—this year needs to end quicker than a six-second Vine. Aw, RIP Vine. We hardly knew ya. Jay kay. You were annoying AF sometimes.
I suppose there’s no use in crying over spilled white supremacy in a Russian-hacked world. But we must at least acknowledge that there were several legendary instances this year (both good and bad) that, quite literally, took our breath away. Actually, there’s no use in fixing that five-dollar wig, gurl, when it’s about to get snatched by these gag-worthy moments.
Donald Trump Elected President
Apparently, the racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and outright bigotry did little to sway tens of millions of people from voting for, and ultimately, electing Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. Yes, we are going from the most pro-LGBT president to one whose second-in-command believes in ex-gay conversion therapy and queer persecution for the sake of religious freedom; we are going from a black president to one endorsed by the KKK. Though Trump says marriage equality will remain the law of the land, there’s no telling how a conservative Supreme Court will sway under his rule.
Hillary Clinton Wins Nomination
Before she secured roughly three million more votes than the eventual Electoral College victor, former First Lady, ex-U.S. Senator, and one-time Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made history by becoming the first woman to ever win a major party’s nomination for the U.S. presidency. Dressed in all white, Hillary delivered a rousing speech that touched on the magnitude of the occasion—one that definitely left several cracks in the glass ceiling. Watching her formally accept the nomination was incredibly special.
FLOTUS Covers Vogue
I thought about highlighting Michelle Obama’s thrilling speech before the Democratic National Convention, or even her takedown of Donald Trump following the release of the now-infamous Access Hollywood tapes. But let’s be real, FLOTUS REALLY gagged us when she appeared in Vogue’s November issue, her last one while in office. Whether she’s sitting against a huge pillar in a gorgeous blue gown or lounging on a staircase in a form-fitting coat dress, Mrs. Obama oozes class and sex appeal, as she’s done effortlessly for the past eight years. God, I’mma miss her.
Pulse Nightclub Shooting
I remember waking up that Sunday morning to a text from a friend of mine urging me to turn on the news. I’ll never forget the feeling of watching the non-stop coverage of this, a coordinated attack on members of my community, for hours upon hours just not knowing how to cope or process everything: This? In 2016? During Pride Month? But Orlando? Nearly 50 people, a vast majority of whom were queer Latinos, died while proudly celebrating their identity on Latin Night. We must never forget them.
First, there was the false alarm, when we heard that a plane carrying the music icon was forced to make an emergency landing because of a sick passenger. Then, several days later, we received word that the ‘Purple One’ had, in fact, succumbed to an opioid overdose. The fact that his passing came weeks after that of another well-regarded artist, and sexually-ambiguous male sex symbol, was additionally crushing for thousands of Prince’s LGBT fans. But it was comforting to see so many fitting tributes to the rocker, including the sensational BET Awards display featuring the incomparable Sheila E.
Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ Drops
This Texas Bama was ecstatic when ‘Formation’ dropped. Hell, I watched it 4298 times the day it came out! But that video (and subsequent Super Bowl performance) was a delicious appetizer for the full glass of ‘Lemonade’ Beyonce served her ferocious fans this spring on HBO. The stunning visual album (a follow-up to her amazing self-titled record) tackled infidelity, feminism, and ‘Daddy Lessons,’ and proved once and for all that the Houston-native is unmatched in the entertainment world. And I ain’t sorry to say that.
‘Moonlight’ Steals Awards Spotlight
This critically-acclaimed film by director Barry Jenkins, which follows a young African-American male as he discovers himself during three transformative periods in his life, is rightfully garnering the attention of every major awards show. The American Film Institute ranked it among the year’s ten best films, and it’s currently nominated for six Golden Globes, with Oscar sure to come a ’knocking. Don’t end the year without watching this powerful drama.
Cynthia Erivo Dominates Tony Stage
I knew about a quarter-way through Cynthia Erivo’s delivery of “I’m Here” in the final act of Broadway’s ‘The Color Purple’ that I was having a religious experience. And every black woman and theater queen around me practically started wiping their brow with their kerchiefs as soon as they heard her belt the first note. If you didn’t get a chance to witness this in person, the Brit proved just why she won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical this year during the award broadcast. Her voice is pure magic, y’all.
JHud’s ‘Hairspray Live!’ Show-stopper
As soon as NBC announced that Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson would assume the role of Motormouth Maybelle in the LIVE TV production of ‘Hairspray,’ I knew that my body had to prepare itself for the 11 o’ clock gospel number “I Know Where I’ve Been.” Chile. I. WAS. NOT. READY. JHud knows how to perform the HELL out of a number, and this classic was NO exception. Need proof? Look at the TEARS streaming down her costars’ faces. LOOK AT MY FACE!
The Most Iconic “Lip-Sync For Your Life”
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is, hands-down, the most diverse TV program around. Name another platform that beautifully showcases the talents of so many queer performers (especially those of color). And this year’s ‘All Stars’ season was easily its best. In what is regarded by many fans as the BEST ‘Lip-Sync for Your Life’ in the show’s HERstory, fan favorites Alyssa Edwards and Tatianna prove that a lot of us should just shut up and drive away, cuz they’ve got the keys. You know what, they own the WHOLE CAR!