We might not be able to catch a ball from more than three-yards, but our hand/eye jazz-hand/threaded-eye coordination is skilled enough to capture the pop-culture zeitgeist of the past year. We may have endured more blackouts than homes affected by Hurricane Irene in 2011, but our love for pop-culture allows its brightest gems to shine through our sober senses. Once again, Instinct has assigned two of its sassiest editors—Jeff Katz, Senior Editor, and Jonathan Higbee, Associate Web Editor—the task of assessing the year in pop-culture, and 2011's bountiful list might include the most eclectic selections to date.
To continue the series, Jeff and Jonathan tackle the year's top friends and foes of the gay community. So, who made the lineup?
Instinct’s Top 10 Friends of 2011:
Why He’s BFF Worthy: Talent, charm and a charitable heart?! Frankly, he’s the best straight boyfriend a gay could ask for!
Why She’s BFF Worthy: Hear us out a minute: The once staunch conservative at The View table has become MUCH MORE open minded on a number of issues. But more than that, Hasselbeck has become a very vocal proponent of marriage equality and gay rights. And having someone with that much conservative clout in our corner isn’t so bad...
Why She’s BFF Worthy: Though she undoubtedly already is a huge friend to the community, Cyndi truly stepped up her game this year. She’s taken on the devastating, and all-too-frequent, issue of LGBT homelessness head on, advocating for more support every chance she gets and even putting her name (and money) where her mouth is by funding the True Color Residences.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Why He’s BFF Worthy: Four words: New York marriage equality.
The Cast of 8
Why They Are BFF Worthy: Because some of the biggest and most respected actors took the time for a one-night staging for a play about our rights! A standing ovation to you, Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, Anthony Edwards, Bradley Whitford, John Lithgow, Cheyenne Jackson, Campbell Brown, Christine Lahti, Matt Bomer, Rob Reiner, Larry Kramer, Yeardley Smith and Bob Balaban.
Why He’s BFF Worthy: Possibly more controversial of a choice than Hasselbeck, there are certainly plenty of readers who would disagree with putting Obama here. “Why won’t he just announce his support for marriage equality?!” Cause he wants to get reelected. Even still, Obama has done more in support of our community in three years than Clinton (or any past president for that matter) did in eight. And if gay wedding announcements are any indication, maybe there’s more to come.
Sec. of State Hillary Clinton
Why She’s BFF Worthy: Hillary Clinton may have usurped Madonna or Gaga as the gay community’s most ardent high-powered female ally following her historic United Nations human rights speech. Do we smell an Obama/Clinton 2012 ticket?!
Major League Baseball
Why It’s BFF Worthy: Sure, it has a long way to go, but the MLB stood out among the other major American pro-sports leagues this year with regular contributions to It Gets Better and a non-discrimination policy update that greases the closet doors for our first openly-gay pro baseballer.
Why He’s BFF Worthy: Like Darren Criss, cutie-patootie Daniel Radcliffe was one of 2011’s most visible straight allies to the gay community. His tireless work supporting the Trevor Project is testament to his status as one of the LGBT Millenial set’s greatest allies!
Why He’s BFF Worthy: The straight hockey star of the New York Rangers put himself out there to support the successful campaign for marriage equality in the Empire State. He’s been taunted with gay slurs since but has not let the homophobic reaction quiet his voice in the fight for LGBT rights.
Instinct’s Top 10 Foes of 2011:
The entire Republican presidential hopeful field
Why We’re Not Fans: Marriage pledges, racists and conversion therapy...oh my?
Why We’re Not Fans: NOM’s president continued to attack the gay community in 2011 via lying about financial contributions and pushing his group’s homophobic agenda on any cable news outlet that his oversized head would fit on. Oh, and he lashed out at Glee for their sex episode—possibly the only really good episode they’ve had all season! What a prude.
Why We’re Not Fans: The middling QB may be cute and and he may be building hospitals for the poor in the Philippines, but he is missing his opportunity to help gay kids with an anti-bullying message that his team, the Broncos, has been approached to film. Guess Jesus wasn’t with him on that call...
Pastor Jim Garlow
Why We’re Not Fans: Because being a Prop. 8 supporter wasn’t bad enough, Pastor homophobe actually urged his congregation to support Newt for president since Obama is destroying the definition of marriage. Because Newt—a thrice married adulterer—should be the poster child for marriage.
Why We’re Not Fans: Well any country with legislation referred to as “kill the gays” surely isn’t getting high marks from us. But in all seriousness, Uganda continues to be a terrifying and dangerous place in the world for gays and lesbians. Let’s hope that those who continue to bravely stand up for their rights stay safe and undeterred, and that the rest of the global community can continue to apply pressure on Ugandan leaders to give equality a chance.
Cardinal Francis George
Why We’re Not Fans: Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George ended 2011 with a bigoted bang by comparing the gay community to the Ku Klux Klan. As Catholics continue to react harshly to this out-of-step d-bags unfortunate (and unChristian) intolerance calls for his resignation increase, helping solidify George in our Hall of Foe-Fame.
Tea Party audience members who booed openly-gay soldier Stephen Hill
Why We’re Not Fans: Our displeasure with the handful of audience members who audibly jeered Stephen Hill shouldn’t require justification, but in the event that it does, a few short words should do the trick: How much more un-American could that act have been?
Why We’re Not Fans: The homophobic Florida teacher became NOM’s poster-boy-curmudgeon after turning his podium into an anti-gay pulpit to indoctrinate youths into a lifestyle of hate. (See how we turned that around there?)
Why We’re Not Fans: Since we included Michele Bachmann in the entire crop of GOP presidential candidates above, we can hit her beard in a separate entry. The man behind some of Minnesota's most aggressive “ex gay” brainwashing centers had us wishing that it was actually possible to pray things away in 2011 (namely, him).
St. Petersburg, Russia's Homophobic Policy-makers
Why We’re Not Fans: Officials in St. Petersburg, Russia embarked on a crusade to make its LGBT community invisible by proposing a law banning the discussion of anything gay-related with youths. Unfortunately, the hate has spread and other cities in the country are now proposing similar measures.
Stay tuned to InstinctMagazine.com as our Best of 2011 series wraps up with the "Top 10 Viral Videos of 2011!"