Instinct’s Top Nine of Instagram 2021

As December comes to an end, and we bid 2021 farewell, you may have noticed your Instagram feeds flooding with people’s Top Nine of 2021 per usual. If you don’t know, this is each profile’s top liked images of the year that are posted as a retrospective of what has transpired in 2021.

For us at Instinct, we look back on 2021 and our Top Nine as we see some of our top stories and images that created buzz on social media and beyond.


Here’s a look at Instinct Magazine’s Top Nine of 2021 and the topics that you all liked the most! #2021TopNine

#1 – Carl Nassib Comes Out

Carl Nassib is a defensive lineman with the Las Vegas Raiders, the first openly gay NFL player to come out while actively playing the sport. In 2021 the player came out as gay and created major headlines. Nassib came out through an Instagram post, in which he also announced a partnership with the Trevor Project.


#2 – Gus Kenworthy Shows Off Post-Accident Bruises

Olympian Gus Kenworthy started 2021 with a nasty snowboarding accident. While he was recovering, Gus showed off his bruises across his body on Instagram and it created quite the stir.


#3 – First Out Legislator in Pennsylvania, Brian Sims

After spending nearly 10 years in the Pennsylvania state House, openly gay Rep. Brian Sims announced he is running to be the Keystone State’s next lieutenant governor this year. The woofy Democrat made history in 2012 when he became the first openly gay man elected the Pennsylvania legislature. We love covering Sims and the folks on Instagram love him as well!


#4 – Brazilian Governor Eduardo Leite Comes Out

Eduardo Leite, governor of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and a 2022 presidential hopeful, came out as gay in 2021. The 36-year-old’s announcement was met with much support from the worlds of Brazilian politics and LGBTQ activism–and Instagram!


#5 – Nick Jonas Leading Our Instahotties

Throughout the year Instinct posts our favorite Instagram hotties and pics from the eye candy we love to see. Nick Jonas is definitely one of our top favorites to see and our readers love him too!


#6 – Neil Patrick Harris Shares How He Keeps His Kids Busy During Quarantine

This year Neil Patrick Harris came up with a brilliant solution on how he and husband David Burtka could expertly keep their twins Harper and Gideon‘s spirits up amid a very frustrating time in the world. They shared how keeping things exciting day after day kept their kids curious and interested. NPH and DB always resonate with our readers.


#7 – Anderson Cooper Reveals He Struggled Before Coming Out

This year Anderson Cooper shared how he struggled with feeling accepted and embraced in his teenage years and into his college years before he came out later in life. Years later and Anderson is considered to be one of the most prominent and respected openly gay journalists out there. He even credited his sexuality with helping him in his profession. We love to see it–and so do you!


#8 – Remembering Instinct Writer, Ryan Shea

On February 19th, Instinct’s world was turned upside down when one of our very own, Ryan Shea, succumbed to his battle with complications from COVID-19. To say that we at Instinct continue to be heartbroken is a complete and utter understatement. Ryan, who joined our team in 2017, wrote thousands of stories for not only Instinct, but other media outlets. Never did we imagine that Ryan would be the subject of one of our stories, much less to have to share this news with all of you, the readers he so passionately wrote for. Many of this year’s top headlines were written by Ryan and we learned from the fervor with which he wrote. We received an outpour of support from readers on social media and all the kind words continue to be shared with his family.


#9 – Richard Rothstein Photography Series Feature

This photography feature with Richard Rothstein received a lot of attention from our readers. Rothstein’s style is bold, emotional, dramatic with a bit of humor as he captures his subjects’ bodies around New York City.


Accessing your Top Nine (or Best Nine) changes slightly every year. This year there are two ways to do it:

Best Nine’s website doesn’t require a log in or email address. Though, it does run slower than Top Nine. On the homepage, you enter your Instagram handle, but be prepared to wait a while before the platform generates your Best Nine.


Top Nine app requires you to download the mobile app. It’ll ask you for your Instagram handle/username and you have the option to enter your email address for delivery or you can wait for it to generate your Top Nine.

Follow Instinct Magazine on Instagram and help us build our Top Nine of 2022.

Happy New Year!

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