As 2021 wraps up, we’re taking the opportunity to look back. Yes, this year has been immeasurably different from what we expected. Whether it has been Suzie Dent’s publishing of terms to take a hit at the UK government or Taylor Swift breaking the internet as she changes the industry with another album, social media was our quick escape from our daily lives. But, for the queer community, the internet served as a space to reconnect a community. From LGBTQ+ people celebrating the holiday spirit online to Gen Z turning TikTok into a tool of queer education, the internet became a refuge for many of us.
That said, alongside the heartfelt moments, social media has been fraught with queer trends, pop culture controversy, and all the typical nonsensical moments we’ve come to enjoy. Whether that’s a Timothée Chalamet twink meme going viral or the heartwarming praise for celebrities coming out – we’re looking at you Jojo Siwa -, a lot has happened in the past 12 months. Whether you’ve been asked if you listen to Girl In Red or if something LGBTQ+ just happened to you, our informal trend recap will fill you in. So, while there’s not enough time in a day to keep up with all the online zaniness, we’ve put together a quick fix list to fill all your major LGBTQ+ viral moments.
Lil Nas X has been a 2021 mood
There have been few artists that have made quite an impact like Lil Nas X. From his record-breaking single Old Town Road to stirring up drama on the internet, this singer knows how to stay relevant and viral. The singer ended up on everyone’s trending list for more than one reason. So, let’s try to recall a few. First, the artist made a name for himself on TikTok for his humour videos and various album hints. The star released a music video giving stan a lapdance, he released blood-filled trainers, the 22-year-old backed trans rappers and, let’s not forget, that awards show performance.
@lilnasxBING BONG!♬ original sound – yvngwxrld
Harry Styles is our policeman
From his incredible tour (featuring the viral Harryween moment) to news of his big-screen role in My Policeman, the Fine Line star has been inescapable this year. Harry Styles affiliation with the LGBTQ+ community has long been up for speculation, but one thing we know for sure is that he’s proved his allyship. Throughout his US tour this year, the former One Direction star has used his platform to help a 23-year-old fan come out. In 2018, Styles also supported a fan coming out at his show
In 2018, a fan attended his San Jose concert and shared that they were going to come out to their parents because of Styles. Moreover, in 2017, he used his influence to inspire inclusivity as he told the crowd: “If you are Black, if you are white, if you are gay, if you are straight, if you are transgender – whoever you are, whoever you want to be, I support you.”
Now we’ve brushed up your knowledge on all of Styles’ allyship, here’s what else kept the Watermelon Sugar singer on our internet radar. Earlier this year, the first images of the artist’s role in My Policeman were released. The film, an adaptation of Bethan Roberts’ LGBTQ+ novel, is currently in production. Styles will star alongside British actor Emma Corrin, who came out as LGBTQ+ this year.
Harry Styles and Emma Corrin on screen together… so true bestie. My Policeman is coming soon. pic.twitter.com/ghvCDm9HtV
— Prime Video (@PrimeVideo) February 5, 2021
Elliot Page is living his best life
The Umbrella Academy star made history as the face of Time magazine, but this wasn’t his only big moment. Attending the Met Gala, Page stole our hearts in his dashing suit. While Page has maintained his privacy during the transition, the actor has occasionally come online or made an appearance to show how he is thriving. The actor also took to social media to share a milestone in their personal progression. Understandably, Page’s posts went viral for the much-needed positive portrayal of trans lives online and in the media.
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#FreeBritney is a moment to remember
We all collectively screamed and cheered once the news rolled in. Britney Spears is finally free from her horrific conservatorship. On 29 September, a Los Angeles judge ordered that Jamie Spears be suspended with immediate effect. This was a change 13 years in the making. However, the monumental news came in on 12 November, over a month after her father’s removal. For months before the ruling, #FreeBritney trended as fans and stars publicly supported the star’s journey. Once the news about Britney’s release made rounds, the internet erupted with joy.
Team LGBTQ+ changed the 2020 Olympics
The 2020 Olympics have been incredible this year. From Tom Daley going viral for his gold medal win (and knitting) to the event’s breakthrough in LGBTQ+ representation, it’s been something to remember. Fortunately, the internet has catalogued more than how to hook up with LGBTQ+ athletes. Team LGBTQ+ astonished viewers with their incredible wins and achievements throughout the games. Athletes who were intolerant faced backlash as the sporting industry becomes more inclusive. GAY TIMES took a look at whether the sporting world is ready for a new generation of out and proud LGBTQ+ athletes.
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RuPaul’s Drag Race has been serving
An incredible franchise, RuPaul’s Drag Race is the only mainstream production to spotlight talented drag stars across the world. With various iterations across the globe, it’s become well known in and outside of the community. This year, Kylie Sonique Love made herstory as the first transgender winner across all 13 seasons of Drag Race US and all six of All Stars. The win was an incredible moment for both the LGBTQ+ community and the Drag Race scene. Kylie’s win went viral as fans of the show applauded the win.
In 2019, Angele Anang became the first trans winner in the Drag franchise. The queen won more challenges on a single season than any other contestant as well as becoming the first openly trans queen to win the show.
Kylie Sonique Love has won RuPaul’s Drag Race #AllStars6!
She becomes the first trans woman to win in the history of the US franchise. 🏳️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/c3kumFy0tq
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) September 3, 2021
It’s all about queertok
You might be questioning what is queertok? Well, it’s the LGBTQ+ side of TikTok. If you’ve not seen that side of the app, it’s time to get your algorithm in order. Whether it’s the gay limp wrist meme or gays, gals and non-binary pals using the “do you listen to Girl in Red” pick up line, TikTok has become a home to numerous LGBTQ+ memes, trends and more. This year, we’ve seen the audio “something LGBTQ+ just happened to me” go viral. This trend included people opening up about their experiences, visual compilations to favourite shows and possibly anything else the community could think of.
Elsewhere, MUNA’s Silk Chiffon became a big hit and was adopted as creators (both LGBTQ+ and not) used the audio ironically against the funny videos. Another huge hit was Willow’s Transparent Soul. Not only did the song trend throughout TikTok, but fans made guitar covers and edits.
@stupidlittlefrog lifes so fun life’s so fun #foryou#bpd#helplol#lgbtq ♬ Silk Chiffon (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) – MUNA
Generation queer and here
You might be wondering where we’re going with this, so bear with us. This year, many high profile figures took the time to come out as LGBTQ+ to the public. While we understand and appreciate not every star must label their identity, there were a few stars that felt the need to. One particular young online personality broke the internet with her TikTok. Yes, it’s time to mention Jojo Siwa. After taking to TikTok to post a video revealing how she chose to identity. Initially, the star did not label her identity but has since revealed she is pansexual. While this may seem like a small moment, Siwa’s posts were everywhere. Not only this, the 18-year-old is primarily known for being a children’s entertainer. Opting to come out, the star was pushing LGBTQ+ visibility in a bold new direction as she bravely revealed who she is to the masses.
Elsewhere on the internet, acclaimed artist Kehlani, who previously labelled herself as queer, opened up about her sexuality on social media. During an Instagram Live, the singer came out saying she “knows she is a lesbian” and still uses “she” and “they” pronouns. Another high profile singer Demi Lovato came out as pansexual this year and has changed their pronouns to “they” and “them”. Both stars were praised for opening up about their identities.
My cousin got me a new shirt pic.twitter.com/DuHhgRto7b
— JoJo Siwa!🌈❤️🎀 (@itsjojosiwa) January 22, 2021
We’re in a Megan Fox renaissance
The Jennifer’s Body star has long been open about her LGBTQ+ identity. From discussing her bisexuality in media to bringing a bisexual character to life on New Girl, Fox has been forward about the importance of representation. This year, we’ve seen attitudes towards the Hollywood star shift. Whether it has been the reclaiming of her queer cult classic or killer Met Gala look, audiences are seeing her in a new light. Now, sure, her red carpet look was all over the internet. But, for us, our favourite viral moment was her casually reminder of her queerness online. In an Instagram post, the star captioned her image: “Putting the B in #LGBTQIA for over two decades”. For that alone, we’re Megan Fox stans.
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Timothée Chalamet and the twink meme
Last but not least, we have to address Timothée Chalamet. The star has become an internet obsession following his breakout role in Call Me By Your Name. However, it doesn’t matter how big a star gets, it seems nobody is immune to the meme treatment. It didn’t take long for one user to put the words “Timothée Chalamet” and “twink” to be strung together and, of course, it ended up all over the internet. It seems the meme cropped up shortly after some footage of Chalamet’s latest project – a musical fantasy titled Wonka – surfaced. Some went as far as to label him “Twonka”. The official release for Wonka is set for 2023 so, for now, any further speculations on his character (or his portrayal) remain hidden. However, it seems most fans have their minds made up already.
theydies and gentlethems, without further ado, the main event… THEE timothée chalamet on my doorstep recording a musical number for wonka ! and i am living ! timmy nation rise !!! pic.twitter.com/LswcIBSca9
— art (@_ARTSARTSARTS) October 12, 2021