Yohomo's 2017 hits and misses
Well, we’re still alive. So there’s that?
With breaking news coming at us every 5 seconds making us fear our push notifications, 2017 saw the world change at whiplash-inducing speed yet somehow overcome its residual 2016-related PTSD, snatch weaves and #RESIST.
With YOHOMO’s annual year-end review, we go through the soaring highs, frustrating lows, and truly WTF moments of 2017.
Jump in, shall we?
Queen Bey Slays the Pregnancy Announcement
Giving us a glimmer of hope that 2017 was going to be better, Queen Bey announced she was expecting twins in the most extra way possible. It ended up being the most-liked Instagram post of the year and the world has never been the same since.
As Donald Tr***’s inauguration on January 20th landed with the limp whimper of a racist alley cat, the Women’s Marches the day after roared back as millions of people around the world took to the streets in support of women’s and human rights and protest the new administration, pussy hats in tow. With over 50,000 people in Toronto alone, the March galvanized the resistance, gave us all courage to keep speaking truth to power and dazzle each other with our protest sign-making skills.
The #METOO Movement
As the Women’s March showed us how loud our voices can go, the #MeToo movement gave voice to the voiceless. A watershed moment with brave women and men breaking their silence about sexual harassment and assault, bringing down perpetrators from Kevin Spacey to Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer to Louis C.K. Originally coined by Tarana Burke in 2006 as a way to support women who had survived sexual violence, the movement spread like wildfire as people like Rose McGowan, Alyssa Milano, and Ashley Judd disclosed the insidious culture of sexual assault across industries, spearheading a much needed cleanse. It was all capped off by Salma Hayek's powerful NYTimes piece, Harvey Weinstein is My Monster Too.
Queer Stories Hit the Zeitgeist
In a moment that still has us clutching our pearls, Moonlight’s Best Picture upset over La la Land will go down in history not only because they read the wrong freakin’ name but because of what the win meant. No longer relegated as niche works meant for queer audiences alone, Moonlight’s success announced that the stories of anyone who isn’t white, straight and cisgendered are equally valid and worthy of universal acclaim. Bookending the year with the releases of Beach Rats, God’s Own Country, Battle of the Sexes, “BPM (Beats Per Minute), and the sublime Call Me By Your Name, as well as the insane success Rupaul’s Drag Race is now seeing in its tenth year (!!!) on television, 2017 will be remembered as the year that queer stories finally hit the general consciousness. Hallelujah.
Canada Grants Asylum to Chechen Refugees
Risking to weaken already tense relations between Canada and Russia, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland lead secret (and unequivocally badass ) evacuations of nearly 50 gay refugees fleeing arrest, torture, and death in Chechnya. Supported by the Toronto-based, Rainbow Railroad and the Russian LGBT network, the program, in addition to the Government's recent official apology to LGBT civil servants, provided further proof that Canada continues to be on the forefront of LGBT issues on the national stage.
Gay marriage down under
On December 7, 2017, the Australian Parliament voted to allow same-sex marriage across the country. Kind of crazy it's taken this long, but let's not dwell on that. Let's instead be happy another country recognizes the union of two people and that all the LGBT's of Australia can now marry who the hell they want.
Celine Dion's Vogue moment
Queen Celine finally won over the fashion world when she stole the show at the 2017 MET Gala. Vogue then invited her to Paris to try on some very-not-casual pieces by Chanel, Maison Margiela and Dior and caught every magical moment on video.
The god damn Weather
The world is on fire. The world is drowning. The world is melting. The world is very windy. At any given point, the world is all of these things. Climate change is real and we’re not doing enough to prevent environmental catastrophe. From Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria and Jose to the California Wildfires to melting glaciers all over the map, 2017 gave us even more proof (not that we needed it) that immediate action is needed.
Hanlan’s gets washed out
It affected queer Toronto in a very real way this past summer when never-ending rains almost sunk the Toronto Islands, and most notably, Hanlan's Point. It was closed for most of the summer and opened with a quarter of its regular size in August. The Island Cafe even hosted a queer dance party, but that was also rained out. Like any good gay, we made the most of it and crowded the small stretch of sand, its bushes and freezing waters with all our nakedness and mini-speakers. Summer of 2018 better look out!
Donald Tr***’s Presidency
Everything from his unhinged Tweets, his alternative facts lies, the Muslim ban, the almost-transgender military ban, and potential nuclear war with North Korea, year one under the Tr*** regime has not been easy. Because of this, we’ve spared you from seeing another photo of the orange maniac currently holding the most powerful office in the world because self-care is real and we’ll take it where we can get it. Instead, we encourage you to join us in reading HRC’s cathartic new book, What Happened, as we eagerly wait for him to sashay the fuck away.
This Pepsi Ad
Literally though, WTF?
Music That Made Us Go Meh
With Katy Perry’s Witness, Miley Cyrus’s Younger Now, and Taylor Swift’s Reputation, the pop spectrum went from the dazzling heights of yesteryear to mediocre offerings that pale in comparison. By draining all the fun out of her art and injecting it with performative wokeness that she abandoned halfway through promoting her first single, Katy Perry proved that she most definitely needs her candy-coated aesthetic to keep us interested. Switching back to her country-folk roots in a bid for the authentic did nothing but make Miley Cyrus less interesting. And by putting out an album that could’ve been written by a 12-year-old scribbling in her diary/burn book, Taylor Swift showed us that in a year where her supposed feminism would’ve mattered most, she’d rather awkwardly diss Kanye West. Thankfully, emerging queens such as Dua Lipa, Cardi B, and SZA made stans out of us all.
Ariana Grande's Manchester attack
In one of the most horrifying moments of the year, the Ariana Grande Manchester Arena terror attack killed 23 people and injured over 500. With an audience made up primarily of women, girls, and gays, this attack was targeted and hit close to home. Ever the queen that we deserve, Grande’s One Love Manchester Benefit concert held two weeks later raised more than $13 million for the victims of the May 22 attack and was a beautiful testament that love will always, always conquer fear.
Also, "Into You" is still greatest songs of all time.
Toronto Loses More Queer Spaces
Although you wouldn’t know it by YOHOMO’s stacked events calendar Toronto saw a sad number of closures when it comes to queer spaces. This year alone, we lost The Steady, Holy Oak, Blyss, and Less Bar to decreasing attendance, rent increases, or the ever-expanding condo boom. Thankfully, Glad Day Bookshop finally moved into its fab new space on Church and opened its doors earlier this year to keep the party and cultural events poppin'.
Here's to a brave, adventurous and healthy 2018 to all of you, our beautiful queer readers. Mwah!