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The Top 11 Gay Media Stories Of 2011

First Posted: 12/27/11 12:14 PM ET   Updated: 12/28/11 10:28 AM ET

In 2011 it seemed the stories that captivated the media and the rest of us focused on the power of words -- whether used by sports stars and comedians or Hollywood power brokers and bullies in the school yard. One state even tried to ban the word “gay” in schools.

It was also a year when transgender Americans came more into view, and hopefully the rest of America got a better understanding of the discrimination and violence they face daily. Closet doors burst open in 2011 too, whether public figures came out on their own or were outed in their own sex scandals. And it was a year we’ll never forget when it came to Republican gay-bashing in the presidential election campaign, something we’re likely to see well into the 2012 elections.

Here are 11 of the biggest gay media news stories of the year. Vote for the ones that you thought were the most important and then sound off in the comment section below to let us know what other moments you'd add to the list.

For more on the best of 2011, visit AOL's Best of 2011.

Kobe Bryant Fined For 'Faggot'
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Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, infuriated at referee Bernie Adams's call during a game in April, spewed the word "faggot" on the court, one of several sports stars who couldn't help spitting out the word this year.

LGBT groups denounced the use of the slur and debates broke out in the media about whether the gays were being too sensitive.

The NBA didn't think so and took disciplinary action, fining Bryant $100,000. (A month later the NBA fined Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah $50K for using the same word.) Bryant apologized, saying "the words expressed were not meant to offend anyone."
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