With so much hate continually aimed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, we like to take a moment every once in a while to highlight some of the good news featured on The Huffington Post.
Every other weekend HuffPost Gay Voices offers its "Something To Celebrate" feature, a round up of the best LGBT moments from the previous week.
It's a great way to catch up on the stories that you might have missed during the last seven days -- not to mention a much-needed reminder that though the LGBT community still faces many enemies and it must continue to fight, it's making gains and beautiful things happen in and to the LGBT community every day.
Have a look at 10 of the best LGBT stories from the past week and then let us know what your favorite moment was in the comments section below:
Ellen Has A Special Surprise For Bullied Gay Student And Auto Shop Benefactor
Ellen DeGeneres welcomed Jordan Addison, the Virginia-based gay college student whose car was heavily vandalized with homophobic slurs, and Richard Henegar Jr., the auto repair shop owner who restored Addison's vehicle for free, to the debut installment of her talk show's 10th season this week. "I just felt like it was the right thing to do," Henegar, who owns Quality Auto Paint and Body in Roanoke, said of his decision to provide more than $10,000 in repairs to Addison's car free of charge. "When I heard about his story...I just felt compelled to help this young man. He did not deserve to be the victim of such a violent hate crime. Discrimination of [any] sort...I don't take kindly to it." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/jordan-addison-bullied-gay-student-car-shop-ellen-degeneres_n_1878890.html?1347485569&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009" target="_hplink">Find out what Ellen's special surprise was here</a>.
Zac Efron Is 'Grateful And Honored' By Gay Fanbase
Zac Efron has been the subject of many gay men's admiration (and speculation) in the blogosphere -- not that he minds, of course. In a new interview, the 24-year-old heartthrob tells <em>The Advocate</em> that he feels "incredibly grateful and honored" by his gay fanbase, saying he hopes to return to musical theater and that "there's no doubt" he'll play a gay character in the future. "I'm extremely aware of the support I've gotten from you guys over the years, and it's amazing that it's taken this long to sit down and actually discuss it, but please know that it hasn't gone unappreciated," Efron, who will be seen opposite Nicole Kidman "The Paperboy" next month, tells <em>The Advocate</em>'s Brandon Voss. <a href="www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/zac-efron-gay-rumors-fanbase-same-sex-marriage-advocate_n_1871285.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.
Jesse Ventura Says No To Minnesota's Anti-Gay Amendment
Former governor of Minnesota, actor and pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura has joined the campaign against a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman in Minnesota. "The constitution should not be used to oppress people. The constitution is used to protect people. Love is by far bigger than government can ever be," said Ventura, who has been married to his wife, Terry, for 37 years. In this video posted on YouTube Friday by Minnesotans United for All Families, Ventura and his wife firmly declare their support for same-sex marriage as they urge other Minnesotans to vote "no" this November. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/jesse-ventura-vote-no-minnesota-governor-pro-wrestler-same-sex-marriage-antigay-amendment_n_1884626.html" target="_hplink">Read more about this story here</a>.
Groups Raise Big Money To Help LGBT Immigrant Youth Stay In U.S.
A coalition of LGBT groups has banded together to raise a sizable haul dedicated to helping young, undocumented immigrants remain in the United States. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration began implementing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a plan that allows undocumented immigrants who first entered the country as children, have graduated from high school, college or serve in the military and have clean criminal records a chance to remain in America without fearing deportation. <a href="www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/lbgt-undocumented-immigrants_n_1879272.html" target="_hplink"> Read more on this story here</a>.
Jesse Jackson Urges Maryland Voters To Support Gay Marriage
The Rev. Jackson Jackson is urging Maryland voters to vote in favor of a ballot measure this fall that would give marriage equality to gays and lesbians in the state. Governor Martin O'Malley signed a marriage equality bill, passed by the legislature, but the voters will decide in November. (Listen to the interview below) "The culture has had to expand," Jackson said at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last week in an interview, discussing marriage for gays and lesbians. "For so long we thought it was a sin for blacks to have freedom. We thought it was a sin for black and white men and women to interrelate. We've grown in our appreciation of the fact that we live in our faith, and our faith may live under the law." <a href="www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/jesse-jackson-dnc-maryland-gay-marriage_n_1880535.html" target="_hplink"> Read the full story here.</a>
Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Talks Gay Marriage And LGBT Rights
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is going "full steam ahead" after his battle with Maryland legislator C. Emmett Burns Jr., who last week wrote a letter calling on the team's owner to silence Ayanbadejo regarding his public advocacy of gay marriage, only to back down amid a national uproar. "The Ravens reached out to me," Ayanbadejo said. "[Ravens president] Dick Cass and [Ravens] owner Steve Bisciotti said, 'Brendon, you're a great person. Keep doing your thing. We believe in you. This is not a team that believes in discrimination in any way, shape, or form. You have this tremendous platform here. Use it. And go ahead and continue to be you, and grow and shape and change the world while you have the ability to do it.'" <a href="www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/brendon-ayanbadejo-baltimore-ravens-gay-marriage-homophobia-jamie-kuntz_n_1877048.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.
"Buffy" Comics To Introduce Gay Male Character
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has always cultivated a solid gay fanbase in both its television and print incarnations. Now the "Buffy" comics series, which picked up where the popular series left off, is introducing its first gay male slayer. Out magazine reports that the new character, Billy, will be introduced in Season 9. Drew Greenberg, who collaborated with "Buffy" writer and producer Jane Espenson on the project, tells Out that Billy "is someone who sees a need in his hometown and steps up to fill the void, even at great personal risk." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-gay-character-billy-series-_n_1875074.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.
Google Goes 'Bisexual'
Reports that Google Inc. has unblocked the term "bisexual" from its search algorithm are generating praise from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) blogosphere. In previous years, the word "bisexual" was blocked from Google's Auto Complete and Instant Search features since being placed on a list of banned words in 2009. But BiNet USA, a bisexual advocacy group, spearheaded a campaign to get the search engine to finally "unlock" the word. <a href="www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/google-bisexual-auto-complete-instant-search_n_1872252.html" target="_hplink">Read more on this story here</a>.
No Negative Consequences From 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal
In the fierce debate that led up to President Barack Obama's repeal last September of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the 1993 law that banned gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military, supporters of the law warned that a repeal would have disastrous consequences for the armed forces. One letter, signed by more than 1,000 military officers, claimed that a repeal would undermine recruiting efforts, negatively affect "troop readiness" and "eventually break the All-Volunteer Force." One year later, the first academic study of the military's new open-service policy has found there have been no negative consequences whatsoever. <a href="www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/dont-ask-dont-tell-study_n_1868892.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.
Brad Pitt Speaks Out In Support Of Gay Marriage
Brad Pitt and his mother clearly have different political views. In an interview with <em>The Telegraph</em>, the "Moneyball" star lent his support to Barack Obama, noting the president's controversial backing of same-sex marriage. "I am an Obama supporter and I'm backing his election campaign," Pitt said at a screening of his forthcoming film "Killing Them Softly" in London. "Gay marriage is inevitable. The next generation, they get it. It is just a matter of time before it becomes a reality." <a href="www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/brad-pitt-obama-gay-marriage-_n_1870712.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.