With 2012 being an incredibly historic year for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, it's only fitting that the cultural scene be reflective of that ever-inclusive shift.
And indeed, the year in music, movies, TV and theater is similarly flush with milestones. "American Idol" alum Adam Lambert not only hosted VH1's popular "Divas Live" show this fall, but he also became the first openly gay pop artist to top the album charts back in May. "Days of our Lives" featured a steamy gay storyline while "Glee" welcomed a transgender character to its increasingly diverse cast, and although Jenna Talackova didn't take home the title of Miss Universe Canada, the transgender beauty queen leaves behind a groundbreaking legacy that is sure to live on in years to come.
Check out our picks for the LGBT cultural moments of the year below:
"The New Normal"
Ryan Murphy's new series may not be perfect, but "The New Normal" is breaking TV boundaries in more ways than one in its depiction of gay dads-to-be. And the hit show looks likely to shine on in 2013, which is set to include <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/the-new-normal-matt-bomer_n_2234537.html">a guest appearance</a> by openly gay actor Matt Bomer.
Adam Lambert Tops Charts
The "American Idol" alum made history in May when he became the first openly gay male artist to top the Billboard album charts. Lambert snagged the No. 1 spot with his sophomore effort, "Trespassing," which sold 77,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Though other gay performers like Elton John and George Michael have hit No. 1, they did so only before they came out. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/adam-lambert-trespassing-chart-debut_n_1539564.html">Read the full story here</a>.
The Beekman Boys' Triumph
Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell (a.k.a. "The Beekman Boys") were considered the underdogs of "The Amazing Race 21," but surprised viewers by finishing in first place. Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell dedicated their win to all the underdogs out there, hoping they could motivate people to believe. As Josh put it, "If they just keep going and just keep working as hard as they can...at some point you will win." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/the-amazing-race-21-finale-who-won-video_n_2269232.html">Read the full story here</a>.
Writer-director Jonathan Lisecki's new film -- in which a gay man and his best female friend decide to procreate -- has garnered raves from top critics since its debut this fall. "The comedy...has a grasp of friendships, relationships and blurred boundaries that feels endearingly eternal in its humor about sexual roles and romantic expectations," <a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-gayby-review-capsule-20121026,0,1978511.story">wrote The Los Angeles Times.</a>
"Let's Have A Kiki"
The Scissor Sisters' hit single became the gay anthem of the summer, and its inclusion in the Thanksgiving episode of "Glee" (where it was mashed with "Turkey-Lurkey Time" from the Broadway musical "Promises, Promises") only solidified its cultural status.
"Bare" Revival Hits NYC
December saw the <a href="http://www.baremusicalnyc.com/">off-Broadway return</a> of "Bare," a coming-of-age, pop-rock musical about a secret gay relationship among two students at a Catholic boarding school.
"Glee" Adds Unique
Among the new faces to join the New Directions this year was Wade "Unique" Adams, a transgender student who made her debut in the "Saturday Night Glee-ver" episode of Season 3 and whose performances have become one of the diverse show's highlights.
Marvel Comics' Historic Gay Wedding
It was wedding bells for longtime X-Man Northstar and his civilian boyfriend Kyle this spring when Marvel Comics' "Astonishing X-Men." Though Marvel actually boasts a deep pool of LGBT characters -- many of whom are in committed relationships -- this is the first one to go all the way. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/flash-steinbeiser/x-men-gay-wedding_b_1536037.html">Read more here</a>.
Jenna Talackova Competes In The Miss Universe Canada Pageant
Transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova was initially disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada Pageant, but eventually went on to compete. Though she didn't take the crown, her groundbreaking legacy is sure to live on in years to come. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/jenna-talackova-transgender-miss-universe-finalist-twitter-support_n_1380243.html">Read more about her amazing story here</a>.
Ellen's JC Penney Commercials
Ellen DeGeneres' highly-anticipated JCPenney commercials made their television debut during the Academy Awards broadcast -- and we absolutely loved them! The 54-year-old talk show grumbles over the cost of a "My Fair Lady"-like hat in Edwardian London, then struggles to return a toga during a visit to ancient Rome. She even pays homage to fellow comedian Lucille Ball in one clip, set in a classic 1950s TV bedroom. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/ellen-degeneres-jcpenney-commercials_n_1304578.html">Read more here</a>.
Neil Patrick Harris Hosts The 2012 Tonys
The "How I Met Your Mother" star hosted the annual show for the second year in a row, showing off his musical theater chops in a smash opening number that included an appearance by Broadway diva Patti LuPone, among others.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love"
"Same Love" may have sparked sizable controversy, but Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' impassioned plea for marriage equality and its accompanying video have both gone on to become cultural milestones in their own right. "Initially, I tried writing from the perspective of a gay, bullied kid, but after getting some feedback, I felt it wasn’t my story to tell," Macklemore, who is straight, wrote in a blog post of the song. "What I do know, and where I wrote from, is my own perspective growing up in a culture where 'that’s gay' was commonplace, with a huge stigma on those who identified and were perceived as gay." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/04/macklemore-and-ryan-lewis-same-love-gay-marriage_n_1937384.html">Read more here</a>.
Archie Comics' Gay Wedding Issue
Kevin Keller, Riverdale's first openly gay character who is also an active U.S. military officer, tied the knot with his African-American partner, Clay Walker in the January issue of Archie Comics. "Kevin and Clay getting married really is just a reflection of what's going on in the world today," Goldwater said. "If you get married in Riverdale, Riverdale accepts everybody, so this was more of an acceptance." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/25/kevin-keller-gay-archie-comic-wedding_n_1113035.html">Read the full story here</a>.
"Days Of Our Lives" Features Gay Bullying, Romance Storylines
Things heated up for "Days of Our Lives" characters Will and Sonny, with the Nov. 14 episode featuring a steamy love scene between the two men. "It's allowed the audience to get to know our characters and to get to a place where they are really rooting for them to get together," said actor Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny. "This isn't a story about two gay guys. It's about two human beings who truly love each other." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/days-of-our-lives-gay-sex-scene_n_2018581.html">Read more here.</a>
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