05/09/2014 08:50 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

9 Ways Life For The LGBT Community Has Improved Since 2005

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The last nine years have seen an immense amount of victories, both politically and socially, for members of the lesbian, gay, biseuxal and transgender (LGBT) community.

From the evolving nature of gay marriage to greater legal protections for transgender minors, the LGBT community is gradually gaining new levels of validity and recognition in the eyes of the mainstream public.

In honor of Huffington Post's 9th birthday, we at HuffPost Gay Voices have put together a list of nine ways in which life for the LGBT community has improved since the site first launched in 2005. As we look back on these historic moments, let's both celebrate and still remember how much work there is still left to be done.

Happy birthday, HuffPost!

  • 1 Freedom To Marry
    Though marriage equality is not yet a reality in may parts of the country, the Supreme Court's historic repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act opened the gates for legislators to begin extending marriage rights to same-sex couples at the state level. At this time, same-sex couples are able to wed in 17 states.
  • 2 Serve Openly In The Military
    Jose Fernando Ogura/Curitiba/Brazil via Getty Images
    President Barack Obama signed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in September 2011, reversing President Bill Clinton's 1993 legislation that barred lesbians and gays from serving openly in the military. Transgender individuals, however, are still not allowed to openly reveal their gender identity while serving.
  • 3 Protection Under Hate Crime Legislation
    The Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act expanded federal hate crime protection to cover assault based on sexual orientation, gender and gender identity after passing in 2010. Shepard was brutally murdered in 1998 after being tied to a split-rail fence, beaten and left for dead.
  • 4 President Comes Out In Support Of Marriage Equality
    In May 2012 President Barack Obama made history when he became the first president to come out in support of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples. "I've always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally," Obama stated in the interview with ABC.
  • 5 Hospital Visitation Rights
    Sebastian Rose via Getty Images
    In 2010, President Obama ordered that hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid payments must grant patients the right to designate whom can visit and consult with them, enabling hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples.
  • 6 Identifying As Transgender No Longer Categorized As A Mental Disorder
    The American Psychiatric Association announced in December 2012 that identifying as transgender is no longer considered a disorder, 38 years after removing same-sex attraction from the list.
  • 7 Protections For Transgender Minors
    California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a groundbreaking bill in August 2013 that enabled transgender youth to both use the bathroom and play on the sports teams that corresponds with their gender identity. Other states are beginning to take similar steps and recognize the ways in which we need to ensure the safety and well-being of transgender minors.
  • 8 Celebrities Show Support For LGBT Community
    Santiago & Mauricio/Out
    Over the past 9 years, a huge number of high-profile straight celebrities have made their supportive stance on LGBT issues public knowledge. Just a few of these LGBT allies include, Beyonce, Snoop Lion, Lena Dunham, A$AP Rocky, Macklemore, Anna Wintour and Jay-Z.
  • 9 Identify As Gay While A Member Of The Boy Scouts
    Paul Kennedy via Getty Images
    The Boy Scouts voted last May to lift a ban on openly gay troop members. However, the ban still remains in effect for adult troop leaders, the implications of which have recently been making headlines.

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