It's getting close to that time of the year when I write my annual list of 10 predictions for the forthcoming year, in this case for 2013. However, before I can do so, I have to undergo the sometimes-painful job of scoring my predictions for the passing year.
When I published my "10 LGBT Predictions for 2012" on Dec. 27, 2011, my forecasts were met with polite scorn by some. "This sounds like a wish-list more than predictions," was just one of the helpful comments left by readers. Looking back now, it is with no small degree of self-satisfaction that I can now retort, "Oh, ye of little faith!"
Here, then, is my 2012 predictions scorecard.
1. Madonna to join Twitter
Last year I reasoned that the Queen of Pop would join Twitter to promote her 12th studio album, MDNA. My reasoning was that at the time she was the most famous person in the world yet to Tweet. She did just as I predicted in March, albeit for "one day only," using the Twitter handle @MadonnaMDNAday to answer fans' questions. As always with predictions, I ignored the golden rule: Keep predictions short; I wrongly predicted that she would maintain a Twitter presence.
My score: 7/10
2. Obama wins his second presidential term
Long before the adorable and openly gay U.S. statistician Nate Silver began drilling down through the opinion polls and exit polls, I predicted that Barack Obama would win a second term as president of the United States. However, I confess that even I was worried come election day; such was the vitriol and bias from the likes of Fox News. But, as it turned out, I was right! Last year I reasoned, "A slightly improved economy will help Obama's cause, as will his record on Libya, bin Laden, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the fact that his opponent is simply unelectable." Dammit! I should have put money on it!
Score: 20/10... Yes, you read that right, 20! Because the outcome was truly awesome for America's LGBT community and the wider world.
3. The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to take on Prop 8
Hmm... I was half-right on this one. I correctly predicted that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would uphold Judge Walker's District Court ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, and that the proponents of Prop 8 would appeal to the Supreme Court, but I didn't foresee (along with everyone else) how narrow the Appeals Court's ruling would be. The Supreme Court might still take up Prop 8, but my gut feeling is that they'll decline to do so for want of a "wider question." Either way, we should know in the coming weeks.
4. Tammy Baldwin becomes the first ever openly LGBT senator
Full marks for me! In January 2013 Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) will swap her seat in the House of Representatives for one in the U.S. Senate following her Nov. 6 victory over Republican Tommy Thompson, earning 51.5 percent of the vote to his 45.9 percent. Her win was a "hold" for Senate Democrats, because she will replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl, but a major win for gay Americans, given that she'll become the first openly gay U.S. Senator. Tammy's win was part of a major victory for the U.S. LGBT community this year, which also saw same-sex marriage won in Maryland, Washington and Maine.
5. Twilight star comes out
Hmmpf... Well, in spite of the Internet buzz I credited as being behind the rumor that a Twilight actor was biding his or her time before coming out, Breaking Dawn Part 2 has come out, and not one of its actors or actresses has followed suit. Yes, there's still time before the end of the year, but until it happens, I concede defeat. The moral of this story: Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.
6. LGBT diving medals at the 2012 Olympics in London
I'm giving myself half marks for this one. Yes, openly gay Matthew Mitcham failed to make the finals of the 10-meter-platform event, which we now know was due to injury and time spent in rehab battling drug addiction, but Britain's Tom "Is He Gay Or Isn't He" Daley did make the podium, winning bronze. Though I have no evidence to suggest that Tom is gay, the spray-tan-loving boy wonder has yet to confirm or deny widespread rumors about his sexuality.
Score: 5/10, pending future clarification
7. Ricky Martin gets married in Spain
This I got wrong. Last year the theory was that Martin had applied for Spanish citizenship, which he was granted at the end of 2011, so that he could marry there. Only it never happened. Then New York legalized same-sex marriage earlier this year, shortly after which Martin appeared on Broadway in Evita. He didn't get married there, either. Maybe he's not the marrying type. Either way, nil points for me.
8. Chris Hughes becomes a billionaire, buys another puppy
This was a close-run thing. When Facebook's shares debuted on the New York Stock Exchange at $38 a share in May, Bloomberg calculated that openly gay Chris Hughes' 1-percent stake in the social media giant was valued at $935 million. In my book, that's pretty darn close to $1 billion! However, since then, Facebook's shares have fallen steadily to around $26 per share at the time of writing, reducing the value of Hughes' stake to $650 million. Nevertheless, my prediction came true! Hughes still hasn't granted me an interview, so I'm unable to confirm whether or not their existing doggy has a new playmate, but you can buy a lot of puppies with $1 billion! Or even $650 million.
9. A second Oscar nomination for Dustin Lance Black
OK, on this one my tendency to talk around the subject helped me out. Although Leonardo DiCaprio got a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover, there was no equivalent nod for Dustin Lance Black's screenplay. However, I managed to salvage some credibility in my prediction by correctly forecasting that Meryl Streep would get an Oscar nomination for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Streep ended up not only being nominated but winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for the role.
Score: 5/10, even though Streep was a shoe-in for Best Actress!
10. New albums from The Pet Shop Boys, Rufus Wainwright, Culture Club and Elton John
Album releases, it seems, are easier to predict than award wins, legal decisions and elections! Rufus Wainwright released Out of the Game in April/May; Elton John released Good Morning to the Night in July (with Pnau); and The Pet Shop Boys released Elysium in September. According to a recent interview with Boy George, Culture Club's long-awaited new album has been delayed until 2013, but I'm still calling three out of four a success!
Pretty darn good, eh? Clearly I am the next Nate Silver! Look out for my list of 10 LGBT predictions for 2013.