December 30, 2016

Heading into the New Year is a great time to reflect on where we’ve been, all that we have to celebrate (and mourn) this year, and where we’re headed in 2017. Of course, we always love to inspire a conversation about what made 2016…well, 2016.

Since it is the holidays, we’re trying to keep things positive, so here are just a few things we’re thankful for this year:

Allies Who Are Literally Royalty

In 2016, European royalty expressed support for the LGBTQ community in a number of firsts and we’re thankful for the powerful message their actions sent to other world leaders. Prince William posed for the cover of British LGBT magazine Attitude. King Harald V of Norway gave a passionate speech about diversity and inclusion signifying his support for the LGBTQ community. Princess Marie of Denmark was the first member of the Danish Royal family to attend Copenhagen Pride. They’re all proving that the crown goes to those who support equality!

Allies Who Stepped Up in North Carolina

After the devastating passage of HB2 in North Carolina there wasn’t a day that went by without a public figure or organization or company making a statement about the discrimination enshrined in the legislation. Individuals in North Carolina and across the country used #WeAreNotThis on social media to express their opposition. And for their brave actions, we’re thankful.

Allies Who Expand Visibility in Sports

Visible allyship in sports has grown in recent years and 2016 was no different. Straight for Equality is thankful for allies stepping up and speaking out in new arenas. For example, in mixed martial arts, Danish fighter Nicolas Dalby wore a rainbow-colored “We Are All Fighters” T-shirt during weigh-in. Athletics brands Nike and Adidas launched Pride collections in June. The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte after the passage of HB2 and released a line of T-shirts with the logo of all 30 NBA teams colored in rainbow. These athletes are changing the game, and we’re looking forward to what they’ll do next.

Allies Who Stepped Back After the June 12 Pulse Nightclub Shooting

The shooting at Pulse in Orlando that left 49 people dead and wounded 53 others was a profound and unimaginable tragedy. And while there were countless reactions demonstrating solidarity and support from allies all over the world, we’re especially thankful for those allies that took a moment to step back, listen, and create space for their LGBTQ loved ones to process, express anger, and grieve. They proved that sometimes, being an ally means being present and quiet, too.

So now, let us know…what are you thankful for?

From everyone at Straight for Equality, we want to thank you for every ally contribution you’ve made this year. So from our homes to yours, we wish you a happy, safe, inclusive, and joyous holiday season.