This is the Sunday Edition of Paging Dr. Lesbian. If you like this type of thing, subscribe, and share it with your friends!
It’s been quite the year. Because time is an illusion and it can be hard to keep track of the days (or months, or years) sometimes, for my last newsletter of 2021 I’ve decided to compile some of the best lesbian and queer moments that have occurred over the last twelve months. These are the moments that made us laugh, cheer, rejoice, or shake our heads in bewilderment. I hope this post reveals something to you about the passage of time, or, if you don’t feel like thinking that hard, at the very least entertains you. You won’t hear from me until January because I will be busy eating cookies and listening to Kelly Clarkson’s excellent new Christmas album, so think of this as my sign-off to the year 2021.
This is also your last reminder to send me questions for the AMA I’m doing at the start of January. Anything you can think of, I will (probably) answer. Comment below, DM me on Twitter, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January: JoJo Siwa comes out
Probably the biggest sapphic moment of the year happened right at the very beginning. Former child star and Dance Moms alumn JoJo Siwa – who was 17 at the time – came out as queer in January of this year, sending shockwaves through the pop-cultural landscape. She certainly lost many fans because of this, but she also gained a whole new cadre of supporters, many of whom were queer 20 or 30-somethings who had no relationship with her before. Several weeks later she announced she was in a relationship with her best friend, Kylie Prew. While the pair have since split up, Siwa’s coming out was a huge moment, and the significance of her choosing to do so – especially as someone whose fans are primarily children – cannot be overstated.
February: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe grace the cover of GQ
It seems like there has been a lot of sports-related queer news this year, but maybe that’s because women’s sports have always been pretty gay. In February, basketball and soccer stars (respectively) Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe were on the cover of GQ for their “Modern Lovers” issue. They’ve been the #1 women's sports couple for a while now, and this cover only solidified their icon status. Plus, the pictures are incredible.
March: Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B scissor at the Grammys
In the first half of 2021, The Grammys were the only awards show that really pulled off a live event successfully. The most sapphic moment of the show occurred during the performance of “WAP,” which was a defining song of the year. During their performance of the song, Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B scissored live on stage, which led to raucous applause from some and hilarious conservative uproar from others. Obviously.
April: Wynona Earp Ends with a lesbian wedding
Beloved Canadian supernatural western Wynona Earp, which was saved once before from cancellation by its very dedicated group of fans, concluded its final season in April. As a thank-you to the show’s passionate queer fans, the finale took place at a lesbian wedding between two of the characters, Waverly and Nicole, also known as WayHaught. Also in April, The Crown star Emma Corrin came out, and our favorite child star, JoJo Siwa, was on the cover of People Magazine.
May: Tessa Thompson’s in a throuple
After the day the internet learned Tessa Thompson was in a throuple, nothing was the same. It was one fateful weekend in late May when Tessa Thompson, Rita Ora, and Taika Waititi were spotted making out on a balcony in Sydney, reportedly after an all-night party at Waititi’s house. And yes, they were all making out with each other. To make matters even more exciting, later that day Tessa was spotted making out with another man, who was also apparently on the same balcony with them that very morning.
June: Sha’Carri Richardson qualifies for the Olympics
In what was probably one of the most thrilling images of the year, orange-haired queer track star Sha’Carri Richardson qualified for the Olympics in a magnificent fashion. Her incredible energy and style immediately captured the public, and some of us were even more enthused to learn that her vibrant hair color was picked out by her girlfriend. Though she didn’t make it to the Olympics in the end, she was already a star upon arrival.
July: The Fear Street series premieres
In the first week of July, the first installment of the three-part Fear Street series was released on Netflix. The first film is set in the 1990s and follows several teenagers as they try to stop the curse that has a hold on their town and save their friends and family. The main love story of the series happens to be between two girls, and their romance even carries over into the third film, which takes place primarily in the 1600s. To make things even more thrilling, the lesbian couple actually survives all of the horrors and gets to live happily ever after, defying a legacy of queer death and monstrosity in film.
August: The Olympics are gay
Beginning in late July, the Olympics were a much-needed celebration this summer. They were also the gayest Olympics to date, with at least 186 out LGBTQ athletes competing in Tokyo this year. Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird kissed on the basketball court, we found out that USWNT player Kristie Mewis was dating Australia’s Sam Kerr, a queer swiftie named Erica Sullivan won the silver medal in the first-ever women’s swimming 1,500m freestyle race, and green-haired Raven Saunders danced her way to the podium.
September: Elvira comes out
One of the most exciting coming-out moments this year came just in time for spooky season. In September, Elvira – whose real name is Cassandra Peterson – announced she is queer and revealed that she has been in a relationship with another woman for the past 19 years. In the days following this revelation we were also blessed with several photos of the couple, and no one was prepared for what we discovered.
October: Judith Butler dunks on TERFs (again)
In September of 2021, Judith Butler did an interview with The Guardian where they discussed gender struggles around the world. The author of the article later revealed that one of Butler’s answers – specifically the one in which they linked TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) to fascists – was cut from the piece. Ostensibly in response to this, in October Butler wrote an op-ed for The Guardian in which they make this comparison between TERFs and fascists explicit, which obviously angered TERFs but proved Butler’s commitment to exposing the systemic nature of gendered oppression.
November: Tampa Baes premieres
In November of this year, Amazon Prime’s lesbian reality show Tampa Baes was released on the platform. As I recently wrote about, it’s a hot mess, but at least we got to see them play softball. Also in November, Taylor Swift re-released her album Red and gay swifties were ready to physically fight Joe Alwyn for her love.
December: A lesbian music video crossover
Along with Zolita, (who also happens to live with Shannon Beveridge, who is Fletcher’s ex), Hayley Kiyoko and Fletcher are the two reigning queens of the lesbian music video game. So it was very exciting for fans, when, in December, they released a music video for their very catchy song “Cherry.” One of the most significant lesbian crossovers in history, you might say. The video depicts Hayley and Fletcher (née Cari) finding out that they are dating the same girl when they both show up at her house. What happens next? You’ll have to watch to find out.