Wow! It feels like it was only five minutes ago that May had just begun, but here we are at the end of another busy month. May gave us the Eurovision grand final and another disappointing score for the UK – but a much better one for Ireland!
Now, on to what we thought was the best of May…
- Lisa Lampanelli’s recent show was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church as part of their ongoing hate campaign against the LGBT community. Lampanelli decided she would stick two fingers up at the WBC by donating $1,000 for every protester outside her show to to HIV charity Gay Men’s Health Crisis. The total donation reached $50,000, which shows her determination to support LGBT people and stand up to the bigotry and hatred of WBC. It is for this reason that we crown her the Best of May 2011 – we’re sure she’ll add this to her title as ‘Queen of Mean’. You can read Scott McMullon’s full piece on this fantastic story right here on So So Gay.
- In at number two we’ve got International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia. Across the world, we saw communities and organisations come together to stand united for LGBT rights. The gay flag was seen flying from council offices, police and fire stations as well as the LGBT organisations we know and love. The Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone, also released a short video on the day, explaining what the government is doing to tackle homophobia and transphobia.
- Jedward, love them or hate them, certainly put a smile on our faces during Eurovision, scooping 119 points and finishing in eighth place. The cheeky Irish twins performed their upbeat song, ‘Lipstick’, which we think is exactly what Eurovision is all about – the camp and kitsch. They also featured heavily with what became our phrase of the night: ‘They’re good but they’re no Jedward.’ Since the grand final they have even performed for US President Barack Obama – who’d have thought it?
- Towards the end of May, the Church of Scotland’s senior officials voted to remove the two-year-old temporary ban on the ordainment of gay and lesbian ministers. While opinion within the Church of Scotland is still divided over the issue and we’re sure this row will continue for a long time to come, this must be seen as a small victory in the ongoing debate within many churches on LGBT clergy.
- OK, so we know last month our number five spot was stolen by those pesky Glee kids, but how could we leave them out after the campest of them took the prom queen crown. The students of McKinley voted Kurt as their prom queen in a moment that no-one saw coming and which shocked us all. Kurt, however, showed some incredible strength and returned to the stage to take his crown. For the full story don’t forget to check out Matt ‘Darcey’ Buttell’s Glee coverage.
Now we’ll move on and give you a run down of the top five things that left us unimpressed…
- No-one can have missed the anti-gay bill the Ugandan parliament was debating at the start of May. The bill included tougher penalties than are already in place, including life imprisonment in certain circumstances and even the death penalty for those considered to be ‘serial offenders’. There was a global outcry from LGBT rights campaigners, foreign governments and ordinary people everywhere, which seems to have helped to push this bill off the agenda – there is nevertheless every chance that it could be back on the table for discussion soon.
- During May we learned that Cheryl Cole had been dropped from the US X Factor, and there doesn’t seem to be a job for her here in the UK either. The decision may have been reached because of Cheryl’s Geordie accent, which Americans found ‘difficult to understand’ – but perhaps it was simply because there are people better qualified to judge talent (harsh?). With Cheryl now having nothing to do with herself maybe she’ll go back to Girls Aloud, or maybe she’ll just end up on MTV’s controversial shame-fest, Geordie Shore?
- On International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia it was announced that Moscow Pride would be banned for the sixth year running. The reason given by the Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, was that the event brought with it a risk of public disorder. The European Court of Human Rights ruled last October that the bans on the event were in violation of internal human rights, and activists like Peter Tatchell vowed to attend a march there anyway and risk reprisal. Let us hope that some time soon the authorities in Moscow rethink their decision.
- Ok, so Blue didn’t do too badly at Eurovision – they managed to finish in eleventh place on 100 points with their song ‘I Can’ – but did we love them? No, we can’t help but think that they were taking things a little bit too seriously. We’re pretty sure that this will be the last we’ll see of Blue: for most recent UK Eurovision entries the competition has been the death knell of their careers, but only time will tell.
- May has seen the super injunction row grow, with celebrities who have taken them out being named on social networking website Twitter. If nothing else, the row has shown the power of social networking and the internet to expose information subject to court orders. That said, we’re not sure how bothered we are about which footballers have been doing what and with who – don’t we all have more pressing matters to attend to?
Well, that rounds up the Best & Worst of May 2011. Agree with us? Think we’re just plain wrong? As always, let us know in the comments section below!