This year is undeniably a momentous one for the LGBT community.

From the hopeful beginnings of widespread social equality to the growing media presence of proud LGBT personalities, 2015 will be marked not just as a banner year for the community in the United States, but also in countries all over the world and their citizens who identify as part of the LGBT community.

As we approach the end of this year, we piece together the things that made 2015 incredible and unforgettable for the LGBT rights advocacy.


In June, the Internet erupted with joy when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage for same-sex couples is constitutional, allowing LGBT couples to get marriage licenses throughout the 50 states.

"They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, one of the Supreme Court justices who legalized the same-sex marriage law.

Websites such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter all supported the advocacy. The hashtag #LoveWins had become the top trending topic on Twitter, accumulating more than 3.12 million tweets on the day of the decision. Attached to the hashtag was a rainbow heart emoji.

On Facebook, users were given the choice to put a rainbow striped-filter over their profile picture to show their support. Mark Zuckerberg also posted a map that detailed the growth of LGBT groups on the social media site in each state from seven years ago up to 2015.

"I'm so happy for all my friends and everyone in our community who can finally celebrate their love and be recognized as equal couples under the law," said Zuckerberg.

Even tech giant Apple, Inc. expressed its support. CEO Tim Cook, who is openly gay, said the decision marked a victory for love, perseverance and equality.

Legal in Ireland

Aside from the U.S., Ireland also saw its same-sex marriage law passed into legislation this year after a historic referendum allowed lesbian and gay couples to marry. The referendum made Ireland the first ever country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

The country's Marriage Act of 2015 allows same-sex couples to be wed under a civil marriage.

"This is really Ireland speaking with one voice in favor of equality," said Leo Varadkar, Ireland's Minister for Health and the country's first openly gay minister.

Caitlyn Jenner

Former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner came out to the world and revealed her new self through a sultry Vanity Fair cover. Jenner's coming out made her the most famous trans person in the whole world.

In July, Jenner was given the Arthur Ashe Award at the 2015 ESPY Awards for her coming out story. The former athlete recalled how she had privately dealt with her situation on her own terms.

"It's been eye opening, inspiring but also frightening," said Jenner. "All across this country right now, all across the world at this very moment, there are young people coming to terms with being transgender. They're learning that they're different and they're trying to figure out how to handle that."

Jenner said she was clear in her responsibility to tell her story, to keep learning, and to keep forming the landscape of how trans issues are perceived and how trans people are treated.

More importantly, she wanted to promote the very simple idea of transgenderism which is "accepting people for who they are, accepting people differently," said Jenner.

Meanwhile, because people might still call Jenner by her old name Bruce, Apple's Siri will auto-correct anyone who mentions the former name.

Will 2016 Be A Good Year, Too?

In the U.S., more than 450 openly gay elected officials are serving the country. Despite this good news, however, some LGBT advocates do not think this year's celebration will keep on until 2016.

Activists, donors, LGBT elected officials all gathered in Las Vegas this month to assess the movement. Their reviews were surprisingly grim.

Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute CEO and President Aisha Moodie-Mills said they don't have time to be complacent or pat themselves on their backs as those who oppose the movement are executing hateful and nasty campaigns against it.

As such, Republicans in Washington are unwilling to back the movement's next goal: to pass a law that will make it illegal for companies or businesses to fire, expel or evict LGBT individuals because of who they are.

Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon is pushing for the passing of new laws to protect LGBT members in the country, but they have not found a single Republican supporter in Congress. This has not deterred Merkley.

"Fundamentally, fairness is embedded in our Constitution," said Merkley. "This goes beyond marrying the person you love. Everyone should be able to sit down at that restaurant's table."

Chad Griffin, head of the biggest LGBT group in the U.S. known as the Human Rights Campaign, said there is little hope that Merkley's anti-discrimination bill shall be passed.

"This Congress right now can't keep their lights on, let alone pass the Equality Act," said Griffin. Instead, Griffin is creating a plan for after the 2016 presidential elections, in case a Democratic candidate wins.

The road to equality is still a long way to go, but advocates will surely not stop until full-fledged victory is achieved for the LGBT community.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.