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During 2016 there has been significant news coverage, entertainment, and support of LGBT rights. Here at Vada Magazine, we’ve collated our 12 gays of Christmas who have been prominent members of the LGBT community this year, each for their own reason.
1. Bishop Allyson Abrams
Bishop Allyson Abrams became known for airing her own same-sex wedding live on national television in 2013. 2016 saw her honoured as part of the Capital Pride Heroes Gala for showing courage and leadership in helping advance the cause of LGBT rights.
2. Alyssa Edwards
Alyssa Edwards makes it into Vada’s 12 gays of Christmas for her antics and entertainment as one of the contestants in series 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars.
3. Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning, who was court-martialled for violations of the Espionage Act in 2013 has since been serving out a 35 prison sentence. 2016 has clearly been a particularly troubled time for her with several suicide attempts in prison, but after a hunger strike in September this year, the US Army agreed to provide her gender transition surgery.
4. David Bowie
Legendary singer, songwriter, and actor David Bowie passed away from liver cancer in January of this year. From his first to last (27th) album, Bowie continues to be known for making being an outsider – especially a queer outsider – a little less lonely. Vada’s full tribute, by James Carraghan, is here.
5. George Takei
Star Trek acting legend George Takei is in Vada’s 12 gays of Christmas for no specific reason, rather for his continued work as a proponent of LGBT rights, sharing other important issues around equality and of course the humorous commentary on his photos.
6. Jack Falahee
Jack Falahee is in Vada’s 12 gays of Christmas, for coming as straight. He previously decided not to discuss his own sexuality in an attempt to try to dismantle the closet, whilst playing an HIV-positive gay man in How To Get Away With Murder. Series three of the hit TV show is currently airing and well worth a watch.
7. Jack Monroe
The writer, journalist, and activist known for the blog, A Girl Called Jack (since renamed to Cooking on a Bootstrap) and budget cooking books including one of the same name, Jack Monroe makes it into Vada’s 12 gays of Christmas. Identifying as a non-binary transgender, Monroe is referred to using singular they pronouns. In January of this year, they initiated a libel action against Katie Hopkins – if only more people would!
Our second queen from series 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars is Katya, who controversially came runner-up in the series, despite having the highest percentage of votes online. We loved her for the unforgettable lip sync with Detox.
9. Mhairi Black
Mhairi Black, the world’s youngest openly gay Member of Parliament stood out this year for her comments on the horrific Orlando massacre. She was quoted as saying “Voltaire said ‘I may not like what you’re saying but I’ll defend your right to say it’… but I’ll also defend the right to tell you you’re talking nonsense. If you use horrific events like this to stir up hatred, then you’re are completely wrong.” Read the full interview with PinkNews here.
10. Paris Lee
Paris Lee, a journalist, presenter and transgender rights activist has received a multitude of awards for her work. Most notably in 2016, she gave evidence about sex work conditions, which supported a decision to eliminate criminal records of those arrested for prostitution-related crimes.
11. Ruby Rose
The Australian model, actress and reality TV star Ruby Rose makes it into Vada’s 12 gays of Christmas for 2016. She’s most notably known for her role as Stella Carlin, Piper’s on-off girlfriend in the third season of Orange Is The New Black. This year Rose confirmed her relationship with Jess Origliasso, after directing and staring in The Veronicas – On Your Side.
12. Russell Tovey
Last but by no means least on Vada’s 12 gays of Christmas is the gorgeous actor Russell Tovey. 2016 has seen the star as a regular in the drama series Quantico and in the film The Pass, out in cinemas this December. The Pass tells the story of two young footballers who share a kiss in their early careers, which reverberates throughout the next ten years of their lives. Watch the trailer here.