101 Moments That Made 2012 a Remarkable Year
Stephan Horbelt

2012 was a big year, filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, iconic accomplishments and a few missteps. As the publication of record for the gay community of Southern California for 30 years, Frontiers was there every step of the way. As the world hurriedly moves into 2013, herein is the legacy that 2012 leaves behind.

1. AIDS Healthcare Foundation won the Queen’s Trophy for its Tournament of Roses Parade float, a tribute to legendary screen star and HIV/AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor.

2. German-born Harry Burkhart, 24, was arrested and charged after a spate of 53 arson fires terrorized residents of West Hollywood, Hollywood, Burbank and North Hollywood over the New Year’s weekend. “Our long four-day nightmare is over,” said L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

3. Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo (Portuguese for ‘egg’) delighted fans with a glimpse into the wonderful world of insects. The traveling show constructed a gorgeous blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau at the Santa Monica Pier.

4. Following heated back-and-forth debates, the city of West Hollywood started the new year with a smoking ordinance prohibiting smoking in outdoor dining and other public areas.

5. News Editor Karen Ocamb posits that Fred Karger is no modern-day Don Quixote, “tilting at windmills” as he dreams the impossible dream of an openly gay man becoming president of the United States. Karger has since remained a steadfast thorn in the side of the National Organization for Marriage, and we thank him for it.

6. Sometimes Angelenos just need to get away, so in our annual “Escape from L.A.” issue, we took our readers to Maui, Vancouver, Whistler and London—all in remarkable style, of course.

7. Glenn Close talked to Frontiers a mere 24 hours before the Golden Globes from her Four Seasons hotel suite. She was nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her gender-bending role in Albert Nobbs, and while she didn’t take home a statuette, her performance was “closure and joy” for a passion project 30 years in the making.

8. Leslie Jordan’s hilarious one-man show Fruit Fly played the Celebration Theatre. His latest work was devoted to the complicated and evolving relationship with Miss Peggy Ann, his long-suffering Southern Baptist mother.

9. Adam Lambert and his beau Sauli Koskinen made headlines when they were thrown out of a Helsinki gay bar and arrested for fighting. The couple is still happily together today.

10. Hook-up apps were all the rage in 2012, letting users find Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now with ease. Frontiers sat down with the head honchos of three well-known apps—Grindr, Scruff and Hornet—and talked shop.

11. Our “Love & Sex” issue photo shoot featured Bad Sex host Chris Donaghue in an American Horror Story-inspired spread, shot by photographer Andrew Johnston.

12. 2012 kept drag lovers glued to the TV set with not one but two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race—a nail-biting fourth installment and a popular All Stars spin-off.

13. Frontiers provided readers with one of the most comprehensive guides to Downtown L.A. to date, covering where to shop, dine, drink and sightsee. L.A. gays have lately been moving downtown like it’s going out of style. tinyurl.com/bwja7mu

14. On Feb. 7, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

15. Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders came out in support of same-sex marriage.

16. Whitney Houston, 1963-2012.

17. On Feb. 27, AHF announced it had collected more than half the signatures required to qualify a ballot initiative requiring porn producers to use condoms on-camera. This regulation of the adult film industry eventually passed in November.

18. Gay fave Tabatha Coffey cut to the point in her cover story with Frontiers, dishing on her personal style, the hit show Tabatha Takes Over and her problem with hugs from strangers. tinyurl.com/cbo9hl5

19. Chad Griffin, co-founder of the L.A.-based American Foundation for Equal Rights, is named the new president of The Human Rights Campaign.

20. March was a great month for new music, seeing the release of albums by The Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor, fun. and Magnetic Fields.

21. Unthinkable before the demise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan kisses his boyfriend upon arriving home from Afghanistan. A picture of the moment quickly went viral.

22. Two Palm Springs residents were arrested while onboard an Atlantis cruise ship on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Authorities said the men were seen having sex from land, and they were initially charged with “buggery” in a nation that outlaws sex between men. The story sparked negative opinions of both the men’s behavior and Atlantis Events’ decision to visit the country.

23. Civil rights icon Bayard Rustin was remembered on his 100th birthday.

24. L.A.-based comedienne Shawn Pelofsky brought The Bathhouse Show to The Comedy Store, a gay-friendly variety show inspired by none other than The Divine Miss M.

25. Green Day’s rock musical American Idiot kicked open doors at Downtown L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre.

26. Kirk Cameron made headlines after telling Piers Morgan he was against gay marriage because homosexuality is “detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” The actor’s Growing Pains co-stars were quick to distance themselves.

27. Gay singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright sat down with Frontiers to discuss all things personal and professional, including his latest album, Out of the Game. tinyurl.com/d6tsr6m

28. SF-based photographer Jose A. Colon Guzman debuted his first L.A. solo show, featuring breathtaking photos of the country’s biggest drag talent. tinyurl.com/bvjqusz

29. John Travolta found himself in the middle of a gay sex scandal—again.

30. Frontiers celebrated 30 years of serving Southern California’s gay community with a blowout party at West Hollywood’s Eleven Nightclub. Special guests included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Charo.

31. Jason Biggs went full-frontal in American Reunion.

32. Friend of the community Kathy Griffin debuted her weekly talk show, Kathy, on Bravo. Look for season two in the new year.

33. Frontiers’ Karen Ocamb sat down with Houston Mayor Annise Parker, discussing the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry campaign and the recent shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman. tinyurl.com/caworo2

34. Madonna receives mixed reviews of her latest album, MDNA. Music reviewer Dominik Rothbard asked, “Whatever happened to growing old gracefully?” That month, Miike Snow, The Shins and Rufus Wainwright also had albums drop.

35. ‘Is she or isn’t she’ performer Queen Latifah (she is) headlined the 29th annual Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Pride Festival.

36. Ten years after the release of his first album, L.A. transplant Jonny ‘Gay Pimp’ McGovern released The Gayest of All Time—he was back, dirtier than ever. Frontiers got the scoop. tinyurl.com/c67x8w2

37. L.A. theater options for the month of May included Follies at the Ahmanson, Jersey Shoresical at the Hayworth, Chicago at the Pantages and The Color Purple at Celebration Theatre. Who says L.A. isn’t a theater town?

38. SummerTramp, a flirty Downtown pool party, made its Pride debut at the newly renovated West Hollywood Park. The two days of fun included 17 DJs spinning everything from house music to ‘50s and ‘60s soul.

39. L.A. Pride 2012—dubbed “...And Proud of It!”—featured the likes of Alec Mapa, Frenchie Davis, Belinda Carlisle, Fortune Feimster and Molly Ringwald.

40. Popular L.A.-area go-go dancer Quinn Jaxon modeled the summer season’s hottest fashion—underwater—for our annual swimwear issue. tinyurl.com/d8mpr22

41. As always, our annual L.A. Pride issue featured a bevy of fun interviews—ranging from our cover story with Scissor Sisters to scandalous sit-downs with Adam Lambert, Sandra Bernhard, Sharon Needles and Mayor Villaraigosa.

42. John Waters received Outfest’s annual Achievement Award, and Frontiers got to sit down with the cinematic pioneer. The king of gross-out humor indulged us with talk of Provincetown, his films’ early audiences and cannibalism—the dream interview! tinyurl.com/dyufgow

43. Jackie Beat penned an open letter to spooky Drag Race winner Sharon Needles. tinyurl.com/cs29c3y

44. Donna Summer succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 63.

45. Marvel Comics—publishers of X-Men, Spider-Man and other popular titles—announced it would showcase its first gay wedding in the pages of Astonishing X-Men #51.

46. Randy Phillips made a name for himself when a touching video of him coming out to his father went viral. Frontiers chatted with the out-and-proud military man about his outreach work and his riding in the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride to End AIDS. tinyurl.com/cpqxzvj

47. The devil came to L.A. with a staging of The Exorcist at the Geffen Playhouse, starring Brooke Shields and newcomer Emily Yetter as Regan.

48. Dr. Robert J. Spitzer, a giant in the field of psychiatry, recanted his 2003 study suggesting homosexuality could be cured. “I believe I owe the gay community an apology,” Spitzer wrote.

49. What better place could there be for you to show off your swimwear than Oahu, Hawaii? Frontiers told you where to stay, where to eat and what to explore while on the island. tinyurl.com/d3xzb9d

50. In a historic, bold move that took the country by surprise, the NAACP board voted to support marriage equality.

51. Herb Ritts L.A. Style, an exhibit featuring some of the acclaimed photographer’s most stunning work, came to the Getty Center. Ritts revolutionized fashion photography, modernized the nude and transformed celebrities into icons.

52. Magic Mike had gays (and soccer moms) flocking to the cineplex, all to catch glimpses of Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello in their skivvies. It was money well spent.

53. Highlights of Outfest 2012 were numerous, including documentaries Wildness and Jobriath A.D., melodrama I Do, comedy Gayby and “mumblecore porno” I Want Your Love.

54. After years of gloomy blogposts saying he’d die young, porn legend Erik Rhodes’ body was found dead from a heart attack. The adult performer had long been open about his rampant steroid and drug use.

55. Eduard Leonard and Riann Weyers, two parts of the South African pop group Overtone, had their sexualities put on blast while starring in the hit E! show Mrs. Eastwood & Company. Frontiers chatted with the two hunks. tinyurl.com/cllbnsf

56. Self-proclaimed “drag terrorist” Christeene performed for the L.A. masses at Trannyshack to promote the release of her first full-length album, Waste Up, Knees Down.

57. Anderson Cooper finally exited the closet with an email to blogger Andrew Sullivan saying, “The fact is, I’m gay.”

58. Frontiers’ annual “Hot List” showcased 14 smart and sexy SoCal residents whose contributions to our community are unparalleled. Who will make the list in 2013?

59. The national touring production of War Horse—stabled at Downtown L.A.’s Ahmanson—astounded theatergoers by “creating a menagerie of seemingly living puppets.”

60. Proving that L.A. has culture, Frontiers presented a guide to L.A.’s most fascinating, culturally diverse museums—from The Getty to MOCA to the Museum of Death. tinyurl.com/czgzus9

61. Silver Lake lost yet another gay bar with the June 24 closing of The Other Side and Flying Leap Cafe, one of L.A.’s last remaining piano bars and one of the East Side’s longstanding LGBT institutions.

62. Daytime actor Chandler Massey opened up to Frontiers about his first Emmy and his Days of Our Lives character’s budding gay romance. tinyurl.com/bukf6gy

63. Chick-fil-A-Gate.

64. Hip-hop artist Frank Ocean came out of the closet and released the critically acclaimed album channel ORANGE.

65. Silver Lake got a lot hairier with the Aug. 1 premiere of Where the Bears Are, a comedy-mystery web series that was part-Golden Girls, part-Murder, She Wrote.

66. Iconoclast, liberal intellectual, prolific author and TV personality Gore Vidal died at home in the Hollywood Hills at 86.

67. LGBTs were front-and-center in primetime TV’s fall lineup this year, with The New Normal and Partners making their debut.

68. Shia LaBeouf bared it all in the music video for Sigur Rós track “Flögur Pianó.”

69. Frontiers crowned Fashion Police’s George Kotsiopoulos “L.A.’s Most Eligible Bachelor.” The celebrity stylist gave us the scoop on shooting the show with gay icon Joan Rivers and what he’s looking for in the perfect mate. tinyurl.com/cm58ouu

70. WeHo’s own Krymis clan, the straight couple that owns raunchy watering hole Fubar, were strutted onto the small screen for Logo’s In the Big House—just in case you thought your family was nuts.

71. The big-screen version of 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower was beloved by people of all ages and backgrounds. The film starred Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, in addition to a stellar old-school soundtrack.

72. Prince Harry got a little rambunctious in Sin City, and photos surfaced of him clutching the royal jewels, proving that not everything stays in Vegas.

73. The Book of Mormon arrived to sold-out crowds in L.A., playing the Pantages Theatre for an extended run. Frontiers chatted with out performer Gavin Creel. tinyurl.com/c6zx5qx

74. L.A.’s Celebration Theatre celebrated 30 years of bringing the LGBT community’s stories to the stage.

75. Taking over the site of WeHo’s beloved former hardware store (and keeping its name), dusty aisles of tools were replaced with bistro-style tables at Laurel Hardware, featuring a menu by Chef Mario Alberto.

76. L.A. said “Suck it, Williamsburg!” when Forbes magazine gave Silver Lake the top spot as “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhood.”

77. The space shuttle Endeavor, attached to a Boeing 747, flew over L.A. before landing at LAX on Sept. 21.

78. Best in Drag Show celebrated its 10th anniversary, from which all money raised went to Aid for AIDS and its client services.

79. Deena Fidas, Deputy Director of the HRC Foundation Workplace Project, spoke to Frontiers about the importance of conscious spending, noting, “It’s up to you, the LGBT consumer, to support the businesses that support us.” tinyurl.com/cof45x7

80. Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy had people talking—about Nicole Kidman urinating on co-star Zac Efron; about Efron’s snug, white skivvies; and about Matthew McConaughey playing gay. As our film reviewer Lawrence Ferber put it, “Daniels is cray-cray.”

81. West Hollywood’s second annual Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day took place on Oct. 27. Frontiers’ readers helped narrow down the contest’s finalists via a popular online competition at FrontiersLA.com.

82. As if being nude on TV’s Spartacus wasn’t saucy enough, openly gay actor Craig Parker made gossip headlines when a clear, full-length nude of himself in a bathroom mirror surfaced. Our mouths are still agape.

83. West Hollywood co-sponsored the 17th Annual Tom of Finland Foundation Erotic Art Fair at Plummer Park. That same weekend, at West Hollywood Park and the new library, the city hosted the 11th Annual WeHo Book Fair.

84. October was a great month for gay-friendly tunes, with new releases from P!nk, Amanda Palmer, Diamond Rings, Dragonette, The Killers, Mika, Kylie Minogue and more.

85. Vikings punter (that’s football, Mary) Chris Kluwe spoke out in support of same-sex marriage, sending a fabulous letter to Maryland State Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. (he’s a jerk), in which Kluwe commented that allowing gay people to marry will not “magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.” Well said.

86.  Loved by some and deemed an eyesore by others, the rainbow crosswalks at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevards in West Hollywood are here to stay. Originally intended as a decorative feature for June’s Pride month, on Aug. 20, WeHo City Council made them a permanent tourist attraction.

87. Openly gay illusionist and escape artist Curtis Lovell II took a break from being buried alive and gave us a behind-the-scenes look at his act in our Halloween issue. tinyurl.com/ce3k2np

88. Palm Springs Pride is always a popular weekend for Angelenos to visit the desert, and this year was no exception. The festival featured performances by Erasure’s Andy Bell, Karmin, Crystal Method, Kimberly Caldwell, Pepper MaShay and more.

89. The incomparable Barbra Streisand played the Hollywood Bowl, her first performance there in 45 years. It was a great year for the Bowl, who had just hosted gay icon Liza Minnelli in August.

90. Frontiers hosted the first-ever West Hollywood Auto Show on the world-famous Sunset Strip, featuring the latest car models from LGBT-supportive local auto dealers.

91.  Barack Obama was elected to a second term as president of the United States of America. The number of out LGBT members in Congress also hit a new high. Of four marriage equality ballot measures put to voters—in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota—same-sex marriage won in all four.

92. Daniel Craig’s James Bond did a little same-sex flirting in 2012’s Skyfall, playing up the homoerotic tension with openly gay villain Raoul, portrayed by Javier Bardem.

93. Lindsay Lohan may have been on everyone’s lips before and after the premiere of Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, but Frontiers sat down with the hunky Grant Bowler to get the real scoop on the actor’s understandable apprehension when he took on the project. tinyurl.com/blpv2y8

94. Liza Minnelli performed with MenAlive, the Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus, for the group’s winter spectacular. Frontiers got the scoop straight from Liza’s mouth. tinyurl.com/c2v7nvp

95. Cole Porter’s Tony Award-winning Anything Goes pulled into port at the Ahmanson for the holiday season.

96. Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill returned to the spotlight in the African country after Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga pushed to pass the bill before Christmas recess. Later that month, Pope Benedict XVI was pictured giving a blessing to Kadaga.

97. Andy Cohen found himself in hot water after he referred to boy band One Direction as “twinks.” He later apologized, though some felt unnecessarily.

98. AFI Fest returned to Los Angeles, and Frontiers gave you the scoop on which films you didn’t want to miss. Some are still in theatres if you need to catch up. tinyurl.com/c5snq6v

99. On Dec. 7, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review the constitutionality of both the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

100. West Hollywood celebrated “The End”—of the Mayan calendar, at least—on Dec. 21 when local businesses, including bars and restaurants, provided special promotions throughout the night.

101. Frontiers Publisher David Stern introduced The Frontiers Awareness & Education Foundation, the mission of which is to train and nurture the next generation of LGBTQ journalists and provide platforms for their voices. Find more info and donate to the cause at FrontiersFoundation.org.

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