This went to print two weeks ago, but I guess Xtra.ca was saving it for the New Year’s lull: my 2012 Year in Review. I’m a little sad that they cut my opening joke about how the year was pretty good for queer Canadians and therefore “in what I hope will become an annual tradition, we look back on a year of positive developments for the queer community.”
It is a bit of a turnaround actually. I wrote a bunch of year-end features when I was on staff last year, including a feature on the 2011 in Gay Bashings. My feature on the most-read stories of 2011 included the then-unsettled question of GSAs in Catholic Schools, the suicide of Ottawa teenager Jamie Hubley, a homophobic and transphobic Progressive Conservative election campaign, the seemingly nuclear war over Pride Toronto and its former executive director, a Tim Hortons in Ontario that kicked out a lesbian couple, and the start of a deeply unpleasant boycott of the paper led by a handful of trans activists.
(I remember doing a similarly snarky year-in-review last year too, but I can’t find it online right now. Perhaps I’m hallucinating.)
By contrast, 2012 was pretty smooth sailing. Xtra‘s top videos were all celebrity(ish) interviews, which is something of a switch — and a welcome demonstration that that kind of content can coexist, even compliment Xtra‘s more political coverage. If Xtra’s numbers are accurate, a behind-the-scenes pornstar photoshoot was not only the most watched Xtra.ca video of 2012, but also the most looked at story Xtra has published ever. Those “several hundred thousand” pairs of eyeballs were all potential readers of the more activist content Xtra publishes.
Onward and upward for 2013!