It’s nearly the end of 2017, so what better way to celebrate it than looking back over our accomplishments and downfalls we’ve had throughout the year? And while we’re at it, why not celebrate some of our own people within the community.

So what can you expect in this epic look back at 2017?

  1. The positives & negatives of the year
  2. Those who have made the year extra special

So let’s get straight into this!

Same-Sex Marriage

In 2017, we’ve seen the legalisation of same-sex marriages in numerous countries. Most recently, we have seen Australia become one of the many to legalize same-sex marriage. Other countries such as Germany, Austria, and Malta have joined them in bringing equality to the world this year.

This is a massive step in the right direction as the world is seeing that same-sex relationships are nothing to be ashamed of. We love who we love and gender plays no part in it. It’s so important that people realise same-sex relationships are just as normal and valid as heterosexual relationships.

In 2018, I can only predict and hope that we will see even more countries join us in legalizing same-sex marriage. It’s time the world wakes up and realises that the LGBTQ+ community only wants equality and are not trying to brainwash our ‘lifestyle’ onto anyone.

LGBTQ+ Topics in Main Stream Media

This year, I’ve noticed the LGBTQ+ community feature in a lot more mainstream media to the point where I’ve even been asked why the LGBTQ+ community is becoming so mainstream nowadays.

There are two ways to look at this. The first – the LGBTQ+ community is getting the attention it rightly deserves and these big media companies are bringing awareness to the community. Or, secondly – these companies are profiting from the community and are showing it in a negative light as a ‘freak-show’.

I personally think that whatever way you look at it, seeing the LGBTQ+ community on social media, television, and news articles is only a positive. The fact that the community is getting airtime shows that the world is becoming more accepting and understands that we need to be accepted just like everyone else.

As much as people think they know about the LGBTQ+ community, there is so much they don’t know, the community is always growing and holds a vast range of unique individuals.

Areas to Improve

Hate Crimes

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As with anything – with positives come negatives and this year we have definitely seen our fair share of negatives. A recent study by Stonewall has shown that hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community have risen by 80% in the last four years.

Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me. As opinions are changing and developing, new ones form. We need to tackle this head on and educate those around us who have developed worrying opinions instead of fuelling their fire.

World Wide Issues

Another upsetting thing we have seen this year is the fact that Brazil approved ‘gay conversion therapy’. It’s astounding that in this day and age we are still facing this awful disrespect and ignorance towards the LGBTQ+ community. Although the world is no doubt seeing progress in achieving quality, the sad reality is that we are still fighting against people who believe homosexuality can be ‘cured’. But the fact is, you cannot cure something that is not a disease.

Celebrating the LGBTQ+ Community

Within our community, we have a vast range of talented people all bringing awareness to the community and are doing amazing work. So let’s look back at the top 10 individuals we feel have brought the most awareness & deserve a special thank you.

10. Zoey Valuated

Zoey is a blogger who blogs about everything and anything. But most recently she has started her journey into the LGBTQ+ blogging community. We can’t wait for what 2018 brings to her blog and the topics she will cover!

9. LGBTQI Crazy Crochet

Small businesses make a huge difference & that’s what crazy crochet does. With her superb talent in producing custom-made crochet items, she is creating a beautiful and colourful world.

8. Joanne Lockwood – SEE Change Happen

Joanne travels the country to teach & educate those in business, schools & day to day life. Her amazing work is bringing attention to important topics. With her setting the way and mentoring those to respect the LGBTQ+, she is doing wonders for the LGBTQ+ community.

7. Dr. Helen Webberley

We’ve previously showcased Dr. Helen Webberley’s work in previous posts. Her work for the trans community is undeniably amazing. With her free services online plus her informative blog post, she is helping society gain a new understanding for the trans community.

6. The Gaydy Bunch Family

When we started Unite UK, we came across this blog full of love and support. Over the year, we have loved seeing what the family gets up to. Most importantly, the message that two women can create a loving family is something I admire. By showcasing their loving and beautiful family, they are giving people like myself hope and the realisation that I can, in fact, raise a family too with a woman. So from all of us at Unite UK, thank you.

5. Huddle 

Huddle, an amazing platform for not only the LGBTQ+ community. The app looks at everything from mental health to addiction. This new creative concept is something that needs to be celebrated. So watch out… you never know what the new year brings!

4. Sienna 

Did someone ask for a Norwegian beauty? Then look no further. Sienna is an amazing LGBTQ+ blogger that covers topics everyone needs to read about. Her amazing outlook on life & unique writing abilities has proven she is one to watch for the new year. I can’t wait for what she brings to the table!

3. Coming Out UK

Coming out UK, an amazing LGBTQ+ charity based in London. Their unique approach has allowed them to produce incredible videos showcasing advice on how to come out. Not only do they produce killer content, the people behind the charity are some of the best people within the community. Their determination to bring equality to all aspect of the LGBTQ+ community is why we have joined up with them to bring an exciting project in 2018.

We are stronger together and Unite UK are so happy to have joined up with this amazing charity.

2. Hiker Therapy 

Over the last year, Unite UK has been on an amazing journey. Someone that has been by our side is Mark, from Hiker Therapy. Whenever I am doubting my abilities, he is there congratulating our work. He has become an amazing friend & support, we couldn’t be here without him.

Aside from this, Mark runs Hiker Therapy which is an amazing space to see all things bisexual & gain a true understanding of happiness. In 2018, I hope to see more and more of Marks amazing abilities to bring people from all over the world to join together.

1. YOU

So, you’re probably angry at us right now. You’ve read all the way down, to find out we have put you as our number one. But let me explain, please?

Everyone throughout the year faces many demons & struggles of their own. We have to keep on fighting to make it through the year. But you’ve made it. We are finally here.

You can look back and say ‘I’ve made a difference’. If not only to your own life, to the others around you. Look around, I’m sure you’ve no doubt made a difference this year.

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