10 Things We're Thankful For In 2023

Sasha Colby; Kim Petras and Sam Smith; Murray Bartlett
Sasha Colby; Kim Petras and Sam Smith; Murray Bartlett

Thanks to these queer reasons, we’re feeling a bit of gratitude in 2023!

Sasha Colby; Kim Petras and Sam Smith; Murray Bartlett
Sasha Colby; Kim Petras and Sam Smith; Murray Bartlett

MTV; Getty Images; HBO

It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and feel down on ourselves when the LGBTQ+ community continues to be attacked by conservative forces. Though progress has slowed down in recent years, queer people are still making huge strides through art, politics, and entertainment.

Through our fellow queer and trans siblings, as well as supportive allies, we do have reasons to feel joy and gratitude during this holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving and all the way to Christmas, we’ll keep in mind the queer reasons that make us feel thankful in 2023.

Scroll through to find out our reasons for feeling thankful in 2023!

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, AND Madonna went on tour.

Taylor Swift; Beyonc\u00e9; Madonna
Taylor Swift; Beyonc\u00e9; Madonna

Getty Images

I mean, what are the freaking odds that in the same calendar year we’d get history-making tours from three of the most popular and beloved popstars in the world? In 2023, Beyoncé (Renaissance World Tour), Taylor Swift (The Eras Tour), and Madonna (The Celebration Tour) all hit the road with blockbuster tours that had the girls, gays, and theys shaking in their boots. What an unbelievable year for pop music stans!

Sasha Colby won season 15 of ‘RuPaul's Drag Race.’

Mother, also known as Sasha Colby, won four maxi challenges on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15, never landed in the bottom, and went on to snatch the crown after a jaw-dropping performance of “GODDESS.” The crowning of Sasha Colby on Drag Race gave us pure queer euphoria, and we’re still screaming “mother!” every time she appears on our screens.

Anti-LGBTQ+ bills pushed by conservatives keep getting blocked and struck down.

Conservatives keep trying to pass anti-drag, anti-queer, and anti-trans laws to limit our existence and push us back into the closet… but many of those pieces of legislation are getting blocked and struck down once they are challenged in the courts. These have been huge victories for the LGBTQ+ community as we fiercely continue to fight back against bigotry.

Sam Smith & Kim Petras’ ‘Unholy’ went no. 1 on Billboard and won a Grammy Award.

SAM SMITH & KIM PETRAS Win Best Pop Duo / Group Performance For 'Unholy' | 2023 GRAMMYs

Back in February, Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ collab “Unholy” won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo / Group Performance. Petras became the first trans woman to win a Grammy in this category, making it a truly historic moment for our community. “Unholy” also reached the no. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which felt like a big middle-finger to all the conservative bigots who are hating on trans and queer people.

HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ had incredible LGBTQ+ characters and storylines.

Episode 3 Preview | The Last of Us | Max

Besides the pitch-perfect casting of nonbinary actor Bella Ramsey in the role of Ellie, HBO’s The Last of Us also gave us one of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching queer love stories in TV history during season one, episode three, titled “Long, Long Time.” With Nick Offerman as Bill and Murray Bartlett as Frank, we got to witness a tragic but incredible storyline between a queer couple on one of the biggest HBO shows of all time.

Trace Lysette’s Oscar-worthy performance in ‘Monica.’

Monica - Official Trailer | HD | IFC Films

Speaking of fabulous performances, Trace Lysette delivered an Oscar-worthy leading performance as the titular character in Monica. This indie movie absolutely captured the hearts of audiences who have seen it, and Lysette’s incredible acting is right at the center of it. While it’s been disappointing to see that the film isn’t getting as much acclaim as it deserves, we are grateful that a movie like Monica exists so that even more doors can be opened for trans actors in lead roles.

Troye Sivan’s ‘Something to Give Each Other’ album.

Troye Sivan - One of Your Girls (Official Video)

Troye Sivan has been growing up right before our eyes. And with age, Sivan has been embracing his identity more and more. After delivering pure queer teenage angst in 2015’s Blue Neighbourhood and having a sexual awakening in 2018’s Bloom, Sivan dropped 2023’s Something to Give Each Other as a full-on queer party extravaganza. Given that this is Sivan’s gayest album, it couldn’t be more exciting to see all the success he’s been getting in response.

Dylan Mulvaney conquered the world with her TikTok vlogs.

DAY 365 OF GIRLHOOD: live! Singing, special guests, and a walk down memory lane. All profits to benefit @trevorproject 💓 $5 livestream tickets in bio 🎉 #trans #theatre

In March, Dylan Mulvaney’s gender journey on TikTok reached Day 365, which felt like a huge celebration among the LGBTQ+ community. Mulvaney became a social media superstar as she shared daily videos for a full year about her transition, and she continues to grow her career even further with each passing day. Conservatives be damned, the world is already in love with Dylan Mulvaney!

Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ had a resurgence and made her a LOT of money in royalties

Tracy Chapman - Fast Car (Official Music Video)

Tracy Chapman had already capitalized over the years with her hit song “Fast Car.” In 2023, country singer Luke Combs created a new version of the song. And while it does sting a little to see a straight white man reinterpreting this queer anthem, it just so happens that Chapman has already cashed in over $500,000 in royalties from Combs’ new version (via Billboard). As long as our LGBTQ+ artists are being properly compensated, I guess we don’t really have a huge issue with Combs’ new version being so popular.

Writers and actors went on strike against Hollywood studios – and won!

SAG-AFTRA president shares what 86% of actors on strike are really paid in a year

After several years of getting screwed over by Hollywood studios in this streaming era, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) went on strike and fought for their rights. Through a series of negotiations, writers and actors obtained new payment structures and much-needed protections for their work. Both WGA and SAG came out of their respective strikes with a sense of victory, and we have to stan!