A tweet by Alexander Leon, an Australia-based writer and activist who works at Kaleidoscope Trust, went viral this week on Twitter. Leon wrote, “Queer people don’t grow up as ourselves, we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimize humiliation & prejudice. The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us & which parts we’ve created to protect us.”

Every week, I research all things gay news, both locally and nationally, to decide what might be appropriate for an editorial. This week, more than any — or perhaps it feels like more than any due to recovering from the holidays — I stumbled across so much anti-LGBTQ violence and rhetoric. When will it cease? When will our identities and our lives be respected and valued and stop leading to our deaths or humiliation?

A year happens weekly at PGN. Each week stories centering the LGBTQ community come to light, and at the end of 52 weeks, it’s hard to step back and see the year as a whole. But 2019 had its milestones, large and small. It marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and saw the onset of a presidential run by a gay candidate. Four states passed conversion therapy protections. Mayor Jim Kenney signed a package of inclusivity bills, proposed by Helen Gym. Amber Hikes left the Office of LGBT Affairs for the ACLU. Mazzoni unionized, the Gloria Casarez Residence opened and much else.

Last week, Merriam-Webster announced its word of the year is “they,” used singularly. Searches for “they” increased 313 percent from 2018 to 2019. “People were clearly encountering this new use and turning to the dictionary for clarity and for usage guidance,” Senior Editor Emily Brewster said in a statement.

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