1. India decriminalizes homosexuality
The end of 2015 saw a major disappointment as India’s government voted against a private members’ bill to decriminalize homosexuality. But it was from a politician on the opposite side of the government. With supportive lawmakers in powerful positions, could another vote swing in favor of equality?
2. Carol wins Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes
In 2006, Brokeback Mountain lost to Crash. A decade later, could another gay love drama finally win big at the Oscars?
3. Banning of gay ‘cure’ therapy
There are only three US states and exactly zero European countries that ban ‘gay cure’ therapy. Malta may become the first in Europe in 2016, but will others follow?
4. Greece moves towards marriage equality
Greece, the only EU country to not allow civil unions, was told by the European Court of Human Rights that it must give rights to same-sex couples or risk more fines. Just before Christmas it duly passed this measure with a big majority. While right-wing groups are fighting all the way, is there an opportunity to move from partnership recognition to marriage equality?
5. Will Jamaican politicians campaign on gay rights?
Jamaica will have a new government either in late 2016 or early 2017. Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller promised homosexuality would become legal in the run-up to the last election. Will she keep her word this time?
6. Deadpool will actually be pansexual
Director Tim Miller and star Ryan Reynolds has promised Deadpool will be pansexual. The trailer looks like he’ll be a womanizer, more likely. But will we see some proper flirtation with guys, as it is in the comics?
7. The first gay British Premier League footballer
Reports have suggested there are a few gay British Premier League footballers readying to come out. This time next year, we could have several out and proud UK soccer players, rather than…uh, none.
8. A US federal law banning workplace discrimination of LGBTI people
Currently in 29 US states, you can marry your same-sex partner on Saturday and be fired for it on Monday. If President Obama can get a federal law banning workplace discrimination of LGBTI people, that will be the final victory in his LGBTI rights legacy.
9. A gay character in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry, Hermione and Ron are back in a two-part play set 19 years after Hogwarts beginning in June. JK Rowling has, for the last few years, given fans more LGBTI representation in her wizarding world on social media. But it’s never been made clear in canon. Will this play change that?
10. Finding Dory
Finding Dory, the follow-up to Finding Nemo, has the potential to be one of the biggest kids movies ever. With Ellen DeGeneres taking center stage as the forgetful fish, how could it fail?
11. Slovenia legalizes same-sex marriage
Slovenia hit a roadblock when a referendum on same-sex marriage failed late this year. But advocates and lawmakers are already planning how to fight back, and for the Catholic country it should be a very interesting 2016.
12. Same-sex marriage moves forward in Australia
The next Australian election has to be held before 14 January 2017, so again marriage equality is bound to be a big talking point. Labor party leader Bill Shorten has pledged, if elected at the next election, to introduce a same-sex marriage bill within 100 days of taking office.
13. The new Lady Gaga album is actually good
Lady Gaga has left jazz and is back to pop, working with producers like Red One and disco legend Giorgio Moroder. This is bound to be better than Cheek To Cheek and Artpop.
14. Northern Ireland marriage equality
Marriage equality has repeatedly failed in parliament, largely thanks to the homophobic members of the DUP. But there are legal challenges being made, arguing same-sex couples cannot go from married in the rest of the UK to just having civil union status in Northern Ireland. Will the courts force equality to happen in Northern Ireland?
15. Gay blood bans are repealed
The FDA has just ruled that gay and bisexual men can give blood but only after not having sex for a year in the US. Other countries, including the UK, are going to be reviewing their current rules and seeing whether it makes sense to allow men who have sex with men to give blood on individual cases – rather than basing their policies on the 1980s.
16. Kim Davis repents/comes out/apologizes
Maybe that’s asking for too much. Here’s hoping.