December 31, 2018 at 11:22 am PDT | by Troy Masters
Our most popular stories in 2018 received 2 million pageviews

In 2018 Los Angeles Blade online readers sent a few articles into the cyber stratosphere, sharing them heavily on social media and passing them along to their friends by word of mouth and by text. The topics of greatest interest ranged from Donald Trump’s ban against transgender troop members, international LGBT rights, prominent LGBT community member deaths, the acts of local congressmen, the blue victory in Orange County, to something as simple as Grandma ironing a rainbow flag.

According to our internal Google Analytics metrics and tools on our website, Los Angeles Blade online was visited by more than 800,000 users and viewed more than 2,000,00 pageviews. Our articles were liked or shared more than 15,000,000 times by readers around the world (a ‘Like’ is not necessarily a pageview), the biggest day being August 11 when more than 80,000 people visited the site.  And our articles appeared in over 12,000,000 searches. 

Here are summaries of our top online performers:

Trump’s Trans Military Ban Now Policy

Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Laura Perry, 45th Medical Operations Squadron master social worker, talks with an attendee after a speaking engagement, Dec. 2, 2016, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Perry was instrumental in the fight for transgender military members to openly serve and travels the country sharing her story. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

President Donald Trump may be on a 17- day vacation but his White House has been scrambling to hand him a “win” by the time he returns. Trump’s tweets last week announcing a ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the U.S. military was turned into a “guidance” policy for implementation that passed muster with the White House Counsel’s office Friday night. Approved by Trump, the new policy is expected to be now delivered into the hands of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has been quiet on the issue with approximately 15,000 trans servicemembers under his command. (read here)

U.S. opposes UN resolution against death penalty for same-sex relations

The U.S. on Sept. 29, 2017, is among the countries that voted against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning the use of the death penalty against those convicted of consensual same-sex sexual relations. (Photo by sanjitbakshi; courtesy Flickr)

The U.S. on Sept. 29 voted against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution that condemns the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts. The resolution — which Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia and Switzerland introduced — passed by a 27-13 vote margin. Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and the U.K. supported the resolution. Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined the U.S. in opposing it. (read here)

Trump scraps tradition, declines to issue Pride proclamation

President Donald Trump has not issued a Pride proclamation at the start of June. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

President Trump has declined to issue at the start of June a proclamation designating the month as a time for celebration of Pride, breaking with a tradition started under the Obama administration. By the end of the last weekday in May, President Obama each year during his time at the White House issued a proclamation recognizing Pride. Trump, on the other hand, had thus far issued no such proclamation — or even recognized June as Pride from his often-used Twitter account. (read here)

Trans artist activist Casey Hoke has died at 21

Casey Hoke speaks onstage during the 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on October 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for GLSEN)

Casey Hoke, a transgender artist, activist and national public speaker dedicated to helping others combat marginalization, has died in Pomona, according to a family statement on his Facebook page. A spokesperson for Los Angeles County Deputy Medical Examiner Juan Carrillo told the Los Angeles Blade that the cause of death was deferred until after an official inquest. He died at his home in Pomona, outside Los Angeles, California on Wednesday, August 8. “My younger brother Casey Hoke passed away yesterday in the Los Angeles, CA area,” Hoke’s brother Ryan Benjamin Hoke said in a statement. “My family is heartbroken. We ask for privacy, but at the same time want to make sure Casey’s friends and connections know.” (read here)

Trump terminates support for National Park Service Rainbow Flag ceremony at Stonewall

The Trump administration was none too pleased, apparently, that the Rainbow flag, an international symbol of the LGBT community’s fight for equality, would be flying over a National Monument and federal lands.

The Trump administration was none too pleased, apparently, that the Rainbow flag, an international symbol of the LGBT community’s fight for equality, would be flying over a National Monument and federal lands. The National Park Service (NPS), which had originally approved and sponsored a ceremony to be held tomorrow at New York City’s Stonewall National Monument to dedicate the Rainbow flag, has suddenly withdrawn. (read here)

Rose Parade Queen is LGBTQ community member

Photo of Rose Queen 2019 (Louise Deser Siskel) with Royal Court Members (Princess Helen Rossi, Princess Rucha Kadam, Princess Lauren Baydaline, Princess Micaela McElrath, Princess Sherry Ma and Princess Ashley Hacket) (Photo courtesy Rose Parade)

Louise Siskel of San Marino, California, will take a unique place in history when she holds court during the 130th Tournament of Roses Parade on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 in Pasadena. She will be the first LGBTQ community member and the first Jew to preside over the Parade. (read here).  She came out as bisexual days after this article was published in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.

Schiff takes on Trump and truth

Rep. Adam Schiff represents California’s 28th District, including West Hollywood. (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

It’s come down to this: name-calling. Literally. California Rep. Adam Schiff appeared on ABC’s “This Week” Nov. 18 explaining that Democrats intend to challenge President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general. A former federal prosecutor who becomes chair of the House Intelligence Committee in January, Schiff said the appointment is unconstitutional. (read here)

Grandma goes viral for ironing bisexual granddaughter’s flag for Pride

Lexie and her grandmother (Photo via Twitter)

A grandmother’s “simple gesture” of helping her bisexual granddaughter get ready for Capital Pride in Washington D.C. has gone viral. Lexie, who lives in Virginia, tweeted a photo of her grandmother ironing her bisexual pride flag in preparation for the weekend’s festivities. “I got up this morning to get ready for #DCPride. My grandma walked into my room, looked at my bi flag, and said, ‘Oh, this needs to be pressed out!’ Such a simple gesture, but it holds so much love and meaning for me,” Lexie captioned the photo which has received more than 200,000 likes. (read here)

Harley Rouda declares victory, unseating antigay Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

Harley Rouda. (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

Democrat Harley Rouda, a real estate executive and former Republican who switched parties, declared victory today (Saturday November 10, 2018), defeating notorious homophobe Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who has held California’s 48th Congressional seat since being elected in 1988. (read here)

Homeland Security detains members of Mexican Gay Men’s Chorus

Photos courtesy GMCLA.

Resistance. Defiance and solace through camaraderie and song. That’s what gave birth to the Gay Men’s Chorus movement, first in San Francisco when about 100 men moved their fourth rehearsal onto the steps of City Hall on Nov. 27, 1979 and sang for the first time in public at the candlelight vigil for assassinated gay Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. Two months later, 99 gay men came together in Plummer Park to form the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. And for 40 years now, GMCLA has served as beacons of hope and love through the AIDS crisis and the roller coaster ride of politics and cultural warfare. They intend to do it again, despite the inconvenient threats from the Department of Homeland Security.  (read here)

Raquel Willis makes OUT history as first trans executive editor

Raquel Willis. (Photo by Kristina Ashley Williams )

Two months after the LGBT media world exploded with questions about whether the straight new Pride Media owner of The Advocate and OUT would care about the magazines’ long LGBT legacy, OUT hired black transgender social justice activist and writer Raquel Willis as Executive Editor. “It’s an honor to be a part of this team and be a part of this new crew of queer and trans people who wanna shake things up, and bring in more color along with new perspectives,” Willis told ESSENCE magazine, itself a legacy publication for African American women, first published in 1970.  (read here)

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ producers sue anonymous user leaking ‘All Stars’ spoilers

RuPaul's Drag Race, gay news, Washington Blade

(Screenshot courtesy of YouTube)

World of Wonder Productions is suing an anonymous Internet user, who posts under the name “RealityTVLeaks” on various social media accounts, for releasing spoilers about “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season three. (read here)

Amtrak gay mystery deepens as more deaths, injuries revealed

Aaron Salazar at Craig Hospital, Englewood, Colorado, Monday, August 13, 2018 provided by his family.

Gay university student Aaron Salazar appears not to be the first to receive mysterious injuries while traveling on an Amtrak train. Passengers around the U.S. have gone missing or have been found injured or dead under incongruous circumstances while riding Amtrak. Salazar, 22, a passage on Amtrak’s California  Zephyr Express, was found severely injured and in critical condition May 15 on the railroad tracks in Truckee CA. He’s unconscious and in stable condition in a hospital in Reno, Nevada. Since his story was first reported, Salazar’s cousin Sonja Trujillo helped uncover a number of similar cases in which passengers received unexplained injuries, some causing death, on or near Amtrak trains, or passengers inexplicably exiting trains. (read here)

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