Congratulations –– barring any catastrophic events or new Senate bottoms –– we’ve basically made it through 2023. 😮💨
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve feels like a liminal space in and of itself.
When you’re not eating yourself into a coma, nursing a holiday hangover, or returning unwanted gifts, you’re likely reflecting on the events of the last 365 days.
How about we take this to the next level?
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That being said, it was a pretty good year to be gay. (Minus the conservative attack on Pride, which ended up backfiring on them. #Karma)
We heard the call of “Padam Padam” and saw the twink renaissance of Troye Sivan. We followed Pedro Pascal’s each and every move. Allan from Barbie became a certified gay icon, and against all odds, Madonna kicked off her Celebration Tour.
And that’s just scratching the surface. From must-see LGBTQ+ TV, to rising TikTok faves, and some controversial man candy, there were a few things that captured our attention all year long.
Before we finally close the book on 2023, here are 10 things we were obsessed with this year.
1. Bushnell Wicker Hanging Chair
My favorite part of reading –– besides ordering new books at a rate far faster than I can read them –– is curating the perfect nook. After all, if I’m going to dedicate time to poring over pages… and then inevitably end up scrolling through my phone, I want to be comfortable.
That’s why I absolutely love the Bushnell Wicker Hanging Chair (on sale for $153 at Bed Bath & Beyond), which I’ve managed to cram inside three different New York apartments, and counting! The snug egg-shape makes me feel like I’m hiding out in my own secret garden and it swings just enough to keep things interesting.
Plus, it’s a great conversation starter. “Did you really need a swing chair,” they ask. Yes, I really did!
2. Nicole Kidman “Somehow Heartbreak Feels Good in a Place Like This” Hat
Some things just never go out of style –– blue jeans, dark sunglasses, Nicole Kidman’s AMC commercial.
In a year that’s been dominated by film (from Barbie and Bottoms, to Saltburn), I’ve found myself at the movie theater more times than ever before. Understandably, Mrs. Kidman’s melodramatic, if not dedicated, monologue about the magic of AMC has completely engrained itself in my memory.
It only felt fitting to pay tribute to this campy moment by adding this “Somehow Heartbreak Feels Good in a Place Like This” baseball hat ($25.95 on Etsy) to my collection. And it’s a surefire way to score a compliment from even your snobbiest film gay friend.
3. The Other Two Season 3
This year saw The Other Two –– notably, the funniest, weirdest, and smartest TV show in recent memory –– premiere its third and final season. While I’m heartbroken that we won’t continue our journey with Carey (Drew Tarver), Brooke (Heléne York), and Pat Dubek (Molly Shannon), I will never stop talking about what fantastic television they gave us this year.
From a Lukas Gage cameo, to gratuitous shirtlessness from the dreamy Josh Segarra, and a whole bit about gay actors going method, writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider gave us something special.
And used the word “hole” in more episodes than I ever thought imaginable.
4. Apple Watch
I look back on my life in two distinct eras: before I had an Apple Watch ($249 – $799 online) and after.
OK, I’ll admit that Apple Watch users may be nearing cult-like status –– pacing the office hallways to meet their Stand goal, refusing to surrender it from their wrists at formal events, and talking into it like a secret spy on crowded subways.
But honestly, it’s really that good! From its fitness and health tracking capabilities, to its seamless connection to my phone and music, and the adorable Pride bands they release every year, Big Tech has got me. Hook, line, and sinker.
5. Prince Harry’s frozen todger
Can anyone talking about his frostbite todger? Prince Harry, do you really need all that attention?
— Amanda Stafford (@RosannaM1970) January 14, 2023
We kicked off 2023 with the release of Prince Harry’s eyeopening memoir Spare ($19 for hardcover on Amazon). And while the book spilled some very revealing tea about the Royal Family, the only part I can remember is this extremely odd moment from the audiobook, in which Harry reflects on his frostbitten “todger.”
“My [redacted] was oscillating between extremely sensitive and borderline traumatized,” he reads, in what became a Gay Twitter meme. (Naturally.) So of course, he rubs some Elizabeth Arden creme “down there” and feels like his mother was instantly transported into the room.
Say what you want about Prince Harry, but there’s no denying the man can paint quite the visceral picture!
6. My Name is Barbra by Barbra Streisand
Do I even need to explain? IT’S BARBRA!
In a year filled with celeb memoirs, Ms. Streisand had to outdo everyone with this 992-paged brick of a book documenting her six decades across the entertainment industry. My Name is Barbra ($31.50 hardcover on Amazon) is “shake-your-head funny and hand-to-mouth surprising,” according to The New York Times, and a definitely a must-have for any loyal gay fan.
But if that page count has you scared, worry not. You can hear Babs read it aloud yourself in its 48 hour-long audiobook ($18.99). The dedication!
7. Jake Shane’s gay TikTok chaos
@octopusslover8 Replying to @user2035752864190 ♬ original sound – Jake Shane
If you’ve been on TikTok at all this year, you’ve likely laughed at a video by @octopusslover8, a.k.a. Jake Shane. The short and sassy queer content-creator skyrocketed to viral fame this year, accumulating over 2.6 million followers with his satirical skits.
Sometimes, he’s “the X in PIXAR reacting to what the lamp did to the I.” Other times, he’s “the other reindeer finding out Rudolph is going to lead the sleigh.” And yet, the account started out as a way for him to review octopus dishes around the world. Regardless, I will be watching.
8. Ariana Grande’s secretly sexy new BF
Ariana Grande, who famously wrote a song called “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” made headlines after splitting from husband Dalton Gomez and apparently starting a relationship with her Wicked co-star Ethan Slater, who was married at the time. The drama!
And while she was initially roasted for her attraction to Slater –– who originated the role of SpongeBob Squarepants on Broadway –– my concerns went away completely after a quick “Ethan Slater shirtless” Google Images search. All I can say is, “Get it girl!”
and I hope the forthcoming Wicked movie actually exists.
9. Born Noir Cuticle Oil
Don’t get me wrong –– I love the holiday season. But each and every year, I’m confronted with the same fatal flaw: my skin gets so, so, so dry. I’ve got a packed medicine cabinet with lotions and potions but my new favorite discovery is Cuticle Oil ($12.50 for a bottle at Born Noir).
While I don’t paint my nails, I love the sensation of brushing my cuticles and keeping my fingers happy and healthy, especially during the seasons where just lotion won’t do. Bonus: Born Noir is a “mission-driven cosmetic company” with a commitment to providing cosmetics that go beyond gender and race. Werk!
10. Happy Hour Alien Pilsner Glass
Remember when the United States told us they were in possession of UFOs with “nonhuman” remains this past summer? I think we all got over that one waaaay too fast.
In honor of our intergalactic lil’ friends –– and the number of times 2023 made me think “I need a drink” –– I had to snag this Happy Hour Pilsner Glass ($10 on Urban Outfitters). The greenish tint from the soda-lime glass makes any beverage look out-of-this-world and I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many pint glasses.
Plus, it’s the perfect way to stay on the aliens’ good side. You know, if they ever take over or anything.
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