For this month’s digest, we thought we all needed some good news. As we look back on this year, in all of its chaos, kookiness and catastrophes, it’s hard to recall the glimmers of good in between. Here are some of the most hopeful headlines in sex, gender, and politics of 2022.
Global Progress for LGBTQ Communities
Despite ceaseless efforts by conservative and religious groups, 2022 was a landmark year for LGBTQ rights around the world. After a historic majority vote, Cuba legalized gay marriage, and made adoption available to same-sex couples. Japan moved to allow gay couples the same housing, medicine and welfare benefits as married couples. Singapore repealed its law against sex between men.
Canada Bans Conversion Therapy
At the top of this year, a new law went into effect in Canada that makes conversion therapy, and any services intended to change someone's gender identity or sexual orientation, illegal. The initial bill received unanimous support from Canadian congress, and will surely save countless lives. Go Canada.
Scotland Makes Period Products Free
In August, Scotland became the first nation in the world to offer tampons, maxi pads, and other menstrual products for free to anyone who needs them. This gives "free bleed" a whole new meaning. This will make a profound impact on menstruating people everywhere, eliminating the unnecessary expense for these essential resources.
Developments in HIV Cure
HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS and has infected people across the world for decades, may be on the brink of a cure. Using transplanted stem cells from an umbilical cord, scientists were able to treat and cure 3 different patients by February of this year.
Google Makes Move for Mental Health
In May, Google changed its user capabilities, giving individuals the power to limit ads related to pregnancy, dating, and weight loss. Having conducted user surveys, they found that ads focusing on sensitive, personal subjects can negatively effect people's mental health. This is a small step in making internet spaces less triggering.
Here’s to more progress in the new year. What are you looking to see in 2023?