Well, we made it, folks!
This rollercoaster of a year that started in a pandemic wave is ending in…well, ok, another pandemic wave. But there really was a lot in between!
The Buckeye Flame‘s first full year of operation saw unbelievable LGBTQ+ developments all over the state of Ohio, from small towns planning their first ever Pride celebration to Governor DeWine signing what has been called the most homophobic law in the country and doing so on the last day of…wait for it…Pride Month.
We smiled as we read about a free Ohio trans voice clinic doing such incredible work. We mourned the loss of Tierramarie Lewis who was just ready to turn her life around. And we were filled with outrage as Ohio Republicans literally hijacked the statehouse floor in their unsuccessful attempt to ban trans youth from sports.
Through it all, you read our stories, you shared our stories, and you clamored for more stories. Please know that everyone here at The Buckeye Flame is so appreciative of your support. We can’t wait for you to see the incredible plans we have in store for you all in 2022.
But first, we want to look back on the past year and present to you our Top 5 most viewed, visited, and shared stories of 2021. Just like our Top 5 of 2020, this 2021 collection of posts is the perfect microcosm of what we set out to do every single day: create content that spans the state and ranges from commentary to activism to entertainment. Here’s to so much more of the same in 2022!
5. A Grand Opening: Margie’s Closet Offers Clothes—and Safety—to the Trans Community (6/4/21) With their grand opening during Pride Month on the Lakewood/Cleveland border, you all couldn’t get enough of the opening of Margie’s Closet: a resale shop providing clothes, safety, AND community!
4. An Ohio Board of Education Just Banned Teachers From Displaying…RAINBOWS (9/24/21) In one of the more bizarre, “Is this seriously true?!” stories of the year, the New Richmond Exempted Village School District Board of Education issued new directives to teachers and staff in the middle school banning…no joke…rainbows. More of you read this story than live in New Richmond, Ohio.
3. I just left Ohio and now need to unlearn the traumas of Ohio’s discrimination (3/11/21) This companion piece to our most read story of 2020 finds writer and Buckeye Flame Board member BJ Colangelo moving with her wife to California and sharing with our readers the beginnings of her journey to unlearn the blatant homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination they experienced in the Buckeye state. This is some truly powerful commentary.
2. 2021 Ohio LGBTQ+ Pride Guide (5/17/21) What began as a simple list of a few Pride celebrations across Ohio became something quite a bit more as people started reaching out from across the state to let us know about a celebration in their neck of the woods. The result was a piece that had to be updated more than any other piece that we published this year. And we were happy—and filled with pride—to do it!
1. Actor Daniel Franzese (“Mean Girls” / “Looking”): An Ohio University Just Fired Me For Being Gay (3/19/21) Take a well-known LGBTQ+ actor. Throw in a faith-based Ohio university. Sprinkle in a canceled contract. And there you have the recipe for our most-viewed story of 2021. Drah. Ma.
Honorable Mention: Megan Mitchell Sits Out & Proud Behind Cincinnati’s WLWT-TV News Desk Though it was published in 2020, our interview with Cincinnati anchorwoman and TikTok sensation Megan Mitchell was one of our most viewed stories of 2021. Fun fact: this piece was clicked on every single day in 2021. Every. Single. Day.🔥