Readers sometimes comment on how negative the realities of news about LGBT issues around the world can be, but this does not mean we can’t strive to bring you a dose of the inspiring and heartwarming too.

While we cannot claim a thoroughly scientific approach to the rankings, the stories below are selected through a combination of how widely read they were, how much debate they provoked and our own editorial judgement as to the effect they will have on LGBT life.

So without further ado, below are the most inspiring and uplifting stories of 2013 (in no particular order).

13-year-old boy uses his Bar Mitzvah speech to rally for equal marriage

This 13-year-old Jewish boy used his Bar Mitzvah speech to call for same-sex couples in his home state of Oregon to be granted the right to marry. The US state currently only recognises same-sex marriages conducted elsewhere.

Duncan McAlpine Sennett took his synagogue with him as he explained why the biblical definition of marriage is nothing like what those who oppose equality say it is, and by the end you’ll be cheering him on like his local Jewish community.

Swedish athlete at Moscow Athletics Championship paints nails in rainbow colours against anti-gay law

Rainbow Nails

Swedish High jumper Emma Green-Tregaro, at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, made a stand against anti-gay laws introduced in Russia in June, by painting her nails in rainbow colours.

She admitted she did it to support LGBT people in Russia and was later advised not to do so. She said: “It felt right”.

Stephen Fry warns David Cameron: Vladimir Putin is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews

fryprotest

Commenting on the June introduction of an anti-gay law in Russia, Stephen Fry sent a stark letter of warning to British PM David Cameron, and other officials responsible for the games. He also attended a rally in London in support of LGBT Russians.

The actor, author and television presenter Stephen Fry wrote the open letter to David Cameron, International Olympics Committee President Jacques Rogge and Lord Coe, urging them to ban the 2014 Winter Olympics due to take place in the Russian city of Sochi – because of Russia’s treatment and discrimination of LGBT people.

Also speaking openly about his bipolar disorder, he later said he has moved on from the “mad compulsion” which led to a suicide attempt last year and is now on effective medication for the first time “that really seems to be working”.

16-year-old writes for PinkNews about his experiences of being gay in a private all boys school

OllyHudson

Olly Hudson wrote for PinkNews.co.uk about his experiences of being gay at a private all boys boarding school in the UK.

He despaired at the homophobic environment and the lack of acknowledgement by the school that homosexuality even exists.

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