2017 was a year in which homophobia and transphobia were at heightened levels in much of the world.

Crackdowns across eastern Europe saw purges in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, leading to gay men being detained, tortured and killed.



African countries including Tanzania, Uganda and Egypt – where hundreds of people have been arrested – have also suffered from state-instituted homophobia.

And in the English-speaking world, the UK, US and Australia have all seen a huge rise in anti-gay hate, with Brexit, Trump and the same-sex marriage postal vote all taking their toll.

But rays of light have shone through in the shape of wonderful burns out handed to some of the worst homophobes and transphobes out there.

Let’s start with the queen of comebacks, the overlord of Hogwarts herself, JK Rowling.

JK Rowling v Donald Trump

jk rowling donald trump
(Getty)

On Independence Day weekend, the people’s champion triumphing over a power-crazed demagogue who’s exploited his position of power for his own financial gain felt appropriate.

Trump’s 1,776th Twitter-based meltdown saw the leader of the free world tweet a video which was originally posted on Reddit by a user called HanAssholeSolo.

The video – which Trump then astonishingly retweeted from the official account of the US President – featured some footage from WrestleMania 23, in 2007.

It shows Trump throwing WWE owner Vince McMahon to the ground, with the CNN logo superimposed over McMahon’s face.

Considering the scripted nature of wrestling, the hashtag Trump used in the tweet – #FraudNewsCNN – was ever so slightly ironic.

The post was criticised for the violence which Trump implicitly encouraged followers to use against CNN and journalists in general.

But the best response came from an always-magical source – JK Rowling’s brain.

She drew from America’s greatest president to condemn perhaps its worst, quote-tweeting Trump’s misstep with a quote from George Washington.

“To persevere in one’s duty, and be silent, is the best answer to calumny,” she wrote.

Burn. And a dignified one, at that.

Miss Texas v Donald Trump

(Twitter/Miss Texas)
(Twitter/Miss Texas)

Of course, JK Rowling wasn’t the only person who got one over on Trump this year.

The dangerously anti-LGBT President was also a target of wrath for Miss USA contender Margana Wood, who was representing Texas in the televised competition.

She was asked to give her opinion on Donald Trump’s reaction to the deadly white supremacist march in Charlottesville.

14 seconds later, she had annihilated the President’s initial response, which consisted of condemning the “hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides. On many sides.”

“I think that the white supremacist issue – it was very obvious that it was a terrorist attack,” she said.

“And I think that President Donald Trump should’ve made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and in making sure all Americans feel safe in this country.

“That is the number one issue right now.”

Margana received applause for the answer, which subsequently went viral online.

And she came fourth runner-up, which is pretty amazing in a nationwide competition.

A 16-year-old girl v Milo Yiannopoulos

Famous alt-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos is one of the targets in Griffin's rant

If 2016 saw the rise of the alt-right, 2017 was the year for them to be toppled.

While their leader still resides in the White House – for now – some of the movement’s most prominent figures have been taken down a peg.

Perhaps none more so than Milo Yiannopoulos.

He was left with his career in tatters after damaging tapes emerged in which he discussed men who have sex with underage boys.

In just 24 hours the influential columnist was dropped from far-right news website Breitbart News, had his book deal axed by Simon & Schuster, and was removed from the line-up of the Republican CPAC conference.

Some of Yiannopoulos’ cult-like followers believe that there was a great moderate conspiracy to smear him – but the story was actually sparked by a 16-year-old girl.

A Canadian teenager, who kept her name private as other public foes of Yiannopoulos have been subjected to death threats and abuse from his followers, was responsible for digging up the old podcast clip of Yiannopoulos after hearing that he had been announced as a speaker at CPAC.

She tipped off conservative blog Reagan Battalion with a link to the video, and the blog picked it up – sparking the chain of events that led to the destruction of his career.

Her involvement may be seen as poetic by some, given Yiannopoulos found fame on the internet during the ‘Gamergate’ controversy, attacking the role of women in the video game industry.

The teen explained: “I had no idea that it would blow up to the extent that it did.

“I see Milo as this embodiment of the awfulness you see over the past few years with the general tilt of millennial conservatism.

“It’s diverged from this traditional conservatism so much. You’ve seen it essentially become full of awfulness and all about attacking the left and not about actual principles.

“It has nothing to do with conservative ideology so much as it has with opposing the leftists, SJWs, and so on and so forth.”

Well done, that girl.

Hurricane Irma v Milo Yiannopoulos

Sometimes, people take down people.

And sometimes, natural disasters have their say.

Yiannopoulos made a joke about Hurricane Irma, then soon after had his house destroyed by the same hurricane.

He wrote on Facebook: “In more positive Irma news, Richard Branson’s Necker Island has been devastated.”

As the storm headed towards Haiti, he added: “Irma is about to finish what Hillary started: leaving Haiti in ruins.”

Days later, he posted a photo on Facebook of the roof having been ripped from a building in West Bricknell.

It was captioned: “MY HOUSE IS GONE”.

Bob Marshall v his sister

Danica Roem's Republican opponent Bob Marshall(Photo: )
(Creative Commons)

Bob Marshall, a noted anti-LGBT politician, had held his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates for 26 years.

That was, until his history-making defeat in November’s election by trans opponent Danica Roem.

Roem, a journalist and heavy metal vocalist, became the first trans person to be elected as a state official in Virginia – by beating a virulent transphobe.

Marshall previously proposed a bill which would have restricted which bathrooms trans people could use.

The Republican also co-authored the state’s now-defunct constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Marshall, a huge opponent of LGBT rights across the board, refused to debate Roem or refer to her as a woman in the run-up to yesterday’s election, calling her “him” on campaign flyers.

In August, he challenged a reporter who referred to Roem as female, asking: “Why do you call Danica a female? Did Danica’s DNA change?”

As well as the comeuppance of losing to Roem, the long-time representative was also dealt a brilliant blow by his sister.

In a Facebook post, Paula Marshall Nucci tore down her brother’s hate-filled campaign.

(Photo: Paula Marshall Nucci / Facebook)

She wrote: “He wouldn’t debate [Roem], he wouldn’t call her ‘her’ or ‘she’.

“Maybe if he weren’t so judgmental and homophobic, he could have lost with dignity.

She continued: “I’m not happy my brother lost his job, but all I can say is, karma brother.”

Ouch.

Danica Roem v Republicans

(Photos: Getty and Creative Commons)

Roem didn’t let Marshall’s sister have all the fun, though.

She had been debased and ridiculed throughout the campaign, simply for being trans – and she wasn’t about to let it slide.

In fact, she took down all Republicans.

The first trans person elected to a state legislature in Virginia gave us a hilarious takedown of the state of American politics.

In a recent now-viral twitter thread, Roem hit back at her Republican opponents who frequently campaigned on the basis of Roem’s gender identity as opposed to legitimate policy issues.

And then, during her appearance on the Comedy Central show The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, she expertly slammed them again.

When asked about one of her central campaign policies – fixing Route 28, a heavily congested main road in her district – Roem replied: “The problem is as transgender people we don’t get to fly our unicorns to work every day.

“We only get to use them on weekends and sometimes Thanksgiving.”

Boom.

Ruby Tandoh v Piers Morgan

The chef and cookbook writer, who came out in 2015 after starring on the Great British Bake Off, is not afraid of standing up for herself or speaking her mind.

So when a researcher at Good Morning Britain asked if she’d like to come on the show, which Piers Morgan regularly hosts, she was ready.

“I know it’s just your job so no hard feelings, but Piers Morgan is a sentient ham and frankly I’d rather die,” she wrote.

She followed this up with: “not today satan”.

And then, presumably, a mic drop.

Gay man and his makeup v his work

(Instagram/Scott Ayton-Laplanche)

Male shop worker Scott Ayton-Laplanche was ordered to remove makeup from his face by managers at Currys PC World.

Ayton-Laplanche refused, pointing out that female co-workers were allowed to wear whatever they like.

He said the order was “discriminatory” as women in branch “wear more make-up than he does.”

The 20-year-old, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, had been working at the Currys PC World branch for months without being asked to change his look.

But he claimed that when management changed he was told to remove the makeup.

After refusing, he was informed the alternative option was to “tone it down”.

The angry worker took to Facebook to reveal the decision by bosses – in a post that was shared thousands of times.

It just shows: you have to stand up for what you believe in.

Comic book artist v homophobes

(Facebook/jermaine dickerson and Twitter/jermainedesigns)

Homophobia comes in all shapes and sizes.

Sometimes, there’s a particularly excellent way of fighting back.

Jermaine Dickerson, an illustrator and graphic designer from Detroit, Michigan, found one such way – and it was wonderfully simple.

It all began when Jermaine, an outspoken social activist, tweeted a call for more black, female superheroes.

One hater responded by simply quote-tweeting this wish for 2018 with a single word.

“No”.

“This is hilarious,” Jermaine responded.

“Cishet folks really go out of their way to show their disapproval of black queer representation.”

But the homophobes weren’t done there.

“Literally nobody wants a gay superhero bro,” one told him.

“Comics are fine as it is”.

And Jermaine had the perfect comeback.

“RT if you want to see more gay superheroes on film,” he said, simply.

And the reaction was huge.

A lot of people agreed with him, as it turns out – more than 100,000, in fact.

The homophobe was silenced.

“You there? Mic check one two, one two,” Jermaine tweeted at him afterwards, highlighting the way he’d defeated him.

Transgender teen v transphobe

(Twitter/sonnislove)

Sonnis Love, a YouTuber from LA, has attracted 43,000 subscribers with her personal and beauty-related videos.

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But last week, Sonnis saw this transphobic tweet about her, which asked the public to judge her sexually.

(Twitter/zvhofficial)

The post was shared on several different social media platforms, and Sonnis said she felt violated by it.

But she wasn’t going to sit back and just let someone say something awful about her.

So she fired back.

(Twitter/sonnislove)

Her response attracted more than 211,000 retweets and likes.

“This specific post provoked me to reply because not only did it disrespect me as a woman but I also felt a little violated,” she said.

“The tweet was basically fishing for transphobic comments just for pure entertainment, in my opinion.

“So I decided to stand up for myself.”

Hell yeah.




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