2022’s biggest, most chaotic celebrity moments: From clap backs to icons coming out

Collage of Joe Lycett, Beyonce, Emma D'Arcy and Velma

It’s been a big year for LGBTQ+ culture, from iconic coming out moments to our faves proving the haters wrong.

Chaotic celebrity vibes have been an anchor amid the bleaker moments of year, providing a chance for queer folk to come together, make memes and spend hours debating the merits of a negroni sbagliato.

Whether your year was made celebrating Velma finally embracing her lesbian identity, or if you were too busy reeling from Beyoncé’s love letter to the queer community, there was enough low-stakes discourse for everyone to share in.

Here’s a round-up of all the queer-as-hell things that shook LGBTQ+ culture this year. 

Celebrities came out as queer in new and inventive ways

Emily Ratajkowski doesn’t believe in straight people (Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

It’s 2022 and celebrities are still finding fresh ways to come out, whether it be the classic heartfelt post or… owning a green velvet couch?

This year saw not one but two celebrities come out as bi in the same week by lying down on a green velvet couch. 

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The trend started with one TikTok user asking: “Do you identify as bisexual? Do you own a green velvet couch?”

Cue both Emily Ratajkowski and Shay Mitchell sharing videos of themselves lying down on said couches.

Madonna joined in on the fun that same week, appearing to come out as queer.

She posted a video with the caption, “If I miss, I’m gay”, which saw her purposefully missing a bin with her hot pink underwear. 

Britney Spears made her musical comeback

After being released from her conservatorship in November 2021, Britney spoke openly about being wary of the music industry.

While fans understood exactly why she might decide to retire, they were elated when she decided to make her musical comeback in 2022.

The “Toxic” singer collaborated with Elton John on “Hold Me Closer”, which became the soundtrack to 2am dancefloor snogs the world over.

The tune is based on Elton John’s 1971 hit “Tiny Dancer” and features some epic vocal runs from Britney – who, according to Elton, “took complete control” in the recording studio.

Opening up about why he asked Britney to do the collab, Elton said: “It will give her so much more confidence than she’s got already and she will realise that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy.”

Velma emraced her true lesbian self

Scooby Doo character Velma stands in front of the Mystery Machine Van. (Warner Bros)
Scooby Doo fans went crazy after Velma has finally been portrayed as a lesbian. (Warner Bros)

Speaking of ‘00s legends, 2022 was also the year Scooby Doo icon Velma was finally confirmed as queer.

In the animated film Trick or Treat Scooby Doo, Velma falls head over heels for the head of a crime syndicate, Coco Diablo – and everyone freaked out

Historic Velma actors including Hayley Kiyoko and Linda Cardellini shared their delight at the news, and there were some epic halloween costumes from the queer community.

Fans are already waiting with bated breath for Velma and Daphne to become the sapphic power couple the world deserves. 

Joe Lycett made Liz Truss’ prime ministerial run an absolute misery 

Side by side images of Joe Lycett and Liz Truss
Joe Lycett said the Tory government’s “consistent lying” and personal reasons led him to make Liz Truss look “silly”. (Getty)

UK politics has been an absolute mess this year, seeing three different prime ministers come and go in the space of as many months.

Perhaps the most farcical was Liz Truss, who became the shortest-serving prime minister ever. Just before she began her 49-day stint in office, she found an unlikely fan in Joe Lycett.

Lycett became an instant meme after declaring he was “actually very right-wing” and therefore would never describe Truss as the “dregs” of the Tory party in an appearance on Laura Kuenssburg’s Sunday morning show, immediately after an interview with Truss.

He kept it up throughout her short tenure, and later explained why he committed to the bit, saying: “I guess I was like, ‘How can I make this person look silly?’ I’d sort of half planned to be sarcastic on it, but I hadn’t worked out any lines or anything.”

His sarcastic championing of Truss was eclipsed only by a Daily Star campaign to see if a head of lettuce would outlast Truss. Spoiler alert: it did!

Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa stanned each other

Ncuti Gatwa has had quite a year, from continuing to win over everyone’s hearts playing Eric in Sex Education to being announced as the next Doctor in Doctor Who

And no one is prouder than his Barbie co-star Ryan Gosling.

These two forged the most wholesome bromance of the year, abd Gosling was spotted wearing a fanmade shirt of Gatwa as the Doctor after the news was announced.

“Ncuti, I am such a big fan of Ncuti’s, he is the coolest and him playing Doctor Who is like the most exciting thing that’s happening right now, so I’m here for it,” Gosling told The One Show. 

In return, Gatwa called Gosling the “the most formidable actor and generous person to work with”.

Anne Hathaway and Zendaya lived their best sapphic lives

Anne Hathaway and Zendaya had everyone in a chokehold with their iconic Bulgari advert where they essentially played lesbian lovers on an undercover jewel heist. 

The internet went into a frenzy after the advert dropped, picking up on their impeccable chemistry and of course, calling for a feature-length movie. 

As we approach the end of 2022, we’re still waiting….

The Sandman’s Neil Gaiman was an icon

Neil Gaiman and a shadowed figure
Neil Gaiman hit out at all the online criticism in style. (Netflix/Getty)

Netflix’s The Sandman was one of the gayest shows this year. After the season dropped, the usual right-wing reactionaries crawled out from their rocks to complain about seeing people of colour and LGBTQ+ people on screen. 

But creator Neil Gaiman was ready to fight off the bigots online. 

During one hilarious Twitter exchange, a troll complained about ‘wokeness’ being rammed down their throat. ‘

Gaiman simply replied: “I am beginning to wonder at the continual use of the ‘ramming things down our throats’ metaphor by people who seem upset by the gay characters on the TV (or in the comics 30 years ago).”

When another bigot tweeted telling him to write stop writing gay sex and accept Jesus Christ, Gaiman went on Twitter to confirm reading that tweet made him “wish I’d actually written more about gay sex”.

In conclusion, there is no bigger troll than the icon himself, Neil Gaiman.

I, Joan completely proved the bigots wrong

I, Joan received a standing ovation at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. (Twitter/@theFoxFisher)

There has been some seriously standout LGBTQ+ theatre this year, not least the RSC production of I, Joan which cast Joan of Arc as a non-binary character. 

Before the show had even had its opening night it attracted criticism from keyboard warriors and the right-wing press for daring to imagine a historical character might have been LGBTQ+.

Despite the backlash I, Joan received a standing ovation on opening night and managed to deliver an empowering message for trans and non-binary communities. 

Hopefully, it opens the gateway for even more fresh interpretations of historical figures in the upcoming year. 

Beyoncé made her long-awaited comeback

Beyoncé album cover art
Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance proved her long absence was worth the wait. (Instagram/Beyoncé)

It’s been a year of comebacks and perhaps the most important of all was the Queen Bee returning to save music.

Beyoncé dropped Renaissance, an ode to Black people in dance music filled with references to queer Ballroom culture and dedicated to her late uncle, “the most fabulous gay man” she knew.

Exploring ’70s disco-funk, R&B and Afrohouse – the album featured some seriously good tunes to get you through the summer.

And, of course, she did it in style, collaborating and sampling a bunch of queer and trans black artists including Big Freedia, TS Madison, Honey Dijon, Sad, Moi Renee, MikeQ and Kevin Aviance.

True to its word Beyoncé has marked her renaissance and entered a new era, and the LGBTQ+ community remains gagged – and ready for Beyoncé to drop the album’s visuals.

Renaissance was billed as the first of three acts, so fans will hopefully have more Beyoncé content to look forward to in 2023.

Negroni sbagliato – need we say more?

Yes. Yes, we do. In case you somehow forgot the epic moment Emma D’Arcy put the entire queer community into a chokehold with her effortless annunciation of her favourite cocktail, let us remind you.

The seamless transition, the sultry delivery, the blasé posture – a recipe for perfection and a way to bring people to their knees.

If you haven’t made a negroni sbagliato… with prosecco in it, quite frankly, what are you doing?

As one person aptly wrote at the time: “What is the most respectful way I can call a non-binary person ‘Daddy’, I cannot continue to live my life until I have that experience.”

And considering D’Arcy also delivered a stand-out performance as Princess Rhaenyra in HBO’s House of the Dragon and brought us all the sapphic tension, they are really doing the most.

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