This week, as we said goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014, I reflected on what a great year 2013 was at The Bilerico Project. Reader engagement is up, traffic surged, and Bilerico staff and contributors covered events and drove the conversation in what was very likely the most explosive year in the history of the modern LGBT civil rights movement.
Because I'm a trivia/statistics nerd, I started to wonder which Bilerico posts were the most popular with readers over the past twelve months. So I looked up the stats on Google Analytics -- and what I found surprised me! It may surprise you, too.
But first, before I go through the list of the top ten Bilerico posts of 2013, I need to give an honorable mention shout-out to two pieces that, although they weren't written in 2013, nevertheless drove a ton of traffic to the site this year: Bil Browning's "Why You Shouldn't Donate to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers," and James Holmes's "More Than One Reason Not to Eat at Jimmy John's." If you aren't already familiar with these classic posts, check 'em out!
Now, without further ado, the top ten most popular Bilerico posts of 2013:
At first glance, this entry seems an unlikely candidate for a Top Ten list, with only 30 shares on Facebook as of this writing. But the numbers don't lie: they may not have been posting it to Facebook, but this piece brought thousands and thousands of people to our site in 2013.
Bilerico founder and editor-in-chief Bil Browning posted this charming little video of martial arts legend Jackie Chan coming out as a supporter of LGBT equality... and y'all liked it very, very much.
This post tells the incredibly moving story of John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, an Ohio couple who were together for more than 20 years and sought to marry last summer after the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act. Ohio is a non-marriage equality state and Arthur was bedridden with a debilitating terminal disease, but his hospice care facility and the couple's family and friends raised money to fly the couple to Maryland, where they were legally married on the runway at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
Arthur died just three months later.
Click here to check out John and Jim's story, which touched hearts across the country and around the world. Fair warning, though: you will probably cry like a baby. I know I did.
Bil has an uncanny talent for finding nuggets of awesomeness buried across the Internet. If you've ever wondered whether it's possible to cat-call without being a sexist jerk, click here and wonder no more.
Moving from the hilarious to the horrifying, #6 on our list is a harrowing report about vigilante gangs of Russian nationalists and skinheads that are making life hell for that country's LGBT community.
Taking their cue from Vladimir Putin's government, which is cracking down on the basic rights and freedoms of LGBT people, these thugs create fake social network profiles and bogus online personal ads, tricking the men (mostly teens) who respond into showing up for a date. Then they torture them. Publicly.
And the police often simply let it happen.
The top 5 are after the jump -- catch you on the flip side!