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As the year comes to a close, the general consensus is that 2016 was probably (and by probably we mean definitely) one of the worst years in recent memory. No community has had an easy time of it, but as Trump's inauguration looms on the horizon, the LGBT community have been sent into a tailspin of uncertainty and fear.

However, there is always a light in the darkness. 2016 saw several political strides forward for the LGBT community, and on a more personal level there are many stories of triumph. We've collected a few of these accounts, exploring the LGBT experience both in the USA and internationally, proving that if nothing else, there's strength in togetherness — and that gives us hope for the future.

Pinch yourself. Unfortunately, this still isn't just a dream. But it doesn't have to all be a nightmare. In their experiences with LGBTQ youth, Sequoia Prindle discusses the future of the community in response to the US election, and why positive action is the way forward. The fight is far from over, but here's the thing: we can be scared, and we can resist, and we can thrive, all at the same time.

While many parts of the world are still unsafe for LGBT people to live openly, there are a few pockets of resistance, cities known for their culture of acceptance. Berlin is such a city. Eleanor Tremeer explores the intricacies of Berlin’s thriving queer culture, how this became a part of everyday life, and the way in which the city doesn’t just embrace, but supports its newest LGBT residents.

A few months ago, Tom left his boyfriend in Manchester to pursue a writing career in Berlin — but that wasn’t the end of their love story. Now, he shares his tips on how to maintain a long distance relationship, with a little help from everyone’s good friend, TV. So if you’re wondering how to keep the love alive, don’t sweat it: Just Netflix and chill out!

Homophobia isn’t just an adult problem: Discrimination starts with bullying in schools, as children parrot their parents’ prejudices. In his years as an openly gay teacher, Paul Donovan shares how he supported LGBT students, eliminated hate speech, and formed his school’s Gay-Straight alliance — because changing young minds is crucial to the future of LGBT social acceptance.

The Orlando mass shooting was one of the great tragedies of 2016, sending shockwaves throughout the queer community. And yet, in vigils around the world, we came together in strength. Emily Browne takes a look at the personal effect the Orlando shooting had on her, and everyone in the community — while discovering the ways in which LGBT people made progress in 2016.

‘Star Trek: Beyond’ truly went where no Trek had gone before, confirming Hikaru Sulu to be gay. For many people, this was a great step forward for LGBT people in Hollywood. Jonathan Patrick explains the importance of queer representation in media — and why it was better in 2016 than it ever has been before.