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The top-read stories of 2012 on SDLGN may surprise you

As we close out 2012, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News takes a look at the 10 most-read stories for the year. The list may surprise you. During 2012, what stories captured the fancy of our 900,000 unique readers from 208 countries and territories around the world?

NUMBER 1

Eagle Scout: Boy Scouts’ summer camp fired me for "being too gay" -- SDGLN media partner LGBTQ Nation wrote about Eagle Scout Timothy Griffin, who said he was fired for being "too gay," from his job as a merit badge instructor at a Boy Scouts summer camp in Amador County, California. More than 30,000 people read the story, liked it on Facebook, tweeted or shared it on other Social Media. Most of the comments reflected the outrage of readers.

NUMBER 2

Ex-Chargers great Junior Seau found dead at age 43 -- SDGLN Editor in Chief Ken Williams wrote at warp speed on the breaking news about the sudden, unexpected death of NFL great Junior Seau, who played for the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots. More than 26,000 people read the story, watched the news video and wrote heartfelt tributes via Facebook comments.

NUMBER 3

Bullied gay teen's suicide note: Insight on EricJames Borges' tragic death at age 19 -- In an exclusive story on SDGLN, Contributor Melanie Nathan of San Francisco wrote about the tragic suicide of bullied gay teenager EricJames Borges, who worked for The Trevor Project and advocated against bullying of LGBT youth. Nathan attended one of the teen’s funerals, met his family and obtained a copy of one of his suicide letters. SDGLN Editor in Chief Ken Williams and Nathan discussed at length the merits of sharing Borges’ final thoughts, and came to the conclusion that his message needed to be shared for its insight and as a way to publish suicide-prevention tools for vulnerable teenagers. More than 21,000 people read the story, 384 people liked the story on Facebook, 34 people tweeted, another 37 shared on other Social Media, and dozens of people commented via Facebook. The story was picked up by countless LGBT and mainstream media sources.

NUMBER 4

Chick-fil-A agrees to end anti-gay donations, mandates equal treatment of gays -- SDGLN media partner Chicago Phoenix triggered a media frenzy with its breaking news that the Chick-fil-A franchise, run by a notoriously anti-gay family, was changing its company policy. More than 16,000 people read the story, almost 8,000 people liked the story on Facebook, and hundreds of people tweeted and shared the story on Social Media. Almost immediately, anti-gay and right-wing forces went on the attack, forcing Chick-fil-A to back down. In the end, it appears that the corporate office remains at odds with the ownership over policy and that an internal tug-of-war is playing out.

NUMBER 5

Porn star Erik Rhodes dies at age 30 -- SDGLN Editor in Chief Ken Williams reported the breaking news that beefcake gay porn star Erik Rhodes had died of a heart attack at age 30. Almost 14,000 people read the breaking news, 689 people liked the story on Facebook or shared it via other Social Media.

NUMBER 6

Lawmaker who thinks gays a threat to children crashes boat into children -- An article by Gay Star News that found a big audience was about a homophobic Maryland lawmaker, Tea Party favorite Don H. Dwyer Jr., who was out drinking with a buddy when he crashed his boat into another boat filled with children. Dwyer voted against marriage equality and supported a ballot measure that would strip lawmakers of their office if found guilty of a serious crime. More than 10,000 people read that story, 659 shared it on Facebook and posted it on other Social Media. Some of the comments noted the irony of the situation the lawmaker found himself in.

NUMBER 7

Hi-Def Dish: HGTV’s Hunks of Wednesday night live up to their billing -- SDGLN Visual Arts Critic Kurt Niece discovered three hot shows on Wednesday night on HGTV: “Property Brothers,” “Income Property” and “Kitchen Cousins.” All three shows featured very good-looking young men who are being dubbed as “HGTV’s Hunks of Wednesday night.” Kurt isn’t the only one turned on by the hunks … almost 10,000 people have read his column, and it often is one of the top-read stories each Wednesday when the shows air on HGTV.

NUMBER 8

“Ultimate Fighter” Dakota Cochrane unmasked as Danny, ex-porn star for Sean Cody -- SDGLN Editor in Chief Ken Williams noticed Internet buzz about a hunky competitor on the FX reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter Live,” and discovered a connection to San Diego’s gay porn industry. The article generated even more Internet buzz and was picked up by other LGBT media. Almost 10,000 people read the story or shared it via Social Media.

NUMBER 9

World's only gay boxer wins first bout since coming out -- SDGLN staff members have been following the triumphs of LGBT athletes, including that of Orlando Cruz, who became the world’s first openly gay boxer when he came out during the fall of 2012. Cruz won a decisive decision in his only bout since coming out, and almost 9,000 people read the story or shared it on Social Media. Who says the LGBT community doesn’t like sports?

NUMBER 10

LIVE BLOG: 2012 election results important to LGBT Americans -- SDGLN Editor in Chief Ken Williams admits he is a news junkie, so he decided to write and update a live blog on Election Day on Nov. 6, 2012. Almost 8,000 people followed the live blog and shared it online as Williams kept his readers informed on all the breaking political news on a remarkable night that made LGBT history and brought the re-election of President Barack Obama, a friend of the gay community.