For queer people, in many ways, there has never been a time in history like the present. Although oppression and inequality are still rampant, there have also in recent years been a number of firsts, breakthroughs and other positive developments that once seemed like they would never come.
2014 was an especially good year for queer equality in the U.S. Over 60 percent of Americans now live in states that permit same-sex marriage, and advocates in ever-increasing numbers are speaking out for the cause.
We don't mean to suggest that there haven't been setbacks, or that things aren't still wildly unjust in almost every part of the world. But at the same time, we think it's worth observing, and celebrating, the real progress that the 21st century has brought to many.
Below, we've rounded up some of the most important milestones in queer rights from the past 14 years. We can't wait to see what's in store for 2015 and beyond.
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Research was contributed by HuffPost editors in Canada, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Brazil, Japan, Korea and India.