60 voters

Things That Were A Thing: May 2019 Edition

Updated June 4, 2019 • 10:14am PDT 538 votes 60 voters 2.5k views20 items

List RulesVote up the cultural events, celebrity soundbites, and general happenings that defined May 2019 for you.

Update: Check out Things That Were A Thing In June 2019

What happened in May? Summer is just around the corner, and here you can find the most important May 2019 trending topics, like the latest celebrity events, updates on the 2020 presidential race, and the biggest news stories. 

Maybe you didn't hear about the trending topics of May because you were too busy updating your Game of Thrones death pool. Or maybe your thing in May 2019 was playing tons of Pokémon Go in anticipation of Detective PikachuIt's hard to stay on top of everything, but learning about breaking news and the latest binge-worthy series can help you connect with others.

These are the most talked about events and happenings of May 2019. If you want to take a look at the year as a whole, check out all of the 2019 trending topics


  • 1

    U.N. Report Reveals One Million Species Face Extinction

    On May 7, the United Nations released a report saying that one million animals and plants are at risk of extinction. The report directly links the extinction of species to human activity.

    The report says the potential species annihilation "means grave impacts on people around the world are now likely." British chemist Robert Watson, the panel's chairman, said the elimination of biodiversity is chipping away at the "foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide."

    Did this define May?
  • The 'Game of Thrones' Series Finale
    Photo: HBO

    The fantasy series wrapped up on May 19, and people had strong feelings about its conclusion. Did Bran Stark really deserve to be king? Why did Jon Snow have to be sent away? And what was up with Daenerys's heel-turn?

    Despite disappointment with the episodes leading up to it, 19.3 million people tuned in for the finale. 

    Did this define May?
  • 3

    Heartbeat Bills

    On May 7, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a "heartbeat bill" into law. Heartbeat bills are highly controversial laws that ban abortions as soon as there is a "fetal heartbeat in the womb," which can be as early as six weeks. Often, many women do not even know they are pregnant this early. 

    Alabama proposed a similiar bill in which women would be unable to have the procedure done by a medical professional as soon as a fetus is "in utero." On May 14, the Alabama Senate voted to ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy, unless the woman's life was in serious risk. The law does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

    Ohio's anti-abortion bill also caused a commotion after the sponsor of the bill claimed that "it's possilbe to transplant an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus."

    Several other states, like Kentucky and Mississippi, also have their own laws restricting legal abortions. The bills have activists dressing up like characters from The Handmaid's Tale and calling for Hollywood to get out of Georgia

    According to Representative Terri Collins, who sponsored the anti-abortion bill in Alabama, the whole point of these laws is to overturn Roe v. Wade"The bill is very simple. It's not about birth control or the morning after pill. It's about not allowing abortion once the woman is pregnant. The entire bill was designed to overturn [Roe v. Wade] and allow states to decide what is best for them."

    Did this define May?
  • Nigel Ratburn Came Out - And Got Married
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    During the Season 22 premiere of the children's show Arthur, the titular character and his friends discovered that their teacher Mr. Ratburn is gay.

    In the episode, titled "Mr. Ratburn and that Special Someone," Arthur and his friends believe their teacher is marrying an uptight woman they overhear him speaking with, and they attempt to stop the marriage. It turns out the woman was actually Mr. Ratburn's sister, and their teacher is marrying a man. 

    Adult fans who grew up with the show were surprised the show was still running, but they supported its decision to showcase gay characters

    Did this define May?