• InstaHunks: LGBTQ ally Ben Cohen is inviting supporters of his anti-bullying foundation to come out and join him for cross-training. I’ll go, but only if I can follow Ben 🙂
• New York Times: A federal judge on Thursday denied bail for Jeffrey Epstein, the financier facing sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan, rejecting his request to await trial under home detention at his Upper East Side mansion.
• NPR: Some of Puerto Rico’s biggest stars rallied a crowd of many thousands in San Juan on Wednesday, calling on the island’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to resign. It was the fifth day in a row of protests in the U.S. territory, following a leak of hundreds of pages of misogynistic and homophobic texts between the governor and his main advisers.
• Washington Post: The House passed a bill by a vote of 231-199 that would raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade. However, don’t expect the legislation to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.
• AFP News: Donald Trump asked Nobel laureate Nadia Murad how she won the Nobel Peace Prize after she explained how she won the Nobel Prize. Murad survived in the aftermath of her mother and six brothers being killed by ISIS and that 3,000 Yazidis remained missing. Trump asked, “And you had the Nobel Prize? That’s incredible. They gave it to you for what reason?” Murad paused, then repeated her story.
• The Lion King: Check out Beyoncé’s musical contribution to the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s The Lion King.
Titled “Spirit,” I find the video gorgeous. I’m on the fence about the melody. Let me know what you think.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z were honored with the Vanguard Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Each year, the GLAAD Media Awards presents the Vanguard Award “to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people.”
Before taking the stage, however, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Shangela rocked the crowd with a lip-sync performance to a medley of Beyoncé’s hits including “Bootylicious,” “Partition,” “Single Ladies” and “Flawless.”
“Whether it’s our fans, or our family, the LGBTQI community has always supported us and lifted us up. We’re here to promote love for every human being, and change starts with supporting the people closest to you. So, lets tell them they are loved. Let’s remind them they are beautiful. Let’s speak out and protect them. And parents, let’s love our kids in their truest form. We would like to request that we continue to shift the stigma in this community, especially the stigmas in black families, towards accepting queer black and brown family members.”
She also paid tribute to her late uncle who died of HIV.
“Lastly, I want to dedicate this award to my Uncle Johnny, the most fabulous gay man that I have ever known…who helped raise me and my sister. He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting, and witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever lived,” she said. “I am hopeful that his struggle served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights. To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right. Who you make love to and take that ass to Red Lobster is your human right.”
Jay-Z honored his mother, Gloria Carter, in his speech who came out as a lesbian via his song, “Smile.”
“Life, this journey, is filled with highs, lows, and a lot of learning. This is a momentous night. I also want to, because I didn’t get to do it last year, honor my mother, who received the award last year, and follow in her footsteps of spreading love and acceptance and her beautiful speech at the end of the song ‘Smile,’ for her allowing me to tell her story. I want everyone to acknowledge that, and her strong message of love who you love and souls that connect.”
Additionally, Sean Hayes of Will and Grace received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented to him by Allison Janney, and Love, Simon was honored as Outstanding Film.
Other honorees of the night:
Outstanding Film — Wide Release: Love, Simon (20th Century Fox) [accepted by: Greg Berlanti and cast members including Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Keiynan Lonsdale, and Alexandra Schipp; presented by Gwyneth Paltrow]
Outstanding Comedy Series: Vida (Starz) [accepted by: Tanya Saracho and cast members; presented by Jake Borelli and Alex Landi (Grey’s Anatomy) and Olivia Munn]
Outstanding Reality Program: Queer Eye (Netflix) [accepted by: Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown; presented by Meghan Trainor and Nico Santos]
Outstanding Documentary: Believer (HBO)
Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series w/o a regular LGBTQ character): “Someplace Other Than Here,” The Guest Book (TBS)
Outstanding Kids & Family Programming: Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)
Outstanding Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset (Bethesda Softworks)
Outstanding Comic Book: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, written by Mark Russell (DC Comics)
Outstanding Magazine Article: “Can a Transgender Woman Get Justice in Texas?” by Nate Blakeslee (Texas Monthly)
Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: Variety
Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine (Spanish-Language): “Entrevista con Luis Sandoval para National Coming Out Day,” Despierta América (Univision)
Outstanding Digital Journalism (Spanish-Language): “Así pinta la televisión hispana a los personajes LGBTQ, una representación preocupante” por Daniel Shoer Roth (ElNuevoHerald.com)
Special Recognition: Nanette (Netflix)
Special Recognition: TransMilitary (Logo)
Special Recognition (Spanish-Language): House of Mamis (INTOmore.com)
In a press release, Bey describes her album as “a conceptual project based on “every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing.”
Included in the music and/or videos are Serena Williams, Quvenzhané Wallis, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina, Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden, The Weeknd, James Blake, and Kendrick Lamar.
Mega-props to the choreographers (assuming Svetlana Kostantinova, Philippe Decouflé, Danielle Polanco and Frank Gatson?) who staged Beyonce’s show-stopping medley before accepting the 2014 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at MTV’s VMAs last night. The staging was outstanding in it’s creativity and execution.
The performance was flawless, seamlessly segueing between the slow ballads and upbeat tracks as each song was accompanied by perfectly executed choreography. This was Beyoncé at her best. There were no costume changes — she wore the same mosaic leotard the whole time — but the entire essence of her On the Run performances, right down to the backdrop videos, was brilliantly translated onto the VMA stage.
Beyoncé joins Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Beastie Boys, Britney Spears, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Michael Jackson and other MTV icons as recipients of the Video Vanguard award.