News Round-Up: May 5, 2021

LGBTQ streaming platform is launching a new queer-centric news show Culture Q
LGBTQ streaming platform is launching a new queer-centric news show Culture Q
LGBTQ streaming platform Revry is launching a queer-centric news show ‘Culture Q’

Some news items you might have missed:

Revry: On May 6th, global LGBTQ TV network, Revry, will premiere it’s first original weekly news program CULTURE Q, an innovative entertainment, pop culture, lifestyle and politics news series. Emphasizing the queer milieu, CULTURE Q stands to be the leading, weekly forum for boundary-pushing LGBTQ discussions and commentary.

OUT: A gay man in Latvia was reportedly set on fire by a homophobic neighbor and died from the burn wounds that covered over 85% of his body. The man and his roommate had reported the numerous threats they received from their neighbor to police, but to no avail.

Pink News: Patrick O’Connell, a venerable AIDS activist who sought to smash stigma by creating awareness campaigns including the iconic red ribbon, has died. According to his brother, Barry, O’Connell passed away at age 67 of AIDS-related causes. RIP Patrick O’Connell.

Billboard Music Awards: P!nk will be honored with Billboard’s ICON Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on May 23. The pop star will join the pantheon of previous honorees Garth Brooks, Cher, Neil Diamond, Céline Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey.

New York Daily News: Baseball fans can get free tickets to a Yankees or Mets game if they get vaccinated against COVID at either of the team’s facilities, Gov. Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The doses available outside Citi Field and Yankee Stadium will be the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Fox News: After months of being banned from social media services like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, ‘former guy’ Donald Trump has launched a “communications platform,” which will eventually give him the ability to communicate directly with his followers. The platform, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” is part of Trump’s official website. Folks, it’s a blog.

Dan Reynolds Uses Billboard Music Awards Speech To Call For Ending Conversion Therapy

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons at 2019 Billboard Music Awards

During last night’s Billboard Music Awards telecast from Las Vegas, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds used the band’s acceptance speech time for winning Top Rock Artists to call for a nationwide ban on so-called conversion therapy.

“I just want to take this moment to say that there are still 34 states that don’t have laws banning conversion therapy,” said Reynolds backed by his band mates Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee, and Daniel Platzman. “On top of that, 58 percent of our LGBTQ population live in those states. This can change, but it’s going to take all of us talking to our state legislature, pushing forward laws to protect our LGBTQ youth.”

“And lastly, we have seen with conversion therapy that our LGBTQ youth have double the rate of depression, triple the rate of suicide after conversion therapy,” he added. “It’s not working and needs to change.”

Major medical organizations like the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all denounced ‘conversion therapy’ which treats being gay as a mental illness.

Also known as ‘ex-gay therapy,’ the practice has been shown to lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, anxiety and, in some cases, suicidal behavior.

Currently, 16 states plus Washington D.C. have banned the harmful practice on minors.

Reynolds, a longtime LGBTQ ally, has spent years standing up for the community. Growing up Mormon in Utah, he saw close friends struggle to resolve being gay with their families and faith.

Reynolds does a lot more than make speeches at award shows, though.

He teamed up with former Mormon rocker Tyler Glenn to create the annual music festival LOVELOUD which aims to raise money for LGBTQ charities and organizations like The Trevor Project and the Tegan and Sara Foundation.

He also helped produce the documentary Believer, which explores how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

Last month, Reynolds took to Twitter calling for religious leaders to help stop the practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy.

Céline Dion Wows Billboard Music Awards With 20th Anniversary Celebration Of “My Heart Will Go On”

Last night Céline Dion wowed the Billboard Music Awards audience with an epic performance of ”My Heart Will Go On” for Titanic’s 20th anniversary.

Her performance wasn’t the only drama on stage, though. With clips of Leonard DiCaprio and Kate Winslet playing behind her, a gorgeous white couture gown by Stephane Rolland, and an enormous chandelier serving to reveal the diva, the moment was full of well-crafted theater.

Watch the master at work below.

Michael Jackson hologram at Billboard Music Awards: “Slave to the Rhythm”

At the Billboard Music Awards last night, the audience experienced a hologram of Michael Jackson performing a track from the new MJ album “Xscape.”

With live dancers, the holographic Michael Jackson displayed the moves we all came to know over the course of his phenomenal career. But some found the idea of “reconstituting” the deceased pop icon a bit creepy.

The fact that this is the night’s most talked about performance says something in itself about the state of award shows today.

What do you think? Creepy or cool?

Justin Bieber receives Milestone Award at Billboard Awards, gets mocked while accepting award

Justin Bieber, while accepting the brand new first ever “Milestone Award for musical ingenuity and innovation,” said he was not a “gimmick” and asked to be taken seriously at the Billboard Music Awards.

As he took the podium to accept his award, the cheers began to be mixed with boos, which clearly took Bieber aback. He stood without speaking for a lengthy amount of time, before addressing the dissenters.

Said Bieber: “I’m 19 years old, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. From my heart, I really just want to say, it should really be about the music, it should be about the craft that I’m making. This is not a gimmick. I’m an artist, and I should be taken seriously, and all this other bull should not be spoken of.”