News Round-Up: June 1, 2021

(image via Twitter)

Some news items you might have missed:

Pink News: Grindr announced last week it is the new sponsor for French professional rugby club Biarritz Olympique (above photo). In the app’s iconic black and yellow color scheme the jerseys will be worn by the French Pro Division Two team in the 2021/22 season.

POSE: How does it feel to be represented on screen? As Pride Month kicks off, the cast of the acclaimed FX series POSE shares the importance of representation in the path toward progress.

CNN: The Pentagon is reviewing a policy instituted last year that limits which flags can be displayed at military bases. If changes are made to the current policy it could open the door to allowing the rainbow Pride flag to be displayed.

WTOL: A video that has gone viral shows 14-year-old Tristan Torrez being attacked by a bully on the bleachers at his school. In the video, Tristan is grabbed from behind and pulled backward down the bleachers before the bully took the rainbow flag Tristan was wearing and beat him with it.

NBC News: Dozens of constitutional experts are sending a letter telling congressional leaders they have the authority to make the nation’s capital the 51st state. They argue that there is “no constitutional barrier” to the District’s “entering the Union through a congressional proclamation” just like the 37 other states that have been admitted since the Constitution was adopted.

Sacramento: A pair of white straight ‘Karens’ (top image) demanded that a queer black woman stop kissing her girlfriend in a hotel pool because “there were children present!“ You’ll note it’s the white women using f-bombs during the encounter even though “there were children present.” According to the poster, other (straight/white) couples in the pool were showing PDA, but they only insisted that only black queer woman stop.

Scott Rudin Addresses Reports Of ‘Troubling Interactions’ With Colleagues

Producer Scott Rudin
Producer Scott Rudin
Producer Scott Rudin (screen capture via 60 Minutes)

After reports of excessive bullying, Broadway producer Scott Rudin has issued a statement to the Washington Post apologizing for his “history of troubling interactions with colleagues.”

He adds that he will step away from “active participation” in his current and upcoming Broadway productions.

“Much has been written about my history of troubling interactions with colleagues, and I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior caused to individuals, directly and indirectly,” he wrote in a three-paragraph statement emailed to The Post.

“After a period of reflection, I’ve made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately. My roles will be filled by others from the Broadway community and in a number of cases, from the roster of participants already in place on those shows.”

“My passionate hope and expectation is that Broadway will reopen successfully very soon, and that the many talented artists associated with it will once again begin to thrive and share their artistry with the world. I do not want any controversy associated with me to interrupt Broadway’s well deserved return, or specifically, the return of the 1500 people working on these shows.”

In addition to blockbuster productions like the Bette Midler revival of Hello, Dolly!, Rudin had three productions running on Broadway (West Side Story, The Book of Mormon, To Kill a Mockingbird), as well as the upcoming The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman.

Read the full article here.

News Round-Up: April 12, 2021

Nigel Shelby
Nigel Shelby
Nigel Shelby

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: The parents of a Huntsville, Ala., teen Nigel Shelby – who killed himself in 2019 after being bullied at school for being gay – are now suing that school district. They allege that school officials knew their son was considering taking his life.

Kenneth-in-the-212: The NYC-based blog has a new weekly feature – ‘Manspread Monday.’ You know you want to hit that link… 🙂

Buzzfeed: This hilarious SNL skit about period lesbian dramas is so accurate it hurts. “My parents died before I was born.” “Mine too.”

Variety: Nomadland dominated at the BAFTA Film Awards, where the Frances McDormand-led road movie picked up four prizes including lead actress, cinematography, director, and best film.

Bloomberg News: Video chat on you TV? Apple is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions.

Detroit Free Press: Ted Nugent, the aging rocker, mocked health guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in a recent Facebook video asking, “Why weren’t we shut down for COVID one through 18?” Of course, the coronavirus that has killed close to 560,000 people in the U.S. was named for the year in which the first infection was reported — 2019.

Bullied Teen Shares Back-Story To ‘Slap Heard Round The World’

After going viral on Twitter for delivering the anti-bullying slap heard round the world, Indiana high school student Jordan Steffy sat down with Tamron Hall to explain what led up to the confrontation with his bully.

The junior at LaPorte High School in Indiana told Hall that a friend had shown him a graphic posted on Snapchat that contained a photo of him with the text “I still hate gays” and some emojis.

Steffy says he didn’t even know the student who posted the graphic.

“That hit me like, I don’t even know who this is,” Steffy said after seeing the post. “I just didn’t even know what to do.”

And so Steffy decided to approach the bully before class and ask about the post.

“I had walked into the class and I had the post right on my phone because I was going to ask him why he posted it,” Steffy said. “And I walked to his desk, I met him there, and I showed him, ‘What is this?’”

“It’s just a post.” the bully responded.

“About me right?” Steffy clarified.

“Yeah, and? What are you going to do about it?” the bully spit back.

Steffy admits the physical altercation began at that point when he shoved the bully.

At this point, Hall tried to get to the deeper causation that years of bullying creates asking, “When you shoved him first, was that about him, or just years of this, and he’s the breaking point?”

“Years – it was years and years, over and built up,” Steffy shared.

“In that video, he [the bully] called you the slur multiple times?” asks Hall as Steffy shakes his head yes.

“When you saw the video, Angie, and you saw what he was going through – it’s one thing for your child to come home and say I’m being bullied. It’s another thing to see it on video. What did you think?” Hall asked Jordan’s mother, Angie Steffy.

“It just makes me mad,” said the tearful mother. “I’m tired of it. I’m tired of him going through that. I’m happy he stood up for himself. I’m not happy he was cussing like that. I don’t like him hitting.”

“But he knows – he had enough. He had enough,” added Angie as the audience applauds.

Steffy is currently suspended from school due to the incident, and his mother had decided to homeschool her son after seeing how he was being treated at school.

Talking about going back to his high school one last time becomes an emotional moment for both son and mother to such a point that Hall comforts them both saying, “This is breaking your mom’s heart. The people watching, we’re rooting for you in every way. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok.”

The effect of LGBTQ bullying, folks. Here it is. And it’s heartbreaking.

News Round-Up: November 14, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: I’m sorry, but ‘suited up for work’ Steve_in_LA (above) is just ridiculously handsome and photogenic. #dang

GLSEN: Jordan Steffy, who went viral over the weekend when video of him standing up to a high school bully hit Twitter, said during an appearance on Tamron Hall’s talk show he’s leaving the public school since the administrators have done nothing about his reports of being bullied. A 2018 study by GLSEN found that 20% of LGBTQ youth have switched schools at least once to escape bullying.

NY Times Bestsellers: Donald Trump Jr. is bragging about his book, Triggered, landing at number one on the NY Times Bestsellers list, but there’s a catch – see that little dagger symbol next to his listing? That indicates there were bulk purchases of the book. You know, like someone ordering tons of copies so the book lands at number one…?

Gaily Grind: A former Kentucky school principal who made national headlines for banning books with “homosexual content” from classrooms has been indicted on child pornography charges. Because of course…

OUT: There has never been a gay Black man in Congress, but Mondaire Jones is trying to change that. The lawyer, nonprofit leader, and activist announced his campaign to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District on Thursday.

• Quisling Bootlicker: Gay conservative commentator and talk show host Dave Rubin invited Donald Trump Jr. to his show and told the president’s son that he’d be fine if Don Jr. called him a “fag.” Said Rubin, “All I ever wanted was exact equality under the law. That’s what we’ve got. Now we’re equal. You can call me whatever you want. You could call me a ‘fag’ right now and it wouldn’t mean anything to me.”

A Gay Teen Had Enough Of Being Called ‘F*ggot’

Jordan Steffy had had enough.

In his Twitter bio, Jordan writes, “Don’t let one word define who you are.”

He had been called ‘f*ggot’ one time too many and was DONE.

The LaPorte High School junior in Indiana says that he’s been the target of homophobic bullying since he came out in seventh grade.

Steffy shared with Insider.com that a classmate recently posted a homophobic message on Snapchat using a photo of him.

“He made an anti-gay post with a picture of me on it saying how he hated gays and a bunch of throwing up emojis all over it,” Steffy told Insider.

“I walked up to him and said ‘Why did you post this?’ He said ‘It was just a post.’ And I said ‘Well, it’s not just a post. It’s a post about me, saying how you dislike who I am, and I don’t appreciate that.’ He went on to say ‘Okay, but what are you going to do about it?’ I said ‘I’m not going to deal with this, this is the last time I’m called anything.’

“And then he said ‘What are you going to do about it, faggot?’ And that’s when I was like ‘No, I’m not doing this.'”

What followed was the slap seen round the world.

https://twitter.com/JordanSteffy1/status/1193002314879184898

The video has been viewed more than a million times on Twitter in less than a day.

In subsequent responses to others, Jordan was surprised by the show of support, saying “I really can’t believe people actually are around to tell me that it was ok to stick up for myself!”

“I honestly was just looking for an apology,” said Jordan. “But he acted like it was no big deal and that has been the word to define me since 2nd grade.”

Apparently the fallout was the school suspended him and the bully, but his suspension was longer “due to the fighting.”

Jordan added, “But I am taking it as a lesson to not be anyone’s doormat and to leave your shoes at the door.”

One Twitter user asked if he was ok and he answered with a resounding, “Yes I’m good better than ever – I honestly can’t thank people enough for all the support! Thank you for taking the time to check!”

One parent wrote, “As a mom, I think you did good.” Jordan responded that his mom totally has his back.

He shared that while his mom doesn’t condone fighting, she felt it was ok to stand up not only for himself but for others as well.

In fact, because his mother didn’t like the way the school administration handled the event, Jordan says she’s decided to homeschool Jordan.

As folks offered their support, Jordan said he doesn’t think he’s “any better than any person just because I stuck up for myself.”

He went on to add he wants other kids “who are going through the same thing day in, day out from friends, classmates, random people” to stick up for themselves “and to have confidence!”

And the collective consciousness of bullied LGBTQ students rose up and cheered.

https://twitter.com/invertibrate/status/1193082071368916993

https://twitter.com/jarekendel/status/1193016086112980993

https://twitter.com/loudandobvious/status/1193009454574264321

https://twitter.com/IsbaeMinsuga/status/1193163356015869952

https://twitter.com/anthony_MB75/status/1193076975390380032

https://twitter.com/CRUELCASSIUS/status/1193065966550355968

https://twitter.com/YungxZorua/status/1193015184052367362

 

Some had no time for the unseen teacher who chimed in with a tame, “Hey, hey, Jordan, that’s enough.” Or, maybe the teacher wanted Jordan to get some licks in…?

https://twitter.com/readkropotkin/status/1193150343359664129

https://twitter.com/ScrapeSquadMK/status/1193041967799816192

 

I want to be clear that violence shouldn’t have to be ‘the answer.’

But, as we can see in the outpouring of support for Jordan, there are a LOT of folks out there who understand this scenario all too well.

Reddit: ‘High School Bullies Apologized To Me And I Told Them To F*ck Off’

(image via Depositphotos)

A thread on the AskGayBros Reddit raises some questions about being bullied in school and how to respond to an apology years later.

One Reddit user posted, “My former high school bullies apologized to me for being homophobic and I told them to f*ck off. Yet for some reason my friends told me I’m being an a**hole. Why?”

The post goes on to say the bullies “tormented” him through high school making his life “a living hell.” He adds that he landed in the hospital twice due to the bullies’ behavior, admitting one hospital visit was the result of a suicide attempt.

When asked how the apology occurred, the poster shares that it came “out of nowhere.”

According to the poster, the bullies “‘claim’ they’re no longer homophobic and they ‘claim’ to be incredibly sorry” for their behavior back in high school.

The posters’ friends said they understood his anger acknowledging he didn’t “have to forgive them” but also that he didn’t “have to be an a**hole about it.”

He concludes writing, “If you apologize with the expectation of forgiveness, you’re truly not sorry.”

Responses on the thread were split.

“You don’t have to accept their apology at all,” replied one commenter. “I do agree that grudges can hold people back. But are you thinking about this person all the time that it hinders your ability to function normally or grow? If not, then I don’t think it’s a problem.”

“If you want to forgive do it for you, not because people or society made you feel bad for not giving your bullies the peace of mind they stole from you.”

“You don’t owe it to anyone but yourself. If their apology made you feel better and if you would feel relieved forgiving then you do it. If you want them to f*ck off your life then you tell them, like you did.”

On the other side of the equation, some folks felt the original poster’s response was over the top.

“I agree with your friends,” shared one Redditor. “You do not need to forgive them, but you should’ve taken the high road in just telling them that what they did was wrong and you cannot forgive them for the pain they put you through.”

“I agree with your friends,” said another. “You do not need to forgive them, but you should’ve taken the high road in just telling them that what they did was wrong and you cannot forgive them for the pain they put you through.”

And this advice was offered: “You don’t want to be stuck in the past, or tormented by memories of the pain and humiliation you suffered. It is not good for you to hang onto grudges. By holding onto that pain and need for revenge, you are allowing them to continue bullying you. every time you revisit those memories, you are just injuring yourself over and over. You DO need to forgive them.”

While we don’t have all the details as to the extent of the bullying the original poster experienced (at one point it’s shared that the bullying occurred 8 years ago), it does raise questions about how people move past bullying some LGBTQ people encountered in their young lives.

Is it ‘holding a grudge’ to not accept an apology?

One commenter pointed out that several people called the original poster out for being a “toxic person,” but said that is missing the point – that the original poster’s anger is a product of being bullied.

Does hanging on to anger allow the bullying experienced years ago to continue to drag us down?

Readers, what do you think? Have you ever had someone from your past who hurt you reach out years later with an apology?

If so, how did you react? Let us know in the comments section.

(source: Reddit)

Podcast: Student Goes To Prison For Defending Himself; Genetic Mutation & HIV; Emojis Help Your Sex Life

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• A bisexual high school student in NYC is sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing one of his bullies to death.

• A gay man was threatened by a homophobe for wearing a pink yarmulke.

• Scientists have discovered a second genetic mutation that makes people immune to HIV.

• A new study indicates that people who use more emojis in their text messages have busier sex lives.

• Plus, new music from rising indie artist Parker Matthews “Live For Your Crazy”

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report.

Lara Spencer Schooled On Social Media For Laughing At Boys Taking Ballet

Good Morning America co-host Lara Spencer stepped in it this week when reporting on Prince George as part of her Pop News segment.

Talking about the young royal’s new school curriculum, she paused when she mentioned that he would be taking “ballet,” and then began to laugh at the idea that boys would study dance.

As the studio audience continued laughing, Spencer added, “I’ve got news for you Prince William, we’ll see how long that lasts.”

Folks in the dance world, male and female, clapped back at Spencer laughing at the idea of boys/men dancing.

Social media was soon flooded with comments from dance luminaries tagging Spencer to make sure she would see them.

In case people think the following reactions might be overly-sensitive, I’d point out that if Spencer had mentioned a UK princess taking ballet, there would have been NO laughs, right?

Broadway and television dance star Debbie Allen, who has championed the arts for young people for decades, spoke directly to the issue saying, “Lara Spencer – I am sure you did not expect your remarks to set off the firestorm that it has – but it did.”

She added, “Poking fun at the dance world, and ballet and young boys – this just isn’t cool.”

Emmy Award-winning choreographer and So You Think You Can Dance alum Travis Wall posted a video as well saying, “Dear @lara.spencer of GOOD MORNING AMERICA. I have a message for you. Wake up. It’s 2019,” he wrote. “Get with the program. Please share and repost this so a boy who needs to see this feels supported if he dances or wants to!”

Michael Dameski, from NBC’s World of Dance competition, posted this off-the-hook video clip tagging Spencer with the comment, “Still laughing?”

Dancing with the Stars alum Derek Hough chimed in saying he was surprised and disappointed by the comments and laughs, adding it reminded him of how he was laughed at as a young male dancer.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1hEfo6gJGr/

Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Pretty Woman, Legally Blond) added his thoughts advising Spencer to “think before you speak.”

And as my friend Jerome Vivona, A-list Broadway dancer and currently running American Theater Dance Workshop pointed out, dance training develops, “Strength, grace, power, empathy, collaboratio, and balance.”

Spencer eventually apologized for her “insensitive comments” midday Friday on Instagram.

“My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday,” she wrote. “From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain-and love every minute of it.”

I’ll add my own thoughts here as someone who enjoyed a long career in dance and theater thanks to my beginning dance classes at 14-years-old.

Echoing what many have said above about the athleticism, strength, and sense of collaboration that dancers develop, I also champion the fact that dance helps men and women to understand the value of discipline which helps people as they pursue other careers outside of the dance world.

Finally, I credit dance with keeping me in touch with my own body as I grow older. The photo below was taken when I turned 50 a few years ago when I appeared in Chicago the Musical at the Hollywood Bowl.

While I’m no InstaHunk, trust and believe I would not be in this shape if I hadn’t danced all these years.

Podcast: Emmy Award Nominations, Bullied Teen Convicted, ‘Straight Pride’ Gets Smackdown, Kevin Spacey

In this week's podcast:  • The 2019 Emmy Award nominations have been announced and there’s good news for lots of LGBTQ artists  • A gay high school student in NYC has been found guilty of manslaughter after stabbing two of his bullies  • 'Straight Pride' organizers get a smackdown by Netflix's legal team  • Out rapper Lil Nas X keeps breaking records on the Billboard charts  • Charges against Kevin Spacey are dropped after his accuser invokes his 5th Amendment rights  All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

In this week’s podcast:

• The 2019 Emmy Award nominations have been announced and there’s good news for lots of LGBTQ artists

• A gay high school student in NYC has been found guilty of manslaughter after stabbing two of his bullies

• ‘Straight Pride’ organizers get a smackdown by Netflix’s legal team

• Out rapper Lil Nas X keeps breaking records on the Billboard charts

• Charges against Kevin Spacey are dropped after his accuser invokes his 5th Amendment rights

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report