Gay Porn Star Calls On Colleagues To Help ‘Out’ Closeted Lawmaker

Adult performer Sean Harding (via Instagram)

Submitted without comment.

Adult performer Sean Harding took to Twitter Thursday night to issue a veiled message about a “homophobic republican senator who is no better than Trump who keeps passing legislation that is damaging to the lgbt and minority communities.”

Harding goes on to call on his colleagues to help remove the senator from office for supporting the Trump administration that has systematically decimated LGBTQ rights.

“Every sex worker I know has been hired by this man,” he added. “Wondering if enough of us spoke out if that could get him out of office?”

According to a follow-up tweet, high profile lawyers and every major news network has reached out to him since his initial tweet.

He’s now asking his colleagues to step up because “everyone has a story about LG when we talk.”

For the record, I make no assumptions about the identity of ‘Lady G.’ But others have.

At this time, ‘Lady G’ has been trending for hours on Twitter. A smattering of tweets currenting richocheting around the Twitterverse:

Memoir: Mr. Rogers Urged Co-Star To Stay In Closet & Marry A Woman

L-R Fred Rogers and Francois Clemmons

In his new memoir, Officer Clemmons, Francois Clemmons shares that during his time as a cast member of the iconic children’s TV show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, the show’s star Fred Rogers encouraged him to stay in the closet and to marry a woman.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, Clemmons says, “I forgive him. More than that, I understand.”

From 1968 to 1993, Clemmons became known to millions of children as ‘Officer Clemmons’ on the popular PBS series. Clemmons says he also came to see Rogers as “a mentor, father figure, and ultimately ‘the spiritual love of my life.'”

The two men met at Rogers’ wife’s church and became fast friends. Having survived a difficult childhood, the calming nature of Rogers and his ‘neighborhood’ became an integral part of Clemmons’ life.

But according to his new autobiography, Clemmons was summoned to Rogers’s office one day.

“Franc, you have talents and gifts that set you apart and above the crowd,” Rogers told Clemmons per his new memoir. “Someone has informed us that you were seen at the local gay bar downtown. Now, I want you to know, Franc, that if you’re gay, it doesn’t matter to me at all. Whatever you say and do is fine with me, but if you’re going to be on the show as an important member of the Neighborhood, you can’t be out as gay.”

Clemmons shares with PEOPLE he began to get emotional and broke down crying.

“I could have his friendship and fatherly love and relationship forever,” says Clemmons. “But I could have the job only if I stayed in the closet.”

Clemmons and Rogers on the set of ‘Mr. Rogers Neighborhood’ (image via Wikimedia Commons)

He had given Clemmons inspiration and stardom but told him there was a cost.

“You must do this Francois because it threatens my dream,” Clemmons recalled Rogers saying.

“I was destroyed,” Clemmons shares in his book. “The man who was killing me had also saved me. He was my executioner and deliverer. But, at the same time, I knew that he would know how to comfort me. I didn’t have another mother or father to comfort me. I had no one to go and be a boy with. I was just vulnerable. He got in a few slaps, some tough love, a good spanking. But I was not kicked out of the family.”

Rogers reportedly assured Clemmons, “The world doesn’t really want to know who you’re sleeping with — especially if it’s a man. You can have it all if you can keep that part out of the limelight.”

But, it turns out, Rogers did have a plan.

“Have you ever thought of getting married?” Rogers asked Clemmons. “People do make some compromises in life.”

And that’s exactly what Clemmons did.

“By the time I left his office, I had made up my mind to marry La-Tanya Mae Sheridan,” wrote the 75-year-old. He was 23 at the time.

“At the wedding reception, Fred and Joanne approached me and my new wife,” adds Clemmons. “It felt as if Fred and I were sealing some kind of secret bargain.”

Francois Clemmons’ memoir, Officer Clemmons

And in making that bargain, Clemmons became one of the first gay Black men on television although no one would know.

The marriage would only last six years until the couple amicably filed for divorce in 1974. It was then that Clemmons finally began living life as an openly gay man.

But today, Clemmons harbors no resentment for Rogers.

“Lord have mercy, yes, I forgive him,” Clemmons tells PEOPLE. “More than that, I understand. I relied on the fact that this was his dream. He had worked so hard for it. I knew Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was his whole life.”

To be clear, I don’t hold any animus against Rogers, either.

It was a different time. It was a children’s show. As I’ve noted many times on The Randy Report, the only depiction of LGBTQ people back then were as murderous monsters or mentally ill. There was no spin that could deflect that in 1968.

That said, props to Fred Rogers for his inclusion of Clemmons. And not just as a member of his ‘Neighborhood,’ but as a police officer – a role Rogers insisted Clemmons play for a reason.

As a young black man from Ohio, Clemmons grew up afraid of the police.

“The idea that he wanted me to become one of them, one of the enemy, was a tremendous shock to me,” Clemmons told HuffPost in 2018. “Then, he painted it in a different light. He said, ‘You can become one of the helpers. That is something else that policemen do that we can emphasize.’”

And so, Clemmons became one of the earliest depictions of Black police officers that children could learn to trust.

In addition to his career in children’s TV, Clemmons was also an accomplished singer having received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College, and a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. He won a 1976 Grammy Award for his performance as “Sportin’ Life” in a recording of Porgy & Bess with the Cleveland Orchestra.

Officer Clemmons is scheduled for release on May 5.

Clemmons was prominently featured in the acclaimed 2018 documentary about the children’s series, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

(source: PEOPLE)

Vintage Photo Captures Romantic Imagination Of Gay Internet

Tommy & Buzz (via HomoHistory)

A vintage photo dated March 26, 1949, has captured the imagination of LGBT Redditors who wonder who were the handsome men named “Buzz” and “Tommy.”

The photo has surfaced on the internet from time to time with the earliest post I could find is from 2012 at HomoHistory.com, but no one has ever been able to decipher who the two young men were.

We can tell from the pic that they appeared to be lifeguards since they are wearing swim trunks and their t-shirts read, “Dept. of Parks Life Guard.”

(via HomoHistory)

On the back of the photo is the inscription, “To Buzz, I’ll always remember the times we spent together. All my love, your Tommy”

The sign-off reading “all my love, your Tommy” certainly leans into a romantic flavor.

And one more detail has been noticed by those captivated by the image: the two men’s arms are almost on top of each other, as if they want to hold hands but weren’t sure.

(via HomoHistory)

In 1949, homosexuality was against the law in most countries so the sentiments expressed could have posed a danger for the two men.

Some folks have posited that Buzz and Tommy were just two good friends without any romantical inclinations at all. That, back in the day, men hadn’t been taught to be afraid of any semblance of tenderness or deep friendship.

But I find my gaydar pinging as do many others.

The pic re-emerged on the subreddit r/lgbt two days ago, and folks’ imaginations continue to swirl about Tommy and Buzz.

One commenter wrote, “Reminds me of that possibly gay couple in Pompei that historians always seem to dismiss, ugh.”

Another wondered aloud, “I wonder if they had to get married. Or if they were lifeguards and the summer was over and they had to go back to their lives of lies.”

Sometimes, the point of discovering a piece of history isn’t necessarily knowing the whole truth, but how it makes us feel and what that might reveal within us.

“This makes me happy and sad at the same time,” offered one Redditor.

And a Reddit user commented: “The fact it says ‘Your Tommy’ really suggests that they were lovers. I’m so lucky to live in a time and place where two men can walk down the street holding hands and not be arrested.”

The Instagram account lgbt_history shared the photo back in 2016 where the image received comments like “Overwhelming,” “Lovely,” and “67 years ago boys loved boys.”

One Instagram user wrote, “Can we remake Grease with this love story? Instead of Danny being cool, he’s closeted but desperate for Tommy.”

Click here for more vintage photos of gay couples over at HomoHistory.

(source: HomoHistory.com)

 

Jonathan Hernandez: My Brother Came Out To Mom During Prison Visit

Jonathan Hernandez (screen capture)

The New York Post reports Jonathan Hernandez, brother of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, tells Dr. Oz that his brother came out to their mother during a tearful prison visit.

In his first TV appearance since the premiere of the Netflix true-crime documentary series Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, Jonathan says his brother told his mother, Terri Hernandez, he was gay prior to his 2017 suicide.

“He’s like, ‘Mom, you’re going to die never knowing your son,’” Hernandez says in the interview scheduled to air today.

“My mom being my mom, started mouthing with Aaron, and they started bickering back and forth, and all of a sudden they have this conversation, and they’re both flooded with tears across from each other.”

Putting the moment in context, Jonathan adds, “Here’s the weight of what’s on my brother being expressed, and for a mother to be looking at it across from the scratched glass.”

One of the questions Killer Inside explores is whether the fear that kept Aaron’s sexuality hidden might have been a driving force for killing his former friend Odin Lloyd in 2013. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the crime at the time of his death.

Dr. Oz asks Jonathan his thoughts on a possible motive during the interview.

“That’s one of the questions and, you know, head-scratchers that they still have regarding really this entire case,” says the brother.

“There’s just so many questions regarding everything. And, for me to sit here and say it was this or that, I can’t say. All you can do is look at the evidence that was provided.”

Jonathan Hernandez speaks to Dr. Oz

In another segment, Dr. Oz asks how Hernandez’s father Dennis (who died in 2006) might have responded to Aaron sharing he had ‘conflicting thoughts’ on his sexuality.

“I don’t know if he would have been able to finish his sentence,” Jonathan said. “My dad would have thought he could beat that out of him.”

Earlier this week, Aaron’s former fiancee said she didn’t know if he was gay.

“If he did feel that way, or if he felt the urge, I wish that I was told,” Shayanna Jenkins told Good Morning America. “I wish that he would have told me because I wouldn’t have loved him any differently. I would have understood. It’s not shameful.”

(source: New York Post)

LA News Anchor’s Death Ruled Drug Overdose During Hookup Gone Bad

A Los Angeles news anchor, found dead on December 27, 2018, in a Days Inn motel, died of methamphetamine toxicity according to the coroner.
Chris Burrous

A Los Angeles news anchor, found dead on December 27, 2018, in a Days Inn motel, died of methamphetamine toxicity according to the coroner.

The Los Angeles Times reports that KTLA anchor Chris Burrous met with another man after connecting on the gay hook up app, Grindr.

The other man, whom the 43-year-old journalist had met on several occasions, called for medical attention when Burrous reportedly put at least two meth ‘rocks’ in his anus during the hookup. He soon passed out and became unresponsive.

Both the man and paramedics attempted CPR but to no avail. Burrous was declared dead at a hospital.

The coroner indicated in his report that hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease played a part in Burrous’ death.

According to Variety, the drug GHB was also found in the hotel room, but not in Burrous’ system. The other man was not charged with any crime.

After spending several years hosting Good Morning Sacramento, Burrous relocated to Los Angeles taking on weekend anchoring duties for the KTLA Morning News.

Burrous is survived by his wife and a nine-year-old daughter.

Report: 46% Of LGBTQ Folks Stay Closeted At Work

A new survey shows 46% of LGBTs stay closeted to avoid stereotyping at work

In a new survey of 1,615 straight and gay workers by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 46% of LGBTQ employees stay closeted in the workplace because they are afraid of being stereotyped, damaging business relationships or making folks feel ‘uncomfortable.’

That’s a drop of only 4 points from 50% ten years when the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Degrees of Equality report was issued in 2008.

Of the straight respondents, half said there aren’t any LGBTQ employees at their place of employment.

According to The Wall Street Journal, over half of Fortune 500 businesses now have an executive tasked with addressing inclusivity and diversity at their company.

Even so, one in five LGBTQ employees say they’ve been told to dress in a more ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ manner.

Fifty-three percent of LGBTQ workers say they hear gay/lesbian jokes occasionally at work.

The number one reason why LGBTQ employees don’t say anything about negative comments about gay folks is they don’t believe the issue will be addressed and they don’t want to injure relationships with coworkers.

The new report by the HRC Foundation looks to “uncover the prevalence of LGBTQ workers feeling pressure to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity on the job and the cost of that hiding both to individuals and employers.”

You can download a PDF of the report, titled A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide, by clicking here.

When Rosie’s Audience “Reacted” To An Actor Playing A Gay Role On TV

Kenneth-in-the-212 totally took me back with this 1999 appearance by Billy Campbell on Rosie O’Donnell’s then-venerable daytime talk show where the crowd actually gave a negative reaction when Campbell mentioned having played a gay role on television.

During the chat, Rosie asked about earlier TV credits and Campbell mentioned that he had appeared in episodes of the 80s TV drama, Dynasty, as a leading character’s boyfriend.

The crowd clearly reacted in such a negative way that Campbell turned to the live audience to say, “Lighten up, people, it’s the 90s.”

Kenneth shares in his post his own memory of Kate Jackson promoting the early 80s feature film Making Love which chronicled a married man’s coming out story. I vividly remember seeing the film when it came out and I had not.

Kenneth recalls The Tonight Show audience having a similar negative reaction that night.

As Kenneth writes, “I learned right then and there that I should be ashamed of myself — and went from being an outgoing kid to a painfully self-conscious teenager and young man.”

You can watch the Billy Campbell/Rosie O’Donnell clip below.

It may seem like a small thing here, but I clearly remember the subliminal messages these kinds of moments sent me as a young person: “‘Gay’ is bad. People won’t like you if you are ‘gay.'”

Glad it’s possible to grow past those experiences.

#Forward

Colton Haynes Shares Losing His Virginity At 13 Plus His Hollywood “Tab Hunter” Situation

Andy Cohen (L) interviews Colton Haynes (R)
(image via Instagram)

Speaking to Andy Cohen on SiriusXM’s “Radio Andy,” Arrow/Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes candidly shared personal details about his dating life including losing his virginity at the age of 13 to both a girl and a guy, albeit separately, and being set up on fake dates in Hollywood to hide his sexuality.

• “I lost my virginity at 13 to a girl and a guy. I’ve never said that before. The girl was two years older than me, and the guy was, I would say, around 16. Everyone participated. It was a real first time. It was exciting.”

• “I was literally told from the day that I moved to Los Angeles that I could not be gay because I wouldn’t work. Then I was with my management team and a team of people that just literally told me I couldn’t be this way. They tried to set me up with girls. I was rumored to date Lauren Conrad (of The Hills) for six months because they were kind of angling a story. And then I dated every other young person which of course I didn’t date.”

Haynes said his “dates” all understood what was going on. “They knew the whole time. It was like a Tab Hunter situation.”

Watch below:

Reddit User Shares His Closeted Father’s Gay Anthem “I Dreamed A Dream”

Reddit user TheBrotherOfTyler recently shared his slow, heartbreaking realization that his Mormon father, who eventually divorced and died of a drug overdose, lived most of his life secretly closeted.

When I was a kid, it was not uncommon to find my mom playing the piano at our house and my dad standing next to her signing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. He would modify the words of the song to sing it from a straight male perspective rather than a straight female perspective, which is how it’s sung in the play/movie (i.e., he changed it to “she slept a summer by my side” from “he slept a summer by my side”).

When I was 14, my parents separated, and a short time later I put the pieces together and figured out my dad was gay. My dad died just over a year later from a drug overdose.

Fast forward 10 years or so, and I hear the song for the first time in a long time. As I was listening to the song all of the sudden a feeling came over me (it must have been the spirit) and I realized why my dad loved the song so much. It truly expressed how he felt as a straight LDS man living secretly as a gay man. It was touching and heartbreaking at the same time. It made me feel a tremendous amount of love for him. And it made me sad that he had to switch the lyrics to continue hiding his true self.

Here are some of the lyrics:

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

I hadn’t heard the recording of “I Dreamed A Dream” from the original London production of Les Miserables in years. I’d forgotten how tender Patti LuPone began the song.

(h/t Queerty)

Matt Baume On Matt Damon’s Statement That Actors Should Keep Sexuality Secret

Matt Damon, while promoting his new movie The Martian made mention to The Guardian of how he sees the effect of coming out on the careers of gay actors:

“I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly,” he continues. “But in terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”

Matt Baume has his own take on those comments:

Matt Damon told an interviewer this week that actors should keep their sexuality secret whether straight or gay, which is a little hypocritical considering he’s an open book when it comes to his heterosexuality.

I don’t think he’s a homophobe, but imposing a double standard on gay actors is just wrong.