News Round-Up: May 19, 2021

Demi Lovato comes out as nonbinary
Demi Lovato comes out as nonbinary
Actor/singer Demi Lovato (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Christian Post: A licensed therapist is suing Washington state over its 2018 law banning so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for minors. The therapist is being represented by virulently anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.

NBC Out: Actor and singer Demi Lovato came out as nonbinary today and said they would be changing their pronouns to they/them. “Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all,” Lovato wrote in a social media post in announcing the news.

Washington Post: The European Union on Wednesday agreed to open its borders to vaccinated Americans and others, after more than a year in which travel into the bloc has been severely restricted, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Out Music: LGBTQ-led band Hemisphere has been nominated for ‘Best World Music Album’ by the prestigious San Diego Music Awards for their album American Dreams. The album is meant to emphasize and promote the spirit of ‘Unity’, ‘Diversity’, and ‘Equality’. Hemisphere members Rob Shinno and Don Bowman have been publicly out since 1994.

CBS News: Fox News Media filed a motion to dismiss a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems over false claims about the 2020 presidential election amplified by some of its hosts. The motion laughingly says Fox’s “responsible journalists covered both sides” of the controversy and that the network’s opinion hosts provided commentary which “a reasonable viewer” would consider as little more than “hyperbole.”

Twitter: Rep. Tim Ryan was DONE with Republican House members who voted against a bipartisan commission to investigate the January invasion of the U.S. Capitol building. The measure passed by a vote of 252-175, with 35 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the plan.

Note – Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN), brother of former Vice President Mike Pence, voted against the bill even though the rioters on January 6 called for hanging his brother.

Queen Elizabeth Announces Plans To Ban Conversion Therapy

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II (photo: Depositphotos)

In her speech to UK Parliament today, Queen Elizabeth II announced the government’s plans to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ which has been discredited by the NHS and the World Psychiatric Association.

From Gay Times:

“Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy,” said the Queen.

She added that the government will “strengthen and renew democracy and the constitution” as well as “protect freedom of speech and restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts.”

Following the Queen’s speech, Liz Truss, Minister for Women and Equalities, confirmed that the legislation would come to fruition after a public consultation.

“As a global leader on LGBT+ rights, this government has always been committed to stamping out the practice of conversion therapy,” she said.

Back in 2019, then-Prime Minister Teresa May pledged to end conversion therapy, but no meaningful action came about. Current Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been pretty silent on the issue except to call the practice “absolutely abhorrent” during a school visit last year.

Read the full article at Gay Times.

As I’ve reported here many times, conversion therapy, also known as ‘ex-gay therapy,’ has been widely denounced as discredited pseudoscience by leading professional medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association.

Studies have shown that the controversial practice can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.

LGBTQ Rights Package Introduced In North Carolina

Screen capture from ABC11 in North Carolina

Screen capture from ABC11 in North Carolina

A group of lawmakers in North Carolina has proposed a package of 4 bills that would improve life for LGBTQ people in the state.

The first bill would repeal House Bill 2, also known as the state’s ‘bathroom bill.’

The second piece of legislation would put into place statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

The third bill would outlaw so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ the dangerous pseudo-science that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

And the fourth bill would prohibit the use of the ‘gay panic’ or ‘trans panic’ defense in legal cases which attempts to justify killing or harming someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“No one should worry that they can’t buy a home because of who they love or be denied a haircut or a hotel room because of their gender identity,” Rep. Vernetta Alston (D-District 29) told the local ABC News affiliate.

Kendra Johnson of Equality NC added, “For too long LGBTQ North Carolinians have lived in the shadow of archaic and outdated laws that impact everyone in our community.”

Lawmakers say they are ‘hopeful’ the bills have momentum to pass, but I’ll note that the Republican-controlled state legislature hasn’t previously given queer people much to believe in.

News Round-Up: February 12, 2021

Josh O'Connor & Alec Secareanu in God's Own Country
Josh O'Connor & Alec Secareanu in God's Own Country
Josh O’Connor & Alec Secareanu in God’s Own Country (promo photo)

Some news items you might have missed:

OMG Blog: Whether you’re alone or with company this Valentine’s Day, lockdown means that you might be looking for some queer cinema love stories. So the eye-candy site has rounded up a list of V-day-appropriate gay movies for your pleasure including one of my favorites, God’s Own Country (above). Warning – NSFW/nudity.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out Kenneth’s round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications this week including QSaltLake’s cover story on the public shaming over maskless circuit parties.

Qsaltlake Magazine cover

Stonewall Gazette: The veteran LGBTQ blog has returned to the interwebs! Make sure you click over to check out all the content over at Stonewall Gazette.

NBC News: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced 16 nominees for its 2021 class of inductees. The ultimate inductees for the 36th annual class will be announced in May, with honors set for the fall.

The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees
The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Jerusalem Post: A UN report released this week on widespread human rights violations in Iran contains “reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children were subjected to electric shocks and the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive medications.” In other words, the dangerous practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’

The Advocate: Friends Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a silly, fun love story about friendship out this weekend.

Instinct Magazine: Dolly Parton has announced she will (finally) guest-star on the upcoming season of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie with former 9 to 5 co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

BosGuy: It’s Furry Friday over at the Boston-based LGBTQ blog and this week features the oh-so-woofy and talented Craig Ramsay. More at the link.


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A post shared by Craig Ramsay (@craigramsayfit)

News Round-Up: December 24, 2020

Sexy Santa adorned with holiday lights
Merry merry and happy Christmas Eve!

Some news items you might have missed:

The Hill: A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll released Thursday indicates 96% of Democrats say President-elect Joe Biden was elected fairly in the November presidential election, while 78% of Republicans think Biden was not legitimately elected president.

InstaHunks: Woofy Fran Dullon is wrapping your presents…have you been naughty or nice?


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A post shared by New Official Page (@just.frandullon)

American Independent: Donald Trump has Trump chosen Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, to be a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, an advisory body to the president and the Department of Health and Human Services. Note – the ‘Lady Marcus’ runs a clinic which that specializes in the debunked and dangerous practice of conversion therapy. #Boo

NY Times: The brilliant 3-time Tony Award nominee (and dear friend to everyone in the Broadway community), Rebecca Luker, whose gorgeous soprano voice led to a 3 decades-long career on Broadway, died on Wednesday after a year-long battle with ALS. RIP dear, beautiful Rebecca.

Politico: The U.S. has struck a deal with Pfizer to purchase another 100 million doses of the company’s COVID vaccine. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said they can supply 70 million doses by June 30, 2021, with the remaining 30 million doses delivered by the end of July.

Talking Points Memo: The White House went out of its way to declare Donald Trump was in meetings and working today.

Gay Ex-Mormon Recalls Life-Altering Decision To Lose ‘Magic Underwear’

Dr. Jake Jacob (image via Instagram)

Dr. Jake Jacob, an openly gay physician, recently reflected on social media about his process of severing ties with the Mormon Church specifically his decision to stop wearing his ‘temple garments.’

Posting a photo clad in just a white t-shirt and briefs, the beefy doc shared with his 278K Instagram followers that it has been 12 years since he decided to stop wearing the ‘magic underwear’ noting “it made no sense since I was having sex with men which is a mortal sin against the Mormon church’s teachings.”

But rather than a sad moment of reflection, Jacob recalls the decision as “life-altering physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

“It was my last physical reminder, for good or bad, of my ties to childhood religion,” he continued. “It was liberating for my body to finally remove the oppressive clothing that insisted I always stay covered instead of celebrating the body God gave me.”

For the hunky 39-year-old, shedding the garments represented discarding unnecessary shame and self-loathing that he’d carried for years about who he was and a part of himself that he “can’t and shouldn’t change.”

“It was a necessary step in overcoming years of conversion therapy that taught me I was broken and somehow God was supposed to fix me if I was righteous enough, an ever-moving impossible goal post,” he added.

Jacob also recalled the feeling of “sliding into my sheets without any clothes the first night I felt freedom I’d never experienced before.”

Being able to choose how he presented his body to the world began “a journey of loving my own body, embracing my flaws, of actually looking in the mirror and choosing to like what I see without guilt or forced ‘humility’ which I now know was the quest for impossible constant perfection of body and mind.”

The result was the beginning of loving himself “for who I am independent of a higher power’s approval or acceptance of my peers.”

With good and bad days in the rearview mirror, Jacob’s focus now is on the gratitude he feels having journeyed towards self-acceptance.

“I’m grateful I took a chance stepping into the unknown discovering a life I never dreamed could be so fulfilling,” he writes in closing.

The good doctor offers more than just eye-candy on his social media, although he’s clearly built AF.

Check out some other recent posts below and follow the body-conscious Jacob on Instagram here for more of his posts.

News Round-Up: November 20, 2020

Jim Newman (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Let’s hear it for Broadway’s Jim Newman (above) who definitely knows how to find his light. Follow him on Instagram here.

CNN: Donald Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation.

HBO Max: The original series EQUAL pays tribute to the epic origin stories of the LGBTQ+ movement. The four-part docu-series captures the true backstories of the leaders and unsung heroes, pre-Stonewall, who changed the course of American history through their tireless activism. Each hour-long episode in the series plays like a thriller, bringing to life the high stakes and hard deadlines of historical events that have not yet been given their due.

In honor of Transgender Day of Awareness, I want to highlight Episode 2 which focuses on the courageous pioneers of the trans movement. Check out the trailer for the series below.

Out: Two Trump-appointed judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit today overturned a lower court ruling and struck down local ordinances prohibiting licensed therapists from practicing the debunked “conversion therapy” on minors.

Bloomberg: Donald Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week and is isolating. Junior recently downplayed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak that deaths are “almost nothing.” I guess this makes Junior “almost nothing.”

AP: Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified results reported by the state’s 159 counties that show Biden won the state by a margin of 12,670 votes.

News Round-Up: August 27, 2020

L-R Michael Caprio, Matt Zarley, Chad Quintero, Randy Slovacek, Greg Chase

Some news items you might have missed:

TBT: Remembering sunsets at our pool (above) when we could actually have a group of folks over for summertime cocktails in our Olivia Newton-John cups. Ah, good times…

The Advocate: The city of Anchorage has become the first in Alaska to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for minors. This makes Alaska the 40th state where some jurisdiction has taken action against the harmful practice.

New York Times: More than 100 former staff members for Senator John McCain are supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in a show of support across the political divide. The list of signatories includes a range of people — from chiefs of staff in Mr. McCain’s Senate office to junior aides on his campaigns — who worked for him over his 35 years in Congress and during two presidential bids. Republican Voters Against Trump also released this ad today in McCain’s home state of Arizona.

OUT: A bodybuilding gay couple in Malta were brutally slain in their home on August 18. Police are looking for three persons captured on security cameras leaving the residence, as well as a suspected driver in an awaiting vehicle.

JoeMyGod: After GoFundMe canceled a crowdfunding campaign for legal costs for accused 17-year-old murderer Kyle Rittenhouse, ‘Christian’ crowdfunding site GiveSendGo raised over $59,000 in the first few hours.

ABC News: Cocky North Carolina congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, 25, got it wrong during his four-minute speech during the Republican National Convention last night when he boasted the accomplishments of other youthful politicians in history, like James Madison, who he mistakenly announced signed the Declaration of Independence.

“If you don’t think young people can change the world, then you just don’t know American history. George Washington was 21 when he received his first military commission. Abe Lincoln, 22 when he first ran for office. And my personal favorite: James Madison was just 25 years old when he signed the Declaration of Independence.” Today, Cawthorn says he was just testing the fact-checkers.

Podcast: LGBTQs In Film, Gender Reveal Party Redux, Mexico City Bans Conversion Therapy

TJ Osborne makes history at the CMA Awards, new documentary 'Mayor Pete' takes you behind the scenes of the 2020 presidential campaign, LGBTQ people are getting vaccinated at much higher rates than heterosexuals

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:

• The family of a gay Sheriff’s Deputy who died of COVID-19 has been denied benefits by insurance giant AIG

• Mexico City makes so-called ‘conversion therapy’ illegal

• GLAAD’s new report shows gay representation on film hits a new high – but the rest of the news isn’t so good

• Hallmark Channel announces its 2020 holiday lineup will include LGBTQ characters, actors and plotlines

• A twist on ‘gender reveal parties’ rewrites history in a good way

• Indie artist Abby K’s gorgeous new single “Mom’s Old Room” is dedicated to all the human butterflies in the world. “May they have the courage to transform and live their true beauty”

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