Twitter: Gay Pride Parade Or Shirtless Police Cadets Graduating From Academy?

(screen capture)

Video footage of shirtless Egyptian police cadets graduating from the Police Academy in New Cairo raised more than eyebrows on Twitter.

George Takei highlighted the video clip on Twitter writing, “For a terrifyingly homophobic and dangerously anti-LGBT government in Egypt, this screams pretty gay.”

In the video, the shirtless buff graduates are shown riding on military vehicles appearing to be flexing for their lives.

The Daily Star reports over 1,500 cadets took part in the event.

Several of the comments on Twitter compared the event to a Pride parade.

Another clip showed the graduates performing a series of stunts including jumping through rings of fire, breaking cement blocks on each other’s chests with sledgehammers, and climbing up the side of a building.

At one point, the graduates even dive through the air over a set of sharp spikes.

While the spectacle was visually impressive, the sad irony in all this, as Takei points out, is Egypt continues to be a virulently homophobic country.

The Human Rights Watch reported this past spring that Egypt rejected recommendations by several members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to end arrests and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Egypt responded by denying the existence of sexual orientation and gender identity saying the country “does not recognize the terms mentioned” in the recommendation.

But an LGBTQ rights organization in Cairo reported 92 arrests in 2019 for so-called ‘same-sex conduct.’ Included in the report were incidents of “entrapment through dating apps, random arrests off the street and hotel/house arrests.”

Rights Africa notes that 69 percent of the cases were street arrests “with no legal basis for the arrest other than the individual discretion of the police officers.”

As there is no explicit law banning same-sex conduct, the majority of LGBTQ prosecutions are based on “debauchery” laws insinuating prostitution.

While under arrest, gay men and transgender women have been subjected to torture, assaults, and degrading forced anal examinations.

(source: Daily Star)

Egypt: TV Host Sentenced To One Year Hard Labor For Interviewing Gay Man

Mohamed al-Ghiety

A television host in Egypt has been fined $167 and sentenced to a year of hard labor for the crime of interviewing a gay man.

According to the BBC, Mohamed al-Ghiety interviewed a gay man in 2018 about his life as a sex worker. In the interview, the man (who was not identified) says he has regrets about being gay and working as a prostitute.

A lawyer, Samir Sabry, sued the TV host for appearing to promote possible monetary gains from “practicing” homosexuality. Sabry apparently has a history of targeting celebrities via lawsuits.

Ghiety, who ironically has history of homophobic comments, will also be under police surveillance for a year after his prison sentence.

Homosexuality is not specifically illegal in Egypt, but police often arrest folks suspected of being LGBTQ by using a 1961 law banning prostitution which criminalizes ‘habitual debauchery.’

At the time of the interview, the top governing organization for media – the Supreme Council for Media Regulation – banned the channel from airing for two weeks due to ‘professional violations.’

The media council has prohibited LGBTQs from being shown on television in the conservative country since an incident at a Cairo rock concert in 2017, where a rainbow Pride flag was waved in a rare exhibition of gay pride.

(image via Facebook/Egypt Rainbow)

At the time, the BBC wrote, “The raising of rainbow flags at the concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila – whose lead singer is openly gay – on 22 September was a rare public show of support for the LGBT community in the conservative Muslim country.”

As a result of the images going viral, 32 men and a woman were detained by authorities. The BBC reported that five of those men had anal examination carried out on them.

For a bail bond of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($58US), Ghiety could appeal his verdict and remain free while he awaits the outcome of the appeal.

(h/t BBC)

News Round-Up: October 31, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Steve Pena (above) plans to “walk like an Egyptian” this Halloween. I’d follow his Pharaoh…

• Both chambers of Congress have now unanimously condemned Chechnya for anti-LGBTQ violence as President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson remain silent.

• In related news, Russia and Egypt are fighting to remove language in Principal 6 of the Olympic Charter which calls for banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Both countries have been involved in anti-LGBTQ actions in past months.

• Marques Brownlee unboxes the new iPhone X – check out his thoughts below. Hubby Michael and I have both ordered the X as we haven’t upgraded our iPhones in years.

• While the majority of news outlets were covering yesterday’s indictments of three Trump campaign officials, several Fox News employees were embarrassed by their network’s obvious lack of coverage. At one point on Monday morning, Fox News was actually taking time to report on a hamburger emoji – “Look, the cheese is under the burger!!!”

• A new study indicates gay men (and straight women) are twice as likely to be attracted to guys with the same eye color as their father due to “sexual imprinting.” I do not fall into that category as my father had stunning ice blue eyes, but my hunky hubby Michael has beautiful brown eyes.

• No trick, total treat from 7-time Grammy Award winner Toni Braxton as she drops her new single, “Deadwood,” from her forthcoming album, Sex and Cigarettes, scheduled for a January release.

• One more Halloween post: “Super” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada arrived at work today dressed as “Clark Kent.” #WinnerWinnerWinner

Podcast: Egypt Lawmakers Propose Criminalizing LGBTs; Ryan Murphy’s New Series Casts Record Number Of Trans Actors; Colton Haynes Gets Married

In this week’s podcast:

• Lawmakers in Egypt have drafted legislation which would criminalize homosexuality, making being gay punishable with prison time

• The Trump administration now wants to argue against LGBTQ protections at the U.S. Supreme Court

• Ryan Murphy’s new series Pose has cast a record number of transgender actors

• Arrow/Teen Wolf/American Horror Story star Colton Haynes got married in Palm Springs with lots of famous friends in attendance

• plus, my suggestions for some Halloween movies with a queer slant

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

(btw – how do you like the new logo for the podcast?)

News Round-Up: October 27, 2017


Some news items you might have missed:

• I wish I knew who this guy is – total Furry Friday material 🙂

• The CW’s Riverdale puts the topic of gay cruising in a rural town front and center in this week’s episode.

Deep Dish blog is asking which is sexier: this guy’s furry face or furry bum?

• Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about proposed legislation in Egypt that would criminalize being gay. Sanders said she “wasn’t aware of specifics” about the news but would be happy to check into it.

• Amid reports former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is growing restless on the sidelines comes the news that Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch may retire at the end of his current term next year stepping aside for Romney to take the seat. A recent poll showed Romney would garner 64% of the vote were that to happen.

• Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who hails from the small town of Whitefish, Montana, says he had “absolutely nothing to do” with 2-man company Whitefish Energy Holdings being awarded the $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid. I’m sure it’s pure coincidence…

• I swear to you the first thing I saw in the pic below of dancer/aerialist Davide Zongoli was his feet.

A post shared by Davide Zongoli (@acrodave) on Apr 26, 2017 at 7:55am PDT

Egypt: Lawmakers Prepare To Criminalize Homosexuality

In response to the raising of a rainbow flag at a concert last month, lawmakers in Egypt have drafted new legislation that would make being gay a crime punishable with prison time.

On September 22 in Cairo, at a concert performed by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, the rainbow flag was raised.

Nearly 70 people were arrested, and more than 20 have been sentenced to time in prison ranging from six months to six years.

The new legislation would make homosexual behavior punishable by a prison sentence of one to three years. A repeat offense could mean an additional five years in prison.

Anyone identified as an LGBT ally or “supporter” could be imprisoned for one to three years.

Media coverage of events like LGBT Pride, as well as the organizers, could also suffer prison time.

And anyone who displays a “symbol of homosexuality” would be risking one to three years in prison as well.

This is dangerous stuff. I just had friends visiting Egypt on a vacation.

I can definitely tell you where you won’t be finding me anytime soon.


News Round-Up: October 4, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Chef Franco Noriega (above) looks as comfortable in front of the camera as he does in the kitchen. #Woof

• Handsome Downton Abbey star Rob James-Collier says playing the troubled, gay butler “Thomas Barrow” on the hit series has left him type-cast and shut out of opportunities his fellow DA stars have had.

• A group of men arrested in Egypt for waving a rainbow Pride flag are being subjected to hideous forced anal exams to prove whether they’ve had sex with men. Gay sex isn’t illegal per se in Egypt, but the country is currently cracking down on so-called “moral decency.”

• Ivanka and brother Donald Trump Jr. were close to being charged with fraud in NYC back in 2012 until the Manhattan District Attorney received a campaign donation of $25,000 from Trump Sr.’s personal lawyer. The case was summarily dropped. #ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm

• Sad to read one of my favorite Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees, are one of four MLB teams to have never hosted an LGBT pride night for fans. The New York Times writes that the Yankees have “shied away from promotions with an ethnic or cultural flavor.”

• Check out your new judges for the American Idol reboot for the first time on Good Morning America this week: Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan

News Round-Up: September 26, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• I’m calling for #TouchTuesdays. Do you ever think about how much you touch (or don’t touch) your spouse/significant other/family/friends? If not, give that a ponder. Human contact literally connects us. I was holding hot hubby Michael’s hand through the streets of NYC this week and remembered how much I like it 🙂

• Have you heard the one about the gay Republican who has spent time on Twitter asking why he should pay for health insurance since he’s young and in perfect shape? The same guy who was in a car accident and realized his hospital bill could be enormous? The same guy who, opposing “free healthcare” set up a GoFundMe campaign so others could pay his bills? I kid you not. #Karma

• Frances Abbott, daughter of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, has made a video for the “Vote Yes” campaign regarding the current vote-by-mail survey on same-sex marriage down under. Her father has famously opposed legalizing marriage equality even though his own sister is openly lesbian.

• Virulently anti-gay Alabama state Rep. Micky Hammon pleads guilty to mail fraud after cashing campaign donation checks and then moving the money into his personal account to pay his bills.

• In Cairo, Egyptian police arrested 7 people for waving an LGBT rainbow flag during a concert by Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila, whose lead singer is openly gay.

• Trump voters share why they began to have doubts about voting for Donald Trump:

Egypt: 26 Men Accused of “Debauchery” in Bath House Raid Found Innocent

A Cairo court acquitted 26 men on Monday who had been accused of “debauchery” in a rare victory for Egypt’s gay community that has of late faced an increasingly oppressive police crackdown.

The defendants had faced between 1-9 years in prison on varying degrees of “debauchery” — the most common Egyptian legal term used in cases against men accused of homosexuality.

Though homosexuality is not technically illegal in Egypt, the police and courts have a history of persecuting the gay community in this socially-conservative country. That Monday’s ruling went they way it did surprised many observers.

“It’s unprecedented,” said longtime human rights activist Scott Long. “This just doesn’t happen.”

The session lasted barely a minute — just enough time for the judge to do a roll-call of the defendants’ names before uttering a single word: “innocent.”

The court immediately erupted into raucous celebration as the men inside the courtroom cage shouted and waved their shackled hands and attending relatives yelled and sobbed in relief.

(from CBS News)

Egypt: Eight Men Sentenced To Three Years In Prison Due To One Minute Wedding Video

Although determined “not gay” via forensic inspection (think about that one), eight men in Egypt have been sentenced to three years in prison for “debauchery” in relation to a video depicting what authorities say represent a “gay wedding.”

From CNN:

By the big smiles, warm hugs and loud cries of ululation, the video seems to show a joyous celebration.

An Egyptian prosecutor looked at the same footage and saw something very different: a “satanic ceremony” with images that are “shameful, regrettable and anger God.”

However it is characterized, the event has landed eight men in jail for three years, an Egyptian court ruled Saturday. The men will face three years of probation upon their release, according to Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online.

It’s all because of a roughly 1-minute video set upon a Nile riverboat. It shows several well-dressed men, one of which pulls out a ring and slips it on another man’s finger. The two had a brief kiss, then hug — all as others on the boat cry out happily around them. There’s a cake with two men’s picture on it.

“May your night be filled with pomp and ceremony,” one man says.

The video went viral after posting online.

(h/t JMG)