News Round-Up: April 11, 2021

Sebastian Lletget (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Pink News: Major League Soccer has launched an investigation into LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget (above) over a homophobic slur in a video he posted to Instagram.

Washington Blade: President Biden called for ramping up funds in the first year of his administration to beat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. In his initial budget request to Congress, he signaled he would continue the PrEP-centric initiative that began in the previous administration.

Metrosource: The new hardcover book, On Fire: The Firefighters of France, is a curated collection of the best portraits and smoking shots from the wildly popular French firefighter calendars, personally selected by creator Fred Goudon.

AP News: After promoting doubt about the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine made using the previously experimental messenger RNA, or mRNA, process, a top Chinese health official publicly admitted Chinese COVID-19 vaccines aren’t very effective saying they “don’t have very high protection rates.”

Wichita Eagle: Kansas Senate Republicans ousted Sen. Gene Suellentrop as majority leader Friday after he was charged with leading police on a drunken 90 mile an hour, wrong-way chase down Interstate 70.

HIVPlus Mag: A potential HIV vaccine is showing very promising results in Phase I human trials. The vaccine works by stimulating the production of rare immune cells that generate HIV-resistant antibodies. Such a result was found in 97 percent of human participants administered the potential vaccine.

News Round-Up: February 15, 2021

Fitness trainer Adrian Aguilar handles a wild Covidiot with amazing calm (screen captures)

Some  news items you might have missed:

LGBTQ Nation: The Mississippi state Senate passed a bill to ban transgender girls and women from competing in school sports by a vote of 34-9 late last week. Nine senators voted “present” or did not vote at all.

Instinct Magazine: I admit I’m not the biggest expert on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but watch Denali walk away with this lip-sync battle. Poor Kahmora was stuck in a tight dress and couldn’t bring much to the battle.

Washington Blade: Following President Biden’s reversal of the transgender military ban, trans service members welcome the opportunity to serve openly.

Calendars:  A new calendar, On Fire: The Firefighters of France, is a sexy homage to firefighters, spotlighting the proud members of fire squads from all over France, who have discarded their helmets and gear to flash their best smiles and flex their muscles.

Photographer Fred Goudon honors firefighters in a new calendar out February 16

AP: Dr. Anthony Fauci has been awarded $1 million by the Israel-based Dan David Foundation for “defending science” and advocating for vaccines now being administered worldwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Washington Post: An Atlanta-area prosecutor plans to scrutinize a post-Election Day phone call between Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of a criminal investigation into whether Donald Trump broke Georgia laws while trying to reverse his defeat in the state.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Talk about COVID nutjobs… fitness trainer (and Broadway veteran) Adrian Aguilar (top photos) had this wiiiiiiiild encounter with a male ‘Karen’ in Chicago when he asked the guy (later identified as Austin Tony Myers) to mask up per current pandemic guidelines.

The guy goes nutso, starts poking a very calm Aguilar, and trying to escalate things even further. The police were called, and Myers tried to say HE had been assaulted. But with several gym members recording the encounter plus security cameras, officers eventually (the incident lasted hours) arrested Myers for assault and trespassing. You can read the full account here.

Video: Sassy Firefighters Shade Anti-LGBTQ Twitter Trolls

When firefighters in the UK added a Pride flag to its Twitter profile last year, the first responders received several ugly, homophobic comments.

In response, the South Yorkshire firefighters have clapped back with a cheeky video reciting many of the actual hate tweets they received while rainbow flags, socks, and hats are surreptitiously included in the background.

A hunky fireman recites in a droll tone, “I don’t see or understand why you feel the need to celebrate,” as Pride flags wave and confetti rains down.

Another fire official tells the camera, “Constantly going on and on about who wants to shag who shouldn’t be a fire service priority,” while an eggplant emoji floats on a TV screen in the background.

In between the mini-scenes, the firefighters make their point with the statement:

LGBT+ people still face prejudice at home and at work. We celebrate LGBT+ pride in solidarity with all those we serve and employ. Fires don’t discriminate, neither do we.

In a statement on the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue website, Chief Fire Officer Alex Johnson wrote, “We fully expect the video will have a mixed reaction but some of the comments we received last year were awful and totally unacceptable.”

Johnson explained the heroes had a couple of reasons for producing the video.

“Firstly we wanted to support the month and let our staff, and communities, know that we are proud to employ and serve them, regardless of those comments,” said Johnson.

“Secondly, we wanted to demonstrate that we are a genuinely inclusive organisation that values the contribution of all our staff, whatever their LGBT+ status.”

Crew Manager Rebecca Savin, who acts as the South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union LGBT rep said she was “really pleased with the video.”

“It’s great that, as an employer, SYFR wants to challenge these comments and stand up for its staff and the people it serves.”

Check out the deliciously defiant video below.
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Trump Retweets Over 50 Anti-Biden Messages In One Morning

Donald Trump must be getting waaaay nervous about former Vice President Joe Biden jumping into the presidential race.  Bloomberg reports the Trumpster retweeted more than five dozen tweets this morning, almost all anti-Biden in nature.
Donald Trump

Donald Trump must be getting waaaay nervous about former Vice President Joe Biden jumping into the presidential race.

Bloomberg reports the Trumpster retweeted more than five dozen tweets this morning, almost all anti-Biden in nature.

Biden, who announced his candidacy last week, has focused on blue collar, Rust Belt voters who helped Trump win in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

On Monday, the International Association of Firefighters endorsed Biden as several polls show Biden the clear front-runner among Democratic candidates.

But the endorsement clearly got under Trump’s skin.

“I’ve done more for Firefighters than this dues sucking union will ever do, and I get paid ZERO!” Trump said in one posting to his nearly 60 million followers on the social media platform.

The retweets were replies to an earlier tweet by Fox News personality Dan Bongino, who announced that the firefighters he knew weren’t lining up behind Biden.

Former NY Firefighter Claims Hazing, Urged To Sleep With Stripper To Prove Manhood

(Michael Troina)

A former FDNY firefighter in Queens, New York, has filed a lawsuit alleging mental and emotional stress during his probationary period that included “hazing rituals” and homophobic slurs.

Michael Troina is seeking unspecified damages for being “singled out time and time again on account of his race and national origin as a Hispanic American male as well as perceived homosexuality . . . and was further threatened with physical violence if he dared to report any incident of battery, harassment or discrimination to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office,” according to the New York Post.

Troina says during his probation period he was called a “closet homo;” was told being Hispanic made him bad at his job; and was forced to eat orange juice with a fork from 12 different plates.

He claims co-workers “coerced” him into going to a strip club where he was encouraged to have sex with a stripper to prove his manhood. When he refused, he says he was called “faggot” and “loser.”

Troina also says he was excluded from a firehouse volleyball outing where he was later informed he was rundown with homophobic insults.

Last year, the Post reported on the aspiring firefighter’s story saying, “firefighters covered his car in peanut butter, toilet paper and nails; challenged him to fight; shoved him; called him a ‘bitch,’ ‘loser’ and ‘fa—t’; put up mocking photos of him, and stomped on his bunker gear.”

Troina says when he reported incidents to his superiors he was told to “not take it too hard.”

His lawsuit names New York City, the New York City Fire Department, 14 firefighters and fire commissioner Daniel Nigro as defendants.

Troina was fired one week before the end of his probation period. The FDNY says he was dismissed after a “failed evaluation.”

News Round-Up: January 5, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• Wild and woofy Prince Harry covers Town & Country for the magazine’s “Hottest Bachelors” issue for his work on behalf of wild animals in Africa.

• Former American Idol contestant Bo Bice literally cries over being called “white boy” at a Georgia Popeye’s Fried Chicken restaurant. Seriously?

• More than 50 Electoral College voters were sat illegally which could delay ratifying Donald Trump’s election results.

• Just a day after Megyn Kelly announced her move to NBC News, former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren shares that she is heading to MSNBC to head up a new 6PM show, For The Record with Greta Van Susteren.

• British Prime Minister Theresa May has sent two senior aides on a quiet mission to attempt to improve her already frosty relationship with Donald Trump.

• But enough about “frosty” subjects, let’s take a look at these hottie Australian firefighters 🙂

Calendar Season: Shirtless Australian Firefighters Pose With Puppies

I know, I know, no one wants to see hunky, shirtless Australian firefighters pose with puppies.

But – just in case you did… 🙂

The 12 firefighters, who battled it out against 100 other hunks for the spot, are sharing their monthly spread with puppies that need happy homes in an effort to raise money for the RSPCA and Mates4mates, alongside their annual donations to The Children’s Hospital.

As of 2016, the Firefighters Calendar has raised an amazing $2.1 million AUD for their causes, and they want 2017 to be their best year yet. Along with new donations to their partners at RSPCA and Mates4mates, the Firefighters calendar is raising much-needed funds for the pediatric burns center and Camp OZ – a child burn victims program that’s so underfunded it risks being shut down.

Click here for more info. And yes, they do deliver to the US.

(h/t Queerty)

Shirtless Massachusetts Firefighters 2017 Calendar

Let’s just take a nice long look at the cover of the Massachusetts Firefighter Calendar featuring “12 of the Bay State’s hottest firemen,” with a goal of raising $50,000 for the MSPCA.

The mission of the MSPCA-Angell is to protect animals, relieve their suffering, advance their health and welfare, prevent cruelty, and work for a just and compassionate society.

Not only do you get firefighting hotties, BUT $5 from every calendar sold will go directly to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

What’s not to like?

Florida: Orange County Sheriff & Fire Departments Get Down For #KeepDancingOrlando Campaign

It’s all awesome when the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orange County Firefighters get involved in the #KeepDancingOrlando campaign.

A video posted to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page begins with a mock press conference announcing an “important announcement by Sheriff Demings.”

“We’re here for an important announcement today. I wanna keep Orlando smiling. Keep dancing, Orlando!” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said before placing a boom box on top of the podium.

“Hit it,” Demings says, and when he presses play, the unmistakable beat for Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” starts to play.

Demings begins to dance first, sliding enthusiastically, and members of the OCSO soon follow suit.

The onlooking crowd, acting as members of the press for the video, cheer and throw up the papers they’re holding to join in on the dancing.

The #KeepDancingOrlando challenge was created to channel positive energy and honor the 49 victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, the OCSO wrote on Facebook.

(h/t JMG)