News Round-Up: March 31, 2021

Trainer Michael Blevins
Trainer Michael Blevins
Fitness trainer Michael Blevins (screen capture via Boy Culture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Boy Culture: Michael Blevins (above), a close personal friend of actor Henry Cavill’s who has trained him since 2011, used Instagram Stories to argue against the COVID-19 vaccine and face masks, leaning on his belief that the main reason the virus has been so deadly — well over a million killed worldwide — is because too many of you are fat, fat, fat.

PBS: A record number of bills to limit transgender rights have been introduced this year in state legislators across the country, with lawmakers in 28 states considering 93 bills targeting the rights of transgender Americans.

KTLA: NSYNC’s Lance Bass is getting ready to open the nation’s largest gay club in West Hollywood. Bass signed a lease to rent the space that was once home to famed gay nightclub Rage, which closed in September after a 37-year run over a landlord dispute.

AP: As Wisconsin stands on the precipice of another COVID-19 surge, the state Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate on Wednesday, stripping the governor of one of his last remaining tools to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

New York Times: Pfizer and BioNTech report that their coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in adolescents 12 to 15 years old, perhaps even more so than in adults. No infections were found among children who received the vaccine in a recent clinical trial; they produced strong antibody responses and experienced no serious side effects.

PEOPLE: Former half-term governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, has announced she has tested positive for the coronavirus and is urging people to wear face masks.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Over at KIT212 the ‘Song of the Day’ is Madonna’s “Live To Tell,” inspired by a Facebook post by one of my favorite LGBTQ journalists, Jeremy Kinser, who declares the tune is Madge’s best ballad. I agree with Jeremy and Kenneth. (Although, ‘Rain’ comes in a close second…)

News Round-Up: September 9, 2020

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Brogan (above) shares some #BigDogEnergy from Los Angeles with his bestie Astrid.

WeHo Times: Rage Nightclub, located in the heart of West Hollywood’s LGBT Rainbow District), has announced it will permanently close after 37 years. According to sources, the restaurant/bar and multi-level nightclub did not renew their lease which was up in November. Former employees also blame the COVID-19 pandemic and high rent as factors in its closure.

• Gay Star News: Gay reality TV personality Joe Exotic (of Tiger King fame) has written to Donald Trump begging for a presidential pardon to get him out of jail. In January a court sentenced him to 22 years in prison over his plot to kill his rival Carol Baskin and for killing five tigers in his zoo.

Joe Exotic and friend (image via Netflix)

Fox News: Former ‘pool boy’ Giancarlo Granda claims Jerry Falwell Jr. has been ‘relentlessly harassing’ him since the sex scandal broke that brought an end to Falwell’s tenure at Liberty University. Granda is now sharing text messages, emails and photos with that appear to back up his allegations and, at the very least, show the Falwells breaking Liberty’s code of conduct on multiple occasions.

NY Daily News: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today indoor dining will be allowed to resume in New York City restaurants beginning September 30. Capacity will be limited to 25%, tables must be six feet apart, patrons will be required to have temperature checks, there will be no walk-up bar service, and customers will be required to leave contact information.

Election 2020: Joe Biden called out Donald Trump for lying to the American people about knowing the true severity of the coronavirus health threat – “He knew how deadly it was,” said Biden. “It was much more deadly than the flu. He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months. He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was. And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job on purpose! It was a life and death betrayal on the American people.”

News Round-Up: July 1, 2020

Craig Ramsay (photo: Nathan Cox)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Craig Ramsay (above) celebrates Canada Day in his own inimitable style as shot by Palm Springs photographer Nathan Cox.

Pink News: A gay club in Atlanta has finally decided to close its doors until further notice, after a club night last weekend led to several partygoers contracting coronavirus. A video of the party at popular gay club Heretic in Atlanta, Georgia, was circulated on social media, showing hundreds of men dancing close together without masks. The number of new cases of COVID-19 has skyrocketed in Georgia in recent weeks.

NYC Pride: ICYMI, check out the soulful performance by trans artist/producer D. Smith for NYC Pride Month. The continually creative Smith, who among other recent achievements includes writing and producing Billy Porter’s #1 Billboard Club track, “Love Yourself,” picked up the mic to soothe virtual viewers with her richly-layered take on “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” If you like, click here to check out her latest music video, “That’s Why I Love You.”

Broadway: Want to watch a Broadway legend dazzle on stage for an incredible cause? On July 10, theater fans will be able to watch Bernadette Peters in a never-before-seen-online concert to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The 2009 performance, Bernadette Peters: A Special Concert. will be free to stream here at 8pm ET. Donations are encouraged but not required for viewing.

CBS News: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that indoor dining won’t be allowed to resume when New York City reaches Phase 3 of reopening next week. It will be delayed “until the facts change and it is prudent to open,” he said.

The Independent: After more than 48K new cases of coronavirus in the US were announced on Tuesday (the highest number since the pandemic began), Donald Trump repeated his belief that the coronavirus is going to “just disappear.” “I think we’re gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to, sort of, just disappear — I hope,” Mr. Trump told Fox Business on Wednesday.

El Paso Gay Bar Owner Attends Trump Rally

(image via Instagram)

An owner of a gay bar in El Paso, Texas, has come under fire for attending Donald Trump’s recent rally in his city.

Johnny Alcantar, one of five owners of The Old Plantation (known as the OP), not only took in the event but posted photos on his Instagram with other Trump supporters next to a Trump banner.

The post has since been deleted from Alcantar’s Instagram but not before being screen captured.

Alcantar has since disabled commenting on the post, but left the photo up.

A local drag queen and DJ, Puto Kahlo, noticed the post and shared it via social media saying he was “disgusted.”

In his Facebook post, Kahlo wrote, “Y’all, straight people are the first to try to profit off of our community and our art but won’t hesitate to support a man who has called trans people burdens, hasn’t done shit for community but try to erase us, degraded women, and perpetuated racist and xenophobic rhetoric.”

The post has been shared over 700 times at this writing.

Owner and CEO of the Old Plantation, Mark Adkins, apologized in a statement saying,”The Old Plantation Nightclub does NOT support Trump’s views or opinions especially towards our LGBTQ community.”

Adkins went on to say Alcantar is a minority stakeholder in the club and does not “represent The Old Plantation, its ownership or our community in any way.”

Additionally, the statement noted Alcantar had been spoken to about the Instagram post and “expressed his regret for posting about the rally on social media and his fundamental lack of knowledge about the ways in which Trump’s administration is working to stifle the rights of the LGBTQ community, as well as the rights of others in the greater El Paso community.”

The CEO closed his message saying, “It’s very easy to forget how to express and show love and respect when politicians, including our own president, are spreading division through their words and policies. We have faith, however, that love will always win.”

Local news station KTSM spoke with Alcantar who said he only attended the rally to see a sitting president.

“It was never my intention to hurt anyone,” Alcantar told KTSM. “I didn’t know the stuff that Trump was passing.”

“I don’t agree with everything that Donald Trump says,” he added, “But I have to support our President because he’s our current president; I don’t have any other choice.”

Alcantar also mentioned he “has gay friends and family members.”

Now, there’s a tired old trope…

Some members of the El Paso LGBTQ community are calling for a boycott of the club, which recently reopened after years of being shuttered.

What do you think, readers?

Is it plausible a straight man who invested in a gay bar in Texas had no inkling of Donald Trump’s attacks on the LGBTQ community?

Should the local community hold the bar responsible for a “minority stakeholder” attending a Trump rally?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Melissa McCarthy On Her First Visit To A Gay Bar

Speaking to PrideSource, actress Melissa McCarthy was asked about her experience the first time she stepped into a gay bar after growing up in rural Illinois:

“I thought, “Where has this been all my life?” That’s the honest to god truth.

“There was a feeling of anything goes, you’re OK, no one’s gonna find you odd. What you’re wearing, who cares! What you’re doing, dancing all night! There just was a celebration innately built in.

“It’s like, I didn’t go there to be somber, I went because I was like, there’s such a feeling of unity and I never felt… I just… I really did, I had such a strong reaction to it.

“It’s like, I think, certainly, from many of my friends I was with as they came out and struggled with their families or had delightfully surprising responses from their family, to have a place to go where they were just fully accepted, a lot of joy went with that.

“So I kind of sat in the backdrop of that and enjoyed it.”

McCarthy plays lesbian “Lee Israel” in her latest film, poignant Oscar-worthy dramedy “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” currently in select theaters.

Nashville Gay Bars Receive Ominous Hate Mail With Images Of Donald Trump & An Assault Rifle

NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee, reports that a disturbing flyer with an image of a gun has been sent to at least several gay bars in the city.
(screen capture via NewsChannel 5)

NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee, reports that a disturbing flyer with an image of a gun has been sent to at least several gay bars in the city.

Melvin Brown, owner of the bar Stirrup, told the local news channel he received the flyer in his mail last Thursday.

The flyer depicts the letters “LGBT” but instead of representing ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender,’ above each letter are images of the Statue of Liberty, a gun, a beer bottle and Donald Trump.

On the back of the flyer was a stamp of the word MAGA, the common Trump campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again,’ and a return address that led reporters to a vacant lot in downtown Nashville.

“When you put a picture of an assault riffle on there, which was used in the Pulse shooting, and you mail it to every LGBT bar in Nashville – that is coming from a hateful place,” said Brown. “To say that it’s disturbing is an understatement.”

The flyer, which some are calling ’targeted hate mail,’ didn’t mention or appear to be associated with any particular political campaign, but Brown says he believes it was inspired by the midterm elections.

“The midterms are right around the corner and I think somebody is trying to incite a reaction,” Brown added.

At least four gay bars in the Nashville area have reported receiving the flyer.

Watch the report from NewsChannel 5 below.

Remembering The 49 Lost In The Pulse Nightclub Shooting

In the two years since the deadly Pulse Nightclub shooting massacre, there have been a LOT of prayers and thoughts sent out for those affected by gun violence.

Unfortunately, that’s close to all we’ve gotten.

In a country that polls show support commonsense gun legislation (background checks, no guns for those on the ‘no-fly’ list) to the tune of almost 90% politicians are still afraid of the 3 million-member National Rifle Association.

Two years ago today, 49 innocent people lost their lives in what was, at the time, the deadliest shooting massacre in the history of the country. Additionally, 53 more were injured.

On that night, the gay nightclub, one of our safe spaces, became a war zone and an emergency room.

Since the Pulse shooting, there have been more mass shootings and more unnecessary deaths.

And still we wait.

From DNC chairman Tom Perez:

“Two years ago, our nation witnessed one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. It was an attack on the LGBTQ community, the Latinx community, and LGBTQ people of color everywhere. It was an attack on the American people and the values of diversity and equality that all of us should cherish. And it was an all too common reminder that our nation is in dire need of common sense gun reforms.

“On this anniversary, let us honor the lives lost that night by recommitting ourselves to the fight for a world where no one faces discrimination, where no life is taken by hatred or bigotry, where everyone is treated with respect and dignity – no matter who they are or who they love. As we celebrate Pride Month, we recognize that the fight for LGBTQ equality is far from over, and the Democratic Party will continue to stand with LGBTQ communities in America and around the world who are fighting for the rights they deserve.”

From Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin:

“Every day, we carry forward the memories of the 49 people whose lives were cruelly and tragically taken at Pulse.”

“As our nation marks two years since this tragedy, we must never lose sight of the unfulfilled hopes, the families shattered and the love lost in this preventable act of mass murder. The thousands more killed by gun violence since Pulse underscores the glaring failure of our elected officials to take common sense steps to combat the scourge of gun violence that plagues our nation.

“We remain as resolved as ever to honor those taken with action, and to work with our coalition partners to ensure that lifesaving steps are finally taken so that all of us may live safe from violence.”

We remember:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old

Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old