Podcast: Pride Month 2021, Bakery Hit By Homophobia, The Latest From Eli Lieb

In this episode: the NFL's homophobic email scandal, Pete Buttigieg claps back, and new music from out singer/songwriter Michael Lazar.

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 headlines:

• For the first time in five years, the LGBTQ community not only received full-throated support from the man in the Oval Office, but President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris all issued video greetings to LGBTQ Americans for Pride Month

• Congress votes to make Pulse Nightclub a national memorial

• Gay men in the UK will have an easier time donating blood

• A bakery in Texas experienced hideous homophobia for saying ‘Happy Pride’ and then the internet stepped in

• Eli Lieb drops the perfect anthem for Pride Month ‘Boys Who Like Boys’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Japan’s Ruling Party Accused Of Violating Olympic Charter Over LGBTQ Rights

Logo for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

Logo for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

The ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan’s Parliament is opposing a bill that would protect the rights of LGBTQ athletes at the upcoming Olympic Games saying that “LGBT goes against the preservation of the human race.”

From The Guardian:

Japan’s ruling party has been accused of violating the Olympic charter after it failed to approve a bill to protect the rights of the LGBT community, during discussions marred by homophobic outbursts from conservative MPs.

Closed meetings held this month to discuss a bill, proposed by opposition parties, stating that discrimination against LGBT people “must not be tolerated” ended without agreement after some Liberal Democratic party (LDP) MPs said the rights of sexual minorities had “gone too far.”

A decision on a rival LDP proposal that calls on the government to “promote understanding” of LGBT people was postponed, according to Japanese media accounts of the meetings.

A few weeks ago, an adviser to the LDP’s committee to study sexual orientation and gender identity gave a speech titled, “The LGBT issue is getting out of control.”

Following the lack of an approved bill, human rights advocates say Japan deserves a “gold medal for homophobia.”

Japan is the only G7 nation that does not fully recognize same-sex partnerships or marriages.

Michael Cimino Received Homophobic Messages Over ‘Love, Victor’

Michael Cimino in 'Love, Victor'
Michael Cimino in 'Love, Victor'
Michael Cimino in ‘Love, Victor’ (promo photo)

Michael Cimino, star of the Hulu series Love, Victor, says he’s been on the receiving end of homophobic messages since taking on the role of a gay-questioning high school student.

In a video chat with Attitude Magazine, Cimino (who identifies as straight) was asked about viewers who might struggle to separate actors from their characters and whether he’d experienced any homophobia since the launch of the series.

Cimino acknowledged he had.

“To be honest, I actually have gotten homophobic messages. What’s the craziest part is, it’s like sometimes, it’s from people I know, which is even crazier.

“I think it just kind of shows where the world’s at, and possibly how much this show is actually needed. I feel like it starts a conversation, and I think that’s the most important thing. Especially in a time like the world is right now, we need more conversations started.”

Michael Cimino (screen capture via Attitude)

Asked how he responded to the homophobic remarks, the 21-year-old explained he took the moment as an opportunity to educate.

“As far as when it was people I know, I would either kind of lean into it, and be like, ‘OK, and what?’ or I would try to enlighten them as much as I possibly could.”

“To be honest, there are so many undertones of understated homophobia in the world. And a lot of people have these little microaggressions that they don’t realize are actually homophobic. And when they do stuff like that, they’re sending homophobic messages.”

“I feel like the best thing to do is try to educate them or realize that they’re ignorant and you can’t really say anything that’s going to help them, unfortunately.”

While Cimino got some pushback from playing the role of “Victor,” a lot of the world celebrated the series.

When Love, Victor debuted last June, it became the streaming platform’s number one drama and was quickly renewed for a second season.

Love, Victor premieres in the UK on February 23 on the Disney+ platform Star.

Billy Porter’s Message To America On Racism, Homophobia & Change

Billy Porter has a ‘Message to America’

Tony/Grammy/Emmy Award-winner Billy Porter took to Instagram this week to share his candid, and sometimes blistering, “Message to America.”

Porter,  who doesn’t demure from expressing his opinions, begins by calling out white Americans who continue to deny systemic racism in the United States.

The Pose star then shifts his attention to the African-American community noting the violence committed by black men against LGBTQ people, especially transgender women of color.

“My basic human rights have been up for legislation every single day that I have had breath in my body from all sides,” says Porter.  “And by that, I mean that the black community’s relationship with the LGBTQ+ community is appalling at best and eerily similar to that of white supremacists versus black folk.”

“Hear me, black people, and hear me well – I’m calling you out right here and right now,” he continued. “You cannot expect our demands of equality to be met with any real legislative policy and change when y’all turn around and inflict the same kind of hate and oppression on us. The tragic reality here is that black trans, as well as gender non-conforming, women and men are being killed in the United States by cis black men to such a degree that it is nearly the worst emergency for trans women on the planet.”

“The murders of black trans women by black men since 2016 have helped drive the most violent period for LGBTQ+ people on record,” he added. “Just this past week, during the riots, during the peaceful protests, Iyonna Dior was brutally beaten by a gang of black men while trying to peacefully protests for our rights.”

“LGBTQ+ black folks are black people, too! Our lives matter, too! So this is my response to those of y’all who don’t understand that: F*ck you! And, yes, I am cussing. It’s time for cussing.”

Speaking to “all my homophobic and transphobic brothers and sisters,” Porter was clear and direct in his message: “Get your f*cking houses in order.”

Porter’s remarks refer to a transwoman, Iyonna Dior, who was beaten by a group of more than 20 men by a group of onlookers. She managed to escape, though not before sustaining heavy bruising and swelling.

The actor also addressed the upcoming presidential election in no uncertain terms: “We have two clear choices in November: vote this motherf*cker and all his cronies out of office, reset, and begin the American experiment again at zero, or not.”

“In November, this election is the most important that we’ve ever seen in our lifetime. Democracy is on the ballot. White supremacy is on the ballot. Homophobia, women’s rights, trans rights, Muslim rights, all human rights all on the ballot this November, and I ask you America: will we be better than this? I guess we’ll know the answer come November.”

“It’s time for change, and this time, change for good,” said Porter in closing.

“Vote, vote, vote, vote,” he says, his passionate voice rising with emotion. “God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.”

 

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✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 #blacklivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter

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Learning To Check In, Call Out Our Own Subtle Racism

Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey (screen capture)

 

With so much turmoil in the nation right now, many people are asking “How can I help? How can I be part of the solution?”

But the social terrain can be scary. Even folks who consider themselves ‘good guys’  – on the side of equal rights and justice – question are they ‘doing it right?’

On Tuesday this week, one trend was to take part in ‘Blackout Tuesday’ in order to show you stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But some folks got backlash here and there with comments saying, “Don’t do it like that – resist like THIS.”

Even with the best of intentions, folks who want to support the movement are confused.

As a Flashback Friday post, we wanted to share this video from psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey.

Back in 2015, he shared how an awkward moment in his own life helped him learn to ‘check himself’ even when he knew in his head he was an ally.

“Growing up gay and feeling like an outlier for most of my life easily lends itself to greater empathy for others who’ve felt the same,” wrote Dempsey when he first shared the video in 2015. “My experience also lends itself to the illusion that I couldn’t possibly continue discriminating against others, including people of color. Watch my latest video on how I own racism in an effort to heal.”

“As a gay man, I have this real value set in wanting to eradicate discrimination across the board,” says Dempsey in the video. “The only way that I know that I can really do that most effectively is by being able to check in with myself and seeing what’s going on here first.”

As an example, Dempsey shares how many gay men grow up exposed to homophobic beliefs and how they can become a part of our subconscious. Those thoughts can color how we see ourselves and the LGBTQ community as a whole. But when we’re aware that it’s there, we can call it out.

Being raised in a society where racist beliefs do exist, we are exposed to them whether we want to be or not. Dempsey says when we check in with ourselves about even the most subtle aspects of racism, then we can call it out and own it.

Dempsey references the 2015 film Stonewall which created a fictional white male character as a principal in the storytelling when history knows the Stonewall protests were led by the trans community and gay people of color. As many pointed out at the time, that was subtle racism in overshadowing the historical figures with a white, gay man.

He also mentions the issue of fetishizing the idea of having sex with ‘dominate’ black men, another form of racism.

Before we get to the video clip, we know today is not five years ago. And life at this moment in time is sensitive in regard to each and every word people utter when speaking about race relations.

In sharing this, I ask that you watch the video in its entirety to get to Dempsey’s point.

I reached out to Dempsey to see if he had any followup to his 2015 commentary. He sent this update:

“This message I put out there 5 years ago is a perfect example of how acknowledging White privilege is inherently imperfect and wrought with blind spots for us to call out and change. The most cringe-worthy moment as I rewatch now is when I suggest it’s OK to have racial preferences for dating and sex because clearly, that’s some racist bullshit tbh. I know better. Now I can do better. And this is how I stand for BIPOC and Black Lives Matter.”

One more thing: please do not have a knee-jerk reaction to the title of Dempsey’s video. The title makes a point, so watch the video to get to ‘the point.’

#BlackLivesMatter

News Round-Up: May 1, 2020

DJ/producer David Nazar (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: DJ/producer David Nazar (above) sends regards from his “balcony vacation” in Miami, Florida. Follow him on Instagram here.

Human Rights Campaign: May is officially recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, and now more than ever, it’s crucial to shine a light on mental health in the LGBTQ community. Click the link for information about how LGBTQ people are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts compared to their straight and cisgender peers.

Broadway Bares: The 30th-anniversary performance of the annual striptease spectacular, featuring the sexist dancers on Broadway, is being postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the June spectacle has been postponed, plans are in the works to still celebrate Broadway Bares online this summer. Check out this clip from last year’s “Game Night” edition.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: An internal poll conducted for the Georgia House GOP Caucus held bad news for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the former financial executive who dumped millions in stocks after receiving coronavirus briefings in January. Loeffler only received 11% support in the survey regarding her upcoming race this fall, and essentially tied with two Democratic candidates. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins leads the field with 29% of the vote and outpaces Loeffler among Republicans by a 62-18 margin.

KIT212: Check out Kenneth’s weekly look at what’s making news in LGBTQ magazines like South Florida’s Hot Spots! (below).

Gay Star News: Magistrates in Israel have ruled the ironically named Rainbow Color print shop must compensate an LGBT+ association after it refused to print posters for the Ben Gurion University LGBT group three years ago. The Beersheba Magistrates Court said the duty to serve customers comes before religious beliefs.

Instagram: In the middle of Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ themed post on Thursday, the pop-star revealed she’d “taken a test” and found out she “had the antibodies.” Madge didn’t elaborate as to when she was tested.

She added, “So tomorrow, I’m just going to go for a long drive in a car, and I’m going to roll down the window, and I’m going to breathe in, I’m going to breathe in the COVID-19 air. Yup. I hope the sun is shining.” Note – scientists have not determined if having the coronavirus makes one immune going forward.

 

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#staysafe #staysane

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News Round-Up: April 28, 2020

Gus Kenworthy and Birdie (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

New York Times: National Institutes of Health scientists in Montana last month inoculated six rhesus macaque monkeys (considered the closest equivalent to humans) with single doses of a vaccine developed by the Oxford University’s Jenner Institute. The animals were then exposed to heavy quantities of the virus that is causing the pandemic — exposure that had consistently sickened other monkeys in the lab. But more than 28 days later all six were healthy.

InstaHunks: I spent about a year studying the guitar when I was younger, and I was terrible. Woofy Gus Kenworthy (top) has really learned a lot in just two months. Color me impresssed. But it looks like his best fur pal Birdie isn’t feeling it. Watch below.

 

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I’ve spent the past two months trying to learn the guitar and my dog is… honestly not very impressed.

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Reuters: A study of more than 1400 LGBT+ women – one of the largest of its kind – found 37% of lesbian mothers in the UK suffered discrimination from other parents, while the same number’s children were victimized.

Bloomberg News: Donald Trump indicated today he’s considering withholding COVID-19 financial assistance from blue states unless they agree to do away with sanctuary cities. Note: states like California and New York, which have sanctuary cities, already send much more to the federal government than they receive.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Two people in Georgia drank liquid cleaning products over the weekend in misguided attempts to ward off COVID-19, according to the Georgia Poison Center. Both men had histories of psychiatric problems and are expected to recover.

The Gaily Grind: ABC News correspondent Will Reeve, the son of the late “Superman” actor Christopher Reeve, accidentally revealed to the nation that he wasn’t wearing any pants while doing a live report on “Good Morning America” from his home.

The 27-year-old’s camera was angled down and revealed that the correspondent was not wearing any pants as he sat on a stool immediately generating reactions on social media after the moment on “Good Morning America” went viral.

Nigeria: Men Dragged From Private Home, Stripped & Beaten For Consensual Sex

(image via Pexels)

A police officer in Nigeria was attacked, stripped naked, and beaten by a group of young vigilantes for having consensual sex with another man in private.

Constable Chibuike Ukazu, who is reportedly married,  and another man only identified as Yellow, were confronted in a private residence in Orlu, Imo, last Tuesday.

An unnamed source told The Nation the two men were “caught red-handed having anal sex.”

“Immediately we entered the house, the police officer took down his trousers and pulled off his shirts, bend over and the yellow guy, started having annal sex with him,” said another man who is a part of the vigilante group. “Immediately our men broke in and arrested them and took them down to the community hall.”

A police spokesman, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the incident saying the youths “pounced” on the men and “beat them to stupor” before taking them to the palace of the community leader. It was there that police took the men into custody as they were being jeered by the vigilantes for “practicing sodomy.”

The spokesman also seemed to express more concern that the vigilantes had roughed up a fellow police officer more than the assault itself.

“The command, therefore, wishes to warn members of the public to desist from taking laws into their hand by resorting to self-help especially on infractions by the members of the Police or other security agencies, all are advised to report all grievances to the nearest Police station for prompt and decisive action,” said Ikeokwu. “However, investigation into the matter has commenced with a view to unravel what actually transpired and if found culpable will face the wrath of the law.”

In a country with some of the most virulently anti-LGBTQ laws in the world, Ukazu and his partner face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

When the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed into law in 2014, polling showed 92% of Nigerians supported the legislation. The act not only bans gay marriage but also criminalizes homosexual clubs, associations, and organizations.

Another poll by Pew Research showed 98% of Nigerians didn’t feel homosexuality should be accepted by society. That is the highest percentage of disapproval of LGBTQ people recorded by Pew Research.

Podcast: LGBTQ Activist Phyllis Lyon, Grindr Used To Set Up False Arrests, Homophobic Florida Police Chief

In this episode: the NFL's homophobic email scandal, Pete Buttigieg claps back, and new music from out singer/songwriter Michael Lazar.

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:

• A Florida police chief is on administrative leave after telling his officers a sheriff’s deputy died from coronavirus because he was gay

• Georgia police use Grindr to setup allegedly false drug arrests

• Michigan teen’s mother files lawsuit after her son suffered a concussion from anti-gay bullying at school

• Ireland’s openly gay Prime Minister is returning to medicine to help in the COVID-19 crisis

• Trailblazing lesbian activist Phyllis Lyon died this past week at the age of 95

• And leftover fabric from the AIDS quilt is being used to save lives during the COVID-19 threat

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

Student Doctor Sues Over Anti-Gay Harassment During NYC Residency

A doctor in New York City has filed a lawsuit alleging he was repeatedly the target of homophobic comments during his first-year residency at The Brooklyn Hospital Center.

The New York Post reports Dr. Chad Jensen, a surgical resident, says among the vulgar jokes made at his expense was a supervisor referring to him as a member of the ATM or ‘a** to mouth crew.’

In his lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Jensen alleges the surgical residency program director, Dr. Armand Asarian, and Dr. Sandeep Sirsi, the associate director, “regularly made hateful, anti-gay comments about their gay patients and unscientific judgments that these patients’ own ‘lifestyle’ caused their illnesses.”

The 32-year-old physician, who left the residency program before his year was up, told the Post he was surprised to experience ‘that kind of discrimination’ in New York City.

Jensen moved to New York City from California in June 2017 to take the one-year residency. It was during that time he came out as gay.

“It just reinforced all of those fears, essentially putting me back into those 29 years that I was living in fear, feeling like I couldn’t be myself,” Jensen told the Post.

According to the lawsuit, the Brooklyn Hospital Center did determine after Jensen’s departure that he “had been harassed because of his sexual orientation.” Asarian was reportedly removed as director of the surgical residency program and Sirsi was forced to resign.

Jensen is now a resident in the Bronx at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.

He tells the Post he brought the lawsuit because he felt “like he had no voice.”

“It made me think of all the other people in this country that are also gay and feel like they have nowhere to go and it leads them down dark paths,” Jensen explained to the Post. “So me coming forward, I wanted to let people know that they’re not alone.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and asks for the hospital to institute anti-bias training.

(source: NY Post – stock photo via Depositphotos)