• New York Times: Sha’Carri Richardson, the American sprinter who lost her spot in the women’s 100 meters at the Olympics because she used marijuana days before her qualifying race, will miss the Tokyo Games entirely after coaches decided not to put her on a relay team, American track officials announced Tuesday.
• The Advocate: HRC president Alphonso David wants folks to know his organization’s Corporate Equality Index is not a defense for corporate donations to anti-equality politicians.
• Gr8erdays: The Hollywood nostalgia website celebrates Burt Ward, star of the iconic 1960s TV series “Batman,” as he turns 76 today.
• Edge Media: Notoriously homophobic rugby player Israel Folau, who was embroiled in controversy after an anti-gay post on social media, has returned to rugby union after agreeing to sign for NTT Communications Shining Arcs.
• Reuters: Britney Spears’ longtime manager Larry Rudolph has resigned saying the pop star plans to retire and no longer needs his services. Spears hasn’t performed in public since October 2018.
• OUT: In a June 24 release, the FDA has issued a warning to consumers urging them to stop purchasing nitrite ‘poppers’ after an observed increase in reported death and hospitalizations linked to the recreational substance.
FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use nitrite “poppers” which can result in serious adverse health effects, including death. These products are marketed as nail polish removers but are being ingested or inhaled for recreational use. https://t.co/5Qkd0wleucpic.twitter.com/9PgY3KTA02
In response, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued the following statement:
“This June, the Trump-Pence administration has yet again failed to recognize Pride Month to honor the history of the LGBTQ community and acknowledge the ongoing movement toward full equality,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “In a global pandemic and national crisis highlighting ongoing racial violence and police brutality across the country — violence that particularly targets Black lives — Trump and his administration have stoked division, hate, and anger with continued attacks on LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, and other vulnerable communities.
“The first pride started with protest. LGBTQ people — led in large part by transgender women of color — resisted police brutality and violence at Stonewall, the Black Cat, and Compton’s Cafeteria, among others. In this moment, we must unite like never before and take action, combat racism in all its forms and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality.”
In order to help the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride Month in this moment, HRC is today officially launching its #PrideInside toolkit, a series of resources to help HRC members, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride. The toolkit can be found at HRC.org/pride.
As we celebrate #PrideMonth, let us remember that Pride started as a protest. In this moment, we must take action to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality. pic.twitter.com/5bO6b5iT8J
• HRC: On the 8th anniversary of former Vice President Joe Biden’s endorsement of marriage equality, the Human Rights Campaign announced its endorsement of Biden for President. HRC’s Board of Directors, comprised of 26 community leaders from across the nation, unanimously and enthusiastically voted to endorse Biden. “Vice President Joe Biden is the leader our community and our country need at this moment,” said HRC President Alphonso David.
• NY Times: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday issued final rules for how public and private schools must address allegations of sexual misconduct locking in protections for accused students and faculty. The new regulations narrow the definition of sexual harassment and require colleges to hold live hearings during which alleged victims and accused perpetrators can be cross-examined to challenge their credibility.
• Out: On Sunday, May 31 Celebrity Family Feud is set to host the casts of the old and new iterations of Queer Eye (above) in a face-off for charity. The full, original cast will play for The Trevor Project and the new squad (with Karamo Brown swapped out for a featured guest from season 4) will compete for GLSEN.
• Daily Herald: Two Utah County businesses told staff to not follow quarantine guidelines and required staff who had tested positive to report to work resulting in 68 positive cases.
• Variety: For the past seven decades, the show has always gone on for the Tony Awards, which honor the best Broadway performances and productions. But with the 74th edition being postponed from its planned June 7 date due to the coronavirus, there’s a real chance that the ceremony will be scrapped altogether this year.
• CBS News: At an event marking National Nurses Day at the White House, Donald Trump contradicted Sophia Thomas, the president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners who works at a community health center in New Orleans, who said the availability of personal protective equipment has been “sporadic.”
• 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.
• Chippendales: MTV’s “The Challenge” hottest dynamic duo and reality star heartthrobs, Joss Mooney and Rogan O’Connor (aka JOGAN) will join the world-famous Chippendales as celebrity guest hosts for four shows only, January 24 and 25 (8:30 pm and 10:30 pm) at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
• New York Times: The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is underway, and it’s pretty much what I expected. Check-in with the New York Times for the lowdown on today’s developments including the Senate Republicans blocking subpoenas for new evidence.
• OUT: Katie Sowers, who is an assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers, will make history when she steps on the field. Having been with the 49ers for just two seasons, she will become the first female, and the first openly LGBTQ+ assistant coach to work at the event
• The Gaily Grind: Vice President Mike Pence called on all Americans to remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “in these divided times” while attending a church where an anti-LGBTQ bishop claimed that homosexuality is caused by “a demonic spirit” and is wrong because of “plumbing.”
• Davey Wavey: It seems porn star Diego Sans finds kissing even more intimate than having sex (I can understand that) and so sex-positive DW offers some tips on the art and intimacy of kissing. Note – NSFW language.
• HRC: The Human Rights Campaign has released its 2020 Corporate Equality Index, an annual report that measures how effectively America’s leading companies include and protect their LGBTQ employees and this year’s results show a record-high 686 businesses and law firms earned a perfect 100 on HRC’s scoring system.
• Self-Improvement: Singer Calum Scott shared pics of his progress to get fit in 2020 and it’s pretty impressive. Good on him – slow and steady wins the race.
International pop star and actor Ricky Martin announced last night that he and husband Jwan Yosef are ‘pregnant’ expecting their fourth child.
The announcement came as Martin was honored at the Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner in Washington, D.C.
“My family is here,” said Martin from the stage. “Jwan, I don’t see you but my husband Jwan, I love you.”
“My beautiful twins Matteo and Valentino – I love you with all my heart, you’re my strength,” he continued as he pointed to his two 10-year-old sons. “You inspire me every day, you motivate me to keep doing what I’m doing and you guys are amazing. I love you.”
After explaining that his youngest, Lucia, who was born at the end of last year, was home with grandma, Martin paused before sharing, “And by the way, I have to announce that we are pregnant. We are waiting!”
With a sheepish grin, the ‘Come With Me’ singer added, “I love big families.’
Here’s Ricky’s full speech at the HRC National Dinner:
As actress Ana Ortiz presented Martin with the 2019 Visibility Award, she noted “his bold voice that changes the world.”
That was referencing, in part, Martin’s pilgrimage to Puerto Rico earlier this year during great political upheaval. Standing with protestors for days, Martin led the charge demanding the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosello Nevares.
After a week of unprecedented protests, Rosello resigned.
Accepting the honor, Martin dedicated the honor to “the refugees, to members of the LGBT community that are…leaving their countries because they feel threatened.”
“This award is for [the asylum seekers],” he continued. “I will make sure that I lend my voice for them: Ladies and gentlemen, the only thing I’m asking for is to go out and vote.”
“This award is for [the asylum seekers]. I will make sure that I lend my voice for them: Ladies and gentlemen, the only thing I’m asking for is to go out and vote.” – @ricky_martin#HRCNationalDinner#WeAreHRC
• Prince William says it would be “absolutely fine” if one of his children came out as gay.
• Deadline reports that Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, along with James Corden, Andrew Rannells, and Keegan-Michael Key, have all been tapped by Ryan Murphy for the Netflix adaptation of the LGBTQ-themed Broadway musical, The Prom.
• As WorldPride gets underway in New York City today, just a reminder of how a leader CAN relate to his LGBTQ constituents. Folks, I give you Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Toronto’s Pride event this past weekend.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg addresses 14th annual Las Vegas HRC gala
Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivered the keynote address last night at the annual gala Human Rights Campaign dinner in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 37-year-old from South Bend, Indiana, used the speech to address what some have viewed as a possible vulnerability as he competes for the Democratic nomination for president, and that’s being a white male from the Midwest when many in his party feel a woman or person of color would best represent today’s Democratic Party.
Buttigieg spoke of his own experiences as a gay man in a predominantly straight society. But he also pushed back on the idea that people of different marginalized groups share in “equivalencies” in how they have experienced discrimination.
“I may be part of the LGBTQ community, but being a gay man doesn’t even tell me what it’s like to be a trans woman of color in that same community, let alone an undocumented mother of four or a disabled veteran or a displaced autoworker,” he told the audience assembled at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.
Mayor Pete warned of a “crisis of belonging in this country,” saying that “so-called identity politics” that underscore how one person hasn’t walked in another’s shoes only exacerbates our differences.
“Something that is true,” acknowledged the Harvard and Oxford grad. “But, it doesn’t get us very far.”
The mayor noted that identity politics often serve to divide folks who have more in common than less.
“The more you know about exclusion, the more you think about belonging”
Addressing “divisive lines of thinking” present in today’s American politics, Buttigieg spoke of being told “to choose between supporting an auto worker and a trans woman of color, without stopping to think about the fact that sometimes the auto worker is a trans woman of color, and she definitely needs all the security she can get.”
“The wall I worry about most isn’t the president’s fantasy wall on the Mexican border that will never get built anyway,” he said, referencing Donald Trump’s infamous border wall. “What I worry about are the very real walls being put up between us as we get divided and carved up.”
“And what every gay person has in common with every excluded person of every kind is knowing what it’s like to see a wall,” he continued. “I am ready to use my story, my energy, my alliances, and yes, my privilege, to throw myself into tearing down those walls.”
“Each of us has a story that can either separate us, or connect us to those around us,” he added. “Yes, I am gay, and I am the son of an immigrant, and an Army brat, and I’m a husband, and I am a musician, and I’m an Episcopalian. And I’m a Democrat.”
Along the way, the mayor also touched on a wide range of progressive policy positions, including cybersecurity, gerrymandering, LGBTQ rights, reproductive health, labor unions, climate change, and big money in politics.
“We can’t let this election be about the president,” he said. “Because if Americans see us spend all our time talking about him, they’ll be left with the question: ‘Who is talking about us?’”
Buttigieg urged Democrats to start talking not only about their policies, but the values behind those policies.
“It’s time for us to get comfortable once again talking about values … like freedom,” he said. “We have allowed conservatives to monopolize the language of freedom. But we know that freedom isn’t just about freedom from, it’s about freedom to. Not just freedom from regulation, but freedom to live a life of your choosing.”
The HRC appearance capped a west coast campaign swing that included fund-raisers at the home of Gwyneth Paltrow, and another at The Abbey, a popular West Hollywood gay bar.
Watch Buttigieg’s full speech at the 14th annual Human Rights Campaign dinner in Las Vegas below.
The Human Rights Campaign has announced that Pete Buttigieg, a trailblazer who made history in launching his presidential campaign, will speak at the HRC Las Vegas Dinner on Saturday, May 11.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is changing hearts and minds across America in his trailblazing campaign to be the Democratic Party’s first out nominee for President of the United States,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As a visible and outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality, Mayor Pete has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to our community and we are honored to welcome him to our Las Vegas Dinner.”
Set to take place at Caesars Palace, the 2019 HRC Las Vegas Dinner brings together HRC’s most active members and supporters in the Las Vegas area to raise crucial funds in the fight for LGBTQ equality.
Yes, we’re talking my city. I will, of course, be attending.
Chasten Buttigieg, husband to Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, made a splash last night speaking at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner in Houston, Texas.
“So, I’ve had a busy couple months,” began Buttigieg. “Never underestimate what can happen when you agree to go on a date with a cute guy from South Bend, Indiana.”
“I now live in a world where people take photos of me in the deodorant aisle at the grocery store,” he continued. “But, it is not lost on me that I was able to marry the man I love by the grace of one Supreme Court vote.”
.@Chas10Buttigieg brought down the house in Houston tonight with a powerful call for each of us to fight for an America where every person can live their truth and be their authentic selves. pic.twitter.com/UG2Evf4SRU
Buttigieg also joked about the possible history he could be a part of. “I could be the first man in history to pick out the White House china.”
Buttigieg spoke at one point about the importance of passing the Equality Act, which would add LGBTQ protections to the Constitution under existing civil rights laws, and praised HRC for the work it has done over the years.
“We need someone in the White House who will sign the Equality Act into law,” he added. “And luckily, I know a guy.”
As I’ve reported before, Mayor Pete has quickly gone from what some might have pegged as a “niche candidate” for president to a mainstream contender. And Chasten is part of that whole equation.
Here’s Chasten’s full speech at the HRC dinner in Houston, Texas.