• Washington Blade: Reports indicate an Iranian man’s relatives killed him after they discovered he was gay. The Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network wrote on its website that Ali Fazeli Monfared, 20, was kidnapped in Ahvaz, a city in Iran’s Khuzestan’s province on May 4. His body was found – beheaded – a day after his disappearance.
• Pink News: In a new interview with GQ Style UK, Grammy Award winner Lil Nas X has revealed that he thought God was “tempting” him with his feelings for men, admitting he “never wanted to be gay.”
• Gr8erDays: Mantique of the Day is Gerard Christopher, who is turning 62 today. Christopher was the star of the CBS series “Superboy” (1989-1992) as well as a model, and soap actor last seen on “General Hospital” in 2013.
• USA Today: President Joe Biden announced a partnership with ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to vaccination sites from May 24 to July 4 to help meet his target of 70% of U.S. adults getting at least one vaccine shot by Independence Day.
• Buzzfeed News: A day after expressing his admiration for pop star Harry Styles – including admitting that the singer is ‘hot’ – Disney star Joshua Bassett issued a statement to calm fandom’s waters saying “love is love” and in 2021 “it’s ok to still be figuring out who you are.”
• TIME Magazine: Elliot Page tells TIME he knew he was a boy at 9-years-old and it took the pandemic for him to transition. The X-Men actor came out in December becoming one of the most high-profile trans people in America.
• NowThis News: A father with a transgender daughter shared his experience raising her in a powerful testimony against an anti-trans bill in Missouri. ‘As a parent, the one thing we cannot do — the one thing — is silence our child’s spirit.’
• NPR: Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. The Senate voted 51-40 Monday to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in the Biden administration’s efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.
• Instinct Magazine: The new music video from Imagine Dragons – “Follow You” – is a veritable smorgasbord of shirtless hunks (presented in fantasy-mode) led by front man (and LGBTQ ally) Dan Reynolds.
• USA Today: U.S. intelligence officials say Russia and Iran attempted to influence and sway the 2020 elections by spreading “false or inflated claims about alleged compromises of voting systems to undermine public confidence in election processes and results.” Russia specifically focused on “denigrating” Joe Biden’s candidacy.
• HuffPost: After QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Guam, a U.S. territory a foreign nation in a recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Guam Del. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas paid a visit to Greene’s office accompanied by a group of National Guard members from Guam who delivered a gift basket of cookies. Guam has been a U.S. territory since 1899, and its residents have been American citizens since 1950. Greene later claimed she was being ‘harassed’ by the National Guard.
After QAnon terrorist Marjorie Greene stupidly called Guam a foreign land, Guam Rep. Michael F. Q. San Nicolas and members of the Guam National Guard paid the office she’s in a visit. Guam has been a US territory since 1898, its residents are US citizens.pic.twitter.com/Xj0BRES8HH
The nutjobs who voraciously grasp at all things QAnon are now buying into the wild conspiracy theory that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine turn people gay.
I kid you not…
QAnon is the highly discredited conspiracy theory that claims a secret cabal of Democratic politicians, government officials, and celebrities are Satan worshippers who operate a global child sex-trafficking ring.
Shayan Sardarizadeh, an investigative reporter for the BBC, recently shared on Twitter that two major QAnon channels on Telegram have “endorsed the baseless conspiracy theory that vaccinating children increases the probability of them identifying as homosexual or transgender at a later time.”
Two of the biggest QAnon channels on Telegram, with 180,000 and 56,000 subscribers respectively, have endorsed the baseless conspiracy theory that vaccinating children increases the probablity of them identifying as homosexual or transgender at a later stage. pic.twitter.com/42O62TFTjm
Among those pushing the crazy concept is an Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, who told his Telegram followers, “Don’t go near those who have had the COVID vaccine. They have become homosexuals.”
Another QAnon account shared Tabrizian’s statement in agreement writing, “IMO he’s not far off. This is why we have gender confusion among our youth. Research how they put in hormones and alter DNA with their vaccines. Then pump our kids full of 50+ vaccines from birth!”
The Jerusalem Post reports the radical Tabrizian, who has nearly 210,000 Telegram followers, has a history of derogatory opinions about Western medicine.
Sheina Vojoudi, an Iranian dissident who led the country due to repression, told the Post many clerics in Iran relate perceived shortcomings to sexuality.
“The clerics in Iran are suffering from lack of knowledge and humanity,” said Vojoudi. “Actually, his goal of spreading nonsense is to try to scare people [out] of getting vaccinated, while the leader of the regime and other officials got Pfizer, and they don’t provide it for the people with the excuse that they don’t trust the West.”
LGBTQ activist Peter Tatchell adds that “Tabrizian combines scientific ignorance with a crude appeal to homophobia” in order to demonize both the vaccines and LGBTQ people.
The Post notes that since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Iranian government has executed somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 gay and lesbian people.
Ok, but what happens to the „normal“ homosexual kids, i. e. that would have been born homosexual without the homo-vaccines? Do they become super-homosexuals or are they then turned straight? So many questions, no answers…🤷🏼♂️
Seriously, that‘s just 🤦
It’s true, inasmuch as vaccinating children increases the probability of them identifying as alive at a later stage, and presumably a small percentage of those will also identify as homosexual or transgender (statistically equal to the general population).
• OMG Blog: Whether you’re alone or with company this Valentine’s Day, lockdown means that you might be looking for some queer cinema love stories. So the eye-candy site has rounded up a list of V-day-appropriate gay movies for your pleasure including one of my favorites, God’s Own Country (above). Warning – NSFW/nudity.
• Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out Kenneth’s round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications this week including QSaltLake’s cover story on the public shaming over maskless circuit parties.
• Stonewall Gazette: The veteran LGBTQ blog has returned to the interwebs! Make sure you click over to check out all the content over at Stonewall Gazette.
• NBC News: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced 16 nominees for its 2021 class of inductees. The ultimate inductees for the 36th annual class will be announced in May, with honors set for the fall.
• Jerusalem Post: A UN report released this week on widespread human rights violations in Iran contains “reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children were subjected to electric shocks and the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive medications.” In other words, the dangerous practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’
• The Advocate: Friends Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a silly, fun love story about friendship out this weekend.
• Instinct Magazine: Dolly Parton has announced she will (finally) guest-star on the upcoming season of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie with former 9 to 5 co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.
• BosGuy: It’s Furry Friday over at the Boston-based LGBTQ blog and this week features the oh-so-woofy and talented Craig Ramsay. More at the link.
Politico is reporting the U.S. Senate appears ready to approve a bipartisan resolution that would “limit President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran weeks after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general.”
The War Powers resolution, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), came to the floor Wednesday with a final expected vote Thursday.
While the measure is not likely to garner enough support to overturn a likely Trump veto, its expected passage in the Senate nevertheless illustrates a rare congressional effort to rein in the president’s executive authority.
In addition to all 47 Democrats, the measure so far has support from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jerry Moran of Kansas.
The Democratic senators running for president are expected to be in Washington for the vote on Thursday, ensuring that the 51-vote threshold for the War Powers resolution will be met.
Predictably, the Donald is not happy.
….If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!
During an appearance on CBS’ Meet The Nation, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he “didn’t see” specific evidence that top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was planning attacks on four U.S. embassies, but added that he ‘believed’ such attack would have occurred.
“The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said was he believed,” said Esper.
“I didn’t see one, with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is that I shared the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassy is the most prominent display of American presence in a country.”
Mark Esper on CBS: I didn't see the intelligence about Iran posing an imminent threat to 4 US embassies, but I believe President Trump when he says there was one pic.twitter.com/pAaMVXGAde
But later in the broadcast, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff says there was nothing shown to him in ‘Gang of 8’ intelligence briefings that showed any specific evidence regarding attacks on 4 U.S. embassies.
Trump said on Fox that the intelligence showed Iran plotting against four of our embassies.
As a member of the Gang of 8, that was news to me.
Now, Esper says this was not intelligence, only Trump’s personal belief.
“All is well” was the message from Donald Trump after Iran launched more than 12 ballistic missiles at U.S. military bases in Iraq, an attack seen as retribution for the U.S. strike on military commander Qassim Soleimani.
According to theNew York Times, U.S. and Iraqi officials said there were no deaths from the attacks on bases housing American troops. But Iranian news outlets claimed differently, with some reporting dozens killed.
Speaking to the nation this morning, Trump said no Americans or Iraqis were killed in airstrike at the military base in Iraq and Iran appears to be standing down.
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed responsibility for a missile attack on Al Asad airbase in Iraq, where U.S. troops are stationed, according to Iranian state TV.
Why it matters: It’s the first sign of direct retaliation against the U.S. for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, following three days of mourning. President Trump visited the airbase in December 2018 and said that the U.S. would keep a presence in Iraq in part to “watch over Iran.”
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps: “The brave soldiers of IRGC’s aerospace unit have launched a successful attack with tens of ballistic missiles on Al Assad military base in the name of martyr Gen. Qasem Soleimani. … We warn all allied countries of the U.S. that if attacks are launched from bases in their countries on Iran, they will be a target of military retaliation.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham: “We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”
CNN reports at least 10 rockets hit the airbase.
SPECIAL REPORT: “There are reports tonight that Iran has launched multiple missiles at Iraq’s Al Asad Air Base…This attack is believed to be in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike in Baghdad last week that killed Iran’s top general.” pic.twitter.com/8yAv5vCHgI
The Independent reports that Iran is considering “13 scenarios for revenge” against the US for the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike last week, local media reported the country’s top security official as saying in comments later disavowed by senior officials.
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said “the mission to avenge our slain brother will not be limited to a single operation,” according to the hardline Fars news agency.
“Up until now, 13 scenarios for revenge have been proposed,” he reportedly said. “Even if there is a consensus on the weakest scenario, executing it can turn into a historic nightmare for the Americans.”
Reuters adds that Shamkhani would not reveal any specific details of the plans, he said all US forces in the Middle East are being considered for strikes. “Those who crawl into shelters and close the doors hoping to escape our revenge are unaware that the Islamic Republic will open the door to hell.”
BUT – the Supreme National Security Council later disavowed the comments saying Shamkhani never gave the interview.
The SNSC secretariat said: “A local paper yesterday committed a criminal act and attributed an interview to the SNSC’s secretary which had not taken place. Legal action is underway to understand how and and why the interview was produced and published.”