News Round-Up: May 29, 2021

The Pentagon will host a Pride Month event including an address by the Defense Secretary

Some news items you might have missed:

Washington Blade: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to deliver the keynote address for an upcoming event at the Pentagon recognizing Pride Month. Defense Secretaries attended such events during the Obama years, but the practice halted during the “other guy’s” administration.

Instinct Magazine: When the pandemic shut down many restaurants and bars, several states legalized to-go cocktails. Now, 14 states have made ‘roadies’ legal forever.

Washington Post: Vietnam’s Health Ministry announced Saturday that it had detected a highly transmissible new variant of the coronavirus that has helped fuel a recent wave of infections in the country.

Dallas Voice: Out writer/actor Ryan O’Connell chats with the Texas outlet about his TV series Special. The Netflix show is loosely based on his own life as an out gay man living with cerebral palsy.

HuffPost: Brazil’s homophobic President Jair Bolsonaro is moving closer and closer to being defeated in next year’s election. As he edges towards crisis mode, he is becoming more abusive toward his adversaries.

Hulu: The documentary Changing The Game takes us into the lives of three high school athletes—all at different stages of their athletic seasons, personal lives, and unique paths as transgender teens.

The film centers on Mack Beggs, who made headlines when he became the Texas State Champion in girls wrestling – as a boy – and all he wanted to do was wrestle on the boys team.

Also featured are Sarah, a skier and teen policymaker in New Hampshire, and Andraya, a track star in Connecticut openly competing on the girls track team.

With COVID Deaths Soaring, Brazil’s President Says He’s The Victim

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil (photo: Flickr/Isac Nóbrega – CC license)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to savage the country of Brazil as more than 45,000 died from COVID in the last month.

But President Jair Bolsonaro is casting himself as the victim.

From CNN:

In the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro, intensive care units are 95% full. Fifteen other state capitals are similarly verging on collapse, with ICU occupancy over 90% — a deluge of hospitalizations that has accompanied a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the country.

While Covid-19 cases are beginning to plateau or decline in many countries, Brazil is reporting record daily numbers. Just on Wednesday the country saw its largest daily jump in cases since the start of the pandemic — 90,303 new cases.

“Here it became a war against the President. It seems that people only die of Covid,” Bolsonaro, who wasn’t wearing a mask, told supporters outside the presidential palace on Thursday.

“The hospitals are 90% occupied. But we need to find out how many are from Covid and how many are from other illnesses,” he said.

Perhaps Bolsonaro should consult Brazil’s health ministry which reported 2,724 more people had died from the virus that very day bringing the total to 287,499.

The South American nation is the second worst-affected nation in the world in regard to total number of cases and deaths due to coronavirus, after the U.S.

Brazil: President Tells His Country To Stop “Whining” About COVID

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil (photo: Flickr/Isac NóbregaCC license)

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil told the people of his country they need to stop “fussing and whining” about the surging COVID-19 cases and move on.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly denied the severity of the pandemic even as the country is seeing record cases of coronavirus.

From Reuters:

Brazil has the world’s second-highest death toll over the past year, after the United States. While the U.S. outbreak is ebbing, Brazil is facing its worst phase of the epidemic yet, pushing its hospital system to the brink of collapse.

“Enough fussing and whining. How much longer will the crying go on?” Bolsonaro told a crowd at an event. “How much longer will you stay at home and close everything? No one can stand it anymore. We regret the deaths, again, but we need a solution.”

The Health Ministry registered 75,102 additional cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the most in a single day since July and the second-highest on record. Brazil also recorded 1,699, decreasing slightly from the previous two days of record deaths.

Reuters adds that only 3.5% of Brazil’s population has received even one shot of vaccine for the coronavirus.

Read the full article here.

News Round-Up: July 10, 2020

Snoopy the wonder dog

Some news items you might have missed:

Snoop Watch: Our new 14-year-old beagle rescue, Snoopy, is doing great (above). After having some tumors removed last week, he got some stitches out today. Plus, he had an adventure at PetSmart on the way home, so he’s a bit tuckered out. But awesome 🙂

The Advocate: Have you heard the one about Brazil’s virulently homophobic president who was so resistant to wear a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic he told aides, “Masks are for fa**ots?” Oh, and then he tested positive for COVID-19. #LifeComesAtYouFast

KIT212: Kenneth rounds up the best of local LGBTQ rags including this week’s Music Issue of California-based Gloss Magazine:

Instinct Magazine: Chicago’s LGBTQ neighborhood, currently known as ‘Boystown,’ may get a new genderless moniker if a Change.org petition has its way.

Baltimore Sun: Packed elevators, crowded committee rooms, and legislators sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on the House and Senate floor. All without a mask in sight. Those were common scenes at the Mississippi Capitol in June and now at least 26 lawmakers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the biggest known outbreak in any state legislature in the nation.

Las Vegas: I’m so glad someone posted this video to YouTube so I can share it without linking to this idiot woman’s Facebook.

‘Las Vegas Karen’ and her friend came to my town, Las Vegas, and were gobsmacked to learn they have to wear masks around people. She refused and began Facebook Live streaming her exit where she declares face masks are worse than coronavirus and Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said they are ‘symbolic’ and don’t do anything useful (he didn’t say that).

With security guards trying to escort them out, they protest how their constitutional rights are being violated (they aren’t) and how it’s illegal to require masks in casinos and restaurants (it’s not). Have you ever heard “No shirt, no shoes, no service?” Miss Karen, there’s no constitutional right to gamble in a casino…ok?

News Round-Up: July 8, 2020

Gustavo Naspolini (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Gustavo Naspolini (above) knows how to find his ‘post-beach/sunset light’ on the Rehoboth boardwalk.

Pink News: The Netherlands’ House of Representatives voted 124 to 26 in favor of a measure to amend the country’s constitution to add explicit protections based on sexual orientation. The measure now heads to the 75-seat upper chamber of the country’s Parliament. In 2001, the Netherlands was the first nation in the world to legalize marriage equality.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro, the virulently anti-LGBTQ leader of the South American country who recently tested positive for COVID-19, told aides and visitors to his office that “Wearing masks is a faggot thing.”

WHJL: Sonya Holt, the homophobic Tennessee resident who became a viral sensation after footage of her harassing a Black Lives Matter protester went viral, has lost her job over her hideous behavior. Among other things, video captured Holt telling a protester, “You’re a gay homosexual piece of crap who’s going to burn in hell.”

The Advocate: In a decision that has broad implications for LGBTQ+ workers, the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws do not apply to teachers at church-sponsored schools if instruction in religion is part of their jobs. In recent years, there have been many teachers and other church employees fired for being LGBTQ+, often because they had married a same-sex partner.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out this deft parody of the now-infamous Corey Hannon, who took to the beaches of Fire Island this past weekend believing he had COVID-19. In a follow-up tweet, Chase shared that many of his followers on Twitter didn’t get the ‘parody’ part. LOL

News Round-Up: April 30, 2020

Los Angeles, CA, 1998

Some news items you might have missed:

International Day of Dance: I’m a day late but I have to pay tribute to the gift, the discipline, and the artistry afforded me by my many (many) years of dance training. It all was a gift. The pic above was taken as I warmed up for a performance of CHICAGO the Musical in Los Angeles at the Shubert Theatre in 1998.

Agence France-Presse: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the World Health Organization encourages homosexuality and masturbation among young children, his latest clash with an organization whose advice on social distancing and other anti-coronavirus measures he has repeatedly questioned.

Washington Blade: Rufus Gifford has been named deputy campaign manager for Joseph Biden, the campaign confirmed Wednesday. The former U.S. ambassador to Denmark from 2013 to 2017, Gifford was one of seven openly gay ambassadors who served under the Obama administration. Oh, and he’s a dog man and pretty easy on the eyes, which never hurts 🙂

Former US Ambassador Rufus Giffords (via Instagram)

Media Matters: National Rifle Association board member Anthony Colandro called the novel coronavirus pandemic “bullshit” and encouraged his followers to join him at an anti-social distancing protest in New Jersey insisting the state police “can’t arrest all of us.”

Pink News: A scientist has explained why Mike Pence refused to wear a mask while visiting patients recovering from coronavirus: toxic masculinity. Peter Glick Ph.D., a social sciences professor, says Pence refusing to abide by the hospital’s guidelines comes down to “one critical reason, which is that appearing to play it safe contradicts a core principle of masculinity: show no weakness.” p.s. Pence wore a mask at a GM plant after the backlash.

Fox News: After over one million confirmed cases and over 62,000 deaths of COVID-19 in the U.S., plus 30 million Americans have lost their jobs, Donald Trump’s campaign is set to launch a seven-figure ad blitz on his “spectacular success.” Priorities USA has its own take on Trump’s efforts.

News Round-Up: December 24, 2019

Chris Hemsworth and friend

Some news items you might have missed:

Advocate: Brazil’s homophobic president, Jair Bolsonaro, complained at a press conference Friday about his treatment by the media, telling a reporter, “Your face looks an awful lot like a homosexual’s.”

The Hill: The Morning Consult poll for this week showed former Vice President Joe Biden with 31 percent support for the second week in a row, after rising 2 percentage points since the beginning of December. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ranked as the runner-up with 21 percent support. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg kept third and fourth place with 15 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Instinct: Michael Henry is back with a festive video celebrating the holidays with the dumpster queens. The video features Henry with Pete Zias and Michael Lucid at their iconic meeting spot talking about themes of the season such as giving gifts, sexy encounters, and holiday movies.

CivilBeat: Former Governor of Hawaii,  Neil Abercrombie, has called on U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to resign her seat in Congress saying, “I feel very strongly the 2nd District of Hawaii must be fully represented.” Gabbard is running a long-shot campaign for president and recently moved to New Hampshire, an early Democratic primary state.

Out: A European airline will jettison the greeting “ladies and gentlemen” for the more gender-neutral “welcome everyone” a sign of respect for nonbinary people.

Twitter: In order for Thor star Chris Hemsworth and a quokka, a small marsupial native to Australia, to get to know each other a bit, Hemsworth had to get down to the little guy’s level. Which explains the hunky actor’s body position in the pic at the top. The short video also sparked the interest of the gay community for reasons I really don’t need to explain…LOL

Brazil’s Largest Newspaper Trolls Homophobes, Prints Superhero Kiss On Front Page

Last week, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro called for a ban on superhero comic book because of ‘sexual content’ he deemed unsuitable for minors.

The ‘content’ in question occurs in the three-year-old Marvel publication Avengers: The Children’s Crusade. In one panel of the graphic novel, the characters Wiccan and Hulkling, who are in a committed relationship, engage in a kiss.

Why the 2016 publication suddenly caught the eye of the Mayor Marcello Crivella, a former evangelical pastor, now is unclear. But Crivella called for the comic to be banned from the Riocentro Bienal do Livro, Brazil’s most important literary event.

Rio de Janeiro’s councilman Alexandre Isquierdo also made a statement calling the imaging an “attempt to propagate homosexuality.”

But before authorities could remove the graphic novel, word spread and all copies were almost instantly snapped up by fans.

And now, Brazil’s Supreme Court has blocked the efforts to censor the Marvel publication.

“Attorney General Raquel Dodge challenged the move by Crivella, a former evangelical pastor,” reports ABC News. “She said allowing the mayor to remove books goes against freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas.”

According to the report, a lower court initially supported the mayor, but chief justice José Dias Toffoli “ruled in favor of Dodge on Sunday, blocking the mayor from removing any books.”

And just to put a point on the subject, Brazil’s largest newspaper Folha De S.Paulothrew shade by printing the image on the front page of the publication.

Ha!

It’s perfectly legal to be LGBTQ in Brazil (the country has legalized same-sex marriage), but thanks to statements and actions by virulently anti-LGBTQ president Jair Bolsonaro, the gay community has reasons to be concerned.

Bolsonaro has announced plans to remove mentions of LGBTQ people from textbooks and classrooms in schools; he’s posted tweets denouncing the country’s annual Carnival event for being too risque; told the world “Brazil can’t be a country of gay tourism” because “we have families.”

He’s even told publications he’d rather have a dead son than a gay son.

But, today, we celebrate this small triumph (and epic trolling) over hate.

(source: ABC News)

Amazon Rainforest Deforestation Accelerates Under Brazil’s New President

(image via rosinakaiser/pixabay)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is making good on campaign promises to allow increased deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest, according to the New York Times.

While campaigning for president last year, Mr. Bolsonaro declared that Brazil’s vast protected lands were an obstacle to economic growth and promised to open them up to commercial exploitation.

Seven months into his term, that is already happening.

Brazil’s part of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in January, a 39 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the government agency that tracks deforestation.

In June alone, when the cooler, drier season began and cutting trees became easier, the deforestation rate rose drastically, with roughly 80 percent more forest cover lost than in June of last year.

The deforestation of the Amazon is spiking as Mr. Bolsonaro’s government pulls back on enforcement measures like fines, warnings and the seizure or destruction of illegal equipment in protected areas.

The Amazon Rainforest makes up so much of South America that, if it were its own country by mass, it would rank 7th in the world.

The Amazon Rainforest has been called the lungs of the planet helping to create a huge portion of the oxygen needed to sustain the world population. So, imagine losing that much oxygen-producing plantlife.

Plus, when deforestation happens in the Rainforest, it’s not just cutting down tree. The process often uses techniques like torching vast areas of vegetation, which also destroys valuable nutrients and shortens the lifespan of the land.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Brazil’s Homophobic President Cancels US Trip After Public Outrage

Jair Bolsonaro (image via Flickr/Agência Brasil Fotografias – CC License)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has cancelled an upcoming trip to the United States, where he was to be honored as person of the year by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, after growing outrage among LGBTQ activists and other groups.

The American Museum of Natural History last month announced it would no longer host the event with Bolsonaro.

Delta Air Lines, The Financial Times and Bain & Co are among the companies that pulled their sponsorship of the event because of Bolsonaro’s participation.

Otávio Santana do Rêgo Barros, a spokesperson for Bolsonaro, announced the trip’s cancellation due to “deliberate attacks from the mayor of New York and the pressure of interest groups on the institutions that organize, sponsor and host the event annually.”

A former Brazilian Army captain and member of Brazil’s Congress, Bolsonaro took office on January 1 after waging a very anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-indigenous campaign.

He’s publicly said that he’d rather have a dead son than a gay son.

When asked if he was homophobic, he not only answered ‘yes,’ but said he is ‘proudly’ homophobic.

Shortly after being sworn in, he ordered Brazil’s human rights office not to consider LGBTQ-specific issues.

Bolsonaro on March 19 stressed his government’s “respect of traditional family values” and opposition to “gender identity” as he spoke alongside President Trump during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.

And last week, Bolsonaro announced he does not want Brazil to become a “gay tourism paradise.”