News Round-Up: May 24, 2021

Screen capture from CBS News magazine 60 Minutes
Screen capture from CBS News magazine 60 Minutes
(screen capture via CBS News)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: The CBS News magazine 60 Minutes is being excoriated for a story on transgender health care because of its focus on people who regret transitioning. GLAAD called the report “shameful.”

Marvel Studios: Check out the newly-released teaser trailer for The Eternals, the much-anticipated project for the Marvel Cinematic Universe which will, among other things, feature Marvel’s first openly gay super-hero. Brian Tyree Henry will play “Phastos” who is not only gay, but married with children. In theaters November 5.

Texas Tribune: Texas lawmakers have approved a bill that will allow citizens to carry handguns without a license, background check, or training. A recent poll, however, shows a large majority (59%) don’t believe handguns should be allowed in public without a permit.

Instinct Magazine: Lady Gaga’s iconic album Born This Way is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. To commemorate and recognize its cultural impact, the City of West Hollywood officially declared May 23 as “Born This Way Day.”

Rasmussen Reports: The daily tracking poll from Rasmussen shows President Biden with 54% approval rating (43% disapproval rating). The firm is known for being a right-leaning outfit. Rasmussen regularly showed “the former guy’s” approval rating much higher than other polling firms.

Instagram: Actor Elliot Page shared this photo today (impressive abs!) with the caption, “Trans bb’s first swim trunks #transjoy #transisbeautiful”

News Round-Up: March 15, 2021

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

LGBTQ Nation: Lady Gaga (above) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow were among the LGBTQ folks who scored Grammy Awards Sunday night. Check out the list of artists honored at the intimate (but live) event last night.

The Advocate: A group of local merchants have proposed changing the name of Montreal’s historic Gay Village to simply “The Village” or “Montreal’s Village” in an effort to be more inclusive of the entire 2SLGBTQ community. The 2S stands for two spirit. Not all residents are on board with the proposed change, however.

The Gaily Grind: A disgruntled Trump supporter, Michael Challans, is playing the victim after he was caught on tape shouting homophobic slurs at his gay neighbor for flying a flag on his front porch celebrating Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss. After yelling phrases like “faggot ass flag,” “f*cking fag” and “mother f*cking queer,” Challans told police he “has no problems with gay people.”

HuffPost: Amazon announced plans last week to stop selling all books that frame transgender and other sexual identities as mental illness, a decision it reached after four Republican senators complained to CEO Jeff Bezos last month when the company pulled a single book on the subject from its virtual shelves.

Mediaite: A new poll shows 57% of Republicans believe the COVID-19 pandemic is “exaggerated.” Plus, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows 49% of Republican men have no plans to get vaccinated.

Outsports: Conor McDermott-Mostowy just won 2 US Championships in speed skating. Now he’s coming out as gay.


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Lady Gaga Offers $500K For Stolen Bulldogs

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga (image via Instagram)

International pop star Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward in hopes of retrieving her two French bulldogs stolen from her dog-walker Wednesday evening.

From NBC News:

The sources said the pop star “is offering half-a-million dollars to anyone who has her 2 dogs, no questions asked. Anyone who has the dogs can use this email — — to retrieve the reward.”

According to Los Angeles police, the victim was walking the dogs when an unknown male shot him about 9:40 p.m. local time in the 1500 block of North Sierra Bonita Avenue. The dog walker was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, police said.

He was “recovering well,” according to the sources close to Gaga.

Authorities are searching for the shooter, who they said used a semiautomatic gun and sped from the scene in a white vehicle.

Tony Bennett’s Family Shares Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett (image via Depositphotos)

Legendary recording artist Tony Bennett has re-teamed with Lady Gaga for a second album of standards as a follow-up to the massive 2014 hit album, Cheek to Cheek.

The album, recorded between 2018 and early 2020, is set for a spring release.

In announcing the upcoming release, however, Bennett’s family has also shared a secret: that Bennett, now 94, was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease four years ago.

From AARP:

Tony Bennett has Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of age-related dementia. Alzheimer’s is characterized by a progressive memory loss that robs its sufferers of many of the gifts that we all take for granted — speech, understanding, treasured memories, recognition of loved ones — and leaves them utterly dependent on caregivers.

Bennett, first diagnosed in 2016, has so far been spared the disorientation that can prompt patients to wander from home, as well as the episodes of terror, rage or depression that can accompany Alzheimer’s frightening detachment from reality; and, indeed, he might never develop these symptoms. But there was little doubt that the disease had progressed.

Early in the article, writer John Colapinto shares this brief moment from the recording sessions with Bennett and Lady Gaga:

The pain and sadness in Gaga’s face is clear at such moments — but never more so than in an extraordinarily moving sequence in which Tony (a man she calls “an incredible mentor, and friend, and father figure”) sings a solo passage of a love song. Gaga looks on, from behind her mic, her smile breaking into a quiver, her eyes brimming, before she puts her hands over her face and sobs.

AARP adds this ‘disclaimer’ in the article:

Eager for as many ears as possible to hear and enjoy what may very well be the last Tony Bennett record, they have jointly decided to break the silence around his condition, a decision they have, necessarily, had to make without Tony’s input, since he is, Susan said, incapable of understanding the disease, let alone making momentous decisions about whether to publicly disclose it.

Gayatri Devi, M.D., who diagnosed Bennett, said the singer has some “cognitive issues, but multiple other areas of his brain are still resilient and functioning well.”

Read the full article at AARP.

A New Day Dawns – Highlights From The 2021 Inauguration

Joe Biden is now the 46th President of the United States

At the 2021 Inauguration, Joe Biden was sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States

And a new day has dawned.

At noon Eastern Standard time, the United States celebrated the 2021 Inauguration as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office.

Our four year national nightmare is over, the 2020 election is behind us, and the great work begins.

Vice President Kamala Harris

I’m sure many of you were watching the full ceremony today, but just in case, here are some highlights from the 2021 Inauguration:

In addition to Biden and Harris’s swearing in moments, Lady Gaga sang the national anthem; a luminous Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first youth poet laurete called for Americans to “leave behind a country better than the one we were left;” and I smiled to see that Capitol Police hero Eugene Goodman, who led rioters away from the Senate during the Capitol building invasion, has been given a promotion and was given the honor of escorting Kamala Harris as she made her entrance.

News Round-Up: January 14, 2021

Seigfried died at the age of
Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher died at the age of 81 due to pancreatic cancer
Siegfried Fischbacher

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: Las Vegas illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher, of Siegfried and Roy fame, has died at age 81. Fischbacher died Wednesday night at his home in Vegas due to pancreatic cancer. Roy Horn, his partner in life and work, died last May of COVID-19 complications at age 75.

Defense One: The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump. Trump will leave office in disgrace, one week after the House voted a second time for his impeachment, two weeks after his supporters staged a deadly siege in the Capitol Building, six months after he dragged his Joint Chiefs chairman into a political firestorm, and after four years of nonstop assaults on truth.

Broadway Cares: Beloved stars from All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital will reunite for ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway, a one-night-only streaming concert benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The free streamed event can be watched at beginning at 8 pm Eastern on Thursday, February 11.

Business Insider: GOP elected officials lost thousands of Twitter followers over the weekend, as the company cracked down on QAnon accounts in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riots. Rep. Jim Jordan’s followers took the biggest dive with nearly 150,000 purged or defected.

• ABC News: Amazon Web Services has responded to Parler’s lawsuit against it with a series of screenshots of hateful content – loaded with threats of violence and racial slurs – that allegedly spread on the platform. One screenshot of a Parler post features a slew of racial slurs about Michelle Obama and another states, “The only good democrat is a dead one.”

Variety: Lady Gaga is set to sing the national anthem for the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 20. Film and recording star Jennifer Lopez will perform as well.


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You’ll Watch Lady Gaga’s ‘911’ Twice To Catch The Clues You Missed

(screen capture from ‘911’)

Lady Gaga releases her latest music video, “911,” from her critically-acclaimed album, Chromatica.

Directed by award-winning director Tarsem and produced by the Artists Company, the short film made its global broadcast premiere across multiple platforms including YouTube, MTV Live, MTVU and on the Viacom Times Square billboard.

The short film, which ties into a message about mental health, is something of a fabulous puzzle that comes into focus by the end.

After watching the first time, I suggest you go back and you’ll see aspects of the storytelling that initially simply ‘odd’ suddenly tie into the ending. You’ll connect the meaning behind, for example, the man banging his head on a pillow; the woman in white with a red cross; Gaga floating in the air adorned with a golden halo.

Gaga and her director, Tarsem, partnered with entertainment technology giant LG to create an exclusive visual experience that utilizes vibrant colors and dramatic blacks taken to the next level. Those ‘next level’ visuals, however, only air on LG OLED TVs.

Watch the video below.

On Instagram, Gaga told her followers about the video, “This short film is very personal to me, my experience with mental health and the way reality and dreams can interconnect to form heroes within us and all around us.”

“Finally, thank you little monsters. I’m awake now, I can see you, I can feel you, thank you for believing in me when I was very afraid,” she wrote in closing. “Something that was once my real-life everyday is now a film, a true story that is now the past and not the present. It’s the poetry of pain.”

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This short film is very personal to me, my experience with mental health and the way reality and dreams can interconnect to form heroes within us and all around us. I’d like to thank my director/filmmaker Tarsem for sharing a 25 year old idea he had with me because my life story spoke so much to him. I’d like to thank Haus of Gaga for being strong for me when I wasn’t, and the crew for making this short film safely during this pandemic without anyone getting sick. It’s been years since I felt so alive in my creativity to make together what we did with “911”. Thank you @Bloodpop for taking a leap of faith with me to produce a record that hides in nothing but the truth. Finally, thank you little monsters. I’m awake now, I can see you, I can feel you, thank you for believing in me when I was very afraid. Something that was once my real life everyday is now a film, a true story that is now the past and not the present. It’s the poetry of pain.

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News Round-Up: May 29, 2020

Guillaume Cizeron (above right – via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Out: Olympic medal-winning ice dancer Guillaume Cizeron (above) has come out publicly as gay. Though the athlete, who won a silver medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics never considered himself in the closet prior, having spoken openly to family and his friends about his sexuality, he acknowledges that a new interview in the French-language magazine Tetu is his first time speaking publicly.

TikTok: A teen in North Carolina came out to her mom by making some cupcakes that said “I like girls” and recorded herself surprising her mom with them. The TikTok sharing the moment has more than 3 million views.

KIT212: Check out Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in local gay rags like this month’s issue of DNA Magazine featuring Nick Bracks (below) chatting on his new role as a mental health advocate.

Nick Bracks covers the new issue of DNA Magazine

The Advocate: Tony McDade, a Black transgender man, was shot to death by a police officer Wednesday morning in Tallahassee, Fla. McDade, 38, was accused of having fatally stabbed another man just minutes before his own death.

New Music: Lady Gaga released her highly anticipated sixth studio album Chromatica via Interscope Records, which has already debuted at #1 on the iTunes charts in 57 countries. Gaga has previously released duets with Ariana Grande (“Rain On Me” – the biggest Spotify debut of 2020 reaching #1 on the Global and US Spotify charts) and with Blackpink (“Sour Candy” – #1 on iTunes in 53 countries) from the collection. Check out the banging dance collaboration “Sine From Above” with international superstar Elton John below.

The Hill: Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States is “terminating” its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) over its response to the novel coronavirus, following through on a threat issued earlier this month. Trump accused the WHO of being under China’s “total control” and of failing to make reforms requested by his administration. The president said he would “redirect” funds promised to the WHO to assist other global health needs.

TechCrunch: SpaceX had just conducted yet another static fire test of the Raptor engine in its Starship SN4 prototype launch vehicle on Friday when the test vehicle exploded on the test stand in Boca Chica, Texas. This was the fourth static fire test of this engine on this prototype, so it’s unclear what went wrong vs. other static fire attempts.

News Round-Up: May 22, 2020

(images via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Buzzfeed News: Mike Shultz (above), a gay nurse who attended the Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach, shared side-by-side before and after photos on Instagram to demonstrate how COVID-19 had affected his body in six weeks. “I wanted to show it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, have preexisting conditions or not. It can affect you.”

KIT212: Check out the what’s what in local LGBTQ publications like South Florida Hot Spots chatting with former American Idol alum David Hernandez (below).

(image via South Florida Hot Spots)

Gay Star News: On March 3, three men shouting homophobic abuse at a 37-year-old in the heart of London pushed him into the street and attacked him. The police have arrested three men, all aged 21 years old, on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

New Music: Superstar duo Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande dropped their new music video, “Rain On Me,” at midnight and it immediately shot to #1 in 26 countries on iTunes. “Rain On Me” is the second single from Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated sixth studio album Chromatica, which will be released on May 29.

New York Times: The W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain, currently has just one occupant among its hundreds of luxury guest rooms. Maintenance engineer Daniel Ordoñez has lived alone in the hotel since March handling tasks that must be done on a regular basis like opening the 1,400 water taps every five days.

Washington Post: A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents found that those who received an antimalarial drug promoted by President Trump as a “game-changer” in the fight against the virus had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not. People treated with hydroxychloroquine were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can lead to sudden cardiac death.

Entertainment Weekly: I found this look back at the “mad, sad, totally fab life of Paul Lynde” by EW a great read. Click the play button below to relive some of the comedian’s funniest one-liners on the iconic game show, Hollywood Squares.