News Round-Up: July 6, 2018

InstaHunk Alex Abramov heads up this installment of The Randy Report's News Round-Up
(image via Instagram)

Some news stories you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Alex Abramov says, “The category is: Live. Work. Pose.”

• The New York Yankees are the only Major League Baseball team to not hold a Pride night this year.

• A barista at Starbucks has been fired for mocking a man who stutters. After stuttering on his name during his order, the barista replied, ‘Okay, S-s-s-sam.’ When he received his coffee, his name on the cup was written as ‘SSSAM.’

• Twitter is deleting over a million fake accounts a day – double the rate from last October.

• Scarlett Johansson cast herself in the role of a transgender man in the upcoming film, Rub & Tug, and folks are not happy about it.

• I’ve been meaning to post this really heartwarming viral video of four fathers attending Pride for the first time with their LGBTQ children.

Produced as an ad spot for Dublin Bus, its really beautiful seeing the kids faces upon hearing their dads were heading to Pride with them on a rainbow-colored bus. Watch the short spot below.

Will & Grace Pride Mash-Up: “You Are Exactly Who You Are Supposed To Be”

Sean Hayes in ‘Will & Grace’

“You are exactly who you are supposed to be.”

You could say that’s one of the ineffable messages of Pride Month.

And underscoring yet again the impact Will & Grace has had on LGBTs and allies alike, this one minute video gets to the center of what has made the show such an enduring success.

Humor with heart.

The newly-released mash-up from the iconic sitcom in honor of Pride Month reminds us why the Will & Grace reboot been an amazing revival for NBC and the LGBT community.

Take, for example, the clip from the latest season between Will and guest star Ben Platt:

Will: “My coming out was pretty typical – my mom cried, my dad drank…”

Ben: “I told my parents when I was 8. They both threw me a coming out party on the same weekend.”

Will: “That’s not a coming out story. How’s James Franco supposed to win an Oscar playing that???”

While it gets a good laugh, the brief scene combines comedy and light with a subject many experienced as painful.

The quick video tribute offers coming out moments from Will and Jack, as well as the infamous “television kiss” between the two dashing urbanites.

Eric McCormak (L) and Sean Hayes (R)

We’re also treated to moments of pride by parents on the show, something most of America had never seen before W&G.

And why? Because as Jack tells us, “That’s what we do in the community – we ‘gay it forward.’”

Because Pride Month isn’t just about a party, or history, or a slogan.

“The minute you forget what we went through to get here, is the minute it could all be taken away.”

Well done, NBC.

Happy Pride, folks.

(h/t The OUTFront)

Mississippi: City Council Denies Pride Parade Permit With No Reason Given

The LGBT community of Starkville, Mississippi, was informed last week that an application for a permit to organize what would have been the town’s first Pride parade was denied after a 4-3 vote by the town’s aldermen.

To add to their frustration, the organizers weren’t given a reason for the denial. Three of the aldermen who voted against the permit left through the back entrance.

At the city council meeting, 16 people showed up to support the parade, only two spoke against it. One of the naysayers told the city council a Pride parade would turn the town into “a Sin City.”

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill denounced the decision saying in a statement it sent a message that the small college town is not “inclusive.” The mayor also pointed out that Oxford, Mississippi, where the University of Mississippi is based, has held gay pride parades for several years.

(source)

Podcast: Transgender Folks Get Help In The Workplace; “Yes” Vote Leads In Australia’s Marriage Equality Mail-In Vote

In this week’s podcast:

• California’s governor signs “first in the nation” legislation that will require training meant to help high unemployment among transgender people

• Donald Trump joked that Vice President Mike Pence wants to “hang” all gay people

• The “Yes to Marriage Equality” campaign in Australia appears to be leading

• Georgia state lawmaker considers quarantining HIV+ people

• Rentboy.com CEO goes to prison even as female escort websites continue without penalty

• Out Canadian country music artist Patrick Masse headlines Las Vegas Pride

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Serbia’s First Openly Lesbian Prime Minister Marches In Belgrade Pride Parade

Serbia’s first openly gay prime minister, Ana Brnabic, marched in Belgrade’s Pride parade for the first time saying her presence demonstrates the government’s respect for all of its citizens.

Via Deutsche Welle:

“My message here today is that the government respects all citizens,” Brnabic told reporters. “We want to send a signal that diversity makes our society stronger.”

Carrying rainbow flags, balloons and a banner reading, “For change,” pride participants walked through the capital, Belgrade.

“Today we walk together and together we will stress that problems still exist and that we want to work together to solve them,” said activist Goran Miletic.

Riot police cordoned off the city center with metal fences as helicopters flew overhead to prevent possible clashes with extremist groups opposed to the pride gathering. Opponents gathered with their own banners but no incidents were reported.

Serbia has recently tried to improve its image with an eye towards European Union membership. Gay activists in Serbia hailed Brnabic’s appointment in June 2017 as an important step in their struggle for gay rights, but say much more still needs to be done.

When The Inclusive Message Of “Y’all Means All” Is Deemed Too “Political”

Charlottesville’s Pride event is just around the corner and the organizers want to make sure that the annual LGBT event is meant to include everyone.

So much so that this year’s theme is “Y’all Means All.”

But apparently that message of inclusion was deemed too “political” for one t-shirt company.

Charlottesville is about to celebrate pride, but the planning hit an unexpected problem proving exactly why we still need these events.

The usual vendor for Charlottesville Pride, Red Star, outsourced the organization’s t-shirt order to Pennsylvania-based Legacy Athletics.

But Legacy Athletics declined to fulfill the order on the grounds that the Pride message was too “political.”

Here’s the response sent to Red Star:

I am sorry for the delay, this is a design that we would not be able to produce.

While Legacy does offer custom logos, we also carefully nurture and protect our brand. One of the ways we keep a positive connotation to the brand, is by avoiding doing any products with custom logos that might be deemed as controversial, political, offensive, etc. This does not in any way mean that we either support or do not support the organization making the request, but the reality is that in light of recent events in Charlottesville as well as the fact Gay Pride events are political activism; we respectfully decline this order. Again, I hope you can understand our position.

Now, companies can certainly decline an order from an organization like Charlottesville Pride because political groups are not protected classes.

But you have to admit “Y’all Means All” is a tough message to oppose.

Charlottesville Pride organizers used the episode as a teaching moment explaining this is exactly why we need Pride celebrations:

And to those of you who thought we were past this kind of discrimination, please know that while this explicit expression of homophobia is indeed shocking, it’s only the fact that what usually seethes beneath the surface has come up for air that’s new. We live with implicit and inferred bias and constant threat of legal recrimination everyday.

In this world of Trump, where open bias and supremacy against all kinds of marginalized communities has become applauded and encouraged, we, the LGBTQ community, need you – our allies, our would-be friends – to stand up for us, to stand up with us, to have our back.

If you’re in the area, Charlottesville Pride is this Saturday, September 16, at the Sprint Pavilion, 700 E. Main St.

London Pride Parade Inspires Two Marriage Proposals

Fernando Ferreira proposes to bf Greg Woodford at London Pride

A very sweet moment from this past weekend’s Pride Parade in London as rugby player Fernando Ferreira proposed to his boyfriend Greg Woodford.

The London-based Kings Cross Steelers are a regular fixture in the parade every year since it was founded in 1995.

But during a mock line-out, Fernando Ferreira got up and walked over to the barricade where his boyfriend, Greg Woodford, was standing.

What happens next will melt your heart.

Ferreira gets down on one knee, as his rugby mates cheer in the background.

This was the second marriage proposal at the London Pride parade this weekend.

Along the parade route, a woman holding a rainbow flag approached her girlfriend, who happened to be a transport police officer working the parade.

While she was clearly surprised she says yes immediately.

And the crowd goes wild!

#LoveIsLoveIsLoveIsLove

(h/t Gay Star News)

UK Prime Minister Theresa May Celebrates London Pride

UK Prime Minister Theresa May issued a video message supporting London for sending out a “proud and positive message to the world” as London Pride takes place this weekend.

May underscored the UK’s pledge to support LGBT rights in other countries, and to take a stand against hate crime at home.

“Around the world, cruel and discriminatory laws still exist – some of them directly based on the very laws which were repealed in this country 50 years ago. So, the UK has a responsibility to stand up for our values and to promote the rights of LGBT Plus people internationally.”

“We must stamp out homophobic bullying in schools, and and drive down homophobic and transphobic hate crimes.”

“So as London once again sends a proud and positive message to the world, I wish everyone a fantastic Pride.”

Now that’s leadership.

Additionally, Parliament was lit up with rainbow lights in honor of London Pride last night.

You’ll recall that President Trump broke an 8 year tradition of the White House issuing a proclamation acknowledging June as Pride Month in the U.S.

Millions Celebrate World Pride 2017 In Madrid

Organizers say approximately 2 million took part in the WorldPride 2017 festivities in Madrid, Spain, this weekend.

This year’s event coincides with the 40th anniversary of Spain’s first LGBT parade.

Via Reuters:

A convoy of more than 50 floats snaked through central Madrid amid a carnival atmosphere as part of celebrations marking the WorldPride parade, a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights that has been held in several cities across the world since its inception in 2000.

Politicians from across the political spectrum walked ahead of the parade, passing through the Spanish capital which was decked out in rainbow flags to mark the occasion.

“Madrid wants you to remember, and to never forget, that whoever you love, Madrid loves you,” Madrid’s Mayor Manuela Carmena wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

The next WorldPride will be hosted by New York City in 2019 which just happens to be the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

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