Pride Ad Features Burger King Macking On Ronald McDonald

Burger King lays a whopper on Ronald McDonald in new Helsinki Pride ad (image via MediaPost)

In an effort to show support for Helsinki’s Pride week in Finland, fast-food chain Burger King is running a new ad campaign featuring the King himself laying a whopper on burger competitor Ronald McDonald.

The usual Pride celebration has been canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis, but there are smaller events being held live as well as online streams for folks to join.

The ads feature a painting of the king tenderly kissing McDonald (who we see from behind) with a tagline, “Love Conquers All.”

Kaisa Kasila, Burger King’s Brand Manager for Finland, said in a statement, “We thought, what a better way to convey our values than by portraying an all-encompassing kiss between Burger King and McDonald. We wanted to show that in the end, love always wins.”

“Burger King has always stood for equality, love and everyone’s right to be just the way they are,” added Kasila. “The only instance where it might not seem so, is when we’re bantering with our competitor.”

No word yet on how McDonald’s feels about the ad spots, but Kasila underscored the message that “we want to be clear – it all stems from the respect we have for them. And we know McDonald’s stands for the values we stand for, too.”

Burger King hasn’t been shy about jumping in with gusto when it comes to support for LGBTQ Pride.

Earlier this year, the fast-food king served up ads changing the name of the restaurant to ‘Burger Queer’ on the King’s crown.

Small Town Refused To Recognize Pride Month, So Folks Organized ‘Pride Ambush’

(all photos via Borderland Pride/Facebook)

This past May, the town council in Emo, Ontario – located near Canada’s border with Minnesota – voted down a resolution recognizing June as Pride Month in a 3-2 vote.

Mayor Harold McQuaker and two of the town councilors voted against the resolution. The mayor explained that, in his opinion, it would be unfair to pass the resolution because – wait for it – there’s no “Straight Pride.”

During the town council meeting discussing the resolution, McQuaker said: “We have one flagpole and there’s no flags being flown for the straight people.”

The Northern Ontario Pride Network filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, saying that “homophobia was the only reason behind the decision to deny” the resolution.

According to the complaint, the Pride resolution was approved in Emo in 2018. But in 2019, the town council removed “the resolution’s LGBTQ-supportive language and all references to LGBTQ people, and their inclusion and equality.”

A statement in the complaint from the Northern Ontario Pride Network read in part, “In this day and age, it is unheard of for an Ontario municipality to defy the law and to refuse to recognize Pride in such a plainly discriminatory manner.” 

BUT – here’s the good part: Even though the resolution recognizing Pride Month was voted down, LGBTQ activists – armed with rainbow flags, feather boas, and balloons – put together an “Emo ambush” Pride parade for the town this past Saturday.

Douglas Judson, the co-chair of Borderland Pride, an umbrella organization that represents several Pride celebrations in towns near the Minnesota-Ontario border, worked out a secret plan between residents and businesses in the area to plan an “ambush event.”

And so it was, over the weekend, that a 70-vehicle parade convoy carrying hundreds of supporters showed up in Emo.  Some of them lived nearby, others said they drove up to three hours to attend the event. Due to COVID-19, a traditional Pride march gave way to a COVID parade-style procession of decorated vehicles.

Even with social distancing guidelines, the attendees set up booths, handed out Pride flags, and gave prizes for categories like “Emo Fair Queen 2020.”

Judson told HuffPost Canada, “This was like something that brought joy to our community during a time when, frankly, we’re all kind of starving for a bit of human connection. That’s part of the exercise of Pride.”

Judson, who grew up in Emo, added, “It exceeded our wildest expectations. It was really something to have people care that much about sending this message about the need for Pride in small communities.”

Today: Two Amazing Pride Events For Theater Fans

As the last weekend of Pride Month 2020 comes to a close, make sure you check out these two terrific streaming Pride events today.

Unfortunately, the two events overlap, but you get a fantastic experience with either one.

First, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will sponsor a one-night-only streamed presentation of the 2013 multi-actor performance of David Drake’s Award-winning play – The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me – on June 28 at 7pm ET/4pm PT to benefit Provincetown Theater.

After joining the activist group ACT UP, Drake began writing autobiographical monologues about the AIDS crisis that eventually became a one-man show about this critical point in American history. 

Drake won an Obie Award for his work, and the original Off-Broadway run at the Perry Street Theatre, produced by Sean Strub and Tom Viola, became one of the longest-running solo shows in New York theatre history. 

Comprised of seven monologues, the play explores many different stages in a gay man’s life, from childhood to adolescence, to adulthood, and travels through his personal timeline, from past, to present, to future.

The soliloquies veer from hysterically funny (“Why I go to the Gym”) to deeply inspiring. In the piece, “The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me,” Drake recalls in vivid detail attending a performance of Larry Kramer’s award-winning play, The Normal Heart and the impact of Kramer’s words on the soon-to-be activist.

“As Larry Kramer was such a formative figure for me and several generations in the LGBTQ community, it seems absolutely appropriate to stream this virtual event as a salute to his towering legacy at the conclusion of Gay Pride Week on Sunday, June 28,” said Drake in a press statement.

“Indeed, I believe the activism inherent in the piece also provides a great gatherer of the current manner in which Gay Prides are being celebrated this year—by joining forces with the Black Lives Matter movement in the march for unequivocal equality.”

For its 20th anniversary in 2013, the celebrated solo show was re-imagined to feature an ensemble cast of twelve.

The 2013 cast of ‘The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me’ (photo: Monica Simoes)

Directed by Tony Award nominee Robert La Fosse, the cast in the archival video features playwright and Provincetown Theatre Artistic Director Drake, Tony winner André De Shields (Hadestown), Tony winner BD Wong (M. Butterfly), three-time Tony nominee Robin De Jesús (The Boys in the Band), Tony nominee Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (If/Then, Rent), and more.

On a personal note, I want to add in 1991, while I was still working as an actor in NYC, I was cast as the standby for the original cast of the off-Broadway hit musical, Pageant.

David Drake, who stopped the show nightly as ‘Miss Deep South, Lurinda Summerford,’ had in his contract a week’s leave for an early workshop production of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me. So, when I was hired it was with the knowledge I would, at the very least, be going on in that role soon. #SQUEEEE!!!

First of all, it was a thrill to go on in David’s brilliant role in Pageant. His performance is indelibly stamped on the role and the play forever. Thankfully I had the good sense God gave a goat and studied his blueprint thoroughly before I went on 🙂

But working with David, and observing the genesis of this stunning one-man show was a gift of inspiration.

It was in watching David develop his Obie Award-winning play that I found my own awakening activism. It is impossible for me to underscore what a groundbreaking event his play was for me and thousands of theatergoers.

The stream will be available at ProvincetownTheater.org and on YouTube.

Although the stream is free, donations are encouraged to Provincetown Theater, which has canceled its operations through 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.


At the same time, Playbill’s Pride Plays ends its month-long series of primetime livestreams with a musical celebration, Playbill’s Pride Spectacular.

Honoring iconic LGBTQIA+ musicals, creators, and musical performers, the Pride Spectacular will feature performances by a cavalcade of theater luminaries including (in alphabetical order) Jelani Alladin, Alexandra Billings, Billy Bustamante, Jenn Colella, DeMarius Copes, Wilson Cruz, Robin De Jesús, Lea DeLaria, Brandon Victor Dixon, Eden Espinosa, Niani Feelings, Harvey Fierstein, Gaby Gamache, Celia Rose Gooding, Matt Gould, James Harkness, Curtis Holland, Cheyenne Jackson, Jawan M. Jackson, Michael R. Jackson, Francis Jue, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Caitlin Kinnunen, L Morgan Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Matthew Lopez, Rick Lyon, Cheech Manohar, Matt Manuel, Griffin Matthews, Anastacia McCleskey, John McDaniel, Michael McElroy, John McGinty, Gerry McIntyre, Chris Medlin, Ezra Menas, Paul HeeSang Miller, John Cameron Mitchell, Mary Kate Morrissey, Javier Muñoz, Alan Muraoka, Shakina Nayfack, Ariana Notartomaso, Diana Oh, Ken Page, Lauren Patten, Clint Ramos, Jelani Remy, Matt Rodin, Jai Rodriguez, Mj Rodriguez, Mars Rucker, Sushma Saha, George Salazar, Miriam Shor, Jason Tam, John Tartaglia, Sonya Tayeh, Sergio Trujillo, Vishal Vaidya, Nik Walker, BD Wong, Iain Young,and Brittany Zeinstra.

The 90-minute musical evening includes accompaniment by Dan Berkery, Justin Craig, Charity Wicks-DePinto, Matt Gould, Emmy and Grammy Award winner John McDaniel, and Meg Zervoulis and appearances by Matthew Lopez, Clint Ramos, Sonya Tayeh, and Sergio Trujillo.

I hope that you will support the essential work of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Please join the incredible lineup of Pride Plays artists in making a lifesaving difference for men, women and children across the country affected by COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses and crises. Your generosity will help provide lifesaving medications, nutritious meals, housing, emergency assistance and other vital services.

Hit this link to watch Playbill’s Pride Spectacular. The video player will be posted at this link at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT.

Pride Music: June 27, 2020

It’s the last weekend of Pride 2020, and since we can’t get out on an actual dance floor here’s new music to bop to from Lizzo and the Fab 5, Ariana and the Rose, The Aces, GRiZ and Sara Bareilles.

• Self-care queen Lizzo teams up with the men of Queer Eye for the music video for her hip-hop/pop tune, “Soulmate.”

The colorful video is an animated Pride-themed romp with the Fab 5 as Lizzo picnics with Bobby, throws a corgi party with Antoni and throws down a pole dance with Karamo.

Ariana and the Rose serve up an inclusive, colorful celebration of all kinds of love with “True Love.” The synth-pop dance track is a bouncy bop, and the video features six diverse, real-life couples spanning the diverse spectrums of race, age and sexuality.

Ariana DiLorenzo, the band’s frontwoman, is a “proud and fierce ally for the LGBTQ community,” and told NewNowNext that performing at Pride events, lending her voice as a soundtrack to the celebrations, “is an honor.”

• “Daydream” is the latest single from Utah-based all-girl pop/rock band The Aces. While the infectious track is about long-distance lovers, the tune can easily relate to the distance many of us are feeling during the ongoing pandemic.

The band, launched by queer sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez, decided to make the video about the crew out on a summer adventure rather than a too “on-the-nose” tribute to romance.

• Multi-instrumentalist and producer GRiZ releases his new single, Medusa,” featuring DJ and producer Wreckno. What he coins his ‘queer anthem banger’ is a bass-fueled, hip-hop-laden slice of empowerment, created to uplift the underrepresented LGBTQIA+ voices in dance music.

In celebration of Pride Month, “Medusa” is a message to queer kids encouraging them to embrace exactly who they are. (Explicit lyrics).

• And finally, Sara Bareilles covers the title track from the Grammy/Emmy Award-winning TV special, “Free To Be…You And Me.” Bareilles’s pure, soulful voice is perfect for the folk/pop tune.

Created by actress and activist Marlo Thomas (That Girl) in 1972, the iconic album, book, and television special was the first anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-judgment entertainment for children. All proceeds for the project will benefit NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Fans of the song will notice the new version of the includes two lyric changes. The word “children” has been changed to “people” in one of the song’s main refrains.

And, in order to better embrace the non-binary community, a lyric that referred to ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ growing up to be ‘men’ and ‘women’ was rewritten: “Every child in this land, may you all understand, that you’re proud and you’re strong and you are right where you belong.”

News Round-Up: June 24, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

CBS Sports: Major League Baseball is set to return starting either July 23 or 24, the league has announced. It’s worth noting that 40 MLB players and staff members reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus in recent days.

Billboard: Former President Barack Obama is set to deliver a special message to the LGBTQ community for the 3rd annual Stonewall Day virtual event. He will be joined by major stars such as Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry and more, who will be offering their own messages of support, while pop superstars Kesha and Hayley Kiyoko will take to the digital stage for special performances. The Stonewall Day 2020 livestream on Logo’s YouTube and Facebook pages from 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, June 26.

NewNowNext: Also on Friday, the cast of FX’s Pose will reunite for “Pose-A-Thon,” a commercial-free, one-hour online kiki with the cast and creative team of Pose. The event will raise awareness for three LGBTQ organizations: GLSEN, Hetrick-Martin Institute, and Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. The “Pose-A-Thon” will air Friday, June 26 at 10pm ET on FX, Freeform, and the “Pose-A-Thon” website.

New Music: Lauv drops a surprise new EP titled Without You. The 4 tracks were all written and produced during quarantine. The global hottie also releases the quarantine made video for “Dishes,” the totally chill-vibe lead track for the EP. p.s. He also recently launched Breaking Modern Loneliness, an episodic podcast where each episode is a new open forum discussion on all things human relationships, mental health, and technology.

Zillow: The massive real estate website has announced all Zillow listings will now provide information regarding local LGBTQ protections to help home buyers and renters identify which communities provide protection for all. Currently, only 22 states and the District of Columbia have laws against housing discrimination that include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Reuters: American approval of Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has dropped to the lowest level on record since Reuters/Ipsos polls started asking the question at the beginning of March. With new COVID-19 cases surging, 58 percent said they disapproved.

Out: Actor and activist Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, Star Trek: Discovery) offers this subtle reminder that at the young age of 46-years-old, he ain’t playing.

Podcast: Supreme Court Victory, Virtual Pride Events, What To Watch This Week

TJ Osborne makes history at the CMA Awards, new documentary 'Mayor Pete' takes you behind the scenes of the 2020 presidential campaign, LGBTQ people are getting vaccinated at much higher rates than heterosexuals

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this special “All Good Gay News” Pride Edition podcast:

• The US Supreme Court rules LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace is illegal

• A federal judge ruled the daughter of a same-sex married couple was indeed born a US citizen after the State Dept tried to claim she was “born out of wedlock”

• Pride celebrations may have been canceled, but here’s a list of virtual Pride events you can attend from your own home

HBO’s ‘Human By Orientation’

Them’s ‘Out Now Live’

Global Pride 2020

• Two awesome coming out stories – one from a Grammy-nominated recording artist, another from a world-class athlete

• What to watch this week including Netflix’s ‘The Politician,’ HBO’s ‘Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn’ and the Obie Award-winning ‘The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report.

No Pride Love From Trump Administration For 4th Year In A Row

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David

While Donald Trump and Mike Pence took the time to acknowledge Global Coptic Day today, for the fourth year in a row they failed to recognize Pride Month.

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.

Podcast: NYC Pride’s Big 2020 Plans, Uganda, Albania, Daytime Emmys, PrEP

TJ Osborne makes history at the CMA Awards, new documentary 'Mayor Pete' takes you behind the scenes of the 2020 presidential campaign, LGBTQ people are getting vaccinated at much higher rates than heterosexuals

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Prosecutors in Uganda have dropped charges against 19 LGBTQ people held in jail for 49 days

• A ‘once every two months’ injectable version of PrEP has shown very positive results in clinical trials

• Albania bans so-called ‘conversion therapy’

• NYC Pride has announced a huge 50th anniversary Pride television special featuring Billy Porter, Dan Levy, Janelle Monae, and more.

• The 2020 Daytime Emmy nominations are out with big love for LGBTQ actors and shows

Here’s the link to my recent interview with the Emmy Award-winning creators of the Amazon series ‘After Forever’

• Out singer/songwriter Clinton John’s new single “Cry” taps into those frustrating times when you realize you’re really not over that lost love. Link to download “Cry.”

All that in this episode of The Randy Report.

New Pride Ad From Sprite Celebrates The Support Of Family

A new ad spot for Sprite, released last week in Argentina to coincide with the 28th annual Buenos Aires Pride, has gone viral for its pro-LGBTQ message.

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, celebrates Pride each year (known as Marcha de Orgullo) on the first weekend of November to commemorate the origin of Nuestro Mundo (English: Our World). 

Nuestro Mundo, the first pro-LGBTQ group in Argentina, began in 1967 working to bring awareness to the oppression of homosexuals in the South American country.

This year’s Pride event drew an estimated 300,000 people.

With Carousel’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” for musical background, the ad features several young people preparing to attend the annual Pride festival: A mother helping a son with makeup, a young girl helping her trans brother get dressed, a grandmother helps her grandson dress in drag, a family paints Pride banners and a dad takes his gay son and the son’s boyfriend to the festival.

The short video ends with the text, “Orgullo: Lo que sentís cuando alguien que querés elige ser feliz” (“Pride: What you feel when someone you love chooses to be happy”) and “No estás solx” (“You’re not alone”).

The look on the father’s face at the end totally lands.

On Twitter, the spot has been retweeted over 20,000 times and garnered nearly 60,000 Likes.

Sydney, Australia, Will Host WorldPride 2023


WorldPride will head ‘down under’ in 2023 as Sydney, Australia, has won its bid to host the biennial LGBTQ+ celebration.

Choosing between Sydney, Montreal, and Houston, members of the worldwide InterPride network of Pride organizations gave Sydney 60% of the vote.

The celebration, comprised of cultural activities, parades, and festivals, will take place at the same time as the 2023 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. With its winning bid, Sydney becomes the first city in the southern hemisphere to host the event.

In 2021, WorldPride will be hosted by two cities in two countries for the first time. The events will be held from August 12-22 in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark and the Swedish neighboring city Malmö in the Řresund Region. The two cities are a short 15-minute commute from each other.

This past summer, WorldPride was held in New York City to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, long considered the birth of the gay rights movement.

Back in 2012, during my first visit to Sydney, I made this travelogue video about the gorgeous men city: