• Insider: Idiot social media users on TikTok and Twitter used Grindr to find athletes in Tokyo’s Olympic Village with profiles on the gay dating app and then shared their photos online. The bone-headed move put some athletes who live in countries where being gay is illegal in jeopardy. Continue reading “News Round-Up: July 28, 2021”
• NBC News: Hospitalized unvaccinated patients are “shocked” that Covid-19 truly exists and that it can make people very sick and even kill them. “A comment they make all the time is that they wish that they knew they were going to end up in the hospital this sick and they would have made a different choice and got the vaccine.”
• NJ.com: José Tobias Carranza Serrano, 18, confessed to assaulting and robbing a 37-year-old intellectually disabled man on June 23 because he believed the man to be gay. The assault has left the victim still clinging to life where he is still intubated. In his confession, Serrano reportedly showed no remorse.
• ABC News: The Michigan elections bureau has determined that organizers of a ballot drive to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people failed to collect the roughly 340,000 needed. But Fair and Equal Michigan, which spent $2.9 million on the effort, says the Bureau of Elections threw out thousands of signatures that are valid. The group plans to file a lawsuit.
• Washington Blade: A federal judge today blocked a new law in Tennessee that required businesses and other entities that allow transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their gender to post a government-prescribed warning sign.
• Washington Post: President Biden on Friday fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a holdover from the Trump administration who had alienated crucial Democratic constituencies with policies designed to clamp down benefits and an uncompromising anti-union stance.
• Next Shark: Out Filipino American influencer Bretman Rock (People’s Choice Awards Beauty Influencer of the Year in 2019) graced the cover of Teen Vogue’s July issue. The social media star has over 17 million followers on Instagram, 12.1 million followers on TikTok and 8.71 million subscribers on YouTube.
A homophobic father in the UK has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for viciously beating his son with a television cable after finding the gay dating app Grindr on the teen’s phone.
Plymouth Live reports the night before the attack, the father had asked to borrow his son’s phone. It was while using the phone the father discovered not only Grindr but several photos the teen had taken of himself.
The next morning, the father (who isn’t being identified in order to protect the boy) confronted his son asking about the app and pics while shouting “You are gay” and “you are a woman.”
After ordering the teen to strip down to his socks and underwear, the father lashed his son about 20 times with the cable.
According to the prosecutor, Francesca Whebell, “He hit him multiple times across his body, particularly his arm, breaking the skin there” while continuing to question the boy.
The teen was only able to escape after his father allowed him to get a glass of water. The boy grabbed his school uniform and ran out of the house.
Arriving at school, though, staff members noticed something was amiss, and the teen began to cry leading the staff to call the police.
The father eventually pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm last September.
At his sentencing, a lawyer for the father tried to argue his client is a “loving father” who became angry, not due to his son’s sexuality but for posting photos on the dating app.
Since the incident, the lawyer claimed the father’s remorse “is genuine,” and added, “the fact that he has now lost contact with his own son has broken his heart.”
The defendant’s wife also appeared in court having written a character reference for her husband.
But Recorder Marcus Pilgerstorfer wasn’t having it telling the lawyer, “On the basis of the photographs, [the teen] is likely to be left with some scarring on his arm and he will inevitably suffer some psychological consequences.”
“You asked him about photographs of lots of boys on his phone and shouted: ‘You are gay’ and ‘you are a woman,” continued the judge. “You hit him again and again, some 20 times, with the television cable. You caused him ‘loads of pain,’ to use his words.”
Pilgerstorfer added, “I have no doubt that part of the reason you became angry is that you saw material which you thought indicated he was bisexual.”
• InstaHunks: I gotta say, we’ve all been there Danny “Tree Man” Jones (above), who shares, “Took four scoops of pre-workout and ended up at In N Out.” When you need the In-N-Out burger, you need it. You still got it going. #AintMadAtYou
• LGBTQ Nation: Police have arrested four teenagers – three minors and one adult – who they believe attacked a gay couple, broke into their house, threatened to kill them, and destroyed their home.
• Page Six: RuPaul sent followers into a frenzy last month when his Instagram posts began mysteriously disappearing from the app. Many assumed the drag icon’s account was hacked, but Page Six reports Ru deleted posts because he wants to “disengage” and lay low. “The truth is things like Black Lives Matter is overwhelming for someone like Ru. He gets backlash for appearing to not … support the community and [he receives] a lot of negativity, so he disengages,” a source told Page Six.
• LA Times: “I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s never even had her first kiss,” reveals Alex Borstein, who plays Midge’s outspoken manager on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, sharing her thoughts on her character’s sexual orientation: She’s absolutely in love with Midge to some degree, but I think she falls in love with minds.”
• Andrew Christian: Check out this (NSFW) essay on the reality of shower sex from the popular underwear/swimwear designer’s blog.
• Washington Post: Conservatives can’t decide if newly-announced Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris is a liberal extremist or if she’s a snub to liberal extremism.
• COVID World: The UK’s first socially distanced concert is happening now in Newcastle. Attendees have their own private viewing area with 6-feet of space between them.
The UK’s first socially distanced concert is happening now in Newcastle.
Attendees have their own private viewing area with 6-feet of space between them.
Two people who allegedly beat a gay Oklahoma man unconscious are not expected to face hate crime charges despite the victim and a witness telling police officers the assailants hurled anti-gay slurs during the assault.
Oklahoma City-based real estate agent Christian Council, 28, told police he was returning home in his car in the early hours of June 27 with a friend, 26-year-old Andrew Martinez, when he came upon a pickup truck parked in the street blocking traffic in his apartment complex.
Council says he honked once then again before the truck finally moved out of the way at which point Council parked his car several spaces down.
As he and Martinez exited the car, two men and a woman were standing nearby. The woman, later identified as Amery Dickerson, 23, called Council and Martinez “c**ksuckers” and one of the men used another homophobic slur.
According to the police report, when Council explained he honked his horn because he couldn’t get by, Dickerson charged at him, shoving him into a parked car. As she charged him a second time, he pushed her in the face to protect himself.
Council says at that point the two men yelled, “You f*ggot, don’t you know you can’t hit a girl?’”
“And the driver of the truck and the girl’s boyfriend beat me,” adds Council. “Beat me unconscious.”
Bennett Stone, 24, was identified as the man who started the fight. As the incident escalated, Council and Martinez say the trio was yelling homophobic slurs. Martinez tried to intercede but the unidentified man restrained him while Stone continued the beating.
Martinez told police Council lost consciousness for “a minute or two” as he stopped responding to the blows and his body went limp. Martinez was eventually able to call 911.
The police charged Dickerson and Stone with misdemeanor assault and battery which could result in up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. Council was treated for a concussion as well as cuts and bruises at a local emergency room.
In the weeks since the attack, Council says he’s experienced post-traumatic stress disorder while in public.
According to The Oklahoman, the initial police report didn’t mention any of the homophobic slurs used during the assault even though Council and Martinez relayed that to the officers.
In characterizing certain crimes, Oklahoma City police can indicate whether an incident was domestic violence, a drive-by shooting, or a hate crime. The officers didn’t check the hate crime box.
The report was later amended to include the use of anti-gay remarks after the police reviewed body camera footage showing Council mentioning the slurs.
In Stone’s version of the events, he claims he saw Council “punch” Dickerson and he was merely defending Dickerson.
A spokesman for the Oklahoma City police, Master Sgt. Gary Knight told The Oklahoman the incident is currently under review before referring it to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office.
“There is no hard evidence that suggests the attack was because of his sexual orientation,” Knight told The Oklahoman. “Right now it appears the conflict was because of a truck not moving out of the way of his vehicle. These people did not know each other. There’s no indication they jumped out of their vehicle because of his sexual orientation.”
Council, however, disagrees saying the incident escalated because Stone and Dickerson realized he was gay.
“I want to make this very clear,” said Council to The Oklahoman. “They got out of their truck because they were mad that I honked at them. They beat me unconscious because I was gay.”
“It was very clear to me that as soon as they saw that my friend and I were gay, or that they assumed we were gay, it was very clear to me that it went from they were mad that I had honked at them, to they were mad that two gay men had the audacity to honk at them, or inconvenience them in any way,” he added.
Council is aware LGBTQ people aren’t a protected class in Oklahoma meaning Stone and Dickerson won’t be facing state hate crime charges. Still, he says he has filed a hate crime report with the FBI.
Council also says he’d prefer that Dickerson and Stone be sentenced to some form of restorative justice.
“These people can go and sit in a jail cell and just let their hate against queer-trans people build, or they can be forced to go work community service hours alongside the queer and trans community and see the humanity in us, and I think that that kind of restorative justice will do a lot more for our community than jail time will,” Council told The Oklahoman.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help Council cope with the cost of medical treatment in the ER and downtime from work as well as legal fees as Council is planning a civil suit against his attackers.
• On Tuesday, June 30, Merci Mack, a 22-year-old in Dallas, Texas, was found murdered from an apparent gunshot wound to the head.
• In Louisiana, Draya McCarty was found killed in Baton Rogue, and Shakie Peters was found killed in Amite.
• Cameron Breon — also known as Bree Black — was also found shot in Pompano Beach, Florida on July 3, at just 27 years old.
• Social media has also reported that Tatiana Hall was murdered in Philadelphia, but little additional information has been made publicly available. These deaths — all in the last week — bring the number of trans people violently killed this year to 22.
Additionally, Brayla Stone was just 17 when she was murdered in late June. And two Black trans women in their twenties, Riah Milton and Dominique “Remmie” Fells, were also murdered in early June.
In response to this tragic news, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition David J. Johns released the following statement:
“I dream of a world where we don’t have to wake up to see headlines of more of our sisters killed because of who they are and how they show up in the world. A world where the beautifully diverse contributions of Black trans women and girls are celebrated, not one where their lives are reduced to memes and hashtags. As we have marched in the streets for the past five weeks, and fought for our lives for the past 400 years, we must ensure that we are uplifting, supporting, and protecting our Black trans sisters too. For Black Lives to Matter, Black Trans Lives must Matter too.
“As we fight to overturn racist systems, we must fight to overturn the patriarchal systems that continue to perpetuate violence against Black women and girls, both Trans and Cis. Black women and girls have been leading the charge to fight police brutality and imagine a better future rooted in collective liberation. We must stand up and dream of a better world for them too. Merci, Draya, Shakie, Bree, and Tatiana mattered. Brayla, Riah, and Remmie mattered.
“We have to make space to talk, both publicly and privately, about the labor that Black women and girls invest to ensure that our families, community, and country are safe and supportive spaces in spite of anti-Blackness. We also have to talk about the violence they face from grown boys who also allow their pain and trauma to go undiscussed and untreated. As we call for justice for Black people, we must call for and work toward justice for all Black people.”
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America’s leading national civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.
• Happy Birthday: Bestest birthday wishes to my Syracuse University bestie, Vanessa Williams! V is currently in London where she’s starring in the (currently coronavirus-paused) West End production of the Tony Award-winning musical, City of Angels. The pic above was taken a couple of years ago when I introduced her at the Nevada Ballet Theatre’s ‘Woman of the Year’ event. Always much, much fun to catch up with, I can affirm she’s still ‘saving the best for last.’
• PrideSource: Devon Robinson was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the spring 2019 shooting deaths of Alunte Davis, Timothy Blancher and Paris Cameron as well as assault with intent to murder two others. Both Davis and Blancher were gay and Cameron was a transgender woman. This week a jury found Robinson guilty of all charges. Prosecutors say Robinson’s actions were an attempt to cover up having taken part in an orgy with the trio.
• Instinct Magazine: Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), the most conservative Democrat in the House, lost his primary race last night to progressive challenger Marie Newman, and LGBTQ folks are cheering. Lipinski has repeatedly voted against LGTBQ rights and protections. He voted “present” for a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, voted against an early version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and gave his support to the First Amendment Defense Act, which supported the “religious freedom” movement. #GoodRiddance
• Yahoo News: A new survey released Tuesday from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist polling shows that only 37 percent of those polled have either “a good amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the information they hear from the president about the coronavirus, while 60 percent say they do “not very much” or “not at all” trust Trump’s words on the subject.
• KIT212: Kenneth remembers 11 times hunky Lyle Waggoner stole the show on The Carol Burnett Show.
• Washington Post: White House officials are working with congressional Republicans on an emergency stimulus package that could send two $1,000 checks to many Americans and also devote $300 billion towards helping small businesses avoid mass layoffs, according to two senior administration officials and a Treasury Department fact sheet.
• LGBTQ Nation: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) voted against the “America First Coronavirus Response Act” this week because he said it “redefined family” by including sick leave to care for an unmarried partner’s children. Biggs went on to say that sick leave for domestic partner’s children has “nothing to do with the coronavirus.”
• New York Post: After being found inebriated inside a Miami Beach hotel room with another man who allegedly overdosed on crystal meth, former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has announced he is withdrawing from public life and entering rehab for alcohol abuse.
• NBC News: By a vote of 90-8 the Senate voted to approve a second coronavirus aid bill Wednesday, paving the way for lawmakers to turn their attention to a third proposal that could include direct payments to Americans. Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law. The bill provides free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave for those who are infected or caring for a family member with the illness, additional Medicaid funding, food assistance, and unemployment benefits.
The US Senate passed the coronavirus relief bill in 90-8 vote.
The 8 senators who voted against the measure:
• Sen. Blackburn
• Sen. Inhoffe
• Sen. Johnson
• Sen. Lankford
• Sen. Lee
• Sen. Paul
• Sen. Sasse
• Sen. Tim Scott