News Round-Up: July 13, 2021

Logo for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

Logo for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: A record 121 out athletes are set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, more than doubling the number from the last Olympics in Rio.

Nevada Independent: As of Friday, Nevada (my state) had the fourth highest case rate in the nation per capita over the last seven days; for many days last week, it was first. The Delta variant was responsible for 54% of cases in June in Clark County (where I live) but only 38% are vaccinated. #ugh

OUT: A shirtless man, appropriately wearing a pink shirt wrapped around his head as a pitiful disguise, attempted to rip down a Pride flag, but the homeowners had anticipated such hateful actions and secured the flag with carabiners and screwing posts.

@leftovergainskid tries and fails to steal my pride flag#fail #pride #rainbow #getoffmylawn #ohnowyouwannawearamask♬ original sound – leftovergains

PopCulture: Actor Jerry O’Connell is reportedly close to closing a deal to become the first-ever full-time male host of The Talk. O’Connell, who is a frequent guest host, would take over Sharon Osbourne’s seat, who left the show earlier this year amid scandal.

Tennessean: The average number of new cases per day in Tennessee has more than doubled in the past two weeks. But the state Department of Health has halted all vaccine outreach to kids – not just for COVID-19, but all diseases – amid pressure from GOP.

Out Music: Singer-songwriter Allison Ponthier recently shared her new single, “Hell Is A Crowded Room,” featuring crystal-clear vocals skimming along a gentle guitar. The  delicate track explores the social anxiety felt by introverts (like me) and learning to push through those challenges.

Nevada: COVID-19 Cases Slowly Rising Due To Low Vaccination Rates

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has dropped the statewide indoor mask mandate effective immediately.

My home state of Nevada is not doing great in the COVID vaccination department.

From Jennifer Solis at the Nevada Current:

Nevada has continued to report a slow rise in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks as the positivity rate — or percentage of tests that came back positive — increased to 4.0%, from 3.9%.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported 447 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday — the highest daily number of cases in over a month.

Confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalization cases rose to 281 on Wednesday, after falling as low as 178 on June 12.

Vaccination rates for Clark County are at about 42% — lower than the national average of 45% and significantly lower than Washoe County’s 54% vaccination rate.

By comparison, Los Angeles County in California, with a population five times as large as Clark County, boasts a 7-day average positivity rate of 0.8% and reported only 260 new cases and 230 hospitalizations on Wednesday. Los Angeles County also has a significantly higher vaccination rate of 58%, according to California data.

The state, meanwhile, is offering financial motivation to encourage people to get vaccinated. Nevada will distribute $5 million in cash prizes to residents who have been vaccinated at least once.

Read the full report here.

News Round-Up: June 25, 2021

Out singer/songwriter KENTÖ
Out singer/songwriter KENTÖ
Out singer/songwriter KENTÖ

Some news items you might have missed:

Nevada Independent: After receiving a cancer diagnosis in March 2020, Shawn Dixon decided she would organize the first-ever Pride parade in her small town of less than 8,000 residents. Her dream of “years and years” will become a reality in Winnemucca, Nevada, on July 16 & 17.

Reuters: Respect LGBT rights or leave the European Union, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told his Hungarian counterpart as the bloc’s leaders confronted Viktor Orban over a law that bans schools from using materials seen as promoting homosexuality.

Instinct Magazine: The valedictorian of a New Jersey high school was almost censored and silenced during his graduation speech by his principal when he began to touch on mental health and his sexuality. But thankfully, the student’s memorization skills saved the day.


New York Times: The Manhattan district attorney’s office has informed Donald Trump’s lawyers that criminal charges against his family business, the Trump Organization, in connection with fringe benefits the company awarded its chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, could be announced as soon as next week.

Justice Dept: Michael Atkinson, 28, Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon, 21, and Daryl Henry, 24, were sentenced to prison terms for their involvement in targeting gay men for violent crimes. The sentences ranged from 11-22 years for luring five men (using the Grindr dating app) to a vacant apartment in Dallas where they held the men at gunpoint, kidnapped, carjacked, and assaulted them.

Out Music: I recently shared the latest from out singer/songwriter Kentö, and today the artist (top photo) drops the official music video for the single, “Silhouette.”

“Silhouette” is the first single from Kentö’s upcoming album release, Strangers, slated for release later this year. Kentö shares, “I feel like I’m finally making music that is really expressing the sounds that have been in my head all along.”

Nevada Gov. Signs Pro-LGBTQ Bills Into Law At Pride Fest

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has dropped the statewide indoor mask mandate effective immediately.

Much of the LGBTQ political news being reported lately focuses on the spate of anti-LGBTQ bills being promoted and passed in Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country.

But it’s not all bad news everywhere.

This past Sunday, Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak attended the Henderson Pride Festival where he signed several pro-LGBTQ bills into law.

“It is so important that we bring these bills to the community, to this center to help you understand how important this is,” said Sisolak at the signing ceremony.

The event also served as the grand re-opening of the Henderson Equality Center.

It’s a breath of fresh air to see legislation moving LGBTQ interests forward and not backward.

The bills passed during the legislative session and now signed into law are:

Senate Bill 275 modernizes Nevada’s HIV laws by repealing a provision that made it a category B felony for someone who tests positive for HIV to “knowingly or willfully engaging in a manner” that could transmit the disease.

The laws were first put in place in the early part of the AIDS epidemic and targeted gay and transgender people. The antiquated laws don’t reflect the advances in HIV medicine and science that has occurred in the past 20+ years. Nine other states are currently considering similar legislation.

Senate Bill 237 allows LGBTQ-owned businesses to be designated as minority-owned which opens up opportunities from local chambers of commerce.

Senate Bill 109 will require local governments that collect demographic information to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Gov. Sisolak said the new law will “ensure our government reflects our community. Representation matters.”

Assembly Bill 261 makes Nevada only the sixth state in the U.S. to include the contributions of LGBTQ people in history and civics classes.

The Silver State now joins California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon and Colorado in making public education queer inclusive.

On the other side of the political spectrum, though, Tennessee and Montana have passed laws requiring schools to notify warn parents if issues of sexual orientation or gender identity are scheduled to be addressed.

Analysis from the Human Rights Campaign found that more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in state legislatures in 2021. At least 17 had been enacted according to an HRC report on May 7.

Responding to the pro-LGBTQ legislation passed this year in Nevada, GLSEN interim Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers said in a statement, “This year, we’ve seen record numbers of harmful anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the country. But Nevada’s new law offers a powerful contrast and shows us that a better way is not only possible, but already in motion.”

After Losing 2020 House Race In NV, GOP Candidate Morphs Into New Persona For TX

Dan Rodimer is trying to win a House election in Texas after losing just a few months ago in Nevada
Dan Rodimer is trying to win a House election in Texas after losing just a few months ago in Nevada
‘Big Dan’ Rodimer? (screen captures)

Things that make you go ‘hmm…’

After losing a House race for Nevada’s 3rd District in November, Dan Rodimer is now running in a special election for a U.S. House seat in Texas.

Now, not only is this basic carpet-bagging, but Rodimer (a former professional wrestler) has done a complete 180 on his image hoping the folks in Texas don’t notice.

During the race in Nevada, Rodimer ran campaign ads sitting on his couch with his wife and 5 children in a prim, proper environment wearing a nice polo shirt.

But in his new ads for Texas’s 6th District, he’s morphed into a rough and tough rodeo character  – ‘Big Dan’ Rodimer – complete with some kind of accent. I’m a Texas native myself and I don’t know what he thinks he sounds like.

The House seat located in the Dallas area was left vacant after Rep. Ron Wright passed away due to COVID-19.

It’s a competitive race as Donald Trump barely won the district in 2020 by 3 points, down from winning it in 2016 by 20 points.

There are nearly a dozen candidates running in the May 1 special election including Wright’s wife.

Take a look at the side-by-side Rodimers.