NYC Lawyer Whose Racist Rant Went Viral Apologizes: “I Moved To NYC For The Diversity”

After being revealed as a bigoted racist in a viral video showing NYC attorney Aaron Schlossberg ranting at two women speaking Spanish in a lunch time restaurant, Schlossberg has issued a public apology
NYC attorney Aaron Schlossberg

After his bigoted, racist rant in a Midtown Manhattan lunch spot went viral, pro-Trump lawyer Aaron Schlossberg has become the target of much attention.

Reporters following him down streets and into buildings; folks have thrown mariachi parties in front of his building on the Upper West Side.

Well, it seems as though Schlossberg has raised a white flag of surrender.

Today, the New York City-based attorney issued a public apology telling the world seeing himself on video “opened” his eyes, and who we see in that hate-filled rant “is not the person I am.”

Here’s the full message:

To the people I insulted, I apologize, seeing myself online opened my eyes — the manner in which I expressed myself is unacceptable and is not the person I am. I see my words and actions hurt people, and for that I am deeply sorry.

While people should be able to express themselves freely, they should do so calmly and respectfully. What the video did not convey is the real me, I am not racist. One of the reasons I moved to New York is precisely because of the remarkable diversity offered in this wonderful city.

I love this country and this city, in part because of immigrants and the diversity of cultures immigrants bring to this country. Again, my sincerest apologies to anyone and everyone I hurt.

Not to be cynical, but in all honesty, what other move could he make without being a pariah now that he’s so famous as a bigoted, racist?

The man who spoke so freely in that video does NOT love diversity.

By the way, check out the ratio between “Likes” and “Comments” on Schlossberg’s tweet. When you’re that upside-down, you’re not getting high fives in the Comment section.

Some reaction from the Twitterverse:

Former NY Firefighter Claims Hazing, Urged To Sleep With Stripper To Prove Manhood

(Michael Troina)

A former FDNY firefighter in Queens, New York, has filed a lawsuit alleging mental and emotional stress during his probationary period that included “hazing rituals” and homophobic slurs.

Michael Troina is seeking unspecified damages for being “singled out time and time again on account of his race and national origin as a Hispanic American male as well as perceived homosexuality . . . and was further threatened with physical violence if he dared to report any incident of battery, harassment or discrimination to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office,” according to the New York Post.

Troina says during his probation period he was called a “closet homo;” was told being Hispanic made him bad at his job; and was forced to eat orange juice with a fork from 12 different plates.

He claims co-workers “coerced” him into going to a strip club where he was encouraged to have sex with a stripper to prove his manhood. When he refused, he says he was called “faggot” and “loser.”

Troina also says he was excluded from a firehouse volleyball outing where he was later informed he was rundown with homophobic insults.

Last year, the Post reported on the aspiring firefighter’s story saying, “firefighters covered his car in peanut butter, toilet paper and nails; challenged him to fight; shoved him; called him a ‘bitch,’ ‘loser’ and ‘fa—t’; put up mocking photos of him, and stomped on his bunker gear.”

Troina says when he reported incidents to his superiors he was told to “not take it too hard.”

His lawsuit names New York City, the New York City Fire Department, 14 firefighters and fire commissioner Daniel Nigro as defendants.

Troina was fired one week before the end of his probation period. The FDNY says he was dismissed after a “failed evaluation.”

Queer Theater: “217 Boxes Of Dr. Henry Anonymous” In NYC

Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Award winner Laura Esterman
as “Katherine Luder” in 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous

Three-time Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon has written and directed a new play, 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous, that chronicles the successful efforts of Dr. John Fyer to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness.

Fryer’s testimony at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting is considered one of the most significant moments in the history of the gay-rights movement.

As an openly gay psychiatrist who could have lost his medical license, Fryer used a pseudonym, mask and voice modulator to address his colleagues.

The cast includes Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Award winner Laura Esterman (Marvin’s Room), Derek Lucci, and Broadway veteran Ken Marks (Mamma Mia!, Dear Evan Hansen, Dancing at Lughnasa, Hairspray).

Performances begin May 3 at Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Jerome Robbins Theater in New York City (450 West 37th Street).

For more information, head over to the official website here.

Trump Demands Death Penalty For Manhattan Truck Driving Terrorist

Donald Trump

Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to demand that Sayfullo Saipov, the Lower Manhattan truck driver who killed 8 in a terrorist attack on Tuesday, should get the death penalty.

The Trumpster wrote, in part, “NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”

It’s extremely unusual for a president to make such a direct call to action about the death penalty.

There’s a good reason why elected officials shouldn’t comment on ongoing prosecutions. Speaking out publicly too soon can hand a defense lawyer the chance to bring up how an accused terrorist can’t get a fair trial in addition to other complications.

NYC: New Monthly Variety Show “Bazaaz! A Sequined Variety”

Rick Skye, who won the 2017 MAC Award for “Best Impersonation,” will star in and host Don’t Tell Mama’s new monthly variety show Bazaaz! A Sequined Variety.

Award-winning impersonations, guest performers, and Skye’s Kit Kat Boyz will all be featured in the new show, as well as Skye’s celebrated impersonation as Liza Minnelli singing in his own voice.

Bazaaz! A Sequined Variety will open on Friday, October 27 at 7:00PM.

Via press release:

Skye is well-known in London and New York for having written and performed in a series of outrageously comic, award-winning shows including The Flip Side of Neil Sedaka, which earned him a Bistro Award, A Slice O’Minnelli and The War of the Mama Roses. His show Its Madame with an E! played Atlantic City and Las Vegas and brought him to television where he appeared on Watch What Happens, Live! With Andy Cohen and Celebrity Apprentice as well as Fox & Friends and the WB. His most recent success was Judy and Liza Together Again which closed after an unprecedented seven-year run at Don’t Tell Mama’s and garnered two MAC Awards.

He has performed in many shows as Liza Minnelli in a number of hit shows that played internationally. He co-starred with Steven Brinberg in the London production of Barbra and Liza LIVE! which played the Dublin Gay Theater Festival and he toured with Liza LIVE! playing the New Players Theater in London and many spots in England. A Slice O’ Minnelli enjoyed successful seasons at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End, The Dublin and Edinburgh Festivals, and from cities New York to Chicago. Critics called Skye “Masterful…Astonishing…Brilliant (Chicago Sun Times) and the show earned him the 2006 MAC Award for Best Impersonation, the “Best Achievement in Performance” Award at the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Terrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Don’t Tell Mama’s is located at 343 West 46th Street in New York City. There is a $25.00 Cover/2 Drink Minimum (Cash only). Reservations can be made at www.donttellmamanyc.com.

Check out Skye’s “Liza” below.

NYC: High School Student Bullied For Sexual Orientation Turns On Tormentors Killing One, Injuring Second

Abel Cedeno (center)

A Wednesday morning history class in the Bronx turned deadly as 18-year-old Abel Cedeno, who has been reportedly bullied regarding his perceived sexual orientation for weeks, snapped and stabbed two of his tormentors.

From the New York Daily News:

Horrified classmates howled in disbelief as Cedeno flew into a homicidal fury, plunging the serrated stainless steel blade into the chests of Matthew McCree, 15, and Ariane Laboy, 16.

The knife-wielding Cedeno just “went crazy,” said witness Jomarlyn Colon, 16. “Everybody just stood back. A few of them were holding Matthew. A few of them were holding towels on the wound.

“All the kids were crying and screaming.”

McCree, who started the deadly confrontation by flicking a pencil at Cedeno, was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital after the 10:50 a.m. stabbing spree in a fifth-floor classroom, cops said.

Laboy was in critical condition at the same hospital after he was slashed while coming to McCree’s defense.

Cedeno was charged with murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

This marks the first murder to take place inside a New York City school since 1993.

I’ve Been To A Lovely Party

Eric McCormack, hubby Michael, Jen and me 

Hubby Michael and I were invited to a perfectly lovely cocktail party last night here in New York City thrown by NBC and Vanity Fair to toast the return of iconic sitcom Will & Grace this coming Thursday.

We saw cast members Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Sean Hayes (didn’t spot Megan Mullally) and tons of fab folks like Harry Connick Jr., Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian, and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts. Very attractive crowd 🙂

Posh NYC lounge Mr. Purple was the locale and couldn’t have been better. Large, open patios with perfect September weather made for an uber-comfortable evening with gorgeous views all around.

I love NYC.

Me, Geoffrey Zakarian and hubby Michael

Me, Michael, Jen and Tricia
Nice view, huh?

Podcast: A Tale Of Two Theatrical Adventures

Join me for “A Tale of Two Theatrical Adventures” as two longtime out actors have separate, but euphoric experiences with New York Theater on the same weekend.

I followed both simultaneously on social media as they shared the elation of their personal milestones, and the journeys made my Grinchy heart swell.

Up first, Stephen Blackwell.

As his 50th birthday approached, Stephen made the decision to venture forth on his own to the Big Bad Apple for the first time and see his first productions on the Great White Way.

We all know New York City can be expensive for visiting fans of Broadway. As he recounts his big adventure, Stephen also has tips that helped him save money along the way, including:

• The app TodayTix (and the website version todaytix.com) helped Stephen buy discounted tickets to Broadway shows in advance without standing in lines or worrying about what his choices would be.

• Instead of pricey hotels, Stephen stayed in an apartment blocks from the theater district and saved hundreds using AirBNB. If you haven’t tried the popular travel site, Stephen shares his experience.

• And don’t be afraid to reach out to friends you’ve made on social media. Stephen met up with someone he knew from Facebook, and that friend acted as a guide to what to do after an evening in the theater.

The other gentleman in this dual adventure, Ed Dixon, has enjoyed a long, successful career on Broadway, off-Broadway and beyond. He’s an actor, playwright, composer and author.

After more than four decades of great work, Ed was honored by the Drama Desk Awards for his latest project, Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose, on the same weekend Stephen was experiencing NY theater for the first time.

I interviewed Ed weeks before during the aftermath of his grand rave-review opening, but watching him share his big Drama Desk win on Facebook felt like I was there.

You can listen to my previous interview with Ed here.

At a time when it feels there’s so much doom, gloom and grousing on social media, I loved watching these stories play out in front of me in real time on the Book of Face.

Hit play below to listen to the two men’s simultaneous journeys.

Sometimes, it’s great to savor the good times 🙂

NYC: #PrideTrain

Check this notice posted in subway stations in New York City:

Service Information

HOLIDAY

June 1st-June 30th

Pride Month

No bigotry, hatred, and prejudice at this station.

How does this effect my trip?
• It doesn’t.

Travel alternative:
• Sashay away

Well played.

New York City: LGBT Solidarity Rally At Stonewall Inn Today

Thousands are attending an LGBT Solidarity Rally this afternoon organized by City Councilman Corey Johnson at the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

The rally received responses from more than 36,000 people on its Facebook event page.

From the New Civil Rights Movement:

The rally, scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern, is backed by a coalition of more than 60 groups, including pro-immigration, refugee support and LGBT organizations. In addition to Johnson, it is being co-sponsored by dozens of other lawmakers including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“Join us in front of the Stonewall Inn as we stand in solidarity with every immigrant, asylum seeker, refugee and every person impacted by Donald Trump’s illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and un-American executive orders,” the Facebook page for the rally states. “We will also speak out against Trump’s selection of the most anti-LGBT nominees and appointees in modern history.”

As of Saturday afternoon, 11,000 people planned to attend the rally, with another 25,000 listed as “interested.”

The Guardian notes that the rally is being fueled in part by rumors this week that Trump planned to rescind President Barack Obama’s LGBT nondiscrimination order for contractors, or sign a new anti-LGBT “religious freedom” executive order.