Gay Porn Star Calls On Colleagues To Help ‘Out’ Closeted Lawmaker

Adult performer Sean Harding (via Instagram)

Submitted without comment.

Adult performer Sean Harding took to Twitter Thursday night to issue a veiled message about a “homophobic republican senator who is no better than Trump who keeps passing legislation that is damaging to the lgbt and minority communities.”

Harding goes on to call on his colleagues to help remove the senator from office for supporting the Trump administration that has systematically decimated LGBTQ rights.

“Every sex worker I know has been hired by this man,” he added. “Wondering if enough of us spoke out if that could get him out of office?”

According to a follow-up tweet, high profile lawyers and every major news network has reached out to him since his initial tweet.

He’s now asking his colleagues to step up because “everyone has a story about LG when we talk.”

For the record, I make no assumptions about the identity of ‘Lady G.’ But others have.

At this time, ‘Lady G’ has been trending for hours on Twitter. A smattering of tweets currenting richocheting around the Twitterverse:

Christian School Sued For Breach Of Contract After Outing Teen

The family of a 15-year-old in Louisville, Kentucky, is suing the teen’s former private school for expelling her after seeing a photo showing her celebrating her birthday with a rainbow sweater and rainbow birthday cake.

The parents of Kayla Kenney are suing private Christian school Whitefield Academy for “breach of contract, emotional distress, and defamation.”

Georgia Connally, the attorney who filed the lawsuit in Jefferson County Circuit Court, told local news station WDRB, “They made an assumption about a child’s sexual identity based on a birthday cake and a sweatshirt.”

Connally shares that, while Kayla identifies as LGBTQ, she wasn’t openly gay at the time of the expulsion.

But, Connally notes the lawsuit isn’t about LGBTQ discrimination.

“This lawsuit is about whether or not (the school) followed their own rules when they chose to expel Kayla, and they didn’t,” she said. “They skipped a whole bunch of (disciplinary) steps and went straight to plan Z, in my book, which is expelling a 15-year-old based on a photo.”

The letter sent to Kayla’s parents informing them of the expulsion read, in part,  “The administration has been made aware of a recent picture posted on social which demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs.”

The school went on to state, “We made it clear that any promotion, celebration or any other actions and attitudes that are counter to Whitefield’s philosophy would not be tolerated.”

Kayla reportedly filed an appeal asking to meet with the school administrators, but they declined the request.

Once the story attracted national attention, the school issued a statement to the press saying Kayla had previous student violations that were part of the decision to expel her from school.

“Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post,” the statement read. “In fact, she has unfortunately violated our student code of conduct numerous times over the past two years. In the fall, we met with the student to give her a final chance to begin to adhere to our code of conduct. Unfortunately, she did not live up to the agreement, and therefore, has been expelled.”

Connally takes issue with the school addressing the conflict with the media which, by her reading, not only outed the teen but constitutes breach of contract.

“The school went to the media to defend themselves,” explained Connally. “They have a privacy policy, a confidentiality policy, that’s also in the contract, and they didn’t follow it. And that put a child in harm’s way.”

The lawyer notes that while the school is a private, religious entity, “There’s no religious exception for defamation, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

“If those things were done, then they’re just as liable as a public entity would be,” she added.

Whitefield Academy has not responded to calls or emails about the lawsuit.

Here’s the initial report about the expulsion from the local CBS News affiliate:

Cyber-Bullying Leads To Teen Suicide In Tennessee

Channing Smith (images via family/FOX17)

Channing Smith, a high school junior in Manchester, Tennessee, committed suicide last week after another student posted private text messages between Smith and another boy resulting in outing  the teen as bisexual, reports Buzzfeed News.

Smith had apparently kept his attraction for other boys a secret, but an argument with another teenager who is close to the boy he’d been messaging became upset that she “didn’t know about the sexting and posted the screenshots to be vindictive, according to Keylee Duty, a fellow student at Smith’s school.

“She was just doing it to be mean,” Keylee told Buzzfeed.

Smith had been dating 17-year-old Hailey Meister for a month prior to his suicide.

“He didn’t deserve that,” she shared. “He was kind and loving and a very good person.”

Meister added that Smith told her when the screen captures were shared on social media “how bad it made him feel and it was a mistake.”

She also says Smith was “trying to find himself” and hadn’t explicitly identified as bisexual before his death.

His older brother, 38-year-old Joshua Smith, says the nature of the text messages were explicit to the point that “there was no room for Channing to be able to claim it was a misunderstanding.”

“When he saw the screenshots on social media he called some people around 10 p.m. Sunday night, freaking out,” he added. “His last posting on Instagram was about people he couldn’t trust.”

Smith’s body was found by his father at around 4 a.m. The father had noticed Smith’s light on in his room and went to check on him.

“He’s still in shock,” says Joshua.

The older brother explained that life in their “small, Southern town” could be “complicated.”

“You could be gay and still like the Confederate flag and shoot pistols,” says Joshua. But to be labeled “gay, queer, or a sissy” would be devastating for a high school junior he added.

The local Fox affiliate reports that Joshua says his brother called the female classmate who posted the private messages and said her he was going to kill himself. According to Joshua, she didn’t reach out to Channing’s family or any suicide prevention hotline.

A complication in the case comes as the family feels Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott isn’t being appropriately pro-active in investigating the cyber-bullying Channing experienced by fellow students.

Joshua told Buzzfeed that “investigators spent only a day” on the case, and “didn’t confiscate the kids’ phones’ saying they didn’t have the technology to ‘bypass the passcodes.’”

In June, statements by Northcott in a 2018 video surfaced where he said he disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling which made same-sex marriage legal in the U.S.

He also shared that he doesn’t prosecute domestic cases involving LGBTQ people because he doesn’t believe marriage exists.

In a statement regarding the Smith case, Northcott said that while he can’t comment on an open investigation, he said allegations that his office had failed to act are “inaccurate” as the investigation has not been completed.

Smith’s family and friends are also critical of Channing’s high school for not making a public statement about his death or to condemn bullying.

“They haven’t made any mention about him or his death on their website, on Facebook, anywhere,” Joshua said. “They haven’t offered counseling to the kids or gathered them to talk about anti-bullying.”

“The principal told my father that he felt like we would not want anything at our memorial service that says justice for Channing, which was total bullshit,” added the older brother.

(screen capture)

When Channing’s friend attempted to make a statement wearing t-shirts asking for “Justice for Channing,” the principal demanded they remove the shirts.

“We refused. Not only me, but his close friends and people who loved him stood during the assembly holding our posters,” said Keylee. “We believe the school refused to do anything because what happened to Channing involved gay rights.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found atbefrienders.org. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous, 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

Drag Queen To Aaron Schock: ‘You Can’t Have Your Cake & Eat It Too’

For months now, the LGBTQ media has reported on totally-not-gay former Congressman Aaron Schock as he’s turned up in photos and video clips making out with gay men at Coachella, tipping go-go dancers at gay clubs in Mexico and posing on the beach with gay social media mavens.

The interest in Mr. Schock is borne out of the fact that while in office he openly opposed LGBTQ rights. His public positions and anti-gay votes included supporting a  constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and voting against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

He has never apologized or addressed his reasons for such policy positions while continually denying he is gay. He’s never publicly come out.

His most recent foray into LGBTQ social life was a visit to the popular West Hollywood bar Revolver when he attended a karaoke night hosted by local drag queen Jonnie Reinhart.

When word got back to Reinhart that Schock was in the audience, Reinhart felt a responsibility to do or say something.

In a video post to his Facebook page, Reinhart admits that he’s not “a confrontational person,” but in light of Schock’s well-documented hypocrisy, couldn’t shake a sense of obligation to address Schock.

In his video, Reinhart says he knows there are folks who would have loved to have seen Schock thrown out of the bar or had a drink thrown in his face.

“My job is to literally make people feel comfortable and in comes this situation, where clearly other people were aware he was there,” Reinhart recently told Insider.com. “There was a general elephant in the room.”

Instead of calling Schock out on the microphone, Reinhart decided to perform “F*ck You” by Lily Allen. As the song began, Reinhart told the crowd, “This song goes out to someone in the audience. And it goes out to anybody who votes against gay rights.”

Reinhart figured that would send a subtle message, and expected Schock to leave.

But after the song, a friend of Schock’s approached Reinhart to chat, which inspired the drag queen to speak to the former congressman directly.

Like many, Reinhart believes Schock still owes the LGBTQ community a public apology for his anti-gay positions. 

“Keep in mind, my blood was boiling, my heart was pounding,” shares Reinhart in his video. “So I went up and shook his hand and I explained to him why I was upset that he was there, why other people were upset that he was there, and I basically told him that he wasn’t going to be welcomed in gay spaces until he began the process of apologizing and healing the harm that his actions have caused.”

According to Reinhart, Schock listened and expressed appreciation for addressing him directly.

Addressing his political record, Schock apparently told Reinhart “that he did not identify as gay at that time, and it wasn’t until years later that he began to explore and understand his sexuality.”

Then, Schock shared with Reinhart “his experience of being publicly outed” and how his family had reacted to the news of him being gay.

“Basically, he told me his family’s reaction was not positive, it was very bad,” shares Reinhart. “And he insisted that he wasn’t looking for sympathy, and he said that he was working on putting out a statement.”

Reinhart didn’t go into Schock’s personal details that were shared in the conversation that night since “he’s actually no longer a public official.”

Schock apparently asked about Reinhart’s own coming out experience and the drag performer shared that he was publicly outed when he was 13, so he grasps how difficult it is to be outed. But, says Reinhart, “It doesn’t excuse his [Schock’s] behavior.”

“I told him that he can’t have his cake and eat it too, and I told him that I’ll be waiting for his statement,” added Reinhart. “He told me that he hoped that he could talk to me again, we shook hands, and that was that.”

Reinhart concludes by telling the viewer his goal in the conversation was to “extend an olive branch,” adding “I believe you can have a respectful conversation with somebody while still telling them that they have f*cked up and they need to do better.”

While I find Reinhart’s civility in his encounter with Schock admirable, it’s worth noting that Schock has now been out and about with his openly gay forays for several months.

If he’s planning to address his anti-LGBTQ past, how long does it take to pen a statement?

As I have previously reported, Schock left office in public disgrace in 2015 amid corruption charges including mail fraud, filing false tax returns, theft of government funds, and more.

In March, he was offered and accepted a sweetheart deal by federal prosecutors who agreed to drop all charges if he repaid $68k to his campaign fund and $42k to the IRS.

(source: Insider – images via Facebook, Instagram)

Poll: Large Majority Of LGBTQ Americans Say Sex Work Should Be Legal

Whitman Insight Strategies and BuzzFeed News surveyed LGBTQ Americans to get their thoughts on a range of issues.

Whitman Insight Strategies and BuzzFeed News surveyed LGBTQ Americans to get their thoughts on a range of issues.

Just some of the results:

• 87% believe Mayor Pete Buttigieg will face anti-gay bias in his run for the White House.

• 62% say they would vote for Buttigieg in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with Donald Trump, while former Vice President Joe Biden would garner 68% support in a race with Trump; Sen. Bernie Sanders got the highest support with 72% saying they would give him their vote if he faced Trump in the general election.

• 83% say sex work between consenting adults should be legal.

• 55% agreed that the Democratic nominee must be a woman, person of color, or identify as LGBTQ versus 45% who disagreed.

• 60% feel it’s not acceptable to out a closeted politician who supports anti-LGBTQ policies, 40% agree with me that it’s ok.

Click over to Buzzfeed for more details from the poll.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham Tells TMZ: “I’m Not Gay”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (image via screen capture)

For years, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been the target of rumors alleging the 63-year-old bachelor is secretly gay.

TMZ caught up to the Republican lawmaker at Reagan National Airport on today and asked about a recent tweet from comedian Chelsea Handler that suggested he is gay.

Handler’s tweet read, “If you’re wondering why Republicans took a sick day today, it’s probably because it’s #NationalComingOutDay. Looking at you @LindseyGrahamSC.”

Graham was neither amused nor fazed by the question.

“It’s a free country, you can say what you want to say, I don’t care,” Graham told TMZ. “I don’t think much about what she says at all. If she wants to live her life that way. It’s up to her.”

“To the extent that it matters, I’m not gay,” he quickly added. “Belittling people is not as funny as it used to be – and that’s a good thing.”

I’m not aware that being called gay is “belittling people,” but I think that comment says more about Graham than anything else.

This isn’t the first time the talk show host has gone after Graham on the gay rumor. Back in January, she was taken to task for a vulgar tweet suggesting compromising video exists of the senator.

Watch the senator’s reaction below.

Did An Airline Agent ‘Out’ A Trans Woman To Her Fellow Passengers?

Lenore Herrem (image via Facebook)

A transgender Canadian woman traveling from Calgary to Saskatoon told CBC News that she was “outed” to the other passengers by a WestJet gate agent.

Lenore Herrem says that when she presented her ID at the gate for her flight, the agent became “upset and confused.”

While Herrem presents as female, her five-year-old ID lists her as male.

More from CBC News:

“She got upset and said, ‘They don’t match,’ but her colleague said, ‘Yes, they do, it’s fine, go ahead,'” Herrem said as she described the agent’s reaction.

“So I gently and discreetly expressed to her, ‘It’s because I’m transgender, that’s why they don’t match up. But my face is the same and my ID matches the name on my boarding pass.'”

Herrem boarded the plane and was settled in her seat for about 10 minutes when she said both gate agents boarded the flight, and the agent who had been confused once again demanded her ID.

“She said something like, ‘Oh, that’s not the name I remember seeing on the computer when I looked at it,’ and she started spouting off different, other women’s names that were not mine,” Herrem recalled.

“She rolled her eyes at me and said, ‘Are you sure it wasn’t your girl name that was on the computer?’ … She outed me in front of the whole airplane.”

Herrem says the experience left her feeling “unsafe, vulnerable, belittled.”

“I was in shock, it was quite traumatizing having someone, especially the way she did it so loudly and in front of everyone, it was really unprofessional,” she added.

WestJet has emailed Herrem apologizing for the incident writing, “WestJet’s inclusive culture is a point of pride for WestJetters and our goal has always been to create a safe and inclusive environment for all.”

“We have extended our apologies to the guest and are reviewing the matter as we are continuously assessing and evolving our practices and policies to maximize inclusiveness and celebrate diversity.”

Herrem says she was “pleased” with the manner the airline dealt with the incident.

“She expressed that they will be implementing training to staff to deal with these sort of situations better in the future which was the most important thing for me to hear,” Herrem added.

Florida Press ‘Outs’ 13 Men Arrested In Back Room Raid

Last week, police in Hollywood, Florida, raided an adult book store and arrested 13 men who were having consensual sex in a private back room.

Undercover police officers went to the trouble of paying $25 to enter the private back rooms at the Pleasure Emporium. Finding men engaging in oral sex and masturbation, 13 men were arrested.

In the aftermath of the arrests, news outlets reported on the incident revealing the names, ages and mugshots of the men to the public.

From The Miami New Times:

Abbie Cuellar, a lawyer for one of the 13 men, told New Times her client has already been fired from his job in the medical field after his arrest at Pleasure Emporium.

Even worse, her client fled Cuba 20 years ago after being persecuted there for being gay. Since moving to the States, he had not come out to his co-workers. Cueller said the arrest — and the local media’s lurid coverage — outed her client and has pushed him into depression. New Times is not naming Cuellar’s client because of the harm the arrest has already done.

“He was persecuted in Cuba because of his sexuality,” Cuellar says. “He was thrown out of his home and thrown out of school because he was gay. He fled as a result and thought America was going to be this beacon of ‘freedom.’ He now basically has lost everything he has worked for… He is horribly suicidal.”

In a statement, a Hollywood police spokesman defended last week’s raid, calling the locked, private rooms that you have to pay to get into at Pleasure Emporium a “public space.”

As LGBTQNation points out, “indecent exposure in Florida has to occur in a public place or somewhere that can be viewed from a public place.”

Anyone who drives all the way to the Pleasure Emporium, enters the adult bookstore, and purchases a $25 ticket for the backroom could hardly be “worried” that other people would have sex around them.

“Clearly, this was a private setting within a private setting — you would have to pay to get into it,” Cuellar says. “It’s not in a residential neighborhood. There’s no danger a kid would ever walk past, even. The fact that they’ve been made out to be these sexual deviants, I feel like I’m back in the 1960s! I don’t understand the point of this arrest other than smearing and humiliating these men.”

CBS Stands By Decision To Air Transgender Outing On “Survivor”

Zeke Smith on “Survivor”

CBS is standing by its decision to broadcast the very personal revelation that occurred in this week’s Survivor “tribal council” when contestant Jeff Varner outed Zeke Smith as transgender.

Here’s the statement from CBS released to The Hollywood Reporter:

“After the tribal council scene in last night’s Survivor was filmed, we consulted with Zeke Smith and with GLAAD in advance of the broadcast, including the issue of how Zeke would tell his story after the episode aired,” the network said in a statement. “This is his second consecutive season on Survivor. From his first season through the current edition, we have always been guided by the principle that this is his story to tell, and it remains so. We support how [host] Jeff Probst and the producers handled a very sensitive situation and marvel at the grace Zeke exhibited under extraordinary circumstances. We have also respect for how Jeff Varner has expressed remorse for his mistake, both in the episode and in his subsequent dialogue with the media. In the end, we believe this episode, accompanied by Zeke’s own remarkable writing and speaking on the subject, has provided an unexpected but important dialogue about acceptance and treating transgender people with respect.”

I know there’s been discussion among LGBT activists about whether it was exploitive to include the “outing” in the Survivor episode.

My personal feeling is that, since this was done with Smith’s blessing, it’s a good thing.

Not only did the incident highlight how terrible outing transgender folks is, Smith handled the moment with so much dignity, that I think this was a positive for the trans community.

Plus, the reactions of outrage by his fellow contestants showed much broad support for the trans community.

If you haven’t read Zeke’s terrific personal essay about not only the experience of Survivor as a whole, but Varner’s outing of him, you really need to click here and read it.

“Daily Beast” Reporter Poses As Gay On Grindr At Rio Olympics

A “reporter” for The Daily Beast – Nico Hines – thought it would be fascinating journalism to fire up Grindr while attending the Rio Olympics and pretend to hook up with Olympic athletes.

Oh – did I mention the “reporter” is a straight, married male?

So the story starts off bad enough, but it gets worse when the “reporter” publishes a “story” basically outing several of these athletes, many of which live in repressive countries. Included in the original article were details such as the heights, weights and other physical features of the Olympic athletes with whom he communicated with which puts these athletes at risk.

This is a seriously ethical mess. This isn’t journalism. This is trashy, unprincipled and terribly dangerous.

I’ll note that I keep putting the word “reporter” in parenthesis because I’m not sure I can refer to this guy as a journalist.

The article, written with mocking condescension, eventually had to be edited after several hours online.

The Daily Beast appended the article with this editor’s note:

A number of readers complained to The Daily Beast after the publication of the original iteration of this story. We take such complaints seriously because a central part of The Daily Beast’s mission is to fight for full equality and equal treatment for LGBT people around the world.

Publishing an article that in any way could be seen as homophobic is contrary to our mission. There was some concern that the original version of this story might out gay male athletes, even by implication, or compromise their safety.

This was never our reporter’s intention, of course. No names were ever used and some of the profiles described were of straight women. But there was a concern that even mentioning the home nation of some gay athletes could compromise their safety. As a result, we have removed all descriptions of the men and women’s profiles that we previously described.

Mic had this reaction:

In this pseudo-ethnographic piece, Hines has failed at meeting one of journalism’s central tenets. For reference, the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics has an entire section on “minimizing harm.” In it, SPJ says, “Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.”

Hines, who is married with children, included the heights, weights and countries of origin of several athletes whom he arranged dates with. That he saw this as no big deal is a huge problem and shows that he is blind to his own privilege by writing the piece.

Putting an Olympian’s stats next to their country of origin endangers the well-being of that person, especially when one athlete was from Central Asia, a region in which LGBT people are “marginalized, criminalized, and are exposed to high levels of violence, harassment and discrimination,” according to one U.S. congressman’s testimony.

Folks on Twitter appropriately lost their shit: