Biden Hosts LGBTQ Leaders: ‘Pride Is Back At The White House’

President Biden hosted leaders from the LGBTQ community at the White House in honor of Pride Month
President Biden hosted leaders from the LGBTQ community at the White House in honor of Pride Month
President Joe Biden (screen capture)

It was an LGBTQ kind of day at the White House today as President Biden hosted a reception for LGBTQ leaders in honor of Pride Month.

From the Washington Blade:

President Biden commemorated Pride Month for first his year in office on Friday with a reception at the White House, detailing the initiatives his administration has made on behalf of the LGBTQ community and declaring “Pride is Back at the White House.”

“We’re also making progress, but I know we still have a long way to go, a lot of work to do,” Biden said. “We must protect the gains we’ve made and fend off the cruel and unconscionable attacks that we’re seeing now to ensure the full promise of dignity and equal protection.”

Joining Biden on stage for the reception in the East Room was first lady Jill Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who could claim historic status of participating in the event as the first openly gay official to obtain Senate confirmation for a Cabinet-level role.

Biden was introduced by Ashton Mota, a 16-year-old transgender advocate from Lowell, Mass., and a leader with the GenderCool Project.

During his remarks, Biden’s made note of the recent spate of state laws targeting transgender youth, including restricting their access to transition-related health care and schools sports. Biden called the bills “nothing but bullying disguised as legislation.”

Biden also named Jessica Stern, currently executive director of OutRight Action International, as a special diplomatic envoy at the State Department for LGBTQ rights. Her responsibilities will include ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect LGBTQ rights around the world.

Additionally, Biden signed into law a congressional resolution designating the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as a national memorial. On June 12, 2016, the club was the site of the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S. history when Omar Mateen opened fire on club goers killing 49 people and wounding 53 more.

News Round-Up: May 21, 2021

Brody became fascinated with seeing himself on TV
Brody became fascinated with seeing himself on TV
The one and only Brody

Some news items you might have missed:

TheOUTfront: My pup Brody (above) is famous! The Brody-o makes an appearance in TOF’s post on the upcoming Broadway Barks event this Sunday! #AdoptDontShop #RescueDogs

Pink News: Andy Cohen says there have been ‘talks’ about a gay Real Housewives franchise for Bravo.

Right Wing Watch: Right-wing pastor Andrew Wommack recently announced that homosexuality is “three times worse than smoking.” In his view, gays should have a label across their forehead, ‘This can be hazardous to your health.’ #Assholery #homophobes

LGBTQ Nation: Out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reversed a Trump administration policy this week, allowing for more federal dollars spent on public works projects to go to minority and disadvantaged workers. “As we invest in world-class infrastructure for Americans, we want to make sure that our investments create jobs for people in the communities where the projects are located.”

The Daily Beast: Former New York City police officer and current Queens GOP district leader Philip Grillo admitted to the FBI that he breached the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection pro-Trump—but said he “was drunk at the time.” The FBI says he was turned in by two childhood friends.

JoeMyGod: The hate group that hired accused sexual molester Josh Duggar now wants Lego cancelled for celebrating Pride Month with its first rainbow Lego set. “The Left is tearing down mainstream values — brick by brick! Lego, the latest company to pander to the woke, just decided to test the waters with a rainbow set of “LGBTQIA+” figures.”

Class Is In Session: Buttigieg Explains ‘Infrastructure’ To Fox News Hosts

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Fox News
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Fox News
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg appeared on Fox News this morning to help shed light on President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill dubbed the American Jobs Plan.

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer noted that in running through some numbers about the bill he found “5.6 percent of the $2 trillion proposal is only dedicate to roads and bridges. Why is that?”

Buttigieg then calmly and politely explained to Hemmer that “infrastructure” isn’t merely “roads and bridges.”

“Well, we’re talking about roads and bridges, we’re talking about rails and transit, we’re talking about airports and ports,” Buttigieg began. “As you mentioned, we’re talking about things like the grid. I don’t know why anybody would say that it’s a mistake to invest in the grid after what we just witness in Texas.”

“We saw U.S. citizens, living in Texas, melting snow in their bathtubs to be able to flush their toilets,” continued Buttigieg. “In the United States of America that is unacceptable. So yes, infrastructure includes energy infrastructure.”

As the country is now well-aware, Texas learned the hard way in February about how ignoring the state of energy infrastructure can come back to bite folks in the butt.

Buttigieg added that in Biden’s proposal, infrastructure also includes broadband internet which is woefully absent in many rural areas.

“Good infrastructure planning is always about looking to the future,” said the transportation secretary. “You know, railroads were not a part of infrastructure until we built them. And I’m sure in the Eisenhower era they weren’t thinking about things like broadband, they were still working on electrification which would have sounded newfangled in its time. Now it’s time to prepare for the future.”

Buttigieg has made a name for himself being able to handle himself over at Fox News and he demonstrated that skill again today.

By the way, note the video footage Fox News runs as Buttigieg explains the bill – money being printed and printed and printed…

News Round-Up: February 22, 2021

My four-year-old Scarlett is tired of being patient about dinner time
My four-year-old Scarlett is tired of being patient about dinner time
Scarlett is done waiting for dinner time

Some news items you might have missed:

Life: Scarlett (above) is apparently tired of being impatient waiting for dinner. #HaveAGoodNightFolks

The Advocate: When MSNBC launched The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart in December, the move made Capehart the first out LGBTQ+ person to host one of the vaunted Sunday morning political talk shows.

Variety: “Mayor Pete,” directed by Jesse Moss, will take the audience inside Pete Buttigieg’s quest to be the first openly gay president in US history. The documentary (set for release later this year) will show Buttigieg at home in Indiana with his husband, Chasten, and go inside his campaign’s early days as well as Buttigieg’s historic, contested victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Revry: The streaming LGBTQ platform continues its celebration of Black History month. Check out the series Giving Me Life – A dramedy series about six Black and Latinx friends of diverse sexualities as they struggle to live and love in New York City.

New York Daily News: People who wear glasses could be up to three times less likely to get coronavirus, according to a new study conducted in India. The preliminary study suggests that glass-wearers may have the extra protection because they tend to touch their eyes less frequently than most people.

USA Today: A new Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll finds 46% of Trump supporters would join the Trump party if the Trumpster created one. Good, it would effectively split the Republican party. I’m down for that.

Miami Herald: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered flags to be flown at half-mast to honor hate monger Rush Limbaugh.

However, the official flag protocol in Florida is specific about when state flags are to be lowered: certain holidays honoring veterans; if a present or former governor of Florida dies; if an active service member from Florida dies; if a prominent state official dies; or if a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty. #ThatsNotLimbaugh

Podcast: Country Star TJ Osborne Comes Out, Pete Buttigieg & More

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

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 episode of The Randy Report podcast:

• Country music star TJ Osborne comes out as gay

• Pete Buttigieg becomes first openly gay White House Cabinet member approved by the Senate

• President Biden issues memorandum promoting/protecting LGBTQ rights abroad

• Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says passing The Equality Act is a “priority”

• A white Florida man shoots and kills his Black lover but only gets one year in prison

• Out singer/songwriter John Duff drops his latest pop bop, “Do It”

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

You can subscribe/listen to The Randy Report on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud and wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

If you enjoy catching up on LGBTQ news in a quick podcast, please consider sharing with your friends or on social media 🙂

News Round-Up: February 9, 2021

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (image via Chasten Buttigieg)

Some news items you might have missed:

Pink News: Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (above) has gone into quarantine for two weeks without his husband Chasten after a member of his security detail tested positive for COVID-19.

C&C: At the end of HIV testing week last week, HIV advocacy group Terrance Higgins Trust revealed that they had seen more tests ordered in that week than ever before. The stats follow the news that AIDS drama It’s A Sin was Channel 4’s most-streamed TV show, ever.

Revry: Continuing its month-long celebration of Black History Month, the LGBTQ streaming platform shares a block short films including the acclaimed Light in Dark Places (trailer below). “A mother makes a shocking discovery when she’s left to pack up her daughter’s house after a tragic car accident.”

The Advocate: Two more Black transgender women have died by violence in the past couple of weeks, one in Louisiana and one in Florida.

New York Times: President Biden will travel to Milwaukee on Tuesday to participate in a CNN town hall event to be moderated by Anderson Cooper, his first substantive trip outside of Washington since assuming office.

CNN: Donald Trump was very unhappy with the opening argument made by his lawyer, Bruce Castor, on the Senate floor this afternoon. Trump was almost screaming as Castor made meandering arguments that struggled to get at the heart of his defense team’s argument, which is supposed to be over the constitutionality of holding a trial for a president no longer in office.

News Round-Up: February 3, 2021

Pete Buttigieg sworn in as Secretary of Transportation by Vice President Kamala Harris with husband Chasten at his side
Pete Buttigieg sworn in as Secretary of Transportation by Vice President Kamala Harris with husband Chasten at his side
Pete Buttigieg sworn in as Transportation Secretary by Vice President Kamala Harris (photo: office of the Vice President)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instagram: A day after his 86-13 confirmation vote in the Senate, Pete Buttigieg (above) was sworn in as Secretary of Transportation by Vice President Kamala Harris as husband Chasten Buttigieg held the bible.

Outsports: Josh Leafer was a high school athlete who threw parties and chased girls. But it was all a cover. So he started a TikTok account, @closeted_fratguy, asking, “Anyone else like totally straight but secretly gay?” Over the last year, Leafer has heard from hundreds of other secretly gay guys who were wondering the same thing. Oh – and he came out 🙂

Out Music: British indie-pop band Pale Waves has released a deeply personal video for their latest single “She’s My Religion,” which features frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie and her life partner Kelsi Luck in a series of candid vignettes showing that even the most mundane moments can be transformative when paired with the right person.

“I wanted to give my fans a song to find themselves in,” Heather says of the intimate new video. “I wish I had a song like this when I was a young girl trying to find herself in the world.”

Attitude Magazine: The new UK queer-centric drama series, It’s A Sin, has become one of Channel 4’s most successful shows ever since its launch last month. The series has already had 6.5 million views on All 4, making it the most-binged new series ever. Episode one has also become All 4’s most popular drama launch on record.

Quinnipiac Polls: Two weeks into the presidency of Joe Biden, a majority of Americans say, 61 – 34 percent, that they are generally optimistic about the next four years with Biden as president.

Politico: President Joe Biden traveled to the Capitol to pay tribute to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick shortly after the ceremony began Tuesday night, briefly placing his hand on the urn in the center of the Capitol Rotunda, saying a prayer and sadly shaking his head as he observed a memorial wreath nearby.

Pete Buttigieg Becomes 1st Out Cabinet Member Confirmed By Senate

Pete Buttigieg (image via Instagram)

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has been confirmed by a vote of 86-13 as Secretary of Transportation.

In doing so, Buttigieg becomes the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a Cabinet-level  position.

Rick Grenell served as “acting” director of national intelligence for three months but was neither nominated nor confirmed by the Senate.

In addition to being one of the highest ranking LGBTQ public officials in the country, Buttigieg is also the first millennial to be confirmed to a White House Cabinet position.

The Army veteran is the 19th Transportation Secretary and the 5th member of President Biden’s Cabinet to be confirmed.

Buttigieg and Vice President Kamala Harris are the only two 2020 presidential contenders to join the Biden Cabinet.

LGBTQ advocacy groups were quick to celebrate the news.

The Human Rights Campaign noted the history-making moment writing, “Another barrier broken for our community.”

“Pete shattered a centuries-old political barrier with overwhelming bipartisan support and that paves the way for more LGBTQ Americans to pursue high-profile appointments,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “Pete testifying at his confirmation hearing, with his husband looking on, will be among the powerful images that define this unprecedented political moment and will be remembered as a milestone in America’s move toward social justice.”

“The role of Secretary of Transportation requires an innovative thought leader, someone who understands all Americans’ needs and has the courage to create and form the road ahead,” read a statement by GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Secretary Buttigieg’s vision will improve all Americans’ lives and navigate toward needed change to serve communities on the margins. We know he will continue to lead our country’s drive for LGBTQ acceptance. Congratulations, Secretary Buttigieg.”

“Buttigieg is a true example of what it means to have all voices — including LGBTQ Americans — at the table, and he’ll be an inspiration for so many who until this moment may have believed certain dreams were not possible,” read a statement from the Indiana Democratic Party.

For those wondering, the thirteen ‘no’ votes (all Republicans) were Sens. Cruz (Texas), Cotton (Ark.), Marshall (Kansas), Scott (Fla.), Tuberville (Ala.), Shelby (Ala.), Hawley (Mo.), Blackburn (Tenn.), Rubio (Fla.), Scott (S.C.), Lankford (Okla.), Hagerty (Tenn.), and Cassidy (La.).

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania did not vote.

Expect many of those to run for president in 2024.

History Made As Buttigieg Begins Transportation Secretary Confirmation

Pete Buttigieg
Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg during his Senate confirmation hearing

In a moment of quiet history making, Pete Buttigieg – the first out gay nominee for a Cabinet secretary position – began his confirmation hearing with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee by thanking his husband for his support.

“I’d like to take a moment to introduce my husband Chasten Buttigieg, who is here with me today,” said the Transportation Secretary nominee with Chasten sitting nearby. “I’m really proud to have him by my side.”

“I also want to take this chance to thank him for his many sacrifices and his support in making it possible for me to pursue public service.”

Many on social media noted how seeing a gay Cabinet nominee introduce his husband would have meant a lot to them growing up.

By the way – for those wondering, Buttigieg’s committee appearance went VERY well.

#Forward

News Round-Up: January 15, 2021

Chippendales calendar

Chippendales calendar

Some news items you might have missed:

Chippendales: It’s a new year which means it’s time for a new calendar. This year’s edition of the iconic Chippendales calendar (above) is an all-star affair packed with fan favorites.

NBC News: The Arizona Republican Party will vote on a measure to censure Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, on January 23, in part because of her support for President-elect Joe Biden and for same-sex marriage.

The Hill: Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing for the role of Transportation secretary will be held Thursday. If he’s approved, Buttigieg will be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary to be confirmed by the Senate.

BosGuy: The veteran Boston blogger celebrates Furry Friday and we’re all the better for it 🙂

New York Times: Prosecutors in Georgia appear increasingly likely to open a criminal investigation of President Trump over his attempts to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 election, an inquiry into offenses that would be beyond his federal pardon power.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out the weekly round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like this week’s issue of MetroWeekly (below).

Cover of MetroWeekly Magazine

People: In a new interview, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson does not hold back saying Donald Trump is “grossly limited in his ‘understanding of global events, his understanding of global history’ and hamstrung by his own attention span.”

Arkansas Online: Peter Francis Stager, 41, caught on video using an American flag and flagpole to beat a police officer during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot was arrested by federal authorities Thursday night. Remember, these are the folks who were upset at people taking a knee during a football game.