News Round-Up: June 29, 2021

US Embassy in Russia flies the rainbow flag in honor of Pride Month
US Embassy in Russia flies the rainbow flag in honor of Pride Month
(image via the US embassy in Russia)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Gaily Grind: The U.S. embassy in Russia (above), along with the British and Canadian embassies, hoisted rainbow Pride flags on their buildings in Moscow, defying the country’s “gay propaganda” law signed by Vladimir Putin in 2013.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Former gay porn guy Paul Wagner is reportedly attempting a comeback on OnlyFans. More at the link.

New York Post: Reps for Donald Trump approached the social media platform Parler in January with an offer to have the then-president move his social media presence to the platform in exchange for 40 percent of the company’s gross revenues and a promise to “ban anyone who spoke negatively about him.” The owners said ‘no.’

CBS News: Champlain Towers South was reportedly facing $15M in repairs before it collapsed on June 24. A 2018 engineering report warned of damage to the concrete, and a contractor gave multiple photos to the Miami Herald showing evidence of corrosion and cracks in the building just days before the collapse.

Edge Media: The Spanish Cabinet on Tuesday passed a draft bill on LGBTI rights that will seek parliamentary approval to allow transgender people over 16 to freely change their gender and name without doctors or witnesses intervening in the process.

Vogue Magazine: First Lady Dr. Jill Biden covers the August issue of Vogue Magazine. Annie Leibovitz snapped the gorgeous cover image and Jonathan Van Meter wrote the article titled, “A First Lady For All Of Us.”

News Round-Up: March 16, 2021

Trans actor Elliot Page on the cover of TIME Magazine

Some news items you might have missed:

TIME Magazine: Elliot Page tells TIME he knew he was a boy at 9-years-old and it took the pandemic for him to transition. The X-Men actor came out in December becoming one of the most high-profile trans people in America.

NowThis News: A father with a transgender daughter shared his experience raising her in a powerful testimony against an anti-trans bill in Missouri. ‘As a parent, the one thing we cannot do — the one thing — is silence our child’s spirit.’

NPR: Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. The Senate voted 51-40 Monday to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in the Biden administration’s efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.

Instinct Magazine: The new music video from Imagine Dragons – “Follow You” – is a veritable smorgasbord of shirtless hunks (presented in fantasy-mode) led by front man (and LGBTQ ally) Dan Reynolds.

USA Today: U.S. intelligence officials say Russia and Iran attempted to influence and sway the 2020 elections by spreading “false or inflated claims about alleged compromises of voting systems to undermine public confidence in election processes and results.” Russia specifically focused on “denigrating” Joe Biden’s candidacy.

HuffPost: After QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Guam, a U.S. territory a foreign nation in a recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Guam Del. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas paid a visit to Greene’s office accompanied by a group of National Guard members from Guam who delivered a gift basket of cookies. Guam has been a U.S. territory since 1899, and its residents have been American citizens since 1950. Greene later claimed she was being ‘harassed’ by the National Guard.

Romney: Trump Has ‘A Blind Spot When It Comes To Russia’

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) didn’t tiptoe around his thoughts on how Donald Trump is handling his final days in the White House.

Asked about Trump’s response to recent cyber-attacks on government and major corporations this week – attributed to Russia – the 2012 Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Jake Tapper Trump has “a blind spot when it comes to Russia and so you can expect that that’s the response he would have.”

Romney also said that “it’s sad in a lot of respects” how the Donald is “casting about” railing about his reelection loss when he could be taking a victory lap with the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines.

Trump Breaks Silence, Defends Russia From Cyber Hacking, Lies About Election Loss (Again)

Donald Trump in the Oval Office (image: public domain)

After days of silence, while the U.S. continued to battle with daily COVID-19 deaths exceeding 3,000 per day and the news of a massive cyber spy campaign against the country, Donald Trump finally emerged from his solitude to downplay any role Russia might have had in the attack.

The intrusions into federal agencies reportedly included the State Department, the Treasury, Homeland Security, Energy and Commerce Departments, as well the National Institutes of Health.

Even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told conservative pundit Mark Levin on Friday that Moscow is responsible for the computer hacks – “This was a very significant effort, and I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity” – Trump continues to defend Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin.

Trump tweeted this morning that he has been “fully briefed” on the incident (I’d hope so) and deflected responsibility from Russia by suggesting “it may be China.”

Tagging Pompeo, Trump tamped down concerns writing, “The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control.”

He then careened back to his baseless claims that he won the presidential election (he didn’t) by suggesting cyber hackers might have “hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election.”

Factcheck: Trump’s own cyber experts at the Department of Homeland Security have guaranteed no voting apparatus was infiltrated during the election.

News Round-Up: September 8, 2020

(via Instagram/GusKenworthy)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy (above) shared some fun pics from the desert this Labor Day weekend complete with shirtless black tutu snap. “This year’s Burning Man was canceled but it didn’t stop us from getting weird in the desert.”

Pink News: Russian ‘Cossack soldiers’ prowled the streets of the Russian city of Yekaterinburg during Pride week attempting to hunt down LGBTQ people. They wound up targeting straight people they thought looked queer.

Stat News: A large, Phase 3 study testing a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford at dozens of sites across the U.S. has been put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom.

New Music: Grammy nominee Tayla Parx’s playful new music video, “Dance Alone,” has soulful sass and groove to spare. “We’re all stuck inside while coping with being away from loved ones more than usual,” says the native Texan. “We need human connection, but at least when you’re home dancing in your pajamas while blasting your favorite song, you feel a little less alone. You have the music to keep you company.”

Instinct Magazine: Chasten Buttigieg, husband to former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, shares in his new book I Have Something To Tell You, that he ran away from home as a teen thinking he would only be a disappointment to his parents due to being gay. ” I was so convinced by everything that I had learned for 18 years that I would be a disappointment and the society I grew up in told me that I was twisted and broken.”

Washington Post: Broadway alone accounts for more tickets sold each year than for all of the metropolitan area’s professional sports teams, and the industry pumps on the order of $13 billion annually into the city economy. Check out this thoughtful exploration of what will be involved, and what it will take, to bring Broadway back to life post-pandemic.

The Advocate: A New Jersey man faces both federal and state charges – including malicious use of explosives, unlawful possession of two destructive devices, and unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle – in connection with an explosion at a gym owned by a female couple. Some in the local LGBTQ+ community suspect it was a hate crime.

InstaHunks II: A few more photos from Gus Kenworthy’s faux Burning Man desert fun…

News Round-Up: September 3, 2020

Anderson Cooper (art design: Sean Penn)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: Dictionary.com has replaced references to homosexual and homosexuality with gay, gay man, gay woman, or gay sexual orientation. Additionally, Pride is now capitalized and its own separate entry that refers to the celebration of LGBTQ+ identity and events that raise the visibility of the community. The website also added a host of other LGBTQ+ terms including ace, ambisextrous, asexual, biromantic, deadname, gender-inclusive, gender diversity, and trans+.

ABC News: Russia has sought to “amplify” concerns over the integrity of U.S. elections by promoting allegations that mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud, according to an intelligence bulletin obtained by ABC News. The warning was issued after finding with “high confidence” that “Russian malign influence actors” have targeted the absentee voting process “by spreading disinformation” since at least March.

Instinct Magazine: Get your first look at the upcoming LGBTQ-themed Christmas season film, Happiest Season, starring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, and Dan Levy. The filmmakers hope to release the film in theaters around Thanksgiving.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Happiest #Pride from #HappiestSeason. 🏳️‍🌈 In theaters this Thanksgiving. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

A post shared by Happiest Season (@happiestseason) on

The Gaily Grind: A married youth minister, Thomas “Tommy” Callaway, who slapped a female reporter’s butt on live television as she delivered a report in Georgia has pleaded guilty to a sexual battery charge. The 44-year-old was sentenced to a year probation, 200 hours of community service, and fined $1,000 by a Savannah judge who accepted his plea for the misdemeanor count on Tuesday.

USA Today: Rick Synder, former GOP governor of Michigan, endorses Joe Biden for president – “For years, I mentioned in most of my speeches the need to bring back civility to our nation. We will not continue to be the greatest nation in the world if we can’t get along among ourselves. We have only become more divided over the past four years. We need a leader who believes in civility and bringing Americans closer together.”

Variety: Filming has been suspended in the United Kingdom on the upcoming movie The Batman as the star of the flick, Robert Pattinson, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Instagram: Bravo’s Andy Cohen decided to have some fun sharing a shirtless pic of his buddy, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, as a lighthearted way to rib his pal. But 2-time Academy Award-winner Sean Penn took things to another level as he celebrated the photo posting his own updated version including rainbows and hearts along with the caption, “Good morning to Twunk Zaddy Anderson Cooper and his tiny hard sharp nips.” #AforEffort

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Good morning to Twunk Zaddy Anderson Cooper 🔥 and his tiny hard sharp nips 😍 🔪

A post shared by OfficialSeanPenn (@officialseanpenn) on

Former Trump Lawyer Alleges ‘Golden Showers In A Sex Club’

Michael Cohen being sworn in to testify before Congress (screen capture)

Donald Trump’s personal attorney for years, Michael Cohen, has fought with Trump’s legal team for years attempting to release a tell-all book about his experiences as a close adviser to Trump for years.

With legal battles apparently behind him, Cohen released a preface to his upcoming book titled Disloyal, A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.

From the official website for the book:

When Trump wanted to reach Russian President Vladimir Putin, via a secret back channel, I was tasked with making the connection in my Keystone Kop fashion.

I stiffed contractors on his behalf, ripped off his business partners, lied to his wife Melania to hide his sexual infidelities, and bullied and screamed at anyone who threatened Trump’s path to power.

From golden showers in a sex club in Vegas, to tax fraud, to deals with corrupt officials from the former Soviet Union, to catch and kill conspiracies to silence Trump’s clandestine lovers, I wasn’t just a witness to the president’s rise—I was an active and eager participant.