• The Advocate: South Carolina Democratic Rep. Cezar McKnight is facing ire from his fellow party members for introducing a new anti-trans bill that would make it a felony for doctors to prescribe life-saving hormone therapy for transgender youth. McKnight is joined in supporting the bill by 23 fellow lawmakers, all Republicans.
• JoeMyGod: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says he “would talk ’til I fell over to make sure that the Equality Act doesn’t become law.” Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
• Stonewall Gazette: The film Poppy Field (top image) follows the struggle of a young Romanian police officer, Cristi (Conrad Mericoffer), who tries to find balance between being a working man in a macho hierarchical environment and that of being a closeted gay person trying to keep his personal life a secret.
• NBC News: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Asian American community leaders during a scheduled visit to Georgia on Friday in the wake of the spa shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
• KATC: A federal grand jury in Lafayette returned a six-count indictment charging Chance J. Seneca, 19, of Lafayette, with hate crime, kidnapping, firearm, and obstruction charges based on his attempted murder of a gay man and his overarching scheme to kidnap and murder gay men whom he met online.
• CNN: Xavier Becerra was confirmed by the Senate as the first Latino Health and Human Services secretary on Thursday. The vote was 50 to 49. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican to vote yes – Democrat Mazie Hirono was absent.
You voted to confirm Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson, neither of whom had ANY relevant experience.
• InstaHunks: It’s Friday night and fitness guru Marc Burgum (above, proving clothes are sexy) asks, “If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?” Follow him on Instagram here.
• Washington Blade: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose support for the Equality Act is seen as crucial to winning Republican votes for the LGBTQ non-discrimination bill, has laid out the proposed revisions she’s demanding in exchange for her support.
• Stonewall Gazette: Check out the short film Sauna the Dead where two men must overcome prejudice during a night at the sauna by joining forces in taking down a horde of towel-wearing zombies. Who will live to see the dawn?
• Andrew Christian Blog: The underwear and swimwear designer offers five reasons why he believes bulges are sexier than seeing naked peen.
• WLTX: South Carolina’s hate crime bill got its first round of approval Thursday, but with an amendment that may exclude the LGBTQ community???
• Instinct Magazine: DC Comics will celebrate this year’s Pride Month with the release of an anthology series titled DC Pride which will include “LGBTQIA+ characters from all corners of DC’s ever-expanding Universe, including cameos by fan favorites Batwoman, Renee Montoya, Alan Scott, Midnighter, Apollo, Extraño, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Constantine, and more.”
• Pink News: Following the enormous success of his new series “It’s A Sin,” creator Russell T. Davies is looking at a reboot of his 1990s series “Queer As Folk.”
• Twitter: The hashtag #CancelFox was trending at number one this afternoon as the Twitterverse noted the irony that Fox News is all upset about ‘cancel culture’ while professing to love the ‘free market.’
Fox News is obsessed with cancel culture, the idea that cartoons have first amendment rights. The irony is, Fox is all up in everyone’s sh*t over what they profess to love: the free market. RT if you agree it’s time to #CancelFox
• Pink News: The pharmacy chain Superdrug has launched the UK’s first-ever PrEP service and it will be fully remote (utilizing online doctors) in an effort to make it accessible to as many people as possible. Superdrug will, however, require that people accessing PrEP through its new service adhere to blood monitoring tests to ensure that they can safely take the HIV-preventing drug.
• Back2Stonewall: It has been confirmed that the new HBO Max reboot series of the Green Lantern will feature the first Green Lantern character, Alan Scott – and, like in the Earth-2 comics, the character will be openly gay.
• Instinct Magazine: Current and former pro football players (Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski above) took part in this terrific PSA for National Coming Out Day. “Today, on National Coming Out Day, we come together with one clear message,” say the athletes direct to camera. “To all current players who are thinking of coming out, when you are ready, so are we. It takes all of us and you deserve to be all of you.”
• Politico: South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison raised a staggering $57 million in the third quarter of this year, shattering the previous record for a Senate candidate as he seeks to unseat GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham, who has not released his third-quarter fundraising totals, raised $8.4 million in the second quarter and had $15 million in the bank as of June 30.
• AP News: Here’s a bit of a warning sign for Donald Trump who won the 65+ vote by 9 points in 2016. The Villages, the nation’s largest retirement community located in battleground state Florida, recently held a 300+ golf cart parade in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
• The Hill: Donald Trump’s son Eric told ABC News’s Jon Karl on Sunday his father’s treatment for COVID-19 a “vaccine” that he further claimed the president helped create from “day one.”
• Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Eager Georgia voters swarmed to polling places Monday morning for the start of three weeks of early voting before Election Day. Voters filled parking lots and waited in lines to lock in their choices in advance of November 3. As the tweet below notes, 410,000 absentee ballots have already been returned versus a total of just over 200K in 2016.
In 2016, just over 200,000 Georgians voted by mail in the general election, but this year, already 410,000 absentee ballots have been returned, and there are still 22 days until those ballots are due.https://t.co/zWsnuzING1
A queer high school senior in South Carolina wasn’t allowed to walk in her own graduation because – wait for it – she wore pants.
While a lot of graduation ceremonies became virtual events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Lamar High School in Darlington County managed to hold its 2020 event in the open air on the football field Tuesday afternoon.
But when Dynasia Clark, who’s openly lesbian, arrived at wearing pants – her attire of choice – she was informed she was in violation of the dress code (which requires women to wear a dress during the ceremony) and wouldn’t be allowed to take part.
It’s worth noting that all of those taking part in the ceremony were wearing graduation gowns. So, no one could really see what Clark was wearing underneath.
With just minutes before the ceremony was to begin, Clark walked off the field.
Speaking to the local ABC News affiliate WPDE, Clark said, “I was angry more than anything because we worked hard to even have a graduation, and then I can’t walk because I don’t got on a dress.”
She also shared that, after four years of being out while attending the school, “They already know how I am, they already know I’m not going to wear a dress.”
But she didn’t leave the event. Standing outside the venue gates, she waited to hear her name called as the students walked across the stage to accept their diplomas.
However, the school decided to delete her name from the list of graduates’ names read. Clark was, understandably, stunned.
“That was the part that made me more mad than anything because, even if I couldn’t walk, I was there,” explained the teen. “You could have still called my name.”
“It seems crazy to me,” she added. “It seems stupid, like petty, because it was just an outfit to me.”
The Darlington County School District sent this statement to WPDE:
“The Lamar High School dress code for graduation has been in place for more than 20 years. We welcome students or parents who have concerns with any policy or procedure to meet with administration and discuss those concerns. In the past, when a student raised concern with the administration about the dress code prior to graduation day, the issue was addressed.”
Still, Clark’s disappointment was palpable as she told reporter Carlos Flores, “It shouldn’t have stopped me from doing something that I have been waiting on for 12 years. I went to school. Everybody be happy for their graduation day and I couldn’t even experience that.”
• West End Theater: The Donmar Warehouse’s Olivier Award-winning production of the Broadway musical City of Angels (starring my college bestie Vanessa Williams above) hits the boards on the West End for its first preview tonight. Word in theater circles is the show is stylish, smart, and stunning.
• Greenville Journal: A county in South Carolina was about to repeal a 1996 anti-LGBTQ resolution when religious dissenters, citing “traditional family values,” overwhelmed the County Council meeting just before the vote causing two council members to change their votes.
• The Hill: Vice President Pence, who is heading up the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus threat told reporters today the United States does not currently have enough tests to meet the expected demand.
• Washington Blade: Chris Johnson is one of my favorite LGBTQ reporters and he’s penned an excellent assessment of the historic candidacy of Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “He made a mark on American politics — and not just because he broke barriers as a gay presidential candidate.”
• Washington Post: Now that Mike Bloomberg has exited the race for the White House, he has announced he plans to form an independent expenditure campaign that will absorb hundreds of his presidential campaign staffers in six swing states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina) to work to elect the Democratic nominee this fall.
• Out Music: Maia, who records under the moniker mxmtoon, released her exuberant single and music video, “fever dream,” where she dances with her past and future self.
“We wanted to work with the themes of the single to make a video that exemplifies the nostalgia the lyrics evoke but also the courage to move forward,” shares the out bisexual artist.
With a blissfully nostalgic lilt, mxmtoon’s vocals are soothing and sure. The sentimental, upbeat melody is a refreshing escape from the clutter of today’s current news cycle.
Her 2018 debut EP plum blossom – recorded in her parent’s guest bedroom – has garnered more than 100 million streams on Spotify. You can follow her on Instagram here.
A new poll by Clemson University released today shows former Vice President Joe Biden has an 18-point lead over his Democratic presidential primary opponents in South Carolina.
The survey showed Biden has 35 percent support in the Palmetto State just days ahead of the ‘First in the South’ primary on Saturday.
Businessman Tom Steyer, who’s been highly focused on South Carolina, placed a distant second in the poll with 17 percent support. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the current delegate leader among the Democrats, trails Steyer in the poll by 4 points.
Results from the Clemson University Palmetto Poll:
As South Carolina’s most influential Democrat and the highest-ranking black member of Congress, Clyburn’s support for Biden could hold far more significance than a typical presidential endorsement, boosting him as he seeks to stave off two surging rivals in U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer in a state where about two-thirds of the Democratic electorate is African American.
Some political observers even dub him the South Carolina Democrats’ “kingmaker.” Clyburn endorsed Hillary Clinton at a similar stage in the 2016 primary. He only endorsed Barack Obama months after South Carolina’s 2008 primary.
Clyburn’s endorsements historically carry the state.
Clyburn has also recorded a campaign ad for Biden that will run throughout the state over the next several days.
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn endorses Joe Biden: "Our challenge is making the greatness of this country accessible and affordable for all. … Nobody with whom I've ever worked in public life is any more committed … than Joe Biden" https://t.co/7G0toYlQsapic.twitter.com/NQf04n29Yg
Republicans in South Carolina have hatched a plan to encourage GOP voters to support Sen. Bernie Sanders in the state’s upcoming Democratic primary, arguing that he poses the weakest threat to President Trump in the general election.
That plan has two goals: Boost the candidate the party believes will have the hardest time winning the state in November against Trump, and pressure Democrats to support their effort to have closed state primaries in the future.
South Carolina has open primaries, which means voters can participate in any primary without being required to register with a specific party.
The Hill reports Mayor Pete Buttigieg is putting $2 million behind his first campaign ad buy in South Carolina in advance of the upcoming Democratic primary in February.
As has been widely reported, while the mayor has surged in Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s struggled with attracting black voters, which explains the new ad in South Carolina where black voters make up 60+ percent of the Democratic voting base.
Says Buttigieg in the ad:
“In our White House, you won’t have to shake your head and ask yourself, ‘Whatever happened to ‘I was hungry and you fed me. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’ When I say we’ve got to unify the American people it doesn’t mean pretending that we’re all the same. It means unifying around issues from wages and family leave to gun violence and immigration. The hope of an American experience defined not by exclusion but by belonging.”
According to the RealClearPolitics average, former Vice PresidentJoe Biden has a strong lead in South Carolina, at 35.3 percent followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), at 16.3 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.), at 12.8 percent. Buttigieg is in fourth place, at 6.5 percent.