• Instinct Magazine: A record 121 out athletes are set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, more than doubling the number from the last Olympics in Rio.
• Nevada Independent: As of Friday, Nevada (my state) had the fourth highest case rate in the nation per capita over the last seven days; for many days last week, it was first. The Delta variant was responsible for 54% of cases in June in Clark County (where I live) but only 38% are vaccinated. #ugh
• OUT: A shirtless man, appropriately wearing a pink shirt wrapped around his head as a pitiful disguise, attempted to rip down a Pride flag, but the homeowners had anticipated such hateful actions and secured the flag with carabiners and screwing posts.
• PopCulture: Actor Jerry O’Connell is reportedly close to closing a deal to become the first-ever full-time male host of The Talk. O’Connell, who is a frequent guest host, would take over Sharon Osbourne’s seat, who left the show earlier this year amid scandal.
• Tennessean: The average number of new cases per day in Tennessee has more than doubled in the past two weeks. But the state Department of Health has halted all vaccine outreach to kids – not just for COVID-19, but all diseases – amid pressure from GOP.
• Out Music: Singer-songwriter Allison Ponthier recently shared her new single, “Hell Is A Crowded Room,” featuring crystal-clear vocals skimming along a gentle guitar. The delicate track explores the social anxiety felt by introverts (like me) and learning to push through those challenges.
Deputies assigned to assist at the site saw a blue Chrysler SUV traveling at a high rate of speed through a closed cone course and through an enclosed tent with several health department and national guard personnel working under the tent. The deputy observed the Chrysler SUV exit the tent and continue to drive recklessly through the cone course.
A deputy was able to follow Brown after she drove through the site and arrest her. She was charged with seven counts of felony reckless endangerment.
Workers in the tent said the woman in the car was shouting things about the vaccine. They told deputies they thought the woman was yelling “No vaccine,” as she sped by them, narrowly missing hitting seven of the workers under the tent.
Workers at the vaccination site told deputies they thought the driver was attempting to kill them.
• OUT: Police in Brazil announced the arrests of three suspects in the brutal murder of gay activist teacher, Professor Lindolfo Kosmaski. The body of the 25-year-old was found bullet-ridden in a burned car on the side of a highway in the municipality of São João do Triunfo on April 30.
• CNN: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a controversial bathroom bill into law Friday that will deny transgender students access to the bathroom and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. Lee also signed a transgender sports bill into law in March that requires students to prove their sex at birth in order to play middle and high school sports.
• Instinct Magazine: For the inaugural season of Drag Race España, the Pit Crew has been supersized with twelve brand new members. That’s Pit Crew member Guillermo Flores up top. #woof
• BosGuy: The longtime Boston-based blogger reminds us in his weekly ‘Men In Kilts’ feature that wool kilts can be itchy. His ‘Monday Morning Mancandy‘ is worth a peek as well.
• Huffpost: Universal Pictures is postponing the international distribution of Promising Young Woman amid outrage that male actors were hired to dub Laverne Cox’s voice in European editions of the movie.
• Mediaite: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed this week that a Democrat-backed bill would “automatically register” millions of illegal immigrants to vote. CNN fact checker Daniel Dale wasn’t having it, bluntly responding to a video clip of Cruz by saying, “None of what you just heard is correct.” Here’s the fact check:
The Tennessee state legislature was all set to honor Brothers Osborne country star T.J. Osborne (who recently came out as gay in February) but a Republican lawmaker suddenly objected and killed the tribute.
Even though the state Senate voted unanimously (30-0) in favor of the resolution, Rep. Jeremy Faison used his position as chair of the House Republican Caucus to block the honor.
“We have some concerns” said Faison from the floor of the state House about Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 609.
NBC News reports that when asked what those “concerns” were, the GOP lawmaker said, “It wasn’t heard in committee, and I feel like it needs to be.”
That move effectively killed the resolution because the committee that would discuss the SJR has closed for the year.
While Faison makes it sound like a procedural issue, other lawmakers responded saying “a lot of SJRs aren’t “heard in committees” yet they receive votes and are passed.
Most folks are attributing Faison’s objections to the fact that Osborne is gay and Faison has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ legislation.
According to NBC News, SJR 609 states that “though T.J. Osborne is not the first country music artist to come out as gay, he is the first and currently only openly gay artist signed to a major country label.”
“Though it may have been merely a consequence of being true to himself, he has nonetheless become a trailblazer and a symbol of hope for those country music artists and fans alike who may have become ostracized from a genre they hold dear,” continues the resolution.
As folks on Twitter criticized Faison, the Brothers Osborne chose to reach out to the Republican publicly instead of attack.
“We’ve lived in this state for over half of our lives,” wrote the brothers before pointing out that Faison had voted to honor conservative pundit Ben Shapiro who doesn’t even live in Tennessee.
“Jeremy, let’s have lunch one day,” continued the tweet. “On us. Would really like to know more about you as a person.”
We’ve lived in this state for over half of our lives. @JeremyFaison4TN honored Ben Shapiro who doesn’t even live here. Jeremy, let’s have lunch one day. On us. Would really like to know more about you as a person. https://t.co/00w2rdwCec
For his part, Faison responded to the band saying he would be ‘honored to break bread’ with the Osborne bros, although ‘honored’ seems to be an awkward word choice given he had just done the exact opposite in objecting to the resolution.
Brothers Osborne continued their classy approach saying they would follow up via direct messaging.
Still, the political gamesmanship didn’t sit well with many in the Nashville music scene. Country star Kacey Musgraves tweeted she was “massively disappointed” in the House Republicans for the ugly move.
As a lifelong Tennessean & a First Family of Tennessee, please let me apologize for our hateful leadership. Most Tennesseans are kind, generous, loving people, as I’m sure you know. We will try our best to rid our government of these hypocrites.
It’s so disturbing that there are still ppl out there in 2021 that are bothered by the way others harmlessly live their lives. It’s time for a clean slate in congress because I’ve about had it with the nonsensical way they supposedly “represent” their constituents.
• LGBTQ Nation: 17-year-old Jace King has become the first out transgender Eagle Scout in his small town of Splendora, Texas, and may be one of the first in the country. King had always dreamed of becoming an Eagle Scout like his brother, but due to the scouts’ ban on transgender boys, he was not allowed to join until 2019.
• The Daily Beast: Podcast host Joe Rogan walked back a statement he made on his podcast last week that young, healthy people shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. Rogan conceded, “I’m not a doctor, I’m a fucking moron. There’s some legitimate science behind this…I believe [the vaccines] are safe.”
• Instinct Magazine: Actor Ewan McGregor (above) is defending his decision to take on the role of gay fashion design icon Halston in the upcoming Netflix mini-series.
• New York Times: Three Georgia men were indicted on federal hate crime and attempted kidnapping charges in connection with the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot to death while jogging through a South Georgia neighborhood last year
• American Greatness: Conservative author Peter D’Abrosca is refusing to get a COVID vaccine in an effort to ‘own the libs.’ “It makes them mad when they hear about my refusal. That, in turn, makes me happy.”
• Out: The Tennessee CEO of a telehealth technology firm was fired after he was captured on video harassing a teen who was wearing a dress for prom. Sam Johnson, 46, was fired from his position at VisuWell after video of his exchange with Dalton Stevens, 18, at the Harpeth Hotel last Saturday went viral.