News Round-Up: July 13, 2021

Logo for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

Logo for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

Some news items you might have missed:

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.

@leftovergainskid tries and fails to steal my pride flag#fail #pride #rainbow #getoffmylawn #ohnowyouwannawearamask♬ original sound – leftovergains

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.

Homophobe Paints Over Pride Rainbow While Spewing Racist Garbage

A woman identified as Tabitha Travis painted over a rainbow Pride display while berating young LGBTQs

A woman identified as Tabitha Dardeau Travis painted over a rainbow Pride display while berating young LGBTQs

How horrible do you have to be to spray paint over some kids Pride sign?

When two teens went to paint a rainbow on a bridge – which the community reportedly uses as a free speech space – Tabitha Dardeau Travis decided it was a good time to show her bigotry.

It wasn’t enough to show them she’s homophobic, she had to make clear that she’s racist, too, claiming she has “more” rights than the young folks. “Because I work, I pay taxes, I’m an American…”

Some on Twitter say Travis works at a hospital. Can you imagine how unsafe POC and LGBTQ folks are?

Tennessee Woman Drives Through Vaccination Tent In Protest

COVIDiot Virginia C. Brown drove through a COVID vaccination site in protest of vaccines narrowly missing workers.

COVIDiot Virginia C. Brown drove through a COVID vaccination site in protest of vaccines narrowly missing workers.

Look, I get that some folks don’t want to get a coronavirus shot. So, don’t.

But Virginia C. Brown, 36, has been arrested after driving through a vaccination site at a high rate of speed narrowly missing 7 workers.

From WSMV in Nashville:

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.

News Round-Up: May 17, 2021

Guillermo Flores, dancer/choreographer and member of Drag Race Espana's Pit Crew
Guillermo Flores, dancer/choreographer and member of Drag Race Espana's Pit Crew
Guillermo Flores, dancer/choreographer and member of Drag Race Espana’s Pit Crew

Some news items you might have missed:

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:

TN Lawmaker Blocks Honor For Gay Country Star TJ Osborne

Country music star TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne

Country music star TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne
TJ Osborne (screen capture via YouTube)

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.”

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.

In a recent CBS Sunday Morning interview, T.J. shared that he’s received “an incredible amount of support” since coming out.

“And there’s been some people saying some off-color things to me,” continued Osborne before adding, “But it was a lot, a lot less than I expected.”

News Round-Up: April 29, 2021

Ewan McGregor as Halston
Ewan McGregor as Halston
Ewan McGregor as Halston (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

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.

News Round-Up: April 7, 2021

Our pup Brody on the lookout
Our pup Brody on the lookout
Brody on the lookout

Some news items you might have missed:

Brody Watch: Just to let you know – we are soooooooo safe thanks to our fearless pup (above). Brody has no fear it seems other than not getting enough attention 🙂

NBC News: Lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced a bill that would prevent doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery for anyone under 21. Senate Bill 514 would also compel state employees to notify parents if their child displays “gender nonconformity” or expresses a desire to be treated in a way other than the gender they were assigned at birth.

USA Today: First lady Jill Biden, the military mom in the White House, is working with Joining Forces which helps military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors get the support they need. After weeks of listening sessions with military families, Biden said her priorities will focus on employment and entrepreneurship, military child education and health and well-being.

Daily Beacon: A Tennessee lawmaker has proposed a bill that would prohibit the use of any materials in schools that, in the language of the bill, “promote, normalize, support or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT) issues or lifestyles.” Opponents say erasing LGBTQ people from history books would send the message to queer kids that they arent’ “normal.”

CNN: At least one of the Capitol riot defendants has flipped against the Proud Boys, agreeing to provide information that could allow the Justice Department to bring a more severe charge against the group’s leadership. The development is the first indication that people charged in the insurrection are cooperating against the pro-Trump extremist group.

Instagram: Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman is the first-ever poet to grace the cover of Vogue Magazine – and when I say ‘grace’….I mean GRACE. #gorgeous

TN Lawmaker Called COVID Reporting ‘Sensationalized,’ Now Hospitalized With Virus

Tennessee state Rep. David Byrd (via Facebook)

Asking friends for their prayers via Facebook, Tennessee state Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) says he may soon be placed on a ventilator due to COVID-19.

The Republican state lawmaker was hospitalized over the weekend with pneumonia and his oxygen levels are reportedly low.

“I really need a miracle today!!” Byrd wrote on Facebook. “My doctor said if my oxygen level doesn’t improve then he has no choice but to put me on a ventilator. So please pray that God will breathe His healing spirit into my lungs!!”

According to The Tennessean, Byrd was seen on the floor of the state House during a caucus meeting not wearing a face mask on November 24. Shortly before that, he hosted a dinner at a restaurant in his district for dozens of GOP colleagues, again with no mask in sight.

It’s worth noting that in June Byrd voted in support of a House resolution stating that “mainstream media has sensationalized the reporting on COVID-19 in the service of political agendas.”

And there you have it.

News Round-Up: July 8, 2020

Gustavo Naspolini (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Gustavo Naspolini (above) knows how to find his ‘post-beach/sunset light’ on the Rehoboth boardwalk.

Pink News: The Netherlands’ House of Representatives voted 124 to 26 in favor of a measure to amend the country’s constitution to add explicit protections based on sexual orientation. The measure now heads to the 75-seat upper chamber of the country’s Parliament. In 2001, the Netherlands was the first nation in the world to legalize marriage equality.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro, the virulently anti-LGBTQ leader of the South American country who recently tested positive for COVID-19, told aides and visitors to his office that “Wearing masks is a faggot thing.”

WHJL: Sonya Holt, the homophobic Tennessee resident who became a viral sensation after footage of her harassing a Black Lives Matter protester went viral, has lost her job over her hideous behavior. Among other things, video captured Holt telling a protester, “You’re a gay homosexual piece of crap who’s going to burn in hell.”

The Advocate: In a decision that has broad implications for LGBTQ+ workers, the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws do not apply to teachers at church-sponsored schools if instruction in religion is part of their jobs. In recent years, there have been many teachers and other church employees fired for being LGBTQ+, often because they had married a same-sex partner.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out this deft parody of the now-infamous Corey Hannon, who took to the beaches of Fire Island this past weekend believing he had COVID-19. In a follow-up tweet, Chase shared that many of his followers on Twitter didn’t get the ‘parody’ part. LOL

News Round-Up: April 20, 2020

Joe Blizzard (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Joe Blizzard (above) proclaims he’s in “dad bod mode.” I think someone needs to explain the term “dad bod” to Joe cause that ain’t no “dad bod.” Follow him on the Gram of Insta here. #grrrr

Pink News: Piers Morgan apologized to Lady Gaga after her One World: Together At Home concert raised more than $127 million for the World Health Organization’s coronavirus relief efforts. The Good Morning Britain host was among those who dismissed Gaga’s involvement with the World Health Organization (WHO) when it was first announced in early April.

NY Times: From surgeon-quality personal protection to the home-stitched square and the bandit’s bandanna, New Yorkers pulled on a newly essential accessory and ventured into a landscape that changed yet again on Friday as masks became mandatory beginning last Friday.

LiarLiarPantsOnFire: I can’t watch the White House press briefings on the pandemic live anymore because Donald Trump’s lying and self-aggrandizement are too much for me to stomach. But this moment today with PBS Newshour’s Yamiche Alcindor takes the cake.

The Gaily Grind: Anti-LGBT televangelist and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson linked the deadly COVID-19 pandemic to same-sex marriage on Monday because, of course.

The Tennessean: Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that his stay-at-home order will not be extended past April 30, and that some businesses around the state will begin reopening next week. A governor-appointed, 30-member economic recovery group is working towards some businesses reopening as early as Monday, April 27. Lee said this office has not yet determined what types of businesses will be targeted to reopen first next week.

The Advocate: Actor Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace) has become an Instagram sensation since adjourning to an Airbnb not far from his mother and sisters in Tennessee last month. The actor catapulted from about 80K Instagram followers to 3 million in the span of a month thanks to his homespun videos in which he exercises with a back scratcher, then uses it as a baton, does yoga (as only he could), and engages in “pillow talk” dishing about Hollywood luminaries.