News Round-Up: May 18, 2021

K-pop singer Wonho is killing it at the gym
A scene from the 2007 film 300
A scene from ‘300’ (photo: Warner Bros.)

Some news items you might have missed:

OUT: Film director Zack Snyder says that he worked on a sequel to his 2007 film 300 (above) during the pandemic, but Warner Bros. passed on it because it ended up being a gay love story.

Reuters: Cuba draped its health ministry with a giant rainbow flag on Monday to mark International Day against Homophobia, in a key year for LGBT+ rights as the Caribbean country decides on a new family code that could approve same-sex marriage.

Socialite Life: K-pop star Wonho posted a workout video last week that featured the singer working his back, lower body, and arms. Judging by his massive thighs (below), whatever he is doing is definitely working.

K-pop singer Wonho (image via Twitter/AlphaCeleb)

Edge Media: Tennessee will be the first state in the U.S. to require businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multi-person bathrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms associated with their gender identity.

Pink News: Serenity Hollis has become at least the 25th transgender person to be killed in the United States so far this year as anti-trans violence continues to escalate. Hollis was shot dead in Albany, Georgia on May 8.

The Advocate: Caitlyn Jenner shared a transphobic meme from Donald Trump Jr. but Alexandra Billings, veteran actress and star of Transparent and The Conners, had the perfect response.

Rand Paul Goes Transphobic During Senate Hearing

Left to right - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Pennsylvania Surgeon General Dr. Rachel Levine
Left to right - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Pennsylvania Surgeon General Dr. Rachel Levine
L-R Sen. Rand Paul, Dr. Rachel Levine (screen captures)

During a joint hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held today to confirm Surgeon General Nominee Dr. Vivek Murphy and Dr. Levine, most questions were focused on the issue of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – who is also a self-certified ophthalmologist – came prepared with an unhinged transphobic rant which seemed to catch everyone by surprise including Dr. Levine, who is transgender.

Levine, currently the Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania, is President Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of health. The position oversees the department’s key public health offices, several presidential and secretarial advisory committees, 10 regional health offices across the nation, the Office of the Surgeon General, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

In addition to being the Keystone State’s Health Secretary, Levine has amassed a lengthy resume in the field of health care which includes being a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. It’s worth noting that Levine has been confirmed three times by the Republican-controlled state Senate of Pennsylvania.

“Genital mutilation has been condemned by the WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund,” said Paul reading from a prepared statement.

He continued stating that such medical procedures are “nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.”

The senator seemed to be conflating bottom surgery with castration and female circumcision, which is performed on children in some countries around the world.

Minors being treated for gender dysphoria almost never have bottom surgery. Instead, they are given puberty blockers which allows trans youth time to consider, weigh and explore who they are before teen hormones can permanently change their bodies.

Paul attacked the use of such puberty blockers citing the American College of Pediatricians. That might have sounded like a legit reference except the organization has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for promoting anti-LGBTQ bias.

The name is intended to be misleading as it is often confused with the American Pediatric Association, the actual recognized organization of pediatric physicians. That group advises parents of trans kids to “listen, respect and support their child’s self-expressed identity.”

Levine showed admirable composure during Paul’s lengthy tirade.

“Transgender medicine is a very complex, and nuanced field,” Levine said. “And if confirmed to the as assistant Secretary of Health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and talk with you and your staff about the standards of care and the complexity of this field.”

For the record, Dr. Levine never endorsed the idea of government overriding the involvement of parents being involved in their children’s health care issues.

Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, clapped back at Paul asking him to treat nominees before the committee with respect.

“It is really critical to me that our nominees be treated with respect and that our questions focus on their qualifications and the work ahead of us, rather than ideological and harmful misrepresentations like those who heard from Sen. Paul earlier,” Murray said.

Today’s hearing marked the first time an openly transgender person has sat for Senate confirmation for a presidential appointment.

Pro Boxer Sacked Over Anti-LGBTQ TikTok Rant

Professional Boxer James Hawley (images via Instagram)

As the old saying goes, “Act like a fool, get treated like a fool.”

British pro boxer James Hawley was dropped by his promoter MTK Global after he went on a homophobic and transphobic rant on TikTok.

Hawley was responding to a question from a fan who asked, “Do you support LGBT?”

“I one thousand, one million percent do not agree with this stuff,” replied Hawley in his video response. “Listen, I can understand girls get with each other all the time at parties and all things like that. I don’t care, not a problem. I’d want them to get with each other in front of me.”

“But boys, on the other hand, and transgenders, there’s something seriously wrong with you,” the 21-year-old boxer continued. “What in the earth makes you want to change your gender and get f**ked in the ass? What is up with you dirty c*nts? I feel sorry for your families.”

UK drag star Baga Chipz shared the video clip on Twitter calling Hawley out as “homophobic filth” and “an absolute piece of dirt.”

MTK Global got wind of the anti-LGBTQ rant and quickly dropped Hawley from their roster.

In a statement, MTK Global said:

“The management team have made the decision to terminate Mr. Hawley’s contract with MTK Global with immediate effect and will no longer be representing him in any format.”

Adding that the firm “prides itself on it’s community focus and ethos,” the statement went on to say, “MTK Global does not in any way condone or support the views that were shared in any way, nor will these comments ever be considered as acceptable from any of our fighters hence the decision that was made by management.”

The Daily Mail notes that, since his debut in December 2014, Hawley has a 6-0 record in the boxing ring.

Hawley confirmed he’d been dropped by MTK in a video posted to his Instagram Story saying he “understands” why the action was taken.

He also added that the night of his rant he’d “hit a brick wall and had enough” of being sent messages and “disturbing images” by a “few members of the gay community.”

“I lashed out and said a few things I didn’t mean,” Hawley continued.

Next comes the inevitable…

“I have some friends who are gay,” Hawley offered. “I also have a cousin who’s gay, so I never meant anything by it and I’m sorry for who I offended.”

But flipping the script, Hawley asks, “How would you like it if members from the gay public, on a day to day basis, was sending you inappropriate videos and messages – basically abusing you?”

He ended the ‘apology’ by saying he felt his dismissal from MTK was “unfair” and is hoping for a chance to share his “side of the story” and present “evidence” that shows his rant was an “attack out of anger, not over what I believe.”

Hawley goes on to say if men were sending unwanted sexually suggestive photos and messages to a woman “the situation would be completely different.”

The young athlete has also apparently been blocked on TikTok.

UPDATE: Hawley has also taken his Instagram account private since I published this post.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hitman Hawley 🥊 (@jameshawley1999) on

What do you think readers? Should Hawley have been sacked? Or does unwanted attention (and photos) from gay fans justify his rant?

Let me know in the comments below.

Bloomberg Apologizes For Transphobic Remarks

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (image via campaign)

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg issued an apology today after video clips of Bloomberg making transphobic remarks had come to light.

One of the clips showed Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “he, she, or it” and “some guy in a dress” who could enter girls’ locker rooms at a forum at the Bermuda Business Development Agency in March of 2019.

Another video showed the former mayor speaking at Oxford in 2016 describing transgender people as “some man wearing a dress.” The remarks were in reference to why he believed people in the Midwest would not push for greater rights for transgender individuals.

Today, Bloomberg said in a statement (via The Advocate):

“Today, I spoke with leaders from the transgender community and have heard from elected officials like Mayor London Breed, and I understand that my words had caused hurt,” he said. (Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, is a cisgender woman but has a large trans constituency.)

“It was a poor attempt to describe how some who oppose transgender equality think about this issue — and those words do not reflect my unwavering support for equality for transgender Americans,” he continued. “I want to offer my sincerest apologies to the members of the transgender community.

“Given the ongoing violence that the trans community faces, including the recent killing of Alexa Ruiz in Puerto Rico, we need a president who will set the moral compass to ensure safety, respect and dignity for all trans people. As mayor, I signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill and, as president, will promote policies that advance equality for transgender Americans who have been attacked by the Trump administration over the past three years.”

Since entering the race for the Democratic nomination for president, Bloomberg has yet to appear on a ballot in a Democratic primary or caucus. He will also not be on the ballot in the South Carolina primary Saturday,

Bloomberg has focused his efforts and considerable cash on ballots next week on Super Tuesday, when voters in 14 states and one territory, along with Democrats living abroad, will vote in local primaries and caucuses.

He currently is ranking third nationally in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

School Board Has Filed Appeal After Losing Gavin Grimm ‘Bathroom’ Case

Last month, Gavin Grimm, a transgender man who graduated from Gloucester High School in Virginia two years ago, won his long legal battle with his former high school over the right for trans students to use the public bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

But this week, the Gloucester County School Board decided to appeal the federal court ruling in Grimm’s favor.

And so, Gavin Grimm will have to fight his trans ‘bathroom case’ yet again.

Yes, he’s graduated and moved on, but the pro-trans ruling is so important to trans people that you can bet the 20-year-old activist will continue the good fight.

His case dates all the way back to 2014, when he began to transition in his sophomore year of high school.

Grimm began using a men’s restroom and told school administrators what was going on in his life.

But in December of that year, the school board instituted a policy that prohibited Grimm from using the boys’ room.

Grimm filed his initial law suit in 2015 with the aid of the ACLU. Since that time, he has been locked in this never-ending legal.

He finally took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court two years ago, but the high court sent the case back to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals after the Trump administration reversed Obama-era protections for transgender students in American public schools under Title IX.

Louis C.K. Returns Mocking Parkland School Shooting Students & Transphobic ‘Jokes’

Louis CK returns to the comedy stage (image via WikiMedia)

Just when you thought Kevin Spacey’s bizarre YouTube video was the worst re-emergence of the year, Louis C.K. shows up with a ‘hold my beer’ moment.

After multiple allegations of sexual misconduct forced him from the public eye in November 2017 – his FX network series was cancelled and the release of his feature film I Love You Daddy was axed – the comic told the world he was going to chill for bit.

“These stories are true,” he wrote in his apology. “When you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

‘I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want,” Louis C.K. said at the time. “I will now step back and take a long time to listen.”

Well, he’s not listening any longer.

In a new comedy set (which leaked this weekend), the 51-year-old came out swinging at a whole host of targets.

Complaining about young people today, he riffed on folks who use gender neutral pronouns.

“They’re like royalty!” he said. “They tell you what to call them. ‘You should address me as they/them, because I identify as gender-neutral.’ Oh, Ok. You should address me as ‘there’ because I identify as a location. And the location is your mother’s cunt.”

He also trained his ire on the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where seventeen teens and adults were killed on February 14.

“They testify in front of Congress, these kids? What are they doing?,” says the comic in the leaked video.

“You’re young, you should be crazy, you should be unhinged, not in a suit… you’re not interesting. Because you went to a high school where kids got shot? Why does that mean I have to listen to you? You didn’t got shot, you pushed some fat kid in the way, and now I’ve gotta listen to you talking?”

Listening to the audio, it’s hard to tell which is worse: Louis C.K. doing transphobic jokes and mocking school shooting survivors or the people laughing uproariously at the routine.

The Twitterverse wasn’t having it:

There were a few fans who tried to defend Louis C.K. saying this is who he’s always been:

But this Twitter user summed it up best perhaps: “I actually don’t need to hear audio of Louis CK making fun of the Parkland survivors and trans people. It’s about to be a new year. I think I’ll leave Louis CK behind in 2018 and that’s where he can stay forever.”

What do you think, readers?

Is this just a comedy set? Or should Louis C.K. go back to chilling?

Transphobic Alex Jones: “Everybody Has Had Porn Pop-Up On Their Phones Hundreds Of Times”

Alex Jones

After transphobic conspiracy nutjob Alex Jones was caught with transgender porn on his phone during an episode of his InfoWars last week, Jones took a moment last night to deny the allegation.

It’s an age-old story, don’t you know?

Every transphobic bigot “has had porn pop-up on their phones hundreds of times,” right?

From The Wrap:

“I saw a couple of news articles about that, it’s ridiculous. I was like looking up some reporter we’re trying to hire today and punched in some number and porn popped up on my phone. Everybody has had porn pop-up on their phone hundreds of times,” Jones explained to a caller on Tuesday.

“I probably had porn menus pop up 500 times on my phone,” he added. “There’s two types of people: People who look at porn and people who lie about it. But I wasn’t looking at porn on my phone. I don’t take phones on air that I look at porn on.”

In addition to asserting the Sandy Hook gun massacre was staged, Jones has been an virulently anti-trans activist for year claiming the transgender movement will bring down society, and telling his audience that accepting trans kids is an attempt to ‘sexualize’ them.

Jones has recently been banned from practically all major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify

Podcast: Oklahoma Parents Threaten Trans 5th Grader; Anthony Starble’s Latest Track “Paperweight”

 In this week’s podcast:

• An Oklahoma school district shut down after parents of students threatened violence on a transgender 5th grader

• That anti-gay Colorado baker is at it again – this time denying a cake to a trans woman

• Smart guy Matt Baume reminds us when ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ went gay for just one episode

• A gay Afghanistan teen was denied asylum by Austria for not being ‘gay’ enough

• Plus, out musician Anthony Starble’s new remix of “Paperweight”

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report – Hit the play button below:

Transphobic Lesbians Disrupt London Pride Parade

(image via Twitter)

This is just terrible. Not how our community should be acting.

According to Gay Star News, a group of transphobic lesbians commandeered the lead spot for the Pride Parade in London today, and handed out flyers protesting transgender folks.

A group of lesbian activists blocked the start of the Pride in London march today (7 July) in protest against transgender women. A group of eight women stormed the parade route without accreditation. Then five of them laid down on the road in front of the parade and draped a banner over them.

The banner read: ‘Transactivism erases lesbians’. They then blocked the parade route for about 10 minutes. One of the activists shouted out: ‘A man who says he’s a lesbian is a rapist.’

The group also had a banner that said ‘Lesbian = female homosexual’, as well as flyers with the organization ‘Get the L out’ as the headline.

PinkNews reports that at the end of the parade route, a confrontation erupted between the women and other LGBT attendees, angry that Pride had been led by a group seeking to exclude trans people.

One of the people involved in the confrontation told PinkNews, “They hate trans people, they hate sex workers … they are just as bad as bigots saying gay people go to hell. It’s disgusting, this is a problem with what Pride has become.”

The organizer of the parade, Pride In London, issued this statement:

“Every year, Pride is attended by hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrate that Pride still matters. Given the hot weather and in the interest of the safety for everyone attending today’s event, the parade group was allowed to move ahead.

“We do not condone their approach and message and hope the actions of a very small number people does not overshadow the messages of the 30,000 people marching today.”

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Laverne Cox Schools Lil Duval After Saying He’d Kill A Trans Woman If They Slept With Him

Lil Duvall

On Friday’s episode of Breakfast Club, a radio show that loves to bill itself as “The World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show,” the hosts egged on a transphobic rant from guest and minor comedian, Lil Duval.

Host DJ Envy asked the comic what would be his reaction if he found out he’d slept with a trans woman. His response? “This might sound messed up and I don’t care: she’s dying.”

One of the hosts pressed Duval saying you can’t say you’ll kill trans women. But, Duval deflected: “I didn’t say I was gonna kill transgenders. I said if one did that to me, and they didn’t tell me, I’ma be so mad I’d probably kill them.”

Eventually, Duval’s defense to his indefensible comments was, “I can say what I want and do what I want, and people understand where I’m coming from. They understand I’m not coming from a place of malice. They know I’m just speaking my mind.”

According to reports, at least 15 transgender people have been murdered in 2017. So far.

Last year, there were 22 violent deaths recorded by the Human Rights Campaign.

Trans actress and activist Laverne Cox responded to the ignorance with a lengthy Twitter message:

“After taking several deep breaths I just got teary thinking about all my sisters experiencing violence, beaten, raped, murdered and some … I think what’s also so upsetting for me is @janetmock was on that show last week with so much love brilliance and trans 101 education and A week later this happens. Some folks think it’s ok to joke about wanting to kill us. We have free speech but that speech has consequences and trans folks are Experiencing the negative consequences with our lives. It hurts my spirit cause this isn’t funny. Our lives matter. Trans murder isn’t a joke. I think the issue is when this kind of violence is expressed publicly and goes unchallenged. This is why I am speaking up to challenge It.”

Janet Mock also chimed in:

At the end of the day, though, Lil Duvall remained non-plussed about the whole incident: