• 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.
• 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.
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.
Beginning with the words “genital mutilation,” Sen. Rand Paul launched into an unhinged #transphobic rant during the confirmation hearing of Dr. Rachel Levine (who is trans) pic.twitter.com/IOvIVXmE66
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s dangerous & transphobic questioning of Dr. Rachel Levine (a transgender woman who is Biden’s nominee for Assistant Health Secretary), shows exactly why the Trans Community needs protections from bigots like Rand Paul.
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.”
(Offensive video) Today’s Scum is no other than “pro boxer” and really hard man James Hawley. Homophobic Filth. What a hard man. Report the Low life. What an absolute piece of dirt. pic.twitter.com/W7hdWwbDE0
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.”
@ChipShopBird hahaha his Instagram apology is bizarre. He apologises, then justifies his behaviour.. then he says he understands why he has been dropped by @MTKGlobal but says the decision was wrong! Guy needs a tutor and detention.. 🙄 go you though for calling him out! 👌🏽
“If this happened to a girl…massive action would be taken”. No it wouldn’t, most women have stories of harassment online and offline but we don’t all use it as an excuse for homophobia. He should just admit he’s a bigot and stop playing the victim.
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, 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.