News Round-Up: April 5, 2021

Lil Nas X hits #1 again with "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)"
Lil Nas X hits #1 again with "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)"
Lil Nas X (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Billboard: Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. This marks his second Hot 100 #1 after his breakthrough smash “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, reigned for a record 19 weeks in 2019.

The Advocate: Kate Winslet is speaking out against the “judgment, discrimination, and homophobia” in Hollywood that is preventing actors from coming out. The Ammonite star said she knew “at least four actors” that are staying in the closet due to fears that being out would hurt their careers.

Gr8erDays: Today would have been the 113th birthday of gay icon Bette Davis, plus a host of other top-shelf stars catalogued by pop culture guru Matt Rettenmund.

Instinct Magazine: A staffer in Australia’s Parliament was fired last week after after sex tapes recorded within its halls involving him were leaked to the press by his former boyfriend.

Washington Post: A record 4 million Americans were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday. An average of 3.1 million shots were administered each day over the past seven days, and nearly 1 in 4 adults are now fully vaccinated.

Twitter: United Airlines weighed in today on the topic of Georgia’s new voter suppression law: “Legislation that infringes on the right to vote of fellow Americans is wrong.” p.s. Republicans got mad…

News Round-Up: November 20, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• Instinct: A real-life gay couple (above) kissing in an Australian underwear ad got a lot of attention. Some called it “beautiful,” but others said the ad was “offensive.”

• Washington Blade: The number of hate crime incidents targeting gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the United States in 2018 increased by nearly 6 percent over the previous year and the number of anti-transgender hate crime incidents increased by 41 percent during that same period, according to the FBI’s newly released annual Hate Crime Statistics Report.

Newsweek: Donald Trump regularly struggles to “remember what he’s said or been told,” an anonymous senior government official writes in the newly-released book, A Warning.

The Sun: A United Airlines passenger refused to sit next to 16-year-old Taylor Richardson on a plane “because she was black.”

NBC News: Preparing to enroll their two-year-old in pre-school, two gay dads were asked: “Who is the mother?”

Rolling Stone: Michelle Obama, Lizzo and Lil Nas X all scored Grammy Award nominations today.

Gaily Grind: Acrobatic dancers Guillaume Paquin and Arthur Morel Van Hyfte received a standing ovation after performing a dance routine meant to combat homophobia on La France a Un Incroyable Talent (France’s Got Incredible Talent) last night.

The dance routine is part of the CircusQueer project, which is described on social media as “a series of performance videos to address social issues and hopefully inspire a kinder world” and meant to address “gender identity, trans youth, and the conditioning of gender expectations.”

United Airlines Claps Back At Anti-LGBT Hater – “Pride Is Not About Politics, It’s About Humanity”

I’ll begin this post by stating upfront that United is my airline of choice.

And one of those reasons is the company’s commitment to supporting LGBTQ inclusion and equality.

Please note the rainbow logo United switched to immediately on the 1st of June to recognize Pride Month.

Everyone, however, wasn’t thrilled with the pic.

A certain hater – Pastor Ron York – had to chime in and tell the airline the logo was “inappropriate” and “political.”

United wasn’t having any of that, though.

The company that invites you to “fly the friendly skies” clapped back at his hate letting him know, “Pride is not about politics, it’s about humanity.”


United then shared a link to the airline’s “Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion” statement 🙂

(h/t Boy Culture)

Dog Dies On United Airlines Flight After Being Put In Overhead Bin

Flight attendants on a United Airlines flight insisted a family put their dog in the overhead compartment instead of under the seat in front of them for a three hour flight.

The result was devastating.

A passenger on the plane shared her account of the fateful flight.

Today, I boarded my first United Airlines flight.

On my way, I saw a Frenchie that looked identical to my own precious Winston. He was with his family – a young girl, no older than 8, her toddler sibling and their mother. He was meant to grow, learn, cry, play with those young children and be their furry friend. He was meant to live a long life filling that family’s days with that special joy that only a dog can bring.

I sat behind the family of three and thought myself lucky – who doesn’t when they get to sit near a puppy? However, the flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water. They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow. They assured the safety of the family’s pet so wearily, the mother agreed.

There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel. There was no movement as his family called his name. I held her baby as the mother attempted to resuscitate their 10 month old puppy. I cried with them three minutes later as she sobbed over his lifeless body. My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone.

The Humane Society of the U.S. says air travel can be risky for pets and especially dangerous for brachycephalic breeds — such as pugs or bulldogs, whose short nasal passages make them vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke. This little guy fought hard for his life, filling our flight with his cries until he finally ran out of breath.

United Airlines does not care about the safety of their furry travelers. This poor family paid $125 for their pet to be murdered in front of them. There is no excuse for the pain this family is suffering.

Today, I boarded my last United Airlines flight.

After the dog was discovered to have passed away, the flight attendant told the passengers she thought it was just a bag and didn’t know the dog was inside.

The family says the flight attendant is lying.

The dog was traveling in a TSA-compliant travel kennel that was designed to fit under a seat.

According to Fox News, United Airlines spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin has issued this statement:

“This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

According to a US Department of Transportation report issued in February, 18 animals died in United’s care last year compared with six killed among all other U.S. airlines.

News Round-Up: May 26, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Memorial Day weekend means we head into the dog days of summer. I’m not complaining 😉

• During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told lawmakers she had no problem with private schools receiving publicly-funded vouchers denying admission to students from LGBTQ families.

• United Airlines wrongly accused a gay dad of having his hand “too close” to his son’s genitals during a flight. United has since apologized but asked the man to “keep it low key” due to the airline’s recent bad press.

• In high school, Wyatt Pertuset was homecoming king, prom king, student body president and an out football player. Check out his terrific coming out story over at OutSports.

• Speaking of out athletes, the former CEO of the Cleveland Browns thinks Michael Sam’s short foray into the NFL could prevent other closeted football players from coming out.

• The White House may have a team of lawyers vet President Trump’s tweets before the Donald sends them out into the interwebs.

• Check out hottie Rob Gronkowski get soaking wet washing his car, serve sushi from his bare bod and literally flip out in a pillow fight in the new “On My Mind” video from dance music DJ/producer 3LAU. I like the song, btw.

News Round-Up: April 13, 2017

Ben Cohen

Some news items you may have missed:

• Woofy, shirtless, straight ally Ben Cohen tweets from the gym (above). #Grrrr

• Hundreds gathered outside the Russian embassy in London to protest on behalf of Chechen gays after weeks of reports indicating Chechnya has rounded up over 100 gay men in “concentration camps.”

• According to The Guardian, investigators looking into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”

• The doctor who was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight apparently suffered a concussion, loss of two front teeth and a broken nose. #TheFriendlySkies?

• Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord calls President Trump “the Martin Luther King of health care.” Hmm, vagina grabbing president compared to humanitarian…

• Two “Jean Val Jeans” – Ramin Karimloo (currently in previews on Broadway for Anastasia) shares this awesome moment from a few years ago when the original star of Les Miserables, Colm Wilkinson, joined him in an encore of “Bring Him Home.” Ramin’s voice just kills – and how beautiful that he steps back to give Colm the last note.

United Airlines Stock Takes Hit As CEO Calls Passenger “Disruptive” And “Belligerent”

In the aftermath of United Airlines’ violent “deplaning” of a passenger Sunday night which has gone viral, the airline has lost about $1 billion in value today, thanks in great part to the tone-deaf response by the company’s CEO, Oscar Munoz.

From CNBC:

“This went to the next level when the CEO and the [United] executives began to respond,” said Andy Swan of LikeFolio, which monitors social media for financial applications. “They threw gasoline on a fire.”

The apology note issued by CEO Munoz on Monday and then his letter to employees that evening almost “restarted the crisis,” Swan added, saying he watched mentions of United skyrocket on social media for a second and a third time.

Munoz doubled down in the letter to employees, saying those involved “followed established procedures.” He called the passenger “disruptive and belligerent.” In one of the videos, the passenger said he was a doctor and had to return home to treat patients on Monday.

“When management stepped out — and [they did it] in most offensive way possible — you started to see negative mentions surge,” he said. “[United] invited some really negative stuff on themselves.”

The passenger has been identified as 69-year-old grandfather Dr David Dao.

Dr Dao was heard in videos captured of his shocking eviction saying he needed to get home to Louisville so he could see patients. Dr Dao is a father of five and a grandfather, who specializes in internal medicine.

In related news, one of the officer’s who “deplaned” Dr. Dao has been placed on leave.

Here’s the text of the CEO’s letter to employees that was dispatched last night:

“Dear Team, Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I’ve included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.

“As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.

“While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right. I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident.

“Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.


Munoz also included a summary of how United viewed the incident:

On Sunday, April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United’s gate agents were approached by crewmembers that were told they needed to board the flight.

We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.

He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent.

Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.

Chicago Aviation Security Officers were unable to gain his cooperation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist – running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.