News Round-Up: December 22, 2020

Dan Levy accepting his trophy at the 2020 Emmy Awards (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: Emmy Award-winner Dan Levy (above) is working on a number of new projects including a new romantic comedy that he may star in.

WeHoVille: West Hollywood’s City Council unanimously approved creating a crosswalk painted in the colors of the transgender flag on Monday night and also updating the rainbow crosswalks to add the colors brown and black to symbolize greater inclusivity.

Out Music: Out Norwegian musician Marie Ulven (aka girl in red) drops this lovely melancholy pop bop, “two queens in a king-sized bed.” Since being discovered on Soundcloud five years ago, Ulven has impressed music fans with her ethereal sound as well as her choosing to lean into her queerness.

CNN: Donald Trump has begun issuing presidential pardons and among the recipients are former Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter. Both are Republicans, and both were the first in Congress to endorse Trump for president.

Philly Inquirer: Looks like we found that ‘voter fraud’ folks have been talking about. A man in Delaware county registered his dead mother and mother-in-law to vote using their IDs, and he then cast a mail-in ballot…..for Donald Trump. The 70-year-old admitted to casting the illegal ballot to “further the campaign of Donald Trump.”

The Herald: A wedding venue in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, – the Warehouse on Ivy – denied a same-sex couple the opportunity to hold their wedding there citing its ‘Christian values.’ North Carolina is one of 27 states with no statewide laws offering protection from discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

Small Group Of West Hollywood Quislings Chanting ‘Gays For Trump’

A small group of Log Cabin Republicans and other quislings made their way up to San Vicente Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood last night chanting “gays for Trump, gays for Trump.”

Hardly a face mask in sight – which is local ordinance – but who’s surprised?

News Round-Up: September 9, 2020

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Brogan (above) shares some #BigDogEnergy from Los Angeles with his bestie Astrid.

WeHo Times: Rage Nightclub, located in the heart of West Hollywood’s LGBT Rainbow District), has announced it will permanently close after 37 years. According to sources, the restaurant/bar and multi-level nightclub did not renew their lease which was up in November. Former employees also blame the COVID-19 pandemic and high rent as factors in its closure.

• Gay Star News: Gay reality TV personality Joe Exotic (of Tiger King fame) has written to Donald Trump begging for a presidential pardon to get him out of jail. In January a court sentenced him to 22 years in prison over his plot to kill his rival Carol Baskin and for killing five tigers in his zoo.

Joe Exotic and friend (image via Netflix)

Fox News: Former ‘pool boy’ Giancarlo Granda claims Jerry Falwell Jr. has been ‘relentlessly harassing’ him since the sex scandal broke that brought an end to Falwell’s tenure at Liberty University. Granda is now sharing text messages, emails and photos with that appear to back up his allegations and, at the very least, show the Falwells breaking Liberty’s code of conduct on multiple occasions.

NY Daily News: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today indoor dining will be allowed to resume in New York City restaurants beginning September 30. Capacity will be limited to 25%, tables must be six feet apart, patrons will be required to have temperature checks, there will be no walk-up bar service, and customers will be required to leave contact information.

Election 2020: Joe Biden called out Donald Trump for lying to the American people about knowing the true severity of the coronavirus health threat – “He knew how deadly it was,” said Biden. “It was much more deadly than the flu. He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months. He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was. And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job on purpose! It was a life and death betrayal on the American people.”

Kamala Harris Releases Her Plan For LGBTQ Equality

Sen. Kamala Harris releases her plan for LGBTQ+ equality

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) mixed and mingled with supporters at the West Hollywood gay bar The Abbey on Wednesday night prior to the LGBTQ Town Hall co-sponsored by HRC & CNN on Thursday night.

At one point during the event, the California senator also got a lesson from RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Shangela on how to properly clack a fan.

Certainly a skill the first woman president would need, yes?

Shangela shared the moment on Instagram with 1.2 million followers:

View this post on Instagram

HALLELOO for HARRIS!! SENATOR Kamala Harris, that is. I met her tonite to chat with her about her advocacy for LGBTQ rights and Equality, and I can tell you that she has been and will continue to be a fierce ally for our community. I don’t agree with every decision she’s ever made but I can tell you my hope is that as she pushes forward she grows even more in tune with the needs of every member of the LGBTQIA+ family. I can for sure say I am proud to see a strong, intelligent, dedicated Black/Indian woman going after the Democratic nomination, and I urge all you to get informed about these candidates so you can make an educated VOTE for yourself, whoever that may be. And hey, check out her skills with the Halleloo fan! Now that’s a PRO! ❤️🇺🇸🌈 @kamalaharris

A post shared by Shangela (DJ) (@itsshangela) on

Today, Harris released her proposal for LGBTQ Equality titled, “Kamala’s LGBTQ+ Plan to Provide Equality and Dignity for All.”

Harris announced the plan on Twitter writing, “Today, I introduced a plan to ensure everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is able to live proudly and openly, without fear of discrimination. We can restore equality and dignity in the White House.”

In the plan, Harris says she will repeal the Trump/Pence Hate Agenda:

• Reverse Trump’s ban on transgender service members

• Ensure that questions about the LGBTQ+ community are included in the census

• Enforce federal civil rights laws that protect LGBTQ+ people

• Ensure religion cannot be used to discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals

Additionally, Harris promises to establish a Chief Advocate for LGBTQ+ Affairs in the White House, sign the Equality Act into law, sign the Student Non-Discrimination Act into law, and require homeless shelters that receive federal funds cannot discriminate again LGBTQ+ youth.

Regarding HIV, the California senator proposes requiring all insurance plans to cover PrEP as well as bring the cost of the medication down using the government’s authority.

Also in the medical arena, Harris wants to ensure health care coverage of gender confirmation surgery and other gender transition health services as well as guarantee coverage for reproductive services for all LGBTQ+ people including trans and gender non-binary people through her Medicare For All plan.

In terms of crime and the justice system, Harris proposes improving the tracking and reporting of hate crimes, end profiling of LGBTQ+ people by law enforcement, and reform the criminal justice system addressing the disproportionate hard the system has on LGBTQ+ people.

There’s much more on Harris’s campaign website here.

Earlier today, fellow Democratic White House hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, released their plans for LGBTQ Americans.

Don’t forget to watch the LGBTQ Town Hall tonight on CNN beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Drag Queen To Aaron Schock: ‘You Can’t Have Your Cake & Eat It Too’

For months now, the LGBTQ media has reported on totally-not-gay former Congressman Aaron Schock as he’s turned up in photos and video clips making out with gay men at Coachella, tipping go-go dancers at gay clubs in Mexico and posing on the beach with gay social media mavens.

The interest in Mr. Schock is borne out of the fact that while in office he openly opposed LGBTQ rights. His public positions and anti-gay votes included supporting a  constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and voting against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

He has never apologized or addressed his reasons for such policy positions while continually denying he is gay. He’s never publicly come out.

His most recent foray into LGBTQ social life was a visit to the popular West Hollywood bar Revolver when he attended a karaoke night hosted by local drag queen Jonnie Reinhart.

When word got back to Reinhart that Schock was in the audience, Reinhart felt a responsibility to do or say something.

In a video post to his Facebook page, Reinhart admits that he’s not “a confrontational person,” but in light of Schock’s well-documented hypocrisy, couldn’t shake a sense of obligation to address Schock.

In his video, Reinhart says he knows there are folks who would have loved to have seen Schock thrown out of the bar or had a drink thrown in his face.

“My job is to literally make people feel comfortable and in comes this situation, where clearly other people were aware he was there,” Reinhart recently told Insider.com. “There was a general elephant in the room.”

Instead of calling Schock out on the microphone, Reinhart decided to perform “F*ck You” by Lily Allen. As the song began, Reinhart told the crowd, “This song goes out to someone in the audience. And it goes out to anybody who votes against gay rights.”

Reinhart figured that would send a subtle message, and expected Schock to leave.

But after the song, a friend of Schock’s approached Reinhart to chat, which inspired the drag queen to speak to the former congressman directly.

Like many, Reinhart believes Schock still owes the LGBTQ community a public apology for his anti-gay positions. 

“Keep in mind, my blood was boiling, my heart was pounding,” shares Reinhart in his video. “So I went up and shook his hand and I explained to him why I was upset that he was there, why other people were upset that he was there, and I basically told him that he wasn’t going to be welcomed in gay spaces until he began the process of apologizing and healing the harm that his actions have caused.”

According to Reinhart, Schock listened and expressed appreciation for addressing him directly.

Addressing his political record, Schock apparently told Reinhart “that he did not identify as gay at that time, and it wasn’t until years later that he began to explore and understand his sexuality.”

Then, Schock shared with Reinhart “his experience of being publicly outed” and how his family had reacted to the news of him being gay.

“Basically, he told me his family’s reaction was not positive, it was very bad,” shares Reinhart. “And he insisted that he wasn’t looking for sympathy, and he said that he was working on putting out a statement.”

Reinhart didn’t go into Schock’s personal details that were shared in the conversation that night since “he’s actually no longer a public official.”

Schock apparently asked about Reinhart’s own coming out experience and the drag performer shared that he was publicly outed when he was 13, so he grasps how difficult it is to be outed. But, says Reinhart, “It doesn’t excuse his [Schock’s] behavior.”

“I told him that he can’t have his cake and eat it too, and I told him that I’ll be waiting for his statement,” added Reinhart. “He told me that he hoped that he could talk to me again, we shook hands, and that was that.”

Reinhart concludes by telling the viewer his goal in the conversation was to “extend an olive branch,” adding “I believe you can have a respectful conversation with somebody while still telling them that they have f*cked up and they need to do better.”

While I find Reinhart’s civility in his encounter with Schock admirable, it’s worth noting that Schock has now been out and about with his openly gay forays for several months.

If he’s planning to address his anti-LGBTQ past, how long does it take to pen a statement?

As I have previously reported, Schock left office in public disgrace in 2015 amid corruption charges including mail fraud, filing false tax returns, theft of government funds, and more.

In March, he was offered and accepted a sweetheart deal by federal prosecutors who agreed to drop all charges if he repaid $68k to his campaign fund and $42k to the IRS.

(source: Insider – images via Facebook, Instagram)

Leslie Jordan Faces Down Young Homophobes At West Hollywood Starbucks

Here’s a life lesson for homophobes: do not head into the gayest coffee shop in the gayest neighborhood in the world and start trouble with an Emmy Award-winning queen in attendance.

She will cut a bitch.

Apparently, late Wednesday morning, three young men in their 20s walked into the Starbucks located on Santa Monica Blvd right in the heart of West Hollywood.

For some reason, the three started throwing out antigay slurs at customers who, by all accounts were deep in thought over their $5 lattes.

Queerty has the details:

“You will die, fucking faggots!” one of the men allegedly announced to the entire store.

Joseph Daniels, who was waiting in line at the time, told WEHOville, “It was very scary and unexpected.” But he wasn’t going to let a group of d-bags get the best of him. He walked over to the men and told them their behavior was “rude.”

Then the manager came along and told them to get the hell out.

The thugs refused to leave and proceeded to call everyone in the store “faggots.” And that’s when things got really heated. Because unbeknownst to the homophobes, Leslie Jordan happened to be there.

Yes, the Leslie Jordan.

The 4’11 Southern gentleman approached the men, fuming, and told them to “Get out of my house!” before chasing them out the front doors.

Once outside, the men continued screaming antigay epithets. But Jordan wasn’t having any of it.

“The guy lunged at Leslie to hit him,” Daniels said of one of the men. “Then Leslie threw his drink at the guy. Then (another) guy threw his drink to hit me.”

Police were called. They advised Jordan and the other patrons not to file charges against the homophobes, saying that if they did the men could accuse them of assault for throwing coffee at them.

Daniels told WEHOville that the three men stormed away, but continued screaming “faggots” and making obscene gestures.

“He provoked it,” Daniels said of one of the three men. “He spewed hate crime words against everybody and threw a drink at Leslie. Why couldn’t he have been charged with disorderly conduct?”

Belinda Carlisle’s son Duke Mason announces run for West Hollywood City Council

Duke Mason, openly gay son of Belinda Carlisle, has officially announced he is running for a West Hollywood City Council seat.

“I am grateful to be a resident of West Hollywood. We should celebrate our city’s legacy. But we also need to return to our roots and use that activist spirit to build for ourselves, for our future and for the next generation. We’re still West Hollywood: the same West Hollywood with the audacity to stand up, to speak out and to fight for what we believe in. We are good but we can be great again. We can be proud again.”

More about Duke and his campaign at www.JamesDukeMason.com