Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trump White House Is First In 20 Years To Not Hold A Ramadan Event

For the first time since 1996, the White House has not held a celebration to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended at sunset on Saturday.

Via ThinkProgress:

President Donald Trump did issue official statements for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, a festival that marks the end of the month-long daytime fast. Even those statements, however, lingered on terrorists and terrorism that many felt held all Muslims responsible for the actions of a few.

“I reiterate my message delivered in Riyadh: America will always stand with our partners against terrorism and the ideology that fuels it,” the Ramadan statement read, in part. “During this month of Ramadan, let us be resolved to spare no measure so that we may ensure that future generations will be free of this scourge and able to worship and commune in peace.”

The Eid statement, while brief, was more conciliatory, commemorating a holiday with Muslims “carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and breaking bread with people from all walks of life.”

Unlike other recent administrations, however, the White House did not hold a dinner or reception to mark either holiday — despite Trump telling ABC News last year that he’d be fine with continuing the Ramadan dinner tradition.

The Trump White House also took a pass on holding a White House seder during the Jewish holiday of Passover.

But he has played golf 30 times since taking office.

The Pride Is High At NYC Pride

Just a few of the snaps on Instagram from NYC Pride March today.

A post shared by Michael Halden (@mikehalden) on

A post shared by Michael Halden (@mikehalden) on

A post shared by Women's March (@womensmarch) on

A post shared by Rahul (@thefasttraveler) on

A post shared by Nick Tan (@thetandiaries) on

A post shared by Lindsey Roberts (@linni1324) on

A post shared by 30Casas🐼 (@sergiocasasb) on

A post shared by Rodolfo MustafΓ© (@mustafex) on

A post shared by Rachel Levi (@levirs89) on

New York: Gov. Cuomo Unveils LGBT Memorial Monument Design

As NYC Pride marches on today, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the design chosen for New York’s official monument honoring the LGBT community and the victims of the Orlando shooting.

The governor commissioned the monument in the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016.

The design chosen was created by artist Anthony Goicolea.

Via the governor’s office:

“This stunning design complements the landscape and communicates a timeless message of inclusion, and this monument will serve as an enduring symbol of the role New Yorkers play in building a fairer, more just world,” Governor Cuomo said. “From Stonewall to marriage equality, New York has always been a beacon for justice and we will never waiver in our commitment to the LGBT community and to creating a more just and inclusive society. This new monument will stand up for those values for generations to come.”

Following the tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 158, establishing the LGBT Memorial Commission, with the mission to design and build a new memorial in honor of the LGBT community and the victims of the Orlando shooting. The Commission issued a request for proposals in October 2016, and all submissions were judged on their interpretation and clarity of the theme, creativity and originality of depicted theme, quality of artistic composition, site compatibility, and constructability, among other factors.

The site specific design works in harmony with the existing attributes of Hudson River Park and promotes thought and reflection while encouraging people to unite in a communal environment. It will feature nine modified boulders, some of which are bisected with a clear, laminated, borosilicate-glass with refractory components that act as a prism to create subtle rainbow patterns on the surrounding lawn and nearby objects.

Hillary Clinton On LGBT Pride 2017

Just a friendly reminder that there are folks who maintain there's "no difference" between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

Feel free to send me a pic of President Trump marching in an LGBTQ Pride parade, ok?

Watch: Livestream Of NYC Pride Parade

It's NYC Pride Day! And this year you can watch the parade/march via streaming video from local ABC affiliate, ABC7.

The NYC Pride March started in 1970 as a civil rights demonstration on the 1-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

Today, it is one of the world's best known LGBT events, with 350 marching contingents and more than 2 million spectators in 2016.

WABC-TV will broadcast the annual trek down Fifth Avenue from Noon -3 p.m. on Channel 7 and also stream the event on its website,

This year's theme, "We Are Proud," speaks to the LGBT community's unwavering ability to rise and be proud, even in the face of the existing political environment. The American Civil Liberties Union, Brooke Guinan (trans woman, FDNY firefighter), Krishna Stone (Director of Community Relations, GMHC), and Geng Le (Founder, Blued) will helm 2017's iconic March.

The livestream has ended but ABC7 has posted the entire broadcast in segments here.

I really encourage you to check it out. Amazing, beautiful job capturing the tone and size of the march

Fake Campbell's Account Trolls Haters For Complaining About Gay Dads Commercial

This goes back a couple of years, but someone just brought it to my attention and I think it's hysterical.

You may recall in 2015 when Campbell Soups shared this adorable commercial with two dads and their son:

Apparently, a very funny jokester decided to chime in as "Campbells ForHelp" when haters would complain to the company on Facebook about the ad spot.

Read the hysterical responses below.

It clearly took people a long time to figure out the responses weren't coming from Campbells LOL...

(h/t RearFront)

LGBT Ally Cyndi Lauper: "I Couldn't Stand On The Sidelines Anymore"

Cyndi Lauper accepts 2017 Logo Trailblazer Honor

Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper was honored at the 2017 Logo Trailblazer Honors earlier this week for her work on behalf of homeless LGBT youth as well as her overall commitment to equality.

Speaking to the crowd at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, “I never set out to be a trailblazer. I was a friend and family member who couldn’t stand on the sidelines anymore and be a bystander. I always felt that since I do have a big mouth, I might as well use it to help people who aren’t being heard.”

Also honored this year were Cleve Jones, Alvin Ailey, and Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan.

Stonewall Riots: Newspaper Reports "Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad"

Click to enlarge pic

Props to JoeMyGod for finding this newspaper report on the Stonewall riots 48 years ago.

As we all celebrate Pride Month, it's always important to remember why we "pride" and who's shoulders we now stand on.

You'll note how condescending the writing is: "She was a he;" "lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting;" "do whatever little girls do..."


-by Jerry Lisker, New York Daily News, July 6th 1969

She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn’t bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.

Last weekend the queens had turned commandos and stood bra strap to bra strap against an invasion of the helmeted Tactical Patrol Force. The elite police squad had shut down one of their private gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn at 57 Christopher St., in the heart of a three-block homosexual community in Greenwich Village. Queen Power reared its bleached blonde head in revolt. New York City experienced its first homosexual riot. “We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over,” lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting from the court of the Queens.

“We’ve had all we can take from the Gestapo,” the spokesman, or spokeswoman, continued. “We’re putting our foot down once and for all.” The foot wore a spiked heel. According to reports, the Stonewall Inn, a two-story structure with a sand painted brick and opaque glass facade, was a mecca for the homosexual element in the village who wanted nothing but a private little place where they could congregate, drink, dance and do whatever little girls do when they get together.

The thick glass shut out the outside world of the street. Inside, the Stonewall bathed in wild, bright psychedelic lights, while the patrons writhed to the sounds of a juke box on a square dance floor surrounded by booths and tables. The bar did a good business and the waiters, or waitresses, were always kept busy, as they snaked their way around the dancing customers to the booths and tables. For nearly two years, peace and tranquility reigned supreme for the Alice in Wonderland clientele.

The Raid Last Friday

Last Friday the privacy of the Stonewall was invaded by police from the First Division. It was a raid. They had a warrant. After two years, police said they had been informed that liquor was being served on the premises. Since the Stonewall was without a license, the place was being closed. It was the law.

All hell broke loose when the police entered the Stonewall. The girls instinctively reached for each other. Others stood frozen, locked in an embrace of fear.

Only a handful of police were on hand for the initial landing in the homosexual beachhead. They ushered the patrons out onto Christopher Street, just off Sheridan Square. A crowd had formed in front of the Stonewall and the customers were greeted with cheers of encouragement from the gallery.

The whole proceeding took on the aura of a homosexual Academy Awards Night. The Queens pranced out to the street blowing kisses and waving to the crowd. A beauty of a specimen named Stella wailed uncontrollably while being led to the sidewalk in front of the Stonewall by a cop. She later confessed that she didn’t protest the manhandling by the officer, it was just that her hair was in curlers and she was afraid her new beau might be in the crowd and spot her. She didn’t want him to see her this way, she wept.

Queen Power

The crowd began to get out of hand, eye witnesses said. Then, without warning, Queen Power exploded with all the fury of a gay atomic bomb. Queens, princesses and ladies-in-waiting began hurling anything they could get their polished, manicured fingernails on. Bobby pins, compacts, curlers, lipstick tubes and other femme fatale missiles were flying in the direction of the cops. The war was on. The lilies of the valley had become carnivorous jungle plants.

Urged on by cries of “C’mon girls, lets go get ’em,” the defenders of Stonewall launched an attack. The cops called for assistance. To the rescue came the Tactical Patrol Force.

Flushed with the excitement of battle, a fellow called Gloria pranced around like Wonder Woman, while several Florence Nightingales administered first aid to the fallen warriors. There were some assorted scratches and bruises, but nothing serious was suffered by the honeys turned Madwoman of Chaillot.

Official reports listed four injured policemen with 13 arrests. The War of the Roses lasted about 2 hours from about midnight to 2 a.m. There was a return bout Wednesday night.

Two veterans recently recalled the battle and issued a warning to the cops. “If they close up all the gay joints in this area, there is going to be all out war.”

Bruce and Nan

Both said they were refugees from Indiana and had come to New York where they could live together happily ever after. They were in their early 20’s. They preferred to be called by their married names, Bruce and Nan.

“I don’t like your paper,” Nan lisped matter-of-factly. “It’s anti-fag and pro-cop.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t see what they did to the Stonewall. Did the pigs tell you that they smashed everything in sight? Did you ask them why they stole money out of the cash register and then smashed it with a sledge hammer? Did you ask them why it took them two years to discover that the Stonewall didn’t have a liquor license.”

Bruce nodded in agreement and reached over for Nan’s trembling hands.

“Calm down, doll,” he said. “Your face is getting all flushed.”

Nan wiped her face with a tissue.

“This would have to happen right before the wedding. The reception was going to be held at the Stonewall, too,” Nan said, tossing her ashen-tinted hair over her shoulder.

“What wedding?,” the bystander asked.

Nan frowned with a how-could-anybody-be-so-stupid look. “Eric and Jack’s wedding, of course. They’re finally tying the knot. I thought they’d never get together.”

Meet Shirley

“We’ll have to find another place, that’s all there is to it,” Bruce sighed. “But every time we start a place, the cops break it up sooner or later.”

“They let us operate just as long as the payoff is regular,” Nan said bitterly. “I believe they closed up the Stonewall because there was some trouble with the payoff to the cops. I think that’s the real reason. It’s a shame. It was such a lovely place. We never bothered anybody. Why couldn’t they leave us alone?”

Shirley Evans, a neighbor with two children, agrees that the Stonewall was not a rowdy place and the persons who frequented the club were never troublesome. She lives at 45 Christopher St.

“Up until the night of the police raid there was never any trouble there,” she said. “The homosexuals minded their own business and never bothered a soul. There were never any fights or hollering, or anything like that. They just wanted to be left alone. I don’t know what they did inside, but that’s their business. I was never in there myself. It was just awful when the police came. It was like a swarm of hornets attacking a bunch of butterflies.”

A reporter visited the now closed Stonewall and it indeed looked like a cyclone had struck the premises.

Police said there were over 200 people in the Stonewall when they entered with a warrant. The crowd outside was estimated at 500 to 1,000. According to police, the Stonewall had been under observation for some time. Being a private club, plain clothesmen were refused entrance to the inside when they periodically tried to check the place. “They had the tightest security in the Village,” a First Division officer said, “We could never get near the place without a warrant.”

Police Talk

The men of the First Division were unable to find any humor in the situation, despite the comical overtones of the raid.

“They were throwing more than lace hankies,” one inspector said. “I was almost decapitated by a slab of thick glass. It was thrown like a discus and just missed my throat by inches. The beer can didn’t miss, though, “it hit me right above the temple.”

Police also believe the club was operated by Mafia connected owners. The police did confiscate the Stonewall’s cash register as proceeds from an illegal operation. The receipts were counted and are on file at the division headquarters. The warrant was served and the establishment closed on the grounds it was an illegal membership club with no license, and no license to serve liquor.

The police are sure of one thing. They haven’t heard the last from the Girls of Christopher Street.

President Trump Continues Moaning About An Election He Won

Another Sunday morning, another nutty tweet from Trump.

President Babyhands woke up with another case of the "cries" over an election he won.

He got up at 5AM to tweet this... #lord

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Podcast: RuPaul Sashays To Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Virginia Could Elect 1st Trans Lawmaker

In this week’s LGBT news on The Randy Report podcast:

• Virginia could elect the country’s first out transgender legislator this fall

• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs "license to discriminate" bill into law

• Military chiefs have asked for a six month delay in recruiting transgender recruits

• Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resign saying that President Trump "doesn’t care about HIV"

• Broadway Bares takes this year's edition of the scintillating charity event back to college raising over $1.5 million in one night

• And RuPaul gets to sashay his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

I'd like to invite all my readers to head over to iTunes and hit the Subscribe button on my page on iTunes, and then every time I upload a new podcast it will be sent directly to you for your listening ease :)

Tweet Of The Day: Sesame Street Celebrates Pride Month

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Randy Rainbow Celebrates The Evolution Of GAY

Set to the tune "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast, Randy Rainbow wishes you all Happy Pride! all!

BE A GAY! (Or don't, it's not for everybody.)

Learn from the past and continue to move with grace, courage and laughter into the future!

Ricky Martin Talks About His Upcoming Gay Role On American Crime Story

Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz, Darren Criss, and Edgar Ramirez recently gave interviews to Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming Ryan Murphy series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story due to arrive in TV land in 2018.

Ricky portrays Versace’s longtime partner Antonio D’Amico. The role is the latin popstar's first gay role and will feature his first gay sex scene.

Says Martin, “We’re going to go mainstream with a story that talks about homophobia, that talks about hate, that talks about indifference. I feel humbled. It’s so raw and honest and so dramatic and sad. But at the same time you show the love of Gianni and Antonio and 15 years of struggling, fighting. It’s something that I really wanted to be loud about.”

Pornhub Shares Most Popular Gay Porn Search Term State By State

Just in time for Pride Month, Pornhub Insights has assessed the stats behind the most popular search terms for gay porn by each U.S. state.

There's some serious irony happening in the deep south, just saying.

The enormous porn site also added up the most popular categories of videos actually viewed per state. There's certainly a regional thing in play wouldn't you say?

New York Magazine has called Pornhub "the Kinsey Report of our time" due to the amount of data and insights gathered as folks settle down for "me" time.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Nevada: Sen. Dean Heller Says "No" To Senate GOP Trumpcare Bill

Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada
Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada (my state) announced today he will not be voting for the newly unveiled Senate version of Trumpcare.

Heller is considered the most vulnerable Republican senator up for reelection in 2018 being from a very purple state that went for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

Via Politico:

“This bill that’s currently in front of the United States Senate is not the answer. It’s simply not the answer,” said Heller, the most vulnerable Senate Republican in the 2018 midterm election. “It’s going to be very difficult to get me to a yes."

Heller is now the fifth Republican to go public with a threat to vote against the bill, which is the culmination of seven years of GOP campaign promises. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can lose only two of his 52 members for the bill to pass when he holds a vote in a week.

On Thursday, four conservatives — Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson — said they aren’t ready to support the draft bill because it preserves too many of Obamacare's regulations but said they’re open to negotiations.

Heller did leave the door open to supporting the bill if changes are made.

"Both Republicans and Democrats can agree the [Affordable Care Act] does need some fixes," the Nevada Republican said.

Heller said he is opposed to the rollback of the Medicaid expansion because it hurts Nevada.

"This is all about Medicaid expansion. ... You have to protect Medicaid expansion states,” Heller said, adding that he wouldn't support rolling back Medicaid unless payment rates for a state like Nevada are boosted.

Trust and believe I was one of the phone calls his office received over the past couple of days.

Heller becomes the fifth Senate Republican to say they won't be supporting the GOP Healthcare bill. Republicans only have a two vote majority, so with five saying "no," this bill has to be amended. The problem is the moves to get moderate Repubs on board will push far-right GOPs away, and vice-versa.

The answer to healthcare is for Republicans to work WITH Democrats to address fixes in Obamacare. Period.

News Round-Up: June 23, 2017

Weekend bound (via Instagram)
Some news stories you may have missed:

• Who's ready for the weekend? #Yahoooooo!

• Thanks to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the spire of One World Trade Center and the Kosciuszko Bridge to be lit with the colors of the transgender flag for Trans Day of Action today, June 23rd. The same landmarks will be illuminated in the colors of the Pride flag on Saturday and Sunday for NYC Pride celebrations.

• Also for NYC Pride - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared June 22nd officially "Laverne Cox Day" as the actress made an appearance at his official residence, Gracie Mansion.

Said Cox, “Can you believe that a black transgender woman from Mobile, Alabama, raised by a single mother has a day in New York City named after her?”

• July 1st was the date that qualified transgender people were supposed to be able to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces, but military heads are asking for a six month delay.

• California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced yesterday that four states are being added to the state-sponsored travel ban because of efforts to enshrine discrimination against LGBTQ people into law.

• Speaking of lights for Pride, the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago was lit up in rainbow colors, apparently in celebration of Chicago Pride this weekend. But the lights only lasted one night, and when asked the hotel responded with, “We’ve been told not to say anything until the PR person puts out a statement.” Of course, as we all know, President Trump ended the tradition of recognizing Pride Month after eight straight years of proclamations from President Obama.

New Music: Kirstin "Break A Little" (Madison Mars Remix)

As a member of the a cappella group Pentatonix Kirstin Maldonado has won 3 GRAMMY® Awards, and with her new EP - L O V E - moves into an exciting new chapter in her career, rebranding herself as kirstin and debuting the EP’s lead single, “Break a Little.”

The multi-platinum singer/songwriter's solo debut EP L O V E is available now for preorder and will be released on July 14th via RCA Records.

“I’m so proud of ‘Break A Little’,” Kirstin said in a statement. “I always wanted to write a sad song that sounds happy. I think everyone can relate to this emotion. It’s about longing for something. You’re attracted to a vice or person you know you shouldn’t come back to, but you can’t help it.”

Check out the Madison Mars remix of “Break a Little” below.

I think this remix actually serves the song better than the original ballad soundscape.

Indiana: Carrier A/C Plant Trump "Saved" To Layoff Over 700 Employees

President Trump

Back in December, President-elect Trump boasted as he toured the Carrier air conditioner plant in Indianapolis that he had "saved" more than 700 jobs at the plant.

It turns out the jobs weren't quite "saved."

From the New York Daily News:

Carrier was going to lay off 1,400 workers and open a new facility in Mexico where labor is cheaper.

Trump said that 1,100 jobs would stay in Indianapolis because of his actions.

As it turns out, Carrier did agree to employ at least 1,069 people at the Indianapolis plant for the next 10 years in exchange for the $7 million in incentives.

But the majority of the 1,069 positions are engineering and technical workers whose positions weren’t in jeopardy, CNBC said.

The manufacturers whose jobs were on the line in November are still at risk — and 730 of them will get the ax, CNBC reported.

Trump had also taken credit for getting a promise from United Technologies to invest $16 million into the Indianapolis plant.

But that money is actually going toward more automation — which will result in fewer jobs, CNBC noted.

RuPaul To Be Honored With Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

RuPaul is finally getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

"WOW! Just found out! Dream come true!"
"Sweet Cheeses! My heart is beating so fast right now! - RuPaul to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame"

Also chosen this year by the Walk of Fame Selection Committee are Kirsten Dunst, Gina Lollobrigida, Linda Carter, Simon Cowell, Ryan Murphy, Taraji P Henson, Petula Clark, Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols, Weird Al Yankovic, Minnie Mouse, Niecy Nash, Mary J Blige, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and posthumous stars to Steve Irwin and Bernie Mac.

It's not well known, but celebs chosen for the honor have two years to schedule their star ceremonies or they expire. Additionally, a sponsor is needed for each star as the cost for installation is $40,000.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the top tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

It's been a big year for RuPaul what with winning the Emmy and MTV awards, landing on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, celebrating RuPaul's Drag Race's highest ratings ever, plus guest spots on Broad City and Girl Boss, and marrying longtime bf Georges.

Reminder: RuPaul's Drag Race airs it's season finale tonight at 8PM on VH1.

Washington Post: Intel Agencies Had Proof Putin Ordered Russian Interference

Bombshell reporting from the Washington Post this morning on the Russian interference in the 2016 elections, including the confirmation that U.S. intelligence officials captured Putin’s specific instructions to disrupt the elections.

It's a long read, but very worth it. The Post reporters chronicle each chapter of the Russian attack from the day President Obama was informed, to the very closed circle of high level officials who dealt with the issue, to how the public was finally informed.

The report consists of interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior positions in government, including at the White House, the State, Defense and Homeland Security departments, and U.S. intelligence services.

Of particular note:

• Former administration officials admit that the sense of urgency was "contained" to some degree because a Clinton win was expected by virtually everyone. Obama continued to believe he would be handing over the Oval Office to Hillary. There was concern that coming forward with the details of Russian interference would further Trump's cries of a "rigged election."

• Obama ordered the planting of digital cyber-bombs in Russia's infrastructure to be used at a later date should frictions escalate. It was left to President Trump whether or not to ever use them.

Here's just an excerpt of the article:

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

The CIA breakthrough came at a stage of the presidential campaign when Trump had secured the GOP nomination but was still regarded as a distant long shot. Clinton held comfortable leads in major polls, and Obama expected that he would be transferring power to someone who had served in his Cabinet.


Obama’s approach often seemed reducible to a single imperative: Don’t make things worse. As brazen as the Russian attacks on the election seemed, Obama and his top advisers feared that things could get far worse.

They were concerned that any pre-election response could provoke an escalation from Putin. Moscow’s meddling to that point was seen as deeply concerning but unlikely to materially affect the outcome of the election. Far more worrisome to the Obama team was the prospect of a cyber-assault on voting systems before and on Election Day.

They also worried that any action they took would be perceived as political interference in an already volatile campaign. By August, Trump was predicting that the election would be rigged. Obama officials feared providing fuel to such claims, playing into Russia’s efforts to discredit the outcome and potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph.

I haven't bought into actual collusion theories between the Trump campaign and Russia before, but this morning I do wonder: how did Trump happen to begin dropping the "rigged election" comments when he did? Was that the collusion? Did Russia tell the Trump campaign to get out ahead of the Obama administration with the "rigged" comments expecting it might silence the administration?

Daily Dance: "Maniac"

Friday be like...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

News Round-Up: June 22, 2017

Javier Baez

Some news stories you might have missed:

• Check this sneak peek from the upcoming ESPN Body 2017 issue featuring hottie Chicago Cub Javier Baez. The issue is on newsstands July 7.

• Cincinnati plans to name a street after marriage equality plaintiff/hero Jim Obergefell and his deceased husband, Jim Arthur.

• Trans activist Janet Mock says "very privileged" Caitlyn Jenner is NOT a spokesperson for the trans community.

• Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt is getting his own show on MSNBC even as liberal hosts Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell lead the network in ratings. The good news, though, is out news anchor Thomas Roberts will now host a two hour news block on Saturday evenings from 7-9PM.

• Two years after SCOTUS made same-sex marriage the law of the land, Gallup reports that 10.2% of LGBT adults in the U.S. are married to a same-sex spouse, up from 7.9% before the ruling. Additionally, Gallup estimates 61% of same-sex, cohabiting couples in the U.S. are now married, up from 38% before the Obergefell ruling.

• Crystal Griner, the Capitol Police officer who took down the shooter at a Republican baseball practice threw out the first pitch yesterday at the Congressional Women's softball game.

FTW - British Man Wears Shorts To Work During Heat Wave, Sent Home To Change He Returns In Pink Dress

I LOVE this guy.

Joey Barge, a call center worker in Buckinghamshire, England, attempted to wear a pair of “smart shorts” to his office paired with a black button down shirt due to a stifling heat wave.

But his supervisors sent him home saying the shorts were inappropriate for the office environment.

Noting how comfortable his female colleagues were, he returned in a black/hot pink dress.

Barge then decided he would wear a pink dress to work since women were allowed to wear dresses.

According to Joey's tweets, the company changed their dress-code policy in response to his act of resistance.

After announcing a change in policy, Barge’s bosses asked him to go home and change. Barge declined.

“I got sent home and told to change into appropriate clothing but it said females could wear dresses so hey ho!” Barge told the Daily Mail.

‘They said it was a bit too colourful and asked if I wanted to go home and change because they were letting us wear shorts because of my “protest” — but I said I was happy to stay.’

President Obama: "The Senate Bill Is Not A Health Care Bill"

In a rare statement addressing current policy-making in Congress, President Obama posted about the Republican-controlled Senate's Trumpcare bill on his Facebook.

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.

Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid?

What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again.

If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.
Pretty presidential I'd say. And refreshing.

Magnum Ice Cream Teams Up With GLAAD For Limited-Edition Pride Magnum Bar

In a collaboration with GLAAD for Pride Month, Magnum Ice Cream recently unveiled a rainbow covered ice cream bar with the slug line, "There is more pleasure in a diverse world #PleasureIsDiverse"

Via press release:

In support of diversity and inclusivity, MAGNUM and GLAAD are offering a limited-edition Pride MAGNUM bar, available through June at MAGNUM New York. MAGNUM is also making a donation to GLAAD to support its work across the country. The indulgent Pride bar is inspired by the MAGNUM brand's belief that there's more pleasure in a diverse world, and its commitment to stand up for everyone's right to find pleasure in being themselves.

Trump Admits "Tapes" Comment Was An Empty Bluff

President Trump finally admitted today that he was bluffing when he brought up the possibility that he had recorded conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.

As folks will recall, back in May, just days after Comey’s firing, Trump tweeted: “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

For weeks reporters have asked whether this was or was not true, and if true when would the President provide those "tapes" to the public?

Via Twitter today, Trump wrote, "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea... whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."

Clearly, Trump was merely making stuff up in order to intimidate Comey. When scared, he bluffs.

During his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey welcomed the idea of such recordings saying, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

5th Circuit Court Of Appeals Gives Thumbs Up To Mississippi's Anti-LGBT Discrimination Law

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the ruling by a federal judge who found Mississippi's anti-LGBT discrimination law unconstitutional.

The law allows merchants and government employees to deny services to LGBTs based on religious beliefs.

Via Lambda Legal:

Today, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the injunction against Mississippi House Bill 1523, the discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation challenged in Barber v. Bryant, the federal lawsuit brought by Mississippi civil rights attorney Robert McDuff, the Mississippi Center for Justice and Lambda Legal. The advocates will continue to fight this discriminatory law.

Overruling the lower court decision, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit denied that LGBT Mississippians are subject to imminent discrimination by HB 1523 and ordered the block to the law lifted because the plaintiffs—a group of ministers, LGBT residents, community leaders and activists—lack standing since they cannot claim a specific harm caused by the law that has yet to go into effect.

“We had to put guards in front of our church after the bill initially passed because there was a truck with a swastika parked across the street and just this week the Christian Knights of the KKK distributed flyers throughout the Hattiesburg area. Today’s ruling leaves us more exposed, so we will have to be more vigilant than ever before to protect our church, our families and our dignity,” said Brandiilyne Mangum-Dear, Barber plaintiff.

More from Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

The law prohibits the state from taking action against religious organizations that decline employment, housing or services to same-sex couples; families who’ve adopted a foster child and wish to act in opposition to same-sex marriage; and individuals who offer wedding services and decline to facilitate a same-sex wedding.

Additionally, the bill allows individuals working in medical services to decline to afford a transgender person gender reassignment surgery. The bill also allows state government employees who facilitate marriages the option to opt out of issuing licenses to same-sex couples, but the person must issue prior written notice to the state government and a clerk’s office must not delay in the issuing of licenses.

Trump Distorts Former Homeland Security Secretary's Testimony

President Trump lied yet again in this early  morning tweet claiming "Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia."

First of all, Johnson was Homeland Security Secretary, not "Advisor."

Second, that's not at all what Johnson said in testimony yesterday. What Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee yesterday was:

“In 2016, the Russian government, at the direction of (President) Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election. That is a fact, plain and simple.”

At no time in his testimony did Johnson ever state that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Intel Chiefs: Trump "Suggested" We Announce There Was No Collusion With Russia

CNN reports that in separate, private meetings last week with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, both Dan Coats (Director of National Intelligence) and Adm. Mike Rogers (National Security Agency Director) said President Trump "suggested" they publicly announce there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers described their interactions with the President about the Russia investigation as odd and uncomfortable, but said they did not believe the President gave them orders to interfere, according to multiple sources familiar with their accounts. Sources say both men went further than they did in June 7 public hearings, when they provided little detail about the interactions.

The sources gave CNN the first glimpse of what the intelligence chiefs said to Mueller’s investigators when they did separate interviews last week. Both men told Mueller’s team they were surprised the President would suggest that they publicly declare he was not involved in collusion, sources said. Mueller’s team, which is in the early stages of its investigation, will ultimately decide whether the interactions are relevant to the inquiry.

It sounds like Trump is basically asking everyone he meets to announce there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Biden To LGBT Community: Hold Trump Accountable On His Promise To Be Your Friend

Vice President Joe Biden

Speaking at a private LGBT gala hosted by the Democratic National Committee in New York, former Vice President Joe Biden urged the LGBT community to push back against the Trump administration.

“Hold President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend. Just because you don’t have Barack and me in the White House doesn’t mean it’s time to give up, keep quiet, stay on the sidelines.”

Biden really got going, though, when he fiercely denounced that there is "no justification" for inhumane treatment of LGBTQ community in other nations. "None, none, none."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Then And Now Pics Of Gay Couple Kissing 24 Years Apart Goes Viral

Together for 25 years, married couple Kurt English and Nick Cardello shared via social media two photos of the couple kissing - taken 24 years apart.

The first was taken in front of the National Mall on April 25, 1993, at the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. They had been dating a year at that point.

The couple legally married in Massachusetts in 2008, and when same-sex marriage was recognized federally in 2015, they exchanged vows again that year in their home state of Florida. They say they've promoted LGBTQ rights and acceptance by being out and proud in their daily lives, and taking part in events like the 1993 and 2017 marches.

Fast forward 24 years as the couple attended the recent Equality March for Unity & Pride in Washington D.C. A friend encouraged the couple to recreate the earlier photo, and after posting the pics side by side, found themselves going viral.

“I only posted the photo on my Facebook page after the march. It took off from there,” Cardello told LGBTQ Nation. “Someone else copied it to Twitter, Instagram & Reddit. That’s when it really took off. A reporter from Brazil said it had over a million likes there.”

Cardello added, “The youth needs to see that it is possible to find a loving partner, and that the relationship can last,” he said, noting that portrayals of same-sex couples growing old together are rare. “A loving partner can be a difficult thing to find, once you do you must protect it and nurture it.”

I couldn't agree more. Hot hubby Michael and I have been together since October 1994, and often hear from other LGBTs wonder where longevity in a relationship comes from. I'm no expert, but I'm sure Kurt and Nick would agree honesty is one of the key ingredients to long term relationships.

Congrats to the handsome couple! Here's to 25 years more!

The viral sensation even inspired other couples to share their own then and now pics as well.

New York State Senate Confirms Judge Paul Feinman To State's Highest Court

The New York state Senate has confirmed Justice Paul G. Feinman to the New York Court of Appeals becoming the first openly gay judge to serve on the state's highest court.

Feinman spent only an hour before the Senate Judiciary Committee answering what was described as friendly questions before being unanimously approved to the floor of the Senate, where he was confirmed today.

The 57 year-old Mets fan lives with his his husband on Roosevelt Island.


Out Music: Bright Light Bright Light "New York Pretty"

Singer/songwriter Rod Thomas, recording under the moniker Bright Light Bright Light, explores and celebrates the streets of New York in the new bright and bouncy music video for “New York Pretty.”

The track is from the upcoming EP Tales of the City to be released July 7.

Thomas sets the tone from the get-go, opening the track thusly:

I hope that everyone can see me now
Now that I feel so much better about myself
Now that I feel better about myself

With Pride Month in full swing, Thomas whirls and swirls throughout gay NYC including visits to three iconic gay bars: Stonewall, Julius, and Williamsburg’s Metropolitan.

Thomas describes the feel of "New York Pretty" on his official website thusly:

'New York Pretty' came out of the blue one sunny say in New York winter. It's inspired by the Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin movie 'Big Business' and the idea of spending a long time in a place that's not quite right, eventually moving to the city and feeling like you finally belong.

It's no secret that New York is my place for that, and also inspired by RuPaul and the incredible RuPaul's Drag Race, I wanted to write a song about self-empowerment and self-belief, and this is what emerged. Musically, it's a mix of inspiration from Broadway, Queer As Folk's UK gay scene and Kylie's 'Light Years' which all had a large influence on my music taste growing up.

Watch the upbeat, Pride-worthy music video below.

Colton Haynes Joins Season 7 Cast Of "American Horror Story"

Colton Haynes
After his stints on horror television series' Teen Wolf and Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens, I think Colton Haynes will be quite at home as part of the upcoming 7th season of Murphy's wildly successful anthology series, American Horror Story.

Haynes confirmed the casting via Instagram posting a blood-smeared pic of his face with the caption, "American Horror Story Season 7 ... Already feels like home :) So excited @mrrpmurphy."

According to reports,  season seven’s theme will embrace aspects of the 2016 presidential election.

A post shared by Colton Haynes (@coltonlhaynes) on
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