Bello wrote an op-ed piece, Coming Out as a Modern Family about her extended family, the nature of partnerships and her relationship with her best friend which turned romantic after much soul searching. In his video, Daley explains that he was misquoted in an interview and wanted to be honest, even though discussing relationships makes him uncomfortable, but now he feels ready to do so since he is in a relationship with someone who makes him feel
so wonderful, so safe…and that person is a guy…something clicked…Of course I still fancy girls, but right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier. I just feel safe, and it really does feel right…Is it a big deal? I don’t think so….It’s going to be big but I wanted to say something.
Daley wanted to come out on video so his words wouldn’t be twisted, and he he says to his fans that he’s still Tom and still wants to win a gold medal for Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics; he hopes his fans will be along for that journey.
RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights is holding an auction and one of the donated items was a visit from Orson Scott Card (author of Ender’s Game as well as numerous homophobic editorials) to a kid’s high school for a story creation workshop, valued at $25,000. Orson Scott Card may be a best selling author but he’s also a homophobic bigot, so Will Kohl fromBack2Stonewall contacted the RKF Center, letting them know about Orson Scott Card and his views on LGBT, and got this response:
The RFK Center works around the world to defend sexual minorities’ rights, and is a longstanding leader in the fight against LGBTI discrimination. In Uganda alone, we have partnered for years with on-the-ground activists to lead a global coalition against the infamous anti-homosexuality bill, galvanized global faith leaders and Nobel Peace laureates on behalf of LGBTI Ugandans, secured the release of trans activists imprisoned for their advocacy efforts, brought life-saving medical resources to health care clinics serving LGBTI patients who have been turned away from city hospitals, and fostered a historic dialogue on sexual minority rights within the nation’s police forces. Auction coordinators occasionally offer items to the RFK Center auction. The RFK Center did not solicit this item and it is no longer part of our auction.
The RFK Center did not solicit the donation. And it is no longer part of the auction. Thanks, Will for reminding us all that a letter or phone call can make a difference.
Alec Baldwin is now feeling some heat over yelling the phrase
at a news reporter (not a paparazzi, there is a difference). Baldwin claims the noun beginning with F was
and that acoustic analysis will prove he used a self-reflective epithet. Anderson Cooper thinks Baldwin’s explanation is ridiculous and funny. MSNBC is taking the matter seriously, pulling Up Late with Alec Baldwin from their schedule for this week and next. (Not that it really matters, like who will notice? The show has lost 75,000 viewers since its debut last month–a 43% drop from its high of 175,000 watchers. Keeping him on may have boosted ratings, so yanking the program demonstrates MSNBC must really care). Let’s hope Baldwin finds the doors for a mea culpa PR tour closed to him until he does some real work on himself and for the LGBT community. How about volunteering at an LGBT homeless youth shelter and an HIV hospice for a few weeks and getting to know people who are directly impacted by the harsh words you use?
GLAAD’s Vice President of Communications, Rich Ferraro, responded to MSNBC’s decision:
Alec Baldwin still needs to take real action. MSNBC has sent a message that anti-gay slurs carry consequences, and that’s an important standard to uphold at a time when LGBT people continue to face disproportionate levels of bullying and violence just because of who they are.
Baldwin excused his actions on the MSNBC website, writing:
I would like to address the comments I made this past week.
I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry. Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support. I understand “Up Late” will be taken off the schedule for tonight and next week.
I want to apologize to my loyal fans and to my colleagues at msnbc – both for my actions and for distracting from their good work. Again, please accept my apology.
Enough with the sorry, Alec. Do something, something aside from revealing you have a gay hairdresser in tragically transparent
Financial and vocal support of marriage equality doesn’t give Alec Baldwin or anyone else the right or a free pass to use slurs whether in anger or in everyday conversation. The support becomes lip service, donations tainted, the giver’s true colors revealed when words like
while being approached for pictures after winning his case against his stalker, Genevieve Sabourin.
Baldwin claims he said
Me personally, I like cocksucking. I am all in favor of cocksucking. But when cocksucking is used as an epithet, it becomes a slur. Like fucking. Fucking is a great fun, much like cocksucking. But when, if enraged, you call someone a
it’s not a compliment.
GLAAD stepped up today and called out the MSBNC talk show host and ally-in-checkbook-only. According to TMZ, a rep for GLAAD commented:
Mr. Baldwin can’t lend his support for equality on paper, while degrading gay people in practice. It’s clearly time he listens to the calls from so many LGBT people and allies to end this pattern of anti-gay slurs.
I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck … you … up.
If [he means I'd] put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.
I want all of my followers and beyond to straighten out this fucking little bitch.
And then he apologized and all was forgiven. Because you know, despite his anti-gay language and calls for violence against a gay man, he’s like, donated to marriage equality and fights homophobia.
Said Baldwin said in his missive to GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, “My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone’s sexual orientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend’s funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize.”
Baldwin noted his work over the years for marriage equality and said he wouldn’t advocate violence against people for being gay, and GLAAD’s Rich Ferrarro, vice president of communications, responded.
“Alec Baldwin is making it clear that the intent behind his tweets does not excuse his language, especially at a time when there were 11 incidents of violence against gay men in New York City just last month. As we all work to end such senseless acts of violence, allies like Baldwin are right to use these moments to reinforce support for the community and LGBT equality.”
And just because he’s a liberal, an “ally”, that time he got a pass and an apologia from GLAAD. WTF?! What kind of ally says
you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck … you … up. If [he means I'd] put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.
Alec Baldwin is not an ally. He’s an angry self-entitled prick. And if an athlete or rapper or a politician had used that sort of language, they’d be soundly castigated the first time and might not have their job. But Alec got a pass just five months ago and still sounds forth from his MSNBC bully pulpit. But despite his highly publicized donations to the theatre and arts via his Capital One ads, he couldn’t figure out a way to insult a photographer without using homo-hating words. Maybe he needs a refresher course from Shakespeare:
such bugs and goblins in my life
frothy pox-marked giglet villainous whoreson measle thou puny ill-breeding coxcomb flesh monger, a fool, and a coward clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch
Baldwin shouldn’t get out of this (again) by throwing out a nice apology and giving some cash to an LGBT cause. That’s rich white limousine liberal BS.
Oh I’ll just write a check and people will forgive me. Because I give so much and am such shining of being coolness because I give money. And look, I’m on MSNBC.
NO fucking way, Alec (and btw, your MSNBC show is free fall fail). This time, don’t write a check. Show you actually care, open you heart and mind instead of your wallet: Go do some community service at an LGBT youth shelter. And when you’re done with that, spend some time at an HIV hospice. Show some sincerity, develop some compassion.
We celebrate all the other firsts. Why haven’t we celebrated the first stand up comedian who was a woman and had been doing it since 1928?
Born Loretta Mary Aitken, Mabley began working as a stand-up in the late 1920s, and made a living on the Chitlin’ Circuit—the vaudeville clubs, speakeasies and theaters throughout the eastern, southern, and upper mid-west areas of the United States where African-American performers were able to perform during segregation.
In the early days of her performances, Mabley wore androgynous clothes on stage and worked blue, performing XXX-rated routines. As she developed her act, Mabley took on the persona of granny or great auntie, wearing a floral house dress and a drooping hat. She took out her dentures for her stand-up routine—at the time dentures were common—and riffed on her character’s desire for young men and her distaste of old ones, addressing the imbalance of sexual power, as well as hitting on politics, race, war, and other social issues.
InWhoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley, Goldberg reveals that Mabley would come off stage, take off her garish frumpy frock, change into tailored slacks and a man’s shirt and shoes, put her teeth back in, and slick back her hair, Moms becoming Mr. Jackie. And her fellow performers didn’t care. As the Advocate remarks:
That her penchant for the ladies (and for men’s clothing) didn’t matter to her male colleagues reveals just how much they respected her as a performer.
During her research for the documentary, Goldberg found a card picturing Mabley wearing in a man’s suit. It was signed “Mr. Moms,” indicating Moms was open amongst her colleagues. Goldberg points out:
If you’re gay or straight, you can do whatever is universally funny.
A regular performer at both the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater, Mabley appeared in several films, recorded over twenty albums of her stand up comedy–some on her own label Poontan’–and was embraced in the late 1960s and 70s by television, appearing on Ed Sullivan Show, Merv Griffin, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, the Grammys and other shows. At age 75 she recorded “Abraham, Martin and John,” scoring a Top 40 hit, making her the oldest person to do so (and she still holds that record!). At the peak of her career she was making $10,000 a week, breaking the ground and laying the foundation for women comics like Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to the Queens of Comedy, Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres. Moms Mabley, a businesswoman and lesbian during segregation, crossed the color barrier and kicked ass on stage and off.
At age 79, she came full circle, coming out loud and proud as a lesbian and became, according to Queers in History,
the first XXX-rated lesbian stand-up comic.
Just months before her death, “The Funniest Woman in the World” performed at the Michigan Women’s Festival.
During a question and answer session after the doc screened at Tribeca earlier this year, Whoopi Goldberg explained part of Mabley’s appeal:
She didn’t care where she was, she would pull those teeth out, and to me, this freedom to be yourself, for seventy seven years is the highlight of life to me because, you know, it’s okay to be gay, it’s okay to be individual, it’s okay to have a point of view. She made me realize that whatever you did you had to stand on your own two feet and know who you are.
Goldberg made the documentary—which features historic photos and clips of Mabley performing as well as interviews with Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poiter, Quincy Jones, Bill Cosby, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara—because, as she told the Advocate:
A lot of young people have no sense of history. No sense of history of the United States. Moms is a great magnifying glass into the past.
Matt Kennedy, the gallery director, and I were chatting about what we were going this weekend. Matt’s really into comics (he recently scored an original panel from Gasoline Alley, one that contains a pivotal plot point), loves weird history and science fiction (he and his wife play a drinking game centering around the TV show Ancient Aliens–narrator says “alien” and you drink; narrator says “extra-terrestrial,” and you take three sips, etc.), and has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies. In the midst of our geeking out I blurted:
Please don’t go see Ender’s Game!
He replied vehemently:
No way! No way would I see that. And I gotta tell you, a guy came in from the the film company, wanting to put up a poster from the movie and said, ‘Hey, maybe we could do a promotion with you.’ I told told him, ‘No, that’s not gonna happen,’ and he shook his head and went,”I know, I get it, I get it.’
Geek’s OUT has been the instrumental primogenitor in raising awareness about Orson Scott Card’s nastiness, his homophobia, his anti-equality activism through their Skip Ender’s Game campaign. In the Advocate, Patrick Yacco, a Geeks OUT board member writes brilliantly and passionately about why he is skipping Ender’s Game, and explains more eloquently than I what his group of sci-fi-loving queers has done and why. Their activism has shown what motivation and determination can accomplish. Geek OUT are true superheroes.
Since Geeks OUT launched this campaign earlier this year, we’ve faced a slew of criticism, ranging from “you need to separate the art from the artist” to “this isn’t big enough to make a difference.” To the first argument, I have to draw on my experience of being a queer geek and knowing that Orson Scott Card doesn’t respect who I am as a fan of science fiction. We’re not talking about someone who at one time or another made some stupid comments and is now apologizing for them, like James Gunn, director of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Card actively works to target and undermine the LGBT community’s progress, and he’s quietly begun attacking people of color as well. To me, consuming any of his products is extremely problematic, and I’m addressing that in the fashion I see fit.
On the other hand, to say that the Skip Ender’s Game campaign won’t have an impact is completely moot at this point. Geeks OUT has pushed Card’s atrocious attacks on the LGBT community to the forefront of mainstream media, with nearly every outlet that reports on Ender’s Game commenting on his radical activism. Even if people weren’t aware of his views, they’re learning about them now. Regardless of Ender’s Game’s box office tally, Geeks OUT has helped raise awareness of Orson Scott Card’s fear-mongering, and no amount of ticket sales can change that.
Matt Kennedy isn’t the only straight sci-fi fan who’s skipping Ender’s Game. On Facebook and in real life, straight sci-fans have told me they are not going to see Ender’s Game, period, not even by paying for a ticket at the megaplex and sneaking in. That’s huge. Geeks OUT are true superheroes. Their activism has shown what motivation and determination can accomplish.
Angel Haze is no stranger to leveraging her platform – and her art- to tackle uncomfortable subjects. She’s also no stranger to remixing previous works to say something totally new and necessary in a way that only she can.
Case and point: the artist’s remix of Macklemore’s hit single Same Love.
From The Heist, Macklemore’s incredibly successful second studio album, and collaboration with producer Ryan Lewis, the original song has a lot of heart. It’s received wide radio play and praise, including the VMAs for best video with a social message. In a recent blog post describing the importance of the song, Macklemore said:
Every song I’ve ever put out, I have believed in. But Same Love was different. It was a moment that was way bigger than us. Watching teenagers come up to me after shows, with tears in their eyes, gasping for breathe in attempts to find the right words to explain to me that they came out to their family after hearing the song…that reaffirms everything. That. Right there. That is the reason why I do this. That is no publicity stunt. That is no calculated move. That is art affecting the quality of people’s lives, the way that other artists influence mine.
Fan love and commercial acclaim aside, Macklemore has also received considerable grief for the song with some questioning the merits of a straight artist creating a gay rights ballad.
I can’t count myself among those kind of critics. I was introduced to Same Love by a gay solider whose sincere and pure appreciation of the song was evident when she asked me if it’d be okay if she replayed it during a car ride that we shared last spring. She was a friend of a friend and I didn’t know her but in her explanation of the song I knew that the song had impacted her.
Kerry Washington, who’ll be guest hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow, is a smart, warm, and wise woman who understands the media and gossip rags as well as, if not better than, her character on Scandal, spin doctor Olivia Pope. In an interview with the Advocate, Washington spoke about her commitment to equality and civil rights, and addressed the rumors circulating about her:
It’s interesting how much people long to fill in the gaps when someone in the public eye doesn’t share their personal life. I understand their frustration. I like how people will post pictures of me with other women that I adore, hugging on red carpets, and say, “See?” Are we so uncomfortable with love between two people of the same gender that we immediately label it as sexual? But I’ve never been bothered by the lesbian rumor. There’s nothing offensive about it, so there’s no reason to be offended.
Washington, who announced Wednesday that she’s expecting her first child with husband, San Francisco 49ers’ cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, has played lesbian and trangendered characters in films, and has a strong following in the LGBT and ally community. At 13, Washington was involved with the LGBT community and HIV/AIDS peer education through NiteStar, a theater education program in New York City, and her commitment to equality across the board continues, something that shines in Scandal‘s plot lines:
For our show in particular, because it represents such diversity on so many levels, sexual orientation included, it means a lot. I always want to be a part of work that speaks to people across the lines that divide us…But because it has such an amazing following that crosses age, race, gender, and sexual orientation, Scandal has changed the game completely…
in fact, something that brings me great joy is knowing what Scandal’s audience looks like in terms of African-American households and knowing that so many African-American people and families are being introduced to our characters James and Cyrus. It’s really exciting that millions of viewers each week are living life with this amazing, complex couple, stepping into their gay marriage and adoption experience, which is such a vital storyline in our show….
With over 1.2 million Twitter followers, Washington has made it known that her support of LGBT right extends beyond the US, tweeting her disappointment over Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, as well as her support of equal rights around the world. She told the Advocate:
When there are crimes against humanity being committed in the world, we are all so vulnerable. We have to look out for and protect each other.
Happy Halloween from WeHo! While the city gears up for its annual gianormous Halloween celebration–half a million people expected, Queen Latifa getting crowned as Carnaval Queen(!), and, oh my gods, the horror, the horror of resident permit parking suspended for the night–I celebrated early, on the set of Old Dogs & New Tricks, the fabulous web series about the friendships and tribulations of a group of diverse and successful West Hollywood men – each one located squarely within middle age. (I have a super soft spot for OD&NT who donated DVDs to give away at Netroots Nation 13 LGBT Connect booth).
The old dogs and new tricks were shooting a special Halloween episode in a disco with pulsing music, hot go-go boys, and costumed extras drawn from their friends and friends of friends. So, thanks to the master of Back2Stonewall.com I threw on a gown, affixed my witch hat firmly on my head, and headed to the top secret location to join my fellow revelers and dance the afternoon away.
I don’t want to give away too many plot points, but expect some awesome costumes (including an epic Epic Fail Guy, aka Guy Fawkes, aka Anonymous), rippling muscles, an appearance by “Barack Obama,” fine drag served with a side of melancholy from one of the series’ stars, Leon Acord–and if it made the cut, me in a Sapphic embrace. What was my motivation? When called to act, we do!
Old Dogs & New Tricks has just signed a licensing deal with LGBT film distributor Wolfe Video to release the comedy series on DVD and via various streaming platforms online beginning November 26.
There are many reasons why I’m not going to see Ender’s Game. Orson Scott Card’s homophobia; I don’t care for science-fiction; Orson Scott Card advocates government overthrow; no actors I care about; Orson Scott Card plays the victim; there are way better movies opening and in theaters already; Orson Scott Card, as a producer stands to make money from Ender’s Game, and if the film does well, from subsequent sequels and merchandising.
KSL anchor and reporter Carole Mikita on the “Deseret News Sunday Edition” interviewed Card this past weekend, and the author went for the victim move with a neener-neenr combo:
The only reason I’m being attacked for it is because ‘Ender’s Game’ is coming out as a movie, so that was something that was going to get a lot of publicity for the people attacking. I’ve had no criticism…
I’ve had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas. Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game, and you can’t defend against it. All you can do is try to offer ideas, and for those who want to listen to ideas, great. For those who simply want to punish you for not falling in line with their dogmas, there’s really not much you can do about it…
Actually Card, who was on the National Organization for Marriage’s board of directors, wanted to punish people who didn’t fall in line with his dogma, and he has been personal in his attacks. Via The Daily Dot:
2004: He claimed that most homosexuals are the self-loathing victims of child abuse, who became gay “through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse.”
2008: Card published his most controversial anti-gay screed yet, in the Mormon Times, where he argued that gay marriage “marks the end of democracy in America,” that homosexuality was a “tragic genetic mixup,” and that allowing courts to redefine marriage was a slippery slope towards total homosexual political rule and the classifying of anyone who disagreed as “mentally ill.”
2009: He joined the board for anti-gay lobby The National Organization for Marriage, which was created to pass California’s notorious Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.
2012: He supported his home state North Carolina’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by arguing that gay marriage “will be the bludgeon [The Left] use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools.
Because when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary… Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.
But they key, in his interview, excerpted in the Deseret Times is this:
[The criticism] won’t affect my work. Will it affect the reception of my work? Of course, but not in ways that they expect. My sales go up with such attacks.
So let’s join in solidarity and be the allies we would want to have, supporting the LGBT community, especially those in states still working for marriage equality, by boycotting Ender’s Game, and prove Orson Scott Card wrong, as the sales figures for Ender’s Game tickets go down.