Monday, March 15, 2021

Lammy's, Grammy's, Oscars, Captain America, Wildly Anti-LGBTQ Sermon, Gender Expression, COVID Deaths & MORE!

LGBTQ Community Rallies Outside Church In Wake Of Controversial Sermon Delivered Last Week 
(Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) Members of the LGBTQ community hosted a rally outside of Victory Church in Regina to express love and support for younger members of the LGBTQ community, particularly those who may be caught in situations where the religious views of others prevented them from expressing themselves. "Over the past week our community was discriminated against and today's just to really bring everybody together," said organizer Terry Van Mackelberg, who is also the drag queen Flo Mingo. Van Mackelberg filed a human rights commission complaint against Victory Church after last week's sermon and said nearly 850 had signed on as co-plaintiffs. The rally was attended by Sask. NDP's critic for human rights Meara Conway. Conway said the statements the pastor made in his sermon became a human rights issue when he included gender and sexual orientation issues. The MLA for Regina-Elphinstone said the pastor's words had no place in Regina. "Pastor Terry Murphy's words, they have consequences," she said. "He said he's got the freedom to say whatever he wants, but it's not that simple." What Conway said she found particularly concerning about Murphy's sermon was how it targeted youth within the LGBTQ community.

RELATED: Canadian Pastor Offers Pathetic Apology After Giving Wildly Anti-LGBTQ Sermon

‘The Talk’ Cancels Shows Amid Investigation Surrounding Sharon Osbourne Comments 
“The Talk” will go on a brief hiatus, canceling its live shows for Monday and Tuesday. The news comes after CBS announced that it would be launching a probe into an episode earlier this week that saw Sharon Osbourne get into a heated exchange with co-host Sheryl Underwood after defending Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle. The plan is currently to return to filming on Wednesday, a source says, but the show will evaluate and see where they are before moving forward. CBS declined comment, and pointed to its earlier statement on its investigation on Friday. “We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. All matters related to the Wednesday episode of ‘The Talk’ are currently under internal review,” the network said in its earlier statement.

TikTok Bans The 'Super Straight' Movement And Its Creator
The transphobic term originated on the platform after TikToker Kyle Royce made a now-deleted video declaring that super straight was a new sexual orientation. He has since been permanently banned from the platform too. Far-right groups then got hold of the term and have been trying to push it to become a part of the LGBTQ+ community, spreading hateful memes and starting petitions. However, social media platforms like TikTok and Reddit are now making an effort to stop the harmful content being shared.

Fiction by Garth Greenwell and Douglas Stuart and nonfiction by author-comedian Samantha Irby are among this year's nominees for the Lambda Literary Awards, given for the best of LGBTQ writing. Greenwell's “Cleanness” and Stuart's “Shuggie Bain,” winner of the Booker Prize last fall, are contenders for best gay fiction, along with Joon Oluchi Lee's “Neotenica,” Brandon Taylor's “Real Life” and Dennis E. Staples' “This Town Sleeps.” The finalists for best lesbian fiction are K-Ming Chang's “Bestiary,” Francesca Ekwuyasi's “Butter Honey Pig Bread,” Jennifer Steil's “Exile Music,” Juli Delgado Lopera's “Fiebre Tropical” and Jean Kyoung Frazier's “Pizza Girl.” Winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony June 1, 2021. 

The Lambda awards, also known as the “Lammys,” were established in 1989. Previous winners include Edmund White, Dorothy Allison, Bryan Washington and Carmen Maria Machado. Full list of Lambda nominees.

Aaron Fischer - Captain America of the Railways

Marvel Reveals New LGBTQ Hero Captain America of the Railways
Marvel is introducing a brand new Captain America in the upcoming series The United States of Captain America. Written by Christopher Cantwell with art by Dale Eaglesham, the series sees four heroes who have been Captain America in the past -- Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, and John Walker -- embarking on a road trip to locate Cap's stolen shield. During their journey, they meet local heroes who have become Captain America in their communities beginning with Marvel's new hero Aaron Fischer - Captain America of the Railways. “Aaron is inspired by heroes of the queer community: activists, leaders, and everyday folks pushing for a better life... He stands for the oppressed, and the forgotten. I hope his debut story resonates with readers, and helps inspire the next generation of heroes.”

LGBTQ Catholics Stung by Vatican Rebuff of Same-Sex Unions 
Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, said her organization’s membership includes same-sex couples who have been together for decades, persevering in their love for one another in the face of bias and family rejection. “The fact that our church at its highest levels cannot recognize the grace in that and cannot extend any sort of blessing to these couples is just tragic,” she said. She was responding to a formal statement Monday from the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying Roman Catholic clergy may not bless such unions since God "cannot bless sin.” It was approved by Pope Francis.

Brian Jones shares his story.

Hear Personal Stories of HIV and COVID-19 From an LGBTQ Community
A digital exhibit showcases oral histories of folks’ HIV and COVID-19 experiences When the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, it reminded members of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, of the early days of the AIDS epidemic. To document how both health crises have affected the local LGBTQ community, a team from the center interviewed 14 members last summer for an interactive digital exhibit of oral histories about COVID-19 and AIDS titled 40 Years of Public Health in the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community: Collecting and Curating Local Health Experiences From HIV/AIDS to COVID-19. Visitors to the online exhibit can click through screens and listen to interviewees recount the importance of community and the devastation of the AIDS crisis—such as losing more than 400 friends to the disease—as well as the advocacy that sprung up. Other participants discuss the challenges of maintaining their mental health and social structures during COVID-19 lockdowns.

'Raya And The Last Dragon' May Contain LGBTQ Characters,
But It's Also Making Queer History In Another Way The film stars Kelly Marie Tran as the title character, and she recently encouraged theories about Raya's possible romantic connection to Gemma Chan's Namaari. And as that debate rages on, it turns out that Raya already made LGBTQIA history thanks to the casting of actress Patti Harrison. Patti Harrison doesn't play a major character in Raya and the Last Dragon, appearing as the Chieftess of the Tail Land early in the protagonist's journey. And while conversations continue about whether or not the movie's lead characters are actually queer, Harrison's role makes history as she's the first openly transgender performer to appear in a Disney animated movie.

How Gender Expression Affects Income
For an estimated two million Americans whose gender identity does not match the gender they were assigned at birth, reaching income equality and income stability can be a major struggle to living a dignified, comfortable, and fulfilling life. Trans misogyny and transphobia can make it harder for transgender individuals to be hired, remain employed, and get promoted—in short, to be paid as much as their equally qualified cisgender peers who aren’t subject to discrimination and harassment by coworkers, supervisors, and clients. Even though workplace discrimination may be illegal, it’s not going to magically disappear. It has interfered with people’s ability to do their best work, advance in their careers, and reach their earning potential, and it will continue to do so.


LGBTQ Artists Win Big At 63rd Grammy Awards
At the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, which were held last night (March 14), a slew of LGBTQ artists and performers, including many women, took home awards. Bi musician Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande made history by winning the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Rain On Me.” The song is the first all-female song to win this award and marks Gaga’s 12th Grammy win. Other LGBTQ women who took home wins were lesbian singer-songwriter Brittany Howard, who won Best rock Song for “Stay High,;” bisexual singer and rapper Meshell Ndegeocello, who won Best R&B Song for “Better Than I Imagined;” and lesbian country artist Brandi Carlile, who won Best Country Song for “Crowded Table.” Kaytranada, a queer DJ, won Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Dance Recording for his album “Bubba” and track “10%”. Lesbian MSNBC host Rachel Maddow also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth. More winners here.

Fresno Police Officer On Leave After Seen In Proud Boys Protest 
The Fresno Bee reported Officer Rick Fitzgerald was spotted Sunday in a livestream by Eddie Block, a Madera man who is a former Proud Boy and whose home was raided by the FBI after he was seen at the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Others also posted photos of Fitzgerald joining the Proud Boys to counterprotest the sale of the iconic Tower Theatre to a church. Protesters have been out for weeks opposing the theater's sale to a church believed to be anti-LGBTQ. Tower business owners also worry the sale to a church will hamper business operations in the area such as bars or future marijuana dispensaries. Lt. Rob Beckwith later said the officer in question was placed on paid administrative leave and his police officer powers were temporarily suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

All It Took Was The End Of The World For The Oscars To Finally Offer Their Most Diverse Lineup Ever
We're all burnt out from pandemic awards shows, but we should find the will to care about this one Months (years?) into the longest, strangest awards season ever, the Oscar nominations were finally bestowed upon us this morning. Exactly a year and two days into pandemic life, it's easy for anyone to feel completely numb and/or jaded to pretty much anything, certainly awards shows. Here's the thing, though. The Oscars have actually been making inroads. Lest we forget that last year Parasite swept the proceedings, becoming the first foreign language film to ever win best picture. And this year's nominees only seem to build on that. In fact, they are by far the most inclusive of all the things we've been wishing they'd be: diverse stories, female filmmakers, filmmakers of colour, actors of colour, even comedies!

Record Number Of Anti-Transgender Bills Introduced In 2021 
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, announced over the weekend that 82 such bills have been introduced this year. Seventy-nine anti-transgender bills were introduced last year. “In a year that has taken a toll on each and every one of us, it is shocking that anti-equality extremists in state legislatures across this country have dedicated an unprecedented amount of time and energy to attacking the LGBTQ community and particularly LGBTQ youth,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “The furious pace of these bills shows that hateful anti-equality groups across the country and extremist legislators alike realize that equality is gaining momentum. This is their shameful attempt to throw a wrench into the progress we have steadily made in the fight for equality.”

DC Comics to Launch DC Pride Anthology With LGBTQ Superheroes 
To coincide with Pride Month in June, DC Comics will release an 80-page anthology book starring LGBTQ characters from its superhero universe and featuring stories and art by renowned writers and artists. Also in June, DC Comics will launch “Crush & Lobo,” an eight issue miniseries comic book written by Mariko Tamaki (“This One Summer,” “Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass”) with art by Amancay Nahuelpan (“Nightwing,” “Wonder Woman”). The first issue will be out June 1.

"2021 GRAMMY Wrap Up Show" with BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, H.E.R., Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Harry Styles, Beyonce and more.

How Covid’s Toll Compares With Other Causes of Death 
The takeaway is that the coronavirus killed more Americans in the past year than any cause of death in 2019, other than heart disease and cancer. And if the University of Washington model proves accurate, then by June, the 15-month toll from the coronavirus will be close to matching the annual number of deaths from cancer. All other causes of death pale in comparison to the coronavirus death toll. So far, the coronavirus has killed roughly three times as many people as accidents, lung ailments, stroke or Alzheimer’s disease did in 2019.

The Randy Report Podcast: Leslie Jordan, Joshua Sade James, Gunnar Montana, EU, Queer As Folk Reboot and more!

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