Sunday, March 07, 2021

Super Straight Flag, Hugh Sheridan, Star Trek: Discovery, Stimulus Package, Janelle Monáe, Pop Art King, Fancy Hagood, Sexual Liberty, José Xtravaganza & MORE!

President Biden, Trump

The Supreme Court Sided With Biden Over Trump in Three Sanctuary City Funding Cases Trump has frequently maligned sanctuary cities, falsely claiming they're hotbeds of crime and carnage—a furtherance of his violently anti-immigrant platform and doctrine. Now, the Court has sided against Trump on the issue of sanctuary cities, or cities that prioritize protecting undocumented immigrants by limiting acquiescence to immigration law enforcement.

Wilson Cruz

Star Trek: Discovery Redefines Family the Right Way  In exploring the concept of queer found families, Star Trek: Discovery begins unpacking a deeply unique experience. As a gay nerd who went to Star Trek conventions in middle school and had a life-sized cardboard standup of Major Kira, my adolescent gay awakening, next to my bed — and as a 90’s kid from the Rent and My So-Called Life generation, who grew up with Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz — Star Trek: Discovery has always felt like a gift to me personally. I’ve loved seeing a relationship between two men become so central to the plot of the series. But with the addition of Adira and Gray, Discovery gave me something I never thought I’d see in Star Trek: an intergenerational queer found family that looks like our real lives. 

Turkey Wants To Censor Gay Characters In Netflix Productions Turkey does not seem to have any problems with the presence of LGBT people in international soap operas. “Orange Is the New Black” is one of the most popular series among Turkish Netflix users. But when it comes to local production, the government’s level of tolerance is narrower. The series “If Only” had already begun shooting, but the Turkish Media Authority “RT UK” demanded that the homosexual character be monitored. Netflix chose to cancel production of the series rather than bow to the demands of script changes. Homosexuality is legal in Turkey, and for a long time the country was considered a haven for LGBT people in the Middle East. But in recent years, the Pride rallies have stalled and high-ranking politicians have issued aggressive statements on the issue. Human rights organizations warn that hostility toward LGBT people in Turkey has risen sharply in the past year.

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe On Writing “Turntables”, Supporting Stacey Abrams & Creating “More Stories Of Black Joy” The lyrics of Janelle Monáe’s Oscar shortlisted song, “Turntables” are a call for accountability flavored with positive promise. Written for the Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés-directed documentary about Georgia political activist Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy, Monáe’s song aligns in every sense with Abrams’ single-minded refusal to tolerate insidious, endemic and overwhelming voter suppression following her 2018 run for governor of Georgia. Rapping about a “new dream”, Monáe speaks to the long-sought turning of a societal and political tide in this country.

Janet Yellen, Lloyd Austin, Debra Haaland and Pete Buttigieg

Tracking The Confirmation of President Biden’s Cabinet Members After being elected president, Joe Biden pledged that his Cabinet would mirror America’s diversity. “I’m going to keep my commitment that the administration, both in the White House and outside in the Cabinet, is going to look like the country,” Biden said in an interview on Dec. 3, 2020. The Senate is now engaged in the confirmation process and is voting on Biden's nominees. The nominations have a number of firsts, including Lloyd Austin, the first Black secretary of Defense; Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the Treasury Department; Debra Haaland, the first Native American to head the Interior Department; and Pete Buttigieg of Transportation, the first openly gay Cabinet secretary to be confirmed by the Senate. Check out the current status of each nominee.

Democrats Need To Get Serious About New Ideas To Transform The Supreme Court
 With the Supreme Court taking up a case that effectively would kill the groundbreaking Voting Rights Act, this is a good time to take stock of the Court. There are a number of different ideas for reforming the Court beyond packing. One proposal suggests limiting terms to 18 years. Another proposes more regular appointments, with each President appointing a Justice in the first and third year of each term. President Biden has also called for a bipartisan commission to look at these and other possible reforms to the Court.

More Than 36,000 Attend Sydney’s LGBTQ Pride Celebration in Person, in COVID-era Mardi Gras Don’t rain on Sydney’s Pride parade. Members of the LGBTQ community and their friends in Australia’s largest city partied like it was 2019 — or as close as it got — on Saturday to celebrate the city’s world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Now in its 43rd edition, the event celebrating LGBTQ equality is one of the largest in the world.


Italian Politicians Targeting LGBTQ People To Divert Attention Away From the COVID Economy, Experts Say Two years ago, Francesco, then 18, became homeless overnight. His mother, an evangelical Christian, called the police to evict him from the family's home in the southern Italian city of Naples, saying his relationship with his boyfriend was corrupting his younger sister. "I was literally kicked out on the street with no help from the police or social services to try to resolve the situation," Francesco recounted. "My boyfriend and I tried to find work to support ourselves, but it's difficult to get hired for young, gay people in a city like Naples. You're constantly made to experience your normality as abnormality." Through a network of Italian LGBTQ associations, the Gay Center in Rome — one of few Italian refuges for young LGBTQ kids in distress — was alerted to Francesco's situation and took him and his boyfriend in. The group home provided housing, food and support for more than a year, until the two were able to launch a new, independent life in the Italian capital. But with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these kinds of lifelines for LGBT youth in Italy and elsewhere in Europe are even more thinly stretched – putting thousands of young gay and transgender people, trapped in families that refuse to accept them, at even greater risk.

Fancy Hagood and Aaron Lee Tasjan

Fancy Hagood and Aaron Lee Tasjan Discuss Queer Representation in Music Growing up, Fancy Hagood says he always had to look to female artists to feel empowered, and believes it’s time for more queer people to tell their stories, and that going by the moniker “Fancy” was creatively freeing for him. “Stepping into ‘Fancy,’ I stepped into my confidence... I stepped into myself,” says Hagood. Aaron Lee Tasjan says love has no rules, oftentimes doing things that people never expect, and while his music is framed from his perspectives, it’s still something everyone experiences. “That is maybe part of the process of undoing the stigma of gay artists, bisexual artists… that somehow their music is just for people who relate to them through their sexuality. I don’t think that’s true. I think these are songs that anybody can hear and relate to, but as a queer man, it feels important to me to tell it from that perspective.”

Kids Still Aren't Learning LGBTQ History The Equality Act Might Change That “LGBTQ+ history is American history and world history. And it's time that our education system approaches it as such by making the space and providing the resources needed for teaching the next generation a more inclusive and just version of history.” For many students, LGBTQ inclusive curriculum is lacking in their classrooms. Nationally, only 19.4% of respondents to GLSEN's 2019 National School Climate Survey said they had been taught positive representations of LGBTQ+ people, history, or events in their schools.

Kurt Roberts and Hugh Sheridan

Out Australian Actor Hugh Sheridan Engaged To Boyfriend Kurt Roberts Hugh Sheridan has wasted no time at all, having asked his new boyfriend Kurt Roberts to marry him, during the debut performance of his Adelaide Fringe show Hughman on Friday evening. Sheridan surprised the crowd by getting down on one knee and popping the big question to Roberts who was sitting in the front row. It is the entertainer’s first public gay relationship and comes four years since his last romance. The pair have been together since they met at a party in Sydney last November.

A New Generation of LGBTQ Young Adult Books is Reshaping the Literary Landscape According to books industry analyst NPD Bookscan, more than half of 2020's top 10 books targeted kids or young adults. Studies have shown that more adults read YA books than teens. And for LGBTQ adults, YA books present an opportunity to revisit their own narratives. "I and probably a lot of people, especially queer people, are constantly relitigating our own teenage years because...our teen years can be shaped by the closet," says Adib Khorram, whose second YA novel "Darius the Great Deserves Better" was a 2021 Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award of the American Library Association (ALA) honoree. "I think it can be very therapeutic to read about outcomes that are maybe different from the ones we experienced."

President Joe Biden

President Biden’s Pro-LGBTQ Timeline The Human Rights Campaign released a timeline of what President Joe Biden has done for the LGBTQ community since he became president. Biden is known for having come out publicly in favor of same-sex marriage before President Barack Obama. According to most insiders at the time, it forced Obama’s hand. Timeline here.

José Xtravaganza

José Xtravaganza and Billy Porter on Ballroom Culture, Then and Now
 Before José Gutiérrez became José Xtravaganza, he was like any other lanky kid on the Lower East Side. The child of Dominican immigrants, Gutiérrez, now 50, grew up during the rough-and-tumble creative surge that swept New York in the 1980s. As a closeted teenager, he would sneak off at night to join the growing community of queer youth that converged on the Christopher Street piers for al fresco ballroom competitions, vibrant reimaginings of 1920s cross-dressing masquerades with Latinx and Black LGBTQ youth at their epicenter.

Super Straight Flag Video Hits TikTok, Draws Criticism What is the super straight flag? It’s a trend that started on TikTok, whereby people declare that they are “super straight” – attracted only to cisgender men or women. The man who started the trend in a video even made a black and orange “flag.” People are debating the term on Twitter using the #superstraight. Some people are criticizing the use of the term because they believe it mocks the LGBTQ community, specifically transgender people, since the original user added a commentary saying he wouldn’t date trans women.

Ancient Rome's Reputation For Being A Place Of Sexual Liberty The Roman Empire was a hub of trade and export. Prostitution was fully legal. Language barriers were a constant on the streets of Rome, however, the streets were the solution to this; cobblestone markers throughout the streets or “road signs” had engravings of penises on them pointing towards the nearest brothel. A foreigner or someone from a distant part of the Empire could follow these road markers to the nearest brothel and even pay for sexual exploits with special brothel tokens (spintriae). These tokens were special in that they had sexual positions embossed in them so that the prostitute would know what the patron wanted without the exchange of words.

Billy Eichner

'Only Took 100 Years' First Gay Rom-Com By A Major Studio To Be Released In 2022 The film will star Billy Eichner, of "Billy on the Street" fame, who is also co-writing and executive producing. The release of “Bros” will make Eichner, 42, the first openly gay man to write and star in a major motion picture. “I honestly can’t believe it... move over, Julia Roberts,” Eichner wrote on Twitter Friday, “there’s a new rom-com QUEEN in town!”

Andy Warhol

How Pop Art King Andy Warhol Changed Culture Forever Andy Warhol was one of the leading exponents of the pop-art movement in the United States. His works of 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans and Marilyn Diptych were some of the very first instances of the rise of the pop-art scene in the US, which were commercialized and marked a shift in how art was perceived on a global scale. In the most basic sense, pop-art could be defined as a sub-genre of creation that came about with the influence of the popular culture – of representations of commercial products or of celebrity life. Warhol, although not the first, was a pioneering figure in bringing pop-art into vogue in the United States.

Senate Approves COVID Stimulus Package After a 27 hour marathon session, the U.S. Senate voted 50-49 on Saturday to approve President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. The vote was split down party lines with all 50 Democrats voting for the bill and all Republicans (minus one absent GOP senator) voting against. Details at The Randy Report.

The Randy Report Podcast: POSE Announces Series Ending, Killer Uses Grindr To Find Victim, And More.

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