#LGBTQ

RuPaul Makes Animated Debut On 'The Simpsons' This Sunday

You know you’ve arrived at the pinnacle of pop culture when you get that call to guest star on an episode of The Simpsons.

This Sunday, Emmy Award-winner RuPaul makes his animated debut on the long running animated series as “Queen Chante.”

FOX released a quick video tease of the upcoming episode along with some clues about the storyline.

From what we know so far, Marge makes yet another attempt at finding a successful career, this time as a Tupperware salesperson. 

But to get an edge on her competition, Marge’s hairdresser, Julio, suggests selling the plastic storage products in drag. Apparently, drag queens sell the most Tupperware - who knew?

Showrunner Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview, “This is true - most successful Tupperware sellers are drag queens.”

Dang, queens are good at everything!

Also in the mix, Homer makes HIS drag debut complete with full-on runway strut adorned in a blond wig and black dress. 

How the animated series has gone 30 seasons without Homer in drag almost boggles the mind.

Plus, not only do we get Mama Ru in the drag-tastic episode, but RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 winner, Raja, makes a cameo as herself as well.

In an Instagram post, Raja shared the cartoon image writing, “The Simpsons was a huge part of my childhood, being asked to be on an episode was surreal and mind blowing, to say the least.”

Watch the teaser below. And remember, Mama Ru’s “Queen Chante” will come to slay this Sunday at 8/7c on FOX.

 

 

 

(h/t NewNowNext)

Michelle Obama Snuck Out Of The White House For Marriage Equality Celebration

In her new memoir, Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares a touching episode from the day the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriage equality the law of the land.

The date was June 26, 2015.

Although she had just returned from a funeral service for the victims of the Charleston church shooting, she saw crowds gathering in front of the White House as evening fell.

From the window she could see a purple glow. The staff had arrange to illuminate the White House in rainbow lights in celebration of the landmark ruling by SCOTUS.

Seeing the energy of the people, she found she was "suddenly desperate to join the celebration."

After checking with her husband ("There are tons of people out there - you know I can't do tons of people!”), and her youngest daughter (who was engrossed in her iPad), Michelle recruited oldest daughter, Malia, for the adventure.

But the First Lady can’t just ‘walk out of the White House.’ 

From Becoming:

“Looking out the window, I saw that beyond the gates on Pennsylvania Avenue, a big crowd of people had gathered in the summer dusk to see the lights. The north drive was filled with government staff who’d stayed late to see the White House transformed in celebration of marriage equality. The decision had touched so many people.

"From where I stood, I could see the exuberance, but I could hear nothing. It was an odd part of our reality.

“We made our way down a marble staircase and over red carpets, around the busts of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and past the kitchen until suddenly we were outdoors. Malia and I just busted past the agents on duty, neither one of us making eye contact.

"The humid summer air hit our faces. I could see fireflies blinking on the lawn. And there it was, the hum of the public, people whooping and celebrating outside the iron gates.

“It had taken us 10 minutes to get out of our own home, but we’d done it. We were outside, standing on a patch of lawn off to one side, out of sight of the public but with a beautiful, close-up view of the White House, lit up in pride.

"Malia and I leaned into each other, happy to have found our way there.”

Michelle shared the story on ELLEN yesterday with more details.

Like, the fact that a whole platoon of White House security started following her and Malia as they tried to slip out of the residence.

It means a lot that our First Lady wanted so badly to be a part of such a historic day for the LGBTQ community.

“Everybody was celebrating, people were crying, and I thought, I want to be in that," she told Ellen DeGeneres. "It was beautiful.”

Watch the appearance on ELLEN below.

 

 

Elton John Stars In 2018 John Lewis Holiday Ad

For years now, UK department store John Lewis & Partners has released an annual Christmas advertisement that’s always something creative and special for the holiday season.

This year, in a departure, the ad spot features a real person - music legend Elton John - in a story about the power a special gift can have.. 

Titled, “The Boy and the Piano,” the 3 minute video shares how the most beloved Christmas gift he ever received  - a piano from his mother and grandmother - inspired, changed and influenced his life.

Beginning in present day with Elton sitting at his piano at Christmas, the ad time travels backwards through his mega-career using his classic hit, “Your Song,” as the musical foundation. All of the different versions of the song used in the spot are actual recordings by Elton through the years.

As the ad journeys through time, several different actors portray the superstar at various stages wearing replicas of his famous fashions.

We end up on that magical Christmas morning when he received the gift that would change his life. 

And ours.

 

 

Over 1.6 million views in less than a day.

Gay Star News reports that this year, John Lewis shoppers will be able to walk through the sets used in the advert at the chain's flagship store on Oxford Street in London. Plus, the costumes from the video will be available for fans to try on.

The spot arrives ahead of the upcoming Elton John biopic, Rocketman, and his 2019 farewell tour.

The holiday spots have become an eagerly-awaited tradition in the UK as each year the creativity and story-telling explore new ways to celebrate the meaning and magic of the season.

Reading the comments on the YouTube page, most were touched by this year’s edition saying it made them cry.

But others felt Elton overwhelmed the magical sense of Christmas the spots usually deliver.

If you’re not familiar with the annual videos, check out a few more from years past.

As you'll see, the styles and creative approach to storytelling have varied a lot over the years. 

Share your favorite in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(h/t Yahoo)

Ex-Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Jeff Rohrer To Be First Same-Sex Married NFLer

Jeff Rohrer, a former Dallas Cowboys linebacker from 1982 to 1988, will marry his partner of two years, Joshua Ross, this Sunday in California.

In doing so, Rohrer will become the first NFL player - past or present - to celebrate a same-sex marriage.

Rohrer came out in an emotional interview with Outsports Cyd Zeigler this week sharing the emotional impact the acceptance of his former teammates has made.

Zeigler writes that the 59-year-old would pause at times as waves of gratitude washed over him talking about how supportive his football family has been as he’s shared this part of his life with them.

”The kindness of my friends and my family and my teammates,” Rohrer told Outsports. “It’s just been fucking ridiculous how nice they have been, and how supportive. And how they don’t care about any of that. They just love me, they always have. Nothing’s changed. Nothing’s changed.”

”To know that at a time like this, that they have my back, it’s fucking amazing,” said the 59-year-old. “I never expected it. I figured the world is fucked, but it’s not. It’s amazing. It’s fucking amazing.”

While the reception to his coming out has been exhilarating, it’s a complete 180 degree flip from his days in the NFL.

A second round draft pick in 1982, Rohrer played in 83 games over six seasons for the Cowboys. The entire time he hid his sexuality from his teammates.

"If I had told the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s that I was gay, I would have been cut immediately," Rohrer shared with The New York Times. "It was a different world back then, people didn’t want to hear that."

Rohrer referred to his younger, closeted self as something of a ‘monster’ he felt he had to keep suppressed.

“So many nights I cried myself to sleep, feeling like I was the Wolfman, or Jekyll and Hyde, or Frankenstein, some kind of monster that only comes out when it’s a full moon, always living in the shadows.”

Now a successful producer of television commercials, Rohrer met his future husband at Tortilla Republic, a gay bar in West Hollywood.

He says he wasn’t out at the time, just ‘working in the area’ and was killing time so rush hour traffic could wind down. The two men struck up a conversation which led to Ross giving Rohrer his contact info.

Although he’d never dated a man before, he admits the feelings he’d kept at arm’s length for so long had become impossible to dismiss.

“My experience is that people are born gay, and anyone who wants to dispute that I’d be happy to have a conversation with them, including Mike Pence,” he told Outsports. “I’d love to sit down with him.”

Growing up in a conservative Southern California community, Rohrer says the idea of being gay “was not acceptable.”

“When I went to Yale, it was the same thing there,” he added. “And then I got drafted by the Cowboys. What am I going to do, come out then?”

It wasn’t until after Rohrer’s divorce - he has two children from his previous marriage - that he finally allowed himself to explore and express his authentic self.

“When I got divorced, I said the hell with it, I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to do,” he told The New York Times. “Then I found Josh, and began to openly live the life I was born to live.”

Living that life has given him not only the happiness he’s found with Ross, a successful aesthetician and founder of SkinLab, but the courage to share his story with the public.

”I’m not going to change the world, but we can at least get the message out there that it’s OK and I’m proud of where I am,” admits the award-winner TV producer. “I’m not ashamed. I’m not the Wolfman anymore. My family and friends are 100% behind me. That kind of message can maybe move the ball forward a little bit.”

In 2017, Outsports’ Jim Buzinski wrote that 7 former NFL players who had played in regular season games have come out (Dave Kopay, Jerry Smith, Ray McDonald, Roy Simmons, Esera Tuaolo, Kwame Harris, Ryan O’Callaghan), as well as four more (Wade Davis, Dorien Bryant, Brad Thorson, Michael Sam) who had taken part in either training camps or preseason games. 

Click over to Outsports to read Rohrer’s full story.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

(h/t Outsports)

Nyle DiMarco Drags Dane Cook After He Makes Nasty Joke About Deaf People

Nyle DiMarco, who outside of being a “top model” has also been an outspoken advocate for the deaf community, slammed comedian Dane Cook after he tweeted a horrific joke about people who are hearing-impaired on Wednesday night.

Dane’s tweet, which appears to have been deleted since he posted, reads as follows:

“What a deaf person wakes up late for work do they loudly sign “F**K MEEEEE” to themselves as they get hastily ready?”

The top response on the tweet before it got taken down was from Nyle himself, who used Ariana Grande’s number one hit as inspiration for a clap back. “thank u, next” he wrote.

Nyle then mocked Dane’s original tweet with his own funny version of it, writing “WhEn A dEaF pErSoN wAKeS uP lAtE fOr wOrK dO tHeY lOuDy sIgN “F**K MEEEE” tO tHeMsElVeS aS tHeY hAsTiLy gEt ReAdY? 0_o.”

He wasn’t done there, as Nyle followed that up with “I forgot L in loudly but that’s because Dane took the L.”

Nyle then saved all the receipts from Dane’s post and combined them into one tweet that was captioned with “Poor guy.”

 

 

Dane’s Twitter account, as of Thursday morning, only shows one tweet over the past 24 hours courtesy of fellow comedian Jim Jefferies and his support of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He retweeted this after the whole situation with him and Nyle occurred.

Céline Dion Collaborates On New Gender Neutral Fashions For Kids

Céline Dion has collaborated with fashion brand NUNUNU to develop a new gender neutral line of children’s clothing.

The concept is to allow children to find their own personal style rather than be boxed into a traditional pink vs blue mindset.

Asserting that “fashion builds concepts deep within our minds,” the company says the new line (titled CELINUNUNU) “aims to free the forces of creativity and imagination in children, nurturing equality and flexibility of thought that enable kids to fully embrace who they are.”

And speaking of ‘embracing who they are,’ the new ad spot for the fashion line casts Céline as a badass binary-busting ninja.

In the video, we see the “My Heart Will Go On” singer enter what appears to be a gender-segregated maternity ward.

Celine provides voiceover narration for the spot: 

“Our children. They are not really our children. as we are all just links in a never-ending chain that is life. For us, they are everything. But in reality, we are only a fraction of their universe. We miss the past. They dream of tomorrow. We may thrust them forward into the future. But the course will always be theirs to choose.”

Reaching into her bag, she finds black glitter confetti (of course) and blows it across the room transforming the ward into a gender-neutral space. The children are suddenly decked out in bold black and white, non-gendered fashions.

Céline explained to PEOPLE that the new line “lets children choose outside stereotypes and norms so they can bring from within their own tastes and preferences.” 

“We help them feel free, creative, inspired, respectful of one another and happy in the world,” she adds.

With that in mind, the line offers ‘fashion-forward’ looks utilizing bold prints (alphabets, stars, plus signs) in a palette of black, white, yellow and denim. The plus sign is meant as a symbol of equality.

Most of the clothing is priced between $50 and $100, although there is a $290 leather jacket available for your 3-year-old to grow out of in a few months.

Back in the maternity ward, though, security has shown up and our heroine attempts to escape. But, curses, she’s felled by a flying tackle.

In a last ditch effort, she attempts to play the celeb card as she’s cuffed and being taken away: “Guys, relax, easy - I’m Céline Dion.”

But, alas, to no avail. The cop replies, “Yeah, girl, and I’m Beyonce.”

Watch the ad spot below. You can check out the new non-binary children’s line on celinununu.com.

 

 

(h/t People)

Orlando Man Claims Uber Driver Requested Sex Act In Exchange For Free Ride

They say you should tip your driver, but this goes a bit far.

Orlando resident Matthew Marston was just trying to get to work early Monday morning when he fired up Uber on his phone and ordered a ride.

What he wasn’t prepared for, though, was the text message he received from the driver once his fare was accepted.

According to local NBC affiliate WESH, the Uber driver reportedly sent Marston a message which read, “Hey, I’ll give you a free ride if you let me (commit a sexual act)” 

Marston was stunned, telling WESH, “I was shocked. It felt uncomfortable.”

Even though it was 3AM in the morning, Marston canceled the ride. But Uber slapped him with a $5 cancellation fine. 

He admits he had to think twice before ordering a new Uber, but he had to get to work, so he tuned up the app once again. This time with no complications.

Marston says he tried to get in touch with Uber, but hasn’t been able to reach anyone from the freelance transit company.

Bob Hazen of WESH called the phone number for the driver but the call went straight to voicemail.

Hazen did speak with an Uber spokesman who said they were aware of the incident and investigating. They also relayed that Marston’s $5 had been refunded.

Uber told WESH that the company was looking into the possibility of whether another person could have accessed the account and sent the offending text.

(h/t WESH)

Out Magazine Releases Their 100 LGBTQ Influencers of 2018!

Out Magazine Releases Their 100 LGBTQ Influencers of 2018!


Billy Porter Is The Performer Of The Year!

One of my favorite LGBTQ publications, Out Magazine, released their yearly list of their top 100 influential members of our community. Many times I have strongly questioned with their decisions on who to highlight, but today I am completely impressed by their collective decision to include more than YouTube personalities, hot white guys, and celebrities in 2018. Now, we are graced with likeable and colorful characters who certainly deserve the recognition and applause from our community.


Topping the list with Performance of the Year is Billy Porter in Pose. Literally everyone should be giving Porter a standing ovation due to his raw character of Pray Tell, an emcee to the New York ball scene. His storyline includes losing a love to HIV while dealing with the news of his own infection, and that of his friends. In general, Pose is a groundbreaking series which should be recognized nationally as perhaps the greatest LGBTQ television series for a particular urban niche within our community. The love for Pose was well received by Out: Creator Ryan Murphy, Actresses Indya Moore, Mj Rodriguez, Dominque Jackson, and Director+Adviser Janet Mock (who I believe is sole reason the series saw much success) are also honored.


Newsmaker of the Year went to Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting turned Activist, who continues to interrogate NRA advocates. The *new* Queer Eye, Fab 5 (Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness) earn the title of Entertainers of the Year. A Musician who I haven’t heard of, Sophie, scored big as Artist of the Year. Thankfully an easy Google search gave me her website. ABC Reporter, Karl Schmid, is recognized after revealing he is HIV-Positive, while Cynthia Nixon AKA Miranda from Sex and the City, received Hero of the Year after her failed race for Governor of New York. World of Wonder’s moguls: Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, gain the title of Media Pioneers, rightfully so. Rupaul’s Drag Race has drag queens in mainstream media.Llike, small town nowhere has drag race parties. How mind blowingly awesome is that?


My favorite stand out of the crowd is Anthony Rapp. If you don’t know Rapp from his acting credits (RENT, Road Trip) then you should definitely know him as the person to publicly come forward with allegations of child sexual abuse at the hands of infamous Kevin Spacey. Rapp debatably incorporated the LGBTQ community within the #MeToo movement and it’s been downhill for any sexual predator since. There are still dominoes waiting to fall…


Other honorees include Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon, RuPaul’s Drag Race girls Peppermint and Aquaria, Will and Grace Executive Producer (and smokeshow!) Max Mutchnick, and Comedian Wanda Sykes. But of course, that’s only the beginning of the list of influential community members. To see the full list of community activists, artists, medical professionals, students, and so much more, head here!

Joey Suarez Doesn't Mind 'Dancing By Myself' To The Top

EDM/Pop musician Joey Suarez recently hit #5 on the UK Upfront Club Chart with a remix of his club favorite, “Dancing By Myself.” 

The song, remixed by chart-topping UK-based HausUnited, puts him in the same chart neighborhood as superstars Calvin Harris and Sam Smith.

Suarez says the song is about “the feeling of being alone at a club, content with the idea that you are now alone.”

“The song grows and changes a lot like our emotions do when we are heart broken,” he explains. “With that said, I hope this song finds those who feel alone and are trying to dance away their troubles.”

The young musician has never worried about dancing to his own beat.

A survivor of sexual abuse by his grandfather at a young age, Suarez spent years diving into his music as he hid that secret. 

“Music is responsible for saving my life,” shared the handsome artist in an interview with I’m From Driftwood.

As music and performing became more and more important in his life, he decided he was done with exiling a part of himself.

Most musicians choose to hide their sexuality at the beginning of their career for fear of rejection, but Suarez consciously decided to flaunt it. 

“I was about 14 when I decided secrets weren't worth it,” he says. “From then on, I vowed never to lie and never to hide who I was from anyone and most of all myself.”

Fans might be surprised to learn the artist now climbing the EDM/dance charts spent over 10+ years studying classical vocal training. But the strict, regimented approach to classical music wasn’t going to work for an artist who needed to fully express himself.

In an interview with FocusMidTenn,   he was “so sick of getting criticized in choirs for being ‘too loud’ or ‘not blending’” that he shifted his focus to other kinds of music and artist outlets. 

“Suddenly, all the constrictions and criticisms went out the window and I could freely explore my inner urges and talents,” he says.

His first two singles, “High in the Sky” and “Love Me Back” have garnered over 200,000 streams collectively on Spotify. A feat not easy for an independent LGBT musician. 

He is currently in the studio writing and recording more songs for an upcoming project.

Check out Suarez’s “Dancing By Myself” below.

For more info, head over to his official website here, and follow him on Instagram here.

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NEW MUSIC VIDEO! (@joeywsuarez) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#9 on the commercial UK POP CHARTS! New music in the making!!! :D

A post shared by NEW MUSIC VIDEO! (@joeywsuarez) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

My new music video is on @revrytv! Who’s seen it!? Picture by @birdlambrophotography

A post shared by NEW MUSIC VIDEO! (@joeywsuarez) on

 

(lead photo: Richard Gasparro)

(h/t FocusMidTenn)

Annual Hate Crimes Report Shows 3rd Consecutive Increase In Bias Crimes

Just weeks after a lone gunman entered a Pittsburgh synagogue killing 11 people and wounding 6 more, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has released its annual report on hate crimes in America.

And the news isn’t good.

A hate crime is defined by the FBI as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

The FBI says hate crime incidents surged in 2017 by 17 percent. That is the largest increase since 2001 when the 9/11 attacks gave way to a big jump in violence aimed at Arab Americans and Muslim Americans.

There were 7,175 hate crimes reported in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016.

The year was the third consecutive annual increase.

Now, let me think, what happened about three years ago that would fuel ethnic/religious rage?

It was in 2015 that Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign with a speech trashing Mexican immigrants. He has publicly sided with white nationalists and neo-nazis who rallied in Virginia; railed about African American football players for kneeling during the national anthem; and demonized the Central American migrant caravan of asylum seekers as an “invasion.”

While 1,303 of the reported incidents in 2017 were driven by bias regarding sexual orientation, the vast majority - 4,832 incidents - involved animus due to race or ethnicity.

Almost half of those reports involved African Americans, and anti-Latino bias was found in 11% of hate crimes in 2017.

Religious bias was responsible for the second largest segment of hate crimes with 1,679 reports of religion-motivated incidents.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes saw a small decline (273 in 2017 versus 314 in 2016), but historically speaking that’s still very high.

The annual report shows there were 131 hate crimes related to gender identity, barely edging out incidents regarding bias based on disability.

The category with the fewest occurrences were hate crimes motivated by gender (53).

(h/t Voice of America)

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