Sunday, August 19, 2018

First Male NFL Cheerleader Makes His Debut With New Orleans Saints

Jesse Hernandez of the New Orleans Saintsations

This season will mark the first time in decades that men will be joining the ranks of NFL cheerleader squads.

First to make his debut was 25-year-old Jesse Hernandez who took to the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this past Friday for the New Orleans Saints preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.

According to Nola.com, for many the historic moment came and went without fanfare although one woman interviewed in the stadium crowd offered her support saying, “If he can dance and perform, I don’t care.”

Another woman chimed in saying, “I think it’s awesome.”

Watch video of Hernandez’s debut below.



Also in the supportive category is Jesse’s mom, Tracey Hernandez, who drove hours to attend her son’s debut performance.

The New Orleans Advocate’s Ramon Antonio Vargas profiled Jesse’s mother in an interview that underscored her total support for her son.

In the interview, she also admitted that Jesse had experienced bullying and harassment for a long time going back to when he became the first male to make his high school dance team in his hometown of Maurice, La. years ago.

“Those people just need to get over it,” Mama Hernandez said. “We’re in 2018. Things shouldn’t be just for men or just for women. If you have the ability to do it, you should be able to do it.”

Some Facebook comments to the Advocate article confirmed her concerns.

From The New Orleans Advocate:

Based on the Facebook comments on Vargas’ story, Tracey Hernandez’s fears were realized. One he-man dismissed Jesse as a “gay bait prancing around like a fairy.” “That’s no man,” someone else said. Another ALL-CAPS guy said it was ‘THE NFL PUSHING THE PUSSYCRAT POLE SMOKING ETHICS,” whatever that means.

Other comments: “Homo.” “Pantywaist.” “Sick libturd bullshit.” “What male football fan wants some queer prancing around with the women?” “I'm surprised he hasn't set off the fire alarms in the Superdome.”

None of that mattered to Hernandez, though, as he took to the field wearing black skinny jeans and a black/white t-shirt with a fleur de lis.

On a personal note, I should add that in my senior year of high school the cheerleading squad looked to add male cheerleaders, and of course, I tried out and got one of the four slots.

I loved cheering. It was fun to stand on a football field in front of sports fans yelling my head off, performing cheers and routines and getting a whole lot of teen tension worked out.

Along the way, the experience impacted my social life at school as I found myself spending lots of time with students I'd gone to school with for years but never got to know.

Many were totally open to the inclusion of men on the squad. However, one of the other GUYS was a total douche to me throughout the year. He'd call me "faggot" on the football field and took any chance he could to ridicule me.

Even though I didn't really know who "I was" yet, it was those moments that helped me learn to cope with years of homophobia. And part of what I learned was - people learn to accept 'new' things far better than we think.

My years as a cheerleader (when I got to Syracuse University, I cheered for three years including being captain) taught me a lot about leadership and social interaction.

And then there's the fact that I really enjoyed being in front of a crowd/audience ;)

Props to Jesse Hernandez and to LA Rams cheerleaders Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, who will make their debut shortly.

In the video below, Hernandez chats about why he decided to try out for the Saintsations prior to his being cast as a new “Saintsation.”



p.s. ok, just ONE pic from my cheerleader days at Syracuse University... :)



Former Lawyer For "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli Regrets The Day He Met Shkreli

The former lawyer for "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli says he regrets the day he ever met the pharmaceutical executive.
Martin Shkreli
The former lawyer for "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli says he regrets the day he ever met the pharmaceutical executive.

Evan Greebel made the statement during his sentencing hearing for wire and securities fraud conspiracy where U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled Greebel will spend 18 months in prison and pay $10 million in restitution and $115,000 in forfeiture payments.

“I will regret every day of my life the day I met Martin Shkreli,” said Greebel.

“I dread the day my children decide to search my name on the internet,” the 45-year-old lawyer added.

Greebel was convicted in December of conspiring with Shkreli to repay the pharmaceutical executive’s defrauded investors.

Shkreli was sentenced to 7 years in prison this past May.

Report: White House Counsel Has Been Cooperating "Extensively" With Robert Mueller Investigation

Donald Trump

According to a new report from The New York Times, White House counsel Don McGahn has been cooperating with the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as Donald Trump's possible obstruction of justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey.

From The New York Times:

The White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, has cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise, according to a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter.

In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s fury toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.

Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

The NY Times goes on to say that McGahn "viewed his role as protector of the presidency, not of Mr. Trump."

McGahn's full cooperation was apparently motivated by suspicions "that the president had decided to let Mr. McGahn take the fall for decisions that could be construed as obstruction of justice, like the Comey firing, by telling the special counsel that he was only following shoddy legal advice from Mr. McGahn."

The Trumpster slapped back at the "failing" NY Times saying it was all a lot of nonsense because Trump "allowed him and all others to testify."

Cue the Twitter rant:














Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani: "Truth Isn't Truth"

Rudy Giuliani
Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, returned to a form of "alternative facts" during an appearance on NBC News' Meet the Press today when he declared, "Truth isn't truth."

Oh boy.










New Music From Janet Jackson, Cher & Madonna

As we lost our indisputable “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, the two “Queens of Pop” – Janet Jackson and Madonna – dropped new music videos that are singularly unique to the two artists visual and musical style.
New music from Janet Jackson, Cher and Madonna

It was quite the week for music royalty.

As we lost our indisputable “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, the two “Queens of Pop” – Janet Jackson and Madonna – dropped new music videos that are singularly unique to the two artists visual and musical style.

Jackson teamed with oh-so-sexy Daddy Yankee for her latest music video, “Made For Now.”

Visually reminiscent of “When I Think of You” and “Escapade,” the video (directed by Dave Meyers) is classic Janet as she celebrates among the folks of Brooklyn appearing all over the NYC borough in bold, high-style fashion.

Featured throughout are a mélange of international dancers that hail from Nigeria, Ghana, Grenada, Trinidad and the U.S.

In an interview with iHeartRadio, Jackson shared she’s “always loved Latin music, and obviously, the African music is there and always been an influence.”

“Coming from what Daddy Yankee does in reggaeton, it’s inspiration,” she added. “It’s reggae music, which brings you back to the African vibe, the whole bit. It was really nice working with him,” Jackson said.

Jackson and Yankee also performed the song live on The Tonight Show marking her first late-night appearance in 14 years.

Watch below.



Madonna released a stunning, long-form music video from her performance at the MET Gala earlier this year.

The video begins with bold, dynamic visions of religious imagery and Gregorian chanting leading into, of course, “Like a Virgin.”

After making her way down a huge stairway, Madge and company do a quick costume change at the 6:05 mark as she launches into “Beautiful Game.”

After a choreographed assault by her dancers that leaves her prone of the steps of the MET, the Queen of Pop performs Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” while slowly making her exit.

The dramatic final frames of the video (would we expect anything less?) focus on a concrete angel with the rumbling of thunder in the distance.

Quite the message.

Watch Madonna and company below.



In related Madonna news, can we say god bless the gay DJs?

The new Cher cover of ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” dropped last week and within 24 hours DJ Alex Simpson, based in Toronto, shared his fierce remix of Cher’s new track and Madonna’s 2005 hit “Hung Up,” which samples the ABBA classic.

I believe this is, technically, the first time the two divas have sung together before…?

Listen below.




Saturday, August 18, 2018

Martha Stewart Honored By National Gay & Lesbian Chamber Of Commerce


Lifestyle maven Martha Stewart was honored this week in Philadelphia at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Business and Leadership conference.
Martha Stewart at this year's National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce conference

Lifestyle maven Martha Stewart was honored this week in Philadelphia at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Business and Leadership conference.

KYWs Kristen Johanson reports:



My longtime friend Joe Woolley, recently named CEO of Nashville's LGBT Chamber of Commerce, was there in the mix in Philly:



Btw, in case you didn't notice, Joe is totally woofy... Follow him on Instagram here.





Homocon Journalist Invents "Transgender Privilege" And LGBTQ Folks Were Not Having It

In the aftermath of Vermont candidate Christine Hallquist’s historic win in the Democratic gubernatorial race this past Tuesday, a gay conservative journalist accused Hallquist of winning due to “transgender privilege.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Vermont, Christine Hallquist
In the aftermath of Vermont candidate Christine Hallquist’s historic win in the Democratic gubernatorial race this past Tuesday, a gay conservative journalist accused Hallquist of winning due to “transgender privilege.”

Wait, what?

Speaking to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night, Chadwick Moore said, “She can get away with many, many things simply by being transgender.”

“I mean, who knows if that's even how she won this primary,” he added. “But while the entire country is fixated on the fact that she's transgender, nobody knows anything about her policies.”



It’s patently false to claim “nobody knows anything” about Hallquist’s policies and priorities.

As I wrote earlier this week, she spent the past several months criss-crossing the state sharing her ideas on addressing poverty, promoting renewable energy and fighting climate change, spotlighting economic development in the state’s rural areas, raising the minimum wage, working toward single-payer health care, and reworking the school funding structure, as well as empowering LGBTQ Vermonters.

Whether you consider the various “bathroom bills” being introduced in multiple states meant to keep trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, or the Trump administration’s attempts to keep transgender service members from serving in the U.S. military, the idea of “transgender privilege” is laughable.

LGBTQ advocates and politicians were not down with Moore’s claim of “transgender privilege.”

On Twitter, folks began trending the hashtag #transgenderprivilege, attempting to spotlight the violence and discrimination that transgender Americans face on a daily basis.









A study by the National Center for Transgender Equality found in 2015 that 46% of trans folks had been the target of verbal assault in the past year.

Additionally, 30% said they had been fired or denied a promotion for being transgender.

And one in ten trans respondents admitted to having been physically assaulted by family members.

Does this sound like “privilege” to you?

Annise Parker, former mayor of Houston and now President of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, addressed the ludicrous idea of “transgender privilege” in a statement which read, in part:

“For two cisgender white men on Fox News to bemoan ‘transgender privilege’ in a conversation about one of the few openly trans candidates in the entire nation requires extraordinary ignorance, at best.

“Christine was the chief executive of a well-respected energy utility company for more than 12 years and traveled the entire state sharing with voters her progressive vision for Vermont.

“They claimed Vermont primary voters know nothing beyond her gender identity while in fact the opposite is true – voters chose Christine because of her experience and positions, not because of her gender identity, and it is an insult to Vermont voters to say otherwise.

“To say trans candidates have ‘privilege’ is simply these two pundits spewing nonsense and hate – there are only 13 trans people in elected office nationwide, hardly a privileged group.”


Pennsylvania Adds LGBTQs To Anti-Discrimination Laws But Not Hate Crime Statute

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission added sexual orientation and gender identity to its list of protected groups.

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission added sexual orientation and gender identity to its list of protected groups.

That action now allows people to file complaints to the State of Pennsylvania regarding incidents of LGBTQ discrimination. The commission investigates complaints of discrimination in areas of education, housing, employment and public accommodations.

Before the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity, if LGBTQ folks felt they had been discriminated against, their own recourse was to file a complaint with their local municipality IF the area they lived in barred such discrimination. According to Equality Pennsylvania, only 51 of the Keystone State’s 2,562 municipalities have laws that protect LGBTQ citizens.

What the change does not do, however, is add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s hate crime statute.

So, if LGBTQ folks face discrimination in a restaurant or hotel, you can file a complaint. But if you are assaulted for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the perpetrator can be arrested but there will be no hate crime attached unless you are in one of the cities or local municipalities that have added sexual orientation or gender identity to their hate crime statute.
Now, there wasn’t always the case.

Back in 2002, the Pennsylvania state legislature added LGBTQ folks to the hate crimes law. In doing so, Pennsylvania became the 5th state to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks.

But two years later, when anti-gay protesters were arrested at a gay-rights event for preaching via bullhorn, concerns were raised about misuse of the statute.

Eventually, in 2007, a Commonwealth court struck down the addition to the hate crimes law saying the legislature had surreptitiously used an unrelated agriculture bill to make the change. In 2008, the state Supreme Court upheld that ruling and LGBTQ folks were once again left without hate crime protections statewide.

Since then, lawmakers have tried to update the hate crime statute but to no avail.

Some cities enacted their own hate crime legislation like Philadelphia in the aftermath of a vicious attack on a gay couple in the Center City area of Philly in 2014 which left one of the victims with a shattered jaw.

Currently, Pennsylvania’s hate crime laws protect folks from discrimination due to color, religion, race, and national origin.

(h/t Philly.com)