Thursday, October 18, 2018

Go Purple For Spirit Day 2018


Spirit Day is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities.

Pledging to "go purple" on Spirit Day is a way for everyone — forward-thinking companies, global leaders, respected celebrities, neighbors, parents, classmates, and friends — to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.

The first observance took place on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. Later observances were held on Thursday, October 20, 2011 and Friday, October 19, 2012 before the tradition of the third Thursday of October was established in 2013.

The name "Spirit Day" comes from the purple stripe of the Rainbow flag, whose creator Gilbert Baker defined it as "representing 'spirit'".

As anti-LGBTQ policies, hate crimes, and harassment are on the rise, it is now especially important to let all marginalized youth know they are supported.

This year, Spirit Day is on October 18, 2018. Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you've got their backs at glaad.org/spiritday.

Follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.

Click image to enlarge

Nancy Pelosi Vows To Make The Equality Act A Priority

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-D)

Should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections, probable Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says passing the long-overdue Equality Act would be a high priority.

From Chris Johnson at The Washington Blade:

Speaking at an event Tuesday at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Pelosi identified the Equality Act as a personal goal in wide-ranging remarks about her plans for the next Congress.

“It isn’t in our ‘For The People’ agenda because it doesn’t get that specific, but there’s one more because it’s personal for me that I really want to do, and it’s called the Equality Act,” Pelosi said. “The Equality Act expands ending discrimination against LGBTQ people and women and adding that to the Civil Rights Act.”

Introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) in the House and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in the Senate, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, education, federal programs and credit.

The bill also seeks to update federal law to include sex in the list of protected classes in public accommodation in addition to expanding the definition of public accommodations to include retail stores, banks, transportation services and health care services.

Further, the Equality Act would establish that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — a 1994 law aimed at protecting religious liberty — can’t be used to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

Poll: Trump Voters Say Straight Men Face Most Discrimination

A new poll by You.gov/The Economist shows among Trump voters believe straight men face more discrimination than any other demographic in the U.S. today.
Donald Trump

If you ever needed more evidence how reality skews for folks on opposite sides of the political spectrum, look no further.

A new poll by You.gov/The Economist shows among Trump voters believe straight men face more discrimination than any other demographic in the U.S. today.

Participants were asked “How much discrimination do the following people face in America today?”

They were then given a list of demographics and a choice of responses: “none at all,” “not much,” “a fair amount,” and “a great deal.”

A combined 49% of Trump voters said men face significant discrimination (18% “a great deal,” 31% “a fair amount”).

When asked about LGBTQ folks, 41% of Trump voters feel the gays face discrimination (9% “a great deal,” 32% “a fair amount”).

A combined 42% said Mexican-Americans face “a great deal” (9%) or “a fair amount” (33%) of discrimination.

A combined 38% said African-Americans face “a great deal” (8%) or “a fair amount” (30%) of discrimination.

A combined 27% said Asian-Americans face “a great deal” (6%) or “a fair amount” (21%) of discrimination.

Not surprisingly, only 30% of Trump voters feel women face “a great deal” (7%) or “a fair amount” (23%) of discrimination.

This all seems to correlate with recent public statements by Republicans, including Donald Trump, who during the recent hearings to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh told the press it’s a “very scary” time for men in America.

Back in August, a poll by Public Religion Research Institute found Republicans believe discrimination has lessened substantially over the past few years for LGBTQ people, women, Jewish people and Muslim people.

And there you have it...

Out Film: 'Mario'

(scene from 'Mario')
After successfully making the rounds of the international film festival circuit, Mario, a gay-themed movie steeped in the world of professional European soccer will finally be available in the U.S. via Video On Demand October 30.

The film follows Swiss-German soccer hopeful Mario (Max Hubacher) who is assigned housing with a new-teammate, dark and swarthy Leon (Aaron Altaras), a striker from Hanover, Germany.

Chemistry (or biology) is what it is, and one night during a video game session, a bout of tickling leads to a kiss.

Passions now ignited, the real story of Mario begins as the two young athletes face many obstacles, both personal and professional, as their dreams of becoming soccer stars loom in the distance.

There are swirling rumors among team mates, tamping down concerns by veteran sports agents, a threat of blackmail, and personal demons to address that have been long-buried in the pursuit of athletic achievement.

Credit director Marcel Gisler for developing the palpable chemistry between Altaras and Hubacher throughout the film.



The film had its premiere at BFI Flare London LGBTQ Film Festival in early April this year, and premiered in North America at Miami’s Outshine Film Festival later in spring.

The Swiss film was so well-received it managed to take home trophies in the ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ categories at the most recent Swiss Film Awards.

The Guardian called the film “a heartfelt and human drama with the texture of truth and characters to care about.”

The Independent wrote, “Every gay man will instantly connect with either Mario or Leon and their relatable worries of life and love.”

And The Hollywood Reporter hailed “the small, very human moments” of the movie that ensures Mario “feels authentic and is, finally, moving.”

This heart-warming rollercoaster of a film, set on and off the field, offers a dynamic and realistic picture of how gay professional athletes are still struggling to live their authentic lives in the 21st century.



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

News Round-Up: October 17, 2018

• Rapper and bodybuilder Léo Stronda, 26-years-old from Brazil (above), is my new InstaHunk find! #woof
Léo Stronda

Some news items you might have missed:

• Rapper and bodybuilder Léo Stronda, 26-years-old from Brazil (above), is my new InstaHunk find! #woof

• Arkansas (of all places) is issuing gender-neutral IDs to non-binary citizens

• Lawmakers in Thailand are working on legislation that would give same-sex couples legal recognition via civil unions. Passage of the new law would make Thailand the first country in Asia to recognize gay/lesbian relationships.

• Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame hints at an AbFab reunion saying she "might be writing a little something."

• A new report from Essex University seems to say that if your ring finger is longer than your index finger, it could indicate you're gay. Not sure I believe that...

• Non-binary singer/songwriter Grayson has released their new single, "Brother." The track is a personal anthem about needing to break free from both internal and external pressures.

“‘Brother' is about the sometimes chaotic relationship with yourself, and everyone else," says Grayson.

Grayson is new to me, so let's check out "Brother."

Progress For Schools Becoming More LGBTQ Inclusive Is Slowing

GSA bus in Pride parade (image via Flickr/jglsongs - CC License)

According to the 2017 National School Climate Survey from GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), progress in making schools more inclusive and less hostile for LGBTQ students has slowed down after years of improvement.

The survey polled more than 23,000 students across the United States ages 13-21 between April and August of 2017.

The average age of participants was 15.6 years-old and four in ten of those surveyed identified as gay or lesbian.

The results of the survey showed that after years of declining harassment, the improving climate seems to have plateaued (see graphic below).


The data from the survey shows:

• Almost 60% of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; 44% because of their gender expression

• Almost 35% of LGBTQ students say they missed a day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe

• 4 in 10 avoided gender-segregated spaces like bathrooms or locker rooms due to safety concerns

• 98.5% of LGBTQ students have heard the term “gay” used in a negative way; 70% say they hear these remarks frequently

• 70.1% of LGBTQ students say they’ve experienced verbal harassment based on sexual orientation; almost 60% based on gender expression

• Almost 30% say they’ve been physically harassed (pushed, shoved) based on sexual orientation; 24.4% based on gender expression

• 12.4% of LGBTQ students say they’ve been physically assaulted (punched, kicked) based on sexual orientation; 11.2% based on gender expression

• 42.2% of LGBTQ students say they considered dropping out of school due to harassment

• 48.7% of LGBTQ students have experienced cyberbullying in the past year

• 57.3% of LGBTQ students reported being sexually harassed in the past year at school

The majority of LGBTQ students (55.3%) who were victimized in school did not report the incident believing no effective intervention would happen or the situation could become worse.

Of the students who did report an incident, 60.4% say school staff did nothing or told the student to ignore it.

One piece of good news: more students reported having a Gay/Straight Alliance (53.3%) at their school than ever before.

The data shows that when a school offers a GSA, LGBTQ students were less likely to hear homophobic or transphobic slurs; saw more intervention by school personnel; and were less likely to feel unsafe at school due to their sexual orientation.

Head over to GLSEN to read the full report.

Happy 24th Anniversary To The Best Husband In The World

Michael's 40th birthday party.  John Ganun, fabulous photog, came and shot the party.
This is us.

Today, hot hubby Michael and I celebrate our 24th anniversary together.

It's also our 15th official wedding anniversary - we kept the same day of the year because I used to be blond and can't remember too many dates :)

Happily, this has become a regularly scheduled, annual post.

*******************************************************

October 17, 1994, I met Michael Caprio for the first time.

I was on the road with the pre-Broadway tour of the Broadway revival of "Hello, Dolly!" and we were in Minneapolis recording our cast recording. Michael was VP of Publicity and Marketing for the record label.

"It only takes a moment, for your eyes to meet and then..."

It was one long day of me watching Michael from across the studio, and as I found out later, Michael kept his eye on me, too.  And boy, am I glad.

Twenty-three years, two marriage certificates (one in Toronto, Canada, one in Palm Springs, CA), one cancer journey and six dogs later - here we are.

We actually are very different people. Michael is very social and loves being out in the world; he loves meeting, mixing and mingling with tons of people, and people love him back.

I love our friends but in small doses where I can focus on them and their lives one at a time. I love being home with the dogs in our own little world.

Michael gets special points as he endures my constant roller coaster ride with politics. But over the past several years, he's become as passionate if not more so than I about the state of our country :)

Somehow, this all works really, really well.

I love being married to Michael. I love our life together.

Happy anniversary, happy anniversary, happy anniversary - HAAAAPPY anniversary!

A few pics from the short journey together - so far:

First pic Michael ever sent me after we met, from the set of a photo shoot for the record label he was
VP of publicity for at the time.  Can you say "cute"???

From a Mammoth Ski weekend after a long day of skiing

My favorite pic with Michael

First wedding!  Toronto, October 17th, 2003
Senior Justice Lauren Marshall was very gracious to officiate the marriage for us.

Getting married in Palm Springs, CA, right before 2008 election
Mayor Pro Tem Ginny Foat officiated the marriage for us right before Prop 8 passed.

RuPaul Wants You To #SissyThatVote!

In a new video, RuPaul encourages fans to make sure they register to vote and then show up to vote on November 6.
RuPaul wants YOU to vote

In a new video, RuPaul encourages fans to make sure they register to vote, and then actually show up on November 6 to vote in this year's midterm elections.

“Do you love RuPaul’s Drag Race?” asks Mama Ru. “Well, we love giving it to you. And here’s how you can give back: Go to vote.gov to find out how you can register. And then, on November 6, you better vote, sis!”