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news briefs january 31
Written by Craig Ogan

First avowed bi senator, ‘What did she wear?’

Not sure how historic this really is, but Kyrsten Sinema is the first avowedly bisexual person to be sworn in to the U.S. Senate. The Twitter-verse tittered about what she wore: a pink coat worn over a sleeveless white blouse with matching bracelet, flower-print skirt and a fur “shawl”.

Some Tweeters described her as, “The first openly bisexual senator and the first-ever Mamie Van Doren cosplayer,” (Under 60-year-olds should Google that). She was also compared to a Harry Potter character and Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. One Tweeter called her fashion choice “weaponized sexuality” and suggested there was no gender who wouldn’t want to have sex with her. (Gay men to the back of the line.)

Sworn in at the same time, the other Arizona senator, Martha McSally wore a purple dress and Nancy Pelosi wore hot pink but received no Twitter action. Sinema was sworn in by Vice President Pence who nodded her announced sexuality by saying he’d meet with her alone, but only half the time.

PnP turns fatal in WeHo

West Hollywood activists are calling on the newly elected Los Angeles County Sheriff to investigate deaths by overdose of two men in the WeHo apartment of political activist, Ed Buck. They claim Buck is being protected by the L.A. Mayor’s office, the County district attorney, and the previous county sheriff because he has been a big donor to Hillary Clinton, state Gov. Jerry Brown, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, and numerous West Hollywood city council members.

A previous overdose death in the 60-year-old Buck’s home was ruled accidental. The first victim is said to have written in his journal that his first injection of crystal meth was administered by Buck and he subsequently became addicted to the drug.

Sorry for Spacey?

When is it OK to feel sorry for Kevin Spacey? After pleading not guilty to charges at an arraignment for groping a man in Nantucket, the man’s mother held a press conference where she described the assault, which took place during a bout of “drinking” with Spacey, where the 18-year-old claimed to be 23.

She said her son “froze” due to Spacey’s action but didn’t reveal how and when the man unfroze long enough to shoot a video and send it via Snapchat to his girlfriend. Adding insult to injury, driving home from the arraignment Spacey was stopped by Highway Patrol for speeding.

A historic number of LGBT people have joined Congress

Ten self-identifying LGBT politicians were sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress Jan. 10 — two in the U.S. Senate and eight in the House of Representatives.

Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute said, “A historic number of LGBTQ people will serve in the new U.S. Congress and their influence will shape the debate on equality legislation and issues moving forward.”

The now-sitting LGBT legislators are Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.).

Cultural appropriation?

A non-gay actor who got his first big role as a gay teen, Timothée Chalamet, created online controversy about  ripping off real-gay skater/dancer Adam Rippon’s look from the 2018 Oscars. Recall, Rippon wore a leather harness and “air” epaulettes as part of his red carpet walk.

At the Golden Globes, Chalamet, not trying to look gay at all, wore something that looked like a harness, a custom, sequin number from Louis Vuitton with an embroidered bib, finishing off the look with four bracelets, two rings, and cuff links from Cartier. Comments ranged from approval to opprobrium.

Pastor steps on his dick

An anti-gay Baptist pastor, Donnie Romero, resigns after admitting to sexual misconduct. He also really hated gays and lesbians, and in a sermon celebrated the Pulse nightclub shooting by saying, “These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, and they are the scum of the earth. The earth is a little bit better place now.”

He cryptically announced leaving his post in a sermon but the man who originally ordained him was less cryptic, posting a video to YouTube saying, “Basically, the major sin involved was being with prostitutes. Then there were also marijuana and gambling.”

Gay games

A baby step for gays in the gay-shy “gaming business,” where most male characters are portrayed as straight but look like a male gay BDSM fantasy, came when the Soldier 76 character in Overwatch, a popular multiplayer game with over 40 million monthly players, was identified as gay.

In a storyline, he was outed while lamenting the difficulty of sustaining romantic relationships. His lost love, named Vincent, married someone else, with Soldier 76 saying, “Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.”

This is the second openly gay or lesbian character in Overwatch. The first was Tracer, a lesbian pilot of a “time leaping” Subaru with a girlfriend named Emily and a Labrador retriever.

Straight washing, gay washing, line dry

Scottish actor Ewan McGregor will play the role of iconic fashion designer Halston in a new TV series directed by American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace director Dan Minahan. Halston was a 1970s fashion celebrity whose designs were worn by Elizabeth Taylor and Bianca Jagger. He died in 1990 from AIDS-related complications.

Gay British actor Ben Whishaw won a Golden Globe for his role as one-half of a gay scandal in A Very British Scandal with Hugh Grant. He was the lead in London Spy where his character’s gay life was a key plot point and played the seemingly gay-straight dad in the current Mary Poppins Returns.

He wishes gay actors could get hired to play straight roles. Apparently, he’s ignorant of Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, Montgomery Clift, John Gielgud, Ian McKellan, Cheyenne Jackson, Zachary Quinto, etc. He pleads they should have an “even playing field” with heterosexual actors to play characters of any orientation. Other entertainment figures, including Matt Damon, have advised gay actors to stay in the closet, lest they damage their careers.

Polis, first gay governor

Another Rocky Mountain “high” was achieved by Jared Polis as he was sworn in, making him the first openly gay man to serve as governor of a U.S. state. He’s also Colorado’s first Jewish governor.

Polis’ partner and “first gentleman” Marlon Reis attended the ceremony, as did their two children, Caspian and Cora. Polis is a former member of the U.S. Congress from Boulder and was an internet tycoon before running for office. Cyndi Lauper performed at Polis’ inaugural ball in Denver. (Jared Polis selfie below)

Hart to heart on Oscars

For those who care, Kevin Hart says he’s done addressing his past anti-gay comments and stated definitely that he will not host the Academy Awards ceremony this year.

He was defended by Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show saying he had apologized and evolved. She encouraged him to host the Oscars so “those people” don’t win. However, he made his “I’m done” declaration to the Oscars new host Michael Strahan (the best-dressed man on NFL Today) on Good Morning America.

So hard to get anything done

After 200 attempts since 1918, an anti-lynching bill unanimously passed the U.S. Senate. The bill was sponsored by California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, and South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott. Liberty Counsel, an organization dubbed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, wants to strip LGBT protections from the bill as it moves through the U.S. House of Representatives.

15-year-old remarks wake woke scolds

It didn’t take long for the woke-mob to find 15-year-old comments they call “homophobic” to bash somewhat conservative Democrat and declared presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

In 2002 and 2004 as a member of the Hawaii Legislature, she lobbied and testified against a bill to recognize same-sex civil unions saying, “As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”

Since then she has been supportive, backing a bill targeting discrimination based on sexual orientation and endorsed Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid in 2016 which cost her the post as Democratic National Committee vice chair.

Gabbard was elected to the U.S. House in 2012 and was the first Hindu member of Congress and one of Congress’ first female combat veterans. She recently announced her candidacy for the Dem nomination for president.

Netflix and North Carolina chill

One of the first “bathroom” bills, passed in North Carolina, is the reason Netflix is pulling production of a series that was supposed to be filmed in the state. The streaming company ordered 10 episodes of the show, OBX, but hadn’t started shooting. The bill, HB2, which banned transgender people from using the restroom of their choice in government buildings,
passed in 2016.

The law was altered after a national outcry but kept the ban on cities passing “bathroom equality” ordinances. The partial repeal was denounced by LGBT organizations at the time as “cynical” and “shameful.” The production company is scouting locations in another paragon of equality, South Carolina, for the show’s location shooting.

About the author

Craig Ogan

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