Here’s an unfortunate one-step-forward, two-steps-back scenario. As gays are serving openly in the military and the Boy Scouts are considering a teeny-tiny advancement toward allowing gay members and leaders in the don’t-ask-don’t-tell vein, gay men in sports are still overwhelmingly remaining in the closet. And now they’ve got the story of former Oakland Raider/ San Francisco 49-er Kwame Harris as an example of what not to follow. According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, Harris is charged with felony domestic violence and is being sued for assault and battery by an ex-boyfriend over an altercation that allegedly began over an argument about soy sauce and stolen underwear. Really.
In August 2012, Harris and Dimitri Geier, who were no longer romantically involved, their lawyers say, were having dinner at a Chinese restaurant before Harris was going to take Geier to the airport. Apparently Geier upset Harris by pouring soy sauce on a plate of rice. Which, again, this is really doing a lot to advance the public’s perception of gay men. The argument continued outside, where Harris reportedly pulled down Geier’s pants and accused him of stealing his underwear (OK, now this is sounding like a fight among sorority girls or something).
The biggest nail biter of the night wasn’t waiting to find out who would take home the Golden Globe for Best Actress or Best Picture. No, it was watching Jodie Foster’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award, honoring her incredible 47-year acting career. Seriously, her time on stage had us on the edge of our seat as she flirted with dropping some pretty big bomb shells. Did she just come out officially? Did she just retire from acting? Let us break it down for you.
She first got our attention by teasing us with a big announcement. “I had a sudden urge to say something that I have never really been able to air in public, a declaration that I’m a little nervous about. But I’m just going to put it out there, loud and proud. So, I’m going to need your support on this.” Watching at home, we immediately told everyone around the couch to shut up. We were so certain that she was going to at last officially acknowlege her sexuality and come out as a lesbian in public for the first time. It would have defintely been a landmark moment in GG’s history, but her actual admission was a little different. “I am…single. Yes, I am. I am single.”
Even though she recently got engaged to long-time boyfriend Brandon Blackstock, there are some folks out there who still believe that Kelly Clarkson is secretly a lesbian. The singer has faced whispers about her sexuality for years, but she has never shied away from it. In fact, she’s says she out and proud to be a rumored lesbian!
“People think, ‘Oh, she’s been single for too long.’ That’s kind of an insult to the gay community,” she said in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine. She apparently had a six year dry spell before hitting it off with Joey McIntyre in February of 2011. “Being single doesn’t mean you’re gay. But I’m never insulted by it, obviously. I mean, I get hit on by the hottest girls ever. Oh my god, if I were a lesbian, I would be so in luck. But it’s not just my thing. I’ve always battled for the boys’ team.”
On top of a constant stream of tours, recording dates, and other chores of the superstar lifestyle, Kelly admits to another reason why she was single for so long. “Usually the guys who hit on me are tools. It’s the ones that don’t hit on you that make you like ‘Why didn’t you ask me out?’ It’s like American Idol auditions: The guys who are the most confident are the horrible ones, and the ones who are good have no confidence at all.” But it sounds like Kelly is just as good as Simon Cowell at putting the jerks in their place.
We all know that former American Idol contestant Fantasia Barrino hasn’t had an easy road these past few years, what with her suicide attempt in August 2010 and accusations of home-wrecking against Antwaun Cook. But that definitely doesn’t excuse her bizarre seemingly anti-gay marriage tirade on Instagram that took place on New Years Eve. “I Rise ABOVE IT ALL!!! THE WORLD IS GONE MAD. KIDS, THE GOVERNMENT THE church House… Everybody Trying!!!!!!!” she captioned a photo that seems to just highlight her Spanx. “Its a lot that going on that the Bible speaks about we should Not be doing. Weed legal in some places, Gay Marriage Legal BUT YET IM JUDGED!!! I’m not doing Nothing for you… My Life!!!!” First of all, you have the cap the exclamation marks at two per sentence if you want to be taken seriously. Secondly, Instagram is a photo-based social media platform, so next time maybe take your rants to Twitter. And thirdly, this whole statement is made of no.
The singer’s reps are already in damage control mode and have issued a statement on Tuesday to her facebook page (and other places, we hope). “Comments made by Ms. Barrino through her Intragram account were recently taken far out of context,” it begins, “Ms. Barrino is not now, nor has she ever been an opponent of the LGBT community. She has supported and performed at numerous events that are sponsored by the LGBT community. Whether it’s through a live performance or placement on social media, Ms. Barrino uses every opportunity to reach out and connect with her fans, all of her fans.” This sounds like the PR equivalent of “Some of my best friends are gay!”, but hey, what do we know?
Lady Gaga is now under fire from a high profile Russian politician who is accusing her of “illegally” promoting gay rights in their country. Vitaly Milonov, an associate of President Vladimir Putin, is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit against the singer following her concert in his ruling district of St. Petersburg last Sunday. “We saw that in addition to music, songs and such, there were direct calls for 12-year-old citizens to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community,” he said. “The main complaints are [her] calls for minors to support the organization of gays and lesbians, the illegal use of the Russian Federation flag at her concert and slander against our country.”
Milonov has co-written a law banning gay “propaganda” in St. Petersburg, and tried unsuccessfully to prohibit the sale of Gaga’s show tickets to anyone under the age of 18. Mother Monster’s representation even claims to have received a phone call prior to the show threatening arrest and $50,000 fines if she were to voice support for the LGBT community onstage. Wow, we thought the Cold War was over! Milonov tried similar tactics against Madonna over the summer, which were met with laughs in the court and disgust from the performer. Luckily, we’re feeling like nothing is going to come of these further legal threats. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has already come to Lady Gaga’s aide in an interview last week, in which he said that “not all human relationships are subject to legal regulation.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
Lady Gaga may be one of the most famous people on the planet, but she definitely does more than her share to stick up for those with less power. She has passionately campaigned for LGBT rights and lent her bazillion dollar voice to speak out against bullying. She met with President Obama in September to discuss the creation of an anti-bullying legislation, and now Mama Monster is taking matters into her own hands by launching her long-awaited Born This Way Foundation.
The organization is set to launch on February 29 (but of course) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and will work in tandem with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the California Endowment and several other groups. Gaga will direct the non-profit charity alongside her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. According to the press release, the foundation aims to “explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment.”
Lots of us are wearing purple today, supporting Spirit Day, which started last year in response to the horrifying spate of LGBT teen suicides linked to bullying. But even if the color didn’t fit in your wardrobe, the wonders of social networking have made it possible to turn your profile pic purple, and we think that counts too. Of course, as with any cause, some of our fave celebs are lending their 140 characters to the effort. Here are some of the best so far:
“Glaad Spirit Day! I support LBGT youth against bullies! Put up your forcefields and don’t let anyone take your energy!!” — Adam Lambert
“You all better be wearing your purple skinny jeans tom for #SpiritDay – I know I will @MTVact.” — Vinny Guadagnino
“Tink! …trying to figure out how to make my avi purple….hmnn…” — Jordan Knight
Star Trek star Zachary Quinto has publicly acknowledged his homosexuality for the first time in a New York magazine interview. Though a voice in gay rights for many years, the 34-year-old actor had previously declined to speak about his sexuality up until now. He says that it was his role in the recent Broadway re-staging of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America that helped spur his decision to come out formally and become an more active participant in the fight for LGBT equality.
The Broadway drama centers around a gay man who leaves his AIDS-afflicted boyfriend, and Quinto called the part “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as an actor and the most rewarding.” It exhausted him mentally and made him rethink the current gay community. “As a gay man, it made me feel like there’s still so much work to be done,” he continued, “and there’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.”
While great strides have been made, including the legalization of gay marriage in the State of New York, Quinto is concerned about the abuse that still gets hurled at homosexuals. He was particularly horrified by the death of young Jamey Rodemeyer, who took his own life after being bullied at school for his homosexuality. “As a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it,” he admits. “But as a human being I look at it and say ‘Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?'”
The actor spoke more about Jamey’s suicide on his website, and also offered his own video for the “It Gets Better” project. Check it out under the jump.
Southwest is definitely not the friendly skies! At least if you ask Leisha Hailey. The L-Word actress claims that she and her girlfriend were removed from a Southwest flight yesterday because they were kissing, and now she is leveling homophobia accusations against the airline. “I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir,” she tweeted. “Flt. attendant said that it was a ‘family’ airline and kissing was not ok.” Now Leisha’s demanding a public apology and a refund. “Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal?” she wrote. She’s calling on fellow members of the LGBT community to boycott Southwest Air, stating that “they don’t like us.”
Reps for Southwest are doing their part to calm the turbulence, posting a statement last night saying that they “received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive.” The report continues to say that when attendant went over to ask Leisha to tone it down, she allegedly became hostile. “The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight,” they explained. Southwest seems to rub many celebs the wrong way. Kevin Smith was furious for being escorted off a flight last year for allegedly being too big to fit in the seat, and last week Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off because his pants sagged too low. Really, Southwest? They should really change their name to Air Grandma.
[Photo: Getty Images]
It’s one thing to ban song lyrics because it they’re offensive, but it’s another to ban something because it promotes tolerance and acceptance, which is what Malaysia is doing to Lady Gaga. Gaga’s song “Born This Way” features the lyrics “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby,” which broadcasters in Malaysia have decided to garble on the air because the government there forbids “offensive content.” Yes, playing songs about accepting those people with a lifestyle different to your own is considered offensive and can be illegal in Malaysia. Hey, America, can the left and the right get on the same page for once and applaud the fact that, regardless of your stance on the issue, at least that doesn’t happen here?
AMP Radio Networks in Malaysia said in a statement that “The particular lyrics in ‘Born This Way’ may be considered as offensive when viewed against Malaysia’s social and religious observances, ” and that “The issue of being gay, lesbian or (bisexual) is still considered as a ‘taboo’ by general Malaysians,” hence the precautionary measure. Gay rights activists in the country criticized the move for “perpetuating ignorance and hate,” and we’re just waiting to see how Gaga herself responds. Given her pro-LGBT track record, she can’t be thrilled.
[Photo: Splash News Online]