Mark Shenton, a theater critic for nearly 12 years at UK’s Sunday Express, announced in a post on today’s web site he was fired. What did Shenton do? Twenty-two years ago, he appeared in some “private, personal (but entirely legal)” photographs taken by a friend in San Francisco. Recently, those images were posted by someone else on a for-pay gay web site. “A malicious third party” alerted the Sunday Express and made their theater critic aware these images were online. Shenton confirmed the pictures were indeed him.
The newspaper then handed him a pink slip. Keep reading »
Alec Baldwin is reportedly losing his MSNBC talk show, “Up Late With Alec Baldwin,” following a suspension for allegedly calling a paparazzo a gay slur, according to Page Six. Earlier this month, the “30 Rock” star allegedly called the photographer a “cocksucking fag.” Page Six claims MSNBC’s parent company Comcast has decided to nix the talk show, which pulled in crappy ratings anyway. The actor has had numerous other outbursts, including threatening a British tabloid writer and calling him a “toxic little queen” and punching a paparazzo in the face. Regardless of whether this MSNBC rumor is true, I’m sure Alec Baldwin will have a hotheaded response, whether on Twitter, in real life, or on someone else’s talk show. [Page Six] [Photo: Getty]
“I risk jail time just going there, but the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement. I’m not a politician and I don’t really talk about politics. You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting. … It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been gay my whole life. … I don’t need to break any laws or wear a rainbow pin to show people that I support gay rights. I think I’ll do that just by being in Sochi and supporting our people there and know they are not alone. … The gay community has not reacted well to me because some people think it’s my responsibility to be an activist. They’re expecting me to hate Russia because I haven’t been given equal rights in Russia. … If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me. Every country’s going to have its issues.”
My gay BF Johnny Weir isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself. That includes defending himself from criticism that he should boycott the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, instead of covering figure skating for NBC as an openly gay man married to another man (who is Russian!). Russia is a notoriously anti-gay country, brutally abusing gays and lesbians and recently criminalizing homosexuality. But Weir, who has had Russian coaches and traveled to the country many times, said it is possible to support gay rights without choosing to exclude yourself from something you love. What do y’all think? [New York Times] [Image via Splash News]
This week, HBO screened a documentary film, “Valentine Road,” about the 2008 murder of a 14-year-old boy, Lawrence King, by a classmate in Oxnard, California. King had been exploring his gender identity by wearing makeup and heels to school; he had told friends that he was gay and had asked 14-year-old Brandon McInerney to be his Valentine in front of other classmates. McInerney, who had a girlfriend, shot King in head during class in their middle school computer lab.
Heartbreaking. Inexcusable. And yet the New York Times’ film review by Neil Genzlinger actually dared to ask:
Was Mr. McInerney the one who was bullied, by Mr. King’s flaunting of his identity (including wearing makeup and heeled boots to school)?
Keep reading »
Kaitlyn Hunt, a lesbian teen in Florida who was charged with having sexual relations with a minor after her younger girlfriend’s parents objected to their consensual relationship, has entered a plea deal which will require jail time for four months. Hunt, who dated her 14-year-old girlfriend while she was 18, will also have two years of house arrest with electronic monitoring and nine months of monitored probation.
Keep reading »
Minnesota teacher Kristen Ostendorf is out of a job right now because she’s a lesbian. After 18 years at Totino-Grace High School, during which she kept her sexuality secret, the 43-year-old teacher came out last month in a workshop with her fellow teachers about how to make one’s mark in Catholic social justice. “I tried to figure out how I could encourage others to ‘make their mark’ if I was willing to be part of a community where I was required to hide and compromise and deny who I am,” she told the Minneapolis Post.
So, Ostendorf told her colleagues: “I’m gay, I’m in a relationship with a woman, and I’m happy.” Keep reading »
On last night’s episode of “Big Brother,” 22-year-old Aaryn Gries was given the boot by her fellow houseguests and, as is customary, sat down for her live post-show interview with host Julie Chen. Over the past two-and-a-half months, Aryan Aaryn, as she’s jokingly been called online, has said a number of offensive and ignorant things about people of other races, all of which were caught on tape by the show’s 24/7 live feeds. She’s not the only one — almost half of the initial 16 houseguests have said one or more highly questionable things about race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Under pressure from viewers to show what was really going on in the house, CBS finally made a point of addressing offensive statements in their edited episodes, with Aaryn’s remarks receiving the vast majority of the attention. So, when Aaryn emerged out the front door, to a subtle chorus of audience boos, and sat down next to Julie Chen, I expected that the topic would be addressed, but only briefly as Aaryn is now a member of the “Big Brother” jury and will continue to be sequestered from the outside world until the season has come to an end. That usually means continuing to be kept in the dark about what’s going on outside the house — including how she’s being perceived.
But I was wrong. Chen went there last night, actually reading some of Aaryn’s worst remarks aloud. Aaryn — who, in fairness, was not completely clueless that she was being seen as racist — was flustered, saying she didn’t remember saying those things. She initially made excuses about being from Texas and not meaning the things she said and blah blah blah. The audience laughed at her over and over. Aaryn teared up and looked utterly crushed. It was awful. And awkward. I was uncomfortable. Keep reading »