I missed this item from WaPo when it came out on Sunday. Good for the U.S. Embassy and the Russian athletes.
(Hat tip: Lisa Keen)
I missed this item from WaPo when it came out on Sunday. Good for the U.S. Embassy and the Russian athletes.
(Hat tip: Lisa Keen)
From Monday night's game against the Bulls, Jason's first game on the Nets' home court. The Nets fans gave Number 98 a standing ovation when he entered the game. This makes me so proud and happy I could bust.
Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz says, "It’s the (expletive) 21st century, man. Get over it."
Here's sending Big Papi a big wet smooch. If there is anyone in professional sports that I especially wanted not to be a homophobe, it is this big-spirited man who got a pass from the FCC for an f-bomb on television last April in Fenway Park, and who is the heart and soul of his championship team.
Nets center Jason Collins scored his first points as an openly gay player Thursday night in his team's 112-89 win over the Denver Nuggets. He also met with the parents and brother of Matthew Shepard, whose death in 1998 inspired Collins to wear the number 98 on his jersey. He gave one of his jerseys to the Shepards after the game. He is reportedly likely to be signed for the rest of the season.
The 12-year NBA veteran has proven his ability to play. That he is so poised and photogenic makes him very well suited to his role as a gay pioneer.
NFL draft prospect Michael Sam has a few words for anti-gay lobbyist Jack Burkman, who is proposing legislation in the U.S. Congress to ban openly gay players from the NFL:
Jack Burkman is going to need a Delorian, not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) February 25, 2014
Congratulations to Jason Collins for becoming the first active openly gay player in NBA history by signing with the Brooklyn Nets. Look for him to suit up tonight for the game against the Los Angeles Lakers. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted:
We welcome @jasoncollins34 to Brooklyn and applaud his courage. RT if you're proud Brooklyn will be emblazoned across his jersey.— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) February 23, 2014
Let's hear it for Suzie Snowflake's brave protest at the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, where she refused to open into an Olympic ring.
Business Insider reports on NFL draft prospect Michael Sam coming out, which prompted some anonymous criticism from football staffers but also official praise from the NFL:
In all likelihood, Sam will become the first openly gay NFL player when he's drafted in April.
Sam came out to his Missouri teammates before the 2013 season. They supported him, and the team went 12-2 in the SEC. There were not locker room issues.
(Hat tip: Joe Jervis)
Russia has done similar things recently. Andranik Migranyan says that the majority of Russians want a law outlawing "homosexual propaganda". In this country we have a Bill of Rights that protects people who say things that the government or a majority of the public doesn't like.
Russians have a long history of authoritarian rule from the tsars through the Soviet Union and on to Putin. But as unrest about his continued reign grows (he has been in office far longer than their constitution allows) he needs to appeal to outside groups to maintain his power. And one of those is the Russian Orthodox Church. Giving support to this law has strengthened the churches support of Putin. On this issue opinion outside of Russia counts little.
This update on a classic Coke commercial by Queer Nation NY is a powerful indictment of its sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics. I'm surprised that Coca Cola's lawyers haven't yet squashed it. Bravo to the folks who put this together.
Below is the trailer for Queer Nation NY's short film, The Road to Sochi. As you watch it, remember that there are people who are more offended by this kind of film than by the world's participation in Putin's Olympics. I mean, we cannot abide rudeness! Back in the 1960s, many Americans were outraged by singer Eartha Kitt's use of an appearance at the White House to protest the murderous, colonialist, and futile Vietnam War in front of President Johnson. She was blackballed for it. At this very moment, all around us are people who consider it obvious that following protocol trumps impolitic truth-telling. Otherwise, advocates for social justice would not have to work so hard. It's not that people cannot hear. They don't want to listen. That makes them much worse than sheep.
Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, who has been deaf since the age of 3 (and shown above in a Duracell commercial), responds to a deaf girl's letter. Beautiful and inspiring.
CNN's Piers Morgan and Rachel Nichols discuss Nichols's interview with Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, whose pass deflection in the NFC championship game against the 49ers sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Sherman was on the field of play, and used no foul language in his rant. By contrast, people calling him a thug, a monkey, and worse on Twitter are revealing how racism persists under the surface and needs little provocation to unleash. In his interview with Nichols, Sherman reveals what a smart and thoughtful guy he is.
First lady Michelle Obama makes a video on healthy eating with members of the Miami Heat. If this doesn't make you smile, check yourself for a pulse. This is just delightful.
Bottom line: a superb athlete on the field of play is pumped up after just helping his team get to the Super Bowl, and people are scandalized though he did no cursing? Please! the above video (story here) shows Sherman's impressiveness.
(Hat tip: Kwame Brown)
A senior Italian IOC member criticized the United States on Wednesday for including openly gay athletes in its official delegation for next month's Sochi Olympics.
"It's absurd that a country like that sends four lesbians to Russia just to demonstrate that in their country gay rights have (been established)," Mario Pescante said at an Italian Olympic Committee meeting in Milan on Wednesday, in comments widely reported by Italian media. "The games should not be an occasion and a stage to promote rights that sports supports daily."
Sorry, Mr. Pescante, but the situation is inherently political, as it was in Berlin in 1936. Politics is an aspect of human interaction. It is not a detachable accessory.
My year-in-review for 2013 was published before the news broke of Her Majesty's Alan Turing pardon; but it was already a jam-packed year for the LGBT community. Here are a few excerpts:
2013 was a momentous year for the LGBT community, with nine states (California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Utah) joining the marriage equality ranks; landmark marriage rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court; the Social Security Administration making it easier for transgender people to obtain Social Security cards reflecting their true gender identity; strong moves in sports and the arts; and Presidential Medals of Freedom awarded posthumously to Bayard Rustin and Dr. Sally Ride….
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered historic rulings in the Windsor and Perry cases, overturning the federal denial of recognition to same-sex marriages and restoring marriage equality in California. Edith Windsor, whose irrepressible personality made her the perfect "poster girl" for marriage equality at age 84, was a finalist for Time's Person of the Year….
The cause of marriage equality grew more bipartisan in 2013, when former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman organized a pro-equality amicus brief in the Perry case signed by more than 100 Republican officials; Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) endorsed marriage equality after learning his son was gay; and former president George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara served as witnesses at the wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen in Maine.
The year's remarkable string of marriage equality victories ended on an exhilarating note when U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby, an Obama appointee, ruled Utah Measure 3 unconstitutional, setting off a rush of same-sex couples to county clerk's offices in the conservative state ahead of an expected stay of the ruling. Shelby deliciously cited Justice Antonin Scalia's bitter dissents in Lawrence and Windsor to bolster the argument in favor of marriage equality.
I also touch on sports, the arts, and the international front. Read the whole thing here.
19-year-old British Olympic diving star Tom Daley announces that he has a boyfriend.
That quote is from Red Sox catcher David Ross, referring to #34, Big Papi, Boston's designated hitter David Ortiz. Above is Papi's grand slam from ALCS Game 2 against Detroit on October 13. (BTW, Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter, who went over the wall after the ball, is fine.) During the current World Series, Ortiz tied a World Series record by reaching base in nine consecutive at-bats. So far he is batting a phenomenal .733 in the series, and he is a contender for Most Valuable Player. During game 4, he rallied his teammates with an impromptu speech in the dugout.
The Dominican American slugger gained a bit of broadcasting notoriety last April 20 at Fenway Park when, speaking for the team before the first home game after the Boston Marathon bombing, he said, "This is our fucking city. Nobody is going to dictate our freedom." Shortly thereafter, FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski gave him a pass by tweeting from his official FCC account, "David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius."
The great-spirited player and team leader does have a temper, as shown below in a clip from July, when he responded to a strikeout call during a game against the Orioles in Camden Yards by smashing the dugout phone with his baseball bat. But he is also gentle with babies.
Rod 2.0 shares this:
Football diva, sporno hotness, animal rights activist pin up star and homoerotic superhero slash fiction fantasy hotness Chad Johnson adds yet another hyphen to his ever-expanding skill set: Movie star.
The former Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was spotted last week shirtless on the set of Overtown, a low-budget independent drama currently in production and that is being filmed in Miami. The film is directed by Cess Silvera and is scheduled for a 2014 release.
The above audio clip is from Linda Harvey's interview with Brian Camenker of MassResistance. Click here for more.
Bob Costas is right. As for those who said that halftime is not an appropriate time to bring up the issue, what they really mean is they don't want to hear it, period. Well boo hoo. Former GLAA President Mitch Wood says he calls the team "The R-Words." I like it.
Mike Wise writes in WaPo about Washington's 31-16 loss last night to the Dallas Cowboys.
RGIII, unhappy in his knee brace and so much the ordinary mortal in comparison to the golden autumn of his rookie season, makes me think of the character Phineas in John Knowles' A Separate Peace - for whom the magical, daredevil summer of 1942, ended by violence, would never be recaptured. So, happy Monday!
Andrés Duque wrote on Facebook:
Rainbow flag? Here is your rainbow flag. Boxer Orlando Cruz passed his last weight test before tomorrow's fight and made it at 125lbs which qualifies him for the world title match. He didn't seem to mind the criticism of some who think that he is wearing his gay pride a bit too much. Here is what he wore for the weigh-in.
In your face! Figuratively speaking.
"When we strip down as people...that's when the trust begins." The Ivy League's Big Green, Dartmouth College, shows its support for diversity, inclusion and a centuries-old tradition of winning by joining the You Can Play Team.
Jeremie Adkins has a lovely piece in The Advocate about meeting gay former NFL player Dave Kopay. I have met Kopay; he is a gracious and charming man whose story is a reminder of the long silence and intolerance and invisibility, and the long struggle, that came before the breakthrough we have started to see for gay people in professional sports.
(Hat tip: Craig Howell)
Yelena Isinbayeva says she was misunderstood when she made the comments in the clip above. But she still says we should all respect her country's oppressive anti-gay laws. Well sorry, but I do not respect them.
WWE star Darren Young, whose real name is Fred Rosser, comes out and receives support from his colleagues. Below (near the end) he tells Matt Lauer, "I'm in love."
Stephen Fry is interviewed by Sky News, and Peter Tatchell is interviewed by the Green Party, at Saturday's protest in London against anti-gay human rights abuses in Russia
The Root says it's none of our business if a celebrity is in the closet, which is odd considering how much of celebs' lives are put in the spotlight. Beginning at 6:11 in this video, NFL player Kerry Rhodes, who denies being gay, gives an interview while sharing a bed with Russell "Hollywood" Simpson, whom he calls "my former assistant." Maybe Rhodes is just really open minded. Simpson would once have been called "flamboyant." Yes, that's it.
(Hat tip: RightWingWatch)
The land-swap deal to allow for the building of a new DC United soccer stadium at Buzzard Point was announced on Thursday morning by Mayor Vincent Gray.
Metro Weekly reports:
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and the owners of Major League Soccer's D.C. United soccer team Thursday morning announced the signing of a public-private partnership to build a soccer stadium in the city's Buzzard Point neighborhood of Southwest D.C. As announced, the deal includes a land swap that would end the planned relocation – already underway – of The DC Center, the city's LGBT community center, into the city-owned Frank D. Reeves Center at 2000 14th St. NW.
Under the terms of the deal, the city would assume the estimated $150 million for acquiring tracts of land bounded by 2nd, T, Half and R Streets SW, adjacent Fort McNair. D.C. United would then construct the stadium, expected to cost another $150 million, and related facilities at that site. District officials see the new stadium as a major component of a planned sports-and-retail district encompassing the neighborhoods along the Anacostia River, according to a statement from the mayor's office.
In return for the stadium land – currently owned by Akridge Development Corporation, Pepco and Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles tennis franchise – the city would turn over rights to other District-owned properties, including the Reeves Center.
I went to the announcement in SW Thursday morning so I could back up David Mariner and the DC Center. Several of us in GLAA are DC United fans, and it's past time for the city to put a deal together to get us a soccer stadium. But the DC Center launched into a major effort in recent months and weeks in good faith after signing a long-term lease, and the city needs to do more than compensate the Center fairly--it needs to find the Center a permanent home that enables it to meet the community needs that it is serving, and not just find another make-do temporary space. David spoke with a few officials who said supportive things, and we will have to see how things go moving forward. GLAA VP for Political Affairs Charles Butler and I are conveying our concerns to District officials and will help our friends at the DC Center in any way we can as they navigate this challenging situation.
The Blade also reports. Another gay-related entity that may be affected by the stadium deal is gay nightclub Ziegfeld’s/Secrets, which is located on Half Street SW. While not under the footprint of the proposed stadium, the nightclub could be affected by related development.
Independent Journal Review reports on the views of NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley on the Trayvon Martin case.
I love Sir Charles, but he gives far too much credence to Zimmerman's version of the story. Unfortunately, Trayvon remained entirely mute throughout the trial.
Public Shaming skewers the racists who were outraged by the choice of New York native Marc Anthony to sing "God Bless America" at Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.
The Blade reports that Maryland Del. Emmett C Burns, Jr. has announced he will not seek re-election to his seat representing Baltimore County. He was the guy who tried to get the Ravens to muzzle outspokenly pro-gay linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo.
All I can say to Del. Burns is, don't let the door hit your butt on the way out.
Brendon and his son Amadeus Prime can be seen below, posing for the "NO H8" campaign. Amadeus underwent surgery earlier this week in Miami to correct a congenital heart defect, and is recovering well. Blessings to the little fighter and to the whole family.
John Aravisis shares this clip:
I LOVE this. It’s a short clip from 1995 of the semi-final round of a kickboxing tournament in Tokyo, Japan. In the ring are Mike Bernardo of South Africa and Jerome Le Banner of France.
Both boxers get really close, right before the fight starts, in an attempt to psyche each other out. Then something happens. This is why I love the French.
Tulsa is using the Trail of Tears to market its 2024 Olympics bid. This is shameful, but no more so than the fact that the man who signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 is honored on our $20 bill.
(Photo of President Andrew Jackson)
LeBron James seals his second straight NBA championship with this jump shot to give the Miami Heat a 4-point lead over the San Antonio Spurs in game 7 of the NBA finals. Below, at the 3 minute mark, Bill Russell gives LeBron the MVP trophy.