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Glamorous Pose star Billy Porter shares song telling us to ‘love the pain away’

After making our jaw drops on the Golden Globes red carpet, Pose actor Billy Porter isn’t done. Working with Michael Korte, Porter stars in a new music video of his song Love the Pain Away. The video appears as part of Korte’s One Take project. This project features artists performing their songs and music in a single take. Korte, who’s best known for his Hamilton and Beyoncé mashup, is a YouTube sensation, and intoxicating performer. One of his most recent performances was dancing to a queer song in a church. This video, showing Porter recording the song in a studio with backup singers, is gorgeous and heartfelt. As Porter explains at the start of the video, he first wrote the song after the Columbine mass shooting. ‘I came across it a couple months ago,’ he says. ‘I realized that the sentiment is still necessary today.’ The idea of loving the pain away is one that’s undoubtedly still relevant today. Between the political upheavals across the globe and a continued trend of discrimination, a message of love is a powerful one. It is also poignant given the prevalence of mass shootings in the United States still today. Porter appears on Ryan Murphy’s FX series Pose about the ballroom scene in 1980s New York City. The series made history when it cast the most number of transgender actors in series regular roles ever. More from Gay Star News American Horror Story’s Billy Porter: I was groomed and raped by my stepdad Pose to ...

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In a first, giant billboards promote LGBTI acceptance in India

In a first for India, advocacy groups erected giant billboards promoting LGBTI acceptance in the capital, Delhi, last month. Local rights group Jhatkaa and equality campaigners All Out organized the advertisements above a metro station in in Delhi’s Connaught Place. Illustrations by LGBTI artist Salaka Pai shows a mother proudly watching her son and his boyfriend cook. ‘My family respects me irrespective of who I love’ the billboard says. ‘The main objective of this campaign is to push the conversation about LGBT rights towards social acceptance and the normalisation of queerness’ Jyotsna Sara George, campaign manager at Jhatkaa.org, told News Laundry. It happened! #India’s first #LGBT+ billboard in history is now up in the #NewDelhi‘s busiest spot! For the whole month, thousands of passersby will engage with messages of love and acceptance of LGBT+ people. pic.twitter.com/xSjd5kqC84 — All Out (@AllOut) January 7, 2019 But, some worry censorship by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) has blurred the board’s intended message. Jhatkaa had originally commissioned an illustration of a lesbian couple sitting on a bench in front of the Delhi High Court. Text below the image said ‘being gay is not a crime’. It was a very obvious celebration of The Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize gay sex in September last year. But, DMRC did not approve of the image. Jhatkaa therefore substituted the current advertisement instead. One local resident told News Laundry they thought the billboard depicted a mother and her two sons. George at Jhatkaa said the Delhi billboard ...

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Michigan, Wisconsin state governors to protect LGBTI state employees

State governors in Michigan and Wisconsin moved to protect LGBTI state employees this week. Both signed executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Michigan and Wisconsin are two of nearly 30 states in the US that offer no LGBTI discrimination protections. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday (7 January) signed an order protecting employees of the executive branch and state contractors. ‘If we’re going to attract the talented workforce our businesses need to create jobs and grow our economy, then we’ve got to get on the right side of history,’ Whitmer said in a statement. ‘That’s what this executive directive is all about.’ Importantly, Whitmer altered her predecessor’s order by removing exemptions for churches and religious organizations. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also signed a similar order on Monday. Advocacy group Human Rights Campaign’s Wisconsin State director Wendy Strout welcomed the move. ‘Governor Evers continues to demonstrate that he will fight day in and day out to uphold the Wisconsin values of fairness, justice and equality’ Strout said. Last week, newly-sworn in members of the House of Representatives promised to pass the US’s Equality Act. The Equality Act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was first introduced to the House in 2015. If passed, it would outlaw discrimination against LGBTI citizens in work and services across the country. Read the original article Author: Rik Glauert

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Gay dating app Blued shuts down registration following underage HIV report

Chinese gay dating app Blued has halted new member registration for a week, beginning on 6 January. What happened? According to financial magazine Caixin, many gay teens had unprotected sex and contracted HIV as a result of being on the app. The report cites academic research pointing to juveniles being heavily involved in the app, some even live streaming on it. In response to this report, Blued vowed to launch a ‘comprehensive content audit and regulation.’ The company also promised to crack down on underage people posing as adults on the app. They also plan to moderate texts, photos, and groups that involve minors. Additionally, the company announced that it has begun using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to weed out pornographic content. Plus, they vow to take more action in promoting AIDS prevention advocacy. ‘Blued always forbids juveniles from logging on and using the app,’ the company posted to their verified Weibo account. Blued launched in 2010 and currently has over 40 million registered users. State-run media Beijing News backs the app. Anything else? The company has faced scrutiny in the past. Last February, they were ‘shocked’ to learn they had been banned in Indonesia. Currently, the Indonesian government is cracking down on the country’s LGBTI community as they debate whether to criminalize homosexuality. Read the original article Author: Rafaella Gunz

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Kevin Hart responds to Don Lemon’s LGBTI comments

Gay news anchor Don Lemon used his platform on CNN to discuss the controversy surrounding Kevin Hart’s anti-LGBTI remarks. Now, Kevin Hart is responding. Backstory At the end of 2018, Hart was announced as the Oscars 2019 host. However, he stepped down following blowback from homophobic Tweets that resurfaced. Ellen DeGeneres recently invited Hart on her show and urged him to reconsider his decision. This publicity led Lemon to make his comments. Don Lemon’s comments ‘Kevin, if anything, this is the time to hear other people out,’ Lemon said on 5 January. ‘I don’t see any meaningful outreach to the LGBT community.’ ‘Someone like Kevin Hart, with one of the biggest megaphones in the whole world, can be a leader. He can help change homophobia in the black community.’ Kevin Hart’s reaction In response to Lemon’s statement, Hart took to Instagram to suggest that he isn’t being given a chance to learn from his mistakes.   View this post on Instagram   When did we get to the point where we forgot that we all learn, then we all have the ability to grow and with that growth comes a wealth of knowledge. You can’t change without a understanding of what GROWTH means. #Message #LiveLoveLaugh #HappySaturday …..Please grasp this and use it in 2019 A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on Jan 5, 2019 at 8:34am PST ‘When did we get to the point where we forgot that we all learn, then we all have the ability to grow ...

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Lesbian nomination to US employment agency expires in the Senate

A lesbian attorney’s nomination to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC) has died in US Senate. Chai Feldblum, who is openly gay, will no longer serve as an EEOC commissioner after the Senate did not vote to an impasse regarding her nomination. Feldblum’s nomination for the EEOC was blocked by Mike Lee, the Republican Senator from Utah, in December last year. Lee cited a rule which allows single senators to block or kill off non-judiciary presidential nominees, arguing that Feldblum was opposed to ‘religious freedom’. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – effectively siding with Lee – refused to hold a vote to break the impasse over Feldblum’s nomination, thereby putting an end to Feldblum’s tenure in the EEOC. The move has been condemned by both supporters of Feldblum and LGBTI rights activists, the Washington Blade reports. ‘An unreasonable opponent of “religious freedom”‘ A former Georgetown University Law Center professor, Feldblum had served on the commission since 2010. Posting on Facebook on Thursday (3 January), Feldblum wrote: ‘Today at noon my commission on the EEOC expires. What a wonderful almost nine-year run I have had! I will always be grateful for the wonderful colleagues I have served with on the Commission. ‘Thank you to everyone who worked so hard for my confirmation. We certainly gave it our best shot. Now is the time to fight even harder for diversity, safety, and equity. There is no other way!’ she added. Feldblum had been nominated for a third term by US President Donald Trump at the request ...

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I critiqued Manila’s All Stars Snatch Game and the Internet was not happy

Last week, I wrote a piece for Jewish women’s website Alma about how Manila Luzon’s impersonation of Barbra Streisand rubbed me the wrong way. Since its publication, there has been a lot of blowback — including from Manila herself. My Snatch Game reaction As a Jewish woman, I was taken aback by Manila’s impression of Streisand’s nose. While Streisand’s nose has always been one of her defining characteristics, Manila took it to the extreme. Instead of trying to resemble the shape or size of Streisand’s nose, she donned a giant beak-like prosthetic that honestly looked more like anti-Semitic caricatures than Streisand. This stereotype of big nosed Jews has been around since at least the 13th century. It was used in Nazi propaganda during World War II. I never claimed Manila to be an anti-Semite, nor did I assume she did this intentionally. In fact, I acknowledged that Manila is a Streisand fan and probably didn’t mean any harm by this impersonation. I also said that impact matters more than intent. And boy, was there impact. Responses from fans Among the first to respond to my article (and my Tweets on the subject) were cisgender gay men. In fact, one of them wasn’t even Tweeting about Drag Race except to attack me for being ‘too sensitive.’ However, some of the most visceral responses came from female-presenting fans of Drag Race, calling me a ‘bitch.’ I was not the only one who was on the receiving end of this vitriol. Other Jewish ...

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David’s Bridal include same-sex couple in latest TV ad

One of the biggest bridal retailers in the US has included a same-sex couple in their latest television ad. David’s Bridal will air a series of videos for their upcoming ad campaign. The retailer’s focus on the LGBTI market comes after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2018. The business is currently undergoing restructuring in order to stay afloat. David’s Bridal latest ad campaign is a move to try and capitalize on non-traditional weddings – a market the company has struggled to reach in the past. ‘We wanted to make sure this spot represented what we see from brides today. We value every type of bride,’ says Liz Crystal, the company’s chief marketing officer. The US Supreme Court’s legalized marriage equality in 2015. Since then, the same-sex marriage industry has been booming. Same-sex weddings have contributed around $1.6 billion to the US economy, AdAge reports. The videos will appear on TV slots and online. Struggled to adapt to modern times The company’s ad campaign suggests a move to reinvent the image of the formal wedding attire for same-sex weddings. David’s Bridal has been a cornerstone of the wedding industry in the US for years, offering cheap and efficient services. Self-billed as the ‘United States’ largest bridal retailer’, David’s Bridal claim to have provided dresses for one in three weddings in the country. However, the traditional wedding clothier has struggled to keep up with modern trends. This includes the ‘casualization’ of weddings, a trend where couples eschew traditional and more formal wedding clothing ...

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Exclusive: Sneak preview of stage set for Tel Aviv Eurovision 2019

The first tantalising image of what the Tel Aviv Eurovision Song Contest set will look like has been posted. Eurovision.TV, the official website of the international musical competition, posted the image on its website. Organisers included the image on a page that read: Happy New Year: 10 things to look forward to in 2019. Giant set with multiple stage areas  The huge origami-styled set is formed of four main triangular shards which meet at a centre point, at ceiling level. On either side of the stage are two generous, wide, eight-step staircases, which lead to raised presenter platforms. Two long catwalks stretch from the base of each staircase around an ‘inner circle’ for VIPs and meet in the middle. In front of the inner circle enclosure is the main stage, where the acts are likely to perform. Tel Aviv calling: First image of the set for Eurovision 2019. Photo: Eurovision.tv The chief architect of the new set is German stage designer Florian Wieder. He beat local Israeli designers for the gig and has worked on a number of previous Eurovision sets. Wieder, who also worked on stages for XFactor and the MTV Music Awards, will be looking to impress with the Tel Aviv set. This will be the first time the coastal city has hosted the event. Israeli capital, Jerusalem, has been the favoured location on previous occasions. Hints of LGBTI inclusion in Tel Aviv presenter line-up The Eurovision.tv site also suggested there may be a surprise in the presenter line-up ...

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Ewan McGregor set to play gay US fashion icon, Halston

Scottish actor, Ewan McGregor will take on the role of legendary gay fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick. McGregor will play Halston in a new TV series chronicling the rise and fall of one of America’s most famous designers. Presidential pillbox: Halston rose to fame after creating iconic hat for Jackie Kennedy. Photo: YouTube Halston rose to fame thanks to Jackie Kennedy Halston began his career as a milliner. He rose to fame after designing the pillbox hat Jacqueline Kennedy wore for her husband’s presidential inauguration. He expanded into women’s high-end ready-to-wear couture that re-defined American fashion in the 1970s and 80s. The gay designer soon had a flock of celebrity clients including Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli. He also designed uniforms for the US Olympic team, the Girl Scouts, the NYPD and Braniff Airways. High fashion: Halston exemplified glamour and brand survives today. Photo: YouTube His sexy and sophisticated designs were perfect for both the dance floor of New York’s Studio 54 disco and on the red carpet of film premieres. Legendary Television is producing the series, which will be written by Sharr White (The Affair) and directed by Daniel Minahan (American Crime Story). Luxury, sex, fame, and all the hedonism that the Halston name was associated with during the 1970s and 80s, will feature in the series. Halston famously signed a reported $1bn deal with JC Penney for a range of affordable clothing, accessories and perfumes. But this cheapened the high end brand in many people’s eyes. Halston ultimately ...

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