Javier Pagan, on of the heroic first responders during the Boston Marathon bombings, is back on a magazine cover. Pagan, the openly gay office who also serves as the LGBT liaison for the department, is joined by fellow officers Rachel McGuire and Kevin McGill as well as Red Sox slugger David Ortiz on the current cover of Sports Illustrated.
Pagan, seen below on the cover of the July issue of Boston Spirit magazine, was stationed right by the marathon finish line and was one of the first officers to take action when the bombs went off.
CLICK HERE to read the Boston Spirit feature article on Officer Pagan. The article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue.
Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino has launched a new television ad for his campaign to fill Senator Ed Markey's now empty seat in the U.S. House.
Sciortino, who is openly gay, 'comes out' to his father (played in the commercial by his real father Carl Sciortino Sr.) as a liberal Democrat. Sciortino Sr. is a Tea Party supporter. The commercial is a clever play on the concept of 'coming out' to your parents.
"I'll never forget that conversation with my dad where I had to come out and tell him that I was a Massachusetts liberal," says Sciortino Jr. in the ad.
In a statement released by Sciortino Jr., he said, "My father and I disagree on just about everything. I am grateful that he was willing to appear in my TV ad even though he probably thinks he should be running against me."
Long’s Jewelers has launched a new ad campaign geared to reaching the lgbt community and the locally owned and operated jeweler is using local couples as the models in their ads. There are two different ads in the campaign, one features a lesbian couple and the other a gay male couple.
The women, Julie and Paula Astl , were married in May of this year. The two met through mutual friends years ago and would see each other at different events every now and then. “I always remember Julie because she was so nice, so uplifting and always so happy...of course, she was also very cute and had a face and personality that you just don't forget , said Paula. Years later (and a few relationships later) the two were re-introduced and decided to get together for dinner in Davis Square. “A few dates later butterflies were flying around both of us and have been ever since!” she continued The couple got engaged in July 2012 and just got married in May 2013.
The men featured in the campaign are Ben and Adam Berry. Ben and Adam met in Provincetown 7 years ago. Ben was working at the ice cream store at Spiritus Pizza (as well as playing Romeo in the Shakespeare on the Cape production of Romeo and Juliet) while Adam was in town visiting a friend. The two had known about each other since 2003 due to a mutual friend Elliot who had always said "You have to meet this guy I know, Ben. You would be perfect for each other." and vice versa.
Although Adam was 2 hours late for their first date (a work problem), he was soon forgiven. “We had our first kiss at the end of the night and I knew then I had found my Romeo,” remembered Adam.
This is not Adam’s first time in the pages of Boston Spirit. He appeared on the cover of the September 2012 issue in conjunction with an article on lgbt paranormal activity in New England. Adam stars on the SyFy channel’s ‘Ghost Hunters’ television show.
Criag Rottenberg, President of Long’s, thinks the campaign does a great job of capturing the excitement of a wedding. “We are excited to make our latest Boston Spirit Magazine campaign more personal by featuring real local Boston area couples in our ads! We were overwhelmed by the number of couples who responded to the call for pictures. It was so difficult to choose only two couples. We hope this is the beginning of a long standing tradition of featuring happy Boston couples in our campaigns. There's something special about a photograph of a genuine moment, especially the pure joy of a wedding.”
Is Fox News going pro-gay? It is if you believe the conservative group ‘America’s Survival Inc.’ The group, in conjunction with ‘Americans for Truth About Homosexuality’, has issued a report and press release blasting Fox News for replacing its evening host Sean Hannity with Megyn Kelly.
"Pushing Sean Hannity out of the 9:00 p.m. slot, to make way for pro-homosexual advocate Megyn Kelly, is another sign of the channel's left-ward drift and decline," said America's Survival president Cliff Kincaid said in the press release.
The attack on Kelly and Fox News was part of a 73 page report which included other headlines such as "Fox News Rolls Over on Homosexuals in the Military," "Long Term Consequences: The Decline of American Civilization," and "Shepard Smith: The Next Anderson Cooper?"
As for what makes Kelly, currently a daytime host for the station, pro-gay? In a section of the report titled “Megyn Kelly: New Hero to the 'Gay' Lobby?" the group cites a few examples including her interview with Tony Perkins, leader of the antigay group Family Research Council. In that interview Kelly asked Perkins to provide evidence that same-sex marriage had harmed the country. Also mentioned is Kelly’s support of Chaz Bono during his transition.
For those concerned that Fox News is embracing a new, pro-gay, agenda no need to worry. According to the blog Media Matters Fox News’ coverage of LGBT issues has not changed. The station has recently referred to a new California law protecting transgender youth as “anarchy and Madness,” called a trans woman as a “burly man in a dress,” and completely ignored the topic of Russia’s anti-lgbt laws and how they might impact athletes traveling there for the Sochi Olympics
Glee star Jane Lynch has announced that she and her wife of three years, Lara Embry, are getting divorced. The couple, who were married in Western Massachusetts, met at a fundraiser in 2009. “I thought she was cute,” Embry told People magazine when she and Lynch married.
“Lara and I have decided to end our marriage. This has been a difficult decision for us as we care very deeply about one another. We ask for privacy as we deal with this family matter,” Lynch told People magazine.
Lynch was also the stepmother to Embry’s daughter Haden. "My greatest pleasure is Haden, my stepdaughter," Lynch told People last March. "I am surprised how much love you feel and how you would do anything for your children."
Lynch, 52, is currently making her Broadway debut in a revival of "Annie." She's portraying the role of Miss Hannigan from May 16 to July 14
GLAAD held its 24th annual Media Awards in Los Angeles this past week and among the winners was former President Bill Clinton. Clinton, a somewhat controversial choice as he is the President who signed DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell into law, has since committed himself to "keep working on this until not only DOMA is no longer the law of the land, but until all people, no matter where they live, can marry the people they love."
Clinton went on to state, "I believe you will win the DOMA fight and I think you will win the constitutional right to marry, if not tomorrow, then the next day and the next day."
Clinton also touched on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- "We still need to pass that. From what you've seen tonight we still need to fight bullying and the right kind of immigration reform that doesn't discriminate against anybody," and on the recent proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to end their ban on gay scouts -- "We're about halfway home on that."
Clinton also took time to thank his daughter, Chelsea, citing that she has a "profound impact on the way I see the world... Chelsea and her gay friends and her wonderful husband have modeled to me the way we ought to all treat each other without regard to our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us."
More from Clinton’s speech:
"People who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concerns for their own identity not out of respect for anyone else. We are less racist, less sexist, for all the problems, we're far less homophobic than we used to be, but we have a new bigotry in America. Apparently, we don't want to be around anyone who disagrees with us about anything...Whenever we turn away from treating someone with the dignity and honor and respect we would want accorded to ourselves, we have to face the fact that it's about to us and we're afraid we wouldn't be us if we couldn't hold on to this, that, and the other little box that doesn't make any sense in a world we're all crashing together in."
"The whole story of the life of our country, of a more perfect union, is to widen the circle of opportunity, to strengthen and enhance the reach of freedom and cement the bonds of community as it gets ever more diverse. Don't you let anyone tell you otherwise. You have made this a better, a more interesting, and a more well-prepared country for the future. We need you fully-armed for the continued struggle for equality. You are the agents of change."
DC Comics, who introduced openly gay and lesbian superheroes last year, has taken lgbt inclusion a step further with their first ever transgender character.
Alysia Yeoh is the roommate of Batgirl Barbara Gordon in DC’s relaunched Batgirl series. In the newly-released Batgirl #19, Alysia – who is also bisexual – comes out to Barbara as a transgender woman.
Over the past year DC has presented several gay and lesbian characters including
Batwoman, Northstar and Green Lantern Alan Scott.
“I looked out into the audience (at the Wondercon Convention), saw dozens of faces I knew well — LGBTQ folks, mostly — all avid comics readers and superhero fans and DC supporters,” writer Gail Simone told Wired magazine. “And it just hit me: Why was this so impossible? Why in the world can we not do a better job of representation of not just humanity, but also our own loyal audience?”
She went on to state, “Look, we have a problem most media don’t have, which is that almost all the tentpoles we build our industry upon were created over a half century ago… at a time where the characters were almost without exception white, cis-gendered, straight, on and on. It’s fine — it’s great that people love those characters. But if we only build around them, then we look like an episode ofThe Andy Griffith Show for all eternity.”
Simone wanted to have “trans characters who aren’t fantasy-based,” noting that Alysia will be a “a character, not a public service announcement… being trans is just part of her story.”
Simone hints that she’s working on a transgender character for another comic and would like to see a trans character take center stage. “It’s time for a trans hero in a mainstream comic.”
Out Magazine has released its annual Power List of the Top 50 most powerful “gay men and women whose power and prestige is instrumental in influencing the way Americans think about, and engage with, the world.”
The list is cross-section of personalities from the worlds of business (Megan Smith from Google, Robert Hanson from American Eagle Outfitters, Tom Cook from Apple), politics (Congressman David Cicilline, Senator Tammy Baldwin, New York City Councilor Christine Quinn) and entertainment (Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Cohen, Jane Lynch).
New comers to the top 10 include the darling on the 2012 presidential election “statistics guru” Nate Silver and musician Frank Ocean who came out last summer. You can see the entire list HERE. The Top 10 are below.
10 Frank Ocean
9. Tammy Baldwin
8. Shepard Smith
7. Peter Thiel
6. Nate Silver
5. Anderson Cooper
4. Rachel Maddow
3. Ryan Murphy
2. Ellen DeGeneres
1. Tim Cook
An e-mail from a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel warns officers to be on guard for soldiers affiliated "Domestic 'hate groups'," according to Fox News.
In the communication, the Family Research Council, Westboro Baptist Church, and American Family Association are listed as "Associated Anti-Gay Groups."
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes writes:
A group of Army officers were advised to monitor soldiers who belong to what they considered to be anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-immigration organizations, according to a military email obtained by Fox News. ...FULL ENTRY
The email was sent by a lieutenant colonel at Fort Campbell in Kentucky to three dozen subordinates – warning them to be on the lookout for any soldiers who might be members of “domestic hate groups.”
Bay Windows, a weekly newspaper serving the area’s lgbt community, has launched a new, non-traditional, model for increasing its revenue. The 30 year old weekly is turning to its readers.
In an article in this week’s edition a letter written by co-publishers Sue O’Connell and Jeff Coakley points out that “the dynamic of how newspapers make money has changed. While community newspapers like ours fight for ad dollars, readers demand more from our publication. Bay Windows is exploring additional revenue models to meet this demand.”
The letter goes on to state, “We (Bay Windows) request your financial support. We believe a viable model to bring the revenue needed to improve Bay Windows is a mix of advertising revenue and voluntary financial contributions from you, our readers.”
Bay Windows is distributed every Thursday and is free of charge. It has been a pillar in the lgbt community since 1983 and received national attention in the recent Presidential election for its coverage on Mitt Romney when Mr. Romney served as the Governor of Massachusetts.
According to the donation page supporters can donate anywhere from $25 - $1,000.
Read the full letter below:
Bay Windows has been proud to serve the New England LGBT community since 1983. Bay Windows has always been a free publication, and our online website has always been free.
For the past thirty years, our newspaper and website have been advertiser supported. How much news we can cover, how many pages we can print or post, how many papers and how many locations we can deliver, has been determined by the revenue from the advertisements that appeared in our publications.
The dynamic of how newspapers make money has changed. While community newspapers like ours fight for ad dollars, readers demand more from our publication. Bay Windows is exploring additional revenue models to meet this demand.
Some publications, including The New York Times and The Boston Globe are moving to a reader-funded models for their online content. Jeff and I never want to put any of our content behind a paywall—there should be as few barriers as possible between those in need and the information about our LGBT community.
We request your financial support. We believe a viable model to bring the revenue needed to improve Bay Windows is a mix of advertising revenue and voluntary financial contributions from you, our readers.
Bay Windows turns 31 this year. Will you pledge your support for the upcoming year by contributing funds? Your contribution will help us keep the website and paper free and improve our coverage.
Please, if you are able, we welcome your support and ask you to spread the word.
Please note - your contribution is not tax deductible.
Is Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly pro marriage equality?
Judging by his comments to fellow Fox anchor Megyn Kelly this week it would appear that he is. O’Reilly stated that he didn’t "feel that strongly one way or another" about gay marriage. "I want all Americans to be happy," he said, adding, "I live in New York. New York is fine with it." He also stated that he felt that decisions regarding marriage equality should be left to the states.
In response to Kelly’s statement that pro-marriage equality proponents have been very convincing as opposed to their opponents, O’Reilly agreed, stating, "I agree with you 100 percent. The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. That is where the compelling argument is. We're Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else. That's a compelling argument, and to deny that you've got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn't been able to do anything but thump the Bible." He finished by adding that the bible thumping approach was not a basis on which to enact public policy.
In the past O’Reilly has argues that legalized marriage equality would lead to polygamous marriage and has asked if people “should be allowed to marry turtles” if they want.
Jenna Wolfe, weekend anchor for the Today show, has announced that she and girlfriend Stephanie Gosk, a news correspondent for NBC, are expecting a baby.
“This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us,” Wolfe told PEOPLE exclusively in its new issue. “But I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.” Added Gosk, “The beauty is that we live in a time where there’s no need for secrecy. This is a spectacular moment for us.”
Wolfe made the announcement on NBC’s morning show Wednesday, saying, “I’m quite pregnant, actually.” The baby is due in August. Wolfe has also started a blog in which she will post stories related to the pregnancy and allow her fans to follow along in the process.
It's the month 5 B.C. (Before Childbirth, as in 5 months before I give beautiful birth), and I'm sitting down to share what's been brewing on my mind lately. I assume that by the time 5 A.D. comes around. (After Delivery, as in 5 months after this little kicker comes out) the following will be nothing more than a barrel of laughs. But for now, it's taking up a lot of real estate in my daily life.
Of all the jaw-dropping, head-turning and eye-popping things I've ever told my friends and family ("I swam with killer sharks," "I jet-packed 30 feet out of the water," "I scaled the tallest building in Canada"), nothing garnered more shock and awe (and, yes, some tears) than when I told people I was pregnant.
Just writing those words -- "I'm pregnant" -- is surreal to me. After all, I was never the kid that ran around playing house. I never had daydreams about being a mom and raising a family. I was the kid who jumped out of trees and skinned my knees and taunted bees. As a kid, I would have chosen raising my adrenaline over raising children any day of the week. But then a funny thing happened on my way to adulthood … I grew up. I ran smack into the old nursery rhyme: "First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes Jenna pushing a baby carriage." Granted, things aren't falling into that exact order. (And are they still called carriages? Aren't they strollers? Clearly I have a lot to learn.)
But while my life didn't quite unfold as rhymed, it's awfully close. How close? My girlfriend, Stephanie Gosk, and I are expecting a baby girl the end of August
Stephanie, a foreign correspondent here at NBC, spent years in war-torn countries, risking life and limb in the most dangerous places on earth to tell amazing stories. Ever since I can remember, I've been a thrill-seeking, dare deviling, adventure-hopping, fearless chick who enjoys the rush of life. Between the two of us, we've seen and we've done more than most will in a lifetime. And yet both of us agree that THIS little girl will be the biggest and best adventure of our lives.
The British Film Institute (BFI) announced the discovery of a 1959 made-for-television gay drama, called South, which it says may be the first of its kind.
According to The Guardian:
South, adapted by Gerald Savory from an original play by Julien Green and screened on 24 November 1959, "is a milestone" in gay cultural history, said the BFI curator Simon McCallum.
The Guardian's arts correspondent Mark Brown describes the drama as follows:
It involves a dashing Polish army lieutenant exiled in the US deep south as civil war approaches and the question of who he really loves: the plantation owner's angry niece, Miss Regina, or the tall, blond, rugged officer who arrives suddenly – a handsome man called Eric MacClure.
The television play is heady, emotional stuff tackling issues of race as well as sexuality and that it was broadcast by ITV on a winter's night 54 years ago is nothing short of remarkable.
South, will be screened on March 23 and 24 as part of the BFI London Lesbian and Gay FIlm Festival this year.
"I've always known I was gay from the time I was a little kid. I can't remember a time when I wasn't aware of it, even before I knew what it was or the name of it."
- Anderson Cooper
CNN Anchor/Reporter Anderson Cooper, winner of the 2013 GLAAD Vito Russo Award, has opened up to Sirius XM radio host Michelangelo Signorile about winning the GLAAD award, being gay, and Madonna.
Cooper, currently in Rome covering the Vatican conclave for CNN, called in to Signorile’s OutQ radio program and said that being gay “is a blessing.” On the award, Cooper stated, "It has tremendous meaning, I wish I knew him (Vito Russo). The work he did founding GLAAD and producing The Celluloid Closet, to get more people to know who Vito Russo was … I certainly don't think I'm worthy of it, but if it helps GLAAD and if it helps have more people know who Vito Russo is, then I think it is certainly worthwhile."
Past winners of the award include Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen Degeneres.
Cooper talked about coming out to his closest friends in high school and to his family in college. He remained closeted professionally until just last year (Cooper stated that reporting from war zones around the globe was a major factor in not addressing his sexuality publicly). On finally coming out he said, “over time I started to realize that by not saying something I was sending a message or giving some people the mistaken impression that I was uncomfortable or ashamed and that made me really sad because I really didn’t want to give that impression. I think that being gay is a blessing. I couldn’t be more proud of being gay.”
Further discussing his coming out, and whether others should follow his lead, Cooper stated that “as a community I think we are all better off, gay people and straight people, when we are all visible.”
Cooper also said it was “amazing and crazy” to learn that Madonna would be presenting the award to him, and said he is a “huge fan” of her music.
In a particularly touching part of the interview Cooper also discussed his bother’s suicide and the effect that it has had on his life.
You can listen to the entire interview HERE.
Boston Spirit magazine's 2013 LGBT Executive Networking Night originally scheduled for March 7th has been rescheduled for Wednesday night March 20th. For more information and to RSVP visit www.bostonspiritmagazine.com
Are you worried about that gay marriage may destroy straight marriage?
In a YouTube video, comic Brandon Muller imaginations what scary conversations may be occurring in the homes of straight couples everywhere.
Check out his video, The Ultimate Anti-gay Marriage Ad, which says it is "Paid for by the coalition of people whose lives are ruined whenever other people are treated equally."FULL ENTRY
Tonight, USA Network's Necessary Roughness imagines what it would be like to have a professional football player come as gay.
From the press release:
On Wednesday, Feb 20, tune in to see the emotional and provocative second half of USA Network's 'Necessary Roughness' at 10/9c as the team tackles their quarter's coming out. The fear, anticipation, support and relief will resonate with viewers who have faced this milestone and give strength to others faced with their own coming out not to mention the current fervor over the iron-clad closet of professional sports.
A trailer can be accessed here: http://usanet.tv/NR216cl1
President Obama Speaks on Strengthening the Economy for the Middle Class in Chicago, including a mention about the importance of having “loving ... gay or straight parents” in society. (Video: The White House)
Has any president uttered the word ‘gay’ as much as President Barack Obama? It’s doubtful.
Much was made of his soaring rhetoric in his second inaugural speech, with words that have already attained legendary status in the LGBT community:
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; ...
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. ... Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –- (applause) -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. (Applause.)
But just in the past week, beginning with his State of the Union (SOTU) address last Tuesday, Obama has included ‘gay’ in his public remarks on three separate occasions, in three different ways.FULL ENTRY
Fowl play in the Galapagos (photo: James Lopata)
A British academic is accusing BBC nature host David Attenborough of ignoring homosexual animal behavior in his documentaries.
The UK news organization The Sun reports that University of East Anglia Professor Brett Mills:
claims Sir David’s BBC documentaries focus on family values in animals and shun “alternative interpretations”.
Sir David, 86, described male chimps hugging as “friendly affection”, while male sandpiper birds filmed circling each other were being “aggressive”.
"The central role in documentary stories of pairing, mating and raising offspring commonly rests on assumptions of heterosexuality within the animal kingdom.
"This is despite a wealth of scientific evidence which demonstrates that many non-human species have complex and changeable forms of sexual activity, with heterosexuality only one of many possible options.”
Both news outlets said that the BBC declined to comment.