Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been no friend to transgender students or other marginalized groups.
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“gay tv” – Google News
It’s a new year, and considering what the last one was like it’s not surprising that so many of us are breathing a sigh of relief. But that doesn’t mean we’re not still in for a long haul before it’s going to be possible to spend less time on our socially distanced couches, and since most of us have already binge-watched our way through much of the content available on our TV screens over the past 10 months, the pickings are starting to look a little slim.
Fortunately, January also means it’s time for the providers of that content to roll out a new slate. Midseason arrivals are on deck from the networks, and while many of them won’t arrive for a few weeks, there are still a few new options coming our way – including several proudly LGBTQ-inclusive shows that might catch your eye.
Leading the charge this month is Fox, with three debuts poised to hit our screens.
First up, and already here, is “Call Me Kat,” based on the BBC UK original series “Miranda,” which was created by Miranda Hart, the UK writer and actress known and beloved for her work in the long-running fan-favorite series, “Call the Midwife.” The American version, which aired its premiere on Jan. 3, stars Emmy-nominee Mayim Bialik (“Blossom,” “The Big Bang Theory”) as a woman who has spent her entire life savings to open a cat café in Louisville, Ken. Kat is a non-conformist, who struggles every day against society and her mother (Emmy-winner Swoosie Kurtz, “Mike & Molly,” “Sisters”) to prove that she can be happy and fulfilled despite still being single at 39. Helping out Kat at the café are Randi (Kyla Pratt, “One On One”), a confident millennial and self-proclaimed “non” cat person, and Phil (Emmy-winner and LGBTQ fan favorite Leslie Jordan, “The Cool Kids,” “Will & Grace”), who is recently single after a break-up with his longtime partner. Throwing a wrench in the works of Kat’s plans to proudly maintain her single status for life, however, is Max (out actor Cheyenne Jackson, “American Horror Story,” “30 Rock”), a friend and former crush who returns to Louisville to take a job as a bartender at the piano bar across the street, where he works with his friend Carter (Julian Gant, “Good Girls”).
It would be nice to offer a glowing recommendation on this one, especially since it involves the return so many of our favorite small screen stalwarts, but reactions to the pilot episode have been mixed, at best. While critics and viewers have praised Bialik’s ability to shine even when she’s forced to handle sub-par material, they’ve also been less-than-encouraged by much else about the series, with Hollywood Reporter critic Robyn Bahr writing, “Kat’s sparkle […] isn’t enough to illuminate her bland surroundings, which include the topical-in-2014 cat café setting, her gnattish mother and her nondescript barista buddies.” That’s not likely to discourage sitcom fans hungry for something new, however, and any true TV junkie knows that even the greatest shows sometimes get off to a rocky start. Instinct says to give “Call Me Kat” a chance to find its stride; once it does, it might just end up being one of our new favorites.
Fox is also hoping for a double hitter as it steps up to the plate with the return of its #1 drama, “9-1-1,” and last season’s new spin-off series, “9-1-1: Lone Star,” which will have their back-to-back season premieres on Jan. 18. The LGBTQ appeal of these popular shows is a given for their pedigree alone – they come from the entertainment powerhouse that is Ryan Murphy, alongside Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear – but both also wear their queerness on their sleeve with inclusive casting and storylines.
The fourth season premiere of “9-1-1” follows its characters through the aftermath of a devastating Los Angeles earthquake, with Athena (Angela Bassett) trying to shrug off her physical and emotional injuries and jump back into the job, while Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Chimney (Kenneth Choi) prepare for the birth of their baby, and Buck (Oliver Stark) searches for answers in his past to help him face his present. For those keeping track, Stark is one of several actors portraying queer characters on the show, with others played by Aisha Hinds, Ryan Guzman, and Rockmond Dunbar.
As for “9-1-1: Lone Star,” the new season brings Gina Torres (“Suits,” “Firefly”) on board as a new captain, replacing Liv Tyler, who declined to appear in the second season due to concerns about traveling from the UK for the shoot in the middle of a pandemic. She joins returning star Rob Lowe, as well as trans actor Brian Michael Smith, in an ensemble cast that also includes Ronen Rubinstein, Jim Parrack, Sierra McClain, Natacha Karam, Rafael Silva, and Julian Works – with both Rubinstein and Silva playing gay characters. As for the plot, all that can be known for the moment is that it will involve the characters dealing with their personal and domestic dramas as they rescue the citizens of Texas from one emergency after another – in other words, all the things we love about these kinds of procedural dramas.
NBC is also serving up some LGBTQ-friendly fun with the return of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” the hit fantasy/comedy about a smart young tech kid who experiences a strange event that leaves her with the ability to hear the innermost thoughts, wants and desires of everybody around her. The twist (and it’s a twist that makes all the difference), is that she hears them not as thoughts, but as songs. Making things just a little more glorious is the presence of Zoe’s friend and neighbor Mo (Alex Newell), who is gender-fluid. If you missed the boat for season one, you’ll definitely want to take the opportunity to jump on board. You might need to catch up first – but it’s 2021, so there are ways to easily accomplish that.
“Superstore,” another popular and inclusive NBC comedy, returns this month (Jan. 14), too – but since it’s technically a midseason return (the current season began in the fall, albeit for only a handful of episodes), it’s not exactly new. Nevertheless, that’s good news for fans who may have felt cheated by the brief taste they were given a few months ago.
Lastly, if you’re a fan of the CW’s Greg Berlanti-created “Riverdale” (and who isn’t, whether they’ll admit it or not?), the newest season of that candy-colored, deliciously queered reimagining of the “Archie” comic books will drop on January 20 – presumably bringing K.J. Apa’s frequently-flashed abs with it.
Of course, if you’re one of the many people who have come to prefer their entertainment on demand, rather than waiting a week in between episodes to find out what happens next, you already know that the big streamers have their own new offerings waiting in the wings, ready for you to binge your way through January in the style to which you’ve become accustomed. A lot of those shows are geared for the queer eye, too – but that’s a whole different article in itself.
Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights
Veteran D.C. Police official Robert J. Contee III, who Mayor Muriel Bowser nominated on Dec. 22 to become the city’s next Chief of Police, has a long record of understanding and support for LGBTQ-related issues, according to retired D.C. Police Lt. Brett Parson.
Parson, who is gay and headed the D.C. police branch that oversees the department’s LGBT Liaison Unit among many other assignments, called Contee “the right person at the right time for MPD and policing nationwide.”
Bowser nominated Contee for the police chief’s position shortly after former D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced he was leaving his post to become chief of police for Prince William County, Va. The D.C. Council, which must vote to confirm Contee’s nomination, was expected to begin the confirmation process, including a public hearing, later this month or early February.
“Robert Contee is a friend, mentor, and colleague of nearly 30 years,” Parson told the Washington Blade in an email message. “I have worked for and with him many times throughout my career with MPD,” Parson said. “I was thrilled to see him named as our next Chief of Police.”
Added Parson, “Rob’s support of me personally as a gay man has never wavered.” Parson noted that Contee has asked him about how his life partner was doing nearly each time he and Contee saw each other.
“He is a people person, who is comfortable in every setting, to include LGBTQ+ events and scenes where our community has been impacted,” said Parson. “Our city, agency, and the LGBTQ+ community will benefit from his leadership, vision, and compassion for others.”
Contee, who was born and raised in D.C., began his tenure on the D.C. police force as a patrol officer in 1989 and worked his way up the ranks as a commander of three of the department’s seven districts before being named assistant chief for two key bureaus that involve overseeing the police academy, criminal investigations, human resources management, and youth and family services.
He held the position of Assistant Chief for the department’s Investigative Services Bureau at the time Bowser nominated him for the chief of police post. Contee was sworn in by the mayor on Jan. 2 as Acting Chief of Police while his confirmation is pending before the D.C. Council.
The post D.C. police chief nominee has record of LGBTQ support appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.
Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights
The disgust, anger, and recriminations over gay New Year’s Eve parties in this seaside resort area of the Mexican state of Jalisco and neighboring Riviera Nayarit, continues to spread in gay online social media — particularly in numerous Twitter threads and on Instagram. One Instagram account, @gaysovercovid has repeatedly called out party goers and party organizers.
Local media outlets in Jalisco and many Mexican social media users are also outraged.
The @gaysovercovid Instagram account has faced wave after wave of backlash from gay influencers many of whom are now embroiled in the controversy after having their Instagram posts publicly disclosed and then shamed by the anonymous account holder. There have been financial rewards offered to anyone who can unmask the account owner’s identity.
The account used the built-in abilities for tracking the influencers’ Facebook locations and Venmo transactions in an effort to uncover where they were attending parties. That brought about severe condemnation from those exposed while others celebrated that the account exposed the bad behavior of gay men.
In one example, in response to a social media post that depicted a Cedars-Sinai ICU registered nurse as a participant, social media users tracked the pictures to an Instagram account (@legstrong) listed for 25-year-old Armstrong Nworka. The Blade determined from online searches Tuesday, including Facebook using the handle ‘@legstrong’ and his surname, Nworka had profiled himself as gay, an RN, and employed at Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills.
One of the comments left on his page read: “Disgusting, you give us gay people a bad name. You’re truly nothing more than a plague rat.” Nworka has since taken his Instagram account private. Nworka did not respond to a Blade request for comment.
The Blade also reached out to Cedars-Sinai and was told that there would be no comment on personnel matters.
The ‘plague rat’ comment was mild in comparison to the thousands of other vitriolic responses to other party attendees and especially organizers, labeled by critics as ‘super-spreaders,’ who openly defied both U.S. and Mexican public health mandates and restrictions to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
Palm Springs resident and gay circuit party impresario Jeffrey Sanker held the largest New Year’s Eve weekend bash, which included several events. Originally set to take place in Puerto Vallarta, apparently ignoring the pleas from local health authorities, elected officials as well as residents, Sanker’s White Party Entertainment company was forced to move the event to neighboring Riviera Nayarit after the Jalisco state government banned mass gatherings and implemented more restrictive coronavirus measures.
In a text to ticket holders, Sanker’s company told attendees not to reveal the location of the party, nor could they take any photos or videos of the event. The text said the steps were necessary because they “do not want this getting out and causing any issues with the public.”
That text was screenshot and then posted by @gaysovercovid as well as other accounts, which prompted one local news outlet in Puerto Vallarta, the Puerto Vallarta News, to editorialize on its social media accounts prior to the events:
“If you are interested in still visiting the COVID Superspreader New Years Eve Celebration where foreigners come to our community and throw big parties and leave COVID while causing our businesses to close and people lose their jobs- […] COVID isn’t causing businesses to suffer, it’s the actions of people. We are tired of it. We have supported this event in past years and given it positive coverage, but this year it’s irresponsible and should be canceled.”
In a phone call with an editor at PVN on Tuesday, the Blade was told that the area’s main healthcare facility, Puerto Vallarta Hospital was at 100% occupancy with COVID-19 patients and that the state of Jalisco had reached 65% positivity rate.
Officials in Jalisco uniformly condemned the fact that so many had traveled from the United States just to party without seeming to care about the consequences for local residents, many of whom are employed as staff in the restaurants, bars, hotels and transportation systems.
“They came to have sex, to dance it seems and to make party without regard to spread of COVID,” one government source told the Blade. “They have no sense of responsibility — don’t care about peoples here,” he added.
As part of the weekend long event, the PV Delice, a catamaran that featured a live band and open bar, began taking on water and sank off the coast of Puerto Vallarta on Dec. 31, around 5 p.m. while crew members frantically called for help to rescue passengers. Video posted on Instagram, Tik-Tok and Facebook documented at least 10 other boats rushing to aid the sinking vessel and plucking 60 victims out of the choppy water.
Witnesses told local news outlets that the boat was filled with White Party celebrants and was overcrowded. The boat sank to the bottom of the bay and there were no reports of injuries.
One passenger, a gay man from Chicago, Emilio Blanco, told the local LGBTQ news outlet, Out and About PV, “It was like the Titanic, it went all down slowly. I think the crew just didn’t know how to maneuver the catamaran very well, the sea was not very rough nor was it too windy. We were about to sail back to Puerto Vallarta, but the catamaran barely moved. I saw at least 10 small boats coming to help, I jumped in a private boat whose owners were graceful enough to send their captain help out. It was quite a scary situation.”
A spokesperson for Adrián Bobadilla García, head of the municipal agency of Puerto Vallarta, told the Blade Tuesday that the municipal government had made numerous notifications to the public regarding mandatory use of masks and maintaining social distance in public. He said that the boardwalk during the holiday however, wasn’t closed nor were the beaches. He conceded that enforcement was not as stringent as it should have been.
A majority of gay party attendees reportedly stayed in Puerto Vallarta. As a result, beaches were jammed mostly with maskless celebrants. One local resident who provided pictures and video to NBC Palm Springs said it was a “superspreader nightmare.”
“It is with sadness and anger that we have Americans at the height of a pandemic surge travel to Mexico to participate in New Year’s Eve parties knowing that people of color are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19,” said City of Huntington Park, Calif. Councilman Eddie Martinez, who also heads the Latino Equality Alliance.
“The action of these travelers has now put hotel workers, servers, janitors, and drivers at risk for the disease as well as to possibly put an additional strain on the hospital system in both Mexico and the United States. Party promoters and sponsors need to be held accountable if their actions result in more deaths for families, especially within the LGBTQ community,” Martinez added.
Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights
“Just to let everybody know we have asked Dolly Parton for 11, 12, 13 years.
At the end of the day it’s scheduling, and it’s a very long day for these people.
To just calm everybody down we do ask Cher, we do ask Madonna, we do ask Liza, we do ask Dolly, we ask everybody, and scheduling is always the conflict. It took years to get Gaga, but we got her.”— Michelle Visage appearing at a digital press junket for the 13th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which airs Fridays at 8/7c on VH1.
Dragaholic on Queerty