In the afterglow of his Emmy Award nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category for his work as 'Pray Tell' in the acclaimed FX series POSE, Billy Porter shared with The Wrap how the show is teaching all kinds of people - himself included - about a world too few understand.
“There are a lot of older white people who are watching the show who stop me on the street and thank us for being brave and bold enough to stand inside of our truth — when many in the world think our truth is insignificant, that our truth is mutable, that it’s dismissible. That our humanity is up for legislation, constantly."
“Some of the people that I’ve come in contact with are conservatives. Conservatives are human beings, too. They can be moved and can be changed. It’s all about respecting each other’s humanity. We get to teach people how to do that. How to love. How to choose love and not hate.”
“I came out when I was 16 in 1987 and we went straight to the front line to fight for our lives. I have realized with this show that the T in LGBTQ has been really absent from my knowledge,” he said.
“If you want to see real authenticity, the bravest kind of authenticity, look at these transgender people and how they live.
"The choice in this world. The necessity to be authentic. We throw that word around a lot. I always say it’s easy to be who you are when what you are is what’s popular. These are true heroes, in my book. and true teachers. They’re teaching us what it means to be honest to be truthful to be authentic — no matter what.”
Well, look at Sam Smith get down with his bad self.
After a tremendously successful year that saw Dancing With a Stranger garner an amazing one billion streams, hitting #1 in both the US and UK, and going platinum in 15 countries, it seems Mr. Smith is in the mood to dance about.
Smith begins his new single, "How Do You Sleep," singing ‘I’m done hating myself for feeling / I'm done crying myself awake,' to an ambient, light-as-air accompaniment before the track kicks into a mid-tempo dance groove complete with hooky chorus.
And that's when Smith surprises by busting a move (a lot of them!) with a company of half-naked male dancers choreographed by Parris Goebel.
It's a nice change of pace for the 4-time Grammy Award winner.
Sam Smith - How Do You Sleep? (Official Video) - YouTube
The singer tweeted to his fans, "My heart is beating so fast. I'm so proud of this one. Thank you to all the beautiful humans who've helped me really come out my shell over the past year. I hope you all enjoy this & please learn the moves so we can dance together soon."
HOW DO YOU SLEEP? My heart is beating so fast. I'm so proud of this one. Thank you to all the beautiful humans who've helped me really come out my shell over the past year. I hope you all enjoy this & please learn the moves so we can dance together soon x https://t.co/HpvK3IPeYQ
Kimberly Page was brutally attacked by a group of four men on Long Island
A lesbian couple on Long Island were attacked during the early morning hours of July 7 in an assault that police say they are investigating as a hate crime.
Kimberly Page told Suffolk police she and her girlfriend had been socializing with co-workers and friends in a local bar prior to the assault.
After leaving the bar, the couple were approached on the street by a group of four men, one of whom made homophobic comments to Page’s girlfriend asking why she would want to be with another female.
The women say they ignored the men, but the group persisted. Page says she told them, “I’m trying to make it known I’m not trying to fight or have an altercation.”
Page told NewsDay: “My girlfriend [was] in high heels, a little bit more feminine than I am, and [the suspect said] ‘I’m not going to fight you because you’re a woman, I’m going to fight her,’ meaning me, ‘ because she’s a man.’”
At that point, the man slapped Page’s girlfriend, knocking her to the ground, and then he punched Page causing her to lose consciousness.
"I know now that he was bashing my head on the concrete ground multiple times," Page told reporters at a press conference. "While that is going on, another one of the men was holding and pushing my girlfriend to the ground, in order for her not to help me."
Both women were taken to nearby Long Island Community Hospital. Page was held overnight and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and her girlfriend was treated as well.
At the press conference, Page’s mother, said, “We love Kimberly, we love everything about Kimberly. We wouldn’t change anything about her. But every time she leave the house, I’m afraid.”
Suffolk County Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the attack.
Anyone with pertinent information can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers via anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS, texting "SCPD" and your message to "CRIMES" (274637) or by email at www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.
Suffolk County police say they are looking for the man circled in the surveillance photo below in conjunction with the attack.
The Cats trailer scared me. It's what would happen if an elderly hoarder with a Hummel figurine fetish dropped acid, ran into the street naked and was happy for the very first time, right before getting hit by a bus#Catspic.twitter.com/q5B6V0Lt48
A memo currently being circulated among Republican members of Congress asks the lawmakers to “contact Amazon with concerns” regarding “censorship” after the online retail giant announced it had removed books on the subject of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’
Earlier this month, Amazon announced it had removed all books by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, widely credited as the ‘father of conversion therapy.’
The action by Amazon was the result of months of complaints and an online petition that garnered over 82,000 signatures demanding the removal of the titles which included A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Healing Homosexualityand How a Gay Boy Became a Straight Man.
Conversion therapy, sometimes known as reparative therapy, has been shown to lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide.
The discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity has been widely denounced by major medical organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association as phony 'pseudo-science.'
Currently, 18 states plus dozens of local municipalities have banned the harmful practice for minors.
But Vice Newsobtained a copy of the memo, given to members of the Republican Study Committee, which includes more than 70% of all GOP members of the House. The document was handed out during a private meeting of the members on Wednesday.
It would appear that Republicans want to see Nicolosi’s books back in circulation on Amazon.
“These books were available on Amazon until an LGBT activist repeatedly petitioned Amazon to remove the ‘homophobic books’ from the company’s website,” reads the memo per Vice News. “Amazon removed Dr. Nicolosi’s books and those of several other authors on similar topics.”
“It is not clear that any of the banned books have violated an Amazon policy,” continues the document. “But rather that the company is choosing to censor speech.”
The memo urges the GOP lawmakers to read an article from the Federalist which tries to assert hypocrisy for banning books on conversion therapy when Amazon still sells history book about Hitler, Mussolini, KKK leader David Duke and U.S. terrorist Timothy McVeigh.
So that I have this right: 1) If you bake cakes, you should have the right to not serve gay people, but 2) If you sell books, you should be told you have to sell books filled with verifiable lies that attack, demean and harm gay people?https://t.co/hgwu3I3Rkq
Calling the LGBTQ community “a supposedly oppressed and marginalized group,” the Federalistarticle states the community “wields an extravagant amount of power” aimed at “anyone who chooses not to support” LGBTQ rights.
Vice News contacted Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) who has previously chaired the Republican Study Committee. Walker shared he didn’t know about the move to pressure Amazon but admitted he thinks Amazon shouldn’t be in the business of ‘banning speech.’
The author of the online petition, Sky Gray, told Vice Newsvia email that the goal of banning conversion therapy books could be hampered with members of Congress getting involved.
”It shouldn't be surprising that the conservatives are in support of conversion therapy; they've made it clear they are in the past,” said Gray. “It looks like this is going to be a bigger fight than previously anticipated, though I knew it would be an uphill battle.”
“Looks like the hill just got a lot steeper, with this knowledge in mind,” he added.
A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling released in April this year showed 80% of respondents believe performing conversion therapy on minors should be illegal.
In related news, CNN drew the placements last night for the second Democratic debates set to take place July 30 and 31.
Looks like Sanders and Warren will get to go head-to-head on the first night along with Mayor Pete, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, while Harris and Biden will have another chance to go at it on the second night .
A post shared by Sam Asghari (@samasghari) on Jul 17, 2019 at 8:55pm PDT
International pop star Ricky Martin is actually turning UP the heat, and not in the way we’re used to. Martin has been down in Puerto Rico helping fire up protesters who are raising their voices in response to leaked homophobic and sexist text messages between Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his associates.
• InstaHunks: LGBTQ ally Ben Cohen is inviting supporters of his anti-bullying foundation to come out and join him for cross-training. I'll go, but only if I can follow Ben :)
• New York Times: A federal judge on Thursday denied bail for Jeffrey Epstein, the financier facing sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan, rejecting his request to await trial under home detention at his Upper East Side mansion.
• NPR: Some of Puerto Rico’s biggest stars rallied a crowd of many thousands in San Juan on Wednesday, calling on the island’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to resign. It was the fifth day in a row of protests in the U.S. territory, following a leak of hundreds of pages of misogynistic and homophobic texts between the governor and his main advisers.
• Washington Post: The House passed a bill by a vote of 231-199 that would raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade. However, don't expect the legislation to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.
• AFP News: Donald Trump asked Nobel laureate Nadia Murad how she won the Nobel Peace Prize after she explained how she won the Nobel Prize. Murad survived in the aftermath of her mother and six brothers being killed by ISIS and that 3,000 Yazidis remained missing. Trump asked, “And you had the Nobel Prize? That’s incredible. They gave it to you for what reason?” Murad paused, then repeated her story.
• The Lion King: Check out Beyoncé's musical contribution to the upcoming live-action remake of Disney's The Lion King.
Titled "Spirit," I find the video gorgeous. I'm on the fence about the melody. Let me know what you think.
Beyoncé – SPIRIT from Disney’s The Lion King (Official Video) - YouTube
The trailer for the upcoming live-action movie of CATS the musical has landed.
I think it has some amazing visuals going on, although the anthropomorphic/naked cat look will take a bit of getting used to.
Along the way, there looks to be some fantastic casting with Rebel Wilson as 'Jennyanydots,' Sir Ian McKellen as 'Gus the theater cat,' Dame Judi Dench as 'Deuteronomy,' and James Corden as 'Bustopher Jones.'
Oh, and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson belts out the show's hit tune, "Memory," throughout.
Judi Dench in CATS
In theaters this Christmas. Take a look below.
CATS - Official Trailer [HD] - YouTube
Longtime readers of The Randy Report may recall being cast in the national touring company of CATS back in the mid-80s was my first big gig after moving to New York City.