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(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Taylor Swift’s YouTube Account)

Hey, guys! Did you watch Taylor Swift’s new music video for “You Need to Calm Down” already?  

Taylor Swift - You Need To Calm Down - YouTube

CNN described Taylor’s new single as “a pop anthem for equality and understanding” and “her most political move yet.” For not only did she drop the single amidst Pride Month, she also said at the end of the video, “Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all our citizens equally.” In addition, she requested fans to, “Please sign my petition for Senate support of the Equality Act on Change.org.” More importantly, a part of her new song reads:

You are somebody that we don’t know/But you’re comin’ at my friends like a missile/Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD? (You could be GLAAD)/Sunshine on the street at the parade/But you would rather be in the dark ages/Makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night

The song is actually a call to stop homophobia and bullying online and well, offline, especially during Pride parades. Taylor Swift herself said in an interview that the song is for “different people in our society who put so much energy and effort into negativity.”

“I’ve observed a lot of different people in our society who put so much energy and effort into negativity and it made me feel like, ‘you need to just calm down.’” Brand new @taylorswift13 is here. Check out #YouNeedToCalmDown: https://t.co/kskhSmhLrq #Lover pic.twitter.com/Nt4NboVR7q

— Beats 1 (@Beats1) June 14, 2019

The video also features a lot of LGBTQ icons such as: 

  • Ellen DeGeneres 
  • Katy Perry (dressed in a cheeseburger costume)
  • RuPaul
  • Laverne Cox
  • Adam Lambert
  • Dexter Mayfield
  • Ciara
  • The Queer Eye cast (Tan Frances, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk)
  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Hayley Kiyoko
  • Chester Lockhart
  • Todrick Hall
  • Adam Rippon
  • Billy Porter
  • Hanna Hart
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband Justin Mikita.

Check out what the fans are saying about You Need to Calm Down online:

👑 queens of music 👑
Ariana Grande
Sia
Adele
Cardi b
TAYLOR SWIFT
Beyonce
Katy Perry
Nicki Minaj #taylorswift #YouNeedToCalmDownMusicVideo pic.twitter.com/J3Q3zY35cY

— TAYLORBTS13 💞 (@taylorbts13) June 17, 2019

“…control your urges to scream about all the people you hate ‘cause shade never made anybody less gay!” 😂💙🌈🙌🏼 #TaylorSwift #YouNeedToCalmDownhttps://t.co/pza3sc7pVe

— Cristiano Lourenco (@lourencocrist) June 17, 2019

There are so many amazing moments in #TaylorSwift‘s #YouNeedToCalmDown video, but this is my favorite! Thank you #BillyPorter for all that you are and for being you!!!!!!!!!!!! #PoseFX https://t.co/pECBycywVE pic.twitter.com/CZpVPZ7GpK

— Anthony Peoples (@PeoplesAnthony) June 17, 2019

You Need to Calm Down is the second single from Taylor Swift’s upcoming seventh studio album called Lover due for release on August 23 via Republic Records. 

Happy viewing!

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(Photo Credits: United States Steel Corporation, the show’s sponsor. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Gloria Vanderbilt, heiress to the Vanderbilt railroad and shipping fortune, passed away early this morning—June 17, 2019—at her home in New York. She was 95. 

Her son, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, confirmed the sad news himself through a moving tribute aired via CNN. He said they found out early this month when they took her to the hospital that she had “very advanced” stomach cancer that had already spread.

“Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms,” Cooper said in a statement. “She was a painter, a writer, and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend. She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they’d tell you, she was the youngest person they knew—the coolest, and most modern.”

Gloria Vanderbilt dies at age 95 - YouTube

Gloria Laura Madeleine Sophie Vanderbilt was born on February 20, 1924 in Manhattan, New York City to Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and his second wife, Gloria Morgan. Her father reportedly passed away when she was only 18 months old, leaving her with a $2.5 million trust fund which, according to Forbes, is equivalent to $35 million today. 

The Vanderbilt family fortune was built by shipping and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, said to be one of the wealthiest men in the world during the 19th century. According to Time, Vanderbilt’s great-great-grandfather passed away in 1877 at 82, leaving around $100 million.

Vanderbilt was thrown into the spotlight when she became the subject of the custody battle (dubbed the trial of the century by the media) in 1934 between her mother and her paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (who was the founder of Whitney Museum of American Art). The former lost custody of the young Gloria for being an “unfit mother” and for reportedly “squandering the cash partying around the world.”

Gloria married four times, divorced on three, had four children, and it wasn’t until her fourth husband, Wyatt Cooper, that she “not only found love, but also the happiness of a secure, stable family life.” They had two sons, Anderson and Carter (who died by suicide in 1988). Gloria said of her husband Wyatt Cooper, who died at 50 during open heart surgery, “We had the family life that I’d always wanted. He made me understand what it would have been like to have had a father – he was a most amazing father. I’d never experienced anything like it.” 

Gloria Vanderbilt may have been initially known as the “poor little rich girl” but she managed to step out from the Vanderbilt family’s shadows and made a name of her own. Today, she is famous for being a talented artist, a fashion icon, the Jeans Queen, an Instagram sensation, and a published author. 

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(Photo Credits: Screengrab from 5B Film’s YouTube Account)

When people were consumed by fear, a few heroes showed the world the power of human touch.

Hey, guys! You might want to watch this film titled 5B (Paul Haggis, Dan Krauss), it is currently in theaters and you can purchase tickets and check the cinema movie schedule near you here.

The title of the film, 5B, refers to a ward unit established by nurses in 1983—during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic—on the 5th floor of San Francisco General Hospital. Reportedly, it was “designed specifically to treat HIV/AIDS patients” and is the first of its kind in the United States. The ward operated up until 2003.    

This documentary is about the “remarkable story of courage and compassion from the heroes of San Francisco General’s Ward 5B” told through the eyes of the nurses, doctors, their surviving patients and their loved ones as well as the “staff who volunteered to create care practices based in humanity and holistic well-being during a time of great uncertainty.”

5B Official Trailer – Presented by RYOT a Verizon Media Company - YouTube

People reported that one of the patients who appeared in the film named Steve Williams said, “The nurses at San Francisco General do such a wonderful job. They’re not afraid to touch you.” Williams fell in love with his nurse, Guy Vandenburg, and vice versa. Now married, the couple survived the challenges of those tough times and to say that it was tough is an understatement as Williams’ condition at one point “grew dire,” dire enough that he slipped into a coma.        

Vandenburg said to People, “I’m standing here for all the people who are no longer with us and for all the people who are still alive but can’t be here. Nurses, patients, activists, people who treat other people with respect and dignity and love.”

On another note, Los Angeles Times described the film as a “tough, vital lesson in love, valor and compassion” on the one hand and on the other, “a somber, evocative reminder of that devastating yet galvanizing era.” 

Indeed, Ward 5B is “not just a place; it’s a story of hope and courage.”

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(Photo Credits: StockSnap in Pixabay)

Does social media affect your dating life and if so, how?

We are bringing this up because we stumbled upon this thread on askgaybros about a couple of guys in a bar who were presumably overheard talking by the original poster (OP) about dating. The OP shared that he heard one of the guys say, “Yeah, he’s cute and we get along and all, but he has less than a thousand followers on Instagram so I don’t think I’m gonna go for him.” The other guy is said to have responded, “Oh yeah, that’s way too low!”

A few months ago, we talked about first date deal breakers but no one mentioned anything about social media at all. In fact, according to Adam4Adam readers, the kind of guys they dislike are those who are: racist, always on the cellphone while they are in the middle of a date, have poor hygiene, and body odor. They also won’t go on a second date with a guy who they have had a political disagreement and religious arguments with while others say rudeness to anyone such as the wait staff and service people is a huge no-no for them among many others.  

Anyway, one of the respondents on the thread admitted that he posts “thirst trap pics on Instagram” and he sees “nothing wrong with it” but that he would never “use a social media following as a measure of someone’s worth.” Another said that he had been rejected as well for not having a Facebook account. He said that if it were for “safety thing” then he would have understood because these days, people equate not having Facebook to someone who “must be either completely fake or trying to hide something.” But he said that although he wasn’t on Facebook, he was on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+ etc. but still, he got shot down.

On the other hand, quite a number of them said that if you’ve been rejected because you don’t have a Snapchat, it’s not for the reason you think. The Redditors explained, “You’ve been ignored because they thought you were fake. People use Snapchat to authenticate profiles.”

That being said, I think we all have deal breakers, but is social media on your list? More importantly, how is social media changing or affecting your dating life and what are your dating rules now that we are in the social media age? Sound off in the comments section below.

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It’s Pride Month, and it only seems fitting that more and more good news is coming in from other parts of the world. On the same day that Botswana overturned its own anti-gay laws, Ecuador has sided with two gay couples who petitioned for the right to be married, which in effect legalizes same-sex marriage in the country.

Five judges voted to approve same-sex marriage and extend it to the whole country. The four judges who voted against it said this change to the country’s constitution should be decided and approved by the country’s National Assembly.

Speaking to the AFP, the Palka Foundation’s Christian Paula said that Ecuador was now “more egalitarian.” The Palka Foundation provided legal assistance and advice to 10 same-sex couples seeking to marry in Ecuador.

“It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian. It is more just than yesterday, that it recognizes that human rights must be for all people without discrimination,” said Paula.

Ecuador is now the fourth South American country to legalize same-sex marriage, following Columbia, Brazil, and Argentina.

The past few months has seen a number of historic advances being made around the world with regards to how the LGBTQ community is treated in the legal system. Last month, Hong Kong struck down laws against gay sex. Brazil also declared transphobia and homophobia illegal, despite the fact that it is headed by a virulently homophobic president in the form of Jair Bolsonaro. Taiwan also became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

Stateside, advances have also been made in the fight against conversion therapy, with Massachusetts and Maine banning conversion therapy for minors in April and May of this year, respectively.

Congratulations to the LGBTQ community in Ecuador for having won the right to marry!

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(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Céline Dion’s Instagram Account)

Céline Dion bids farewell to Las Vegas by ushering in a new chapter of her life. The Canadian singer, who ended her 16-year residency at Caesars Palace’s The Colosseum, also premiered her new song titled, “Flying On My Own” during her 1,144th and final show last Saturday night, June 8. 

Flying On My Own (#FOMO) is the first single from her forthcoming 27th album titled Courage scheduled for release this November 2019 via Sony Music.Céline also has an upcoming world tour which will kick off in Québec, her home province, on Sept. 18 and 20 at Videotron Centre followed by shows in over 50 other cities before ending it in Winnipeg, Manitoba on April 27, 2020. You may view the scheduled dates and purchase tickets of her Courage World Tour on her website.   

Listen to her new song below:

Céline Dion - Flying On My Own (Live from Las Vegas) - YouTube

Critics and fans alike described Céline’s new dance-pop as “high-octane and willfully lending itself to the club circuit,” “soaring,” “amazing,” “inspiring,” and “incessantly upbeat, campy banger.” Personally, we love Flying On My Own specially the lines:

My feet on the runway/It’s a beautiful day/I look to the sky now/I’m finding my way/I’m flying on my own/On the wings of your love

We also think it’s the song of the summer. Take a look at what the netizens are saying about Céline’s new song:

I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this new song so far. 🥰 I can’t wait for the new album, and July 5th when I see her live! 😍 @celinedion #newmusic #flyingonmyown #courageworldtour #hydepark #BST pic.twitter.com/TdbmMIIorm

— Natalie ~ The Reading Debutante (@thereadingdebut) June 11, 2019

This song hits my soul… Couldn’t be more spot on for me right now in life. Thank you Celine for being (Since I was 6 years old) my beacon of hope, love, purity, and all that is good and true in this world. ❤️❤️❤️ Forever.#FlyingOnMyOwn https://t.co/nZsJj0fD9c

— Erik Peterson (@ErikP0711) June 11, 2019

I’m shook. Surprise banger of 2019? #CelineDion #FlyingOnMyOwn https://t.co/hImbRhWDxB

— Leeanne Whitehouse (@leeanneradio) June 10, 2019

You may buy Flying On My Own here. Let us know in the comments section how you like the song. 

Happy viewing!

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(Photo Credits: Screengrab from #LEGABIBO’s Twitter Account)

“Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It is an important attribute of one’s personality.” 

Botswana had just decriminalized homosexuality in a unanimous ruling, after the country’s High Court overturned their two colonial era-laws. The first one is under section 164 of Botswana’s Penal Code which punishes consensual same-sex relations by up to 7 years in prison and defines homosexuality as “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature.” On the other hand, “acts of gross indecency” under section 167 carry a maximum sentence of two years whether or not the act had been committed in private or in public, CNN reports.

Justice Michael Leburu, who read the court’s decision, explained that, “It is not the business of the law to regulate the private behavior of two consenting adults.” Further, the judge had also reportedly said, “A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness.” Adding, “Societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity.”

According to the local news report, it was a 21-year-old gay student from the University of Botswana (UB) who challenged the constitutionality of sections 164 and 167 of their Penal Code in court. The student—who is currently in a relationship with another man—explained that their country had passed a labor law making discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal which means that Botswana “have become more tolerant” of the LGBT community. He added, “My friends, roommates at the University of Botswana have accepted me, even at the University of Botswana I feel free and accepted.”

Check out the netizen’s reactions online:

Botswana’s High Court has decided to decriminalize consensual same sex relations. This should inspire other African countries to follow suit 👏🏿

— Amnesty International (@amnesty) June 11, 2019

Hi my name is Neo, and I am a gay man.#PrideMonth #Botswana #queerLifeMatters 🌈🌈🌈 ✊🙏 pic.twitter.com/E9Dvfutubc

— Nyiko Wa Ka Baloyi (@NeoMathebula1) June 11, 2019

pic.twitter.com/uUYm33kPiY

— Cristina Lopes (@Crislopesrio) June 11, 2019

#Repeal164 “is a landmark decision that should free LGBT people in #Botswana from the range of discriminatory sanctions and practices arising from highly problematic provisions in the Penal Code,” @UNHumanRights High Commissioner @mbachelet said https://t.co/RlnF2mxfAR

— ILGA World (@ILGAWORLD) June 11, 2019

According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), as cited by CNN, gay sex is illegal in at least 31 out of 54 African countries.

Congratulations, Botswana!

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Image credit: US Embassy India Twitter (@USAndIndia)

The Trump administration may have prohibited the flying of Pride flags from embassy flagpoles, but a number of embassies are finding ways around this particular order.

As reported by The Washington Post, the rainbow flag continues to be displayed publicly in locations like Nepal, India, and South Korea. While the displays are not in direct violation of the State Department order, the embassies have ensured that the rainbow flags are very prominent, sometimes even more so than the American flag.

For instance, the embassy in Seoul, South Korea has a substantially larger rainbow flag on display at the same height as the American flag. The embassy in Chennai, India also catches attention as it drapes down three stories of the embassy building.

Meanwhile, the embassy in Nepal has the rainbow flag prominently displayed on the outside of the building, as shown in photos and video they have released. The US Embassy in India is lit up with rainbow-colored lights.

American diplomats abroad have also been very vocal about attending Pride events in their specific country of posting. A March for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem was attended by American diplomats, while the mission in Nepal had employees holding up letters spelling Pride.

The Trump administration’s refusal to allow the rainbow flag to be raised up platforms is different from the Obama administration’s stance on it. The Obama administration left it up to each ambassador or head of mission to decide on how best to display rainbow flags for Pride.

The decision is also in direct contrast to the Trump administration’s recent push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Richard Grenell, the US Ambassador to Germany, is the one heading this mission of decriminalization. The US Embassy in Germany was also one of the embassies whose request to raise the rainbow flag on a flagpole was denied.

In a statement to NBC News, Grenell ignored this refusal and focused on the President’s tweet regarding the decriminalization campaign instead. His statement reads: “The President’s recognition of Pride Month and his tweet encouraging our decriminalization campaign gives me even more pride to once again march in the Berlin Pride parade, hang a huge banner on the side of the Embassy recognizing our pride, host multiple events at the Embassy and the residence, and fly the gay pride flag.”

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Image credit: Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels

NBC News is reporting that the Trump administration is rejecting requests from US embassies to fly the rainbow flag on flagpoles during Pride Month.

According to three American diplomats that spoke with NBC, embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia are just some of the embassies whose request to fly the Pride flag from the flagpoles was denied by Trump’s State Department. While they are allowed to fly the Pride flag anywhere else, they cannot be raised up on the flagpole.

The decision is in contrast to the Trump administration’s recent push to decriminalize homosexuality in dozens of countries around the world. The fact that the request of the embassy in Germany was rejected is also ironic, especially since the ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is the one leading the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.

This rejection was not addressed in the statement Grenell released to NBC. His statement reads: “The President’s recognition of Pride Month and his tweet encouraging our decriminalization campaign gives me even more pride to once again march in the Berlin Pride parade, hang a huge banner on the side of the Embassy recognizing our pride, host multiple events at the Embassy and the residence, and fly the gay pride flag.”

Despite Donald Trump’s recent tweet that called attention to his administration’s global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality, his regime has actually tried to advance a number of policies that have not been best for the LGBTQ community.

For instance, the Supreme Court that he has stacked with conservative judges is now deciding whether firing people for being gay is legal. The Supreme Court has taken up three cases related to LGBTQ employment discrimination, and any decision made could set in stone whether firing someone based on their gender identity and sexual orientation is legal or not.

The Republican-controlled Senate will also probably kill the Equality Act that the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 236-173. A spokesperson for Senate Majority Floor Leader Mitch McConnell has already told Buzzfeed News that there are “no scheduling announcements regarding Senate action.”

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Image credit: Instagram (@chontichaaew)

Another fashion brand has come out with merchandise tied to the 2019 Pride Month celebrations. Nike’s Air Max 720 has been redesigned into rainbow-colored sneakers, and went on sale last June 1.

With the redesign, the shoe now starts red at the toe, going through all the colors of the rainbow until it reaches purple at the back of the shoe. The midsoles are now translucent and bear the signature of Gilbert Baker, who designed the original Pride flag. The “Be True” catchphrase is written in bold lettering on the heel pull-ups.

And it’s not just the Air Max 720s that have been retooled for Pride. The Air Max 90s. Now have the rainbow colors following the contours of Nike’s Swoosh logo. The rest of the shoe is black and white with multi-colored accents.

Nike also has its children’s shoe, the KD 10, outfitted with a translucent sole that is rainbow-colored.

The Air Max 720s retail for $180, while the Air Max 90s retail for $140.

The Nike sneakers are the latest in a number of fashion brands releasing products that are Pride-themed. Abercrombie & Fitch has a Pride collection that features 21 pieces that include beach gear, t-shirts, socks, and underwear. Up to $100,000 of the sale of Abercrombie & Fitch’s fragrance Fierce will be donated to The Trevor Project.

Calvin Klein has also released a Pride collection done in the “ultra-vivid colors of Pride” and includes swimwear, underwear, and jeans. Adam4Adam users can get the five-pack assortment of jockstraps, a five-pack of the Calvin Klein Pride hip briefs, and a five-pack of the Calvin Klein Pride low rise trunks on Freshpair.

Converse also has a Pride line, which even has trans-themed shoes.

What do you guys think of the “Be True” Air Max sneakers? Are they something you’d be interested in buying? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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