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Gus Kenworthy’s Winter Olympics medal hopes are in danger as he has broken his thumb.
The 2014 Olympic silver medalist in freestyle slopestyle skiing has said he broke the bone while practicing on the course in PyeongChang.
But the US athlete will not allow a small thing like a broken thumb to stop him from competing.
Kenworthy has confirmed he will take part in Sunday’s qualifying round for men’s slopstyle on Sunday (18 February).
Gus Kenworthy breaks thumb, will still compete
‘Broke my thumb yesterday in practice,’ he tweeted.
‘It won’t stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence’s hand so… Silver linings!
‘Will be giving my teammates (and literally everyone else) an enthusiastic “thumbs up!” of encouragement the rest of the trip.’
Broken thumbs might be painful, but they’re not an injury that can take a skier out of a major competition.
Canadian halfpipe skier Cassie Sharpe broke her thumb while competing in an X Games final. To modify, she taped her pole to her hand for the rest of the contest.
She won the bronze medal with one of those runs that came after the broken thumb.
So it is hoped Kenworthy will still be able to follow his success in Sochi.
Following up success in Sochi
Gus Kenworthy will fly the rainbow flag in Korea at the Winter Olympics
While this may be Gus Kenworthy’s second Olympics, it is his first as being an openly gay athlete.
Winning a silver medal in Sochi, he said he felt ‘horrible’ about being closeted at the Russian Games.
He came out in 2015, and has become a high profile star.
‘Very proud to be heading to Korea on behalf of my family, my hometown, the USA and the LGBTQ community!!! Woohoo!!!’ he said.
He has already confirmed that he will not accept a White House invitation from Donald Trump.
But it wasn’t just the lives of the cast involved that have changed since its release, as actress Keala Settle – who plays the Bearded Lady – revealed about one young LGBTQ teen who was struggling with their sexuality.
“I got a message the other day from a man who is gay and was about to take his own life,” Keala reveals exclusively to Gay Times. “He sent me a thing saying, ‘I heard your song and I took the gun down.’ I wept.
“It’s that kind of impact that gives me goosebumps to tell you that because it makes me realise, again, not only does that young man have stuff in themselves to last a lifetime and let shine, but I do too because of what he told me I’d given him – that I didn’t even know. It’s that type of impact that’s being made.”
“We are universally in a time where things are very negative,” Keala continues when referencing the current political and social climate. “There’s a lot of anger that is going on and, not so much fighting, but that it’s getting really, really personal – attacking individually and collectively on another level.
“What the film has done – as well as the music – has given everyone a free pass to let all that go, and that pass is almost the ultimate fast pass for any ride you could ever go on. Not only does it give you that pass, but it lets you relish in the fact that what is happening to the characters in that film, and the stories that are going on in the film, are all relatable – no matter what year we are in, who you are or what you are.”
But what does the voice of This Is Me think of the suggestion it has become a modern LGBTQ anthem?
“I couldn’t be more honoured and privileged,” she beams – much to our enjoyment. “It’s one of those things where this community of people are continually fighting and striving for not only equality rights but to feel like they are part of a community and have the lives they’ve always wanted to live because that is who they are!
“When the song was first released as a single at the end of 2017, my life started ringing off the hook and I didn’t know what was going on. I gave my first interview about eight hours after the song was released and they asked if I knew what type of anthem I’d created. I started to cry and said, ‘Errr… no, I don’t!’ I had no idea and didn’t realise.
“All of the fears that I had are in that song. Those fears aren’t going to go away, but what’s so comforting and continues no matter what I’m doing daily is the likeness with each individual that’s touched by the song. That’s what blows my mind and I had no idea.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle that became a worldwide sensation – championing the power of the underdog and those that feel different.
And while The Greatest Showman follows the life of an aspiring man who dreams of a better life for his family, Keala tells us she took a slightly different message from the movie.
“The moral of the story for me is that you shouldn’t keep chasing and trying to be accepted by somebody else,” notes Keala before pausing. “In the words of RuPaul, ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you going to love somebody else? Can I get an amen?!’”
She adds: “It’s about not seeking permission for somebody else to tell you that you’re worth it – ever.”
“I remember when I saw my first Instagram video of a drag queen lip-syncing This Is Me,” Keala recalls with great excitement. “I was sat in the chair getting ready to go out and I cried. When you have a drag queen lip-syncing your song for their life, you have won. You’ve now won everything in life!
“When I saw that first clip, I said ‘Oh my gosh, this really is a game-changer. It really is a life-changer.’ This wasn’t just changing my life but is continuing to change the lives all around the world, so when I first saw that I bawled because of how much was coming out of her. I’ve seen others since and it’s just breathtaking, and it makes me so happy that people can find who they are in themselves absolutely perfectly.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
Caught in great laughter when recalling how the filming of This Is Me was repeatedly stopped and started due to the cast caught singing along when they shouldn’t, Keala tells us why the song meant more to her as an individual than as an actress.
“I’m not going to lie… I’ve felt different since I knew how to feel,” she begins quietly. “That’s one of the reasons why I first didn’t want to do the song because of facing my fears.
“Even in the rehearsal space before the presentation to get the movie greenlit, I didn’t want to do it. I was petrified. That meant that I had to know that I’m good enough to stand in front and sing by myself – not hiding behind a brunch of Broadway costumes or lights. I had to do that, and I still freak out about it.”
With a movie that asks people to look beyond what society would deem as ‘different’, Keala faced a small number of remarks during the initial movie release, explaining: “I think in the beginning when I was promoting it, everybody was like ‘who is this fat chick? She has no business.’ I didn’t even think about it because I had a beard on, but thanks for throwing that into the fire.”
But her now loyal and rather great social followers soon came to her defence…
“It was interesting with the following that I now have – and am very grateful for – that they are warriors and are not only fighting for each other and themselves, but fight for me which is humbling. I’ve never really seen anything, and I’m sure it has been around all over the place, and humans will be humans – nor will I want to.”
Fox / The Greatest Showman
And a stage transfer? Keala is totally game for it happening when we inform her that co-star Hugh Jackman has revealed he’d like to see it happen.
“He said that?!” she questions with great delight. “I’d love to, but I know how hard it was to tap into it just for the film.
“For a Broadway production, which you may know is eight shows a week, it’s raw and it’s full out. It’s the film for two and a half hours, eight shows every week if that did happen.
“It’s a lot of work, but hey, he’s [Hugh Jackman] number one on the call sheet so if he wants to do it then heck… are you kidding me? I’ll have to be. He’ll send the car and be like ‘get in the car, let’s go.’ I’ll be there. I’ll do anything for that man. He’s the reason that I’m out here. He is the reason and the one. I had t-shirts made that say ‘It’s Your Fault Hugh Jackman’.”
And the casual Oscar nomination? “It’s interesting because it’s not totally mine,” Keala giggles. “It’s Benji and Justin’s and I’m really aware of that. I’m extremely happy to be participating in that and getting to say those words as it’s something I’ve always dreamed about. To actually see it come to tuition, as I never thought I would, is very fantastic.”
Laughing that she’d totally be up for ‘doing an Adele’ and splitting the Oscar with her musical co-stars like the British singer famously did with Beyonce last year, Keala does have one name she’d like to meet at the coveted awards ceremony later this year.
“I’m excited to be there and hopefully Meryl Streep will be on the front row – that’s all I care about,” she giggles. “I just had an awards ceremony I went to Stateside and Dame Helen Mirren was being honoured and I did have to do an acceptance speech in front of her and I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to talk, actually! So mid-way through the acceptance speech, because I had nothing prepared, I just sang it!
And with that, Keala cleared her throat and gave us a first-hand example of why she should probably start clearing some space on her mantlepiece for a looming Oscar…
The Greatest Showman is out in cinemas now – including special sing-a-long performances. More information can be found here.
The post This is how The Greatest Showman helped save one gay teen from suicide appeared first on Gay Times.
The critically-acclaimed show, which tells the story of a trans woman who comes out to her family late in life, has faced an unknown future since lead actor Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by two colleagues.
Amazon have now confirmed the decision to drop him from the show following an investigation.
Trace Lysette, one of Tambor’s co-stars on Transparent, alleged back in November that the actor had “made many sexual advances and comments” towards her and detailed one time that things got physical.
Prior to her allegations, Tambor’s former assistant Van Barnes claimed that he had propositioned her, groped her, made inappropriate comments and threatened her not to share her story.
Jill Soloway, creator of the Emmy-winning series, released a statement praising those who spoke out about their experiences.
“I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires,” she wrote.
“We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community.
“We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.”
Lysette tweeted about the news, saying it offered her “some closure” and encouraged fans to keep supporting the show following Tambor’s departure.
Finally some closure I hope. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. Please show your support for @transparent_tv so we can make season 5 something great. Thank you all for your love and endless support ❤️ https://t.co/g0sbXJ70xt
— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) February 15, 2018
On Thursday, Tambor released a statement in response to Amazon’s decision, saying: “I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me.
“I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates.
“In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set.
“As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself.
“I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
The post Jeffrey Tambor officially dropped from Transparent following sexual harassment claims appeared first on Gay Times.
This All Stars 3 episode of Snatch Game wasn’t the best in the show’s HERstory, but, the episode did make up for it in drama, unexpected twists and turns, and that elimination… ooh hunny, that elimination!
In the most awaited episode of the season (well, any season), the queens hit Snatch Game and gave their best celebrity impersonations. Snatch Game is usually the challenge to determine which queen is a Heather, and which queen is a Booger, and hunties, we’re truly cooped and gagged at the outcome.
The panel consisted of: Trixie Mattel as RuPaul; Kennedy Davenport as Phaedra Parks; BenDeLaCreme as Paul Lynde; Chi Chi DeVayne as Maya Angelou; Shangela as Jennifer Lewis; Aja as Crystal Labeija; Bebe Zahara Benet as Grace Jones and Kristen Chenoweth as… Kristen Chenoweth?! First gag-worthy moment of the episode? Check.
Surprisingly, Trixie’s Ru-isms landed the Drag Barbie in the bottom three, along with Chi Chi and former Snatch Game winner Kennedy. Shangela and Ben’s performances earned them the win, making it Ben’s fourth consecutive win… which has never been done in Drag Race HERstory (gag #2!). At this point, it really is BenDeLaCreme’s Drag Race.
As the queens deliberate in the workroom, Shangela takes Trixie aside. Earlier in the episode, the queens had some drama-mama when Shangela found a note on Trixie’s wall from Thorgy Thor, calling Shangela a “shady bitch”. They made up, hugged it out etc, but Shangela told Trixie it was still on her mind, giving viewers the impression that the season three contestant could eliminate the fan-favourite…
Shangela and Ben hit the runway, and lip-synced the motherf**king house down to Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl. The queens served some Raja vs Carmen – Straight Up realness, and both queens won a cash prize tip of five thousands dollahhhz, and the power to eliminate a queen… each (gag #3!). Ben chooses Chi Chi – which comes as no surprise, considering the trash-bag queen has landed in the bottom four times in a row (she shouldn’t have been in the bottom for the Divas challenge, but whatever).
Then, Shangela alluded to having Trixie’s name in her bra, by telling the judges: “The person I have chosen, I don’t want them to feel like it is personal in any way. This person left RuPaul’s Drag Race not winning the crown, but definitely going forward as a winner, and creating a career for themselves.” Cue some shady cutaway music and a close-up of Trixie’s tears, and bam, gag #4!
However, the name in Shangela’s bra was also Chi Chi. The anticipation… oh hunny the anticipation nearly killed us.
We’ve collected some of the best Twitter reactions from the episode below…
I love BenDeLaCremes Drag Race All Stars 3
— Lara McLaren (@LaraMcLaren_) February 16, 2018
— James Hultgren (@jameshultgren) February 16, 2018
We all wish every Drag Race season is an All Stars season but this isn’t as great as we hoped it would be. The competition is too easy for Bendela. And half these girls lack star power. #AllStars3
— Lorenzo Paolo Garcia (@LorenzoPaoloG) February 16, 2018
DRAG RACE ALL STARS GOT ME SO FUCKEN SHOOKT MY WIG IS FLYING
— Vanessa Espeleta (@banbanessa) February 16, 2018
drag race all stars has killed me
im gagged, sinaksak sa baga ko, dineepthroat lahat-lahat
— Trix (@trixcarreon) February 16, 2018
— AGM (@stuffnthangs81) February 16, 2018
Honestly, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars has me so shook omg. I was so scared for Trixie ????????????
— Dee ????⭐️ (@Diah_Styles) February 16, 2018
can’t believe shangela gave every 14 year old drag race fan a heart attack. a true legend icon star winner of all stars 3
— ⭐Lex⭐ (@orangeherbtea) February 16, 2018
That was one of the best episodes in drag race herstory, suspense and drama all through. It’s right up there with the revenge episode in Allstars 2 and the season 9 finale. #AllStars3
— hamZa (@Zephten10) February 16, 2018
Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars brought to you by Game of Thrones!
— Kelly Schiess (@Kelly_Schiess) February 16, 2018
The kind of domination DeLa is giving us in All Stars 3 is unheard of Drag Race herstory. She lip synced for her legacy four times in four weeks.
— Raul (@icy464) February 16, 2018
What are your thoughts on the episode? Did Chi Chi deserve to go? Was Trixie’s performance as Mama Ru really that bad? Will Ben snatch her fifth win next week? Lord, this season has snatched us so far. Bring on the next episode… henny.
All Stars 3 currently airs Thursdays on VH1 in the United States, and Saturdays on Comedy Central in the UK.
The post Drag Race fans are shocked at this week’s All Stars 3 elimination… appeared first on Gay Times.
HR professionals are all too familiar with the McDonnell-Douglas burden-shifting standard for establishing discrimination from circumstantial evidence. Under the standard, an employee presents a prima facie (minimally sufficient) case that he belongs to a protected class and suffered an adverse action. The employer then presents a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for its action, and he in turn tries to prove its stated reason is merely a pretext (false excuse) for discrimination.
Each McDonnell-Douglas burden-shifting case is highly fact-specific, and—notwithstanding nearly 45 years of case law applying the standard—reasonable minds still disagree on how much evidence is required to support a finding of pretext. A recent case before the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals— which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming—demonstrates how tricky such situations can be.
What’s the Big Dill?
“Mike,” who is originally from Nigeria, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who recently experienced the ambiguity of the McDonnell-Douglas standard firsthand. “Neil,” the director of distribution at Safeway’s Denver distribution center, hired Mike to work in the produce warehouse in October 2004. During his employment, Mike furthered his education, earning a second bachelor’s degree (in finance) and an MBA. At some point, apparently following a complaint of discrimination, Neil promoted him to supervisor. The performance of the produce warehouse improved under his watch.
Despite his education, work experience, and achievements on the job, Mike was never able to rise higher up the management chain. In 2012, he applied for two open manager positions. In each case, Neil hired a white male instead.
Mike filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, alleging that Safeway discriminated against him because of his race, color, and national origin when it failed to hire him for either manager position. The district court rejected his claims and awarded summary judgment (dismissal without trial) to Safeway under the McDonnell-Douglas standard.
Mike’s allegations satisfied his prima facie burden, but Safeway argued it had a legitimate reason for not hiring him. It claimed it had hired other candidates with “far greater potential for success” and “more relevant warehouse management and leadership skills,” and it was concerned about his “leadership and communication skills.” The district court concluded he hadn’t presented sufficient evidence for a jury to conclude that the company’s justifications were pretextual.
It Ain’t Over Lentil It’s Over!
Dissatisfied with the result, Mike appealed the district court’s decision to the 10th Circuit. The appeals court revisited six types of pretext evidence he had presented:
(1) Job qualifications. An employee can show pretext through evidence of a sham review of a rejected candidate or unreasonable denigration of the rejected candidate’s qualifications but inflation of the successful candidate’s qualifications. In this case, the 10th Circuit concluded a reasonable juror could find that Mike, with his two bachelor’s degrees and MBA, was better educated than either manager Safeway hired. One didn’t have a college degree but had 20 years of experience in the Denver distribution center (10 as a supervisor), and the other—an external candidate with warehouse management experience at Chrysler and previous experience at a different Safeway distribution center—only had a bachelor’s degree in business.
Evidence that Mike met his individual and departmental goals and increased efficiency as a supervisor in the produce warehouse established that he had the experience and demonstrated performance to qualify him for the job. In fact, Safeway’s internal talent acquisitions team identified him as a candidate who should be considered for the manager openings, but Neil refused even to interview him.
(2) Procedural irregularities. Disturbing irregularities in employment procedures can also establish pretext. In this case, evidence showed that Safeway typically preferred managerial candidates with a college degree in logistics or business.
However, Neil acknowledged he had authority to—and did—modify the qualifications for the manager positions, limiting the preferred degree to logistics (not business) and allowing work experience to substitute for education. The 10th Circuit concluded that a reasonable juror could believe that these changes were made to rig the process against Mike’s superior educational background.
(3) Past treatment. An employer’s past treatment of an employee can be evidence of unlawful bias or animus, but stray racial comments aren’t admissible unless they’re tied to the personnel decisions or the decision makers. In this case, there was evidence that Neil had treated Mike worse than other employees and had made some remarks that could be perceived as race or national origin-based—such as telling him that his coworkers don’t perceive him well and that in the States, perception is reality; or saying “You can’t call me racist because I hired you.” Because these comments were made by the decision maker, a juror could consider them as evidence of pretext.
(4) Differential treatment. Differential treatment of similarly situated individuals is “especially relevant” to measuring the validity of an employer’s stated justification. In this case, Neil said he wouldn’t promote Mike because the produce warehouse had been underperforming for 10 years and because he struggled to control absenteeism and occupational injuries and had poor relations with coworkers. But one of the manager positions was filled by an internal candidate from the same underperforming warehouse who had been counseled about absenteeism and injury issues and didn’t get along with some employees. This differential treatment cast doubt on the veracity of Safeway’s justifications.
(5) Use of subjective criteria. The use of subjective criteria—such as the “potential for success” and “leadership and communication skills” standards used here—isn’t enough by itself to establish an inference of discrimination. But when such malleable criteria are the basis for an adverse employment action, their use can magnify the inferences raised from other evidence.
(6) Minority employment. A general policy or practice with respect to a disadvantaged group can also support other evidence of pretext. In this case, the Denver distribution center hadn’t had any African-American managers during Mike’s tenure with the company, and there hadn’t been any African-American supervisors until he was promoted (following a complaint of discrimination).
The 10th Circuit acknowledged that any one of those factors alone might be insufficient to establish pretext. But viewed properly all together, the court held that the evidence was sufficient for a reasonable juror to disbelieve Safeway’s explanations for not promoting Mike. It thus reversed summary judgment for Safeway and sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings.
Meat and Potatoes
This case is a reminder that the line between legitimate and pretextual actions can be razor thin—here, even the courts disagreed. But it also underscores the importance of HR best practices that weren’t followed here (such as consistency in job descriptions and hiring protocols) and the value of job-placement audits that might identify and allow you to address potential biased decision makers before you face a lawsuit.
The post Pretextual Failure to Promote Produce Worker Is a Recipe for Disaster appeared first on HR Daily Advisor.
Private Equity CFOs Rank Operational Efficiency as Top Priority, but Take Varied Approaches to Achieve It
Private equity chief financial officers (CFOs), facing pressures including increased investor scrutiny and intensifying market competition, are seeking operational success via different pathways, according to the EY 2018 Global Private Equity CFO survey, Operational excellence: one path or many?
The fifth annual survey of 110 private equity (PE) CFOs finds many firms, especially larger firms over $2.5 billion asset under management (AUM), consider technology transformation and talent development as key priorities, while smaller firms (under $2.5 billion AUM) are also more likely to view outsourcing as an alternative.
Mike Lo Parrino, partner at Ernst & Young LLP, says: “While ideal operational maturity may be defined differently for private equity firms by size, it is clear that this needs to be their focus in order to compete for talent and investment capital. CFOs are increasingly confident that they will be taking major strides toward operational efficiency in 2018.”
Private Equity CFOs are Looking for Various Ways to Improve Operational Efficiency
The asset management industry as a whole continues to face investor pressures around fees, and the private equity industry has not been immune. Seventy-three percent of PE firms said they have experienced significant pressure from investors to reduce management fees, and as a result, 31% of CFOs report they have experienced some form of margin erosion.
To protect their margins, private equity firms have had to take action. Nineteen percent of CFOs neutralized margin erosion by strategically cutting expenses and growing top line revenue. Growth remains a top priority for PE firms, with record fundraising in 2017. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 55% of CFOs said they expect to raise a new fund in 2018, and 60% of CFOs expect the fund to be larger than the last fund raised.
To achieve operational efficiency and revenue growth, forward-looking CFOs are reevaluating where they want teams allotting time, preferring value-add activities such as investment portfolio analytics, technology transformation, and investor relations. CFOs intend to steal time back from tactical, routine areas such as fund accounting, treasury, and Human Resources.
Next-Generation Technology Is a Valuable Opportunity for PE Firms
CFOs said that they are still in the early stages of next-generation technology development for practically every finance function, especially management reporting (51%) and valuation services (53%). Similarly, while PE firms understand that harnessing and managing data is a top priority, 62% of CFOs feel their data is not well-integrated across the organization.
There was also a marked lack of confidence from CFOs that their organization could easily implement new technology solutions. The most highly cited roadblocks they identified were updating fund accounting systems (83%) and management reporting solutions (75%), followed by valuation (65%), investor relations (64%), and cybersecurity (59%).
Despite the difficulties in incorporating new technology, over two-thirds of CFOs (66%) said they currently invest or plan to invest in next generation technology. Firms are currently investing in emerging technologies such as digital data delivery (37%) and advanced analytics (20%). While they are just beginning to delve into robotic process automation (4%), more CFOs said they are planning to do so in the future (14%).
Talent Management Is Still the Highest Strategic Priority Besides Growth for PE Firms
Despite larger firms’ reliance on technology, talent management remains one of the highest strategic priorities for CFOs across the board, according to the survey. They see human capital as a valuable asset, but on average, 48% also identified talent attrition as a top risk. A trusted CFO with a capable team that exceeds investor expectations and upholds the firm’s reputation is an important piece that investors consider during due diligence.
While an average of 41% of CFOs said they prefer a 3:1 ratio of investment professionals to finance professionals, only an average of 20% said that this is their current ratio—which indicates many have yet to find the optimal technology or outsourcing solution as a viable option for their finance function. Likewise, in passing the leadership baton, CFOs are more confident that they have a strong pipeline of future investment leaders (76%) than finance team leaders (54%).
Although CFOs are trying to engage Millennials and tech-savvy individuals to stay within finance functions, 35% said it is difficult to attract talent in these functions. As a result, firms are increasingly offering other incentives beyond compensation to retain talent such as expedited title changes/promotions (62%) and flexible work arrangements (51%).
CFOs View Outsourcing as a Way to Shift Finance Teams’ Routine Responsibilities to More Value-Add Activities
While full scope outsourcing is largely confined to firms that lack the scale to handle key business functions in-house, outsourcing enables smaller PE firms to gain operational efficiency and remain competitive without having to make significant investments in technology or talent.
If a “perfect” outsourcing model existed, CFOs believe that shifting routine finance areas such as fund accounting (67%), tax (67%), and regulatory compliance (62%) to a third-party would be most valuable to their ongoing success. This allows internal employees to focus on client facing functions that require a more personal touch, with an average of 37% of CFOs saying they will continue to handle investor onboarding internally, and 37% saying they will do so for investor tax questions.
Cybersecurity Breaches are a Reality for Which PE Firms are Preparing
In the pursuit of operational perfection, CFOs are raising awareness of a very real threat: cybersecurity breaches. The increasing sophistication of cybercriminals pose a risk to private equity firms, regardless of size. Twenty-two percent of private equity firms surveyed reported they have experienced a cybersecurity breach, but many more could have gone unreported. Over half (58%) of those who had a breach considered it at least moderately serious.
To identify vulnerabilities and manage risk, most private equity firms (70%) rely on externally-developed intelligence products to monitor cybersecurity. In addition, firms are beginning to recognize the effectiveness of a multi-pronged approach, taking steps to improve employee training (87%), e-mail monitoring (80%), and using external vendors to perform ethical hacks (80%).
For more information, or to view the full report findings, click here.
For those of you that are frightened by the prospect of a robotic future, where your job, even your life has been taken over by artificial intelligence you can relax
Death threats are being sent to married couple Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black following the announcement of their baby.
The Olympic star and Oscar-winning screenwriter chose Valentine’s Day as the perfect time to reveal a picture of an ultrasound scan.
But now internet trolls are trashing the couple, with some even sending hideous threats online.
Death threats sent to Tom and Dustin for announcing baby
‘Die f*gs,’ one said on Instagram.
‘Your choices will lead you to hell,’ another said. ‘Your choices will speed your way to the Devil’s kingdom!’
Others said the couple should be ‘put to death’ for involving children in a rainbow family.
‘Do not involve previous children in your sin! The baby should stay with the mother and be brought up in a normal home!’
‘Sickness leads to sickness!’
And other trolls were just biologically and factually inaccurate.
‘Children born of gays are more likely to have Down’s [syndrome]!’ one said. ‘Sickness leads to sickness!’
Another said: ‘Did one of you have to get a womb transplant??’
And some just couldn’t spell.
‘Repent at cross of Christ 4 ur idolatory homo sin,’ another said.
Attacked on the radio after baby news
It’s not just internet trolls either. On LBC, one host derided the couple as ‘sinister’.
‘Is there something sinister about the woman’s exclusion in this scenario?’ the radio station tweeted.
Listeners slammed the debate.
Richard Littlejohn in Daily Mail goes on transphobic and homophobic rant
And in today’s Daily Mail, Richard Littlejohn attacked Daley and Black.
Under the heading, ‘Please don’t pretend two dads is the new normal’, he went on a homophobic and transphobic rant in his column.
Littlejohn accused the couple of treating a baby like a ‘fashion accessory’ and seeing the woman as a ‘breeding machine’.
He also referenced a trans woman who had hoped to breast feed as a ‘he/she’.
‘Someone in possession of a full set of wedding tackle is a man, not a woman,’ he said.
He concluded: ‘Stop pretending this is the new normal. Not in our house, it isn’t. Nor, I suspect, in yours or 99.99% of the rest of the world, either.
‘Still I’m looking forward to the photos of Tom Daley breast-feeding his new baby.’
But there’s a lot of support for Tom and Dustin
Thankfully, largely the majority of the comments directed at the couple have been supportive.
Just one of several tweets reads: ‘Congratulations! I love you both and you will be the greatest family!’
The Incredibles 2 has received another witty, action-packed super-trailer, and this time, we see the return of breakout character and legendary diva/icon, Edna Mode.
In the new trailer, Elastigirl, Mr Incredible, Violet and Dash attempt to navigate day-to-day life with their superhero abilities, whilst baby of the family, Jack-Jack, develops some unusual powers of his own.
Oh, and because this is a superhero film, a dangerous new villain emerges, threatening to destroy the Parr family for good. How nice!
This time, however, Elastigirl appears to be the prominent ass-kicker, with Mr Incredible staying home to look after the kids.
Watch the brand new trailer below.
Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sarah Vowell reprise their roles from the original, alongside new voices Huck Milner, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush, Jonathan Banks and Isabella Rossellini.
Brad Bird also returns to write, direct and voice Edna Mode.
The first film – The Incredibles (2004) – was released to universal acclaim from critics and audiences, making $633 million at the worldwide box office. It also received Best Animated Feature and Best Sound Editing at the 77th Academy Awards, becoming Pixar’s first movie to win multiple Oscars.
The Incredibles 2 will hit US cinemas 14 June, and UK cinemas 13 July.
The post Edna Mode is back in the brand new trailer for The Incredibles 2 – watch here! appeared first on Gay Times.
American singer/songwriter and former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello has announced tour dates for the Never Be The Same tour, which marks her first ever solo headlining tour.
The tour announcement follows the success of her acclaimed self-titled debut album, which charted at number one on the Billboard 200 and number two on the UK Albums Chart. The record also topped iTunes in 99 countries, breaking the record for “most #1 iTunes peaks for a debut album (male or female).”
Havana – the album’s lead single – topped the charts in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Mexico, Scotland, the UK and the US, and its follow-up – Never Be The Same – reached the top ten in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK.
The album is now available on iTunes and streaming services, and it’s ah-mah-zeng, so this tour won’t be one to miss…
See below for tour dates…
Monday, 9 April, 2018 – Vancouver, BC, Canada – Orpheum Theatre
Tuesday, 10 April, 2018 – Seattle, WA – The Paramount Theatre
Wednesday, 11 April, 2018, Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Friday, 13 April, 2018 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
Saturday, 14 April, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018 – Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
Friday, 20 April, 2018 – Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre
Saturday, 21 April, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theatre
Sunday, 22 April, 2018 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
Tuesday, 24 April, 2018 – Saint Louis, MO – The Pageant
Wednesday, 25 April, 2018 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
Friday, 27 April, 2018 – Toronto, ON, Canada – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Saturday, 28 April, 2018 – Montreal, Canada – M Telus
Sunday, 29 April, 2018 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
Tuesday, 1 May, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
Friday, 4 April, 2018 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
Tuesday, 5 June, 2018 – Glasgow, UK – Glasgow O2 Academy
Wednesday, 6 June 2018 – Birmingham, UK – Birmingham O2 Academy
Tuesday, 12 June, 2018 – London, UK – O2 Academy Brixton
Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, Amsterdam, NL – AFAS Live
Tickets for the Never Be The Same Tour will go on sale to the general public on 16 February, 9am, at www.camilacabello.com.
A portion of Camila’s proceeds from VIP packages will be donated to the Children’s Health Fund.
The comments came during a recent episode of The View, where co-host Whoopi initiated a debate over Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon’s decision to deny a meeting with the notoriously anti-gay Vice President.
“I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick,” Adam said during an interview with USA Today.
Considering Pence’s terrible track record when it comes to LGBTQ rights, it’s more than understandable that some of the athletes competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics were less than impressed by his role as head of the US delegation.
And it appears that Whoopi agrees with Adam’s refusal, deploying a controversial analogy.
“I think it would be like asking a Jewish person to sit down and understand where the Nazi is coming from,” she said on The View. “I think that would be a difficult thing.”
But her co-host, former Fox News contributor Meghan McCain, took a different view.
“I will say that had I not met and spoken with people for my entire life and career who have vastly different ideas about the world, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I have learned so much,” she said.
“When anyone in the White House asks you to show up, you go. You should respect the House for what it is and what it represents for the country… We will not get anywhere in this world if we don’t communicate.”
Unsurprisingly, Whoopi didn’t agree, arguing that Pence’s invite to Adam was nothing more than a photo opportunity.
“Listen, not everybody can sit down with the opposing folks,” she continued.
“This may not be his thing, he just wants to skate! I think for him, it is too much of an insult, and when someone continuously tells you that you are wrong in who you are, you don’t want to be bothered with them.”
She concluded: “If the Vice President wants to show some support, go and watch [Adam] skate.”
Who do you agree with? Watch the segment below and decide for yourself…
While critics have long called for the impeachment of Trump over his outrageous behaviour as President of the United States, the prospect of ultra-conservative Vice President Pence taking his place seems even worse.
Pence, the former Governor of Indiana, has repeatedly shown an anti-LGBT stance during his career – he supports discrimination based on religious beliefs, said same-sex marriage would lead to “societal collapse”, and voted against passing a non-discrimination act.
Back in 2000, Pence proposed a shift in government funds from the Ryan White Act (which helps those living with HIV/AIDS) to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour”.
The post Whoopi Goldberg compares VP Mike Pence to a Nazi in debate on The View appeared first on Gay Times.
RuPaul has been confirmed to guest-star on the brand new series of the acclaimed Netflix comedy, Grace and Frankie.
TV Line revealed the news yesterday and confirmed that Mama Ru will star as Benjamin Le Day, a “formidable and quick-witted adversary” to the series leads.
Yaaas hunties, that means RuPaul – Supermodel of the World – will be sharing the screen and going head-to-head with legendary actresses, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. So, yes, we’re a tad excited…
Ru tweeted the icons yesterday, asking them: “Hey @LilyTomlin @JaneFonda will there be a Season 5 of @GraceAndFrankie?”
Fonda replied with, “Yup. 2019. You want in??”
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) February 14, 2018
Yup, 2019. You want in?? https://t.co/ukUA37c6RT
— Jane Seymour Fonda (@Janefonda) February 14, 2018
Hurry up 2019…
This is just one of many TV roles Mama Ru has racked up in recent years. She also appeared on the short-lived Netflix series Girlboss, Broad City, 2 Broke Girls, and Bojack Horseman.
Ru’s current show – Drag Race All Stars 3 – features fan favourites from across the seasons competing for a second chance (and in some cases, third) at becoming America’s Next Drag Superstar.
The line-up is – in order of season – Bebe Zahara Benet, Morgan McMichaels, Shangela, Milk, BenDeLaCreme, Trixie Mattel, Kennedy Davenport, Thorgy Thor, Chi Chi DeVayne and Aja.
All Stars 3 will premiere on VH1 in the United States 25 January (TONIGHT!), but if you’re from the UK – no need to worry. Comedy Central UK will launch the latest season at 10pm on 27 January, 48 hours after its US premiere.
Watch the queens serve their finest golden eleganza in the first official trailer.
The post YAS! RuPaul has joined the cast of Grace and Frankie season five appeared first on Gay Times.
The Governor of the conservative Indonesian province of Aceh admits its recent stint in the international news may be the reason very few people have signed up for a local marathon.
Aceh is the only province in the majority Muslim Indonesia that is allowed to practice the strict Sharia Law.
The province has come under fire for its treatment of LGBTI people.
Most recently, 12 trans women were rounded up from hair salons across North Aceh. Their hair was forcibly shaved by police who also demanded they ‘live like men’ before releasing them from custody.
In 2017, two men in their early twenties were sentenced to caning for being gay and sodomy. They received 82 lashings, which was the first time anyone had been convicted of homosexuality in Indonesia.
Even Aceh politicians have spoken out against the LGBTI community. Last week, federal politician Muslim Ayub said he believed LGBTI should be sentenced to death or jailed for life.
In an attempt to boost tourism to the area, Aceh hosts an annual marathon but only 200 people have registered so far. Organizers were hoping to attract 4,000 people to the race.
Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf admitted the low number of registrations might have something to do with the province’s treatment of LGBTI people. He conceded the controversy of forcing Muslim flight attendants to wear hijabs when they fly in to Aceh might have something to do with it as well.
‘It’s because of misunderstandings about the clothing, it’s [taking place in] Sabang, we do not require all female runners to wear hijab or male runners to wear turbans,’ Irwandi told Kompas.
The marathon will be held in the idyllic northern area, Sabang. That part of Aceh has more relaxed rules for foreigners. But clearly, that has not convinced people to compete in the Aceh Marathon.
Religious groups in Taiwan have lodged an appeal against a court ruling ordering the government to legalize same-sex marriage.
In May last year Taiwan became the first country in Asia to give the green light to marriage equality. The Constitutional Court ruled Taiwan’s Constitution was discriminatory against same-sex couples. It ordered the parliament to legislate in favor of marriage equality within two years.
Advocates had hoped marriage equality would be legal by the end of 2017, but the matter has been delayed.
The most recent twist in the marriage equality saga is an appeal by a coalition of religious groups to the Taiwan High Administrative Court. They want the Constitutional Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage thrown out.
Led by the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of the Family submitted a petition to the court on Valentine’s Day.
It was their second attempt at an appeal after a court threw out their first appeal in January, according to a report in the Taipei Times.
Anti-marriage equality protestors stood outside the court. They held placards that read: ‘The gay rights movement is devouring Taiwan’. Another one read: ‘once these discriminatory laws are approved, people will have no freedom of speech and no religious freedom’.
The leader of the Alliance, Chang Shou-yi, said it was filing the petition because it believed the Constitutional Court’s ruling was unlawful.
‘The interpretation and the reasons given by the Council of Grand Justices in its ruling contravene articles of the Constitution,’ he told the Taipei Times.
‘Therefore, we ask the High Administrative Court judges to have the conscience and moral integrity to rule on our appeal through their own independent stance, and not to cave in to political influence and forces of intimidation, and to reach a decision conforming to the freedoms and values of our democratic society.’
Referendum on marriage equality
Unrelenting in its attempts to prevent marriage equality from happening the Alliance also applied to the Central Election Commission to hold a referendum on the issue.
It started a petition to hold a referendum asking: ‘Do you agree that the government should keep the current definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and pass a separate law to protect the right of a same-sex couple to live together?’
The petition received 3,549 signatures. The group needed a minimum of 1,879 signatures to be approved for review.
The Election Commission will now review proposal. If the proposal is approved it would need a further 281,745 signatures to become a formal referendum.
Celebrities, Journalists and Politicians Take to Twitter Following Today’s Tragic Florida School Shooting
Today’s Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was horrific, and was the subject of many tweets
If You Care About America at All, Watch This Video of Olympic Hottie Chris Mazdzer Deepthroating Pizza
The luger and silver medalist at the 2018 Winter Olympics has an even greater talent that will leave you speechless (and potentially turned on)
Would you like to buy a bathhouse? Seattle’s Club Z is regularly named the best one in the city, but its building has just gone on sale for $2.15 million
It’s Valentine’s Day, a celebrated 24-hours of love, romance, and affection.
LGBTI celebrities are celebrating the day in their own way, with their families and partners.
Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black perhaps won the day with their news of welcoming a baby, but the rest will make you smile too.
So here are some of the best Valentine’s Day posts from LGBTI celebs this year.
1. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris spent the day with his children.
2. Andy Mientus and Michael Arden
Meanwhile, Andy Mientus got a little sappier and wrote a lovely caption for husband Michael Arden.
Because of this guy I know sign language, live in a church, have an opinion about overhead lighting, know where to get coffee in London, appreciate jalapeño and pineapple pizza, floss, keep nothing under the bed, and know all the words to A Case of You, among other things. You make me expect more from myself and the life I lead. I don’t need a special day to say that. In fact, we both know how this day usually turns out. But I mean it today and every day. Happy Valentine’s Day x
3. Ellen Page and Emma Portner
Ellen Page posted a photo sharing a kiss with her new wife, Emma Portner.
She also wrote: ‘Holy shit I love you so much.’
4. Hannah Hart and Ella Mielniczenko
Here’s YouTube star and author Hannah Hart with her girlfriend, BuzzFeed producer Ella Mielniczenko.
Hart’s message to her bae: ‘Happy Valentine’s Day to my down-ass bb who I’m always trying to smooch.’
Mielniczenko shared her own adorable photo.
‘One good girl is worth a thousand bitches Happy Valentine’s day.’
5. Greg Berlanti and Robbie Rogers
Soccer star Robbie Rogers shared a dapper photo of husband Greg Berlanti.
‘My forever Valentine @gberlanti the most beautiful, kind, brilliant man. Caleb and I are so lucky.’
Meanwhile, Rogers shared a picture of a smooch with his son.
6. Cheyenne Jackson and Jason Landau
Cheyenne Jackson to his husband Jason Landau: ‘Find a Valentine that can do both. I did. Love you @jasonrlandau. You’re my favorite every single day and the best father a kid (or two) could hope for. Te Amo.’
7. Zachary Quinto and Miles McMillan
Quinto says there’s no one he’d rather be beside than partner McMillan.
8. Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher
Cameron Esposito’s post for Rhea Butcher: ‘Happy Val’s Day, @rheabutcher. Of all the Terminators & John Connors in the world, i like u the best.’
Meanwhile, Butcher called Esposito her own personal Egon.
Aceh – the only province in Indonesia to rule with Islamic Sharia Law – has furthered its clampdown on the LGBTI community, this time banning trans women from working in hair salons.
Working in hair salons is one of the few sources of income for trans women. In Indonesia, trans women are are also known as waria.
The district of Aceh Bersa, which includes the local capital Banda Aceh, issued the ordered on Friday 9 February.
The order stated that any beauty business owned by a waria or employed warias would face a penalty.
‘The circular is true, and soon we will meet with all district heads to pull together data on salons in Aceh Besar,’ said Aceh Besar chief, Ali Mawardi.
‘If we find that [a salon] employs waria, we will pull its permit.’
Mawardi also told Kumparan that his local government prohibited any actions or behaviors that contravened the province’s Sharia Law. He included being LGBTI as an illegal activity in Aceh.
His order came a day before a public seminar was held in Aceh to warn people of the looming dangers coming from the LGBTI community.
Aceh Besar was in the news recently after Mawardi ordered all female Muslim flight attendants to wear hijabs when flying into the province.
Aceh’s history of LGBTI persecution
The conservative Islamic province has been one of the worst perpetrators in Indonesia’s increasing persecution of the LGBTI community.
Last year it became the first place in Indonesia to cane men for being gay.
The two men aged in their early twenties were charged with homosexuality and sodomy. Their public caning – in which they received 82 lashes – drew international condemnation.
Trans women have also been the target of authorities in Aceh.
In December last year, a group of waria were followed by vigilantes and then detained by police without explanation after attending a birthday party. They were released the following day.
Earlier this year in a incident that may have prompted the waria hair salon ban, 12 trans women were rounded up from five different hairs salons.
They had their hair forcibly shaved and were made to wear men’s clothes. Police remanded them in custody to train them into behaving like men again, including shouting until they sounded like men.
The women were released a few days later on the condition they lived like men.
Late last week, one of the province’s federal politicians, Muslim Ayub, called for the death penalty or life in jail for LGBTI people.
When the Olympic medals for team figure skating were handed out, Canada got gold, Russia silver and Team USA won bronze
While our hearts were aflutter at the reunion news, according to Victoria Beckham, a new Spice Girls tour is not in the cards
When are these conservafools going to learn not to step to Joy Reid with their ‘alternative facts’ because she will call them on it?
My media shero once again had to shut down an attempt by a conservative to spread disinformation on her show. This time it was Amy Tarkanian, the former head of the Nevada Republican Party, trying desperately to spin and defend Trump from Reid calling out the pattern of being drawn to abusive Republican men and not calling them out on it.
As you probably guessed, Joy wasn’t having it. Reid challenged Tarkanian to come up with just one instance that Trump defended a woman who had accused a Republican male of sexual assault or abuse.
And as you probably guessed, Tarkanian couldn’t do it. Enjoy the video
Folks watching the Olympics on Sunday saw 29-year-old U.S. Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer hurtle down the ice chute at silver medal speed, making him the first American luger to win a medal at any Winter Games.
They may have also noticed that he’s uh, insanely smokin’ hot. He’s a great cliff diver. And just look at the fit of that body suit.
You may have already noticed him taking off that uniform this week for Cosmo. Video HERE.
Here’s a shameless round-up of your future husband from his own Instagram.
The post Olympic Thirst Trap: 12 Hot Shots of U.S. Luge Silver Medalist Chris Mazdzer appeared first on Towleroad.
Bhutan’s first openly gay couple were worried about the public’s response when they came out.
But Deyon Phuntsho and Tenzin Gyeltshen have received nothing but love since they revealed publicly that they were boyfriends in January.
‘After the story went viral, we’ve been receiving calls, video calls and messages from our friends on social media, wishing us well and applauding us for our bravery and faith,’ Deyon told The Bhutanese.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked hermit nation in South Asia. It pioneered the ‘Gross Happiness Index’. The Index measures the collective happiness and well-being of its population.
Homosexual relations are illegal in Bhutan. Article 213 of Bhutan’s Penal Code, outlaws ‘unnatural sex, if the defendant engages in sodomy or any other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature’.
Bhutan is a Buddhist nation, a religion that tends to be more accepting of the LGBTI community.
But this does not mean LGBTI people do not suffer from discrimination and poor mental health outcomes
The Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance (IBBS) survey revealed a high number of LGBTI people have attempted suicide.
The survey also found that a shocking 70% of the LGBTI population resorts to drug and alcohol use to deal with discrimination and stigma.
Deyon and Tenzin’s love story
The couple are very involved with Bhutanese LGBTI organizations. Deyon is an outreach worker at a HIV organization and is the deputy coordinator for LGBTI network, Rainbow Bhutan: Celebrating Diversity,
They met on social media and spoke online before deciding to meet in person.
‘I think this is what love is all about,’ Deyon said.
‘We fell in love with one another’s soul and this I feel is what people should really understand. Love is not about sex, gender or creed.
‘It’s all about the soul inside you.’
The men said coming out to their families was the biggest challenge when coming out.
‘Although I was petrified, I needed to come out, but I was very surprised when I got a positive response from them and my mother said, “you are still my son”,’ Denyon said.
‘They also asked me about my partner, Tenzin and accepted our relationship too.
‘On Tenzin’s part, his family also accepted us and invites me during family gatherings.’
The couple are busy working on LGBTI issues in Bhutan, but hope to one day start their own family. By doing so, they believe it will help raise awareness that LGBTI people can have families too.
‘Adopting a baby is a huge responsibility but we do want to raise a family,’ Denyon said.
‘People have this idea that gay, lesbian or transgender can’t have a family simply because we can’t give birth but they don’t realize that blood doesn’t make a family, its love.
‘Everyone has a dream and mine is to have a regular family. To have someone call you his or her father would be the best gift of my life.’
A court in China ruled in favor of a trans man who sued his employer for unfair dismissal after he was sacked for wearing men’s clothes.
Known as Mr C, he was fired from his job a week after starting at the health center in Guizhou. The town is about 1200 miles south west of Beijing.
In a first hearing on the matter in early January, the Guiyang Yunyan District People’s Court did not rule the man was discriminated against exclusively because of his gender identity.
The court ordered Mr C’s employers to pay him a salary 843 yuan (US$133) and compensation of 1,500 yuan (US$238).
At the time Mr C said the decision was a landmark for trans people in China.
‘It is the first case in China where a sexual minority wins,’ he told the AFP.
‘It is also a piece of good news for the community.’
Mr C (R) with anti-discrimination lawyer Liu Xiaonan. | Photo: Weibo
Mr C appeals the decision
But Mr C was not satisfied with the court’s ruling that he was not discriminated against because he was trans. He quickly appealed the decision in Guiyang Intermediate People’s Court .
‘I have not received an apology up until now, which actually means that – in law – there is still very little protection in this area,’ he told Radio Free Asia.
The court ruled in favor of Mr C. It ordered the court to pay him an increased amount in lost wages and compensation totalling to about 4000 yuan (US$635).
The appeal ruling read that a person should not be discriminated against because of their gender identity.
‘An individual’s gender identity and gender expression falls within the protection of general personality rights, [everyone] should respect others’ rights to gender identity and expression,’ the ruling read.
‘Workers should not experience differential treatment based on their gender identity and expression.’
Trans rights in China
The National Survey of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Population found almost 50% of the study participants said they had considered suicide or self-harm.
Also, due to widespread workplace discrimination, trans people often lived with very low incomes. A third of people earned less than 25,000 yuan ($3,770) a year.
‘The discrimination from work is a reason that a relatively large number of transgender respondents earn a low income,’ the Beijing LGBT Center’s director, Xin Ying said at the time
FleshJack used to sell a number of items featuring the likeness of accused rapist Topher DiMaggio, but no longer
In the mid-morning hours Sunday as volunteers set up booths, stages and lights at Pride Fort Lauderdale, clothing vendor Steven Hannestad remarked about the festival’s spirit.
Celine Walker, age 36, became the fourth transgender person murdered in the United States in 2018.
Walker was found dead from a gunshot wound in a Jacksonville, Florida motel room. She was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday, 4 February.
Why it matters
According to PghLesbian Correspondents, a Pittsburgh-based LGBTI blog, Walker was the third trans woman of color and second black trans woman to be killed in the country this year.
Walker’s death is the second reported murder of a trans person within a week.
‘The reason the media has misgendered her is because it started with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, who is claiming they have a policy that does not refer to victims as transgender,’ writes blogger TransGriot. ‘Well Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department, y’all need to deal with the reality that trans people exists, because it was not only disrespectful to refer to Celine as a man, not stating from the outset that a transgender female was murdered (see how easy that was Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office) has delayed your investigation.’
‘Celine was not a pageant girl. She didn’t even enjoy going to gay clubs or events,’ Walker’s friend, Naomi Michaels, wrote on Facebook.
‘There are several parts of this story that disturb me very much. One is that Jacksonville is home to some of the most amazingly talented Transwomen I know. That being said you’d think that this city could have some type of policy for dealing with the death and murder of transpeople. They don’t,’ Michaels said.
How can I help?
Police ask that anyone with information about Walker’s death contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at +1 (904) 630-0500, or via email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org, or contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at +1 (866) 845-8477 (TIPS).
By now, UK reality TV star Brandon Myers’ enormous bulge should have its own social media account… then again, that’s what Brandon Myers’ regular social media accounts are.
And this time, in a video meant to show his workout progress and his abs, his bulge took center stage, as usual. His fans were understandably ecstatic.
Brandon Myers, the 21-year-old star of TV shows such as MTV’s Ex By The Beach and Bromans, often posts raunchy photos of himself and his big bulge on Instagram, and sometimes of his bare bum. But it’s mostly about the bulge.
Brandon’s latest video, which he posted on Twitter, is captioned “Current condition. Watch me in 6 weeks” – and he moves around, pulling his underwear down slightly, putting his abs on display.
We’re not sure what’s going to happen in 6 weeks – his abs are already impressive – but then again, we weren’t looking at the abs. His fans weren’t either. See for yourself:
Current condition. Watch me in 6 weeks. pic.twitter.com/VG0RyE2GRF
— Brandon Myers (@brandonpmyers) February 11, 2018
But yeah, sure, we’ll wait to see what happens in 6 weeks. And in 6 days. We’ll just keep watching.
The post Watch: Brandon Myers Tries To Show Abs, But His Giant Bulge Fills The Frame appeared first on GayBuzzer.
If you’ve ever wondered about Franco Noriega’s penis, we’ve discovered a very brief glimpse that is sure to brighten your Sunday Funday
BY DAVID KENNERLEY | When best buds Beren D’Amico, Louis Gift, and Charlie Wheeller graduated from the National Centre for Circus Arts in London a few years back, they were faced with a thorny dilemma. The Barely Methodical Troupe, as they are now known, had the chance to craft a piece to showcase their distinct talents, […]
BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | Terrence McNally’s spellbinding new play “Fire and Air,” now at CSC, is ostensibly about the impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the fate of his Ballets Russes, and his artistic and sexual relationship with dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. As a chronicle of early 20th century art and a study of a complicated genius, it’s fascinating on […]
Your Very First Look at a Character From the Upcoming ‘Riverdale’ Spinoff About Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
Show creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa just posted a photo of Sabrina’s cat Salem from the upcoming ‘Riverdale’ spinoff, ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’
Melbourne prides itself on its diversity, excellent culture and beautiful scenery, and gay Melbourne nightlife is especially lively and fun
Anthony Mundine just left ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’ and used his exit interview to declare homosexuality should be punished with death
The list of trans people,running for office in 2018 to #TransformPolitics continues to grow.
Have two more names to add to that list and both are longtime advocates and friends of mine in New York state running for legislative office there.
Andrea Marra is running for a New York State senate seat in Senate District 13 against the incumbent DINO senator Jose Peralta. Peralta is colluding with the NY Senate Republicans so they can keep control of the Senate and block progressive legislation coming out of the Democratically controlled state Assembly.
Senate District 13 covers the neighborhoods of Queens, Jackson Heights and Astoria in New York City.
One of the bills that is caught up in that legislative drama is GENDA. That transgender rights bill has passed multiple times by large margins out of the Assembly, but has yet to get a hearing, much less a vote in the Republican controlled Senate in large part because of the sellout group of Democrats who caucus with the Republicans.
Should Andrea’s run for the SD 13 seat be successful, it would not only put a Democrat back in the Senate 13 seat, it would also put the party one step closer to finally getting control of the NY Senate in a predominately Democratic state and breaking the GOP senate logjam preventing progressive legislation from getting passed and signed into law by Gov.Andrew Cuomo (D).
Andrea said this about her race on her Facebook page.
It’s time to dish on what I’ve been working on for months. With already 210 contributions raising nearly $50,000 in just 30 days, I’m running for state senate to tackle the affordability crisis affecting New Yorkers from all walks of life. An affordable New York enabled my parents to succeed and I am running to ensure that other working and middle class people are offered that same kind of opportunity.
I’m running against the incumbent Jose Peralta who walked away from the Democratic conference and now shares power with the Republicans. Enabling the party of Trump is clearly not the answer, yet Peralta is proud of his new affiliation. He even accepted $20,000 from Richard LeFrak, a close friend and major donor to Trump. Now more than ever, we need a strong and progressive state government to safeguard all New Yorkers from the real harm coming out of the White House. And I am excited to work hard and earn the privilege of serving my local community.
In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to meeting more of my neighbors and listen to their concerns where 167 languages are spoken and difference of all kinds is valued. Let’s transform New York, together.#Marra2018 #SD13 #QNS #WatchMeWork
Marra would also be making history if she’s successful. If she wins she’d be the first out Asian American elected to the NY Senate and the first Asian descended trans person elected to public office anywhere in the United States. She’d also be the first out trans person of any ethnic background elected to the New York state legislature.
Melissa is no stranger to making history. In 2016 she became one of the first trans person in New York state who was named and cast a vote as an Electoral College presidential elector
Sklarz is running for the 30th State Assembly district seat that is also in Queens. The 30th Assembly District covers Woodside, Maspeth, and parts of Middle Village, Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City.
She’s also challenging an incumbent in Assemblyman Brian Barnwell who defeated a 9 time incumbent in the Democratic primary in 2016.
So needless to say Melissa is going to have a tough race and this is what she had to say about it from her Facebook page. .
My dream is finally coming true. I am excited to announce my run for the New York State Assembly’s 30th Assembly District in Queens (Woodside, Maspeth, and parts of Middle Village, Astoria, and Sunnyside). This is the first of many announcements to come about this campaign. This race will not be easy, and I will need your help.
After the 2016 election, I realized that now, more than ever, my years of experience in Albany and NYC advocating for equality will be put to good use representing the voters in my district. With our transportation network in crisis, the Trump budget assault on New Yorkers, and women still lacking proper representation in all sectors, I will make sure all voices are heard in Albany.
Should Sklarz win this race, she would be making trans history again by becoming the first out trans person elected to the New York General Assembly.
Run Andrea and Melissa Run! Good luck to both of you in this 2018 election year that is becoming more interesting by the day.
Hope those of you living in New York will help them both out and help them with their campaigns either with your cash, your volunteer time and more importantly, your votes.
This is your chance trans New Yorkers, to elect someone to the legislature to represent you, and hope you take advantage of it.
Donald Trump and his administration have plans to introduce a new transgender military policy on 21 February.
The date seems to refer to the memorandum Trump inititally released regarding his transgender military ban. In the memo, there was direction for the defense secretary to submit an implementation plan by 21 February.
In the order, Garbis writes that Trump’s counsel will not be defending the original policy. Instead, they will defend the new policy coming out this month.
As of 1 January, trans people were allowed to join the military again.
It is unclear what the new policy will entail and how it will change matters.
Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News they would be making ‘recommendations’ to the White House. However, a final decision on the new policy will only come from Trump and his team.
Cruel and unconstitutional
In an emailed statement to GSN, HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride responded to the upcoming policy.
‘There has already been extensive and thorough study of allowing transgender people to serve openly,’ she said. ‘A process which led the Pentagon two years ago to announce that the United States would join eighteen other nations that allow open trans service.
‘There are currently thousands of transgender people serving in the U.S. military,’ the statement continued. ‘Their skills and service are already proving invaluable to our national security. In their repeated attempts to implement and justify this cruel and unconstitutional policy, the Trump-Pence Administration has been the only source of disruption on this issue.’
Indeed, a study by RAND discovered trans inclusion in the military would have ‘minimal impact on readiness and health care costs’.
A newly released Abel Cedeno video shows the queer student defending himself from punches, but does it prove he stabbed a bully in self-defense?
All the LGBT angles for the Winter Olympics.
Outsports will be covering all of the LGBT angles of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. We have a record number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes participating in these Winter Games, so we’re hoping for some medals and big headlines!
List includes the first out male Winter Olympians.
There will be a record 13 publicly out LGBTQ athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, including out men for the first time.
This list includes athletes who are open publicly about their orientation (there has never been an openly transgender Olympic athlete), meaning they have discussed it at some point publicly. We are aware there are other LGBT Winter Olympians who are out within their sport or team, but they have chosen not to discuss it publicly; these athletes are not on this list.
Often when we do this list, readers will alert us to someone we missed and we very much appreciate the tips. Send us any names we missed, along with relevant links, to: email@example.com.
2018 Out Winter Olympians
Emilia Andersson Ramboldt (Sweden, ice hockey): A two-time Olympian, Andersson Ramboldt is a defender on Sweden’s ice hockey team and attended Minnesota State University. She married her wife, Anna Ramboldt, in 2015.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter.
Belle Brockhoff (Australia, snowboarding): Brockhoff was selected to Australia’s Winter Olympics team just two months after suffering a bad knee injury, snowboarder Belle. Her participation is subject to her being medically clear. Brockhoff came out publicly as gay in 2013 prior to the 2014 Sochi Games as a protest against anti-LGBT laws that were passed in Russia. Before those Games she said wanted to “rip on the ass” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who pushed the laws.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter
Brittany Bowe (U.S., speedskating): Bowe is a former inline skater who has excelled on the ice, setting world records and winning medals. She competed in Sochi in 2014 but did not medal. An NBC Olympics profile noted that Bowe is dating Dutch speedskater Manon Kamminga. “It’s nice being with somebody that has the same passion, same drive, same goals,” Bowe said. “It’s obviously difficult living on different sides of the world. But we’re both focused on our goal.”
Social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.
Jorik Hendrickx (Belgium, figure skating): Hendrickx is a two-time Belgian national champion who will be competing in his second Olympics. He came out publicly last month in an interview.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Barbara Jezeršek (Australia, cross country skiing): This is the second Olympics for Jezeršek, who competed for Slovenia in Sochi. “I think it’s everyone’s personal decision to come out as LGBT athletes,” she told Outsports. “In some sports it’s still a taboo, so I totally understand their decision and support that. It’s hard no matter that we live now in a more open world. On the end of a day it’s all about sport and we do it with biggest passion. But if we can share it with our partners it’s even better.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter.
Gus Kenworthy (U.S., slopestyle free skiing): Easily the most publicized LGBT athlete of the Olympics, Kenworthy (a 2014 silver medalist) is a strong medal contender. He has gotten numerous endorsements and is one of NBC’s faces of the Games.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter
Cheryl Maas (Netherlands, snowboarding): This is the third Olympics for Maas and she is the first Dutch athlete to medal at the XGames. In an interview for Outsports with journalist Gretchen Pleshaw, she talked about falling in love. She is married to former snowboarder Stine Brun Kjeldaas of Norway. The couple have two daughters, Lara and Mila
Social media: Instagram, Twitter
Simona Meiler (Switzerland, snowboarding): Meiler will be representing Switzerland in her third Olympics. She said that being openly gay has allowed her to compete without added stress. “[Athletes] have to be ready to give everything and perform wholeheartedly, and in my eyes that’s only possible if they can accept and express their sexuality,” she said. “That doesn’t mean they have to blare out that they are gay. But it definitely helps if an athlete’s closer environment is supportive and encouraging.”
Social media: Instagram
Sarka Pancochova (Czech Republic, snowboarding): This is the third Olympics for Pancochova and her first as an openly LGBT athlete. In an interview for Outsports with journalist Gretchen Pleshaw, she talked about not having to hide any more and how “stoked” she is to be out.
Social media: Instagram
Eric Radford (Canada, pairs figure skating): This is the second Olympics for Radford, who has won world titles with skating partner Meagan Duhamel, but the first since coming out openly. In his coming out interview with Outsports, he highlighted one benefit of being a male pairs skater who is gay. “A lot of pairs end up dating one another,” Radford said. “It can become risky because your on-ice training can be affected by your off-ice relationship. If you have a fight at home, it makes that training difficult. I used to joke around that I’m the ultimate pair-boy. I never had to worry about developing an off-ice relationship.” Radford is engaged to be married.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter
Adam Rippon (U.S., figure skating): The “old man” of the U.S. skating team at 28, Rippon jokes that he is proud of his “sons” Nathan Chen (18) and Vincent Zhou (17). Rippon came out in 2015 and proudly wears the banner of being the first publicly gay figure skater. His social media is acerbic and witty and must-follow.
Social media: Instagram, Twitter
Ireen Wüst (Netherland, speed skating): Wüst is speed skating royalty with gold medals in the 3,000 meters and team pursuit in Sochi, along with three silvers. She also won gold in 2006 and 2010. She is openly bisexual and married her female partner Letitia de Jong in 2017.
Social media: Instagram
A huge thanks to LGBT Olympic historian Tony Scupham-Bilton who helped us compile this list. His blog, The Queerstory Files, is a compilation of LGBT history.
Evert says Court’s tennis accomplishments should be honored.
Tennis great Chris Evert has weighed in on the Margaret Court Arena controversy, and she’s siding with the tennis legend.
Evert said in a recent interview with the New York Daily News that the arena should continue to bear the name of the Australian tennis great, despite her public statements about LGBT people.
“There’s a controversy — should they take (Court’s) name off the (Margaret Court Arena)? No. You’re celebrating her tennis.”
Evert said that Court’s name is on the arena because of her tennis accomplishments, and her name should stay on the arena because of that. Court won more career singes and doubles Grand Slam titles — 64 — than any other man or woman in history. It’s a record that will likely never be broken. Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, tied with Martina Navratilova for fifth most by a woman, and she has the record for most Grand Slam singles appearances by a woman, 34.
Evert’s position was the position of her friend Billie Jean King until only recently. Despite Court saying some pretty mean things about Navratilova being a lesbian and being on the record opposing marriage equality, Court continued to get King’s support. It’s only been with a heightening of messaging by Court — likening the LGBT community and its members to “Hitler” and “the devil” — that King finally had enough and has called for the renaming of the arena.
To be clear, Evert said that Court’s statements don’t sit well with her.
“Her philosophy bothers me, yes,” she told the Daily News.
With so few female athletes recognized with arenas named after them and regarded as highly as Court is in the tennis world, it’s understandable why someone like Evert would be really cautious about removing a woman’s name. No doubt it’s one of the reasons King came to her current position more slowly than others.
It’s not that kind of Eagle.
In cities around the world, bars bearing the name “Eagle” are gay — and usually gay leather — bars. New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Dallas, and many other cities have local dives bearing the name “Eagle.”
One city that doesn’t have one? Philadelphia. There, The Bike Stop has been the big gay leather bar for years.
So you’ll have to forgive the Philadelphia Eagles fans in Minneapolis yesterday who stumbled into the Eagle Bolt bar thinking it was a bar for Eagles fans. Instead, it’s Minneapolis’ version of the gay series of bars that have been around for decades.
From the reports, there were a lot of straight Eagles fans making the “mistake” yesterday:
— Javier Morillo (@javimorillo) February 5, 2018
— Eric Roper (@StribRoper) February 5, 2018
One of the patrons told Eric Roper of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “We were just walking around as we were looking for a bar. I said we’re stopping there, it says Eagle.”
Of course it doesn’t matter where you watch the game, as long as you’re surrounded by some fans cheering along with you. Most gay bars I know of were showing the game yesterday; The Abbey in West Hollywood, where I watched the game, went all-in on the Super Bowl with extra TVs and even ditching the usual dance music for the audio of the game.
Last year we reported on Wisconsin fans heading to a gay bar in Provo, Utah, to watch the Badgers football team play against BYU.
You don’t have to be gay to watch the Super Bowl in a gay bar. Heck, you don’t have to be a football fan either. You just have to be cool, and it sounds like a bunch of cool Eagles fans had the night of their lives in a gay bar called Eagle.
Gay fans of the city were early supporters of Outsports.
MINNEAPOLIS — As the green and white confetti swirled here on the Super Bowl 52 champion Philadelphia Eagles after U.S. Bank Stadium was turned into an Eagles home game, I thought of how important the city’s gay sports fans have been to the history of Outsports.
Joe in Philly. Philly Fan. Larry Felzer. Sportinlife. These were just four of names I thought of after the Eagles amazing 41-33 win over the New England Patriots. Joe is celebrating in a Philly sports bar somewhere in heaven, why all others are cheering wherever long-suffering Eagles fans are congregating, from Broad Street and all 50 states and across the world.
Philadelphia sports fans are like no other — they can be really annoying but at the same time their passion is hard not to admire and any anger can quickly dissolve over a drink. And unlike New England fans — spoiled by five Patriots Super Bowl wins, and Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins titles — Philadelphia fans have almost always been on the short end.
Not any more — after winning their first Super Bowl and first NFL title since 1960, the Eagles can finally see a season end with a smile. And their fans will party like it’s 1999, fitting for a team that won a title in Prince’s hometown.
When Outsports first started in late 1999, it was Philadelphia LGBT sports fans who were a catalyst for making the site a community. Joe Guckin, aka Joe In Philly, was our Discussion Board MVP.
He got more and more gay sports fan engaged in the site and many of them — regardless of who they rooted for — became friends. Joe was joined by the likes of Sportinlife, who posted the best photos and found items that we were able to turn into stories. They sustained us in our early years when we were finding our footing. Joe even provided crucial financial support when we had to defend ourselves against a frivolous lawsuit. Joe died of brain cancer a year ago and we will never forget him.
I’ll always remember our 2004 Outsports conference in Philadelphia, where we were guests of the Phillies for a game and we all played pick-up football in the stadium parking lot before the game. I really think the passion and drive of the Philadelphia contingent gave Cyd and myself confidence that the site meant something to a lot of LGBT people in sports.
I thought of all this as I watched a sea of people clad in green cheer and stomp as Tom Brady’s final pass fell incomplete. When “Fly Eagles Fly” started to play with tens of thousands singing at the top of their lungs, it finally sank in for an Eagles fan base of all orientations that their team was really No. 1. “Super Bowl Champion Eagles” was finally not an oxymoron.
Esera Tuaolo gathered NFL Legends, LGBT community members, and some incredible voices.
Tuaolo, a former NFL player who came out publicly as gay after he retired, wanted to create a tentpole event around the Super Bowl to continue the push for equality and inclusion in his beloved sport of football. Tuaolo called the Super Bowl in his adopted hometown of Minneapolis an “amazing opportunity” to demonstrate inclusion in the NFL.
Among the approximately 300 people in attendance Wednesday night were Minnesota Vikings legends Robert Smith and Carl Eller, Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli, and openly gay sports writers Chris Hine and Steve Buckley. A number of athletes and coaches profiled by Outsports were also in attendance, including Justin Rabon, Brad Neumann and Lars Egge. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also took time out of his busy schedule to attend and say a few words.
The entertainment for the night, hosted at the Pourhouse in Downtown Minneapolis, was provided mostly by Tuaolo and his compatriots on last season’s The Voice. Wonderful singers like Natalie Stovall, Kristi Hoopes, Rebecca Brunner, Adam Cunningham, Keisha Renee, Mitchell Lee and Dennis Drummond joined Tuaolo on stage for some fantastic performances.
Proceeds from the event, in addition to successful silent and online auctions, went toward local Minnesota LGBT charities, including Hate Is Wrong, Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center and Avenues For Homeless Youth.
With the Super Bowl in Atlanta next year, Tuaolo will continue his Inclusion Party. He played defensive end for both the Vikings and Falcons during his NFL career.
From Feb. 1 to March 5 you can join your favorite NHL team with rainbows and smiles.
This year seemingly all 31 NHL teams are hosting some form of “Inclusion Night” or “Pride Night” between Feb. 1 and March 5 for the league’s “Hockey Is For Everyone” campaign.
The NHL teams each handle the celebration of “Hockey Is For Everyone” differently. Some, like the Boston Bruins, have general nights embracing overall inclusion, while others like the New Jersey Devils have LGBT-specific Pride Nights.
Each team has also handled the promotion of their nights differently. Those same Devils have been outwardly unabashed about promoting LGBT Pride, while you have to dig deep to find anything from some teams like the Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers (who didn’t do much last year, either).
Proceeds from most or all of these nights go to You Can Play, which aims to curb homophobic behavior in sports.
Below we’ve provided links to tickets, where we could find them:
Feb. 3: New York Islanders
Feb. 6: Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues
Feb. 9: Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers
Feb. 10: Columbus Blue Jackets
Feb. 13: Winnipeg Jets
Feb. 15: Chicago Blackhawks, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks
Feb. 16: Dallas Stars
Feb. 17: Calgary Flames
Feb. 18: Colorado Avalanche
Feb. 20: Vancouver Canucks
Feb. 21: Anaheim Ducks
Feb. 22: Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators
Feb. 24: Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs
Feb. 27: Washington Capitals
Feb. 28: Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning
March 1: Los Angeles Kings
March 5: Pittsburgh Penguins
Acceptance would await someone like Ryan O’Callaghan coming out today, players say.
MINNEAPOLIS — When Ryan O’Callaghan played offensive lineman for the New England Patriots in 2006 and 2007, he was deeply closeted and a decade from coming out publicly as gay. The Patriots, with their emphasis on winning and attention to details, were a great fit for someone trying to blend in and not have undue focus on his personal life.
“All you are there to do is whatever it takes to win,” O’Callaghan told Outsports of his time in New England, which included a Super Bowl trip to end the 2007 season. “Distractions were not allowed. Everyone on the team had a job, knew their job and really focused on doing that. As little comfort as it did bring, it did help.”
While society has made great strides in LGBT acceptance in the time since O’Callaghan played for the Patriots — including legalizing same-sex marriage — the NFL and major men’s pro sports remain a desert, bereft of out gay or bisexual athletes.
Since there has never been an active out NFL player (and only 11 who came out after retiring), straight allies in the locker room remain a crucial element should any player decide to take the plunge.
With that in mind, I asked seven current Patriots linemen — starters, subs and practice squad players — whether a Ryan O’Callaghan coming out in 2018 would be accepted. Their answers were a collective yes, such a player would be welcome. This was echoed by Patriots owner Robert Kraft who told me here in Minneapolis that “the only thing I care about is can they help us win.”
The most tepid response came from center David Andrews, who said, “Whatever people decide to do in their personal life, that’s their choice.” When I followed up, he sounded like a mini-Bill Belichick: ”I’m really focused on Philly. That’s a bridge we’ll cross when we get there. For me, I’m just focused on Philly.”
To be fair to Andrews, I did talk with him during a media scrum, where it’s hard to do follow-ups and have any depth. The other six I spoke with were in short one-on-ones, where they felt comfortable being a little more expansive.
It was clear that LGBT issues were not at the forefront for these players and I’m not sure any of them had heard of O’Callaghan’s coming out. When I asked rookie guard Cole Croston whether he had gay friends or acquaintances growing up, he said “it really wasn’t a part of my life as a kid.” That’s not surprising from someone raised in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, population 4,227.
Yet Croston was clear that he would embrace an openly gay teammate. Only one of the players I spoke with, Ted Karras, had a teammate in high school or college he later found out was gay. “He was always a good teammate and it didn’t change anything for me,” Karras said.
The views of all the linemen I spoke with were pretty clear — for them, a gay teammate would be just one of the guys. Here is what they said.
Cameron Fleming, tackle, 4th year
”I don’t think it would be an issue for me. It’s a workplace like everywhere else. It definitely is a little bit different but I’d be fine with it and accept it.”
LaAdrian Waddle, tackle, 5th year
”I don’t think you’d know about [acceptance] until it happened. Different people have different opinions. I wouldn’t care. It wouldn’t matter to me.”
Joe Thuney, guard, 2nd year
”Everyone just wants to work for a common goal. Everyone wants to win and we want whoever can contribute to a winning effort. We just want to win. What can you do to help the team win that’s the bottom line.”
Ted Karras, guard, 2nd year
”I can only speak for myself and I think where we are in our society I think that would be absolutely OK. I would totally accept a teammate regardless of [his sexual orientation].”
David Andrews, center, 3rd year
“Whatever people decide to do in their personal life, that’s their choice.”
Cole Croston, guard, rookie
”I would absolutely not have a problem. I think he’d be accepted for sure. We’re in the year 2018 where that kind of thing is happening all over the place so I don’t think it’d be an issue. He’s just another guy on the team.”
James Ferentz, center, practice squad, 3rd year
”I think we’ve been ready for it. I think we live in a world where we’re more focused on playing football vs. what you do in your spare time. We’re more worried if he’s a good teammate and football player, that’s the biggest thing.”
”I’m sure along the way [I’ve had a gay teammate]. I’ve been playing football for 12 years now, I’m sure somewhere along the way someone was. Does it even matter?”
”My understanding is it’s not a choice, you’re born a certain way. For anyone to have to hide what you are is wrong in my opinion and I’d like to think I play in a league where we’re openly accepting of anybody. We’re more worried about you as a teammate and a football player, that’s really what’s important.”