Elite, Paula Abdul, Roger Stone, Masha Gessen, Midterms, Maroon 5, Ammar Campa-Naijar, Gay Bowl: HOT LINKS

JAMAL KHASHOGGI. Video shows Saudi operatives used body double to cover up Washington Post journalist’s murder. “CNN has obtained exclusive law enforcement surveillance footage, part of the Turkish government’s investigation, that appears to show the man leaving the Saudi consulate by the back door, wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, a fake beard, and glasses.”

AMY SCHUMER. Maroon 5 should cancel their Super Bowl performance in support of Colin Kaepernick.

MORE KHASHOGGI. Lindsey Graham feels used by the Saudi prince. “I never felt more used in my life. I introduced him when he was in Washington. I find it impossible to believe that the crown prince was not involved, so go after him and his inner circle. Save the alliance. I don’t mind military sales but I cannot do business with the current leadership. MBS — he’s done to me.”


ROGER STONE. Mueller probe reportedly examining whether Roger Stone knew about Democratic emails leaked by Wikileaks in advance.

STONE DENIES. Statement: “Today’s Washington Post contains one of the shoddiest pieces of reporting that I have seen my 40 years in American Politics.”

MUELLER PROBE. Russian national charged with effort to manipulate voters in the 2016 and 2018 elections: “Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, of St. Petersburg, Russia, is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States for managing the financing of the social media troll operation that included the Internet Research Agency, which special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators charged with crimes earlier this year.”

MIDTERMS. Senate battle looking worse for Democrats: “The battle for control of the Senate is looking worse and worse for Democrats, who just a month ago saw a path to the majority but now increasingly look like they could lose more seats and have a smaller minority next year.Republicans have seen a bump in the polls in several key races since Labor Day. They believe momentum has flipped to their party since the fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh polarized the electorate, hurting Democrats running for reelection in states where President Trump is popular.”

POINTING THE FINGER. Trump plans to blame House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if Dems gain: ‘According to one person with knowledge of these talks, Trump has said of Ryan and McConnell: “These are their elections … and if they screw it up, it’s not my fault.”’

MASHA GESSEN. On Trump’s transgender proposal: “You know, this is not just about transgender people, although it’s big enough about transgender people. But what Trump is doing essentially, he is redefining peoplehood. He’s redefining the nation. And in that sense, what he is doing with immigration, and what he is doing with reversing the gains on LGBT rights, but specifically transgender rights, is redefining humanhood. Who gets to be fully human. Who gets to have the full rights of citizenship — not transgender people, not immigrants, not many others.

GAY BOWL. Honolulu wins bid to host gay flag football championship: “More than 1,200 players are expected to turn out for the annual gay flag football tournament, which will mark its 20th anniversary here in the islands.”

CAMPAIGN SONG OF THE DAY. I Believe We Will from Ammar Campa-Naijar. “It has been an amazing journey we have traveled together over the last two years. We have learned together, cried together, laughed together and fought side by side together. Will November 6th be the day that CA-50 is returned to the people? Will our country choose love and equality over hate and fear? I believe we will.”



ELITE. Netflix has renewed the show for Season 2.


TUMBLE OF THE DAY. Paula Abdul fell off the stage at her concert in Biloxi, Mississippi. “She did not seem hurt at the time of the fall and still finished like a champ,” the fan who posted the video, known as Lolli 312, told PEOPLE of the incident. “She stated she was a dancer, and falls and drops she has gotten used to over the years.”


MONDAY MUSCLE. Vitor Vieira.

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Do You Know the LGBTQ 1960s? Test Your Grasp of its Pop Icons, Influencers, and Political Heroes

Tab Hunter

PRESENTED by WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50.

Next summer, WorldPride comes to the United States for the first time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. The sixth edition of the culturally-diverse WorldPride will attract millions of LGBTQI+ revelers for the largest celebration of Pride in history. In honor of this incredible event Towleroad is celebrating 50 years of LGBTQI+ history with a series examining queer life from the 1960s through today.

Many consider the 1960s as the beginning of modern LGBTQI+ Rights Movement, but to understand why it was such a watershed moment, one needs to look a little earlier.

While queer people have been an integral part of human history, from Socrates to Oscar Wilde, the 1930s saw a massive cultural backlash during the Great Depression. Homosexuals were branded deviants, pedophiles and mentally ill. Local laws prohibited homosexuals from gathering in public places, and bars were threatened with losing their liquor license for hiring or serving queer people. Anti-gay policing in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s forced venues to close and led to more than 50,000 men arrested in New York alone.

In Washington D.C., Senator Joseph McCarthy turned his attention to homosexuals in the State Department during the infamous 1950s “Lavender Scare.” Thousands of Federal employees lost their jobs, were forced out of the closet and some even committed suicide.

It wasn’t all darkness, however. Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953) helped normalize homosexual attraction. The ’50s also saw the founding of homosexual political groups like the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis.

Despite the galvanizing gay community and increased scientific study, the prevailing mainstream attitudes toward homosexuality can best be described by the 1961 short “educational” film, Boys Beware.

(And, in case you were wondering, yes, there was a Girls Beware as well.)

The fear and stigma associated with homosexuality is why Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter stayed in the closet until the release of his biography in 2005. He spent the earlier part of the ’60s starring in films like The Pleasure of His Company opposite Debbie Reynolds and Ride the Wild Surf. He settled in the south of France for the latter years of the 1960s while butching it up in Spaghetti Westerns like The Last Chance and Bridge Over the Elbe.

While Tab was playing straight on screen, bisexual writer Susan Sontag published her first major essay, “Notes on Camp,” codifying a core queer sensibility (and Sontag’s “notes” are still being honored today: see next year’s Met Gala). As if her essay conjured it into existence, one of the pioneering so-bad-it’s-good films, Valley of the Dolls, was released in 1967, and it’s been a fixture in the camp oeuvre every year since.

Of course, every decade has its divas, and the ’60s were no different. A young Barbra Streisand was finding her footing at the Lion, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. It was her then boyfriend (and later out homosexual) Barry Dennen that had first encouraged her to start singing at the Lion, and gay director/playwright Arthur Laurents cast her in her star-making role in I Can Get It For You Wholesale. She would close out the decade with her first Academy Award for Funny Girl, and, truly, a star was born.

As one of the all-time legendary divas ascended, the greatest gay icon of all time Judy Garland reached the end of her career. She performed what many consider to be the greatest night in show business when she took the stage at Carnegie Hall April 23, 1961. She hosted three television specials and one season of the Emmy-nominated variety show, The Judy Garland Show.

After spending the decade on a breakneck touring schedule (thanks to years of financial mismanagement), Garland died of an accidental overdose on June 22, 1969.

Perhaps the most influential work of art to impact the burgeoning LGBTQI+ liberation movement was Mart Crowley’s play The Boys in the Band. The ground-breaking, off-Broadway play offered an unapologetic glimpse of homosexual life. TIME Magazine lauded the play, while still expressing some unease about its themes in its 1968 review:

“For better or worse, homosexuality and the gay-life subculture are becoming acceptable as dramatic themes, to be treated with the same frankness as heterosexual relations. Probably the most overt example of this trend is The Boys in the Band, which opened off-Broadway last week. Neither patronizing nor proselytizing, it coolly takes the milieu of the homosexual for granted. It is also a funny, sad and honest play about a set of mixed-up human beings who happen to be deviates.”

Politically, the ’60s were defined by the Civil Rights Movement. The fight for economic and social justice for the African-American community not only informed the coming LGBTQI+ and Women’s Rights movements, but at least one gay person was instrumental in its design.

Bayard Rustin, World Telegram & Sun photo by Stanley Wolfson. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Bayard Rustin was instrumental in crafting the Civil Rights Movement’s non-violent protests and demonstrations. After studying Gandhi’s methods in India, he worked closely advising Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Senator Strom Thurmond attempted to use Rustin’s sexuality to delegitimize his work, making public Rustin’s arrest for sex in a car years earlier. (He also attempted to insinuate Rustin and King were in a homosexual relationship.) Despite being an integral part of the March on Washington, Rustin did not receive adequate credit due to his sexuality.

Mounting tensions with police, increased visibility from works like The Boys in the Band and the trail blazed by the Civil Rights Movement coalesced into the spark that would ignite what would become known as Pride. Hours after Judy Garland’s funeral, in the early hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village was raided by police.

Fed up with police mistreatment, the patrons fought back. Riots lasted days. Among those at the forefront of the movement were trans women Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. The two friends would go on to co-found the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries to support trans, queer and homeless youth.

Out of the conflict, groups like the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance took a more aggressive tact toward fighting for social justice. Even embracing the word “gay” was seen as a more direct approach than previous organization like the Mattachine Society.

One year after the Stonewall uprising, Christopher Street Liberation Day and subsequent Gay Pride marches honored the bravery of the Stonewall patrons and set the stage for half a century of LGBTQI+ Pride to come.

This is just a taste of the rich queer history of the 1960s. What were some key moments and important memories we missed? Leave your impressions of the LGBTQ ’60s in the comments below…

Get all the info on WorldPride at the official website, or by following @NYCPride on Twitter and Instagram.

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Religious Conservatives Sue Houston Public Library Over ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’

Anti-LGBTQ conservatives are suing the Houston Public Library over Drag Queen Story Hour, saying it violates their religious freedom.

The Houston Chronicle reports: ‘The lawsuit was filed Friday by a group who has vocally opposed marriage equality and joined the fight to defeat a proposed Houston ordinance that would have lifted gender restrictions on bathrooms. The group has asked a federal judge to halt the reading event, claiming they are not appropriate for all patrons. The library director and Mayor Sylvester Turner are named as defendants, accused of being recklessly entangled in “LGBT doctrine.” The lawsuit says the storytelling sessions advertised as appropriate for patrons of all ages at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood branch should not be funded with taxpayer dollars since the library would not host a “man-woman marriage storytelling hour.”’

One plaintiff is Chris Sevier, who sued the state of Alabama and other states for the right to marry his laptop. Anotehr plaintiff is an evangelical minister, according to the paper.

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Body Shaming, Migraines, HIV and PrEP Stigma, Protein Powder, Poop Etiquette and Sex: Gay Men’s Health News Round-Up

KINDR GRINDR. Grindr users talk about HIV stigma (above) and body shaming (below) in two new episodes of Kindr. “Despite decades of progress, HIV stigma still abounds on dating apps. This disease has taken its toll on our community for too long—we must take a stand against misinformed attitudes and put an end to stigma and shame once and for all. Empathy, education, and respect are key for a #KindrGrindr.”

DETROIT. HIV rate is 4x the state average: “While the overall number of people diagnosed with new cases of HIV in Michigan has remained relatively stable since the early 2000s, it has been rising in a key demographic: young African-American gay and bisexual men who have seen a sweeping statewide increase in diagnoses, according to Jennifer Miller, an HIV epidemiology manager for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. ”

PROTEIN POWDER. 7 ingredients to look for and 6 to avoid

AUSTRALIA. New HIV infections at 7-year-low: “Professor Guy said the introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, over the past few years had played a role in the reduction of HIV. PrEP is a similar concept to oral contraception, where a pill is taken as a precaution, rather than as a treatment after infection has occurred. Recently it has been available through state-funded programs, with the Government putting it on the PBS from April 1, 2018. The greatest decline in rates was among gay and bisexual men. Heterosexuals make up 200 of the 1,000 cases every year, and they are diagnosed quite late, according to Professor Guy.”

BLOOD DONATION. Canadian blood services mulling shorter wait time for gay blood donors.

EXPERIENCES. Gay, Muslim and living with HIV: “To this day, I have never come across someone like me and it’s incredibly lonely,” says Shamal Waraich. “Now I have got to the point in my life where I’m proud to say who I am: I’m British-Pakistani, Muslim, gay and living with HIV. I just want to say to someone, ‘You understand, right? How difficult it is as a Muslim and being HIV positive?

LATINX. Fear of Trump policies may drive rising HIV rates in Latinx communities: “These rates have been climbing for multiple years. But I think fears around deportation and racism toward immigrants, feeling unsafe, and the stress of having to provide for your family all contribute toward poor mental health and the potential to abuse substances and expose yourself to HIV. We’re starting to see this definite pattern.”

MIGRAINES. New medication approved is first of new class: ‘The drug is called Emgality, and it’s made by drug giant Eli Lilly. The drug has a list price of $575 a month, or $6,900 a year…The drug — and its competitors — target CGRP, short for calcitonin gene-related peptide. CGRP isn’t exactly a new target. CGRP has been known to play a significant role in migraines since the 1980s and 1990s, though it’s taken some time to develop the technology that can leverage it. But in the past few months, the FDA has approved three preventative medications that act on the target.”

POOP ETIQUETTE. Himeros TV’s Davey Wavey and Sam Wiles discuss what to do when anal sex gets messy.

TRUVADA AND THE TRUTH. Is HIV prevention propelling the STI epidemic? ‘Findings about PrEP’s apparent ties to increasing STIs have led to some calls for an improved response to such transmissions. Researchers also see an opportunity to engage PrEP users in research into new forms of STI prevention, including vaccines. But an apparent minority of prominent experts remains unconvinced. Dawn K Smith, a medical officer in HIV prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “We don’t have evidence that PrEP caused declines in condom use in the US.” Others would prefer PrEP researchers steer away from investigating and debating related behavioral change, which is sometimes called risk compensation.’

PrEP ATTITUDES. New study clocks attitudes toward PrEP, notes that some see it as a social problem: “By framing PrEP use as enabling gay and bisexual men to violate subcultural norms of sexual etiquette espoused in previous HIV prevention efforts, claims makers were able to present PrEP users as social problem villains,” write the authors. “Countering claims makers’ framing PrEP as a social problem, some men constructed PrEP as a helpful prevention tool in the fight against the HIV epidemic within gay and bisexual communities. Much of their discourse was couched within a harm reduction model in which PrEP medication is framed as significantly reducing the harm associated with engaging in risky sexual behavior.”

LIFE INSURANCE. The gay men who have lived for years with someone waiting on their death: “A wave of people viaticated their life-insurance policies when confronted with such a gruesome and fatal virus. Some came into enormous sums of cash. Many are alive today because of protease inhibitors. Those who viaticated their policies and continue to live with HIV do so knowing that investors have long waited to collect on their deaths.”

THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION. “Duke University research Diego Bohorquez and colleagues have identified the neural circuitry that connects the gut with the brain. This pathway is spanned by a single synapse, capable of relaying a signal from gut to brain in 100 milliseconds. This newly discovered pathway is probably exploited by pathogens, and will almost certainly lead to new therapies.”

Body Conscious: Gay Men’s Health, Sex, and Self is a new regular twice-monthly feature from Towleroad covering the unique issues gay men face with regard to physical and mental fitness. 

If you are a writer/professional with a background in gay men’s health interested in contributing to this regular column, shoot us an email at jobs-at-towleroad.com.

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Gay Pastoral Associate Resigns from Catholic Church Over Hate Crime Attacks by Church Militants, Right-wing Websites

Aaron Bianco, a gay pastoral associate working in St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church in University Heights, San Diego, has resigned over ongoing hate crime attacks against him. Last week vandals broke into the offices of St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church in University Heights and tagged the walls with the words “NO FAGS”.

The last straw, he says, was when the aggressors “posted pictures of [his] family, including a photo of [his] deceased mother, stated where [he lived], and went back years to try and find anything on [him]. ”

RELATED: Jesuit Priest Slams Homophobic Attacks on Gay Pastoral Associate After Offices are Vandalized, Tires Slashed

Bianco detailed the attacks in a letter written to the National Catholic Reporter on October 19: ‘As most of you know, I have endured physical and emotional violence from groups like Church Militant and LifeSite News for the past year and a half. As I wrote earlier in the week, they have slashed my tires, left me death threats, physically attacked me outside of mass and sent hundreds of letters, phone calls and emails. This past week they took it to another level. They broke into the office/rectory and spray painted “no fags” on the conference room wall. Then, on Wednesday, LifeSite News and the Lepanto Institute published an article about me. This was the final straw. They posted pictures of my family, including a photo of my deceased mother, stated where I live, and went back years to try and find anything on me. All of this is done to intimidate and scare me into resigning. These groups are no different then organized crime. They have gone after me relentlessly hoping to bring me to my knees. These groups, and those who act on their rhetoric must be stopped! We cannot allow this to continue in a Church that was founded on Jesus’ message of love and acceptance. I will be looking at hiring legal counsel to stop the slander against me.’

FOX5’s report:


ABC10’s report:

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Trump: ‘Unknown Middle Easterners’ are Part of Migrant Caravan Threatening U.S. Border

Donald Trump tweeted on Monday morning that he has alerted the U.S. military that “unknown Middle Easterners” are part of the migrant caravan headed through Mexico to the southern U.S. border. The terrorist dog whistle is a talking point that he appears to have picked up from FOX & Friends.

Tweeted Trump: “Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!”



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Austin Wolf Uses Delta Air Lines Slogan ‘Keep Climbing’ as He Accepts ‘Best Daddy’ Award: WATCH

Austin Wolf won “Favorite Daddy” at the Str8upgayporn awards  which were hosted by Bianca Del Rio, with co-hosts Blake Mitchell and Boomer Banks and handed out in Hollywood on Sunday night.

RELATED: Delta Flight Attendant Suspended Over Filmed Sex Romp with Austin Wolf Inside Aircraft Lavatory

Wolf made headlines last week after a Delta airlines flight attendant was suspended because Wolf posted clips to his Twitter account in which he was sexually engaged with the uniformed employee inside an aircraft lavatory.

Wolf was up against fellow performers Bruce Beckham, Dirk Caber, Tristan Jaxx, Myles Landon, and Dean Phoenix.

Wolf (referenced by the presenter as”Deltalina herself”) made no direct mention of the aircraft incident, but he did end his remarks with Delta’s slogan (1:06):  “Being part of this industry has just been, like my whole life before it had been building up to it. Made from the ground up to f**k on camera….We should all come together. We shouldn’t hate…And keep climbing.”

The clips, which were deleted from Twitter, reportedly spread among Delta employees quickly, according to an insider who spoke with MailOnline.

Said the insider: “‘If the two guys had gone into the stall, done their thing and discreetly left it at that, maybe he would have gotten away with it. But when the clips were posted online it spread around the airline like wildfire. Someone even put together a meme along the lines of this man’s career going down the toilet. It was such a stupid thing to do – and then to have it posted online, the poor guy must be mortified.”

Delta released a statement about the incident: “This video does not reflect the standards of professionalism expected of our employees while representing the Delta brand or traveling as passengers on Delta aircraft. We have suspended the employee and are conducting a full investigation.”

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