Messages like this have more impact when they come directly from someone who endured the same situations in their youths. I can’t think of a better person to look to as an example of the fact that “It Gets Better” than Tim Gunn. This man tried to end his life at 17 … was thankfully unsuccessful in his attempt and found the strength to soldier on and achieve major success in his adult life. Of course the same staggering success cannot be promised to everyone but life does get better from the youthful despair that so many young people suffer. I love Tim Gunn so much … his decision to share his personal story in an attempt to help save the lives of other is just so inspiring. It does get better … and The Trevor Project is there to offer help and support 24/7.
James Franco, the straight actor who is very well known for his gay movie roles, is featured on the cover and in the pages of Candy magazine — the world’s “first Transversal Style Magazine”. Photographed by Terry Richardson, Franco is featured in full drag on the magazine’s second cover … which is limited worldwide to only 1000 copies. Here is our first look at James Franco on the cover of Candy:
According to the magazine’s Facebook page (it doesn’t seem to have an official website), Candy magazine is described as “The first fashion magazine ever completely dedicated to celebrating transvestism, transexuality, cross dressing and androgyny, in all its manifestations.” which, IMHO, is fantastic in its own right … tho, I don’t understand the Franco connection. While I’m certain Franco will get a lot of attention for this bold coverphoto, Candy magazine will benefit most because of the widespread attention (which, I imagine, is a boon for the world’s first transversal style magazine). After the jump, check out one more photo of Franco in drag posing with photographer Terry Richardson … More »
In the wake of so many suicides by GLBT youth due to bullying in recent weeks a bunch of celebrities have banded together or filmed videos on their own to spread the message of hope to the young people who fell hopeless. Much like Dave Navarro did on his official website last week, all kinds of celebs have decided to speak out in order to spread hope. A flurry of It Gets Better videos have been popping up recently in an effort to spread the message as far and wide as possible. Here is a video which features Anne Hathaway, Kristin Cavallari, Jenny McCarthy, Shay Mitchell, Ashley Roberts, Candice Accola, Ian Somerhalder, Candis Cayne, Erika Jayne, Greg Grunberg, Rex Lee, Julie Benz, Michael Chiklis and Kat Graham:
My good friend Pauley Perrette, who stars on NCIS, decided to film and release a video of her own:
As did Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden:
This message that life gets better is so important because it is so easy for young people who feel hopeless and alone to think that no one understands what they are going thru as they figure out who they are … even worse, many believe that they are unloved, unwanted and will not be missed if they decide to take their own lives. It is my sincere hope that these messages of hope can reach the people who need to hear them the most. The Trevor Project was set up so that young people in need of support can call at any time of the day or night to find the help that they need. Information on The Trevor Project can be found on their official website HERE or they can be reached by calling 1-866-4UTREVOR (866-488-7386). It truly may seem hopeless sometimes … but things do get better.
Pink reader Sarah points us HERE to see the rest of the It Gets Better PSA videos. Check ‘em out, post ‘em on Facebook … help spread the message.
In the wake of so many news reports of GLBT youth committing suicide due to bullying, oppression or abuse in recent weeks, musician Dave Navarro has penned an open letter to the GLBT community (with a focus on the younger members of that community) in an effort to try and lend his support. Read on for the full text of Dave‘s very touching and very important message:
Ok everybody, here is the deal. I cannot imagine what it’s like growing up in a close minded environment and being gay, bi or tans-gender. I don’t think any of us who aren’t can possibly imagine. The strength and character it must take to stay true to yourself in such an unforgiving microcosm are qualities that a major portion of the world lacks… Sad, but true. It’s just how it is at the moment. However, it’s that very strength and character that gives the world hope for a new way of thinking and acceptance in the future and when one of our children gives in and gives up, it is not only a tragedy but a victory for those who fear diversity. DO NOT LET THEM WIN! I know how overwhelming the feelings can get and how small the reality can feel, but the bottom line is that this is but a drop in the bucket in terms of the magnitude of life. You can get through this. High school is full of plenty of bullies and fear based hate, as is the world. With any group of people comes a percentage of people who just don’t get it and probably will never get it. That’s OK. We all deal with this to an extent. The truth is that in High School, you are kind of stuck in the group you are a part of until graduation, but trust me… You can pick and choose who you associate with and there are plenty of like-minded people in the world that are understanding, accepting and loving. Sometimes, we just have to stick it out to meet them. The hard cold reality is that once you have chosen suicide, that’s it. No going back. Sure, there is a public outcry and MAYBE the bullies feel remorse for a while, but it all dies down, life goes on, the bullies let the memory fade and get on with their lives. They learn to laugh, love, reach their goals and in many cases go on to have a full and productive life. Who loses? You do! Your family! Your friends! Other teens who need support in this area! Oh yeah… We all Lose! Now the world has one less mind that is open and different and unique and sensitive. Instead, we inherit the bullies, the fear, the set back… Our world has one less soul to help it evolve with a new level of clarity. Personally, I have seen a lot of darkness and tragedy that has felt insurmountable. The murder of my mother, my battle with drug addiction, the loss of friends and family. Utter depression and despair. Of course the thought of suicide has crossed my mind a time or two. Let me share this. THANK GOD I never took that action. The friends I have made, the experiences I have had, the laughter I have shared would have all been missed. In hindsight, some of my darkest moments now seem so small and insignificant that I am amazed I gave them so much power at the time. I am even able to laugh about it now. When I think back to the times I have considered ending it all I end up saying to myself, “What was I thinking?” To those of you contemplating such a course, please do us a favor. Seek counseling first. Find a network of people who have gone through what you are going through. Help others in even more turmoil than you. I am certain that you can find peace. As you know, our society and political climate is SO divided right now. We need your voice. The world at large needs your sheer existence in order to come to terms with itself and where we are going as a planet and species.
Dave wrote this letter and posted it on his official website HERE in the hopes that it would get picked up and shared around the world. It is my sincere hope that his words reach the hearts and minds of those who need to hear the support most. It is heartbreakingly tragic that young people feel the need to end their lives because of the torment they face from cowards and ignorant monsters (like, for example, 50 Cent who advocates gay men to kill themselves on his Twitter profile). I hope this open letter gets passed along from person to person as far and wide as possible. Thank you Dave for taking the time to share your words of support. Here’s hoping that those in need will find the strength required to endure and, most importantly, live on.
OMG … last night was the Best.Night.Ever. After a group of friends and I had a blast at Six Flags Magic Mountain for their annual GLBT private party Out on the Mountain, we managed to cull together a bigger group of folks to come out and play on the roller coasters for this year’s event … and we had an absolute blast!
Our group of friends managed to grow larger as the night progressed but, honestly, it was really the more the merrier. We managed to ride all of the best roller coasters last night and had the best time ever. We also took a lot more photos this year — which you can check out out, after the jump … More »
A federal judge in California has ruled that the US Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy — which bars gay military personnel from disclosing their homosexuality — is a policy that violates the rights of gays and has been deemed unconstitutional. That is, according to the federal court, the policy cannot stand as law in accordance with the US Constitution — the highest law in the land. While an immediate repeal of the policy will not happen, this is an amazing big step towards the end of this anti-gay military policy:
The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gay members of the military is unconstitutional, a federal judge in California ruled Thursday. Judge Virginia A. Phillips of Federal District Court struck down the rule in an opinion issued late in the day. The policy was signed into law in 1993 as a compromise that would allow gay and lesbian soldiers to serve in the military. The rule limits the military’s ability to ask about the sexual orientation of service members, and allows homosexuals to serve, as long as they do not disclose their orientation and do not engage in homosexual acts. The plaintiffs challenged the law under the Fifth and First Amendments to the Constitution, and Judge Phillips agreed. “The don’t ask, don’t tell act infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members in many ways,” she wrote. “In order to justify the encroachment on these rights, defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the don’t ask, don’t tell act was necessary to significantly further the government’s important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion. Defendants failed to meet that burden.” The rule, she wrote in an 86-page opinion, has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services. The plaintiffs argued that the act violated the rights of service members in two ways. First, they said, it violates their guarantee of substantive due process under the Fifth Amendment. The second restriction, the plaintiffs said, involves the free-speech rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. Although those rights are diminished in the military, the judge wrote, the restrictions in the act still fail the constitutional test of being “reasonably necessary” to protect “a substantial government interest.” The “sweeping reach” of the speech restrictions under the act, she said, “is far broader than is reasonably necessary to protect the substantial government interest at stake here.” The decision is among a number of recent rulings that suggest a growing judicial skepticism about measures that discriminate against homosexuals, including rulings against California’s ban on same-sex marriage and a Massachusetts decision striking down a federal law forbidding the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage. It will not change the policy right away; the judge called for the plaintiffs to submit a proposed injunction limiting the law by Sept. 16th. The defendants will submit their objections to the plan a week after that. Any decision would probably be stayed pending appeals. The suit was brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay organization. The group’s executive director, R. Clarke Cooper, pronounced himself “delighted” with the ruling, which he called “not just a win for Log Cabin Republican service members but all American service members.” … As a candidate for president, Senator Barack Obama vowed to end “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Once elected, he remained critical of the policy but said it was the role of Congress to change the law; the Justice Department has continued to defend the law in court. In February, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asked Congress to allow gays to serve openly by repealing the law. The House has voted for repeal, but the Senate has not yet acted … The case, which was heard in July, involved testimony from six military officers who had been discharged because of the policy. One, Michael Almy, was an Air Force major who was serving his third tour of duty in Iraq when someone using his computer found at least one message to a man discussing homosexual conduct. Another plaintiff, John Nicholson, was going through training for intelligence work in the Army and tried to conceal his sexual orientation by writing to a friend in Portuguese. A fellow service member who was also fluent in that language, however, read the letter on his desk and rumors spread throughout his unit. When Mr. Nicholson asked a platoon sergeant to help quash the rumors, the sergeant instead informed his superiors, who initiated discharge proceedings.
You can read the entire 86-page ruling HERE. Woot!! This is another great day in the advancement of gay rights in this country. It is my hope that this ruling will signal the final death knell for this very un-American US policy. What kills me most about the cases that forced the issue here is that the military service personnel were abiding by the heinous policy and were doing everything they could to conceal who they are as gay persons … it was the interference of others that outed them to the military and subsequently forced their removal from active military service. Even when gays are compliant in denying and lying about who they are, they can still be punished for being who they are. While I’m confident the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy will eventually be repealed I’m very curious to see how long it will take. Will the US government move quickly to uphold this federal ruling or will they fight to oppose the ruling, thereby extending the unfair treatment of our brave gay US military personnel longer? I sincerely hope the former will win out. The discrimination of gays in this country is shameful and wholly un-American.
Sir Ian McKellen, the Academy Award-nominated star of The Lord of the Rings, served as grand marshal for the Manchester, England, pride parade, which celebrated its 20th anniversary Saturday. According to the BBC, thousands of people watched more than 100 groups and floats participate in the parade despite heavy rains. “Starting on Deansgate, the parade travelled up the city’s main shopping street before snaking through St Anne’s Square, past Albert Square and finishing at the Gay Village,” reported the BBC. McKellen led the procession, which is part of the larger pride festival that raises money for Manchester-area LGBT organizations. He rode in a car introducing him as “Serena McKellan.”
I just love Sir Ian. The man lives his life openly, honestly and with the utmost class and grace. He is truly a man that anyone can aspire to emulate. He is also the kind of role model that young gay and lesbian people can look up to. Not only is the man extremely talented but he also looks like a lot of fun to hang out with. Manchester chose well when they approached Sir Ian McKellen as their pride parade grand marshal. Happy Pride!!
A couple of weeks ago we learned that the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center is planning a live stage show titled The Golden Guys which will feature actors performing scripts from actual episodes of The Golden Girls. Executive produced by Jane Espensen (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Gallactica) and starring Cheeks, Tom Lenk, Lesli Margherita and Sasha Roiz, The Golden Guys had to add a second performance after the first performance quickly sold out. Today we get to see a fun photo that GG castmember Cheeks shared on Twitter of the cast of The Golden Guys posing for the NoH8 Campaign this week:
I’m glad to see that the NoH8 Campaign is still going strong because we still have a very long way to go in the fight for marriage equality. I’m also glad to see that the campaign chose the cast of The Golden Guys to pose for their own photo. I am SO excited to see this stage show, I can’t even tell you. If you missed out on getting tix for the opening night performance, you still have a chance to see the show by getting your tix for the second show HERE.
I read all your tweets and know you are all curious about the “gay” character this season. Let me say, gay or straight, relationships are relationships. Everyone goes through the same kind of troubles and joys. A gay storyline will have an added issue of dealing with judgment from others. Acceptance, by family, friends, society and self is just one of the concerns the character will be going through. It is a part of life, and it should be portrayed. I was told, and am confident the storyline will be written very well and the change in the character will be organic, NOT overnight. It’s going to be a great season 3. I look forward to chatting with you all as we progress.
While he doesn’t come right out and say Teddy will be gay, the fact that he personally took the time to write such a long message to fans about “the gay character” seems pretty evident to me that he’s the lucky guy. You can read the After Elton piece HERE which explains why they think Teddy is going to be the gay character … which sounds pretty right to me. I applaud 90210 for deciding to make Teddy‘s character come out as gay … it’s a topic that so many young viewers of the show can identify with. I’m encouraged by the fact that his coming out will be handled organically and not as an overnight occurrence. I love 90210 … I can’t wait for the show to return this Fall!