#lgbt

Jussie Smollett Dropped from LGBTQ Charity Project After Arrest

The ramifications of Jussie Smollett’s actions surrounding his alleged January 29 attack in Chicago are starting to affect him from a business angle outside of his work on Empire.

The Blast exclusively reported on Saturday, February 23, that Jussie has been dropped from an LGBTQ charity project following his arrest for falsifying a police report.

Oleg Lee, also known as The Pillow Guy and founder of American Pillow Partners, told The Blast that he was in talks with Jussie to donate pillows with his image on it that would raise funds and awareness for LGBTQ charities that the actor supported.

Things were ramping up for Jussie and Oleg to work together, according to sources close to the project, however that changed following the 36-year-old’s arrest.

“I am currently looking for a new celebrity face to partner with to raise money for LBGTQ causes,” Oleg told The Blast. If the allegations are true, I hope Jussie gets the help and support he needs. I was looking forward to working with him.”

Jussie was also cut from the last two episodes of Empire. “The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” the show said in a statement. “Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.”

Choir Teacher Sues School District for Firing Him Over His Bisexuality.

In 2017, choir teacher Nicholas Breiner was fired from his position at McNabb Middle School in Kentucky after coming out as bisexual, which he was never planning on doing, in an effort to prevent his student who was struggling with her sexuality from committing suicide. He recognized that the most likely reason for his termination was his sexuality and is now suing the Montgomery Board of Education, according to the Lexington Herald.

Breiner found out that his 2017-2018 contract was not going to be renewed shortly after he came out in an Instagram post. However, Montgomery County Superintendent Matthew Thompson denies that his termination had anything to Breiner's sexuality, but instead it was decided due to budgeting and performance issues.

The complaints in the suit claim that Breiner came out on April 7, 2017 and then three days later he was called into a meeting where his sexuality was questioned by Deputy Superintendent Rick Culross. 

He found out that he was replaced by a heterosexual woman which led him to believe that he was in fact fired because of his sexual orientation. Because of that, he has filed a charge of discrimination in violation of federal law with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

I can't read anyone's minds, but it seems fairly suspicious to me that Breiner was fired so closely to his coming out. I doubt Thompson's claims that Breiner was fired due to budget restraints. I suspect it was for much more nefarious purposes. 


h/t: Lexington Herald

Exclusive Video Premiere: Yanni Burton Is Ready To "Mess Around"

Not many people can say that either John Legend or Rufus Wainwright have collaborated with them; Australian born and immensely talented Yanni Burton is able to say that both have worked with him, as well as were instrumental in helping him obtain his green card so he could continue following his dreams in the United States. That dream is starting to become realized with the premiere of the video for his single "Mess Around", premiering exclusively on Instinct.com today

"Mess Around" is a follow up to his single "Awake" and while "Awake" may have been about the pain that comes from a break up, "Mess Around" is defined around the recovery and rebuilding of all parts of us post-breakup; sexual, emotional and physical identities included. In his own words, Burton says “Playing the field and messing around is the best anecdote for heartbreak,” Bur- ton continues. “It helps a guy or girl to rediscover him or herself and learn what he likes and what he’s no longer willing to tolerate. It’s just important to play safe and be respectful of your body and soul, and others’ too. As long as you are, you do you, honey!”

The video is just as equally sexy; shot by Danish director, Maria Bruun. The concept was to feature snippets of minority communities found in New York underground culture and portray different ideas of power and identity. From Beyonce dancers to beefy muscle daddies to drag queens, to everything in between, the video remains firmly planted on the gorgeously sexy edge, It also features a solid twenty-second make out scene between Burton and his handsome fiancé. Yes, Burton is taken

From a personal standpoint He describes his life today as a “gay thirty-something in New York City” and is grateful so many people have chosen to go along with him on this sonic ride as his sound and style evolve. “Ultimately, I hope my music helps listeners to recognize and reclaim their own sense of power and independence,” he says.

 

Visit YanniBurton.com
Follow Yanni on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Travel Thursday: Why Alexandria, Virginia is Your Next LGBTQ Destination

I’ll be the first to admit it when I say that the words “LGBT hotspot” and “Virginia” don’t really go together. Call me ignorant or naïve, but I’ve never been one to really brush up on what would make this state and the areas that encompass it that great for our community.

Color me stupid, when one place caught my eye and then some when I visited there recently. This is Alexandria, Virginia, which is located about 20 minutes outside D.C. and easy to get to. It’s a place that I am ecstatically proud and happy to feature for our Travel Thursday this week on Instinct Magazine, as I was left feeling with a sense of superb happiness that I’m still thinking about to this day.

Here are some fun accolades that the city of Alexandria can be truly proud of. They were named the #1 Best Value U.S. Travel Destination 2018 by Money magazine, a Top 5 Best Small City in the U.S. 2018 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards  and one of the South’s Prettiest Cities 2018 by Southern Living.

There’s more. They’ve been recommended by OUT magazine in 2018, rated a Virginia “All-Star” for LGBTQ rights by the Human Rights Campaign Municipality Equality Index in 2017, and named the #2 Best Town in Virginia for LGBT Families by Movoto in 2016. And they’ve saved the best for last by Instinct Magazine raving over them. Yay!

A fair warning to my party-going LGBTQ friends: this isn’t the spot for the all-night club action and all of that. It’s a welcoming small-town type of situation that has several other activities worth enjoying. This also includes breathtaking views, stunning architecture, history and so much more that make this place fabulous on more levels than going “yassss” at a bar for hours.

Essentially urban meets rural when it comes to what you can find in Alexandria. The food scene here is nothing short of spectacular, as many of the streets are lined with several different types of foods available at your disposal, all of which are done by either rising or well-known chefs in the culinary world.

If Modern American is your vibe with all the finger licking sandwich throwdown action inside, then Virtue Feed & Grain is the place to go. Want something a bit more intimate? Vermilion It is. It’s a place that has had some very famous guests inhabit its establishment, two of which include our former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle. And yes, the food is fantastic (think the best of the best when it comes to salmon, duck and more).

My favorite culinary spot of all of them happened to be at Hank’s Pasta Bar, which is self-explanatory but to make it pretty clear… THE PASTA IS AMAZING! Chef Jamie Leeds was named 2018 “Best Chef” in Washington Blade’s Best of Gay D.C as well as The Washington Post picking Hank’s Pasta Bar as one of the year’s 10 Best New Restaurants in the DC region in 2016. Chef Jamie’s homemade pastas are simply divine and unique; however, it is good to stick to a classic like her Spaghetti and Meatballs. I want it now.

There was also this wonderful place called Captain Gregory’s, which is this secret cocktail lounge located inside a donut shop. After the donut shop closes, Captain Gregory’s stays open and invites you inside for their fantastic cocktails with some snacks to order with your friends and of course, donuts courtesy of Sugar Shack Donuts. Oh, and if you like biscuits, then Stomping Ground is your jam. Just go. Its biscuits done right. So right. Like good sex right. Go.

I must boast about one more place: Meggrolls. Oh my freaking god this place. They take the classic concept of egg rolls and give them an insanely different twist by making out of this world creations with them like Chicken Parm and Buffalo Wing. A must once you are in Alexandria.  

Something that Alexandria, Virginia also excels in is their ability to make you want to shop til you drop. Mixed in with the delicious restaurants are one-of-a-kind locations that scream think local, shop local. As someone who lives in New York City and is consistently sick of seeing places like this be torn down for many conglomerates, it warmed my heart that the majority of Alexandria were the mom and pop shops that we all grew up with and loved.

Places like Red Barn Mercantile, which provides whole-room design options at great prices, Hooray for Books, which brought me back to my childhood with its new and classic book options, and Bluprint Chocolatiers, which has some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted, are just a sampling of the shopping options available in Alexandria.

A nifty spot worth trying is the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The space, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, has 82 artists studios that features a variety of media from paintings to ceramics and more. One of which is very NSFW. It featured people eating a banana that looked very phallic. Giggity.

I am not a beer drinker, but if you do want to party with some alcoholic beverages in sight, then Port City Brewing Company is a spot to check out. They brew an exciting lineup of year-round brews, as well as an innovative slate of seasonal and occasional beers. You can find their brews on tap all over the DMV or in their Tasting Room, which is open 7 days a week. They also have a collection of fantastic gear, some of which are LGBTQ-friendly as evidenced by this adorable photo of me in their sweatshirt.

Oh, and one more thing: you need a place to stay. Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa is your best bet for so many reasons. One: it’s right in the middle of town. Two: Kimptons are generally amazing (this one was), and the customer service was impeccable. Three: the rooms are stunning and feature gorgeous views of the city. Four: their spa has several everything from massages to facials that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. If there is one place to book while in Alexandria, this would be it.

Overall, Alexandria blew my mind in terms of what it offers its visitors and residents. It is a place that our community should inhabit and then some, and I look forward to my next trip there.

For more information on Alexandria, click here.


If you have travel ideas, places we should visit, or work for a PR company and are looking for writers to visit, please reach out to customerservice@instinctmagazine.com and address your comments to the Managing Editor.

Catholic Cardinals Blame Gay Agenda for Rampant Sexual Abuse

In a letter to Pope Francis, two Cardinals, Raymond Leo Burke of the United States, and Walter Brandmueller of Germany wrote that the homosexual agenda has spread throughout the Catholic church and is to blame for the string of sexual abuse that was committed by Catholic priests, according to Daily Mail.

This deflection is a reactionary response to Pope Francis rightfully telling the Catholic clergy that as religious leaders, they are to serve the people, not let their positions in authority engulf them and cause them to abuse their power like the priests that were found guilty of sexual assault. They believe that the Pope's criticism of clerical power ignores the "primary fault," which is the straying from absolute law. They referred to homosexuality as a corruption of  "absolute moral law" and the "denial, by words and by acts, of the divine and natural law."

They also mentioned in the letter that the homosexual agenda has been spread throughout the Catholic church and was organized and promoted by a "climate of complicity and a conspiracy of silence." Cardinal Burke has also said that the reason why certain priests committed sexual abuse because they were feminized and confused about their sexuality as if that makes any sense. 

What these two Cardinals are doing is very dangerous for LGBTQ people because some people may hear this an perpetuate the myth that gay people are pedophiles. The only people to blame for these assaults are the people who committed them. It's called personal responsibility and it's a great thing. 


h/t: Daily Mail, Crux Now.

Lesbian Couple Denied Tax Services Due to Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom laws continue to be pervasive throughout the United States as LGBTQ people are consistently and legally discriminated against. One couple in Indiana was recently denied tax preparation services because their new tax preparer believes that same-sex marriage is wrong, and, as such, will not serve married gay couples, according to KokomoTribune.com.

Bailey Brazzel of Russiaville, Indiana has been going to Carver Tax Service for years to get her taxes done and was never given any problems until recently, when the practice hired Nancy Fivecoate as the new owner. Bailey and her wife, Samantha, stepped into the building of Carver Tax Service and were told by Fivecoate that she cannot prepare their taxes, citing religious beliefs as the reason why.

Bailey was taken aback by this and at first didn't think that Fivecoate was serious, but when the tax preparer started talking about the Bible, Brazzel and her wife knew that she was serious.

This was understandably upsetting for the couple, with Bailey in disbelief that something like this could happen to her, saying “You hear about it all the time, but nothing like this has happened to us before."

Fivecoate seems unaffected by this, claiming that she suggested a different practice that may prepare Brazzel's taxes, as well as saying that because she is a Christian, she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman so she won't help a gay couple but is perfectly fine serving single gay people.

Brazzel's father was also upset by this exchange and told Nancy, "That’s flat-out discrimination... I just think it's wrong." 

Unfortunately, many states in this country don't have full protection against discrimination for LGBTQ people and that someone's individual beliefs can overrule another person's existence.


h/t: KokomoTribune.com

What Happens When You Look Like a Daddy but Mentally Aren’t One?

I made a joke on my social media a couple of days ago that turned into something much deeper than anticipated.

The joke was, “I’m creating a gay soap opera for men who like older guys called All My Daddies.”

The first comment on it read as follows:

“I feel very trapped! I’m old and have gray hairs but don’t pull off the daddy look, and I certainly don’t act like one. So, I don’t get daddy chasers. I do love a sexy daddy myself but I’m too old for the daddies that want younger, prettier models. I’m also no longer a cub and not really a bear! I’m in a gay demographic purgatory!”

Another one rang similar to my friends’ woes:

“There could be the subplot in there about the “daddy” who still sees himself as a cub and still wants men 10 years older than me.”

The idea of men who view themselves as a cub/twink when it comes to the daddies they fantasize about, when society clearly labels them as a daddy too based on age & appearance, is far from anything new in our community.

Is this ultimately a problem though, or something you can ride the wave with the older you get? To me, the stereotypical words like “daddy” and “cub” or even “top” and “bottom” are a tad obsolete at this point. There is no clear indication over who is what, as only you yourself truly know what you identify as and with when it comes to exploring your sexual desires.

I am in the middle, age wise, if stereotypes are put into place regarding how I should identify (cub on one side, daddy on the other). Personally, though, I find myself acting as the daddy in bed when I hook up with guy’s in their 20’s yet tend to go all submissive for older men.

There’s the element of power in one and the complete opposite in the other. I start to wonder if this type of thing will continue into my 40’s and 50’s, when I reach that prime “daddy” look, but still act 10-15 years younger in and out of the bedroom with men who are my age and a bit older.

From my point of view right now, having a younger 20ish mindset when being with men your own age is perfectly fine and fun. If both parties have a mutual understanding, and each person is treated with dignity and respect, then what’s not to like? Go ahead and get yo daddy.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Gay Teen May Face Death Penalty if Swedish Government Deports Him Back to Iran

Mehdi Shokr Khoda, a 19-year-old asylum seeker who describes himself as gay and Christian, both punishable offenses in Iran, is fighting for his life to be believed by the Swedish government, an entity that has the power to deport him back to Iran where he could face the death penalty, according to LGBTQ Nation.

The incredulous government is putting Khoda's life in danger by potentially deporting him, despite Sweden granting asylum to LGBTQ people who are fleeing a homophobic regime. 

Khoda's transgender sister applied for and was granted asylum in Sweden two years prior, but the government is not so eager to believe Mehdi as he never had a coming out story and was baptized only when he arrived in Sweden. He explains that such practices would be very dangerous in a Muslim-majority country such as Iran.

Currently, Khoda is waiting on the Swedish government's decision on whether or not to deport him. The ruling will happen in two weeks. He is living with his boyfriend, Carlo Rapisarda, who is a Swedish resident. The two plan to get married but can't do so without Khoda having a resident card, which the Swedish government will not give him.

I'm inclined to believe Khoda as I have heard some horror stories about the conditions that the treatment that LGBTQ people receive in certain countries, making them less than eager to express their sexuality. What the Swedish government doesn't understand is that everyone's coming out story is an individual experience and, as such, cannot be applied identically. I hope that Khoxa gets the treatment he deserves and doesn't get deported to a country that will not go easy on him for being gay.


h/t: LGBTQ Nation

Bills Introduced in Kansas Call Same-Sex Marriage a Parody

Two bills have been recently introduced and sponsored by seven Republicans in Kansas that seek to declare same-sex marriage as unconstitutional and define marriage as a union between one man and one woman according to NBC.

The first bill is titled the Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act that states that for millennia civilizations have defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, that LGBTQ people belong to an "LGBTQ secular humanist community" that usurped the cross and replaced it with a rainbow flag, that being born gay or identifying as the gender that does not match one's biological sex are unfounded, faith-based claims, and that "the government's endorsement of LGBTQ ideology" is the "greatest sham since the inception of American jurisprudence." Along with those claims, the bill also compares LGBTQ rights to the racial equality movement, saying that gay people have it made since they never had to ride in the back of the bus or drink from different water fountains as if two marginalized groups can't both have their own individual problems. 

I could go on with the points made in the bill, but the takeaway is that the seven politicians who support the bill believe that same-sex marriages are just parodies of "real" marriage and that they erode the moral fiber of society and that they are unconstitutional because they violate the first amendment's Establishment Clause because apparently, LGBTQ people are now a congregation.

The other bill, called the Optional Elevated Marriage Act, is equally as ridiculous as the Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act and shares the similar belief that same-sex marriage is fake and it erodes " community standards of decency, unlike secular marriage between a man and a woman, who have reached the age of consent.”

The man responsible for these bills is Chris Sevier, who made headlines in 2014 and 2016 for filing lawsuits in order to marry his laptop as a way to take down same-sex marriage, stating that if two men can marry each other, he should be able to marry his laptop. He has also been on the other side of the law, as he has been accused of stalking two people - country singer John Rich and a 17-year-old girl he met while getting ice cream - so he can hardly claim the moral high ground.  

Jennifer C. Pizer, the Law and Policy Director for Lambda Legal, said the bills hold no water and are legally pointless, but could do real damage at the social level. The sponsors of the bill have already begun to apologize, claiming that they didn't "read the bills" before endorsing them. That's some excellent legislation right there. 

I included the links to the bills if you're feeling particularly masochistic and want to inflict some pain upon yourself. It's good to know that these bills don't really have a chance at getting passed but it is always frightening to think that some people are filled with so much hatred that they would call someone's marriage fake and decry LGBTQ rights by calling them the biggest sham. 


h/t: KS LegislatorNBC

Brown, Allen, & Paxton Among Honorees of 2019 Truth Awards

We’re gearing up for the fifth annual Truth Awards.  Here’s the first rollout of this year’s honorees. More announcements to come. 

Fan favorite, Emmy-winning tv personality Karamo Brown of Netflix’s “Queer Eye;” along with food critic and viral sensation Kalen Allen of “OMKalen,” featured on Ellen DeGeneres’ ellentube.com and YouTube channel; and television exec Tajamika “Taj” Paxton are among the honorees at the fifth annual Truth Awards to be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Los Angeles. Festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. with red carpet arrivals and a VIP reception. The event will be hosted by actress Angela Robinson of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots,” which airs on OWN.

The black-tie affair will honor African-American, trailblazing men and women whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ community.  The Truth Awards embody the belief that members of the Black LGBTQ community and its allies who embrace and live their truth should be recognized and honored.  

This trifecta of honorees are making their mark in entertainment while creating a positive dialogue in the space of the African American LGBTQ community.

In 2004, Brown became a familiar face to viewers as a housemate on the hit MTV reality series, “The Real World.” He was the first openly-gay African American in reality television history. Last year, he walked away with an Emmy as the culture expert on the Netflix’s reboot, “Queer Eye,” where his job is to make over the hearts and minds individuals, working through some internal issues. Brown will receive the Culture & Arts Award


Just 22-years old, the viral videos of fresh-faced food critic and YouTube sensation Kalen Allen caught the attention of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. His “Kalen Reacts” videos went viral with millions of views on Facebook and YouTube and thousands of retweets on Twitter. In addition to being a frequent guest on the ”Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Allen also landed a deal with the popular host and LGBT activist, and now creates new content for the original series, “OMKalen,” on ellentube.com and Ellen’s YouTube channel. As Allen continues to entertain in the digital space, his videos boast an impressive 500+ million views across all branded Ellen platforms, and his social reach is a whopping 3+ million across all platforms. He’s set to star alongside Seth Rogen in an upcoming comedy about pickles. Allen will receive the Social Influencer Award.


Paxton is an award-winning writer, director and producer, who’s nabbed three consecutive Emmy Awards in the documentary category. Interestingly, she and her mother – that is, tv judge Mablean Ephrianm of “Justice With Judge Mablean” -- made television history when the mother-daughter duo nabbed Daytime Emmy nominations in 2018. Recipient of the Media & Arts Award, Paxton currently serves as the head of Logo Documentary Films.

The DIVA Foundation and its founder Sheryl Lee Ralph are especially pleased to continue their partnership with Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) on this effort. Both organizations believe a healthy Black community – one where individuals are allowed to live their truth, free of shame and stigma, and are recognized as equal and rightful members of the community – is a critical piece in the fight to also end HIV/AIDS. This year’s honorees were picked from various fields, including entertainment, fashion, beauty, business, finance and media. 

“Times are certainly changing!” says Ralph. “In this current political environment, it’s important that we continue to support our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community, and make it possible for them to live out loud and openly for the world to see.” “Our acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community will encourage, inspire and motivate others to live their truth, unapologetically.” 

Past honorees include Emmy-winning actress Loretta Devine, award-winning actor Rockmond Dunbar, the first female NBA referee Violet Palmer, celebrated make up artist Sam Fine, author/writer James Earl Hardy, transgender model Tracey “Africa” Norman, transgender reality star and activist Chandi Moore, Grammy-nominated producer/singer/songwriter B. Slade, advertising executive Aaron Walton of Walton Isaacson (WI), and activist and night club owner Jewel Thais-Williams – just to name a few.

The Truth Awards are made possible with the support of Kaiser Permanente, LeadersUp, In the Meantime Men's Group, New York Life, and KTLA TV.


KTLA 4th Annual Truth Awards Recap Video from 2018
 

 

 

Ticket prices range from $150 for general admission to $250 for premier seating.

Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite:

 at truthawards5.eventbrite.com 

or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-truth-awards-presented-by-better-brothers-los-angeles-and-the-diva-foundation-tickets-53624633723

The Truth Awards will benefit the DIVA Foundation and its partnership with BBLA, which has initiated several initiatives aimed at affirming and strengthening the African American LGBTQ community educationally, financially, physically and socially. For more information about the organization and its scholarship program, visit www.BetterBrothersLA.com


For more information about the Truth Awards and its honorees, visit www.BetterBrothersLA.com/truthawards


 

Information and pictures supplied to Instinct Magazine by wrb public relations.

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