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Golden Globes winners include surprises, diversity, and LGBTQ wins

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Taran Egerton took home a win for playing LGBTQ legend Elton John in “Rocketman” (Image courtesy Paramount/Rocket Pictures)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 77th annual Golden Globe Awards are now a matter of history, and in an evening of surprises and upsets, several of the most noteworthy moments reflected the growing significance of LGBTQ voices in the content created by the film and television industry.

Going into the presentation Sunday night, the slate of nominations included nods for several LGBTQ-inclusive films, actors and characters.

In performance categories, several openly LGBTQ performers were nominated, including out actors Billy Porter and Ben Platt for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series in the Drama and Comedy categories, respectively. Porter lost to actor Brian Cox, for HBO’s “Succession,” while Platt’s category was won by Muslim-American writer and actor Ramy Youssef, for Hulu’s “Ramy.”

Out Irish actor Andrew Scott had received a nod as Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series (Comedy) for his role as “Hot Priest” in “Fleabag,” an award which went to Russell Crowe for his performance as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice.”

For Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), out actress Beanie Feldstein was nominated for her portrayal of a high school overachiever in the hilarious sleeper hit, “Booksmart,” but the award went instead to rapper-turned-actress Awkwafina, who made history by becoming the first Asian-American performer to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category; she took the prize for “The Farewell,” a film created by Asian-American female filmmaker Lulu Wang.

The performance nominations also included LGBTQ allies playing queer characters:

Taran Egerton, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), scored with a win for playing Elton John in “Rocketman.” Antonio Banderas had received a nod as Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for his role in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” but the award was taken home by Joaquin Phoenix for his electrifying turn as the title character in “The Joker.”

In actress categories, Margot Robbie had been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for “Bombshell,” and Jodie Comer for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series (Drama) in “Killing Eve.” Those categories were won by Laura Dern (for “Marriage Story”) and Olivia Colman (for “The Crown”), respectively.

In one of the evening’s surprises, the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) went to Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland in the biopic, “Judy.” Though Zellweger is straight (as was Garland) the film is notable for its dramatization of an episode in the life of an undisputed LGBTQ icon.

Several films and television shows with queer-themed content were also nominated going into the evening.

Netflix’s “The Politician” had picked up a nod as Best Comedy Series, but the award ended up being given to the Amazon juggernaut, “Fleabag” – a series which also includes LGBTQ content, and which also picked up the award for Best Actress In A Television Series (Comedy) for its creator and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

“Killing Eve” was also nominated for Best Television Series (Drama). That award went to “Succession.”

In film categories, “Rocketman” received a nod as Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), but lost to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood,” which also picked up a Best Supporting Actor win for Brad Pitt. The Best Foreign Language Film nominations had included two queer films, the period lesbian romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.” That award went to South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s widely-acclaimed thriller, “Parasite.”

“Rocketman,” the musical fantasy biopic of singer Elton John, nevertheless managed to pull off one of the evening’s biggest LGBTQ-friendly moments, when it snagged a win for John himself in the category of Best Original Song (Motion Picture) for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” who claimed the prize alongside longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin.

“It’s the first time I won an award with him. Ever,” said the LGBTQ legend while accepting the award. “We never won a Grammy, we never did anything together except for this and I’m so happy, thank you very much.”

Taupin, whose early friendship with John is documented in the film, added, “This isn’t just a song we wrote for a movie; This is a song we wrote for a movie that deals with our relationship.”

The ceremony’s queerest moment was also arguably the most emotionally potent moment of the entire evening; in presenting the Carol Burnett Award to Ellen DeGeneres for her contributions to television, out actress and comedian Kate McKinnon paid tribute to the queer icon by giving her a personal thank you.

“If I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would have thought, ‘I could never be on TV. They don’t let LGBT people on TV,’” the “Saturday Night Live” star said. “And more than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien, and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here. So, thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot. A shot at a good life.”

For a complete list of the evening’s nominees and winners, click here.

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Sports

Out Olympian Kenworthy & Paralympian Dunkin on Tokyo & LGBTQ Sports

“The fact that LGBTQ youth drop out of sports at twice the rate of their heterosexual & gender counterparts, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

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Screenshot via Los Angeles Blade

TOKYO – Gus Kenworthy is in Tokyo for the Summer Games, but not to compete. The  Olympic Gold Medalist recently joined Paralympian Gold Medalist Abby Dunkin in a Zoom conversation with Athlete Ally founder and executive director Hudson Taylor and the head of LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion for Procter & Gamble, Brent Miller. 

“I felt like I knew that if I came out, there must be someone else,” Kenworthy said. “I was like, there’s someone else in skiing or an action sports or another kid who is going to resonate with my story. And if I can even help one person, then it will be worth it.”

This group of athletes and allies tackled the difficult issues of coming out in sports, fears of rejection, suicide attempts and competing authentically as well as the controversy over transgender inclusion in sports, both at the Olympics and in high schools and colleges across the U.S. 

“Only 24% of LGBTQ youth participate in sports,” noted Taylor. “The fact that LGBTQ youth drop out of sports at twice the rate of their heterosexual and gender counterparts, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Dunkin credited Paralympian gold medalist Stephanie Wheeler as an inspiration both on the court and in everyday life as an out lesbian. 

“Stephanie really creates such a great environment for me and other athletes and also our staff, too, that were out at the time,” said Dunkin. “And that really impacted me to come out and be myself.“ Wheeler is also head coach of the Univ. of Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball team. 

As the Los Angeles Blade has reported, there are more than 142 out LGBTQ athletes competing in Tokyo, a record for any Olympic Games. And with trans nonbinary soccer player Quinn on their way to a potential gold medal, making history with out trans woman Laurel Hubbard and out trans BMX competitor Chelsea Wolfe in Tokyo, Miller says their first steps are inspiring to people all around the world, no matter what their gender identity or sexual orientation is. 

“It’s about bringing people together, supporting people, creating mutual understanding, and really celebrating all of humanity,” Miller said. “And now for us, bringing those LGBTQ+ stories forward is critically important because we see the value of what sport can bring.”

Watch their conversation with sports editor Dawn Ennis by clicking here.

Equal Representation in Sports: Why LGBTQ+ Visibility Matters

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Arts & Entertainment

Rapper DaBaby pulled by Lollapalooza over homophobic comments

“Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing.”

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Screenshot from Rolling Stone Magazine's YouTube Channel

CHICAGO – In an announcement Sunday morning, the organizers of Chicago’s Lollapalooza Music Festival said they had pulled artist DaBaby from tonight’s closing show after a series of public homophobic remarks by the rapper last weekend in Miami at the Rolling Loud music festival.

On Twitter Lollapalooza officials wrote; “Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.  Young Thug will now perform at 9:00pm on the Bud Light Seltzer Stage, and G Herbo will perform at 4:00pm on the T-Mobile Stage.”

The Grammy-nominated rapper’s comments onstage at the Miami festival last weekend brought swift condemnation from other artists in the music industry including British Rockstar Elton John and Madonna among many others.

In the middle of his set last weekend in Miami the rapper told the crowd, “If you didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up! Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up! Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up!”

DaBaby later issued an apology via Twitter that read, “Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies” However, the addendum in the same tweet of; “But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.” was immediately decried as further proof of the rapper’s intolerance of the LGBTQ community.

Michael J. Stern, a Los Angeles attorney and a former federal prosecutor who is now a noted featured columnist for USA Today blasted DaBaby’s ‘apology;’

In his response to Dababy’s remarks Elton John, who founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, a nonprofit organization which funds frontline partners to prevent infections, fight stigma and provide care for the most vulnerable groups affected by HIV, responded in a lengthy series of tweets:

Madonna took to her Instagram telling the rapper to “know your facts,” before spreading misinformation. 

“AIDs is not transmitted by standing next to someone in a crowd,” she wrote on Instagram. “I want to put my cellphone lighter up and pray for your ignorance, No one dies of AIDS in 2 or 3 weeks anymore. Thank God.”

This year’s Lollapalooza festival, which is one of the first major festivals to return in full force since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, concludes Sunday with headlining performances by musical acts Brockhampton, the Foo Fighters, and Modest Mouse.

Dua Lipa ‘Horrified’ at DaBaby’s Homophobic Remarks at Rolling Loud | RS News 7/28/21

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IOC: ‘Trans Women Are Women’ Laurel Hubbard set to make sports history

Laurel Hubbard is set to make sports history on Monday and the International Olympic Committee clearly has her back

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Screenshot via CBS Sports

TOKYO – The director of medicine and science for the International Olympic Committee praised weightlifter Laurel Hubbard’s “courage and tenacity” as she prepares for her upcoming competition as the world’s first out transgender woman Olympian. 

In speaking to reporters in Tokyo Thursday, Dr. Richard Budgett directly addressed those who have attacked and mocked the 43-year-old New Zealander and claimed she shouldn’t be competing with cisgender women, saying  “everyone agrees that trans women are women.”

“To put it in a nutshell,” he said, “the IOC had a scientific consensus back in 2015. There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation. That depends on each international federation. So Laurel Hubbard is a woman, is competing under the rules of her federation and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the Games.”

Hubbard herself has not made any public comments except for a statement following her qualifying for the Summer Games, saying she was “humbled” by the support which had helped her “through the darkness” following a near career-ending injury in Australia in 2018.

Reports around the world have claimed Hubbard is the first trans Olympic athlete, which is actually not the case. As the Los Angeles Blade has reported, Quinn, a trans nonbinary soccer midfielder for Team Canada, last Wednesday became the first out trans athlete ever to complete in the Olympic Games. They posted about it on Instagram, saying, “I feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation. I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world.”

The IOC is expected to review and likely revise its policies on transgender participation following Tokyo. Trans athlete and researcher Joanna Harper, who has advised the organization and other sports policy groups, told the Los Angeles Blade her recommendation will be for the IOC to continue to regulate trans athletes sport-by-sport. “There shouldn’t be a one-size fits all policy,” said Harper. 

She also noted how the mainstream cisgender media is consumed with coverage of Hubbard and missing out on the bigger picture, and what it will mean for the next generation watching on TV and online. 
“The lack of attention paid to Quinn and to Chelsea Wolfe has been interesting,” said Harper.

“A few news outlets have commented on their presence in Tokyo and in Quinn’s case the comments have been mostly favorable. On the other hand, the storm of mostly negative press heaped on Laurel Hubbard has been disappointing, although predictable. I hope that the negative press that Laurel has gotten won’t dissuade young trans athletes from following their dreams. I think that the next trans woman to compete in the games will get less negative press, and eventually (although probably not in my life) there will come a time when trans women in sport generate little or no controversy.”

Hubbard issued a statement Friday via the New Zealand Olympic Committee in which she said: “The Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals and our values. I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible.”

According to a French news outlet, NZOC spokesperson Ashley Abbott told reporters the committee had seen a “particularly high level of interest” in Hubbard’s Olympic debut, and much of it has been negative.

“Certainly we have seen a groundswell of comment about it and a lot of it is inappropriate,” Abbott said. “Our view is that we’ve got a culture of manaaki (inclusion) and it’s our role to support all eligible athletes on our team. In terms of social media, we won’t be engaging in any kind of negative debate.”

Abbott reminded the media that the NZOC’s job was to support its athletes, including Hubbard. “We all need to remember that there’s a person behind all these technical questions,” she said. “As an organization we would look to shield our athlete, or any athlete, from anything negative in the social media space. We don’t condone cyberbullying in any way.”

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