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Queer Up Gay Culture

Grindr Polled 10,000 Users About Love, Sex During the Pandemic

A recent survey by the gay dating and hookup app Grindr found love and sex are surviving the global pandemic and quarantine with an added emphasis on wellness. Grindr asked 10,000 users in the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, and India how their behavior and expectations have changed since the start of the pandemic. The results showed while some gay men are still hooking up while in quarantine, most have minimized risk by turning instead to virtual hookups and porn, and overwhelming majorities have focused more on their own mental and physical well-being as well as using the time in lockdown for some personal introspection.
Significant findings according to the Grindr survey included 69 percent of the men said they’ve watched more porn while in quarantine, 64 percent are trying to find new socially-distant ways to meet up with other gay men, 48 percent said they had virtual hookups, 31 percent revealed they’ve hooked up while wearing a mask. A full 59 percent said their sex drive has actually increased while in lockdown. Perhaps more significant, though, are the changing attitudes about desire and attraction. 58 percent said they are now more interested in a long-term relationship and 67 percent said personality is more important than in pre-pandemic times. One silver lining in the dark cloud of the global pandemic is a renewed and heightened focus on well-being. 86% said they are focusing on mental health and have been more supportive and understanding of others during the pandemic (86 percent and 83 percent respectively). The least surprising aspect of the survey was how 63 percent of the gay men surveyed planned to make up for last time by hooking up more than usual after the pandemic has run its course.

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Queer Up The USA

Hateful Homophobe Rush Limbaugh Died Wednesday.

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Queer Up Politics

Gay Republicans released a cringeworthy video praising Donald Trump for President’s Day

The Log Cabin Republicans released an awkward video to honor George Washington’s birthday by praising former President Donald Trump. The video is for “President’s Day,” giving them a way to shoehorn Trump in. The video features several queer supporters decrying their adoration for the most viciously anti-LGBTQ President in the nation’s history. The Log Cabin video is full of contradictions. The Gay For Trump organization did not endorse President Trump’s first campaign in 2016. The organization was rejected by many state GOP conventions, famously, Texas wouldn’t even allow them to participate. Then in 2020 campaign they endorsed President Trump while the Trump Administration and the GOP platform endorsed ex-gay therapy, opposed marriage equality (which we already have), opposed LGBTQ civil rights including the Equality Act. An interesting note, the Log Cabin Republicans released this video embracing a President that the significant majority of both the House and Senate said he incited sedition and a riot to attack the US capitol building. This video is just two days after Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell said President Trump was practically and morally responsible for the attack on our democracy and could be held responsible in the courts now. That did not seem to pause Log Cabin Republicans.

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Queer Up Entertainment

Hallmark to homophobes: More gay is on the way

We just celebrated Valentine’s Day so is it too early to start thinking about Christmas. Well if you are Crown Media, the mega-corporation that owns both Hallmark greeting cards and the Hallmark Channel, the answer is a resounding no. The company this week gave an update reaffirming the company’s commitment to diversity. CEO Wonya Lucas also assured audiences that more Hallmark movies featuring LGBTQ representation on both sides of the camera is on the way. Lucas made the announcement at the Winter Television Critics Association meeting. She further said the company is “proud” of its advances in queer representation, and looks forward to celebrating more in the immediate future. Lucas said “Before I arrived, we had begun to expand our brand inclusiveness in front of and behind the camera. I’m proud of the progress this team is making to expand diversity in our programming and it is nothing short of seismic.” At Queer News Tonight we have reported extensively of the groundbreaking holiday films that included LGBTQ characters at Hallmark. It wasn’t always so for the brand that represents holiday family. In 2019, the Hallmark Channel came under fire for an ad that featured a same-sex wedding. Christian activist group One Million Moms decried the commercial, prompting Hallmark to pull the ad from circulation. A further outcry by the LGBTQ community prompted Hallmark to re-run the ad, and to commission films with gay characters. Hallmark says they have no intention to look back but rather the future of what they will represent in diversity. Perhaps, for “Family for the holidays”… that’s exactly what we all want. Hallmark is saying what we already knew… LGBTQ is a Holiday family too.

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Queer Up The USA

HUD bars anti-LGBTQ discrimination in housing and rentals

For the first time ever, it will be illegal to turn away people looking to rent an apartment or buy a house simply because they are queer. Officials in the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday that the agency was implementing President Joe Biden’s executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
On Wednesday afternoon, HUD officials told reporters in a press call that housing discrimination against LGBTQ+ was rampant and “demands urgent enforcement action.” HUD said “Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head, free from discrimination and the action we will take tomorrow will move us closer to that goal,” Last June, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, covers sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. Courts have since interpreted that ruling to mean that sex discrimination protects LGBTQ+ people in many areas of life, including housing, public accommodations, health care and education. Biden’s executive order directed federal agencies to similarly apply the Supreme Court ruling in their agencies. Because the Fair Housing Act already bars sex discrimination, officials said, a new law is not required to protect LGBTQ+ people who are looking to buy a home or rent a house. HUD is the first agency to implement the measures in the January 20 executive order, a move that has as much symbolic meaning as it does practical significance.

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Queer up Covid and Health

LGBTQ Persons of Color Have Twice The Likelihood Of Testing Positive For COVID-19

A new report from the Williams Institute has found LGBTQ people of color are twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 as white non-LGBTQ people.
According to the Williams Institute’s findings, 15 percent of LGBTQ people of color tested positive for COVID-19, compared to 7 percent of non-LGBTQ white adults. Furthermore, LGBTQ people of color were over 50 percent more likely than white non-LGBTQ people to have personally known someone who died of COVID-19. LGBTQ people of color are also more likely to experience harsher economic impact of the pandemic: 29 percent of LGBTQ people of color reported problems affording basic household goods, compared to 14 percent of non-LGBTQ white respondents. 26 percent of LGBTQ people of color reported having trouble paying their rent, almost three times the rate of straight white respondents. LGBTQ respondents of color are almost three times more likely to have been laid off recently due to the pandemic. The Williams Institute concluded “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTQ people cannot be fully understood without considering race and ethnicity as well as sexual orientation and gender identity. The impact of the pandemic on LGBTQ people—and LGBTQ people of color specifically—must be taken into account as the federal government seeks to restore trust in institutions responding to the public health crisis and to provide support to those most economically affected by COVID-19.”

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Queer Up Politics

House Announces Floor Vote Tuesday on the Equality Act

The President promised the most significant piece of LGBTQ legislation in the history of this nation in the first 100 days. This afternoon House Majority Leader Steny Hoys, who manages the floor proceedings in the House affirmed in a “Dear Colleague” letter the Equality Act would be one of two pieces of legislation the chamber will take up next Tuesday.
Congress is heading full steam ahead with the Equality Act, legislation to expand LGBTQ civil rights protections with a full house floor vote next week. Hoyer wrote “ Coming to the floor next week is the Equality Act, which will end legal discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.” Katie Drew Grant, a Hoyer spokesperson, predicted the legislation may come next Thursday, but added that could shift as coronavirus relief legislation comes together and gets scheduled.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) are set to introduce the Equality Act in their respective chambers of Congress as they have in years past.
Although the Supreme Court decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County extended vast protections for LGBTQ people under federal law, securing a prohibition against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace sought for decades by movement leaders as well as all areas of civil rights law where sex discrimination is prohibited, the Equality Act would take things a step further. The Equality Act would take last year’s Supreme Court decision in Bostock a gigantic step farther. In addition to the explicit declaration that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination in employment, education, housing, jury service and credit, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and LGBTQ status in public accommodations and federal programs. Further, the Equality Act would expand the definition of public accommodations under federal civil rights law to include retail stores, banks, transportation services, and health care services.
The legislation would also establish that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — a 1994 law aimed at protecting religious liberty — can’t be used to enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Queer News Tonight has been broadcasting since January 6, 2020. Today is very likely the most important news we have ever brought to LGBTQ America. Until the Equality Act passes.

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Queer Up Health

A CDC report signals the agency will resume work on LGBTQ health

Advocates say a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signals that the agency will resume critical work on LGBTQ+ health, something they say is direly needed during the pandemic. The CDC released a report last week detailing the many health disparities that make lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans particularly vulnerable to complications from coronavirus. Information on transgender people was not included, because the survey turned up too small a sample size of respondents, the CDC noted. Intersex people are also not represented in the dataset. The report’s stated goal is to guide future data collection and create a roadmap for tackling health disparities. But the data itself is not new: Under the Obama administration, the CDC had been documenting the health challenges facing LGBTQ+ people. The Trump administration, however, hit the brakes on LGBTQ+ data collection. Jessica Halem, former LGBTQ outreach and engagement director for Harvard Medical School said “We have to ask these gender identity questions, and we can ask simple questions about sexual identity that lets us know who we’re reaching and who are not.” LGBTQ+ organizations have been sounding the alarm for a year about the ways in which queer Americans are being hard-hit by the virus, but until now, federal reports have given little weight to those fears.

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Queer Up Gay Culture

Happening Out Television Network Host and Trailblazing Queer Artist, Ari Gold, Dies at Age 47

Happening Out Television Network guest and host,, New York City-based dance artist Ari Gold has died at age 47. Having just celebrated his birthday earlier this month, the death comes after a long battle with cancer. Many have posted their condolences online.
Gold released seven albums as a part of his career. He released music as an out gay artist and started his career in the early 2000s. He is best known for “Where the Music Takes You,” which featured Sasha Allen. His music video “Wave of You,” released in 2004 was the first video by an out LGBTQ+ artist to world-premiere on Logo. He went by names like Sir Ari and GoldNation in addition to Ari Gold. Gold had a battle with cancer and in late 2019 was declared cancer-free. The same day he received that diagnosis he did an interview with RuPaul for his podcast called A Kiki From the Cancer Ward. In the series, Gold was interviewing close friends and others who visited him while hospitalized — Ru’s interview was the first conducted outside of the hospital, in the musician’s Lower East Side apartment. Ari appeared on It’s Happening Out as both a host and a guest interview. He was close friends with our Producer and new anchor of HappeningOut.travel Show, David Hopkins. I famously interviewed Ari as we was recovering from Cancer treatment while he was in bed. Ari Gold was a trailblazer for the LGBTQ community and will be missed.

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Queer Up The World

White House vague on whether Biden will confront Putin over anti-LGBTQ abuses in Russia

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was vague Friday on whether President Biden — after an initial call with Vladimir Putin on election interference, hacking into the U.S. government and possible bounties on U.S. troops — would similarly confront him on anti-LGBTQ human rights abuses in Russia. Psaki made the comments in response to a question from the Washington Blade in the aftermath of a report this week that Russia arrested and detained two men perceived as gay and forcibly returned them to Chechnya, where they face persecution.
“Well, the president is not afraid to make clear to President Putin the areas where he has disagreement, areas where he is concerned,” Psaki said, without elaborating on whether that includes anti-LGBTQ abuses. The incident in Russia was the latest report of the Kremlin essentially giving a wink and nod to Chechnya over anti-LGBTQ human rights abuses at the hands of the government in the semi-autonomous Republic, including reports of concentration camps for gay men. Russia and Chechnya have denied any abuses. During the Trump administration, the White House response was virtually non-existent at the height of reports of anti-LGBTQ abuses in Chechnya in 2017. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she didn’t know whether the issue came up in a meeting between former President Trump and the Russian ambassador, nor whether Trump had been briefed on the reported atrocities. State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who previously said the Biden administration was “troubled” by the account in Russia, had no updates when asked by the Michael Levall of the Washington Blade during the Friday teleconference, saying “you’ve heard me, you’ve heard others speak out forcibly about Russia’s abysmal human rights record.” Price did note, however, Biden’s presidential memorandum that commits the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ rights abroad.