Facebook to Backtrack on ‘Real Name’ Drag Queen Controversy

October 1st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
facebook

Image via Facebook.

Facebook was in a tight situation this week after it was discovered that it was beginning to enforce its real-name policy that would deactivate the accounts of those, including drag queens, who didn’t use their legit name on their accounts. This, naturally, angered many. Not only would drag queens be affected, but so would those who chose not to use their real names for privacy reasons such as those people escaping abusive relationships. According to ValleyWag:

Sources say Facebook will stop short of admitting they are reversing the policy, which saw the social network demanding users to go by their “name as it would be listed on [their] credit card, driver’s license or student ID.” Rather than owning up to its discriminatory behavior, the company plans on insisting that it always defined “real name” as a person’s preferred name. We’re told the company will claim that its “real names” policy was being improperly enforced and that a “fix” is on its way.

 

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Get Your Tickets: Andrew Lippa and Kristin Chenoweth Star in ‘I Am Harvey Milk’

October 1st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via I Am Harvey Milk

Image via I Am Harvey Milk

Producers Bruce Cohen, Robb Nanus, Jessica Leventhal, Bruce Robert Harris, and Jack W. Batman will be bringing  Tony- and Grammy Award–nominee Andrew Lippa’s oratorio, I Am Harvey Milk, to the New York Stage for a one-night-only performance on October 6th at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. Starring Mr. Lippa as Harvey Milk and Tony- and Emmy Award–winner Kristin Chenoweth as the Soprano soloist, I Am Harvey Milk will feature the Orchestra of St Luke’s and introduce the 120 member All Star Broadway Men’s Chorus. Part choral work, part theater piece this theater experience is an emotional celebration of an American hero. It weaves the story of Harvey Milk’s life—from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California to his assassination.

Tickets for the New York premiere of I Am Harvey Milk are now available here. Tickets start at $40 with premium seats, including access to a VIP reception, starting at $500.

 

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California Says Goodbye to Plastic Bags

October 1st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

California made history yesterday when it became the first state in the US to ban plastic grocery store bags. Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB270 yesterday morning and will effectively prohibit stores from giving customers plastic bags, and it will also charge them to use paper bags. The hope is that more and more consumers will begin bringing their own reusable bags to the store. “This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itselfWe’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last,” said Brown.

This bill isn’t going into effect without a fight. Bag manufacturers say that the ban will hurt manufacturing jobs in the state and will unnecessarily burden the poor. The alliance hopes to repeal the law in the 2016 election. [UT]

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Pet-Friendly Accommodations, Woof!

October 1st, 2014 Joseph Pedro

Hot guy with dog

by Jimmy Im

Hotels and resorts across the United States are constantly amping up their amenities (VIP services, complimentary happy hours, special in-room dining menus) to provide more comfortable stays for their overnight guests. Of course, nowadays, when we say “guests,” we mean all guests, including those members of the family who have four legs and cute names. Guests that require a leash and walking services, check-in treats, and frequent praise. If you haven’t already noticed, pets are traveling now more than ever, and it’s only a matter of time before pet programs become an industry standard in hotels across the US.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

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Disgusting New Ad Paints Minnesota Transgender Youths as Sexual Predators

October 1st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Fox Twin Cities.

Image via Fox Twin Cities.

A full-page ad depicting two shower heads and the message “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter, are YOU ok with that?” has enlivened a debate over whether or not to allow transgender students to join sports teams based on their gender identity. The completely bigoted and transphobic ad was placed in Sunday’s paper and is in reaction to a proposed policy change that will be discussed this week by the Minnesota State High School League. The ad, which is being paid for by an organization called the Minnesota Child Protection League, echoes the terrible misconceptions that people have concerning transgender issues and only highlights the need for further education. [FX]

 

 

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Move Over Firemen, New York City’s Cab Drivers are Getting in on the Calendar Action

September 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via NYC Taxi Driver Calendar

Image via NYC Taxi Driver Calendar

The New York City Fire Department has made a charity calendar for over a decade now, but Gotham’s unsung heroes, the taxi drivers, are hoping to get some attention and raise some money with their brand-new 2015 calendar. The more-humorous-than-serious calendar features three men from last year and ten new drivers as they pose doing everything from grabbing a bite to eat to changing a flat. Part of the sales will go to University Settlement, which helps serve more than 30,000 immigrants and working individuals with basic services.

Click here to see more pics and to also purchase your calendar. 

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Weinstein Douses Criticism of ‘Finding Neverland,’ Literally

September 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro

FN_Believe_WEB_1In reaction to a piece written by New York Post journalist Michael Riedel criticizing the new musical Finding Neverland, the producers of the show found out that Riedel had not seen the show and had been writing speculatively.

Riedel was invited by producer Harvey Weinstein to come to the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge and see the show for himself. Weinstein set Riedel a challenge: if less than 80% of the audience did not love the show, Weinstein would do the ALS ice bucket challenge. However if 80 percent or more of the audience loved it, Riedel would have ice dumped on him. The show was surveyed and the results were verified by accounting firm Ernst and Young.

A resounding 96 percent of the audience voted they loved the show and so Riedel, watched by a large crowd that gathered, was elegantly doused by Weinstein.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

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Brazil Presidential Candidate Goes on Bigoted Anti-Gay Rant

September 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Flickr

Image via Flickr

A former journalist, now “fringe” candidate running for president of Brazil stole the show at last night’s penultimate presidential debate, but not in a good way. With the election just a week’s away, the country wasn’t talking about the serious contenders political perspectives, but about Levy Felix, a candidate with just 1% of support in polls. The conservative said that gays “need psychological care” and should be kept “well away from [the rest of] us.”

According to the Guardian:

His comments went unremarked upon by the three main candidates – incumbent Dilma Rousseff of the Workers party, former environment minister Marina Silva and Aécio Neves of the pro-business Social Democratic party – though his insults quickly dominated post-debate discussion on social networks.

The incident highlighted the challenge of maintaining fairness in a campaign with seven candidates, four of whom usually poll less than 1% yet are entitled to almost equal prominence in televised debates.

 

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Kelly Clarkson, Elton John: Get all the Details on Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s Italian Wedding

September 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via YouTube

Image via YouTube

Longtime couple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka married after ten years ago in Italy, and until now the stars have kept mum about the festivities. Harris, sat down with David Letterman to talk about the castle wedding outside of Perugia, Italy and revealed some epic details, including who introduced their first dance  and the entertainment for the evening.

Check it out after the jump

Read more…

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Icelandair Promotes Free Layovers with Epic Video

September 29th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Screencap via YouTube.

Screencap via YouTube.

For a few years, Icelandair has offered a 48-hour “stopover” in Iceland free of charge for US passengers continuing on to Europe. In a new two-minute video, Icelandair surprises Kat, a photographer from Seattle who is traveling to London, with an epic 48-hour stopover as she embarks on her own surprise journey around Iceland reconnecting with her love of food. Once she recovers from the initial shock of her welcome, Kat is taken on a gastronomical journey. From cooking organic lamb and rye bread in a geothermal hot spring, to picking wild crowberries and brambleberries, to relaxing in a secret geothermal lagoon, Kat has the time of her life and is forever changed by her trip.

From now until the end of the year, Icelandair plans on surprising more people arriving in Keflavik Airport. You can nominate someone by clicking here.

Watch Kat’s video after the jump…

Read more…

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