In a new interview with The Daily Beast as a part of their SXSW festival coverage, Tilda Swinton makes no bones about her views on LGBT people and the situation in Russia. Swinton is a longtime and outspoken advocate of the gay community, and she has boldly criticized Russia for its human rights policies in the past.
After being asked a question that touched on the irony of the “gayest sporting event ever” (the winter olympics) being held in a country with such laws, Swinton responded with characteristic and acerbic wit: ”Well, Russia has the gayest president ever,” she said. But then, quickly backpedaled: “No, that’s an offensive thing to say—not to [Putin], but to the gay community.”
Later in the interview, Swinton talked about something that is seldom mentioned. Rather than simply defending gays for the sake of equality, Swinton commented on the perks of being gay, Swinton points out that gay people, in coming out, go through something that straight people don’t have to.
As she put it:
“There’s a feeling of development and sometimes, heterosexual people have never had to go through that self-examination and just knowing themselves, and that sense of coming out, coming to your own defense, and being your own best advocate, and going, ‘No! I’m going to stand by myself and say this is who I am and you can all fuck off.’”
Jason Collins, who made history as the first openly gay athlete in professional sports, will play out the rest of the season even though his second ten-day contract expiring after Friday. According to ESPN.com the 34-year-old will finish the season with the team, which, according to sources was the Brooklyn Nets’ intention since his first contract.
It’s a milestone in gay Las Vegas on March 29 with the grand opening of the “first-ever Saturday LGBTQ beach party at a resort on the Vegas Strip,” Xposed! The event will take place every Saturday from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. at the recently renovated Tropicana Las Vegas.
There’s plenty to do in Sin City, of course, but there’s no better way to let your hair down from high-octane Vegas thrills than at Xposed! Need a break from the slot machine? Recovering from an “everything!” performance at one of the casino’s main stages? Get into the groove with go-go dancers and DJs like Ryan Kenney and Kidd Madonny! The party won’t stop, but you’ll be more than happy to take a breather with resort grounds that include relaxing cabanas and stunning visuals — picturesque palm trees and waterfalls.
General admission is $20 per person, and Trop Plus Players Club members get in for free from 11 A.M. through 1 P.M. Vegas Locals with a Trop Plus card get this perk, plus $10 entry after 1 P.M. For VIP reservations email Xposed@TropLV.com.
Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor on HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones, has come out in an interview on Winter is Coming—a fansite—after he was asked about his “extensive” bear following. In response, Nairn comments that the bear community is his community:
…I have some friends in the gay community, “bears,” as they’re wont to call themselves, who hold you on a pretty high pedestal. One good friend of mine (I’ve known since we were in the 5th grade together) says your bear following is “extensive.” Is this something you’re aware of?
Kristian: Well, in all honesty, when you talk about “the gay community,” you are talking about MY community, haha. I AM aware of it yeah, and I think it’s really lovely. There’s not a day that I don’t get a few messages, but 99% or more are super sweet and nothing smutty at all! Again, it’s a privilege, and I really mean that. I’ve never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I’ve been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, cos it’s not something you just blurt out. I’ve tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!
It’ll be hard to control that awwww reaction when watching this video of strangers kissing. What begins as an awkward experiment turns into a passionate display of human connectedness first physically and then, through the act of kissing, emotionally. The video, titled First Kiss, is a project by Tatia Pilieva who convinced 20 complete strangers, both gay and straight, to kiss.
District Court Says that Louisiana Insurance Companies Must Accept Federal Money for Low-Income HIV/AIDS Patients
US District Court said that the BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana and two other Louisiana insurers must accept federally funded third-party premium payments on behalf of lower-income Louisianans living with HIV through the next open enrollment period in mid-November. “This will maintain critical healthcare coverage for lower-income Louisianans living with HIV through the current insurance plan year,” said Scott Schoettes, Senior Attorney and HIV National Project Director at Lambda Legal. “There was a Sword of Damocles hanging over our client and other Louisianans, with these insurers having previously indicated that in just three weeks they would stop accepting the federal Ryan White Program insurance premium subsidies that enable many people living with HIV to afford life-saving health coverage. That imminent threat has been removed.”
BCBS and other insurance companies had earlier said it would cease accepting federal money from the Ryan White foundation the payments after March 31, and the other insurance companies indicated they would follow suit, risking the health and lives of potentially thousands of lower-income Louisianans living with HIV who depend upon the federal funds to purchase and preserve health care coverage. “Continued insurance coverage and access to health care services and medications is critical for people living with HIV,” Schoettes added. “Moreover, BCBS has been accepting these federally funded payments for years, and the US.Department of Health and Human Services has made it clear that they should continue to do so. The lawsuit alleged that this abrupt move by these insurers was inexcusable and discriminatory, and we are relieved they have agreed to continue accepting these payments for at least another seven months.”
In an unexpected move for the Honey Maid brand that celebrates its 90-year anniversary this year, parent company Mondelez International has released a television spot redefining what it means to be “wholesome.” The commercial features an interracial couple, a gay couple, a punk musician dad, and a single father who are all sharing their “real-life stories.” The gay couple is Jason and Tim who are raising two sons. The commercial has already begun airing on ABC and has already ignited a response from social media. “We recognize change is happening every day, from the way in which a family looks today to how a family interacts to the way it is portrayed in media,” Gary Osifchin, senior marketing director for biscuits at Mondelez, said in a statement. “We at Honey Maid continue to evolve and expand our varieties to provide delicious, wholesome products so they can be a part of everyday moments of connection in a world with changing, evolving family dynamics.”
Video after the jump…
Annie gets a 21st century makeover thanks to co-stars Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx and an A-list supporting cast that includes Cameron Diaz, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne. Will audiences gravitate toward this new adaptation of a beloved classic, or will this Annie remix end up on the street? We’ll have to wait until its Christmas 2014 release to find out, but in the meantime, take a sneak peek after the jump…
After a petition was launched calling on major global corporations to pull their advertising from a Ugandan newspaper that “exposed” gays in the African country, Orange wireless has chosen to not renew their contract with the paper. The French telecom company responded quickly to more than 70,000 signatures that called out the company for spending money in the paper Red Pepper that directly put the lives of 200 gay men in danger when it published a list called “Uganda’s 200 Top Homos Exposed.” Executive Director and co-founder of All Out, Andre Banks, wrote in a statement: “Orange’s decision to withdraw their advertising and to explicitly support their LGBT employees should ring alarm bells for Ugandan politicians and business people about the impact this law could have on the national economy.”
Zoie Palmer, who has been a lesbian favorite, finally revealed that she is gay in a speech at the Canadian Screen Awards. The actress, famous for playing a lesbian doctor in Lost Girl, had never spoke about her private life until she was up on stage last night. Along the same vein as Jodi Foster, Palmer thanked her “incredible parter” when she accepted the award for Fan Favorite.
Video of her speech after the jump…