New Zealand international rugby team the All Blacks are unmatched in their prowess at the sport, being considered by some to be the most successful team in any sport period. The team found itself facing a new historic milestone this week when one of its former members officially came out as gay.
Campbell Johnstone, a prop for the team back in 2005, made his closet door bustdown moment in an interview with TVNZ’s Seven Sharp with Hilary Barry this week. In the interview, he admits that his position on the team made him hesitate to come out for some time.
“Within myself, I was never really comfortable with the whole concept,” the 43-year-old explains. “My dream was to be an All Black.”
His vision of what an All Black is fell in line with the traditional masculine idea of a male athlete, being “manly and strong” and probably having a wife and kids. However, through accepting his sexuality and coming out to his close friends and family, the player came to redefine that image for himself.
Now in his mind, “the idea of an ideal rugby player is an honest, strong person,” no matter their sexuality.
Hunky star of gay rugby movie ‘In From The Side’ confirms he is “not straight”
Yup, Alexander Lincoln’s playing for our team!
Johnstone, like other out players throughout the sport, decided to come out to help others like him feel safe in being themselves and broaden the idea of what a masculine athlete of his stature could be.
“If I open up that door and kind of magically make that closet disappear, then we’re going to help a lot of people,” he says.
“If I can be the first All Black that comes out as gay and take away the pressure and stigma surrounding the issue, it can actually help other people.”
“Then the public will know that there is one in amongst the All Blacks and it could be one of the final pieces in the puzzle, sports-wise, that gives everyone closure.”
TikTok-grown comedy queen Amethyst was well and ready to be the first queen from Connecticut on Rupaul’s Drag Race — then entered Jax, Loosey LaDuca, and even a former CT flame of hers, Robin Fierce. Cue the shady rattlesnake noise.
Unintentional fearsome foursome aside, the queen brought plenty of uniqueness to the table. Her debut “All Around the World” talent show that landed her in the bottom could’ve easily killed in a bar, and her hilarious Snatch Game performance as Tan Mom brought the laughs and saved her track record from the fate of an Akashia or Samantha Ballentines run.
Though she had much more to show (we never even got that Amethyst/Robin lipsync!), our viral vixen has officially sashayed away.
We caught up with Amethyst for this week’s installment of The Chop Shop to talk her Connecticut origins, makeup drama, and what she’d like to say to toxic fans.
As part of the Connecticut quartet, how would you say that where you’re from helped inform your drag?
If anything, I think people were like, “Ooh, her drag is going to be mysterious.” Because where do they have drag in Connecticut? I feel like that was maybe the approach. I think Salina [EsTitties] put it best with her reaction to hearing about all these Connecticut queens. She’s like, “Where are all of you coming from? Connecticut has a population of like 300, right?” So maybe just mystery.
Your drag didn’t seem like a mysterious thing, personally. What we got to see on the show was great comedy. It didn’t always translate to the competition or the judges, but the core talent was always visible.
Thank you. I will say, I agreed with most of the critiques that I got on the show, but there were some here and there that I’m like… maybe not. The fans who have reached out to me about my talent show and the acting challenge and my snatch game give me a sigh of relief – the girls that get it get it, and the girls that don’t, don’t.
I had so many people specifically from Connecticut after I did my talent show number that were like, “Girl, they didn’t know what they were talking about. I saw that woman in Trader Joe’s last week. You did a West Hartford mom!” Like they just got it.
The sneakers were part of the look, too. If I saw West Hartford mom out at Trader Joe’s with a baby on her back, she would not be wearing pumps. She’s going to pick up Joey from soccer.
Is there anybody that would say informed your comedic stylings?
I would say Carol Burnett and Kristen Wiig are like my big two. You can see it!
Who’s a previous season RuGirl you think is underrated and why?
I don’t know if she’s “underrated”, but I haven’t heard from Acid Betty in a long time. I remember seeing her makeup for the first time. She was a pretty big deal on the show, but I still think she’s underrated because I feel like people don’t talk about her right now. And I feel like they should. She’s an artist.
What’s a fun fact that you can share about one of your season 15 sisters that might surprise the fans?
I’m trying to think without being mean. My mind goes straight to my Connecticut sisters, but I know I should play nice with the other kids. I don’t know. I’m just going to say that Loosey [LaDuca] has man-hands. That’s not shocking; she’s, you know, construction. I love you, Loosey! I hope she doesn’t read this, I love her.
In my defense, any chance that she gets when she does her interviews, whenever somebody asks about me, they’re like, “Is there anything that you want to say about Amethyst?” She always says something about me stealing her lipstick, which never happened! I think it’s this running thing that she has in her head. I think it’s hilarious. I’ve even gone with it a few times. So if she wants to talk shit about me stealing lipstick that never even happened, I’m gonna go with that.
It’s giving Ariel Versace’s wigs.
“There was one wig that made it into my bag…” Yeah.
It seems like some of the fans have been getting nastier as of late, and some of the girls this season are really having to fight for themselves online. What would you want to say to the fandom?
I would say, “It’s a TV show.” And then I would remind them after I say that, “it’s a TV show.” And then after I say that, I would look at them dead in the eyes and say, “It’s a f*cking TV show. Calm down.”
Like, girl, it’s a TV show. Things are exaggerated. The number one thing that I would like to remind people is that this was filmed some time ago; any issues that you see involving anybody on the show, 100% of them have been resolved and talked about because we’ve had time to sit down with each other after filming and say like, “Hey, I said this. I didn’t mean it. Let’s talk about it. I don’t want you to feel some type of way when it finally comes on air.”
The block button has been my best friend this whole weekend. I don’t know if it’s because I’m just seeing it crystal clear now that I’m on the show or what.
It’s gotten to this point where I think people are forgetting that we’ve somehow turned into “celebrities” overnight (you can’t see it, but I’m doing air quotes). Social media-wise, yes, we turn into celebrities overnight, if that’s what you want to call it, but we’re just humans that work in reality television. We’re not actors, we’re not actresses, we’re real people with real emotions. It’s just gotten to the point where we don’t have any choice, we gotta clap back. It’s the era of the clapback.
National Student Pride 2023 is set to welcome two of Drag Race UK’s most beloved stars to the main stage when the country’s largest LGBTQ+ student event returns to London next month.
Drag Race UK season four winner Danny and season two finalist Tayce are set to perform at the University of Westminster on Saturday, 10 February during a weekend jam-packed with celebrity appearances, panel discussions and the UK’s biggest LGBTQ+-inclusive careers fair featuring leading businesses from around the world.
Danny and Tayce will engage in an epic lip sync battle during the Saturday daytime festival taking place at the university’s Marylebone campus from 12.30pm to 5.30pm GMT. The free event will also give attendees the chance to meet TikTok stars, therapy puppies and The Traitors contestants Aaron, Maddy, and Amanda.
Other vital conversations taking place on the day include an LGBTQ+ asylum and immigration detention panel with LGBTQ+ charity Rainbow Migration, chaired by UK Black Pride’s Lady Phyll and Vice News reporter Ben Hunte.
And BBC Radio 1 DJ Dean McCullough, who gave up drinking just months before joining the station from Gaydio, will take part in an addiction and sobriety panel with Attitude Magazine and Antidote, the LGBTQ+ drugs and alcohol support service.
What is National Student Pride?
The first Student Pride took place in 2005 at Oxford Brookes University in response to a talk entitled ‘homosexuality and the bible’, from the university’s Christian union.
Now, 18 years later, it’s grown into a national event that welcomes over 2,000 attendees from more than 150 universities around the country, with past celebrity guests including Sir Ian McKellen, Will Young and The Pussycat Dolls.
Sponsored by leading law firm Clifford Chance and professional services firm EY, National Student Pride is also renowned for its annual student recruitment fair that offers soon-to-be graduates an unrivalled chance to connect with a range of dynamic and inclusive employers, which this year will include PinkNews!
What else is happening at National Student Pride 2023?
National Student Pride 2023 kicks off on the evening of Friday, 10 February, with the National Student Pride Awards at the University of Westminster’s Marylebone campus, hosted by Drag Race UK’s Vanity Milan and former Gogglebox star Joe Baggs.
The weekend concludes on Sunday, 12 February with a Drag & Burlesque Brunch in the same venue, hosted by drag performers Dolley Trolley and Don One.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets to National Student Pride’s Saturday daytime festival and careers fair are free, while weekend and drag brunch tickets cost £10.
Wristbands also provide free entry, queue jump and £3 drinks deals at G-A-Y Heaven on Friday and Saturday.
Not every podcast has to be about the insights of serial killers or an elongated manifesto as to why someone doesn’t like a certain trend, but we’re not saying they don’t have a place on your daily commute either.
Whether you’re a fan of drag queens reading each for filth or conversations that push queer society forward, there’s a podcast for you. Look no further than this year’s collection of podcast nominees in the Queerties.
Voting for the 2023 Queerties is officially open. To vote for your fav podcast, just click on any podcast image’s title to go straight to the Podcast voting page.Voting runs through February 21 and you can vote once per day per device in each category. All of the winners will be announced live at a special reception in Los Angeles on February 28 and on Queerty the following morning. Use hashtag #Queerties to share your votes and support your favorites!
Now, let’s take a look at this year’s Podcast nominees:
They may not be siblings, but the banter that Bob the Drag Queen and Monét X. Change share is nothing short of magical
Let J Wortham and Wesley Morris help you process everything from the legacy of your fav movie to the impact of Beyoncé’s Renaissance.
Think of all of the hijinks, if you will, that you’ll get to hear all about in this podcast.
The vibes are always right when hosts Saeed Jones, Sam Sanders, and Zach Stafford are involved.
Over the weekend, Star managed to bring makeup and sports fans together after he shared an image holding hands on a private plane with an unidentified new man who allegedly has something to do with the National Football League.
“Goodbye LA, time to spend time with my #NFL boo in Wyoming,” Star tweeted.
While it is known that Star owns a multi-million dollar ranch in the Cowboy state, cyber sleuths went on overdrive looking for clues to track down who the mystery boyfriend could be.
Online detectives were quick to pinpoint the “NFL boo” in question was wearing Vans sneakers and then attempted to make assumptions based on the size of his feet, his exposed ankles, and even suspected markings on his hands.
The social media private investigators laid out their evidence:
Jeffree Starr has me googling where various NFL QB’s hand veins are, nfl players born in Wyoming, and searching every shoe database for Vans purchased within the last 6 months. pic.twitter.com/Djl0lu0B2B
I love the fact that Jeffree Star posted a mystery NFL player holding hands with him because it has sent straight men into a frenzy and all straight men now know who jeffree star is
God level self marketing/ PR
Time will tell if Star reveals the identity of his new man or if it is just his latest PR stunt. In between teasing his new romance, Star–who has had a problematic past, to stay the least–has been sharing updates to new products and preparing to launch his first brick and mortar retail store in Wyoming.
For now, fans will have to keep guessing until the mystery man’s identity is revealed or the hype blows over and everyone moves on with their lives.
Disney leading lad and singer-songwriter Joshua Bassett has been through it. When his HSMTMTS costar/ex-girlfriend Olivia Rodrigo dropped the megahit song “Driver’s License” and subsequent divorce album Sour in 2021 (the two were never married, but somehow, it qualifies), things took a marked downward turn for the young actor.
Since then, Bassett has faced near-fatal stress-induced heart failure, a coming out amidst massive social pressure, and a public split from post-Rodrigo girlfriend Sabrina Carpenter. Bassett has documented his season of trial and tribulations in his own music — which, aside from the occasional “Feel Something”, is largely downtempo and melancholy like last year’s Sad Songs in a Hotel Room EP.
Bassett recently told MTV that the number one question he gets from fans nowadays is: “Are you okay?” We get why.
As concerned as fans have been for his health and well-being throughout it all, a recent series of messages from the actor is bringing their worry to a new level.
The first such flag was a tweet sent out a couple weeks ago, in which the actor wrote an abrupt, devoutly evangelical message with no context.
Bassett unilaterally stated that Jesus Christ is the only way:
This message from an LGBTQ+ figure who’d never publicly espoused such fierce religious views made some fear that he’d undergone some kind of Christian conversion therapy since ending his tour in December. However, the message came and went with such little follow-up that the lasting reaction ended up amounting to that video of Trisha Paytas going “Huh? What? Oh, okay.”
‘High School Musical’ star Joshua Bassett reveals years of sexual abuse
“I finally found the courage to speak up for myself.”
This past weekend, Bassett returned to his intensely religious messaging, this time taking to his Instagram Story to assure how ecstatic he now is in Christ.
Among his statement is the claim that he’s “first hand encountered Jesus twice”:
He also asserts that his former tweet saying that “Jesus Christ is the only way” caused the light in his living room to turn on when he typed it.
“For those concerned about me, be sure of this: I’m better than I have ever been,” he concludes. “The peace I feel is far beyond what I thought possible.”
Watching young, beloved LGBTQ+ figures turn hard into evangelicalism is nothing new; even just in recent years, fans have watched both Lady Gaga superfan Staten Harry and viral YouTuber Lohanthony reemerge as Christians and denounce their previous lives.
These gay Christians aren’t repressing themselves, they’re just engaging in “loving self-denial”
A growing number of gay Christian millennials are embracing what is being called the “Side B” movement.
While some are praising the star’s turn into The Light, many are expressing confusion and fearing that the star is just facing repression and indoctrination:
Given the song (a disco-tinged dance number made in collaboration with Calvin Harris) is called “I’m Not Here To Make Friends”, it’s clear Smith is no longer prepared to be anything other than their real self, no matter what other people might think.
And it seems the video has certainly triggered some.
One British broadcaster, Dominique Samuels, led the chorus of disapproval. She accused Smith of “wearing their sexuality like a costume and shoving it in everyone’s face.” She was particularly horrified that kids might be influenced by Smith.
Sam Smith is a perfect example of what degenerate Hollywood culture does to people.
It makes celebrities vulgar, hyper-sexualised and obsessed with wearing their sexuality like a costume and shoving it in everyone’s face.
This was followed this morning by a live debate on the breakfast TV show Good Morning Britain about Smith’s new promo. One commentator said it represented a shift that is “not good for society”.
Sam Smith’s latest music video has caused controversy online, as social media called it ‘vulgar and hyper-sexualised’. However, others have called the video empowering as a non-binary person is celebrating their body.
However, another commentator praised Smith and said they were receiving criticism primarily because they’re nonbinary. Many other artists, such as Madonna and Miley Cyrus, have made sexually suggestive videos without prompting breakfast TV debates.
‘Madonna’s done that and it wasn’t on the TV in the morning, people weren’t debating it in the same way.’
Shivani Dave says other music artists have released similar content before and Sam Smith is not the first. pic.twitter.com/LX9sWobwmr
So women artists can make explicit music videos, as can straight men, for decades there can basically be soft porn in mainstream music & that’s all harmless hetty fun but now Sam Smith does it & suddenly it’s perverted grooming filth. HELLO HOMOPHOBIA & TRANSPHOBIA!