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Politicians are treating trans and non-binary youth as ‘non-human’, says activist

The volatile discourse around trans people is seeing politicians treat the community as “non-human”, an activist has candidly said in the run up to Transgender Day of Visibility 2024.

Speaking with PinkNews about their work running the #TransKidsDeserveToGrowUp solidarity campaign for Transgender Day of Visibility (31 March), Dee Lou Whitnell made frank observations about the state of anti-trans politics in the UK and the impact it is having on the community and wider public. 

Whitnell, who is non binary, created the hashtag after parts of the government’s guidance for schools on trans pupils were leaked to the press in the summer of 2023. At the time, the leaks suggested trans kids would be barred from playing sports and not be allowed to socially transition without parental consent.  

“It was just awful. It was absolutely atrocious and as an ex teacher, I just couldn’t sit and just allow them to kind of suggest these practices to teachers. 

“Particularly as a trans ex teacher and a teacher who was solely working with LGBTQ+ kids.” 

“I created the campaign trans kids set her up because I knew that if the leaked guidance became the official guidance, our kids wouldn’t become adults,” they said. 

Dee Whitnell holding up a #TransKidsDeserveToGrowUp sign (Dee Lou Whitnell)

Through their work running the solidarity campaign and pushing back against the guidance – which was officially published in December – Whitnell has engaged with organisations like LGBT Consortium, spoke on the first all-trans panel in parliament and has built strong, personal bonds with families who have lost their trans young people. 

In one such case, Whitnell said they became close with the family of Corei Hall, a 14-year-old trans boy who took his own life in October, and was invited to his funeral. It was a moment that resulted in a profound realisation for Whitnell about the state and impacts of transphobia in the UK.

“It was in that moment, when I was sitting in a church for a funeral of a young trans boy, that I was like, wow, this is actually the reality of what our trans youth are facing. 

“Which is why I am quite blunt and quite in your face with the coverage of trans youth because I think we’re not having real conversations about it. 

“I believe that the way that a lot of politicians and adults see young people is that they see them as just non-human; that they don’t have their own capability, they don’t have their own autonomy. When, in reality, they are much [more] well versed than many adults are when it comes to gender and identity.” 

After this, Whitnell said they knew they wanted to “make a difference more than just the campaign” and use the campaign as a vehicle “to make a change”. 

After the guidance was officially released, Whitnell worked with various organisations to help people fill in the consultation about it, as they felt it had been purposefully made “impossible to complete”. 

“If you didn’t have a laptop, if you didn’t have internet access, if English wasn’t your first language, if you’re like me and you’re dyslexic, or you need a physical consultation; it was made so inaccessible for a reason,” they told PinkNews. 

The hashtag has been used millions of times (Dee Lou Whitnell)

Beyond the guidance, Whitnell is keen to raise awareness of the impacts of the politicisation of trans lives, especially as we are in a year in which we will see a General Election. 

They said, first and foremost, trans people need to protect themselves during this heightened period of transphobic. “One of the things that I’ve been saying a lot to a lot of my trans friends at the moment is that you are still an activist, you are still fighting for our rights, even if you’re in bed and you’re not reading the news because it is so tiring right now”. 

But at the same time, it is “so important to ask these difficult questions and to hold politicians accountable” as “we’re in a moment of trans people are being attacked left, right and centre.” 

“It’s really important that you ask politicians direct questions and you don’t allow wishy-washy responses,” they said. 

One way Whitnell hopes to engage politicians is by young trans people, parents, carers and teachers sending letters to MPs to help “humanise” the trans community, rather than politicians seeing them as just amorphous statistics. 

“That’s something that politicians are doing at the moment, dehumanising trans people by saying that they don’t exist or saying that there are a concept or an ideology.” 

“I’m trying to also raise awareness of the fact that how we talk about trans young people and trans people in the media is directly impacting young people,” they said, “because we’re seeing a rise in young people attacking trans people – which we haven’t seen before. 

“Previously, we saw people go on dates with a trans person and attacking them because they didn’t realise they were trans. But now we’re seeing young people [attacking trans people] and the only reason for that is because of the media, because of celebrities, because of politicians, making comments about trans people and young people absorbing it. 

“It’s our responsibility to make sure that our kids stop killing kids.”

The post Politicians are treating trans and non-binary youth as ‘non-human’, says activist appeared first on PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBTQ+ news.

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‘Coming out as trans to my family was painful, but it taught me to love myself more’

“Are you trans?” a cisgender guy I used to live with asked me last year in front of my friends. I remember thinking: “Yes, I am. So what?” 

But faced with the invasive question, with this man outing me and forcing me to make a public decision about my identity, all I could do was stumble over my words and blurt out something along the lines of: “Maybe, not sure, I don’t know.” 

It was as though my identity was somehow too shameful to announce. This was the final time I let other peoples’ judgment stand in the way of me being proud to be trans.

It took me a while to accept that I was transgender. Not because I wasn’t, but because I never thought I would be allowed to be. I grew up in Switzerland, in a Catholic Italian household, and my parents had been raised with outdated values that influenced their beliefs around LGBTQ+ issues – my mother more than my father. 

I, however, gravitated towards traditionally masculine clothes, sports and toys, which didn’t fit with their expectations. Growing up, my family forced me to conform to Western ideas of femininity. My mother would buy all my clothes and didn’t allow any deviation from a feminine norm, which meant I couldn’t wear what I wanted until I started earning my own money at 21 years old.

I forced myself to embody this “feminine ideal”, perfecting my performance of “womanhood” and following what I was taught by the nuns at my school. I was even praised for it. How I felt about my gender identity didn’t matter as long as I was able to please those around me, seeking, in particular, my mother’s approval. 

I admit, it did make me feel good when others complimented me for looking feminine or for a display of supposedly feminine traits. Even though it was so different from how I usually acted and who I was, my self-worth was heavily tied to external approval.

I continuously felt dysphoria, wishing I could appear more masculine. But from an early age the message was clear: who I was, was not OK. 

At school, religion was used against people like me. I was taught to believe that only those who behaved well and conformed would go to heaven, and that included loving the body “God gave you.”

Just before moving to London to go to university, which I saw as an opportunity for a fresh start, I accidentally came out to my family as queer. I still remember the anxiety taking over my body and numbing me to what I had just admitted. 

My dad and my brothers were nothing short of amazing and supportive. My mother, however, cried. 

She cried for the future versions of me she had lost, versions of me she had invented and looked forward to. I left her with a version of me she knew she would never be able to accept to the fullest extent, because of how she grew up. 

These are not my assumptions, these are her direct words that pierced my heart and left me feeling estranged from her for years – something that’s all too common for LGBTQ+ people.

A person holds a rainbow striped heart in their hands towards the viewer
Mylo sought other people’s approval – especially his mother’s. How he felt about his gender identity fell into the background. (Pexels)

It is difficult to narrow down a specific moment in time when my mother’s views shifted. There was no sudden epiphany or remorseful awakening. She didn’t wake up one day and apologise for her bigotry. 

Even now, whenever I talk about my partner, I can sense her discomfort. A familiar awkwardness fills the space and, each time, I hold my breath, hoping something will change. But, sadly, my mother avoids the topic and rarely acknowledges my queer identity.

But being physically apart, in different countries, has given her time to understand who I am, and has helped her accept me more. Since my coming out, she has educated herself on LGBTQ+ issues, openly discussing them with me. 

However, the main improvement in our relationship stems not from any particular awakening but from my own shift in perspective. I have gained a better understanding of who I am, loving myself more, and actively refusing to feed the narrative that external approval equates to my self-worth. 

I am able to call my mother out when necessary, put healthier boundaries in place and demand she sees my queerness because I know I deserve as much. She is trying her best and I am thankful for it. 

While we are in a much better place now, I still feel the pain of my younger queer self just wanting to be loved and accepted for who they are.

While living in London, I have immersed myself in a rich and loving LGBTQ+ community. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many trans and non-binary people, with whom I share similar experiences. It took years of unlearning shame and guilt to realise that I was trans too. 

I was always taught that having a masculine body was wrong, so for a long time I didn’t dare come close to being myself. I was still grappling with my internalised biases that echoed memories of being called homophobic slurs by my peers when I was young. 

However, through the help of supportive friends and my partner, I was shown the beauty of transgender and butch masculinity. I did not have to appease a cis-heteronormative masculine ideal to be valid in my masculine identity. 

Being masculine, cutting my hair and changing my name and pronouns were met not only with acceptance but also admiration and celebration. It was the first time I realised I could be trans and happy.

I began the process of getting top surgery this year, having saved up enough money, and it marked the first step towards realising one of my biggest dreams. In many ways, it finally feels attainable to be my full authentic self. 

Now, when I look back at the views I was raised around, I feel I am getting closer to being me and loving myself the way that my version of God wants me to be. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like coming home to myself. God just made a silly mistake, and now I am correcting it.

Mylo volunteers as an ambassador for Just Like Us, the LGBTQ+ young people’s charity. LGBTQ+ and aged 18 to 25? Sign up here!

The post ‘Coming out as trans to my family was painful, but it taught me to love myself more’ appeared first on PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBTQ+ news.

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Three common anti-trans myths easily debunked by science

The most often-spouted myths about trans lives are easily disproven – and have been by respected medical and scientific minds.

Anti-trans sentiment continues to bombard the UK, US and further afield. Some of the loudest voices would have others believe that trans people are new and unnatural, that they all regret transitioning, and are destroying the pillars of society.

They claim the existence of trans people “ignores basic biology”. Some of the same people who try to deny trans rights based on “the science” also deny the fact that humans drive global climate change and spread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. They aren’t dealing in facts, and their anti-trans rhetoric is rooted in harmful beliefs.

We’d be here all day if we had to debunk absolutely every myth and outright lie about trans people and gender-affirming healthcare, but the research is out there. It’s being shared in courts, in political debates and in articles written by those who would uphold trans rights. 

Here, PinkNews roots out the truth behind three of the most common anti-trans claims.

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The myth: Being trans is a social phenomenon sweeping through younger generations 

The widely discredited “trans social contagion theory” can be traced to a 2018 paper published by Lisa Littman, a former professor at Brown University who now serves as an adviser to gender-critical group Genspect.

Littman coined the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria”, which some anti-trans proponents have used to suggest trans adolescents, particularly trans boys, aren’t trans but are simply lesbians or girls with mental health issues, who declare themselves to be trans after exposure to so-called external influence.

Regret rates for gender-affirming care are incredibly low. (PinkNews/Getty)

However, a study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2022 found that the “social contagion” isn’t supported by real-world data.

By analysing data from two CDC surveys conducted in 2017 and 2019, it found a small drop in the number of young people identifying as trans. It also found that the proportion of young people assigned female at birth who have come out as trans fell slightly.

“The sex assigned at birth ratio of TGD adolescents in the United States does not appear to favour AFAB adolescents and should not be used to argue against the provision of gender-affirming medical care for TGD adolescents,” the study concluded.

What has increased in recent decades is trans visibility. It’s a sign that society is becoming more accepting as rising number of trans people feel they can live openly and receive support, including gender-affirming care. 

A person holds up a sign reading 'Transition is suicide prevention' while another holds up a sign reading 'trans rights are human rights' during a protest
Several major medical bodies agree that gender-affirming healthcare is vital for trans people, and studies have shown how harmful it is to prevent trans people from accessing such care. (Getty)

But as LGBTQ+ people have seen time and time again, increased visibility often leads to increased attacks by those who don’t understand the community and wish to shove us back into the shadows.

The “social contagion” theory feeds into harmful claims that view stigmatised groups as being contaminated and capable of corrupting or grooming young people. It reeks of rhetoric used throughout history to attack many different marginalised groups including members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of colour and those with disabilities.

Trans people aren’t new. History shows trans people have existed in different cultures across the breadth of human existence

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The myth: trans people regret transitioning

Detransitioning means stopping or reversing transition, which can include social or medical transition, or both. There are people who detransition, and there are a variety of reasons that can be behind such decisions, including transphobia, family pressure and non-affirming environments.

Gender-critical voices often use stories of detransition to suggest young people shouldn’t be affirmed in their transition, or be allowed to access gender-affirming care.

But recent guidelines by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) says several studies show that there are “low rates of patient regret and high rates of patient satisfaction” with gender-affirming treatments and surgeries for trans people.

A person holds up a sign during a trans protest that lists the percentage of people who regret certain surgeries. According to the science used in the study, very few trans people regret gender-affirming surgery
WPATH says several studies show there are “low rates of patient regret and high rates of patient satisfaction” when it comes to providing gender-affirming care for trans people. (Getty)

Separately, a 2019 survey of 3,398 attendees of a gender-identity clinic in the UK found that just 16 – about 0.47 per cent – experienced transition-related regret. Of these, even fewer went on to detransition. 

Additionally, a North American study found that 94 per cent of children who came out as trans continue to identify as trans five years later. Approximately 1.3 per cent of young people transitioned to another identity before returning to their trans identity while 2.5 per cent later identified as cisgender and 3.5 per cent as non-binary.

A person holds up a sign reading 'Trans medicine saves lives' during a protest in support of trans and non-binary people in the Indiana state capitol
Several studies have found gender-affirming healthcare is life-saving for trans people. (Getty)

There is an established consensus among most major medical organisations that gender-affirming care is vital, and countless studies show it’s harmful to prevent a person affirming their gender. 

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The myth: Trans people, particularly trans women, participating in sports hurts cis women

The reality is that trans and non-binary people have been playing sports – whether it’s in schools, clubs or leagues – for years without any unfair advantages or issues. 

But legislation to exclude trans people, particularly women and girls, from participating in athletics has been brought forward in several states across the US. Several sports governing bodies worldwide have instigated trans bans in recent years over concerns around “fairness”. 

Lawmakers championing trans sports bans have continuously failed to cite cases in their states where trans athletes, by and far, had advantages over their cisgender counterparts.  

A recent report found trans women don’t have any advantages over their cis peers when participating in elite sport. 

Commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, the report is an in-depth review of all scientific literature published between 2011 and 2021 in English regarding trans women and their participation in elite-level sports.

The authors concluded that these studies show little evidence that factors relating to male puberty – such as lung size and bone density – produce an advantage for trans athletes, and that trans women who have begun testosterone suppression have no clear biological advantage.

The report did find strong evidence” that “elite sport policy is made within transmisogynist, misogynoir, racist, geopolitical cultural norms”.

A person holds up a sign reading 'Schools stand with trans kids' during a protest in support of the trans and LGBTQ+ community in the USA
Athletes, medical professionals, educators and LGBTQ+ advocates have continuously spoken out against banning trans people – particularly trans women and girls – from sports. (Getty)

Additional research found the role testosterone plays in trans eligibility rules in athletics is often exaggerated as the hormone has little impact in performance differences. 

Trans sports bans do nothing to protect or support girls and women in sports. That’s because while there are real issues facing women’s sports – including unequal payracism and rampant sexual assault and harassment – trans participation in athletics isn’t one of them. 

Bans push kids and young people away from the life-changing power of sport. It deprives them of the invaluable lessons that taking part teaches, as well as the benefits that physical activity has on mental and physical health. 

The post Three common anti-trans myths easily debunked by science appeared first on PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBTQ+ news.

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35 thoughts I had watching Drag Race season 16, episode 13: ‘This is where her fate is sealed’

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16, episode 13, employs the oldest trick in the production riggory book with a family resemblance makeover challenge, while another queen snatches her fourth win.

Last week, Dawn got absolutely annihilated in a lipsync to ‘Body’ against the season’s BBL queen Morphine, and this week, it’s Morphine’s turn to be assassinated as she goes up against Sapphira – four wins – Cristal.

Elsewhere, Plane Jane continues to prove that, much to Amanda Tori Meating’s displeasure, she’s really good at drag by snatching another win, Nymphia opens up about imposter syndrome, and Q once again sails through the competition to land in the top four.

Here are 35 thoughts I had while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 16, episode 13.

  • Morphine sent Dawn to the house last week, and I just remembered the absolute set-up of episode 12’s lip sync song choice.
  • The winner of season 16 Sapphira got her fourth win last week, which is insane. For me, she is the only choice for the crown!
  • At the beginning of the season, I would have asked for a Sapphira + Nymphia top two, but I have unfortunately fallen for Plane Jane’s Drag Race, and want her there too.
  • Q has been saved from the bottom like four times. How is she still there?
  • The maxi challenge, it’s revealed, is a makeover of RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! dancers, and let me tell you: I am paying attention to all of these muscled men and their very short shorts. A lot of attention.
  • It’s at this point that I unfortunately have to make a PSA: I f*cking hate the makeover challenge. As I wrote in my rant after Loosey Laduca’s elimination last season, this is just a chance for production to give whoever they want another win, and eliminate whoever they don’t want in the finale. It’s so frustrating, because they’re clearly going to send Morphine (the best makeup artist there) home.
  • Plane Jane’s makeover partner looks like Dawn, if Dawn took several shots of testosterone, went to prison and then the gym. And he tells Plane, “I want to be a hot slut.” I’m in love, I think.
  • I just need Morphine to win and send Q packing on this here episode 13.
  • All of the girls just being so horny for their makeover partners is comedy.
  • Nymphia’s partner is straight! And has a wife! That’s fine, I just disagree with that lifestyle. Keep it out of my face, you know?
  • Q’s man Sebastian is so shady, so they’re a good pair, and Sapphira’s seems very measured and like… wise. So they’re good matches!
  • Q puts Sebastian in heels and not to be shady, but why does he walk better in heels than Q?
  • Nymphia and Morphine are doing a tucking tutorial and it looks SO painful. Ouch. Ouch!
  • Sapphira’s so clever, because whenever Ru gives her a hint, she immediately goes with it. That’s how you win!
  • RuPaul watching Morphine talk about how this is her challenge like she and the producers haven’t already started placing snipers around the studio ready for her elimination.
  • Q saying her drag is “shady and funny”. Where.
  • Plane Jane’s drag sister is called Lazy Susan and we get the longest RuPaul cackle of all time. It’s actually ever so funny.
  • Lazy Susan! Je scream.
  • The pairs all have to choreograph a routine, too. Nymphia’s doing a chicken dance, Morphine’s doing the salsa, and Sapphira realises that her planned lewks won’t let her dance! Panique.
  • Sapphira’s new dress is very similar to Mhi’ya’s entrance look? Is she paying Sapphira back from beyond the grave?
  • Why are Q and her partner’s face entirely white?
  • What is it about this Werk Room that just makes these girls break down? Plane and his partner talk about coming out, Nymhpia breaks down crying and talks about self doubt. RuPaul’s Psychological Torture Race is back.
  • Ts Madison looks so f**king good on the judges panel.
  • Q’s look is fun, but if we’re judging on family resemblance, these could be literally any two people.
  • Morphine looks great, as does her sister, but I just know the judges aren’t going to live.
  • Nymphia’s feather duo look is so fun! And love that they’re not just identical but complimentary.
  • Sapphira and Shakira… this could be the first time Sapphira ends up in the bottom.
  • Is Plane’s partner (Lazy Susan!!!) actually… Gothy Kendoll. No, it’s not, because she drops into a full split, and it’s c*nt.
  • As expected, they clock Morphine’s partner for a little slip up with her dance routine, which doesn’t make any sense because … that’s not Morphine’s fault.
  • Sapphira does rightfully get clocked for a lack of family resemblance, so this is where Morphine’s fate is sealed.
  • Obsessed with Plane’s makeover partner turning into a monster. It always happens. And it helps Plane secure the win!
  • Howling that she gets given a Drag Race monopoly set as a prize.
  • If I was Morphine against Sapphira, I’d feel how Dawn felt against Morphine last week. I.E. There’s no way I’m winning, regardless of if I did better in the lip sync.
  • Weird lipsync song, but Sapphira wins, as predicted. These kind of top five episodes always feel like formalities.
  • It’s sad to see Morphine go. But boy, it’s nice to see her walk away.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 continues on Friday on MTV in the US and on Saturday on WOW Presents Plus internationally. You can read last week’s recap here.

The post 35 thoughts I had watching Drag Race season 16, episode 13: ‘This is where her fate is sealed’ appeared first on PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBTQ+ news.

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Keep Key West GAY: Rebel & Relax

Ed note: As we went to publish this last episode and commentar we got great news about the Don’t Say Gay Law:

Roberta Kaplan for another Extraordinary Win

The settlement over ‘s contentious “Don’t Say Gay” law, officially termed the Parental Rights in Education Act, has garnered attention for clarifying the scope of discussions allowed within educational settings regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. This settlement, the result of legal challenges led by organizationg across the state and negotiated ultimately by Roberta Kaplan, a renowned advocate for LGBTQ+ rights with a history of significant legal victories, including the landmark United States v. Windsor case and the recent win against .

Teachers can say “gay” but can’t “teach” gay…. or something like that

The agreement allows teachers in Florida to discuss LGBTQ+ issues, thereby addressing concerns about the law’s perceived restrictions on such conversations, while maintaining the prohibition on explicit instruction about gender identity and sexuality that the law initially set out to enforce.

Famous Island House

Both proponents of the law and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups have declared the settlement a victory. Advocates for the law argue that it retains its core principles by keeping explicit discussions on sexuality and gender identity out of the curriculum, but LGBTQ+ advocates view the settlement as a win for inclusivity and freedom of speech, sends something of a message to young people about their right to exist and to be seen as it does for LGBTQ teachers and staff.

The broader reaction to the settlement has been mixed, reflecting the deeply polarized views on how sexuality and gender identity should be addressed in schools.

And the good queer folks of have been part of that resistance and are not likely to back down…

Supporting Our Communities Behind Florida Lines

The Keys, particularly Key West, defy the conventional norms of Florida. It’s a place where you can say “gay” as freely as the ocean breeze that sweeps through its streets and listen to drag queens spin tales in the heart of town. From its rebellious beginnings to its present-day celebration of life on the fringe, Key West has always welcomed individuality.

Going One Better. Keep Key West Gay is a Movement

While this island paradise may seem off the beaten path, its off-center and off-color charm only adds to its allure. , who once remarked, ” we have all kinds in these parts,” encapsulating the diverse and inclusive nature of his community. It remains true today. And we’re here to support that spirit. Join us?

Be Yourself. All of You. In Public

ICYMI, no visit would be complete without indulging in some key lime pie, enjoying brunch at any hour, losing your swimsuit for a few hours, or sipping on drinks as the sun dips below the horizon. But in Key West, it’s not just about escaping reality; it’s about embracing a lifestyle where the only rule is to be yourself.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, a little romance, a little less than romance, the perfect place to chill, or a little bit of everything, come experience the magic of Key West and maybe leave as a convert

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our series Gay Key West Uncovered, exploring and exposing some of the island’s many charms. You can listen to the whole series on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Stitcher and more.

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Sharon Stone Shines at GLAAD Awards, Praises Niecy Nash, Oprah & the Power of Community

Sharon Stone brought her signature blend of Hollywood glamour and social consciousness to the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards! The actress presented an award to her friend Niecy Nash and used the platform to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion and uplift inspiring women.

Sharon Stone Praises 'Wonderful' Friend Oprah
Sharon Stone Praises ‘Wonderful’ Friend Oprah

A Night of Friendship and Recognition: Sharon’s excitement was palpable as she spoke to “Extra’s” Melvin Robert. She gushed about Niecy and her spouse Jessica Betts, calling them “wonderful people” and playfully adding, “We’ve worked together, and we play together too!”

Oprah Winfrey Receives Well-Deserved Honor: Sharon also spoke about the evening’s biggest honoree, Oprah Winfrey, who received the prestigious Vanguard Award. Stone declared, “She deserves that pedestal. She’s climbed to get there.” Melvin chimed in, mentioning how many feel like they grew up with Oprah. Sharon wholeheartedly agreed, sharing, “I grew up with her, worked on her shows, and then got to know her as a friend. She’s an incredible human being who’s earned her place in society. I respect and admire her tremendously.”

Celebrating Unity and Justice: The conversation shifted to the unique atmosphere of the GLAAD Awards. Melvin commented on the positive energy, and Sharon elaborated, “Because we understand the concept of ‘justice for all.’ This country was built on the idea of opportunity for everyone, from all walks of life. That’s what ‘United’ means, right? That’s what we need!”

A Longtime Ally: Melvin acknowledged Sharon’s unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community. Sharon simply replied, “Well, because I genuinely believe that humanity means everybody. Not a select few, not the people you pick and choose, but everybody, whether you like it or not.”

Motherhood – A Heart-Exploding Revelation: A lighter moment came when Sharon, a mom of three, revealed a heartwarming truth about motherhood. She beamed, “It just makes your heart explode!”

Sharon Stone continues to be a force to be reckoned with, both on and off screen. Her dedication to equality and her genuine spirit are truly inspiring.

The post Sharon Stone Shines at GLAAD Awards, Praises Niecy Nash, Oprah & the Power of Community appeared first on CN Media.

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Kristi Noem proves there’s nothing she won’t do or say to be picked as Trump’s #2

Kristi Noem frowning

During the early days of COVID, Trump suggested Americans inject themselves with bleach, take horse medication to ward off infection, and promised the virus would dissipate around Easter.

It’s hard to imagine any president compiling a worse track record of public statements at the onset of a worldwide pandemic. But Kristi Noem disagrees. The South Dakota governor, who’s sooooo thirsty to be Trump’s #2, remembers those days fondly.

When it comes to ingratiating herself with the MAGA base, there’s nothing she won’t say.

In a recent interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Noem said she’s thankful every day that Trump was in the White House when COVID first hit.

“I just remembering back to those first days of COVID, and I thank God President Trump was the president, and was in the White House at that time,” she gushed. “He actually let me be governor and make decisions for our people that were the best for our state, and our state is thriving today because of that. “

Talk about a perversion of history!

Trump’s COVID policies, or lack thereof, were catastrophic, contributing to more than 400,000 deaths under his watch in 10 months. During the final five weeks of his presidency, more than 100,000 Americans perished, which averaged out to one death every 26 seconds.

While the country was shutting down in March 2020–on his orders, by the way–Trump was touting the ratings of his press briefings.

“Because the ‘Ratings’ of my News Conferences etc. are so high, ‘Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers’ according to the @nytimes, the Lamestream Media is going CRAZY,” he tweeted March 29. “‘Trump is reaching too many people, we must stop him.’ said one lunatic. See you at 5:00 P.M.!”

Stuck at home, millions of Americans did tune in, and heard his nonsensical ramblings. Despite those fatal missteps, Noem says she would happily compare Trump’s record on COVID to Joe Biden‘s.

“If Biden wants to go back and visit COVID; boy, do I have some stories of what happened on Day One when Joe Biden took over the White House,” she told Hannity. “Our military declined, he attacked our people. He tried to mandate vaccines and masks, and hurt our children and set them back. It was tragic what his policies did to this country.”

When Biden took office on January 20, 2021, tens of thousands of Americans were dying on a daily basis, and more than 10.2 million were unemployed. Today, only 2.2 million Americans are on the unemployment rolls, and the unemployment rate stands at 3.9%, among the lowest it’s been in 10 years.

Tragic indeed.

South Dakota, by the way, did not fare particularly well in the pandemic, despite Noem’s assertions. The largely rural state ranks ninth in deaths-per-capita and third in cases-per-capita, behind only North Dakota and densely populated Rhode Island.

But like a true MAGA queen, Noem doesn’t allow facts to impede on her outlandish talking points.

Noem’s remarks on Fox are the most ridiculous she’s uttered in a couple of weeks, since she recorded that bizarre infomercial for a Texas-based dentist office. The gay-hating governor posted a four-plus minute video extolling the work of Smile Texas, which she says fixed her smile. (Good thing, because she has such a filthy mouth!)

“I chose the team, because they’re the best,” she said. “They wanted to make sure I was happy with my smile, that it was going to work for me for the rest of my life.”

Noem’s infomercial was so strange, it led to a cottage industry of speculation. The prevailing theory was that her fresh front teeth are the latest ploy in her efforts to woo Trump over. New York Times fashion writer Vanessa Friedman chronicled Noem’s looks over the years, from a power bob-wearing congresswoman to wannabe Miss America:

After Mr. Trump won the presidency and the MAGA movement took off, Ms. Noem adopted a new look. Her hair got longer and longer, with tousled waves kissed by the curling iron, her part moved to the center. She began to resemble a doppelgänger for Kimberly GuilfoyleDonald Trump Jr.’s fiancée. Or a dark-haired version of Lara TrumpEric Trump’s wife and the new co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

Noem’s campaign to be Trump’s #2 stretches back to last spring, when she launched a whistleblower hotline for people to report any suspected “wokeness” happening at colleges. The hotline, which was predictably disastrous, was one of Noem’s many attacks against LGBTQ+ people.

Since assuming office in 2019, Noem has banned gender-affirming care for minors and banned drag shows. She was recently ordered to pay a transgender advocacy group $300,000 for wrongfully terminating a contract with the organization.

On top of that, the largest Native American tribe in South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux, banned Noem from its land due to her extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric.

With all of her pandering, one might suspect Noem is at the top of Trump’s veep list. But that doesn’t appear to be the case!

The latest hot candidate is Florida senator Marco Rubio, whom Trump once denounced as “Liddle Marco.” Along with Rubio, Trump has floated the possibility of selecting Rep. Elise Stefanik, Tim Scott, Ben Carson, JD Vance and even Nikki Haley (though that seems unlikely).

As time progresses, Trump’s veep list seems to grow longer, not shorter. That means Noem may have to sink to even lower depths to separate herself from the pack.

We know she won’t hesitate to do so!

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Sharon Stone Shines at GLAAD Awards, Praises Niecy Nash, Oprah & the Power of Community

Sharon Stone brought her signature blend of Hollywood glamour and social consciousness to the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards! The actress presented an award to her friend Niecy Nash and used the platform to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion and uplift inspiring women.

Sharon Stone Praises 'Wonderful' Friend Oprah
Sharon Stone Praises ‘Wonderful’ Friend Oprah

A Night of Friendship and Recognition: Sharon’s excitement was palpable as she spoke to “Extra’s” Melvin Robert. She gushed about Niecy and her spouse Jessica Betts, calling them “wonderful people” and playfully adding, “We’ve worked together, and we play together too!”

Oprah Winfrey Receives Well-Deserved Honor: Sharon also spoke about the evening’s biggest honoree, Oprah Winfrey, who received the prestigious Vanguard Award. Stone declared, “She deserves that pedestal. She’s climbed to get there.” Melvin chimed in, mentioning how many feel like they grew up with Oprah. Sharon wholeheartedly agreed, sharing, “I grew up with her, worked on her shows, and then got to know her as a friend. She’s an incredible human being who’s earned her place in society. I respect and admire her tremendously.”

Celebrating Unity and Justice: The conversation shifted to the unique atmosphere of the GLAAD Awards. Melvin commented on the positive energy, and Sharon elaborated, “Because we understand the concept of ‘justice for all.’ This country was built on the idea of opportunity for everyone, from all walks of life. That’s what ‘United’ means, right? That’s what we need!”

A Longtime Ally: Melvin acknowledged Sharon’s unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community. Sharon simply replied, “Well, because I genuinely believe that humanity means everybody. Not a select few, not the people you pick and choose, but everybody, whether you like it or not.”

Motherhood – A Heart-Exploding Revelation: A lighter moment came when Sharon, a mom of three, revealed a heartwarming truth about motherhood. She beamed, “It just makes your heart explode!”

Sharon Stone continues to be a force to be reckoned with, both on and off screen. Her dedication to equality and her genuine spirit are truly inspiring.

The post Sharon Stone Shines at GLAAD Awards, Praises Niecy Nash, Oprah & the Power of Community appeared first on CN Media.

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PHOTOS: Oh Pit Crew! The hottest shots of the dancers from this week’s ‘Drag Race’ makeover

Image Credits, left to right: @markromain, @dino.mml, @gu3low
(Instagram)

*CAUTION: Minor spoilers ahead for the March 29 episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, “Drag Race Vegas LIVE! Makeovers”—but don’t worry, we won’t spoil the outcome of the challenge here!”

Another week of Drag Race, another new crop of hunky Pit Crew members to drool over. Is it just us, or is Mama Ru really delivering the goods this season?

As is tradition, it’s time again for a makeover challenge, one that’s been with us since the early days of the blown-out “season one filter,” tasking queens to drag up everyone from gay veterans to social media stars to the cast of Little Women: LA.

This time around, Ru called in a favor from Sin City, inviting the “Pit Crew dancers” of the RuPauls’ Drag Race LIVE show in Las Vegas to the Werk Room to be our makeover guinea pigs.

Understandably, the girls are gooped and gagged seeing these gorgeous men walk into the room, and we watched with pen and paper in hand, writing their names down for… reasons!

The queens each take turns drawing balls with colors that correspond to the dancer’s underwear, getting their makeover partners assigned at random. As ever, the name of the game is “drag family resemblance,” meaning they’ll have to glam up these burly macho men to turn them into sisters, and Ru throws in an added element where they’ll have to choreograph a signature dance break, just for fun.

Morphine Love Dion manifests getting partnered with her Puerto Rican prince Miguel, who moonlights as a Chippendales dancer. Nymphia Wind winds up with Jonathan, a *gasp* straight, married man. Plane Jane really connects with the furry-chested Nick, dubbed as the “hairy, big, strong version of Dawn.” Q gets paired with Sebastian, whose quiet demeanor hides a shady b*tch at heart. And Sapphira Cristál scores with the handsome Mark—it’s her typically big, opulent drag aesthetic she’ll have to worry about.

The guys have no qualms about performing, and they’re certainly at ease around queens, but it’s a total blast watching them learn about tucking, walking in heels, and how to really lean into their drag personas.

Whether you’ve watched the episode yet or not, we’re sure you—like us—would enjoy getting to know the Vegas Pit Crew a little bit better, eh? So, we went ahead and did some social media detective work, finding each of the gents on Instagram.

Scroll down below for a few of our favorite shots from each of the guys’ profiles. Go ahead, give’em a follow if you feel so inclined!

Jonathan Claudio, a.k.a. Juanita Wind

Miguel Rivera Laureano, a.k.a. La Tina Love Dion

Nick Lemmer, a.k.a. Lazy Susan

Sebastian Gonzalez Molina, a.k.a Luna

Mark Romain, a.k.a. Shakira Cristál

Hint, hint: You can follow along for more from all the RuPaul’s Drag Race LIVE guys on their dedicated Pit Crew Instagram page:

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