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Trans Students Protected Under Title IX, Biden Administration Says

“All students — including LGBTQ+ students — deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination,” the education secretary said.

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Drag Race star Nina West, Kermit the Frog and more to headline Disney Pride spectacular

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Nina West, Kermit the Frog and more are set to headline Disney Plus’ This Is Me: Pride Celebration Speculator. Slated for a 27 June release date on Disney’s streaming service, the Pride Month special will be an all-star virtual concert honouring the kaleidoscopic LGBT+ community….

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What to Watch: Obsessive romance, a gay hook-up slasher comedy, and Rita Moreno conquers

Summer of ’85

Whatever your entertainment needs, we got your back (and hopefully your mind) with Queerty’s weekly “Culture Club” column with some of the highlights of new releases, streaming shows, classics worth revisiting, and what to drink while you watch.

The Thrill: Summer of ‘85

French, gay auteur François Ozon returns with this new erotic thriller about first love and first heartbreak. A boating accident results in teens Alex and David (Félix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin) meeting up by happenstance and feeling an instant attraction. Six weeks later, Alex gets arrested and recalls the torrid relationship that led him to disaster. But not all is what it seems…

Summer of ‘85 ranks as one of Ozon’s best films, both in the way it fuses genres, and in the way it layers its characters. This film will ignite spirited debate among viewers as to how they judge Alex and David, and the nature of their relationship. Since much of the film unforlds through Alex’s memories, however, we’re left to wonder if history transpired as he says it did. Ozon also makes us question how the couple actually felt about one another, the point where affection and obsession meet. Anchored by two magnetic, sexually charged performances by Lefebvre and Voisin, Summer of ‘85 will have viewers pondering their own past relationships as much as the one at the center of the film.

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In theatres July 18. Also playing Frameline45 and the Provincetown Film Festival online thru June 27.

The Icon: Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It

One of our favorite films from Sundance 2021 opens wide this week, bringing with it a frank and affectionate look at a legendary performer and gay icon. Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It recounts Moreno’s early beginnings in Puerto Rico, her emigration to the US and her varied career which nabbed her an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy. Featuring interviews with Moreno herself, George Chakiris and Terrence McNally and longtime fans Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eva Longoria-Parker and Gloria Estefan, the movie maps the far-reaching effect of the actress’ work.

Unlike other more reverent docs, Moreno doesn’t hold back here, sharing frank memories of her experience with sexual assault in Hollywood, hardship finding work as a Latina actress, her marriage, and—in perhaps the film’s most candid subplot—the details of a torrid relationship with Marlon Brando. At 89, Moreno’s petite frame still radiates star charisma and vitality. Viewers will come away from this film feeling like Moreno didn’t just live life; she earned it.

In theaters June 18. Also available as part of the Provincetown Film Festival online thru June 27.

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The Quickie: Catfish Killer

Co-directors Seth Harrington and Gil Hizon launch this horror-comedy short this week. Catfish Killer follows a group of gay men on a camping trip to a cabin in the woods. When the boys decide to do their best to attract some extra company, things take a dark turn when their potential hook-up accuses them of catfishing and comes to the cabin to exact revenge.

At 12 minutes, Catfish Killer doesn’t overstay its welcome, and manages to get a couple of big laughs in over the span of its runtime. It helps too that Harrington taps capable actors to carry the material, including Eastsiders vets Chris Salvatore and Stephen Guarino. As directors, Hizon & Harrington show potential and passion. We look forward to seeing them direct a feature in the future. For now, though, they knows how to show fans of horror, camp and camping a good time.

Streams on Here Media.

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The Spin: Bright Light, Bright Light remixes Megan Vice vs. TT The Artist “Feeling Good”

Queerty nominee Bright Light, Bright Light returns this week with his remix of the Megan Vice and TT The Artist collaboration, “Feeling Good.” Despite the very complicated title and credits here, Mr. Light, Ms. Vice and The Artist again show off their knack for crafting dance-ready pop. With a beat and melody that channels 90s CeCe Peniston and 70s Cheryl Lynn, “Feeling Good” puts us in the mood to hit the dance floor or go cruising (in any form) in a convertible on a sunny day. Press for the song describes it as a “summer bop,” though, for our money, we think it suits a good time all the year-round.

Streams on YouTube.

The Jam: Maggie Szabo “Rebuild”

Speaking of dance-ready pop beats, Canadian vocalist Maggie Szabo drops her latest video this week, a boogie-ready power ballad perfect for celebrating pride month. “Rebuild” pays homage to love, strength and resilience in the face of adversity. The accompanying video, directed by transgender director Alexa Best, follows the biography of Dr. Kathryn Davis (who also appears in the vid), a woman who underwent gender transition at age 70. It’s a beautiful celebration of queer identity and progress, accompanied by powerhouse vocals from Szabo, and perfect for pride.

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Streams on YouTube.

The Munch: CBD Gumdrops

This week, we’re doing something a little bit different here at Culture Club in terms of our recommended intoxicant. Instead of a cocktail, we suggest giving some CBD gumdrops a snack (where legal, of course). Suitable for viewing a film at home or in the theatre, or for loosening up whilst hanging with friends, this candy can help ensure a very silly time.

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How Antonio Sabàto Jr. became wrapped up in a bizarre internet money mule scam

Former gay-for-pay actor and failed GOP candidate Antonio Sabàto Jr. is back in the headlines again, but not because of anything he actually did.

60-year-old Wendy Peterson is a disabled former restaurant manager from Holly Hill, Florida who believed she was having a steamy online romance with Sabàto, who she thought was an oil rig worker named Gabriel Bosun.

“I can’t believe it fell for it,” Peterson told local media. “This is pretty bad.”

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As it turns out, Bosun allegedly used Sabàto’s photos to trick Peterson into falling in love with him. And it worked! The whirlwind computer romance began in January and lasted for several months before she eventually caught on.

It was a bold move on Bosun’s part, too, as there was always a chance Peterson might recognize Sabàto from his 2003 soft core gay film Testosterone or his 2005 made-for-TV gay drama Deadly Skies.

But Peterson says part of the reason why the relationship lasted for as long as it did was because she never actually talked to Bosum over Zoom or Facetime.

Then last month, she agreed to relocate to Texas so she could marry him.

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“We were going to move to Houston,” she said. “He thought I would be a good stepmother to his daughter.”

She says Bosum deposited three checks into her bank account to help fund the move and she began making all the arrangements. Then one evening she saw a local news story about another woman who had been tricked into being a money mule for an international crime ring. When the 68-year-old woman, who was scammed out of $2 million, shared photos of the man who had duped her, Peterson was shocked to see it was none other than Sabàto/Bosum!

She immediately logged into her bank account and saw the checks he had sent her had all bounced and she was now $11,000 in the red. When she contacted Bosum about it, he allegedly told her he had no idea what went wrong.

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“He claimed he didn’t know why it happened and said he would look into it,” Peterson said.

Then he asked if she would apply for a $150,000 small business loan on his behalf. And that’s when she called the authorities, who are now looking into the matter.

As for the real Sabàto, he had absolutely nothing to do with any of this and hasn’t commented on the matter. Instead, he’s been busy on Twitter peddling COVID-19 conspiracy theories…

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Posting anti-vax messages…

And doing AM radio interviews about how being a Trump supporter killed his career in Hollywood…

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.

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1979 James Baldwin Profile Never Aired. ABC Execs: ‘Who Wants to Listen to a Black has-been?’; You: WATCH 10 Minutes and Disagree

In 1979, Joseph Lovett, a producer for ABC’s 20/20 and was assigned a profile of James Baldwin for the release his 19th book ‘Just Above My Head’. Lovett’s team produced a powerful segment that has never been aired or really seen by many until this week, including rare casual footage of the author at home with his extended family, a description of American racism and white fragility without redemption, and a segment discussing why he wrote the gay pillar, ‘Giovanni’s Room’

After shooting the segment, Lovett waited for it to air and finally asked ABC’s 20/20 executives about it. This team, charged with creating an answer to CBS’ 60 Minutes said they spiked the profile because, “Who wants to listen to a Black has-been,” Esquire reports.

Never Aired: Profile on James Baldwin ABC’s 20/20, 1979 from A Closer Look on Vimeo.

James Baldwin on Race in America

The most devastating and intensely serious portion is in Baldwin’s New York home where he lives with and hosts extended family. They are familiar, happy to see each other, hang on his every word. Baldwin pats a young boy on the head and laughs with his whole body. But when Sylvia Chase asks about race in America, he is intensely serious, and the family silent. Speaking from personal and traumatic experience and clearly turned over and over for a long time trying to make sense of it, Baldwin says,

“I was 7 years old 47 years ago and nothing has changed since then.”

That was 1979 and what he then spoke of is immediately recognizable 40 years later. Just that fact of being able to recognize elements is damning to the lot of us. He goes on,

” I didn’t have an awful lot of choice [of the decision to write it] . ‘Giovanni’s Room’ comes out of something which tormented and frightened me, the question of my own sexuality.

I used to know — when i was younger — a great many men, boys, who were so terrified that they might have a homosexual …that they might be bisexual…they might want to go to bed with a man….that they might be able to fall in love with a man….

James Baldwin

“White people go around, it seems to me, with a very carefully suppressed terror of Black people—a tremendous uneasiness,” Baldwin said. “They don’t know what the Black face hides. They’re sure it’s hiding something. What it’s hiding is American history. What it’s hiding is what white people know they have done, and what they like doing. White people know very well one thing; it’s the only thing they have to know. They know this; everything else, they’ll say, is a lie. They know they would not like to be Black here. They know that, and they’re telling me lies. They’re telling me and my children nothing but lies.”

James Baldwin

James Baldwin on His Own Sexuality and Writing ‘Giovanni’s Room’

The section on Giovanni’s Room is about halfway through.

Chase asks why he wrote ‘Giovanni’s Room’ in 1955, when “to deal with homosexuality was difficult, and you already were dealing with [being] a Black writer. What made you decide to do that?”

Baldwin looks as if he’s actively figuring out why and then says,

“I didn’t have an awful lot of choice [in writing it] . ‘Giovanni’s Room’ comes out of something which tormented and frightened me, the question of my own sexuality.

I used to know — when i was younger — a great many men, boys, who were so terrified that they might have a homosexual …that they might be bisexual…they might want to go to bed with a man….that they might be able to fall in love with a man.

They were so frightened of that they could never fall in love with anybody else. They were so frightened of men they couldn’t touch women. Giovanni’s room comes somewhere out of that.”

Chase follows up, “Did you also feel that you wanted to get it on the record, your own sexuality early.”

“I dont know if i wanted to get it on the record but I wanted to confront it. I’m very glad that that was done because It also simplified my life in another way because it meant i have no secrets. Nobody can blackmail me. No you didn’t tell me. I told you,” Baldwin replied.

James Baldwin: the Never-Aired Profile

“He hadn’t had a drop to drink and he was brilliant, utterly brilliant,” Lovett told Esquire, “We couldn’t have been happier. He was such an eloquent, masterful speaker, with such a great mind. It was such a privilege.”

Lovett told Esquire his response to the “has-been” explanation was “I was stunned,” Lovett said. “I was absolutely stunned, because in my mind, James Baldwin was no has-been. He was a classic American writer, translated into every language in the world, who would live on forever, and indeed he has. His courage and his eloquence continue to inspire us today.”

James Baldwin previously on Towleroad

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Chelsea Wolfe Makes History As First Trans Athlete To Go To Olympics With Team USA

Wolfe, a BMX rider, will travel to Tokyo as a reserve for the U.S. team and will officially compete if one of the other two qualifying athletes drops out.

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Chelsea Wolfe Makes History As First Trans Athlete To Go To Olympics With Team USA

Wolfe, a BMX rider, will travel to Tokyo as a reserve for the U.S. team and will officially compete if one of the other two qualifying athletes drops out.

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QAnon News: Support Drops. FBI Fears Those Left “Can No Longer ‘trust the plan'”; ‘Likely’ To Consider ‘real world violence’

 
Published by
Reuters
 
qanon news

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI has warned that followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory could again engage in violence against political opponents out of frustration that the theory’s predictions have not come true.

Believers in the conspiracy theory – which casts former President Donald Trump as a savior figure and elite Democrats as a cabal of Satanist pedophiles and cannibals – played a prominent role in the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

In a June 4 bulletin distributed to members of Congress and seen by Reuters, the FBI said its experts believe that some believers in predictions of political upheavals promoted on QAnon websites and bulletin boards believe they can “no longer ‘trust the plan.’”

Those have included predictions of disclosures about Democrats’ involvement in child-trafficking rings, Hillary Clinton’s arrest and the restoration of Trump to the White House.

Given the failure of QAnon’s predictions to materialize, the FBI bulletin warns that some QAnon adherents “likely will begin to believe” they have an “obligation” to transform themselves from “serving as ‘digital soldiers’ towards engaging in real world violence” against Democrats and “other political opposition.”

The FBI attributes at least some of a falloff in support for QAnon to the non-occurrence of events, such as Trump’s restoration, which QAnon predicted but which failed to materialize, and also to large-scale deplatforming of QAnon materials by social media companies.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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QAnon News, previously on Towleroad

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