Matt Wilkas is in a relationship with pro skier Gus Kenworthy. | Photo: Instagram Actor Matt Wilkas has booked a role on an upcoming Netflix show created by RuPaul.
RuPaul Charles and 2 Broke Girls co-creator Micheal Patrick King co-wrote AJ And The Queen, a 10-episode comedy.
Charles stars as Ruby, a down-on-her-luck but positive, enthusiastic drag queen. Ruby travels through America with recently orphaned 9-year-old stowaway AJ, played by Izzy G.
Set in the 1990s, the series follows the two misfits going from town to town, with RuPaul performing in several drag clubs. Wilkas to play gay, macho cop
Wilkas, who is in a relationship with professional skier Gus Kenworthy, will portray the role of Officer Patrick Kennedy. According to the synopsis, Kennedy is a macho, gay police officer who is charming, easy going, and comfortable in his own skin.
Officer Patrick works for the New York Police Department alongside Officer Rhonda Whyatt (Misty Monroe).
Josh Segarra (Arrow), Michael-Leon Wooley (The Princess and the Frog), Katerina Tannenbaum (Sweetbitter), and Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World) have also joined the cast.
Wilkas is the latest addition to the cast. RuPaul announced it on Twitter on 18 January. ‘AJ And The Queen’ Casts @MattWilkas @deadline https://t.co/8DfMNZoCcr pic.twitter.com/foWqdLxZ9h — RuPaul (@RuPaul) January 18, 2019 Wilkas also starred in movies Gayby, Top Five and Island Zero. He will star in the upcoming Netflix series Bonding, and previously appeared on HBO’s Looking and ABC’s Ugly Betty. Read also:
The original cast of Showtime series The L Word. | Photo: The L Word/Showtime Showtime series The L Word premiered on 18 January 2004, fifteen years ago.
The show focused on the everyday life of a group of bisexual and lesbian women in Los Angeles. Flashdance actress Jennifer Beals starred alongside Katherine Moennig, Mia Kirshner, and Leisha Haley.
Despite its occasional transphobia and biphobia, the 71-episode show is still one of the best examples of television by and for queer women. The show was created by lesbian executive producer Ilene Chaiken, who would go on to executive produce hit series Empire. Is the sequel happening?
A sequel to the original series, which ended abruptly in 2009, is in the works. According to IMDb, the new series is a follow-up ‘to the Showtime drama ‘The L Word’ looking at how the character’s relationships and lives have changed’.
Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey will executive-produce as well as appear on the series. Other characters from the original series may also guest star and will be paired with a whole new cast.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in May 2017, Chaiken said they were considering a sequel.
‘We talk about it all the time. When we went off the air in 2009, I think a lot of people thought, Okay, the baton is passed now, and there will be lots of shows that portray lesbian life. There’s really nothing. It feels like maybe it should come back,’ she said. Happy birthday, The L Word
Some of the original cast members have shared cute messages to mark the anniversary.
Beals, who played Bette on the show, was shocked at the passing of time and called for a sequel. FIFTEEN years ago??
Time to take that show back on the road. #TLW https://t.co/7NQN2eib6x — Jennifer Beals (@jenniferbeals) January 18, 2019 ‘FIFTEEN years ago?? Time to take that show back on the road. #TLW’
Kate Moennig aka womanizer Shane also tweeted about the show. 15 years have come and gone already? https://t.co/RuFxI7eFVU — kate moennig (@katemoennig) January 18, 2019 ’15 years have come and gone already?’ she wrote. Fans are tweeting about it
Fans of the show also shared the reasons why The L Word had been such a game changer for queer female representation. My gf showed introduced me to it, and oh my how I fell in love with it! TLW was and still is one of my favourite shows of all time pic.twitter.com/CkI94GKo1f — Livi (@L1v17) January 19, 2019 ‘My gf showed introduced me to it, and oh my how I fell in love with it! TLW was and still is one of my favourite shows of all time,’ one said. 15 years since the L Word started, and with the exception of Lip Service, there have been no other lesbian focused shows on mainstream TV in the UK that I’m aware of. Why? Are they not being written, not being commissioned or something else? https://t.co/cmBao2pi5B — Sarah (@stweets13) January 19, 2019 ’15 years since the L Word started, and with the exception of Lip Service, there have been no other lesbian-focused shows on mainstream TV in the UK that I’m aware of,’ one fan tweeted.
‘Why? Are they not being written, not being commissioned or something else?’ they also wrote. it has really been 15 years since the l word aired and no show has come to close to resemble it in terms of lesbian representation huh — len (@vanessakrby) January 18, 2019 ‘it has really been 15 years since the l word aired and no show has come to close to resemble it in terms of lesbian representation huh,’ another also added. 1.
The L Word is the first real lesbian show I’ve ever seen, even 15 years later it’s still good, relevant and probably the only long running show for lesbian ever made.
I still want to be Bette when I grow up.
Goes upstairs, takes the dvd’s and starts watching — Jessica J. Ostyn (@ostyn_jessica) January 19, 2019 ‘The L Word is the first real lesbian show I’ve ever seen, even 15 years later it’s still good, relevant and probably the only long-running show for lesbian ever made,’ another weighed in on the conversation.
‘I still want to be Bette when I grow up,’ she furthermore added.
Some fans are thrilled at the idea of a revival. I’m really down for a revival of The L Word. It was such an important show and has so many ways it could be made better and more diverse — Lizzip (@LizzipFish) January 18, 2019 ‘I’m really down for a revival of The L Word. It was such an important show and has so many ways it could be made better and more diverse,’ one Twitter user said. I would die if a reboot of #theLword was made! The show that I binged at age 16/17 on my own, in my room, and in the closet. The L word helped me come out and accept who I am. #Lesbian #LGBT ‘I would die if a reboot of #theLword was made! The show that I binged at age 16/17 on my own, in my room, and in the closet. The L word helped me come out and accept who I am.’ Read also:
HBomberGuy announcing the charity streaming. | Photo: YouTube British gamer HBomberGuy has been raising funds for trans charity Mermaids by live playing Donkey Kong 64 all night.
On 14 January, the gamer announced on YouTube he was going to pull an all-nighter to help the UK charity.
After anti-trans activists pressured The National Lottery to withdraw funding from Mermaids, the charity has received the support of LGBTIs and allies. Doing his bit to support trans kids
HBomberGuy explained in the video he ‘chose to support [Mermaids] because as a person living in Britain, I find the media discussion around this issue to be woefully misinformed, and I’d like to do my bit to help support the people who do the hard work of contributing to people’s thinking on an issue’.
He furthermore added: ‘I chose Mermaids specifically because when they were designated some funding via the National Lottery, Graham Linehan, a comedy writer who did some work on a good show 20 years ago, a very normal man who is very angry about trans people all day nowadays, went on Mumsnet and told them to email the National Lottery en masse.’
The charity streaming on popular platform Twitch began on 18 January and is still going on at the moment of writing. The gamer has been able to raise nearly $33,000 after having played for 15 hours.
He aims to play until the 101% completion of the game, a goal he has never achieved so far. Mermaids thanked the gamer on Twitter
Mermaids thanked the gamer on their Twitter account on 19 January. We’ve just woken up to see that @hbomberguy has been playing Donkey Kong all night to raise money for Mermaids and is still playing! So far he’s raised a staggering $26,000 and still has hours to go! — Mermaids (@Mermaids_Gender) January 19, 2019 ‘We’ve just woken up to see that @hbomberguy has been playing Donkey Kong all night to raise money for Mermaids and is still playing! So far he’s raised a staggering $26,000 and still has hours to go!’ WOW! The amazing @Hbomberguy has just smashed $30,000 raising money for Mermaids playing Donkey Kong LIVE https://t.co/ncanojEbPk As a thank you, we’re going to give Hbomb and his top 10 amazing donators a Mermaids goody box — Mermaids (@Mermaids_Gender) January 19, 2019 ‘WOW! The amazing @Hbomberguy has just smashed $30,000 raising money for Mermaids playing Donkey Kong LIVE,’ they tweeted.
‘As a thank you, we’re going to give Hbomb and his top 10 amazing donators a Mermaids goody box,’ they also added. ‘The support has been overwhelming’
‘Mermaid has been having a difficult time over the last few weeks. We’re still waiting for the outcome of the review, but the support has been overwhelming,’ Mermaids CEO Susie Green told GSN.
‘It’s helping to deal with the uncertainty knowing that we have a huge amount of support and we’re eternally grateful.’
Mermaids is currently awaiting the outcome of the review, due at the end of January 2019.
The charity had planned to use the money to open 45 contact points around the UK. The contact points will serve as catch up spaces for people accessing Mermaids’ services.
‘Whatever the outcome, it will not stop us from supporting trans kids and people and their families,’ Green also said. Read also:
Stonewall Inn | Photo: David Hudson Like a lot of queer kids, there was always this feeling of just being different. Like while the other kids would be outside playing football, I’d be inside choreographing routines to Madonna songs. At first it didn’t bother me much but as I got toward teenage years, I felt more and more alienated and unwelcome.
My solution was to get away. So I focused on reaching that magical age of 18, when I’d be able to leave home, find my people, and be me.
That new home was going to be London. But en route I was to stop in New York for a weekend with a guy I’d spent most of my seventeenth year chatting to online.
He was called Scott, a recent NYU graduate working at MTV. He lived in a decrepit flat in Soho with a leaky chain-flush toilet and a bathtub in the kitchen. Tiny but somehow still shared with three other people.
My heart sank when he answered the door for the first time (he was hotter in person than I expected). But he invited me in, and instantly pulled me into a kiss, and then into his bedroom. (It seems I wasn’t as un-hot as I thought).
This was the start of three days of education and adultification. Also, the first lesson revealing something called rimming that I never ever imagined was a thing. ‘He showed me the Stonewall Inn’
Afterwards we went to dinner, where I had Japanese food for the first time. (I was so scared that I’d have to eat raw fish or tofu). Then he took me to a few shops and showed me that it was possible for a guy to wear something other than just jeans and a t-shirt. (I bought a pair of giraffe print socks that I thought were outrageous).
Then he took me to some bar in the West Village. A place with a reputation for letting under 21s in. Here, I saw a drag queen for the first time. (I was genuinely frightened). And then on the walk home he showed me the Stonewall Inn. I told him I’d never heard of it. He wasn’t annoyed with my naïveté, I think he enjoyed playing the wise older brother. And so he told me the story of Stonewall .
All my life I knew I needed to be with my gays, but I never fought for anything. Instead I just waited to be old enough to get to a place like London or New York, where I knew things would be better, without considering that these were safe places because others had fought for them. ‘I went to a gay bar on my own for the first time’
I felt so instantly happy in the community that they built and protected, and I instinctively knew that if we were to fight again, I would join that battle.
The weekend passed quickly. On Monday I reached London with new confidence. On the first night I went to a gay bar on my own for the first time.
It was the Village, where I met this guy who worked as a waiter in Ed’s Diner. He took me back to his bedsit for the night. The next day I stopped by his work to say hi, where he had to explain that us sleeping together didn’t mean we were now boyfriends. I shrugged it off, went out again, met others. Within weeks had a proper boyfriend.
That boyfriend, Mark, who would become my husband, led me into my own battle. ‘I found my way to a British NGO named Stonewall’
Being able to stay in the UK on the basis of our relationship was not automatic. I found my way to a British NGO named Stonewall. There I did an internship in their immigration team where we campaigned for the immigration rights of same-sex couples, which would succeed under the then Tony Blair-led government.
It would be a decade before such rights would come to the USA, where the Stonewall Riots first truly put LGBT activism into people’s minds. But even if the Americans who started it couldn’t reap all the rewards yet, their work inspired and bettered our communities elsewhere.
Soon I’m going to a country to shoot an issue of Elska Magazine where homosexuality is both criminalised and actively prosecuted.
A place where recently the founders of their country’s only LGBT organisation were brutally murdered, a place that’s so unsafe that I won’t even mention its name until after I return.
Of course I’m grateful that I don’t have to live there, but I don’t want to ignore them. It’s up to them to do their own kind of Stonewall, but I’m here to support them however I can, and at least tell them how much we can achieve through community.
For more information about Elska, visit the official Elska website . See also:
Photo: sasastro/flickr The Brexit process is threatening the rights of the LGBTI community, British lawyer Helena Kennedy warns.
After Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal was defeated by a historic margin in parliament, her government survived the no-confidence vote. However, the situation still feels uncertain ahead of the official Brexit date, 29 March 2019. Will Brexit be the end of the ECHR?
In an interview with Reuters, Kennedy explained the lack of a government commitment to the Human Rights Act might be a sign the law will be replaced or repealed after Brexit.
The Human Rights Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the British statute book. It protects citizens on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity.
‘If you’re a gay man or woman, a person who’s bisexual, a person who’s transsexual, just beware, this is what they have in mind,’ said Kennedy.
The human rights lawyer is also an opposition Labour member of the House of Lords. Moreover, she has always championed LGBTI rights. In 1996, she won a landmark ruling that made it illegal to discriminate against transgender people at work. DUP poses a threat to LGBTI rights
Human rights are also at risk thanks to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a Northern Irish party that supports the government in key votes. The DUP also opposes marriage equality and legalizing abortion in Northern Ireland.
‘Take your signal from the fact that the DUP has been able to exercise so much power in this government.’
Kennedy furthermore added: ‘Look at this small group of people, who are deeply reactionary, homophobic, misogynistic.’ Read also:
Brazil’s new right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro removed concerns regarding the LGBT community from being considered by a new human rights ministry hours after his inauguration, part of a sweeping set of executive orders targeting some minority groups.
Bolsonaro stripped LGBT concerns from the ministry and named no other federal agency to consider such issues, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The former military officer and right-wing politician made incendiary comments about race and sexual orientation during his campaign, saying in 2011 that he would be “incapable of loving a homosexual son.”
Dozens of gay couples rushed to get married in the country last month before Bolsonaro took office out of fear that he would try to limit same-sex marriage.
The newly appointed human rights minister, Damares Alves, is an ultraconservative evangelical pastor who claims diversity policies have “threatened” the Brazilian family, AP noted.
“Girls will be princesses and boys will be princes,” Alves said of the new administration. “There will be no more ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil.”
LGBT activist Symmy Larrat told the outlet that she is expecting unequal treatment from Bolsonaro’s administration.
“The human rights ministry discussed our concerns at a body called secretariat of promotion and defense of human rights. That body just disappeared, just like that. We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues,” she said.
The decision to remove LGBT concerns from the ministry was one of a sweeping set of executive orders that Bolsonaro issued in the first hours of his presidency.
He also issued an order that would make it nearly impossible for indigenous communities to identify and demarcate land, a move Bolsonaro has been promising on the campaign trail.
“Less than one million people live in those places isolated from the real Brazil,” he tweeted Wednesday. “They are explored and manipulated by nonprofits. Together we will integrate those citizens and give value to all Brazilians.”
Bolsonaro is also expected to announce the closing of an agency with the Education Ministry that worked to promote diversity in public schools and universities, according to a report from the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.
Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics,” was congratulated by the U.S. president after he was sworn into office.
“The U.S.A. is with you!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Bolsonaro thanked Trump for his "words of encouragement."
"Together, under God’s protection, we shall bring prosperity and progress to our people!" Bolsonaro tweeted. Sponsored Content
Del. Roxann Robinson, R-Chesterfield, standing with James Parrish of Equality Virginia, has sponsored a bill to protect LGBT Virginians from housing discrimination. For the last three years, the Virginia Senate has passed bills to expand protections for LGBT people. The legislation has never made it out of the House of Delegates, but advocates think this year could be different.
On Tuesday, Del. Roxann Robinson, R-Chesterfield, joined LGBT rights group Equality Virginia at a news conference to highlight her bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in Virginia’s fair housing law.
Robinson, who could face a tough re-election challenge this fall in her suburban district, called her bill a “common-sense, bipartisan piece of legislation.”
“As a conservative, standing up against discrimination is natural,” Robinson said. “Because we value individual freedom, hard work and opportunity for all.”
Equality Virginia highlighted two polls showing that a majority of Republican voters support anti-discrimination measures. The more recent of the two, a Mason-Dixon poll of 625 registered voters conducted this month found that 53 percent of Republicans support laws to ban anti-LGBT housing discrimination. The poll showed that 63 percent of Republicans support measures to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in public employment.
“Overwhelmingly, Virginians want to see bills passed adding sexual orientation and gender identity to state employment and housing protections,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia. “The polling that we are releasing today shows that Republican voters are right there with them.”
Democratic-sponsored legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in housing and public employment has already advanced out of a Senate committee with bipartisan support. But the true test could come in the House.
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has laughed off opposition National Democratic (NDC’ s) claim that businessman believed to have run a Ponzi scheme, Menzgold, was encouraged by the Akufo-Addo government.
Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, NPP Director of Communications said, on the contrary, it was the Mahama government that failed to stop the scam that has existed for at least four years.
The failing investment company owned by Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM1 has left thousands desperate for their monies back after experts point to their operations as a Ponzi scheme.
There is increasing pressure on government to ensure the CEO Nana Appiah Mensah is brought to book after he is said to have absconded to UAE where he is reported to have been arrested.
But the political fall-out of the financial scam has been playing out between the main opposition NDC and the governing NPP.
NDC Communications officer Sammy Gyamfi at a press conference Wednesday pointed to President Akufo-Addo being seen in a photo with NAM1 that has gone viral enhanced the embattled CEO’s credibility.
“The Menzgold problem is largely the creation of Nana Akufo-Addo government. This is because the many overt acts of endorsement and advertisement of Menzgold and its CEO Nana Appiah Mensah….the president and his appointees are inextricably linked to the present predicament of Menzgold customers.”
“Undoubtedly, the open endorsement of NAM1 and Menzgold by this government greatly enhanced the credibility and legitimacy of Menzgold in the eyes of the general public and encouraged many people to invest with the company even after the Bank of Ghana had cautioned against it,” he added.
But in response, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah has argued if a photo means an endorsement, then President Mahama’s photo with a gay activist in 2013, was an endorsed and promotion of homosexuality.
The founder of the Solomon Research Fellowship for the rights of LGBT, Andrew Solomon helped John Mahama promote his memoir, My First Coup d’État, in the US.
Watch the video of his presser below:
Leslie Ellison (District 4) takes the oath of office from Judge Ernestine Anderson as the new Orleans Parish School Board is sworn in at the OPSB offices in Algiers on Thursday, January 12, 2017. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) ( A candidate for president of the Orleans Parish School Board is facing blowback this week for having what civil rights organizations describe as a history of “anti-LGBTQ statements and advocacy.”
The seven members of the OPSB are scheduled to elect a new board president at Thursday’s (Jan. 17) meeting, and board Vice President Leslie Ellison is lobbying to assume this role. Board President John Brown is now term-limited from re-election after serving in the role for two years. OPSB District 6 member Woody Koppel is also planning to run.
The OPSB’s president is responsible for signing the district’s contracts, which is significant because the school board serves as an authorizer for the dozens of nongovernmental organizations that manage schools through charter contracts . The board’s president also sets meeting agendas and assigns members to its five committees.
However, LGBTQ civil rights organizations state Ellison has an anti-LGBTQ record that puts students at risk. Alexander Andersen, vice president of the Board of Directors for Louisiana Trans Advocates, said in a released statement Wednesday that Ellison’s election to school board president “would make LGBTQ students in Orleans Parish schools unsafe and unwilling to go to the school board if they experienced discrimination.”
The organizations cite concerns about Ellison’s candidacy stemming in part from Ellison’s 2012 state legislature testimony in support of a bill letting charter schools exclude gay students , according to an article from NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune at that time. Ellison, a charter school board leader at the time, told lawmakers she couldn’t sign a contract with the anti-discrimination clause spelled out by the Louisiana Department of Education, which bars discrimination based on sexual orientation, because that contract violated both the separation of powers as well as the freedom of religion.
Ellison in July 2013 also elicited shock from attendees of a school board meeting during a discussion over an anti-bullying policy affecting five schools at the time, according to a Times-Picayune article from 2013 . Ellison expressed opposition to listing characteristics like sexual orientation, race or religion in the bullying policy when then-member Seth Bloom, who is gay, said “I just find it perplexing that certain minorities seek protection for certain minorities but not for others.”
Ellison replied back that “this has nothing to do with being black. I can’t change my blackness at all,” which drew audible gasps from attendees. The American Psychological Association has stated that sexual orientation is not a matter of personal choice.
Ellison responded to her critics Thursday afternoon in a released written statement where she pointed out that she’s served as OPSB vice president by a unanimous vote of board members “who have never questioned my commitment” to serve every child citywide over the past two years. She even approached former OPSB member Bloom about his bid for OPSB president before she nominated him and voted in support of his presidency for his two elected terms, she added.
“My record and priorities will continue to place all children first and clearly negates any question of my ability to do so with fairness,” Ellison stated.
OPSB District 7 member Nolan Marshall told The New Orleans Advocate he could vote for anyone who understands the president represents the views of the board, and he thinks Ellison does.
“I believe both candidates understand that as a president they lose the right to speak as an individual,” Marshall told The Advocate. “As long as she can abide by that, I think she would serve well as president. If she does not, I think it would be incumbent on the board to remove her.”
However, Marshall told NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune in a written statement Thursday he is not promoting Ellison’s candidacy for the board presidency because of “our divergent views on sex education, bullying policies and how we address the issues concerning the LBGTQ community.”
“However,” Marshall said. “I am prepared to work with anyone that has the majority of the Board’s support and understands that they must represent the Board and not their personal beliefs.”
Since 2012 Ellison has represented the 4th District, which represents Algiers, Faubourg Marigny, Bywater and the French Quarter. Ellison currently serves on the OPSB’s Legal, Property, Budget and Finance committees. Ellison is owner and CEO of the Ellison Group and serves as administrator at Gideon Christian Fellowship International.
Ellison previously worked as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the city of New Orleans and as an administrator for the City Attorney’s Office. She ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in the fall of 2015, receiving 15 percent of the vote in the primary election for the 7th District seat.
Kenny Tucker, chair of the political action committee for the Forum for Equality, said in a released statement Wednesday that Ellison’s “well-documented history of anti-LGBTQ statements and advocacy” would send the “wrong choice” to students if she’s elected board president.
“Electing Ms. Ellison to the level of Orleans Parish School Board President is the wrong choice and sends the wrong message to our youth about how seriously we take their safety from bullying and discrimination at school,” Tucker stated.
Here’s what it’s like to be New Orleans’ first transgender homecoming queen
John Oliver presenting ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.’ (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube) The Trevor Project welcomed Karen Pence to her new position as art teacher at the Immaculate Christian School by donating 100 copies of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.”
The book is a spoof of Pence’s book “Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President,” which she co-created with her daughter Charlotte. The story follows the Pences’ bunny Marlon around the White House.
John Oliver’s parody book “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller, features Marlon as a gay bunny who falls in love and gets married to another male bunny, Wesley.
Proceeds from the book were donated to the Trevor Project and AIDS United.
The Trevor Project sent the books to the Springfield, Va. school, which has strict policies banning LGBT students, families and employees, in hopes of changing its anti-LGBT views.
The donation included a note which encourages the school to place the books in the school’s library and classrooms and to give the books to their family and friends.
“Combined with school policy changes, we believe these books can help encourage acceptance of LGBTQ young people among your community, and they can be a great first step to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students,” the note reads.