Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri exit – five questions Blues must answer

Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri exit - five questions Blues must answer

Maurizio Sarri had never won a major trophy before lifting the Europa League in May, having spent much of his career in Italy’s lower leagues The entrance to the Chelsea manager’s office might as well be a revolving door.

Following the departure of Maurizio Sarri to Juventus, the club are looking for their 12th different manager under the ownership of Roman Abramovich.

Three of the previous 11 were temporary, including Guus Hiddink, who was at Chelsea for just 27 games but still had time to make an impact.

Since 2004, Chelsea have endured only one season that could be termed a complete write-off, when they failed to win, or finish second, in a major domestic competition or reach the last four in Europe. Only five times in that period have they finished a campaign empty-handed.

Against that backdrop, it is reasonable to ask what do Chelsea want – and, more importantly, is there anyone who can actually give it to them? Who could Chelsea turn to?

For all the difficulties Chelsea managers tend to encounter, there will be no shortage of candidates linked to the vacancy.

The most obvious is record goalscorer Frank Lampard, who is in charge of Derby County.

Lampard ended his first season as a manager with defeat by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final. The 40-year-old says he expects to stay at Derby but has also said he will speak to owner Mel Morris about his plans.

Lampard is steeped in Chelsea history, won 11 major trophies during his 13 years at the club, and is adored by supporters, even though he eventually moved to join Manchester City before ending his career in Major League Soccer with New York City. Frank Lampard took Derby to their first Championship play-off final for five years At Derby, Lampard also linked up with former team-mate Jody Morris, who developed an impressive reputation during five years working with Chelsea’s youth teams. That might improve the pair’s chances of taking over at Stamford Bridge, given the transfer embargo the club are facing.

Given Chelsea loanees Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham were all involved at Wembley and others, such as Reece James, have also impressed in season-long moves, Morris’ inside knowledge would be a major asset in deciding which of these youngsters have the capability to step into the first-team picture.

Lampard would be a huge departure for Chelsea, though. They have not appointed an English manager since Glenn Hoddle in 1993 when John Major, a lifelong fan, was prime minister.

Nice boss Patrick Vieira has more experience. Prior to his return to France he was in charge at New York City after a spell working as Pep Guardiola’s reserve-team manager at Manchester City, but his London links are to Arsenal.

Massimiliano Allegri is available after leaving Juventus but said on Thursday he intends to take a year out. Former France and Paris St-Germain coach Laurent Blanc may also be spoken about – but he has been out of the game for three years.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo is also of interest. Nuno has taken Wolves from the Championship to seventh in the Premier League – and European qualification – in the space of two seasons. He is known to be hugely ambitious and for all the promise Wolves have shown during his time at Molineux, Chelsea represents a significant step up. How will the transfer embargo impact the recruitment of a new manager?

Even if Chelsea are prevented from signing players until the summer of 2020, there would still be one significant new arrival for a new manager to work with – Christian Pulisic, at £58m the club’s third most-expensive signing.

Given "big-six" rivals Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United did not sign anyone for a similar sum during 2018-19, having to "make do" with that one transfer is not a hardship for Chelsea, especially as there are so many younger players to come through.

The issue – if there is one – is having to work with someone else’s squad.

Sarri might think N’Golo Kante playing wide and Jorginho in central midfield is an excellent combination, but plenty disagree. If Kante is moved to a more defensive role, Jorginho is of little value. Add the departure of star man Eden Hazard to that and suddenly a Chelsea side that scraped into the top four is significantly weakened.

This being Chelsea, while a manager might be appointed with the idea of retaining faith beyond the point at which players can be bought again, there is no guarantee he would survive a disappointing campaign. Chelsea have won the Europa League twice under the ownership of Roman Abramovich (left) What does a Chelsea manager need to do to keep his job?

The easy answer is to keep Abramovich happy. The detail is more complex.

Sarri’s exit is the first of the Abramovich era when it could be argued a permanent manager has gone on his own terms.

His departure was convenient for Chelsea, though.

Unlike Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte – both fans’ favourites – Sarri was disliked by Blues supporters, who did not appreciate either his tactics or team selections.

Chants of "you don’t know what you’re doing" were frequent. Their incredulity at the time it took Sarri to find homegrown youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi a place in his team was deep-rooted.

Nevertheless, Sarri secured a top-three Premier League finish – something Chelsea have bettered only twice in eight seasons – won the Europa League and reached a second cup final, feats they have not managed in the same season since their Champions League-winning campaign of 2011-12.

So, without Juventus’ intervention, Abramovich would have needed to decide whether to keep a – relatively – successful manager disliked by supporters, as opposed to getting rid of one who was not doing so well but retained support in the stands.

Abramovich has seemed to scale down his lofty ambitions in recent years. While Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked when it appeared the club might not finish in the top four in 2009, and Carlo Ancelotti was axed for not winning anything in 2011, Mourinho survived a trophyless season three years later and Conte made it to the end of the 2017-18 campaign even though Chelsea were fifth from 25 February to the end of the season.

So the chances are Sarri would have survived had he not upset the fans. As he did, Chelsea were happy to listen when Juventus came calling. Will they look for a director of football?

One of the sub-plots to Chelsea’s Europa League final against Arsenal was a story that appeared a few days before claiming former Blues keeper Petr Cech would be returning to the club as technical director.

Tellingly, while Cech did not wish to elaborate on the story, he did not deny it. Cech holds the Premier League record for the most clean sheets ever and the most in a season But it is hard to see how the 37-year-old, who retired as a player after Arsenal’s 4-1 defeat in Baku, can have amassed the necessary experience to fulfil a conventional technical director role.

Since Michael Emenalo’s exit in November 2017, director Marina Granovskaia has been in charge of negotiating transfers and new contracts, a situation that troubled Conte.

What the appointment of a Cech-type figure might do is create a bridge for the manager to the club’s hierarchy, thus potentially reducing the scope for conflict. Has manager turnover affected the dressing room?

Remarkably, Chelsea have carried on winning no matter which name appears on the manager’s door.

While irritation between the man responsible for putting a team on the pitch and the people who control the finances has flared frequently, Chelsea’s chain of command has ensured the club avoided stockpiling players who fit different managerial philosophies and become surplus to requirements when a change is made.

However, it does feel a shift in outlook is coming.

Abramovich has scaled back his funding from his early years. A much-publicised – and hugely expensive – ground redevelopment is on hold. Planning permission will have to be revisited if enabling work does not commence by the end of January 2020 and, until there is clarity over that, rumours about Abramovich selling up will not go away.

Sarri’s reign ended with Chelsea claiming the 16th major honour of the Abramovich era – but they had won only eight in their entire history before the Russian bought the club in 2003.

With a transfer ban looming, are the club prepared to look longer term with their next manager?

It would potentially mean taking a step backwards, in order to secure the stability they have so often lacked.

Or are they going to carry on as they have before, believing it will carry on delivering success on the pitch?

The identity of Sarri’s successor will tell which way Abramovich has decided to go.

Massachusetts restaurant accused of faking homophobic hate mail

Massachusetts restaurant accused of faking homophobic hate mail

Bonefish Harry’s restaurant in Massachusetts | Photo: Facebook A Massachusetts restaurant made the news after allegedly receiving hate mail for flying a Pride flag. However, it’s now come out that the hate mail was potentially faked . The letter

Bonefish Harry’s, a taco restaurant in the towns of Beverly and Lynn, shared a hateful letter they allegedly received from a former patron named Owen Donaldson.

‘Since you opened, my wife and I have enjoyed several meals at Fishbone Harry’s, have received gift cards for other meals and have had family meals there with some of our children and grandchildren,’ the letter reads.

‘Imagine our disappointment when we saw a rainbow flag hanging outside your restaurant. It means, simply, that we will not be patronizing your eating place again because you have chosen to publicly support activity which is immoral (against the “good” for human activity).’

‘Why not keep your options on political issues to yourself? You have no Christian flag, no Italian flag, no Beverly High School banner to suggest pride in these groups. Does this mean you are against Christians, Italian-Americans or high school students? In the absence of flags or political statements, our only concern was whether you food offerings were good for their price. Last time we visited, they were.’ Whataboutism

‘But now you have made a political/moral statement supporting sexual behavior that half of America declares immoral. Why would you purposely choose, from a business perspective, to possibly alienate half of your potential customers? Why have you chosen to declare your morality on this question alone? I see no evidence of other “Month of June” issues that you are celebrating. Why would you ignore, say, Father’s Day or African-American Music Appreciation Month?’

‘The issue of homosexual behavior has been considered by thoughtful people since nearly the beginning of time. The vote of history has always been clearly against this behavior; human biology renders it absurd. Are you thinking you have found a new virtue?’

‘My hope is that you’ll give more thought to the question and take down your flag. Perhaps then we will reconsider Bonefish Harry’s as a restaurant instead of regarding it as a misguided “virtue-signaling” establishment.’ The response

In response, the owners of the restaurant took to Facebook to release a statement. They shared an image of the letter with the following caption:

‘To all of our loyal guests, today we received this letter declaring our restaurant immoral for hanging a Gay Pride flag from our restaurant in support of our fellow humans for Gay Pride Month. We consider this letter an attempt to bully us to remove our flag and to slander our business, we will not stand for this type of behavior. And will never give in to these types of unaccepting bigoted people. We will always stand side by side with everyone in our community! We will continue to fly this flag and we are proud to show our support for all of our community members.’ Was it faked?

Now, the restaurant is under fire for potentially faking this hate mail for publicity.

Local newspaper Salem News could find no trace of a man named Owen Donaldson in the town of Beverly, Massachusetts.

‘The Salem News attempted to locate a person by the name of Owen Donaldson living in Beverly or on the North Shore,’ the paper reports. ‘But a search of public records, including the city clerk’s resident lists for Beverly and several area communities, property records, available phone listings, social media, and a general search of the internet shows no one by that name living in the area.’

Salem News spoke with Gin Wallace, the executive director of Beverly Main Streets, who was tagged in the restaurant’s Facebook post.

‘I think this is an isolated incident,’ Wallace said. ‘I haven’t seen or heard from any other business.’

The possibility of the letter being fake never crossed Wallace’s mind.

‘I’d hate to have to question the validity of the letter,’ she said. ‘That’s not the point. That’s not what we should be angry or unnerved about. I hope people are focusing on the right message here.’ The restaurant denies the letter being fake

In light of the accusation of the letter being faked, Bonefish Harry’s took to Facebook again to deny this allegation.

‘Facebook world, we appreciate the out pouring of support from everyone near and far. We want to make sure the focus of this is on accepting everyone in our community without bias and prejudgement,’ they wrote.

‘We are aware that there are people questioning the validity of the letter, the author and whether our restaurant had written this letter. We have no idea who Owen is or if he really exists. We 100% did not write this letter or know who did. What we do know is that we support everyone in our community and welcome everyone in our restaurants. Now lets get back to tacos and maitais!’

GSN contacted the Beverly location of Bonefish Harry’s and spoke to a staffer named Amanda who said the restaurant ‘100% had nothing to do with the letter.’ See Also

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Despite DC Dyke March controversy, other Dyke Marches welcome Jewish Pride flags

Despite DC Dyke March controversy, other Dyke Marches welcome Jewish Pride flags

US Embassy office in Tel Aviv celebrates Pride despite Trump Administration ban on Pride flags Counter protestors carrying Jewish Pride flags at the Dyke March in Washington DC | Photo: Twitter/@Julio_Rosas11 The 7 June DC Dyke March faced controversy after banning pride flags featuring the Star of David from their event. Despite this, other Dyke Marches across the country want Jewish lesbians to know they are welcome.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports that Dyke Marches in five different cities are explicitly welcoming the Jewish Pride flag.

The Dyke Marches of New York City, Buffalo, Portland, Boston, and Seattle told JTA that they have no bans on Jewish Pride flags. New York City

‘Seeing what happened in D.C., that folks are not feeling welcome, it’s just not how we want our march to feel,’ said Nate Shalev, a Jewish organizer with NYC’s Dyke March, scheduled for 29 June.

The New York organizers are ‘not interested in creating a binary of Palestinian or Zionist,’ added Alex Tereshonkova, another Jewish organizer with the NYC Dyke March. Portland

The Portland Dyke March is ‘completely against the banning of the Israeli flag,’ organizer Belinda Carroll told JTA. The Portland, Oregon march occurred yesterday (Saturday, 15 June).

‘I get the sense of it to a degree in that they’re trying to make people more comfortable and less triggered within their own issues. So I understand that,’ said Carroll, who is not Jewish. ‘However, I think that it really erases Israeli people and Jewish people. And I think everyone deserves to speak and be known.’ Buffalo

The Buffalo March, which took place earlier this month, also did not ban Jewish Pride flags. However, the organizers did not discuss any specific policy about it beforehand.

‘I fear that we could end up with this kind of unnuanced, not thoughtful conflict here because of people’s lack of education and tendency to simplify these issues,’ said Jewish organizer Karin Lowenthal. ‘I am really concerned that we could end up with the same sort of hostilities.’

Lowenthal is worried that her group could face outside pressure to ban the Jewish Pride flag in the future. A hateful trend

When three Jewish lesbians were asked to leave the 2017 Chicago Dyke March due to their Jewish Pride flags, Carroll and the other Portland organizers thought it was ‘a one-off.’

‘Now it ends up that it’s kind of a trend,’ Carroll says. ‘We want it to not be a trend. And we want everybody to be able to fly the flag that’s closest to their faith and their nationality.’ See Also

Israel Folau: The devil is to blame for transgender children

Israel Folau: The devil is to blame for transgender children

Israel Folau targets LGBT+ people again in the video uploaded to Facebook by an evangelical church Disgraced former rugby star Israel Folau has shown no sign of backing away from his anti-LGBT views after launching legal action.

The former player, who was sacked from Australia’s national rugby team in May after claiming that “hell awaits” gay people on social media, doubled down on his controversial remarks in a church sermon on Sunday (June 16).

In a 20-minute sermon uploaded to Facebook by Sydney’s Truth of Jesus Christ Church, the ex-sportsman rallies against LGBT+ people. Israel Folau: The devil is trying to instil trans kids in this country

He claimed: “The work of the sin, homosexuality, is in disguise to try and take over within this world. You see a lot of it in today’s youths and everything.

They are allowing young kids in primary school to be able to have the permission to change their gender if they want, by taking away the permission of their parents.

“Now they are trying to take control as a government to make those decisions for young kids, who are basically 16 years old or younger. They don’t even know what they are doing.

“This is what the devil is trying to do, to instil into this government, into this world, into society, and it is slowly happening.” Israel Folau targets LGBT+ people again in the video uploaded to Facebook by an evangelical church The rugby player continued: “The sad thing is… a lot of the churches allow those things to happen. “They say that a man and a man should be able to be married and there is nothing wrong with it.” Alluding to his own record, Folau said: “If we’re true believers in Christ, are we going to follow through and confess it wherever we go, or are we going to be too scared because we might be cast out of our workplace because we’re not liked by those around us?

“That’s a real challenge to us. It’s an ongoing journey that we’re trying to walk.” Disgraced rugby star suing for $10 million over claims of anti-Christian ‘discrimination’

The sermon comes a week after Folau filed legal action against Rugby Australian and his former team, the New South Wales Waratahs, claiming he was the victim of discrimination on the basis of religion.

Folau is seeing $10 million in damages over his dismissal, claiming: “No Australian of any faith should be fired for practising their religion.”

However, Rugby Australia and New South Wales Rugby said the decision to terminate his contract was made by an independent disciplinary panel due to “a serious breach of the Professional Players Code of Conduct” that included “clear guidelines and obligations regarding player behaviour.”

The two sporting bodies added: “As a sport that is proud of the values of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork that underpin our game globally and our Code of Conduct, we will defend those values and the right for all people to feel safe and welcome in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion or sexuality.”

The country’s employment tribunal, the Fair Work Commission, has ordered the two sides to hold talks later this month in a last-ditch bid to resolve their differences before the legal battle.

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Maurizio Sarri: Juventus appoint Chelsea manager

Maurizio Sarri: Juventus appoint Chelsea manager

Maurizio Sarri has left his role as Chelsea manager and joined Serie A champions Juventus.

Sarri, who joined the Blues from Napoli in July 2018, led them to third in the Premier League and won the Europa League in his one season in charge.

It is understood a compensation fee in excess of £5m has been agreed between the two clubs for the 60-year-old.

Sarri will replace fellow Italian Massimiliano Allegri, who left Juventus at the end of last season.

Sarri signed a three-year deal last July but now becomes the ninth full-time manager to leave Chelsea under Roman Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003.

The Stamford Bridge club are unable to sign any players after being given a two-window transfer ban by world governing body Fifa – a decision they are appealing against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

More to follow.

Gay men wrongly think ‘attractive’ guys are less likely to be HIV positive

Gay men wrongly think ‘attractive’ guys are less likely to be HIV positive

The study looked at the judgements men make before having sex (Photo: Posed by models, for Pexels) Gay and bi men believe men they find ‘ physically attractive ’ are less likely to be HIV positive or have other STIs. Because of this, they are also less likely to use condoms when having sex with them.

That’s the conclusion of a study undertaken by researchers at the University of Maryland in the US. The results appeared in the Journal of Sex Research in March.

Given the popularity of dating apps, the authors say exploring physical attractiveness was of particular interest to them. Many men now turn to apps like Grindr to find sexual partners. Judgements about others are made based purely on photographs. Other studies have found we are less likely to discuss sexual health via apps.

The study involved 197 men who have sex with men in the United States. None were in a monogamous relationship and all used apps to meet other men.

It showed them video clips of other guys in both non-sexual and sexual scenarios.

Each man was shown clips of attractive men and clips of less-attractive men. The attractiveness of the men depicted was ranked in advance. Researchers used 22 other gay and bi men not included in the study to do the ranking. Questions asked to determine if they found men attractive

The study asked participants whether they thought the men were attractive, with questions such as, ‘Overall, how sexually desirable is the person in the photo?’

They were separately asked if they were aroused by the men they saw. Questions included: ‘How likely is it that you would have a one-night stand with this person?’.

Participants were then asked, on a scale of one to seven, whether they thought the men had ‘positive partner traits’ (‘trustworthy, responsible, healthy,’ etc).

The study then asked directly about the perceived risk sex with that person might pose. Questions included: ‘How likely do you think it is that you would get HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—from this person?’ and whether they were likely to use a condom with that person. The study’s main findings were as follows:

• On average, when men were rated as more physically attractive, they were also rated as being less likely to have HIV or another STI. This was largely irrespective of whether participants were feeling sexually aroused when they were making their ratings.

• When men were rated as being less likely to have HIV or another STI, participants were less likely to intend to use condoms were they to have sex with those men

• Evidence supported the role of two thought processes to explain why physically attractive men are seen as less likely to have HIV or another STI. So what’s the explanation for this?

The authors speculate the thought processes at play include the ‘ halo effect ’: In short, if someone possesses one positive trait (such as attractiveness), this leads others to believe they have other positive traits, such as perfect health.

Also, if you find someone physically attractive, there is more chance you will want to have sex with them. Therefore, you may potentially remove or overlook psychological barriers that might deter you from this goal. This includes considering whether someone has an STI or not.

The study says other factors could have also impacted condom use, such as whether someone was using PrEP. Study limitations and further ‘attractive’ research suggestions

They also acknowledged the limitations of their study. For example, what men say in a study may differ compared to real-life bedroom situations. They also think they looked at a narrow sample of men (those who are HIV negative and not in relationships).

More of us rely on photos on apps to meet other people (Photo: David Hudson)

Also, on dating apps, users often offer more details than just photos alone. These can include information on HIV status and condom use.

They say they cannot fully explain some of the findings. They note, ‘Some scholars have proposed that rational decision-making processes become impaired when individuals are sexually aroused.’ ‘Arousal … may override intentions to use condoms’

Commenting on the findings, Dr Tom Nadarzynski , a social scientist with London’s University of Westminster, told GSN, ‘Arousal associated with perceived physical attractiveness, especially in the context of sexual intercourse, may override intentions to use condoms.

‘Nevertheless, the findings of this research demonstrate a specific bias in thinking that sex with an attractive person could be less risky, which is unlikely to be accurate. Also, physical attractiveness is highly subjective, therefore it cannot be a reliable determinant of HIV status.’

The study’s authors suggest further research to determine what issues are at play, and whether other factors can influence the findings, such as alcohol or drug use.

Based on their results, they also conclude that dating apps are a great way to share information about sexual health to users. Idea for study on attractiveness came from HIV testing

Dr Elissa Sarno , one of the study’s co-authors, formerly worked as a HIV test counselor. She says her experiences influenced her decision to undertake the survey.

‘I was interested in understanding how people make decisions about when to use a condom with a new sexual partner,’ she told Gay Star News.

‘My experiences as an HIV test counselor inspired me to study physical attractiveness. People getting tested told me that their sexual partners’ physical appearance influenced their beliefs about whether they may have HIV or another STI.

‘Future research is needed to support our results, to gain a better understanding of why we found these results, and lead to interventions that address the role of partner perceptions in condom use decision-making.’

‘This study illustrates that people often don’t make rational choices,’ says Matthew Hodson , Executive Director of HIV information organization, NAM.

‘There is no reason to suppose that people who are considered to be more attractive are any less likely to be HIV-positive or to have other STIs. From my personal experience, some of the sexiest men I know are living with HIV.

‘It’s easy to make a faulty risk analysis when emotions come into play. We’ve observed this throughout the course of the epidemic. In the heat of the moment, love or lust can alter our perceptions of risk, as can drugs or alcohol.

‘I hope that not many people genuinely expect to correctly identify someone with HIV just by looking at them.’ See also

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Bella Thorne posts her own nudes after a stranger threatens her online

Bella Thorne posts her own nudes after a stranger threatens her online

Bella Thorne has responded to a hacker allegedly stealing intimate photos of her by posting the images herself to Twitter.

The bisexual actor, singer and model, 21, says she was posting the photos as she refused to be intimidated by the stranger.

‘Fuck u and the power u think you have over me,’ she said in an angry tweet posted Saturday. It included screenshots of messages she had received from the alleged hacker. The images also included their phone number. What happened to Bella Thorne?

In a screenshot of a message typed on her phone, Thorne explained what happened.

‘Yesterday as you all know my shit was hacked For the last 24 hours I have been threatened with my own nudes I feel gross, I feel watched, I feel someone has taken something special from me that I only wanted one special person to see, He has sent me multiple nude photos of other celebs, he won’t stop with me or them he will just keep going…I’m putting this out because it’s MY DECISION NOW U DONT GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME.

‘I can sleep better tonight knowing I took my power back…Here’s the photos he’s been threatening me with, in other words here’s my boobies.

‘So here fuck u, and the last 24 hours I have been crying instead of celebrating my book while doing my book press. Oh yea, the fbi will be at your house shortly, so watch. Your. Mother. Fuckin. Back.’

The tweets included a series of topless images.

The book Thorne is referencing is The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray , out July. In it, Thorne gives fans an insight into her personal struggles, relationships and life via poetry. Who is Bella Thorne?

Thorne first came to attention in the second season of Dirty Sexy Money in 2007. She has since appeared in My Own Worst Enemy, Big Love and Famous In Love, as well as releasing her own music. She has amassed a large social media following, with over 19million followers on Instagram and 6million+ on Twitter.

Thorne came out as bisexual in 2016.

Thorne is far from being the first celebrity to have had personal images hacked. In recent years, the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, Rosario Dawson, Scarlett Johannson and Tiger Woods had been targeted by hackers.

GSN has contacted Thorne’s representatives for further comment. See also

Gay man’s moving tribute to his female best friend goes viral

Gay man’s moving tribute to his female best friend goes viral

US Embassy office in Tel Aviv celebrates Pride despite Trump Administration ban on Pride flags Beau Neal and his friend Bonnie Slater (Photo: Courtesy Beau Neal, via A US man’s moving tribute to one of his best friends, Bonnie Slater, has prompted an outpouring of comment online.

Beau Neal posted his words to The AIDS Memorial Instagram page.

The AIDS Memorial runs photos and stories from friends, families and partners of those lost to HIV-related illness.

Neal’s posting is slightly different in that Slater was not lost to HIV. However, her life was still impacted by the virus. Remembering Bonnie Slater

‘Bonnie Slater (1942 – 2018) didn’t have HIV but was greatly affected by it,’ Neal begins.

‘She was the first person I met when I moved to Key West. I was on the dancefloor and had come out of a bad relationship ready to meet the man of my dreams. I didn’t meet him that night but I met the best friend I ever had.

‘Bonnie came up to me and started dancing too. She said she thought I was the Marlboro Man because of my boots, tight jeans and Stetson.

‘After the disco closed, she invited me to Claire’s Restaurant for breakfast. We ate then she said she was going to take a taxi home. I had a car and drove her instead. We got to her place and I ended up staying for a year.

‘Bonnie grew up on the island and knew everyone. She wasn’t bashful and went up to everyone and introduced herself. She always referred to herself as, “The Welcome Wagon Lady.” Everyone else called her Ms B.

‘Bonnie was loved by the gay community. In return, she gave them a place to stay if needed, food if they were hungry and lots of motherly love. She was a proverbial matchmaker.’ San Francisco and the arrival of AIDS

‘Bonnie and I lived together for 10 years,’ continues Neal. ‘In 1980, she moved to San Francisco. I arrived six months later and she already knew half the men in the Castro. She had me a date on my first night in the city!

‘In 1981 the party stopped . Everyone was afraid. People were being seen around town gaunt or with purple lesions on their body.

‘Everyone was afraid to touch them. Bonnie was the exception. She never lost sight of the fact that a hug can mean more than anything else in the world and Bonnie had lots of hugs.

‘Bonnie watched a generation of men she loved disappear. She did all she could for her sick friends and would ultimately marry one, Lee Slater, putting him on her insurance and nursing him. When he died she returned to Florida.

‘We stayed in touch but I could tell Bonnie was hurting. She never recovered from the heartbreak of losing so many to AIDS. Her health deteriorated and she became reclusive.

‘Bonnie died last year. She was a true friend to the gay community and impacted by AIDS as much as as any person I know.’ ‘What a beautiful soul’

The posting has prompted hundreds of comments. Most offer sympathy on Neal’s loss.

‘You’re so right,’ said @deevyjane . ‘There were many casualties of AIDS among people who never had the disease. Talk about PTSD. It’s hard to survive so many losses. Thank you for telling us about your kind, loving friend.’

Another, @jesseonthebrink , added, ‘So many of us wouldn’t have survived high school without our Bonnie’s, let alone the plague. Thank you for sharing, and thank you Ms B.’

‘What a beautiful soul … ‘I’m sure she is out in the heavens dancing with all of her friends now and will continue matchmaking,’ added @reachaladdin . ‘Deeply touched’

Neal told Gay Star News the response to the posting ‘deeply touched’ him.

‘I was happy so many people took the time to read the post and get to know a little about her. She was an amazing lady who gave so much of herself during a time of great need.

Neal says he turned 70 in March.

‘I was 27 when I met Bonnie. We didn’t always live close to one another but we always stayed in touch. I’m originally from East Tennessee and lived in various cities across the country. I lived in San Francisco throughout the 80s and transferred to Nashville in 1990 to be close to my parents and to escape endless memorial services in San Francisco.

‘In 1994 my dad died and I moved back to take care of my mom, who died in 2002. My partner and I have been together for 19 years in September. He moved to Clearwater, Florida for work and I will be moving there in the next year or so.’

‘When I turned 70 I realized all but one of my long time friends have died. I became very reflective and realized I was the only one left to tell their stories.’ See also

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro thinks same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to adopt

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro thinks same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt

US Embassy office in Tel Aviv celebrates Pride despite Trump Administration ban on Pride flags 250.000 revelers attended this year’s Tel Aviv Pride Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro | Photo: Twitter American conservative commentator Ben Shapiro recently made the case that same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children. His reasoning is that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are two separate holidays. Tell me more

In the 14 June episode of his podcast, The Ben Shapiro Show, Shapiro made the following remarks in response to a listener question about adoption:

‘Adoption needs to be made much easier,’ he said. ‘Right now, it’s insane. States are basically cracking down on adoption agencies if those adoption agencies have religious backgrounds. We’ve seen adoption agencies in places like Massachusetts actually get shut down if they prefer to hand a baby over to a traditional male-female couple as opposed to a same-sex couple. So Catholic charities have shut down adoption services in Massachusetts because of this.’

He continued: ‘Now, I think there is a perfectly secular, rational case for handing a baby over to a male and a female, because I don’t think that they are the same. I don’t think that fathers and mothers are the same.’

‘Every single Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, I make the same joke on Twitter. And it is, “happy second legal guardian of unspecified gender day.” Because if you don’t think there’s a difference between fathers and mothers, or males and females, then why have a Father’s Day or a Mother’s Day? Just have an unspecified legal guardian day.’

‘But if you think a child needs a mother and a father, then yes, I think it is perfectly fine, perfectly rational, and in fact good to prefer – all other things being equal, obviously – a male-female couple to a male-male or female-female couple. Or a single mom. There is nothing I think remotely controversial about that in a social science sense.’ Multiple factors

‘Now, again, that’s all other things being equal. If you’re talking about an abusive household where the male is abusing the female, as opposed to two males who are not abusing each other, obviously that is different. And socioeconomically, the difference between growing up in a house on food stamps as opposed to a middle class household, that makes a difference too. It’s multifactorial, in other words.’

‘One thing that would make adoption easier is more adoption agencies, not fewer,’ he concluded. ‘Also, the hoops you have to jump through to be able to adopt are just ridiculous.’ The comments

Watch the clip below: Ben Shapiro making the case that same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to adopt because Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are seperate holidays — nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) June 14, 2019 Anything else?

Ben Shapiro is known for his negative stance on LGBTI rights. He opposed the federal legalization of same-sex marriage, for instance. He also doesn’t believe same-sex marriage should be taught in public schools. Shapiro is practices Orthodox Judaism and believes homosexuality is a sin. He has also said that he believes transgender people are mentally ill. See Also

An animated Spice Girls movie is in the works

An animated Spice Girls movie is in the works

Last time the Spice Girls were animated, it was for the Viva Forever video | Photo: YouTube Great news for Spice Girls fans: an animated movie about the group is in the works. Tell me more

According to The Hollywood Reporter , all five members of the group are on board for this project. The movie will feature classic Spice Girls songs as well as new tracks made just for the film.

The film will be released by Paramount Animation. It will be produced by Simon Fuller. The screenplay will be written by Karen McCullah and Kiwi Smith. This writing team is behind other hit films like Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You

According to Paramount Animation president Mireille Soria, The Spice Girls ‘had an idea that we’ve been developing. They are very involved.’

Mireille Soria is known in the industry as someone progressive when it comes to hiring women.

Fuller has stated that the Spice Girls will be working on the movie as soon as their UK reunion tour ends. Who is the movie for?

‘It may be tempting to write off news of a new Spice Girls animated feature as a cynical cash-in of 1990s millennial nostalgia, but there are signs that the Spice Girls are using this moment to do something new,’ writes Rhodes Murphy for Slate.

‘Though the film is still in early stages of development, it offers the women of the Spice Girls an opportunity to define “girl power” for a new generation and, to amend the words of Kathy Acker, transform society, not only with “lightness and in joy,” but also through representationally conscious creative and business decisions.’ See Also

Meet the gay guy who’s a stage designer for Spice Girls, Camila Cabello and more