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Catfishing: Pressing Charges; Philly Gay Bashing Trial Tweets; The Remove Adam Lambert Petition

Catfishing: Pressing Charges

I’ve always believed a person’s online identity is truly who that person is. You can present yourself in public in many ways, however, when it comes to your online general behavior that’s really who you are deep down.

With that said, I’ve seen a lot of catfishing and other questionable behavior this past year online,  and in my case what I’ve seen comes predominantly from ambitious, opportunistic, aggressive bloggers who sometimes even cross over as fiction authors. These are always people who would never have had a voice in public…anywhere…if it hadn’t been for the Internet, multiple free social media accounts, and free access to a Word Press blog. You wouldn’t even have known they were alive if it hadn’t been for the Internet because their biggest talent is having the ability to manipulate nice, innocent people for their own personal gain.

Those of you who have been catfished and duped online know exactly what I’m talking about. What makes all this even worse is that many of these devious opportunistic catfishers have built a loyal fan base that run to their defense when their devious behavior is finally exposed. In one case this year, a very well known romance book blogger/reviewer was forced to admit that she was not only running a hugely successful (and profitable) publishing blog, but also writing books in the same genre she blogs about daily, with a pen name and a completely fictitious identity. For several years, this aggressive, manipulative, clever blogger catfished in private forums and basically duped everyone with whom she came into contact. And when she was finally exposed, her loyal online minions ran to her defense and even started a crowdfunding page for her.

There have been many other cases that aren’t worth getting into, however, the point is that people who have been catfished often feel completely hopeless because the catfisher is almost always clever enough to put a spin on it and come out looking good in spite of all the pain and emotional distress he or she has caused people. In some cases I’ve seen them build networks with other questionable types who will come to their defense. And the victims wind up feeling helpless while the criminal continues to move forward unscathed.

So here is an interesting web site that talks about what you can do if you believe it to be true that you have been the victim of a catfishing scam. I haven’t seen many charges pressed against these online criminals but I do think that’s going to change in the future as more of them are exposed.

The main problem with catfishing and the law is this:

 The answer is not clear cut, it depends.

So until more victims start pressing charges against these online criminals, the most important thing anyone can do now is to remain prudent with any online relationships.

Philly Gay Bashing Trial Tweets

Here’s another new twist in the alleged Philadelphia gay bashing trial that makes social media even more relevant in modern daily life.

A judge ruled Tuesday that a suspect’s anti-gay tweets can be introduced at her trial next month, according to Philly.com.

Kathryn Knott, one of the three Bucks County defendants charged in the September 2014 assault on a gay couple in Center City, is the only one to have claimed trial.

Her two alleged accomplices Philip Williams, 25 and Kevin Harrigan, 26, will not serve any time behind bars after accepting a plea deal.

Here’s one of her tweets:

‘this camo song is gay like all the other brad paisley songs’

You can read the rest here. I guess she never heard the saying, “What you say online remains online forever.”

The Remove Adam Lambert Petition

There are 11,000 signatures in an online petition to remove Adam Lambert from a New Year’s Eve concert in Singapore.

It is not known who started the petition which is signed, ‘For the love of Singapore, our family and our future, Concerned citizens, Concerned parents, Concerned individuals.’

Describing the singer as a ‘performer fraught with controversy even in his home country’, it lists the American Idol Sean 8 runner-up has having ‘engaged in sexualized acts, including kissing a male band member on stage’ and ‘featur(ing) female showgirls and male strippers performing acts of indecency.’

It goes on to say, ‘Singaporeans can enjoy a good show without their consciences being affronted by lewd acts in the name of entertainment.’

I don’t know much about Adam Lambert or his act so I can’t comment…other than saying I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone wanting to ban Ricky Martin from anything.

Here’s the rest. 

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Twitter Bans Blood Drives; Philadelphia Gender Neutral Rest Rooms; Rosie O’Donnell, Again

Twitter Bans Blood Drives

This is an interesting move by Twitter that might help stop some of the discrimination that gay and bisexual men have faced when it comes to donating blood.

Twitter has announced that it has banned blood drives at its US offices while the FDA continues to ban gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

The ban came in to place in April but was only announced yesterday after the company made its debut on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index.

In its first appearance on the ranking, which looks at LGBT inclusive policies and procedures in the business world, the company scored the top mark of 100%.

You can check the rest out here.

This FDA ban has been going on since 1983 and it’s ONLY based on identification, not behavior.

Philadelphia Gender Neutral Rest Rooms

There’s a new law in Philadelphia that states that any restaurant or bar with single occupancy rest rooms will now be gender neutral. Single occupancy means not having multiple stalls.

‘Providing access to a private, non-gendered, all-inclusive bathroom can simply reduce the stress of using the restroom,’ said Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, to KYW Newsradio.

Signing the law at a ceremony at Fergie’s Pub on Sansom Street, Mayor Nutter, in jocular fashion, said that the law did not apply to restrooms with multiple stalls.

‘Multi-occupant bathroom facilities – it just really doesn’t sound like something you want to be part of – can remain gender-specific,’ reported CBS.

There’s more here. 

I have a few thoughts on this one but I’d rather save it for another post. It’s not something you can get into without at least a little detail.

Rosie O’Donnell, Again

It seems that wherever Rosie O’Donnell goes there’s some kind of an issue. Millions of people live and work and play without having even one of the issues she’s become so famous for. And this time it’s about Rosie wanting a lawsuit a former producer filed against her thrown out of court.

Rosie O’Donnell says she’s not to blame for Jennifer Shepard-Brookman being fired from The View and wants a judge to dismiss the lawsuit against her filed by the former producer. 

Brookman, fired earlier this year after 14 years with the show, alleges O’Donnell cost her the job because she blamed her for leaking details of the show’s backstage tensions to the press.

The suit, filed last month in New York, the lawsuit accuses O’Donnell of making ‘false and defamatory statements of fact about Ms. Brookman to others in their workplace, which caused Ms. Brookman to suffer intense emotional distress, anxiety, and lack of sleep, destroyed her professional reputation, and led to her termination of employment.’

I hope the presses follow up on this one. I’m kind of curious to see how it turns out. As far as I know it’s not as simple to prove defamation as people think it is. In addition, the lawsuit allegedly states that Rosie screamed at the producer, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. But that probably won’t count as defamation. It’s too bad there isn’t some kind of law that states Rosie O’Donnell has to keep her big mouth shut. 

Here’s the rest.

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Gus Kenworthy Wins Top Jock; Caitlyn Jenner Voting Republican; Bristol Palin on Starbucks Red Cups

Gus Kenworthy Wins Top Jock

If nothing else you can’t say I’m not consistent. Yesterday I posted that I hoped Gus Kenworthy would win Queerty’s top jock of the year award, and he did.

In a move that made gay hearts flutter everywhere, Gus Kenworthy, an Olympic freeskiing champion who garnered worldwide fame when he helped find homes for stray dogs while competing in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, told the world his truth in an ESPN magazine interview. “In skiing, there’s such an alpha male thing about pulling the hottest chicks,” Gus told the mag. “I know hooking up with hot girls doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world. But I literally would sleep with a girl and then cry about it afterward. I’m like, ‘What am I doing? I don’t know what I’m doing.’ I don’t want to make skiing less cool. I hear the snowboarders call us ‘skier fags.’ And it’s frustrating because I’m literally going to live up to that stereotype.” Perhaps, but gay fans everywhere think he snagged the best prize of all.

I can’t help but wonder what else he had to deal with in that kind of environment.

You can read about the rest of the winners here, among them are Tim Cook…and of course Kim Davis and her Mother Hubbard dresses won Biggest Douche. There’s only one winner I’m not too sure about because I don’t think he really did much for gay rights until the last moment, when that moment suited him, but he seems to be popular with the masses so there’s that.

You can also vote for person of the year. I’m still going with Gus Kenworthy. And not just because he’s adorable. I really do think it was hell for him living in that kind of environment…and he survived it. Which proves we’re a lot tougher than they think we are.

Caitlyn Jenner Voting Republican

It seems that Caitlyn Jenner isn’t getting the praise that she was getting in the beginning when she announced she was a transgender woman. Remember all that happy cry stuff about be yourself and be true? And it’s partly because Caitlyn votes Republican.

This, however, is another one of those memes from comedian Sam Kalidi that’s meant to be funny.

We’ve asked online comedian, voice actor and chest hair model Sam Kalidi to create a new meme each week for Queerty readers. This week he ponders the consequences of Caitlyn Jenner’s announcement that she plans to vote Republican in 2016, following a denied request to attend the recent Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Sam looks forward to all your hate mail. You can find him on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and at your local glory hole.

You can check that out here.

There are over 200 comments so far. You might not want to miss them. 

Bristol Palin on Starbucks Cups

I didn’t get into anything about the Starbucks cups here at all because I think the whole damn thing is stupid. And this gem of a quote from Bristol Palin just proves my point.

They’ve obviously picked up on the fact that gays in America are filthy rich and they want their share of their wealth.And I don’t care that there’s a Starbucks on every corner of every major city on every continent on the planet. In fact, that’s exactly what makes them the perfect tool to spread the notion that gay people are alright. And as always, they’re targeting the youngest population with their cups and propaganda. On one hand, you have Starbucks poisoning kids around the world with its so-called coffees, and on the other, they are now celebrating the gay culture as something completely normal. Just goes to show how powerful the U.S. gay lobby really is. The message they’re relaying to the youth is, ‘If you want to be cool, be seen with a Starbucks cup of coffee in town. But if you want to be cooler, be seen with our new gayish-red cups and show your support to the LGBT community.’ The entire company just sickens me for a number of reasons.”

Here’s the source. Someone should tell Ms. Palin that if Starbucks was catering to gays with money and good taste they wouldn’t have chosen that ugly red cup. It would be taupe, or pale gray. Or maybe that nice tasteful color from the Martha Stewart collection they call “Fortune Cookie.” But it most definitely would NOT be garish hooker red. I don’t allow red in my house.

Haven’t these people ever heard of Billy Baldwin?!?

Fangsters: Book 2

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Charlie Sheen and HIV; Steve Brookstein’s REALLY Bad HIV Joke; Davey Wavey’s Underwear Campaign

Charlie Sheen and HIV

As I write this post it hasn’t been fully disclosed yet, but most reputable media outlets are predicting that actor, Charlie Sheen, will make the announcement that he’s HIV positive on Tuesday morning.

“Charlie Sheen will reveal to the world that he’s HIV positive. Sources connected to NBC’s ‘Today’ tell TMZ … Sheen will sit down with Matt Lauer on Tuesday morning to make the announcement,” TMZ reports.
The morning show appearance does seem to be timed to beat a National Enquirer report accusing Sheen of contracting the virus before spreading it to dozens of women in a “multi-million dollar cover-up.”

There’s been a great deal of speculation, however, the most disturbing thing I’ve seen so far since they started to report this story is the vicious HIV shaming…much of it by people who should know better. There are twitter hashtags you don’t want to know about. And so far the most prized comments of all seem to suggest that Sheen deserves to get HIV. They really are that bad and many of these comments are coming from people who are in the LGBT community.

Some people…gay and straight…have been sarcastic, as if they’re not surprised and Sheen had this coming, which is just another form of HIV shaming.

Here’s the rest of the Gawker article. I’m hoping this starts a new discussion about HIV and a lot of the ill-informed learn finally, once and for fucking all, HIV is not a punishment.

Steve Brookstein’s Bad HIV Joke

When it comes to being funny there are certain things that have to be taken into consideration for a joke…or a funny tweet…to work. It’s timing, the way it’s worded, and even the length can make a difference. It’s not always easy to do. Who knows what Brookstein was thinking when he posted this bomb.



You can check out the rest. There were replies to his tweet you’ll want to read.

Cavey Wavey’s Underwear Campaign

First, I didn’t think underwear warranted a campaign of any kind. But Davey Wavey was clever enough to mix this batch up, and it looks like some people are drinking his Kool Aide.

Though it seems a counter-intuitive fit (no pun intended), YouTuber Davey Wavey — known for frequently showing off his shirtless chiseled exterior — has come out with an underwear line targeting queers of every shape and size.

Where the typical gay underwear brand favors lean six-packs and unrealistic sexual fantasy to entice shoppers, Davey’s promo video for his DirtyFit Cosmic Collection features gender nonconforming types who prove that there’s no law you have to look a certain way to feel sexy.

So I guess this means that in order for this campaign not to be disingenuous, Davey Wavey will start eating pizza and doughnuts to market his own line of underwear? Or maybe not. It seems as if they’re celebrating all body types, not just what we’ve been led to believe is the perfect body type. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that on the surface…until you consider how much work Davey Wavey puts into getting the “perfect” body type for himself. But it is clever and it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a huge success. P.T. Barnum was right. 

Here’s the rest of this one. The comments that were posted after this post was written are a little more descriptive than usual. 

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Paris Attacks; Gus Kenworthy’s First Experiences; Gay Men Connecting with Straight Women

Paris Attacks

When I first heard about the attacks on Paris it gutted me. Paris is one of the most wonderful places in the world, not to mention the fact that no one anywhere in the world should have to suffer this kind of atrocity at the hands of terrorists.

…forcing a hasty evacuation of President François Hollande. As the scope of the assaults quickly became clear, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting and announced that France was closing its borders.

“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” he said in a nationally televised address. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”
Sending prayers and support to everyone in France, especially to those brave victims who had to experience this personally. In fact, there’s just not enough anyone can say right now.
Source

Gus Kenworthy’s First Experiences

This article about Gus Kenworthy’s first experiences is important to so many gay men who are curious and don’t know. When I first came out I didn’t have anything but porn to judge sex or gay relationships, and porn wasn’t the best guide. You didn’t learn about gay sex in school or through friends, in the 80’s. Your parents certainly didn’t tell you. You learned about it on those proverbial streets.

I had no idea he was gay or interested at all, we just became friends, and one night we’d been out to the bars and had a few drinks, and we staying at a friend’s and sharing a pull-out couch, and I kinda just thought I’m gonna kiss him, and if he punches me in the face I can play it off as having one too many to drinks or just being an idiot. But it ended up being reciprocated and it started a five-year relationship.

My first time didn’t end with a five year relationship, but it definitely gave me some wonderful memories of men with beards. It’s complicated.

You can read more here.

Gay Men Connecting with Straight Women

There’s a new web site where gay men and straight women can connect and I’m assuming form friendships…or co-dependencies.

Do you want nothing more than to take a girl shopping for clothes then treat her to a mani/pedi before going back to her apartment, cracking open a bottle of rose, and watching super 0ld episodes of Will & Grace together?

I love the idea of a friend connection site in a general sense. I have gay friends, straight women friends, and straight male friends. However, I don’t watch Will and Grace with any of them. The only thing that’s dangerous about this web site is that it’s promoting an age old stereotype that misleads everyone…at least from the way it sounds.

You can read more here. There are already a couple of comments that don’t seem to think this is the best idea in the world, not to mention the snarky tone in the article itself. In general, I think this particular stereotype does a huge disservice to women.

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RIP Nate Marston; Hollywood HIV Panic; London Spy Gay Sex Scene; Celebrity Hairstylist’s Product Causes Balding

RIP Nate Marston

I think a lot of people who read romance novels tend to follow…or were once followers…of daytime soaps. I learned about the sad death of Nate Marston last night on social media from people I know as romance readers hours before anyone else reported the story. It was so soon I almost hesitated to share the updates for fear they might be hoaxes. There were a couple of hoaxes going around yesterday about Mr. Rogers and I’m getting more paranoid about sharing anything by the day. I don’t want to add to the stupidity of social media…if I can help it. But I did a little fact-checking with people I know and unfortunately the sad news about Martson turned out to be true.

After a serious auto accident earlier this month, Nate Marston, who was well known for a few of his daytime TV parts, had been fighting so hard for his life. 

Nathaniel Marston has died at age 40, his mother Elizabeth Jackson announced on Facebook Wednesday.

“My beloved and cherished son, Nathaniel Marston, who was putting up the good fight until last night, was not able to continue due to the traumatic and devastating nature of his injuries,” she wrote. “Nathaniel passed away peacefully as I held him in my arms… God ended Nathaniel’s pain and suffering at 3:15 today PST in Reno, NV.” 

You can read the rest here. It states he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. I’m really bad about that myself and after this I’ll be paying more attention to it.

Hollywood HIV Panic

Gay news seems slow this week so this is about as good as it gets. I figured enough about Nick Jonas sleeping (or not) with men and decided to focus on things slightly more interesting. And, I love reading UK news.

A UK tabloid, The Sun, is getting slammed all over the place for reporting about an undisclosed actor in Hollywood with HIV and a long list of lovers.

The publication declines to name the star, but says his ‘list of exes includes an award-winning actress, a religious movie star, a top Hollywood personality with a controversial past, a TV star, a media personality and a glamour model.’

The paper cites a source who claims the actor has known he is HIV positive ‘for a number of years’ and that his lawyers are ‘bracing for the threat of potential action’.

You can read more about the backlash here, with tweets and a link to the original Sun story.

London Spy Gay Sex Scene

Evidently, there was a gay sex scene on London Spy and some have been exaggerating about the negative feedback that’s been coming in.

‘We’ve received one complaint about London Spy on BBC Two,’ said Elliott Ball, Ofcom’s communication manager, in a statement
.
‘We are not investigating this program at this stage, but are assessing the complaint.’

The piece goes on to mention a very negative review in The Daily Mail for the show that many are referring to as homophobic. I’m not surprised at that. I’ve seen more than my fair share of homophobic book reviews for m/m romance over the years and the people who wrote them didn’t even realize they were homophobic. 

You can check that out here.

Celebrity Hairstylist’s Product Causes Balding

This is scary, and why I stick to the basics when it comes to my hair. I have a full head of hair and I hope to keep it for a long time…knock wood.

But if you’re one of the 200 plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit agains “hairstylist to the stars” Chaz Dean and marketer Guthy-Renke, chances are it wasn’t the look you were going for.

The suit alleges that Dean’s WEN line of products, contrary to their claims of keeping your locks fresh and hydrated, actually cause severe scalp irritation and baldness.

Here’s the rest of it. The comments are of a highly vicious, catty nature so if that sort of thing bothers you I think you might want to skip them…said no one ever.

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Adam Joseph Out.com; Johnny Depp Playing Jack Sparrow As Gay; Nick Jonas Being Gay Coy

Adam Joseph Out.com

I know those of you in other parts of the world won’t know who Adam Joseph is. For that matter, most people in the US don’t know. However, I’m posting this for a specific reason. Adam Joseph is a local Philadelphia weatherperson with an ABC affiliate that I’m familiar with because I live in New Hope, Bucks County, and he was recently mentioned at Out.com.

Meteorologist Adam Joseph made Philadelphia history in August 2014, when he became the city’s first major on-air news personality to come out publicly. But the subsequent 15 months are what have proved truly groundbreaking for Joseph, as he and his partner, Karl, have watched their son, Jacob, grow and thrive. 

I forget how long Joseph was doing the weather here before he actually came out in public. It was a while. It seems as if he’s been around for a long time. But I think things like this are significant because he and his small family are part of the more silent people within the LGBT+ community I’m always harping about on this blog. They’re just living their lives like millions of other people all over the world.

One of the anchor people at the same TV station where Joseph works,  Brian Taff, posted a long status update on Facebook. It turned out to be more of a tribute to him of sorts. 

Here’s a part of it: 


Proud of you, bud. Thanks for teaching all of us — me included — that the best version of yourself is the most authentic version, and that all of us should be the person who can make ourselves smile.

You can read more in Out.com here.

Johnny Depp Playing Jack Sparrow As Gay

This one is a little hard to parse at first, and I love it. Johnny Depp claims he not only played the character Jack Sparrow as gay…but all of his characters are gay.

‘It trickled back to me somehow that, “Goddammit, Johnny Depp’s ruining the film! What is that thing? Is it drunk, is it gay?’ Depp said.

He said he was called in to meet with someone at the ‘upper echelon of the studio’ to explain his acting choices.

‘What the fuck are you doing?’ he remembered the executive saying. ‘When they asked if it was gay, I said: “Did you know all my characters are gay?”

It’s not often an article actually leaves me speechless. Half the time I have too much to say and the other half I spend self-censoring so I don’t insult anyone in this highly PC world we’re living in.

This time I’ve got nothing to add. 

But I think I like Johnny Depp a whole lot more now.

Here’s the rest of it.

Nick Jonas Being Gay Coy

You know, there are some things in life you take seriously and some you don’t. This one you don’t. I don’t even think Nick Jonas takes it very seriously.

Jonas, “the actor-singer,” who plays gayface on some TV show I’ve never seen was recently asked if he’s been with men. It really was a stupid question and I don’t get the obsession with Jonas. 

Jonas replied: ‘I can’t say if I have or haven’t, but if you watch (Kingdom) you’ll see more of that.’
The young performer has openly been courting his gay fans in recent years including making live appearances at gay clubs and, on occasion, taking his shirt off.

As a result, some have accused Jonas of gay baiting.

‘In every situation when there’s an opportunity to be negative some people find the need to be,’ he says of the criticism.

You can check out the comments, here. 

One comment will definitely make you smile.

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