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Lea Delaria Tells The Story Behind Her Shouting Down A Homophobic Subway Preacher

lea delariaSo, by now you’ve probably seen that stressful video of an actress from Orange is the New Black confronting an annoying subway preacher. If you’re like us, you may have thought, “oh God, why is this happening.” Well, now Lea Delaria has come forward to explain herself.

Apparently, she was heading home to Queens when the guy’s use of the word “homos” spurred her to action. She doesn’t normally confront crazy people on the subway — a sensible policy — but this guy was just too much.

According to Delaria, there were approximately 20 people recording the exchange on their cellphones, so hopefully more videos will surface soon and we’ll get to see an elaborate multi-camera presentation of the incident. After the guy left, everyone applauded.

“You must always face evil and take it down,” she told Page Six, which is itself evil. “The reason evil thrives in the world, the reason hatred thrives in the world, the reason bullying thrives in the world is because of complacency. As long as we continue to take it, it will continue to thrive.”

Okay, Joan of Arc, let’s get a little perspective here. You shouted a crazy man off a train. Good for you and all but let’s take it easy with the “evil” business.

Latvia’s Foreign Minister Says He’s Proud To Be Gay, Will Fight For Partnership Rights

Edgars-RinkevicsLatvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has come out as proudly gay via Twitter.

The move is a surprising one, given that Latvia, a country with a population around 2 million, is located in ultraconservative Eastern Europe where the politics are notoriously antigay. In fact, homosexual activity was downright illegal in Latvia until 1992 when the country regained its independence from the Soviet Union.

Rinkevics’s announcement appears to be part of a larger agenda. The Huffington Post reports that prior to his Thursday coming-out tweet — which said simply “I proudly announce I’am [sic] gay… Good luck all of you…” — the politician had taken to Twitter to express his view that Latvia “has created a legal framework for all types of partnerships [and] will fight for it. I know there will be immediate mega-hysteria, but #Proudtobegay.”

Latvia has had a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage since 2005. Rinkevics has held his position as foreign minister since 2011.

North Carolina’s top GOP lawmakers appeal same-sex marriage ruling

North CarolinaSenate leader Phil Berger (left) and House Speaker Thom Tillis.GREENSBORO, N.C. -- North Carolina legislative leaders are giving formal notice that their lawyers will appeal a Greensboro federal judge's ruling that legalized same-sex marriages in the state. Attorneys hired by Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis say they're appealing. Lawmakers decided to appeal earlier this year after...

Doobie Brothers Singer Michael McDonald Made A Bad “Tranny” Joke

michael_mcdonaldUgh, no, Michael McDonald, please stop.

The singer dropped the t-word in an interview with Rolling Stone this week, apparently trying to make a joke. He’s one of the former singer in The Doobie Brothers, a poppy ’70s band that’s somehow just kept getting recycled for the last 50 years.

In the interview, McDonald mentioned that he’s a fan of a bunch of female singers. The reporter suggested he record some covers, and that’s when he said, “I’m going to come out as tranny on that one,” which what does that even mean? Singing songs that women sang makes you a woman?

OK, look, we get that sometimes you tell a joke, and it sounds great in your head, but then when you say it, it doesn’t totally work. (Such was the case with glitter bombing, a cute idea that was just tedious in execution.) That’s what the hasty Twitter apology is for: immediately after you say your dumb thing, you can just pull out your phone and be like, “er, whoops, that wasn’t ok, sorry everyone.”

But alas, there’s nothing on McDonald’s twitter about the “tranny” comment. For some reason, the most recent tweet is a comment from his lawyer about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson. WHAT?

And so, in conclusion, Michael McDonald is weird and hopefully if we spend another 50 years not listening to him he will go away.

Iconic Clothing-Optional Bar In New Orleans Ends Its Nude Policy After A Customer Gets Raped

country-club

The Country Club, located at 634 Louisa St in New Orleans.

Say it ain’t so!

Located in the heart of New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood, the iconic Country Club is ending it’s clothing-optional policy.

The nude pool and bar is (or at least was) an absolute must for any gay traveler. It first opened in 1977 and boasts a large saline pool, hot tub, sauna, deck, garden, two bars, and a restaurant.

Despite allowing nudity, the business has maintained a strict “no sex” policy, with signs posted all around the property.

The club was a not-so-secret oasis for gay men for many years. Over time, particularly after Hurricane Katrina, it started to attract a more mixed crowd, but it still held onto it’s gay-friendly identity. Then last summer, a woman was drugged and sexually and assaulted while relaxing there.

31-year-old NOLA native Maria Treme visited the bar on June 30. She spent several hours sipping margaritas and sunbathing by the pool. At some point, she blacked out. Hours passed. And the next thing she knew, she was back at her house, naked in bed and next to a strange bottle of lube she didn’t recognize. She was bruised and her car was gone.

Sounds like a bit of a nightmare.

She contacted the Country Club to see if it might be able to help her figure out what the hell happened. The concerned owner showed her surveillance videos of herself having sex with a man in the pool, then having sex with a different man in the sauna, then leaving the bar wrapped in just a towel with a third man, who she presumably had sex with back at her house.

Treme was horrified.

She decided to go to the media and release her identity, she said, to empower other victims.

“You’re always told you need to talk about your feelings,” she told Vice. “You’re told that talking is the only thing that will make you feel better—except in cases of sexual assault, then people shame you into silence.”

Conservative groups and neighbors who were morally opposed to the bar had been campaigning for it to end its clothing-optional policy for years. Seizing the opportunity, they used the Treme’s assault to lobby the city’s Alcohol and Beverage Control Board, which offered the Country Club an ultimatum: Make its patrons cover up or lose its liquor license.

Rather than put up a fight, the Country Club caved to the request.

One of the fliers showing Treme's face that was distributed around the Bywater.

One of the fliers showing Treme’s face that was distributed around the Bywater.

As a result, Treme has found herself the target of a smear campaign. At least one person began hanging posters around the Bywater with the woman’s face and the words “No evidence of rape!”

“They’re upset that they can’t nude sunbathe and so they decide to attack a rape victim and that’s disgusting,” Treme’s attorney, Aubrey Harris, told The Times-Picayune.

The Country Club was quick to denounce the fliers.

“We’re very upset and oppose the fliers,” it said in statement. “Under no circumstances do we support personal attacks and hateful language. Never. Especially in this circumstance. Those actions violate the very spirit of The Country Club and the people here.”

Treme says she never intended for the bar to end its clothing-optional policy by going public with her story. In fact, she wishes it hadn’t.

“Rape has nothing to do with being naked or the clothes you wear,” she told  The Times-Picayune. “I feel like them going after the nudity policy is further sending out a bad message.”

Of course, there are many County Club patrons and supporters who don’t blame Treme, but who are still sad about what they see as an end of an era.

Otis Fennel told Vice, “These gay spaces are important … One of the greatest benefits you could offer to a visitor to this community is something different, something unusual, colorful. People loved that it was a little risqué. Now, I feel there is a void there.”

Related stories:

Anne Rice’s Former New Orleans Mansion Is Everything You Want It To Be

Carrying a Condom in New Orleans Could Get You Arrested for Prostitution

New LGBT Law Firm Opens Its Doors in New Orleans

Graham Gremore is a columnist and contributor for Queerty and Life of the Law. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

George Takei Answers Stupid Questions About Gay People

George Takei can do no wrong in our book.

When he’s not taking on the haters at Westboro Baptist Church with his own music video to Adele Dazeem Idina Manzel’s Frozen anthem “Let It Go,” or endorsing pro-gay political candidates with Star Trek metaphors, he’s performing dramatic readings of Fifty Shades of Grey and delighting fans with his happy dance.

The former Star Trek star-turned-gay-rights-activist sat down with Meredith Vieira this week to talk about his recent takedowns of all the idiots online who say stupid things about gay people, as well as partake in a spontaneous hug-a-thon to raise money for GLADD.

Check out the video below.

This Kid’s Rap About Transgender Acceptance Is Just Plain Perfect

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 9.13.07 AMAlex can’t be more than eight years old, but he seems armed with all the confidence in the world as he raps his story of coming out as transgender.

But it’s obvious he wasn’t always so bold and fearless. Through some clearly good parenting and the help of Camp Aranu’tiq, a brilliant summer camp that serves transgender and variant gender youth, Alex has gained far more than a “normal” childhood. The level of real understanding and maturity he shows through in his poem (OK, even if Mom helped write it) and the very act of performing it speak volumes to the kind of person he’ll grow up to be.

And that’s not something to brush off lightly. According to Drag It Out and Youth Suicide Prevention Program, between one third and one half of transgender and gender variant youth attempt suicide, and they face bullying, discrimination and harassment at staggering rates.

As Alex puts it below, “Please treat everyone the way you expect // We all deserve freedom love and respect.” MIC DROP.

Watch here, and share with anyone who needs an extra dose of self-love:

Please try and imagine if this was you // or you might have something that you can relate it to.
So I was just a little kid about 7 or 8 // and I had something to say that could no longer wait.
So I went to my mom that hot day in July // with a hope in my heart and a tear in my eye.
Basically I said this girl is your son // and I’ve always felt this way and it hasn’t been fun.
We sat there together for a little while // I thought she was sad but then I saw her smile.
She told me I was brave and that she was so proud // that I came to her so she could help me sort things out.

Federal judge rules Missouri same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional – Jackson County to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples today, despite stay

MissouriKANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A federal judge struck down Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage Friday, the second such ruling this week in a state that had been among the first of several to adopt a constitutional provision limiting marriage to only a man and a woman. The ruling would allow gay weddings in Jackson County, which includes Kansas City, but ...

The paths to same-sex marriage review by the U.S. Supreme Court

J. Scott Applewhite (AP)Depending upon how fast lawyers choose to move, the issue of same-sex marriage could be back before the Supreme Court in a matter of days. So far, only one option has been closed off. The remaining options have some, perhaps considerable, chances of success. The decision Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, upholding bans on same-sex marriage in four states, has clearly increased the prospect that the Justices will now take on one or more appeals — perhaps even in time for decision in the current term...

Transgender Malaysians victorious over religious law banning cross-dressing

MalaysiaKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Three Malaysian Muslim transgenders on Friday won a landmark court ruling against a religious law banning them from cross-dressing in what activists called a victory for human rights in a conservative Southeast Asian nation.