Check out the latest in lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer news!
This Lesbian Couple Launched a Million Dollar Haunted House Empire
(SFGN) Melissa Carbone and her now ex-wife Alyson Richards left their careers at Clear Channel to turn their love of Halloween decorating into a money-making business.
Carbone left her job as general sales manager for the media company (now IHeartMedia) in 2009 to launch her haunted house business Ten Thirty One Productions. The company started with a haunted hayride through LA park, now one of the most popular attractions in Los Angeles.
The idea came after Carbone and Richards had married and moved to suburban LA, where their fall yard decorations would draw all the neighbors. After finding hundreds of visitors to their “yard-haunt” Carbone thought there might be something there. After some research, she found that the $6.5 billion Halloween industry was one of the few still growing despite the recession, according to Broadly.ing the neiafter Carbone and Alyson had dmarried and moved to suburban LA, where their annual yard decorations for fall would
Scraping together their investments and investments from friends, Carbone and Richards invested $365,000 into the company in 2009. By 2012, the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride was selling out the Halloween season and bringing in $1.8 million in revenue for October. And Ten Thirty One Productions received a $2 million bump from investor Mark Cuban for a 20 percent stake in the company in 2013, Business Insider reported.
Today, Melissa reports that as the Halloween industry continues to grow to a now $ 8 billion industry, Ten Thirty One Productions in opening sister haunts across California and in New York.
Some Close to Whitney Houston say Singer was Bisexual, not Gay
(SFGN) Friends of Whitney Houston are addressing claims about the late singer’s alleged lesbian relationship with close friend Robyn Crawford.
The new documentary “Whitney: Can I Be Me” examines Houston’s relationship with Crawford, 56 as well as the highs and lows in the life of the superstar who passed away in 2012 at the age of 48.
But Houston’s former bodyguard Kevin Ammons, and Ellin Lavar, who dressed the celebrity, claim she was bisexual and in love with Crawford, her assistant, the Daily Mail reports.
"I don't think she was gay, I think she was bisexual. Robyn provided a safe place for her... in that Whitney found safety and solace," Lavar said.
Friends, including former bodyguard David Roberts said that the relationship between Houston and Crawford caused chaos between Crawford and Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown.
"Bobby Brown and Robyn Crawford together were the equivalent of fire and water, petrol and a short fuse - they hated each other. Simple. They would battle for her affections and they would battle for her attention, mainly to identify with the hate they had for each other," Lavar said.
Houston and Crawford met when Houston was 19, and documentary maker Nick Broomfield told the Daily Mail that the relationship was the closest Houston had.
“They shared a house together; they often shared the same bed. I think the most important thing is that it was the most productive, supportive and creative relationship that she had for probably 15 years,” Broomfield said.
Trump Signs Directive Banning Transgender Military Recruits
(CNN) President Donald Trump on Friday directed the military not to move forward with an Obama-era plan that would have allowed transgender individuals to be recruited into the armed forces, following through on his intentions announced a month earlier to ban transgender people from serving.
The presidential memorandum also bans the Department of Defense from using its resources to provide medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals currently serving in the military.
The White House official who briefed reporters on the memo on Friday evening declined to say whether current transgender troops would be allowed to remain in the military under those policy guidelines.
The official signaled that the administration was returning to the military's pre-2016 policy under which no transgender individuals were allowed to serve openly in the armed forces, but said Trump was giving the secretaries of defense and homeland security leeway to determine the policy on currently serving transgender troops.
The White House offered no guidance at the time as to how the ban would be implemented, leaving transgender service members wondering about their future in the military.
Queer and Undocumented, Dreamers Await Trump DACA Decision
(SFGN) A report from the Williams Institute at UCLA estimates that there are at least 267,000 LGBT adult undocumented immigrants currently living in the US. Moises Serrano is one of them.
Serrano came out as gay and undocumented in “Que Pasa” the largest Latino newspaper in North Carolina, where Serrano grew up after coming to the U.S. from Mexico. Serrano and his work is now the subject of “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America”.
For those who are undocumented, a path to citizenship would include uniting their families, finding gainful employment, gaining greater access to social services, and an opportunity to earn livable and higher wages.
Much of Serrano’s work focuses on Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals(DACA) the 2012 policy that allowed for children who arrived without documentation to receive social security numbers, attend college, and find work.
The Trump administration continues weighing whether to phase out the program. CNN reports that President Trump is considering two options that would continue current protections but prevent future applicants and possibly prevent two-year permit renewals according to sources close to the White House.
"It's a decision that I make and it's a decision that's very, very hard to make. I really understand the situation now," Trump said to reporters on Air Force One last month. "I understand the situation very well. What I'd like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan. But our country and political forces are not ready yet."
“Forbidden: Undocumented And Queer in Rural America” premieres Friday, September 1, at 8/7c on Logo.