The Most Popular Gay Stories of the Week
Darren Young Becomes the First WWE Wrestler to Come Out as Gay
A TMZ reporter got the scoop of his life when he inadvertently prompted World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Darren Young to come out as gay.
On Aug. 14, the gossip website asked Young, who was getting his bags at Los Angeles International Airport, if the thought a gay wrestler could be successful in the WWE.
“Absolutely,” Young. “Look at me. I’m a WWE Superstar and, to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay, and I’m happy. Very happy.”
This way, the 33-year-old performer becomes the first openly gay WWE wrestler in the organization.
“I guess if you want to call it ‘coming out,’ I really don’t know what to say it is,” he said. “I’m just letting you know that I’m happy [with] who I am, I’m comfortable with myself, and I’m happy to be living the dream … Some people might not like it. Some people will like it. I’m here to please myself. I’m here to be happy … I’m hoping to make a difference. It’s very important to me to make people understand that someone’s sexual preference shouldn’t really matter. It should be about the person.”
A representative for the WWE told Huffington Post the wrestling organization is proud of Young for coming out.
“WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar,” read a statement. “Today, in fact, Darren will be participating in one of our Be A Star anti-bullying rallies in Los Angeles to teach children how to create positive environments for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation.”
Gay Russians Can Seek Asylum in Canada
Canada’s government announced LGBT Russians are able to seek permanent stay in the North American country as refugees.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander told The Globe and Mail that people who are being persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identity in Russia can seek asylum in Canada.
“[Refugee claims] related to this particular issue will of course be looked at very seriously by our very generous system,” Alexander said.
He explained that gay Russians would be eligible for asylum because their home country’s newly passed anti-gay law makes them face persecution not only from fellow citizens, but also from the government.
Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” law makes it illegal for individuals to publicly display anything that related to LGBT pride in public or to provide information to minors regarding LGBT issues. Violators could face fines and jail time. Foreigners who break the law could face up to 15 days in jail and deportation, while companies could get a 90-day suspension.
There are currently at least two cases of gay Russians applying for permanent stay in Canada because they faced harassment and discrimination in their home country, according to the Globe.
U.S. Senator Urging Countries to Hold Rainbow Flags at Sochi Olympics in Russia
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer doesn’t think the U.S. should boycott the Winter Olympics, on the contrary, he thinks every delegation should show up with gay pride flags.
Schumer said on Aug. 12 during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that Russian president Vladimir Putin is a bully and urged participating countries to march during the opening ceremonies holding rainbow flags.
“I’ve called Putin … a schoolyard bully, and the only way you deal with bullies is stand up to them,” Schumer told Mika Brzezinski. “When we march initially, all the countries should wave the multi-colored flag for gay rights. That would be pretty embarrassing for Putin, let our athletes participate and still take a stand.”
The politician also praised President Obama for publicly criticizing Russia’s LGBT stance and canceling a meeting with Putin.
“The president is doing his job by trying to keep the person-to-person relationship OK,” Schumer said. “I thought it was a good move not going to the bilateral.”
But it may not just be Russia the one getting mad for the colorful display of flags.
The Olympic Committee told Gay Star News on that will likely stop any athlete who shows solidarity for LGBT Russians, even if it’s something such as displaying a rainbow pin.
“The IOC says it still supports gays and lesbians being allowed to compete, but won’t let them use the Olympics as a platform to highlight Russia’s anti-LGBT human rights abuses,” GSN writes.
French Anti-Gay Hashtag Sparks Lawsuit Against Twitter In France
Twitter is getting slammed with lawsuits from California and France, demanding that a series of anti-gay hashtags that became trending topics over the past days be removed.
The Huffington Post reports the French committee that organizes the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) filed a complaint on Aug. 13 in their country and California — where the social media company is based — demanding all hate tweets and hashtags be removed.
The committee says nearly 10,000 tweets were posted recently using the hashtag #LesGaysDoiventDisparaitreCar (Gays Must Disappear/Die Because), about 900 of which directly called for the murder of gay people.
“This is a completely blatant call for the death and murder of gay people. It is totally unacceptable,” Alexandre Marcel of IDAHO told France’s The Local. “Could you imagine being a 17 or 18-year-old gay person logging on to Twitter … and seeing messages that call for you to be killed?”
Other anti-gay hashtags that became popular in France recently include: #SiMonFilsEstGay (If My Son Is Gay), #TeamHomophobe and, most recently, #BrulonsLesGaysSurDu (Burn Gays On The).
Twitter hasn’t responded to the lawsuit. In the past, the company complied to removing removing inflammatory tweets or turning over data to the French authorities to help identify offenders.
California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Trans Student Protection Bill
Transgender elementary and highschool students in California will now be able to participate in school-related activities corresponding with their gender identity.
On Aug. 12, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that expands anti-discrimination protections for trans students in public schools. Assembly Bill 1266 mandates that transgender students be allowed to join sex-segregated programs conforming with their identity, like sports teams. The Advocate writes the bill is“the first of its kind nationwide.”
“Now, every transgender student in California will be able to get up in the morning knowing that when they go to school as their authentic self they will have the same fair chance at success as their classmates,” Masen Davis of the Transgender Law Center said in a statement.
The bill passed both the state senate and assembly last month. California’s new law will take effect January 1, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
“While many California school children are already protected by policies in some of our biggest school districts, other districts don’t seem to understand that transgender students should have equal access to all programs and facilities,” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a gay Democrat from San Francisco who introduced the bill, told BAR.
The momentum seems to be in favor of the trans community. Earlier this year Colorado’s Civil Rights Division ruled a transgender first-grader must be allowed access to the girls bathroom at her elementary school.