Sam Smith slammed for saying he doesn’t like Michael Jackson

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sam Smith is facing criticism for saying he doesn’t like Michael Jackson.

The 26-year-old crooner was filmed saying the statement in a video posted by Adam Lambert on Instagram. Smith and Lambert are seen on a yacht while Jackson’s song “Human Nature” is heard playing. Smith says  “I don’t like Michael Jackson, but this is a good song.”

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Virginia man arrested for 2017 murder of gay activist

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Police in Chesterfield County, Va., on Aug. 6 arrested a 56-year-old Virginia man for the April 2017 murder of longtime Virginia gay activist Bruce Garnett, 67, who was found stabbed to death in his apartment in a section of Chesterfield near Richmond.

Police charged James M. Wheeler, a resident of the town of Stuarts Draft near Staunton, Va., with second-degree murder in connection with Garnett’s death after he confessed to the murder, according to Maj. Edward Carpenter of the Chesterfield Police Investigations Bureau.

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Ruby Rose quits Twitter after ‘Batwoman’ backlash about her sexuality

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ruby Rose has quit Twitter amid backlash for her casting as “Batwoman” in the new CW series.

Rose, who identifies as a lesbian and gender-fluid, reportedly was facing criticism from people questioning her sexuality.

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The Other Side of Life: Standing with Kneelers

By : Jason Leclerc
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Another football season is upon us. Thank God. Thank America.

I stand for the National Anthem. Even at sports bars, if the sound is turned up, I’m that guy who feels compelled to slide off my stool and remove my ball cap while “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays. I’m, admittedly, obnoxious that way. For the dozens of other people around me who don’t partake in this symbolic ceremony, I have no judgment. This, though not hidden, is a private act: a moment of reflection. I know that for those in fields and stadiums and parks and for other hoppy-fruity patriots in other bars, the moments that precede kickoff—including humming or mouthing along to this sonorous anthem—are as important to me as touchdown dances, chest bumps and the high drama of red zone defensive stands.

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‘Voltron: Legendary Defender’ fans outraged over show’s handling of LGBTQ character

By : Meghan Sweeney
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WARNING: This story contains SPOILERS to Netflix’s new season of “Voltron: Legendary Defender.”

Netflix released “Voltron: Legendary Defender” season seven on Aug. 10, and since then fans have taken to Twitter to express their anger over the show’s handling of one of its LGBTQ characters.

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PHOTOS: Janet Jackson gives Tampa Bay the ‘State of the World’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Unbreakable musical icon Janet Jackson and her Tampa Bay fans came together again at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre Aug. 7 for the LGBTQ ally’s “State of the World” tour.

Jackson, as well known for her choreography as she is her vocals, didn’t disappoint the arena on either front. The show featured eight backup dancers and a wide-array of the singer’s staples, with the 52-year-old artist lamenting that she’d written some of the music at 19.

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PHOTOS: Kesha and Macklemore hold a Tampa Bay adventure

By : Rick Claggett
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TAMPA | LGBTQ friendly artists Kesha and Macklemore ended their two-month tour in Tampa Bay Aug. 5. “The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore” played to a packed house at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre with both artists giving shout outs to their LGBTQ fans.

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Vermont exec would be nation’s first transgender governor

By : wire report
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP)| A former energy company executive from Vermont has a shot at becoming the nation’s first transgender governor — but she says that’s not the main reason she’s running.

Christine Hallquist says that in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary, people are finally beginning to pay attention to the race, but her status as a transgender woman isn’t what’s on their minds. Rather, she says, voters want to know what she can do to help them get higher-paying jobs, provide health care for their families and better educate their children.

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Disney casts straight comedian as ‘effete’ gay character

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The choice by producers to cast Jack Whitehall, a straight 30-year old British comedian as Walt Disney Company’s first openly gay character, has critics asking questions.

In the film “Jungle Cruise,” Whitehall is “playing a gay man” and a character who is “hugely effete, very camp and very funny,” a film producer tells the Los Angeles Blade. Disney’s publicity staff says the film is “based on Disneyland’s theme park ride, where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles, but with a supernatural element.”

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LGBT counter protesters avoid contact with white supremacists at rally

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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About 150 LGBT people and their supporters marched from Dupont Circle to 18th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. on Sunday afternoon as part of what they called a Queer and Trans “ResisDance Party” and counter protest to the Unite the Right rally next to the White House organized by white supremacist leaders.

The LGBT counter protesters, who tossed rainbow colored graffiti and danced to music blaring from a portable loudspeaker while marching along downtown streets, decided not to continue their procession to Lafayette Park, where the Unite the Right rally began more than an hour earlier than originally planned.

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Watermark is hiring! Tampa Bay Distribution Specialist needed

By : Meghan Sweeney
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State to audit LA child welfare agency after boy’s death

By : wire report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) | Following the death of a 10-year-old boy, state officials will audit Los Angeles County’s child welfare agency to determine whether it adequately protects children.

The California legislative audit committee on Wednesday approved a request from Sens. Ricardo Lara and Scott Wilk and Assemblyman Tom Lackey to review LA County’s Department of Children and Family Services.

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