Gay NYC weatherman is fired after someone revenge porns him out of a job

I just watched NYC TV meteorologist Erick Adame for the first time in the YouTube compilation reel below. He’s quite good.

I’m not sure this incident should cost him his job with New York’s cable channel NY1 as a morning weather guy, but at least he’s fighting back.

A New York City weather presenter was fired from his TV job after someone emailed his employer explicit images they had secretly recorded from a private video chat, according to court documents.

In a court filing first reported by the Daily Beast, Erick Adame said he was terminated from his job of four years as a morning meteorologist at the Spectrum News NY1 cable channel as a result of “revenge porn,” a term used to describe the nonconsensual sharing of sexual images.

Adame is not suing his former employer, but rather Unit 4 Media Ltd. — the company behind LPSG (Large Penis Support Group), the website he used for video sex chat — in order to have a judge force the company to reveal information about the anonymous user that he suspects secretly screenshotted images of him naked and then sent those to NY1, as well as to Adame’s mother.

The anonymous person or people used the account names Sonal Prehonn, Tommysize29, Funtimes99, and Landenboy227.

“As a direct result of [the anonymous user’s] acts, [Adame’s] employment was terminated by his employer,” reads the petition, which was filed in the New York Supreme Court on Monday.

A Spectrum News spokesperson declined to comment for this story, but two sources at the company, who asked asked to remain anonymous in order to discuss the matter, said Adame was let go after months of discussions during which time he had remained on the air until the end of August.

I’d like to think that if I had a well-paying job in the public eye that I’d resist the urge to get naked on-camera with a stranger, but boys will be boys and who knows what I’d have done at that young age in NYC. On the other hand, if you’re a hot young public figure in Manhattan, you probably shouldn’t be hurting for less risky ways to meet men. Unless, of course, erotic chatting is your thing.

It probably would have increased his viewership if NY1 wasn’t so uptight.

House of the Dragon brutally killed off a gay character and some people are not happy about it

Oh, dear. It’s only episode five of House of the Dragon, HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, and they’re brutally killing off the gays as quickly as they are introducing them as characters:

Not only does a secret love never win, but it seems a secret queer love will never have a happy ending.

In the fifth episode of House of the Dragon, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) prepares for her marriage to Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate); prior to their wedding, Rhaenyra tells Laenor that she understands his sexual orientation and proposes that they perform their royal duties while having other lovers.

Rhaenyra hopes to resume her affair with Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), but the swordsman refuses to be her side piece. On the other hand, Laenor’s lover, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), is more than happy to go along with the arrangement.

Unfortunately, Joffrey and Laenor’s relationship doesn’t stand the test of time because Ser Criston Cole soon beats Joffrey to death. In other words, right after we meet the LGBTQ couple, the “bury your gays” trope makes its grand entrance.

For those unaware, the “bury your gays” trope sees queer characters meeting their demise far more frequently than their heterosexual counterparts. All in all, queer characters often suffer and rarely have the chance to be happy.

Now, this trope is incredibly outdated in this day and age, which explains why many fans took to social media to share their frustrations regarding the tragic turn of events in House of the Dragon.

“House of the Dragon introducing two gay characters only to have one of them graphically beaten to death on screen twenty minutes later, absolutely fuck off with this shit,” one fan wrote on Twitter. Another questioned, “How many minutes was that between introducing a gay love interests to killing one of them, GOT? That’s a #buryyourgays record.”

On the one hand, I think it’s not fair to artists (and writers are artists every bit as much as painters or sculptors) to expect them to consider every possible sensibility when creating television and movie scripts. This particular case of #BuryYourGays would have been much worse if the gay character was beaten and killed because he was gay, and not because he’s possibly a schemer who threatened to expose Ser Criston’s indiscretions.

On the other hand, television and movie writers likely try all the time to not play into other stereotypes — racial, misogynistic, etc. — while still remaining true to their artistic vision. Of all the stereotypes that do show up in scripts, the tragic, brutal deaths of gay men is one of the ones that makes its way through the editing process far too often in a Hollywood still dominated by straight men.

Ser Laenor Velaryon and Ser Joffrey Lonmouth in “House of the Dragon.”

Gay pro wrestling star is ready to be the role model the sport needs

Pro wrestling is a mystery to me, mostly because I don’t understand the fans. These people shell out a lot of money to watch these matches and I’ve never understood the answers to these questions: Do most of them know it’s a sham and they are going along with the spectacle and showmanship of it all? Or do they actually think that, because these (mostly) guys do actually hurt themselves during their over-the-top wrestling match performances, that all of it must be real?

I’m not knocking the fans of pro wrestling, any more than I’m knocking my many friends who adore Project Runway, The Amazing Race or RuPaul’s Drag Race. All of those shows run disclaimers at the end during the credits that specifically state that the producers of those programs may have taken steps that affect who wins and loses based solely on what makes the program more watchable.

OK, not in so many words. But that is essentially what all these programs do. It’s “reality” showbiz-style.

Yet everyone I know who watches these shows puts all of that in the back of their minds as they immerse themselves in outcomes they deep down know are probably fixed.

So, back to wrestling. Which I bring up because a story caught my eye this morning.

It’s from the pro wrestling-obsessed YouTube channel TSC News via 411mania.com, and it involves AEW wrestler Anthony Bowens, one-half of a hugely popular tag team in the AEW. (The AEW, for those who do not know, is the wrestling promotion company that is giving the WWE a run for its money.)

Anthony Bowen is gay. And he doesn’t care who knows it. In fact, he wants to be wrestling’s first superstar gay hero. Says Bowen about the warm reception he’s received:

It’s great and it’s one of the things that attracted me to come into AEW when I came here as an extra before I was signed. I saw people like Sonny Kiss and Nyla Rose just walking around being themselves without judgment and people being inclusive with them and there was no fear for them at all to be themselves and that was super important to me for wherever I would land at the time.

There’s never a time where I’m at work where I’m consciously thinking about it, it’s something that’s openly celebrated. I bring it up openly in front of my friends and co-workers, so we’ve come a long way in terms of inclusiveness in locker rooms and such. Fans from time to time, we still have got work to do but it’s been overwhelmingly positive.

I take that responsibility of being an out athlete very seriously because I’d like to show that you can be a successful openly gay professional athlete without it being the center of attention, without being the center of focus. At times, it is important to bring it up. For next week in particular, Max and I are gonna fight for our lives in this match and we also wanna bring home gold and if we do, I end up being AEW’s first gay champion, which is something that I would be super proud of. So I’m going to have some extra inspiration underneath me for that match.

I think I’m probably safe in predicting that any pro wrestling match has more Trump fans than Biden fans, but that’s just a hunch.

Having an out-and-proud man of color in that sport is a watershed of some sort, though I don’t follow the sport closely enough to know how much of one it really is. It certainly feels like an important line to cross.

Anyway, you can watch Bowen’s entire TSC interview below. He seems very likable. I love him merely for having a framed Simpsons still above him while he is being interviewed.

Why is a rogue’s gallery of MAGA Republicans reportedly supporting a federal marriage equality bill?

The fact that there is a piece of pro-gay legislation that is allegedly attracting the support of Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) makes me suspicious.

Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, said he expects there will be enough support from his party to pass a marriage equality bill this month.

Democrats have not yet attracted the 10 Republican senators they need to pass the bill in the evenly divided chamber, but negotiators are making progress, Tillis said.

The legislative push to codify same-sex marriages comes after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the high court reconsider the decision establishing a marriage right. Polling shows adult Americans strongly favor marriage equality, potentially giving Democrats a wedge issue if Republicans block the measure.

Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine are leading the talks, which now center on an amendment addressing religious liberties. Tillis said he and some of his GOP colleagues are generally supportive of what’s currently being discussed.

“We’ve made progress with the drafting,” he added. “I think we’ve addressed a lot of the religious freedom questions that some had and we think we’re going to move it this month.”

Asked if he thinks there would be at least 10 Republican supporters, Tillis responded, “yes.”

But Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, one of the few Republicans who have endorsed the bill, expressed caution. “I don’t know yet,” he said Tuesday evening. “We have a meeting tomorrow with some of us to talk about it, but it’s still uncertain.”

I’ll wait to see what’s in the “religious liberty” part of this to see what Democrats are giving away in exchange for the support of such a weird collection of MAGA Republicans.

Or perhaps the Republicans all have LGB or T loved ones.

But something is definitely up behind the scenes to account for these strange bedfellows.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), left, and Susan Collins (R-ME) are spear-heading an effort to codify same-sex marriage rights into law before the Supreme Court has a chance to overturn its previous key gay rights decisions.

Right-wing hopes to abolish Obamacare preventative coverage mandates for “homosexuals,” the “promiscuous”

The fine people over at poz.com have a good article about a sleeper case before a federal court in Texas that could, should it end up at the right-wing Supreme Court, force millions to pay out-of-pocket for preventative medicine that it now required to be covered under the ACA:

A group of patients and employers are arguing that the requirement is unconstitutional. They also contend that some preventive health measures violate protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 that prohibit federal and state rules from unduly burdening one’s exercise of religion.

The ACA provisions “make it impossible for these plaintiffs to purchase health insurance unless they agree to pay for preventive-care coverage that they do not want and do not need” and prevent them from buying less expensive health insurance without that coverage, they argue.

And a requirement that health plans pay for a drug that prevents HIV “forces religious employers to provide coverage for drugs that facilitate and encourage homosexual behavior, prostitution, sexual promiscuity, and intravenous drug use,” the group argues.

Neither the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the case nor the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the defendant, responded to requests for comment.

The federal judge hearing the case, Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in 2018 struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional, only to be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2021. Supporters of the law are worried he will decide in favor of the plaintiffs in the new case.

“This judge has shown he is not shy about abolishing the entire Affordable Care Act and issuing nationwide injunctions,” said Wayne Turner, senior attorney at the National Health Law Program, which litigates on behalf of health equity and access to health care for underserved populations. O’Connor has a history of issuing nationwide injunctions involving federal laws, including the ACA.

And ACA supporters are not confident that a ruling striking down the preventive health requirements would be overturned by the conservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit or ultimately by the U.S. Supreme Court, with its majority of Republican-appointed justices.

This would be a disaster in so many ways. But the extreme Right is feeling powerful now that it has a Supreme Court that will likely uphold many of its more extreme positions in court cases.

The Democrats simply must keep control of the House and Senate.

If you’re eligible for a monkeypox vaccine, please get one as soon as you are able

This article in the New York Times features people who had monkeypox. The disease is not to be trifled with:

It began as an odd-looking pimple, or perhaps as a weird rash, or maybe as a sudden wave of fatigue in the middle of a hot summer day. The doctor was stumped, or said it was not a big deal, or — just maybe — identified it right away: monkeypox.

New York City has been the epicenter of an outbreak of an old disease that has created new havoc. More than 18,000 cases have been identified across the United States, as of the end of August, and nearly 3,000 of them have been found in the city, mostly among men who have sex with men. Increased access to an effective antiviral medication called tecovirimat, or Tpoxx, and an effort to vaccinate thousands of people most at risk have led to eased symptoms for some.

But not for everyone: Infected lesions and other complications still land some patients in the hospital. Even those with mild cases are forced to isolate at home for weeks, away from family, friends and pets. Many who recover carry psychological wounds or face social stigma. 

Jeez, man, it’s just one outbreak after another, and this one — shades of 1984 — is stalking gay and bi men.

Except this time there is prevention and treatment available, though not available fast or widely enough as it should be. Let’s hope that changes.

Pope bypasses ultra-conservative bishops, chooses progressive one as next U.S. cardinal

Guess that’s what happens when you’ve made a name for being a right-wing zealot who hates Pope Francis:

When San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy receives his prestigious red hat at the Vatican on Saturday, he will bring to the College of Cardinals a fervent loyalty to Pope Francis that has often put him at odds with the conservative majority in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

McElroy, 68, is the only American among the 21 clerics being installed as cardinals by Francis in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica. He was chosen over numerous higher-ranking American archbishops, including two from his home state — outspoken conservative Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and José Gomez of Los Angeles, the president of the U.S. bishops conference.

McElroy has been among the few American bishops who questioned why the conference insists on identifying abortion as its “preeminent” priority. Echoing the pope’s concerns, he has questioned why greater prominence is not given to issues such as poverty, immigration and climate change.

“The death toll from abortion is more immediate, but the long-term death toll from unchecked climate change is larger and threatens the very future of humanity,” McElroy said in 2020.

The Rev. James Martin, editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America, described McElroy as “one of the foremost articulators in the United States not only of Pope Francis’ vision but also the vision of the Second Vatican Council and, more basically, the vision of the Gospel.”

You can read the rest here.

San Francisco Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, the drunk driver who has opposed same-sex marriage and LGBT job protections — and who has refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 — was passed over to be a cardinal in favor of another California bishop who, like Pope Francis, believes that although “the death toll from abortion is more immediate, [the] long-term death toll from unchecked climate change is larger and threatens the very future of humanity.”

31 Methodist churches in North Carolina file suit to leave denomination

Holy moley, man.

All the problems facing the world and some United Methodist Church nutjobs are STILL, after ALL THESE YEARS, saying they want to leave the denomination over LGBT issues.

Thirty-one United Methodist churches in western North Carolina are demanding they be allowed to leave the United Methodist Church and have hired a Florida legal firm to push their claim forward.

The National Center for Life and Liberty sent a letter to Bishop Ken Carter, who oversees both the denomination’s Western North Carolina and Florida annual conferences, to request that they preserve documents and other communications should a lawsuit be filed.

The same firm also sued the Florida Annual Conference on behalf of 100 churches wishing to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church last month.

Legal action — or the threat of legal action — represents a new strategy on behalf of churches that want to join the new Global Methodist Church, a new denomination launched largely over differing beliefs regarding the ordination and marriage of its LGBTQ members.

Fine, I say. Let ’em go.

Perhaps without congregations like these the Methodists — the REAL Methodists, that is — can move on to more important matters like child welfare, war and poverty rather than what consenting adults do with one another.

You can read the rest of the Religious News Service article at this link.

United Methodist headquarters.

Game sites respond to blatantly homophobic effort to remove NYC pride flags from Spider-Man

It’s no secret that the tech industry in general, and the gaming industry in particular, can attract more than their share of cretinous bro types, full of themselves — and misogyny and homophobia.

So it’s nice when part of that industry steps forward and does the right thing in a very public way.

First, some background:

If you are a fan of Marvel’s Spider-Man you’ve no doubt been aware since 2018 that there are pride flags interspersed in the game throughout Manhattan. Checkpoint Gaming explained at the time:

Ryan Benno, one of the developers on the game, responded to a popular tweet highlighting Spider-Man in front of the flag making it clear that the choice was deliberate.

Further to that the game includes a secret achievement that asks you to photograph secret locations around the city which includes this particular flag adjacent to a rainbow mural. Upon taking the photograph you receive an on screen prompt that this location represents the Stonewall Inn, a location steeped in LGBTIQA+ history.

While it may seem like a small detail this does point to active decision by the team at Insomniac. The flag and the fact that it can be found across the city for Spider-Man to perch on for selfies shows a recognition to the large impact the LGBTIQA+ community has had on New York. While this small moment might have brought a smile to my face I cannot imagine what it would do for younger members of our community who so desperately need to see welcoming imagery in the media.

A subsequent version of the game, Spider-Man Remastered, included the NYC Pride flags and, as far as I can tell, may have added a few more.

But recently some bad actors in the genre have been uploading a version to popular modding sites that pointedly removes the pride flags.

How big a loser do you have to be to take the time to remove something so ancillary, yet so positive, using a game mod? (If you are unfamiliar with mods, read this article.)

I’ve been doing LGBTQ civil rights work for a very long time, and this becomes more true the longer I am around homophobes: the more obsessed someone is about gays and gay sex, the higher the likelihood that they are actually seeking it out in secretive ways on the side. I’d bet the person(s) who did this pride flag removal mod spends a lot of time on Grindr hating themselves.

Anyway, back to the mods that removed the pride flags.

People on mod sites had become aware that people, quite possibly the same people on all mod sites, were uploading this anti-LGBT PC game mod for Spider-Man Remastered.

To the credit of the people who run some of the most popular mod sites, they acted quickly:

NexusMods and ModDB, two of the biggest online sites for PC game mods, have removed a project that cut the in-game pride flags from the recently-released PC port of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. As NexusMods explained in a blog post, the mod was uploaded to its site by a brand new account with no modding history, which the site’s administrators suspect is a secondary account for one of the site’s users — a “sock puppet” account.

“It was very clearly done deliberately to be a troll mod,” NexusMods writes. “The fact the user needed to make a sock puppet like a coward to upload the mod showed their intent to troll and that they knew it would not be allowed. Had they not been a coward and had they used their main account instead, we would have simply removed the mod and told them that we did not want to host it, only banning them if they reuploaded it again after being fairly warned. The creation of the sock puppet removed any doubt and made it a very easy decision for us.”

As well as removing the mod, NexusMods says it’s banned both “the sock puppet account and the user’s main account.” The mod replaced the pride flags found around New York City with the United States flag, which is frequently seen in the original game.

This is a hopeful development during a time when anti-LGBT hatred is starting to make a comeback in very public ways.

You can read the rest of Jon Porter’s article in The Verge here.