prep stigma tim cook teaser
prep stigma tim cook teaser

The Daily Sting, Thursday: PrEP Stigma Is Real, Apple’s Tim Cook Says Being Gay Is ‘God’s Greatest Gift’

Happy Thursday, everyone! Now let’s dive into the day’s top headlines, starting with a new study indicating that PrEP stigma — negative comments and attitudes towards men using the once-daily pill Truvada to prevent HIV — is very real. Meanwhile Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, in a recent interview said that being gay is “God’s greatest gift to me.”

In other news, Donald Trump has the audacity to continue to sell LGBT Pride T-shirts despite his administration’s continued attack on the trans community. A character on the DC Comics TV series Arrow is officially out of the closet. And we also introduce you to a new short film about a spoiled gay man that has everyone talking, including out actor Zachary Quinto.

From PrEP stigma to Tim Cook’s lovely statement about being openly gay, here are the day’s top headlines:

1. New Study Shows PrEP Stigma Is Affecting a Third of Men Taking the Once-Daily Pill (Health)

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A British charity carried out a survey of 750 gay men, more than a third of which currently take Truvada, the once-a-day pill that prevents HIV, more commonly known as PrEP. Of those on PrEP, a third of them say they deal with PrEP stigma — “a negative reaction because they are on PrEP.” Far from being commending for taking their health into their own hands, they face slut-shaming and are called “lazy, irresponsible or promiscuous.” One Brit currently taking PrEP had this to say: “Some people approach you from a point of ignorance, and so automatically assume because you’re now on PrEP, you are having condomless sex all the time with anything that moves and paying no regard to your wider sexual health.”

Read the full story by Gay Star News here.

2. Apple CEO Tim Cook: Being Gay Is ‘God’s Greatest Gift to Me’ (Business)

prep stigma tim cook

“I’m very proud of it,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said about being gay to Christiane Amanpour during an exclusive interview for her CNN-produced show. Cook was the first CEO of a major corporation to come out — in October 2014 — and he stands by that decision, calling being gay “God’s greatest gift to me.” He told Amanpour, “I went public because I started to receive stories from kids who read online that I was gay. I needed to do something for them.” He wanted to prove to kids that someone “can be gay and still go on and do some big jobs in life.”

3. Donald Trump’s Online Store Continue to Sell LGBTQ Pride Shirts (Politics)

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“Bizarre and objectively hypocritical” is how Teen Vogue describes the fact that Donald Trump’s official website continues to sell an LGBTQ Pride tee in its online store. This of course despite his administration spearheading attempts to erase the transgender community entirely. “Show your pride and your support for Trump with this exclusive equality tee,” says the shirt’s description, currently marked down from $30 to $24. The money goes straight to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. The current U.S. administration was met with protests earlier this week by trans people and their allies who refuse to be erased by new Department of Health and Human Services policy that would redefine gender as the determined by birth genitalia.

Just yesterday the Trump administration filed a brief arguing businesses can fire transgender workers just for being trans.

Read the full Teen Vogue story here.

4. TV Series Arrow Has Just Revealed a New Openly Gay Character (TV)

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Arrow’s new gay character, William, portrayed by Ben Lewis

Greg Berlanti — openly gay producer of several comic book-based TV series including Arrow, The Flash, Black Lightning and more — has been extremely inclusive in his shows, and in line with that, the series Arrow just revealed a new queer character in Season 7, Episode 2. William, the grown-up son of Oliver, nonchalantly revealed he’s gay by referring to his “ex-boyfriend” in conversation. (We should also say the scene was a flash-forward.) Fans of the series have been thrilled to get yet another “family member” into the show’s storyline.

5. Short Film Trophy Boy Is the Story of a Gay Influencer Dumped by His Sugar Daddy (Film)

The short film has been on the festival circuit, and now it’s available to watch! Trophy Boy follows James (portrayed by Emrhys Cooper), a sexy gay influencer who appears to have it all before it all comes crashing down. In the film he’s dumped by his wealthy benefactor and has to face life on his own means. Zachary Quinto, who was present at the film’s NYC premiere, had this to say about it: “Trophy Boy vividly captures a significant moment in our culture, and speaks to themes that transcend the LGBT community, and ultimately reflect a society which is actively disconnecting itself from reality and embracing a kind of narcissistic oblivion. It does so with humor, style, and a dynamic vision from writer/director Emrhys Cooper.” Watch it above.

What are your thoughts on PrEP stigma? And do you share the sentiment of Apple’s Tim Cook?