Happy Sunday! This week we bring you a mix of stories that will make you smile, cringe and maybe even tear up. We’ve brought you stories of love with a Demi Lovato proposal and an incredible couple in Australia, an eye roll from the NFL, information on PrEP home delivery, and our Whack Job of the Week — though this week it’s more than just one.
Before we start, one quick update on a story from a couple weeks back, Starkville Pride in Mississippi has now received their Pride Parade permit from the city after the incredible civil rights attorney, Robbie Kaplan, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the LGBTQ organization.
Here are the week’s 5 news stories that’ll keep you looking well-informed at brunch:
1. Sorry, Not Sorry, ‘Cause Love Keeps Winning
It’s always so sweet to see a couple getting engaged. It means two people have found enough love for each other that they want to celebrate it with the world. Or at least an arena filled to the rafters at at Demi Lovato concert.
We’re proud to say we are friends with Shane Bitney Crone and love him dearly. He’s an accidental activist that helped show the world what love is through loss and inexplicable circumstances, and how to heal and inspire through the most difficult of times. He’s a true hero to many for telling his story (in the Bridegroom documentary).
He went on to find new love, so his good friend Demi Lovato took 10 minutes of her concert near Los Angeles to allow him to propose to his new finance, Rayvon Owen (a finalist from American Idol). Not only that, but she sang them a song while a slideshow of them played across the screens for the arena (and the whole world) to see.
2. Love Transcends Life: Marriage Matters
We talk about marriage…a lot. We know a lot about the struggles to fight to be legally recognized. It’s easy to let the true meaning of marriage slip away when you are focused on politics, voting and teachable moments to those that oppose marriage equality. But when it comes down to it marriage is a perfect union and expression of love.
Sometimes other issues make it clear just how important the rights associated with marriage can be. Case in point: Jo Grant and Jill Kindt from Australia. They were married on December 15, 2017, the first same-sex couple to be legally wed. They had the required 30-day waiting period waived because Jo was terminally ill with a rare cancer. Marriage for Jo and Jill wasn’t just because they loved each other and deserved to be married. It was because they needed to be married.
“We were relieved when Australia voted yes,” she said. “We weren’t excited, we were actually relieved.” Relieved because they no longer had to explain their relationship and continue to find the right box to check at the hospital while trying to make sure Jill could be with Jo.
Jo passed away just 46 days after their wedding. And even though this brings tears to our eyes we know that their story will help define just how important being recognized and treated equally is to those of us in the LGBTQ community.
3. The NFL Has Some Work to Do
We’re big NFL fans. In our house, it’s about the Dallas Cowboys (Jeff) and San Francisco 49ers (Paul). However, NFL organizations continue to disappoint us on the topic of opening their sport to gay players. For the second time in three years, an NFL organization interviewed a prospective college draft pick at their workout Combine in Indianapolis and asked if he “liked men.”
Louisiana State University running back Derrius Guice revealed parts of his interview during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Late Hits. Two years ago, current New York Giant, Eli Apple was asked a similar question by an Atlanta Falcons coach. The coach was not disciplined. In fact, he was promoted the next year.
Though the NFL then publicly condemned the question, as evident by it being asked again, they did not make any firm policy changes to the interview process. It’s time the NFL took a hard stance on disciplining teams that ask these irrelevant questions and worked more diligently to eradicate homophobia in its sport.
Whether they like it or not, the NFL has surely had many closeted gay players and last time we checked, their sexuality had nothing to do with their ability to play the game.
4. Being PrEP-ared Just Got Easier
Our community knows how important the drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is to limiting our exposure to HIV. Well, now you can have it delivered to your doorstep! Just follow a few necessary steps like visiting your doctor, getting some blood work and obtaining a prescription.
The service is worldwide, takes multiple forms of payment and offers up to a 3-month supply. It arrives discreetly at your doorstep in about 7-15 days. It’s that simple! Get started by visiting PrEPFirst.org and stay safe.
5. Our Whack Jobs of the Week: Peter Boykin, et. al.
Didn’t hear about the Gays for Trump March in Washington on March 4? Not to worry, you’re not alone. Only about 100 people showed up. Yawn. But in all seriousness, any informed human being knows that Trump, and especially his administration, is stacking the deck against the LGBTQ community by loading in very conservative judges, dismantling much needed health/education services, and supporting legislation that is rooted in discrimination.
Gays for Trump supporter Peter Boykin planned this “March4Trump” (clever, we guess). About 100 showed up and only roughly 25 of those actually marched. Why so dismal a turn out? Maybe the Trans military ban? Betsy DeVos ruining LGBTQ students experiences in school? Is it supporting religious freedom by encouraging the DOJ to support bigoted business owners? Mike Pence? Nope. Peter says a wind storm kept people from coming. If he and the other Gays for Trump supporters believe that, it’s no surprise that they still support this hard-to-stomach POTUS.
Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were one of two plaintiff couples in California’s 2013 challenge of Proposition 8, which brought marriage equality back to the state after being ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. These activists also host the weekly podcast The Husbands. Catch them there or follow them on Instagram @JeffZandPaulK.