U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon, the openly gay Olympic team bronze medalist who has become one of the best-known names at these Games, has been hired by NBC to work as a correspondent during the remainder of the Olympics, NBC spokesman Greg Hughes told USA TODAY Sports Sunday evening.
Rippon, 28, will work for the network on a variety of platforms, including television, digital and social media, Hughes said. Rippon’s Olympic competition came to an end Saturday but his impact on the Games did not. Minutes after skating a clean free skate that put him in 10th place at the end of the men’s competition, Rippon made an impassioned speech about LGBT rights.
From the stands, freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas were watching on, while proudly waving a rainbow flag.
“I have gotten a lot of attention just for being myself,” Rippon said. “A lot of people when they come to a competition are afraid to be themselves, no matter who they are. One thing I want to come with from this competition — I am not a gay icon or America’s gay sweetheart. I am just America’s sweetheart and just an icon. If you have a personality like mine it’s for everybody.”
When asked about there being a rainbow flag to celebrate LGBT pride in the audience Rippon said: “That was my friend Gus and his boyfriend. It was so nice that they came to the event and I will be cheering for Gus tomorrow. To have the support of my friends and family here in the audience means the world to me.” During the Games, Rippon fought hard to turn in three great routines, getting a bronze medal in the team event and a better-than-expected result in the men’s.
“I think it’s just the perspective I have as an older athlete,” he said. “I want to show everyone you can be yourself, you can be out there in your competitive field, and say ‘I am also going to kick your ass.’ ”
Gus Kenworthy didn’t win a medal at the Winter Olympics but he still got plenty of attention for competing as an out and proud athlete. Kenworthy was one of eight skiers to score 90 or better in qualifying for the afternoon final at the Phoenix Snow Park but ultimately failed to land any of his three runs and finished last out of 12 finalists.
On one hand it was a comedown for Kenworthy, who captured the silver in the same event four years ago in Sochi while closeted. On the other, the 26-year-old from Colorado took heart in knowing he put his best effort forth on a global stage as his true self.
“I didn’t even know that that was a televised moment at all, but I think that’s amazing,” Kenworthy said afterward. “That’s something that I wanted at the last Olympics was to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom and it was something that I was too scared to do for myself. And so to be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcasted for the world is incredible.
“I think that the only way to really change perceptions, break down homophobia, break down barriers is through representation. That’s definitely not something I had as a kid. I definitely didn’t see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend and I think that if I had it would have made it a lot easier for me, so hopefully it did that for other people.”
Yet more alleged scandal connected to the current occupant of The White House. But will anybody care? Still, good for Ronan Farrow for continuing to expose how women have been paid off to remain silent by powerful men like Trump and Harvey Feinstein.
Two days after reclaiming the top ranking in men’s tennis, Roger Federer put an exclamation point on a remarkable week by overpowering Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour to win his 97th career title. “What a week it’s been. Absolutely amazing,” Federer said after winning the Rotterdam title. “The goal was to make the semis and I won the tournament so of course I’m incredibly excited and so, so happy.” He will become the oldest person to hold the No. 1 position when the rankings are updated on Monday. It’s been more than five years since Federer was last No. 1, and 14 years since he first reached the top spot.
Federer, who has 20 Grand Slams to his name, said his next target is 100 career titles. He will accomplish this if he defends his titles at the Indian Wells, Miami and Halle tournaments. Jimmy Connors still holds the Open-era record of 109 titles.
He had me at The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.
Today we celebrate 1970s John Travolta, that impossibly gorgeous guy who was the breakout star of TV’s Welcome Back Kotter, the classic sitcom on which he played Sweathog Vinnie Barbarino.
He had started out the decade with guest spots on such shows as Medical Center, Emergency!, The Rookies and Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law.
Then, after three years on Kotter and small roles in the films Carrie and The Devil’s Rain, Travolta’s career reached the stratosphere with his starring roles in the classics Saturday Night Fever and Grease.
The red hot streak was briefly halted with the release of Travolta’s third starring role opposite Lily Tomlin in Moment By Moment.
But by 1980, he was back on top with Urban Cowboy.
It would set a pattern in the coming decades of dizzying heights (Pulp Fiction, Hairspray, Get Shorty) and box office bombs (Two of a Kind, Battlefield Earth, Lucky Numbers).
Travolta turns 63 today. He’s still working steadily through the bombs, the rumors and scandals with three new movies in pre- or post-production.
At 36, Roger Federer has just become the oldest man to be ranked number one in history of men’s tennis
He did it!
Roger Federer beat Robin Haase in three sets in Rotterdam today and the victory gives him just enough ranking points to become the oldest number one ranked men’s player in tennis history.
At 36, Federer is three years older than the previous record holder Andre Agassi.
It’s an astounding accomplishment and comes on the heels of Federer winning the Australian Open last month – a record 20th grand slam singles title.
Federer’s great rival, Rafael Nadal, had regained the top ranking last fall. He is a mere 31.
The last time Federer held the top ranking was in the fall of 2012. His first stint as number one began in early 2004 and over that span, he spent more weeks (302) as number one than any other player in history and the most consecutive weeks (237).
“What an amazing run it’s been and a journey it’s been for me,” Federer said after the win. “Getting to No. 1 and enjoying it right here at 36, almost 37 years old is an absolute dream come true. I can’t believe it.”
“Reaching No. 1 is one of, if not the ultimate, achievement in our sport,” he added. “Sometimes at the beginning you get there just because you play so well. Later, you sometimes try to fight it back and you wrest it back from somebody else who deserved to be there, and when you’re older, you feel like you have to put maybe double the work in. So this one maybe means the most to me throughout my career.”
If you aren’t familiar with The UMPO Series at Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz you are missing out!
It merges movies and musical theater by revisiting popular films and retooling them for live audiences. This is all done with top-notch casts (Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur is among those who have starred in and directed shows).
I’ve seen, and loved, the parodies of Hocus Pocus, The Breakfast Club, and Home Alone and am still kicking myself for missing The Devil Wears Prada.
Anyway, when I heard they were doing The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Jurassic Park I was skeptical. How would they do it? Dinosaurs?
Should not have worried with Kate Pazakis creating a fantastically entertaining evening suited perfectly for the venue. This is dinner theater and the action not only takes place on the stage but also all around you.
As you can see in my photos, the T-Rex and other dinosaurs are hilariously portrayed by actors with deadpan faces holding up what look like giant stick puppet versions of the prehistoric creatures.
The cast is first-rate with my favorite being Michael Thomas Grant as “Goldblum.” The actor channels the movie’s original star Jeff Goldblum hilariously and his performance includes shameless plugs for the one-man show that the actual Jeff Goldblum frequently performs at Rockwell.
Was also enchanted by leading lady Lesley McKinnell who does a lot of the heavy lifting in this production as Ellie. She has terrific chemistry who several of her scene partners but, in particular, Grant as Goldblum.
On opening night last week, the cast also included Dedrick Bonner as Dr. Arnold, Owain Rhys Davies as Hammond, and E.K. Dagenfield in the roles of Newman, Gennaro and Muldoon.
The show is directed by Nathan Moore, choreographed by Mallory Butcher with Joey Guthman the lighting designer, Julia Pinhey the sound designer, Gregory Nabours the musical director and Chadd McMillan the production manager, production designer and stage manager.
The show runs through April 28 and I highly recommend you check it out. There’s a two-item minimum so buy a few drinks or order something off the menu – the sweet potato fries are outstanding!
You also never know who you are going to run into in the audience. Cast members from the original movies have been known to show up and the night we went Lance Bass was at the next table.
Here is a LINK to ticket information.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 teaser and premiere date revealed Gay Star News
‘I Can’t Explain Witchcraft’: Adam Rippon Has A Perfect Response After Killer Routine HuffPost
Gus Kenworthy just put an internet troll in her place with one amazing tweet Queerty
Watch: Whoopi Goldberg compares Mike Pence to a Nazi in LGBT+ rights TV debate Pink News
Charlie Carver shares pic of him kissing mystery man Gay Star News
My blogger pal Kenneth Walsh has posted some cool photos of the U.S. bobsled team at the Winter Olympics.
Check out this and more at Kenneth in the 212!
With the endless barrage of frustrating and horrible news coming out of our nation’s capitol, this is a ray of sunshine.
It involves Billie Jean King, one of my greatest heroes and role models.
Congressmember Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) on Tuesday joined with House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (NY-14) to introduce the Billie Jean King Congressional Gold Medal Act in the House of Representatives to award King the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of her vast achievements and contributions to athletics, women’s rights, the LGBT community and American culture, according to Lowenthal’s office.
“Billie Jean redefined the very role of women in both sports and American culture,” Lowenthal said. “The word ‘icon’ is simply too small to capture the enormous impact she has had on not just tennis, not just on the United States, but on the world. She is a pioneer in athletics, a trailblazer in the fight for equality, a role model for women and the LGBT community, and an inspiration to every American. She has not only earned this honor– she deserves it for the ground she has broken and the paths that she has set.”
King, a native of Long Beach, won 39 singles, doubles and mixed-doubles tennis championships at the grand slam tournaments in tennis during her more than 30-plus-year tennis career, including a record 20 at Wimbledon. She is also the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the nonprofit Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY, home of the U.S. Open Grand Slam tennis tournament, is named in her honor.
“Time and time again, Billie Jean King has broken barriers,” Crowley said. “Among the numerous accolades she has earned over the course of her career, the Congressional Gold Medal would formally recognize King’s leadership in the fight for equality and her achievements in making professional sports more accessible to all Americans, regardless of their gender or identity.”
The Congressional Gold Medal is an award the U.S. Congress bestows to recognize an individual’s immense contributions to American culture. Along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which King was awarded in 2009, the Congressional Gold Medal ranks as one the highest civilian awards in the country.
“I am so proud to be an American, and it would be an amazing honor to receive the Congressional Gold Medal,” King said. “I fully appreciate the importance and the significance of this honor and to be considered is a privilege.”
USTA President and Chairman Katrina Adams said King is one of tennis’s all-time greatest champions who has used her platform of popularity to champion myriad important causes for the betterment of society as a whole.
“She is a pioneer in the truest sense, a tireless crusader for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and social justice,” Adams said. “She has devoted her life to leveling the playing field for all, and for that reason, the USTA wholeheartedly supports awarding this legendary champion and courageous crusader the Congressional Gold Medal.”
The legislation is endorsed by the American Association of University Women, Association of Title IX Administrators, Human Rights Campaign, Girls Inc., National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Council of Youth Sports, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, Women’s Tennis Association, Women’s Sports Foundation, and United States Tennis Association.
Spanish figure skater Javier Fernandez landed second place at the Winter Olympics last night for a nearly flawless performance that earned a 107.58 score. He was behind only Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, who was awarded a 111.68. Friday’s free skate competition will determine medals for the competitors. The 26 year old is a two-time World champion (2015, 2016), a six-time consecutive European champion (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), and an eight-time Spanish national champion.
Whether or not Adam Rippon wins another medal in these Winter Olympics, he is one of the biggest breakout stars of the Games. He’s won a bronze in the team competition and was briefly atop the leaderboard with a total score of 87.95 in the individual competition after his short program. Adam, 28, collapsed onto his back on the ice with joy after skating to Let Me Think About It. He told reporters after he was “so happy with what I was able to do” The first openly gay man on Team USA also said: “I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to skate well today. I’ve definitely got a lot of attention over the past week and a half, so I wanted to show all of those people who have shown me love, they have their hands full.”
Broke my thumb yesterday in practice. It won't stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence's hand so… Silver linings! Will be giving my teammates (and literally everyone else) an enthusiastic "thumbs up!" of encouragement the rest of the trip. pic.twitter.com/XylPPGAq9P
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 15, 2018
It’s official: A “profoundly disappointed” Jeffrey Tambor has been fired from Amazon’s “Transparent”
Jeffrey Tambor is out of a job.
The Emmy winner was officially fired today from the Amazon series Transparent following an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment made by by transgender actresses Van Barnes and Trace Lysette.
Series creator Jill Soloway said in a statement today: “I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires. We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community. We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.”
Tambor said in his own statement: “I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me. I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates. In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set. As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself. I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy, who became the first openly gay male extreme sports athlete two years ago, spoke to Don Dahler of CBS News.
Here’s what Gus had to say about Donald Trump and Mike Pence: “When we have people elected into office that believe in conversion therapy and are trying to strip trans rights in the military and do these things that are directly attacking the LGBT community, I have no patience. I am so proud to be from the U.S. and to be from a country where you are able to voice your political opinions and stand up for what you believe in and I think that when you have a platform you have to use it especially if you feel very strongly about something.”
Morning Round-Up: Timothée Chalamet’s GQ cover; Don Lemon on guns; Frank Ocean’s new cover and more!
People Are Feeling Lots Of Things About Timothée Chalamet On The Cover Of GQ HuffPost
Don Lemon Denounces Those Who Won’t Talk About Gun Violence: ‘This is a Sickness’ Towleroad
Frank Ocean Records Haunting Cover Of “Moon River” NewNowNext
Gus Kenworthy Says He’ll Reject White House Invite: ‘I Have No Patience’ for Trump and Pence Towleroad
Homophobic Abuse by Scott Baio Detailed by Former Costar Advocate
Glee creator Ryan Murphy signs up for exclusive Netflix deal, vows to make new LGBT shows Pink News
Recently unearthed quote from Marlon Brando confirms “I have had homosexual experiences” Queerty
Openly gay figure skater Eric Radford won second medal at Winter Olympics then announces he’s retiring
What a way to go out.
Openly gay Canadian figure skater Eric Radford has announced that he is retiring from competition after he and partner Meagan Duhamel skated a nearly flawless free skate in the individual competition of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to earn the bronze medal.
The pair earlier this week won a gold medal in the team event with Canada. This made Radford the first openly gay male athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, and now he is the first openly gay athlete to win multiple Olympic medals.
“We saved the best for last,” Radford said after winning bronze. “It’s the sweetest [ending] it could possibly be right now, I don’t think that there’s any better way.”
He later wrote on Instagram: “I couldn’t ask for more in my career. It’s been fun dreaming my wildest dreams and having so many of them come true. Thank you everybody for all of your support.”
This gorgeous guy with sexy lips is Dutch soccer pro Robin van Persie.
The 34-year-old star soccer striker plays for Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe. He had played for Manchester United from 2012-15 and was named captain of the Dutch national team in 2013. He previously played for Arsenal from 2004 to 2012, scoring 96 goals in 194 appearances.
He and wife Bouchra van Persie are the parents of a son and daughter.
Ellen DeGeneres calls for ‘end of epidemic of school shootings’ after 17 people are murdered in Florida
Details on this horrific shooting via the Miami Herald