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Anthony Rapp announces engagement to partner

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Ken Ithiphol and Anthony Rapp (Photo credit: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Out actor Anthony Rapp is marrying his boyfriend, and he wants everyone to know about it.

The 48-year old Rapp went on social media Sunday to tell fans and followers he had proposed to partner Ken Ithiphol, saying:

“So something happened tonight. I asked Ken if he would marry me and he said yes. I am so very happy and I’m so very thrilled to share this news.”

Photo via albinokid1026 on Instagram

The couple on Sunday both re-posted Instagram stories from others, showing the actor down on one knee proposing to his partner in front of friends at a Toronto party.

Ithiphol is a leadership coach, social researcher and advocate.

Rapp has been an actor since childhood, making his Broadway debut in 1981 in a short-lived musical called “The Little Prince and the Aviator,” based on the beloved children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and his film debut with 1987’s “Adventures in Babysitting.” It was with the original production of “Rent” in 1994 that he first gained widespread recognition, creating the role of Mark in the now-iconic Jonathan Larsen musical and reprising the role in the 2005 film version. He has since appeared in numerous roles in theatre, television, and film, recently expanding his fanbase with the role of Lt. Commander Paul Stamet in the CBS All Access series, “Star Trek: Discovery,” in which his character, alongside fellow out actor Wilson Cruz, is half of the first gay couple in the “Star Trek” television franchise.

Rapp came out as queer in the mid-90s. At the time, he told Oasis magazine: “I don’t want to get into labels, but I’ve never labeled myself except to say I’m queer. The thing that’s been most important to me to be out about is that I have been in loving relationships with men … I haven’t said, ‘I am gay.’ Because the truth is that I’ve also been in love with women, although the truth is I do think I’m primarily homosexual.”

He made headlines when he revealed that he had been the recipient of unwanted sexual advances from actor Kevin Spacey at the age of 14, saying that he had attended a party at the home of the then 26-year-old Spacey. At the end of the evening, according to Rapp, the older actor, who was apparently drunk, picked him up and placed him on a bed, attempting to begin a sexual encounter. He had spoken about the incident in an Advocate magazine interview in 2001, but had at that time withheld Spacey’s name; inspired by the rise of the #MeToo movement, he came forward with the full story in 2017. Spacey claimed, on Twitter, not to have remembered the incident, but did not explicitly deny it, instead apologizing for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” At least 14 other men subsequently came forward with similar accusations against the older actor.

Rapp has credited activist/author Larry Kramer as an inspiration, saying in a 2018 interview on “The View” that he had worked with the activist on a play as a young man.

“[He] was a really powerful force to be around,” said Rapp, “so I always thought it was really important to live an open life.”

 

a&e features

Ellen Degeneres sits down with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie

Ellen chats with Savannah Guthrie on Today about her leaving daytime television

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Ellen chats with NBC's Savannah Guthrie on Today about her leaving daytime television

BURBANK – Ellen DeGeneres announced yesterday that she will end her talk show after next season. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie speaks with DeGeneres Friday about the decision, which comes 10 months after DeGeneres faced accusations of allowing/running a toxic workplace.

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a&e features

Ellen discusses her departure with Oprah Winfrey

The two powerful women television celebrities shared how each came to the decision for their shows to end

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Ellen and Oprah discuss Ellen's decision to end her show after 19 years. (Screenshot via YouTube)

BURBANK – After Ellen DeGeneres announced she would be ending her talk show with Season 19 this week, she had a discussion with invited special guest Oprah Winfrey on Thursday, whose iconic talk show wrapped in 2011 after 25 seasons.

The two powerful women television celebrities shared how each came to the decision for their shows to come to an end, and Winfrey divulged what she misses about her show, and DeGeneres revealed what she will miss about hers.

Winfrey also talked about her new Apple TV+ mental health docuseries “The Me You Can’t See,” which she co-created and executive produces with the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry.

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Online Culture

Instagram unveils pronouns for its users to define themselves

Recognition and respect of our pronouns can make all the difference for our health and wellbeing especially to LGBTQ youth

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PALO ALTO, CA. – Instagram rolled out a new feature for its platform users in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia Tuesday with “plans for more” in other countries the social media giant said. Users will now be able to select their preferred profile pronoun from he/him, she/her and they/them. Once selected, the pronoun preference will appear in small gray letters next to their username.

LGBTQ social media influencers and others including LGBTQ+ advocacy groups have embraced the change in multiple threads on Twitter and on the Instagram platform.

“Pronouns matter, and adding inclusive pronouns to a contact form is more than just a demonstration of allyship,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement sent to NBC’s TODAY show in January after the White House updated its contact form on its website to include gender-inclusive pronouns and prefixes.

“Research has shown that recognition and respect of our pronouns can make all the difference for our health and wellbeing — especially when it comes to LGBTQ youth,” Ellis said.

A poll conducted last summer by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, found that 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside of the binary construction of gender. 

Although 75% of youth use either he/him or she/her exclusively, 25% of LGBTQ youth use they/them exclusively, a combination of he/him, she/her, or they/them, or neopronouns such as ze/zir or fae/faer.

Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ youth who use pronouns outside of the binary opt to use combinations of he/him, she/her, and they/them. This included pronoun usage such as “she and they” or “he and they,” as well as using “she, he, and they” to express the nuances of their gender.

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