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Azealia Banks apologizes for homophobic anti-PrEP rant

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Rapper Azealia Banks (Image via Instagram)

It’s taken awhile, but rapper Azealia Banks has made an apology for a profanity-laced rant she posted earlier this year on Instagram about PrEP and the men who use it.

In October, Banks posted an Instagram story criticizing out queer singer Frank Ocean for launching a club event called “PrEP+” and implying that gay men use the drug as an excuse for promiscuous behavior.

The rapper, who is known for her no-holds-barred and often controversial public discourse, returned to Instagram on Tuesday with a simple post apologizing for her previous comments:

“Hey guys, So…. a few weeks ago I went on a rant about Pre-exposure prophylaxis meds and I am just doubling back to say…… I’m sorry [sad face emoji] It’s not my place. It was extremely insensitive. Who cares if I meant well, that wasn’t the way. I’m really really sorry.”

Image via Instagram

The original post was Banks’ response to news of Ocean’s NYC club night, the first of a series of events described by the “Nikes” singer as an “homage to what could have been of the 1980s’ NYC club scene if the drug… had been invented in that era.”

In the October rant, which was part of a longer video, Banks said:

“Clearly I have a lot of gay male friends. Do not take that PrEP shit, okay? There’s no reason for you to need to have a fucking pill so you can just fuck whoever you want to fuck and just be all fucking nasty out there on the streets acting a fucking fool. The boys are still getting HIV, the girls are getting fucking renal failure, they’re getting liver fucking failure, they’re getting anal warts, they’re getting anal cancer, OK? That’s a fucking death trap.

“And for that dumbass n**** Frank Ocean to sit up there and promote that to y’all gays like that’s something that y’all need? It’s evil, and he’s probably getting paid by some white gay corporation to do this shit. Y’all stay off that fucking PrEP.

“Y’all stay off that fucking PrEP. You don’t need to have everybody running up in your fucking asshole all day. If you got a sex addiction like that, that you need a fucking pill so you can go fuck and suck and do all that, then you need to go see a fucking psychiatrist.”

Banks faced immediate backlash for the remarks, being called out by LGBTQ commenters on social media for spreading misinformation about the drug and “slut-shaming” its users. Among them was out singer Olly Alexander of the group Years and Years, who tweeted:

“Pls don’t listen to azealia banks talk about prep if you want some information i highly recommend @TeamPrepster and this page here.”

Alexander also added, “i ask for people to be a little thoughtful before they start labeling people on prep as – in azealia’s case, just whores who want it raw. it’s homophobic and actually it does not concern you in the slightest.”

Banks’ followers have responded positively to her apology. In response to one commenter who said, “who cares ur still that girl,” the rapper replied:

“i care. I have all these ‘tough love’ and anger styles of expressing myself which have surely been passed down through generations of oppression. It’s time i let that generational debris go. It didn’t help turn any of the people in my family into happy healthy humans and it sure as hell has been holding me back from true happiness. I’m not making excuses… but I really gotta let that anger go, ESPECIALLY since I know it ultimately comes from angry slave master teachings. I don’t want to be a reflection of that. I don’t want to be a relic of the past anymore.”

The rapper was banned on Twitter in 2016 for calling One Direction singer Zayn Malik a “faggot,” a “sand n***a,” a “dick rider” and a “paki.” She went on to say that the British-Pakistani singer was “only apart of 1d to draw brown attention,” and insulted Malik’s mother by calling her “a dirty refugee who won’t be granted asylum.”

When DJ Bok Bok responded to that outburst by asking her to delete all of his music, Banks referred to him as a “fudgepacker.”

You can watch the original rant below.

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Television

AIDS @40- “It’s a Sin”: Drama at the beginning of the AIDS crisis

The show, which features a largely LGBTQ cast, shines a light on a dark chapter that’s been fading from memory.

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Graphic via CBS News Sunday Morning

LONDON – CBS Sunday Morning reports on the acclaimed HBO Max series, “It’s a Sin.” Produced by the originator of the hit British series ‘Queer As Folks,’ “It’s a Sin” tells the story of a group of gay men and their friends who live and love in London in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The show, which features a largely LGBTQ cast, shines a light on a dark chapter that’s been fading from memory. CBS Correspondent Imtiaz Tyab talks with the show’s producer-writer, Russell T. Davies, and with two of its stars: Neil Patrick Harris and Lydia West.

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Online Culture

Digital platform joins with It Gets Better for Pride-themed content

The online world can be a scary place, and it can still be difficult to “find your people” there without a little help

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Graphic provided by StreamElements

LOS ANGELES – The age of online communication has made it easier for LGBTQ+ people to connect with their community than ever before. This is especially valuable for young people, who don’t feel safe being out in their real-life environment, or who are isolated, whether by geography or prevailing social attitudes, from larger LGBTQ+ populations. Yet the online world, just like the real one, can be a scary place, and it can still be difficult to “find your people” there without a little help.

That’s why StreamElements, a platform which powers over 1.1 million digital content creators across Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Gaming, is stepping up to provide assistance. The company is partnering with the It Gets Better Project for a new campaign that aims to help create safer and more inclusive LGBTQ spaces online, providing support for the community during Pride Month and beyond. 

As part of the campaign, StreamElements is:

  • Donating $25,000 to the It Gets Better Project and 100% of the proceeds from Prime-themed merchandise. It Gets Better, of course, is a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of media to reach and provide critical support and hope to LGBTQ+ young people around the world.
  • Collaborating with and commissioning graphics from LGBTQ+ artists Jaime Hayde and Andrea Marroquín, which will be used on special merchandise items for charity and shared with the broader streaming community for use in their individual merch stores.
  • Creating special overlays and alerts that feature the Pride-themed art for livestreamers to use on their channels. This “SuperTheme” can be used at various stages of a livestreamed broadcast and incorporates art from Hayde.
  • Spotlighting LGBTQ+ creators throughout the month via its social media channels, highlighting their work and including videos where they will share their journey and comment on what Pride means to them.

The initiative was spearheaded Sean Horvath, CRO of StreamElements and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, who says, “Pride has always been an important part of my life. Seeing StreamElements partner with LGBTQ+ content creators and the highly impactful Its Gets Better Project to drive social change is a significant milestone, especially for myself and many other members of our staff who are part of the community we’re celebrating. Our goal with this campaign is to not only shine a light on all the amazing things Pride represents, but to continue our previous commitment to supporting diversity by ensuring the efforts we put forward are prominent year-round.”

You can find out more at the StreamElements website.

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Sports

Out track star heads to Tokyo as video of her hugging her Gran goes viral

Her moment of victory and celebration with her Gran was caught on video and later shared thousands of times on Twitter

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Sha'Carri Richardson (Screenshot via NBC Sports on YouTube)

EUGENE, Or. – A 21-year-old out female sprinter is headed to the summer Olympic games in Tokyo after winning the 100-meter heat and securing a coveted spot as part of the U.S. women’s team in the Olympic trials that were held at the newly renovated Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene this past weekend.

Sha’Carri Richardson, a former Louisiana State University (LSU) sprinter put on an amazing run, afterwards telling NBC News Sports that her biological mother died just a week before the qualifying Olympic trials. Richardson, who celebrated her win by running up the Hayward Field stairs to hug her grandmother, says that family means everything.

“My family has kept me grounded,” Richardson said. “This year has been crazy for me. Going from just last week losing my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dream, still coming out here and still trying to make the family that I still have on this earth proud.”

Her moment of victory and celebration with her Gran was caught on video and later shared thousands of times on Twitter including by Deputy White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The sprinter also took time to thank her girlfriend who she had said inspires her, and also picked out her hair color. “My girlfriend actually picked my [hair] color,” Richardson said. “She said it like spoke to her, the fact that it was just so loud and vibrant, and that’s who I am.”

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