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Golden Globes winners include surprises, diversity, and LGBTQ wins

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Taran Egerton took home a win for playing LGBTQ legend Elton John in “Rocketman” (Image courtesy Paramount/Rocket Pictures)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 77th annual Golden Globe Awards are now a matter of history, and in an evening of surprises and upsets, several of the most noteworthy moments reflected the growing significance of LGBTQ voices in the content created by the film and television industry.

Going into the presentation Sunday night, the slate of nominations included nods for several LGBTQ-inclusive films, actors and characters.

In performance categories, several openly LGBTQ performers were nominated, including out actors Billy Porter and Ben Platt for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series in the Drama and Comedy categories, respectively. Porter lost to actor Brian Cox, for HBO’s “Succession,” while Platt’s category was won by Muslim-American writer and actor Ramy Youssef, for Hulu’s “Ramy.”

Out Irish actor Andrew Scott had received a nod as Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series (Comedy) for his role as “Hot Priest” in “Fleabag,” an award which went to Russell Crowe for his performance as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice.”

For Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), out actress Beanie Feldstein was nominated for her portrayal of a high school overachiever in the hilarious sleeper hit, “Booksmart,” but the award went instead to rapper-turned-actress Awkwafina, who made history by becoming the first Asian-American performer to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category; she took the prize for “The Farewell,” a film created by Asian-American female filmmaker Lulu Wang.

The performance nominations also included LGBTQ allies playing queer characters:

Taran Egerton, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), scored with a win for playing Elton John in “Rocketman.” Antonio Banderas had received a nod as Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for his role in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” but the award was taken home by Joaquin Phoenix for his electrifying turn as the title character in “The Joker.”

In actress categories, Margot Robbie had been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for “Bombshell,” and Jodie Comer for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series (Drama) in “Killing Eve.” Those categories were won by Laura Dern (for “Marriage Story”) and Olivia Colman (for “The Crown”), respectively.

In one of the evening’s surprises, the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) went to Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland in the biopic, “Judy.” Though Zellweger is straight (as was Garland) the film is notable for its dramatization of an episode in the life of an undisputed LGBTQ icon.

Several films and television shows with queer-themed content were also nominated going into the evening.

Netflix’s “The Politician” had picked up a nod as Best Comedy Series, but the award ended up being given to the Amazon juggernaut, “Fleabag” – a series which also includes LGBTQ content, and which also picked up the award for Best Actress In A Television Series (Comedy) for its creator and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

“Killing Eve” was also nominated for Best Television Series (Drama). That award went to “Succession.”

In film categories, “Rocketman” received a nod as Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), but lost to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood,” which also picked up a Best Supporting Actor win for Brad Pitt. The Best Foreign Language Film nominations had included two queer films, the period lesbian romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.” That award went to South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s widely-acclaimed thriller, “Parasite.”

“Rocketman,” the musical fantasy biopic of singer Elton John, nevertheless managed to pull off one of the evening’s biggest LGBTQ-friendly moments, when it snagged a win for John himself in the category of Best Original Song (Motion Picture) for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” who claimed the prize alongside longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin.

“It’s the first time I won an award with him. Ever,” said the LGBTQ legend while accepting the award. “We never won a Grammy, we never did anything together except for this and I’m so happy, thank you very much.”

Taupin, whose early friendship with John is documented in the film, added, “This isn’t just a song we wrote for a movie; This is a song we wrote for a movie that deals with our relationship.”

The ceremony’s queerest moment was also arguably the most emotionally potent moment of the entire evening; in presenting the Carol Burnett Award to Ellen DeGeneres for her contributions to television, out actress and comedian Kate McKinnon paid tribute to the queer icon by giving her a personal thank you.

“If I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would have thought, ‘I could never be on TV. They don’t let LGBT people on TV,’” the “Saturday Night Live” star said. “And more than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien, and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here. So, thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot. A shot at a good life.”

For a complete list of the evening’s nominees and winners, click here.

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Sports

Carl Nassib comes out as gay, first active player in NFL history

Nassib also announced that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project

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Carl Nassib. Courtesy of Instagram @carlnassib.

LAS VEGAS – Carl Nassib, who is a fifth-year defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, became the first active NFL player to announce he is gay. The Raiders defensive end is now the NFL’s only openly gay player.

“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video he posted on his Instagram account. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know I’m not doing this for attention, but I think representation matters.”

Nassib also announced that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project.

“The Trevor Project is grateful to Carl Nassib for living his truth and supporting LGBTQ youth. This generous donation will help us scale our life-saving crisis services to reach the more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth who seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S.,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project in an emailed statement to the Blade.

“Coming out is an intensely personal decision, and it can be an incredibly scary and difficult one to make. We hope that Carl’s historic representation in the NFL will inspire young LGBTQ athletes across the country to live their truth and pursue their dreams. 

“At a time when state lawmakers are actively trying to restrict transgender and nonbinary youth’s participation in school sports, this news should serve as a clarion call for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the locker room and on the field,” Paley added.

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Television

Sesame Street embraces ‘Gay Dads’ for this year’s Pride month

Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family and Happy Pride to all!!!!

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Screenshot via Sesame Street YouTube

NEW YORK – The iconic children’s program Sesame Street enhanced LGBTQ visibility this Pride season introducing two gay dads and their daughter, in a special episode directed by Japanese American actor and theatre director Alan Muraoka who also plays Alan, the current owner of Hooper’s Store on the show.

Muraoka shared the exciting news on Facebook, saying he was “honored and humbled” to have directed such a milestone episode, “Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family. Happy Pride to all!!!!,” he posted. 

“The ‘Family Day’ episode of Sesame Street sends the simple and important message that families come in all forms and that love and acceptance are always the most important ingredients in a family,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Frank and Dave, as Mia’s dads, are the latest characters in an undeniable trend of inclusion across kids & family programming, one that allows millions of proud LGBTQ parents, and our children, to finally get to see families like ours reflected on TV.”

Sesame Workshop (formerly Children’s Television Workshop), which produces the show for National Educational Television on PBS has long embraced LGBGTQ visibility and equality. In addition to having openly gay celebrities such as Sir Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Eichner, Billy Porter and recently Lil Nas X, guest star or make appearances, the show has produced several shows with positive LGBTQ themes over the past decade.

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Sports

Mexico soccer fans punished for anti-gay slur chanted at games

FIFA sanctions team by banning spectators from first 2 World Cup qualifier matches

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Estadio Azteca Mexico City

MEXICO CITY – When the Mexico men’s national team play their all-important 2022 World Cup qualifiers come September and October, they will do so without a single fan cheering them on. As Yahoo Sports first reported, FIFA has sanctioned the team and ordered it to play to an empty home stadium because its fans won’t stop using a controversial chant—widely seen as anti-gay—during matches. 

For years, fans have shouted “puto” during opposing goal kicks at almost all Mexican men’s national team games, a word that one soccer fans site described this way: 

“For some, it’s a harmless word that they’ve been shouting at opposing goalkeepers for decades. For others, it’s a salty, inappropriate swear word you’ll hear at some soccer games. And for many others it’s a homophobic slur that denigrates LGBT individuals and makes attending a soccer game feel like an unsafe space.” 

“On behalf of the FMF, the players, the Liga MX, the clubs and all the national teams: Let’s stop. Let’s stop the fucking cry, please,” said Yon De Luisa, president of the Mexican Soccer Federation (FMF) at a press conference Friday, as reported by El Economista. “It is taking us away from our team and although many think it is fun, it is not.” 

Coach Gerardo Martino, added: “I invite our fans to make a reflection so that they understand once and for all the meaning and scope of this type of attitude. They are great at cheering, but we ask that you focus exclusively on the selection. We have a great concern.”

The punishment of banning spectators will reportedly impact two World Cup qualifying matches against Jamaica and Canada in September and October at Mexico City’s Aztec Stadium. It is in addition to a fine of 60,000 Swiss francs—roughly $65,000 specifically being levied for the chanting of “Eh, puto” at two Olympic qualifying games held in March in Guadalajara, according to Mexico News Daily. An investigation has also reportedly been opened into chanting of the word at Mexico’s friendly against Iceland last month in Arlington, Texas.

Despite what the coach and FMF president said, there are many straight soccer fans who argue against “puto” being considered a slur. Soccer writer Elliot Turner, who has lived and worked in Spain, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua, explained that in a 2014 piece for Fusion:

“In Spanish, the term puta means prostitute, and Spanish, like other romance languages, has gendered nouns (a noun is either male or female). Thus, the term puto is the masculine form, meaning a male prostitute. (The feminine form is puta.) 

Did you just get a big tax bill from Uncle Sam? You’re likely to say ‘putos impuestos!’ Did your boss just give you a shitty assignment? You may mutter under your breath ‘puto trabajo.’

‘Puto’ is thus used similarly to ‘bloody’ in the United Kingdom and ‘fucking’ in the United States. It’s pervasive. The chant only reflects the ugly linguistic reality of Latin America and Spain. Everything that provokes rage is a ‘puto.’”

“Puto” can also mean “coward,” Turner argues, and writes “the typical El Tri fan means ‘coward,’ not ‘fag’ or ‘queer.’ And contextually, that has some support. Fans only use the term when the opposing goalkeeper punts the ball up the field.”

But because it also means “faggot,” a clearly hateful slur, Turner concludes the puto chant is “a form of prejudice and homophobia.”

This year, Mexican officials have stepped up efforts to stop the chant but social media campaigns and stadium announcements have failed, according to the Washington Post.

The chant was widely used at Mexico’s June 3 and 6 games against Costa Rica and the U.S., but as Yahoo Sports reported, officials enacted only Step 1 of FIFA’s three-step protocol, which call for match stoppages and PA announcements whenever the chant is heard; temporary match suspensions – with players returning to locker rooms – if the chant is heard again; and forfeits if it arises a third time.

Whether having to watch the team on TV, playing in front of 87-thousand empty seats, has an impact on this fan tradition remains to be seen.

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