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LGBTQ+ celebrities stand Out at New York’s Met Gala

The LGBTQ stars stood out with outfits that amplified the Met Gala event’s theme of “American Independence”

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Soccer player Megan Rapinoe wore a vibrant red suit and a dark blue blouse with silver stars. REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI

By Tat Bellamy-Walker | NEW YORK – Several queer celebrities made iconic fashion statements at the 2021 Met Gala in New York City on September 13.

Music star Lil Nas X, actor Elliot Page, actress, writer, director Janet Mock, and non-binary performer and model Indya Moore were among the top out LGBTQ stars to attend the Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. At the star-studded event — which usually runs in May, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic — LGBTQ stars stood out with outfits that amplified the event’s theme of “American Independence,” which celebrates freedom, social justice, and other core values of American life.

Just 24 hours after Lil Nas X snagged Video Of The Year at the 2021 MTV Music Video Awards, he donned three outfits at the gala: a gold Versace cape, a gold armor suit, and a skin-tight jumpsuit.

Out gay music star Lil Nas X made a statement with three Versace outfits. REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI

In another photo, the “Montero” rapper is standing gleefully next to out gay City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. Johnson appeared at the gala with a black and white tuxedo with a bowtie.

The stars from the Emmy-nominated FX series “Pose” stood out with multiple designer pieces. “Pose” actress and singer MJ Rodriguez garnered attention with red lipstick, a white blouse, and a black corset, while cast member Indya Moore wore a classic Saint Laurent outfit, according to Vogue. Mock, the executive producer of the groundbreaking series, strutted the red carpet with a baby blue sequin Valentino dress and cape.

The show-stopping looks continued with transgender actor Elliot Page, who came out last year as a transgender man and non-binary. Page wore a black Balenciaga suit with a green rose pinned to his chest.

Elliot Page arrives at the Met Gala with a tuxedo and a green rose pinned to his chest. REUTERS/MARIO ANZUON

Trans YouTube star NikkieTutorials honored transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson with a light blue dress and wore her iconic flower crown.

“I knew I wanted to pay homage to a trans icon who was at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots… Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud,” the beauty guru tweeted.  

Transgender Youtube star NikkieTutorials celebrates LGBTQ icon, Marsha P. Johnson. REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 13 winner Symone stole the spotlight with her Moschino gown with gold chains, while out lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe resembled the American Flag with a vibrant red suit and a dark blue blouse with silver stars.

Other A-list LGBTQ stars at the gala included singer and dancer Teyana Taylor, music artist Frank Ocean, out queer actress Jordan Alexander of Gossip Girl, Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy, and out non-binary actor Amandla Stenberg of “Dear Evan Hansen,” a coming-of-age film that is slated for release in late September.

Frank Ocean carries green baby doll. REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI

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Tat Bellamy – Walker is the digital editor for the Gay City News

The preceding article was previously published by Gay City News and is republished by permission.

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Anne Heche dead; Actor removed from life support after organs harvested

“Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom”

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Screenshot/YouTube Inside Edition

LOS ANGELES – Actress Anne Heche died after she was removed from life support on Sunday, nearly 2 weeks after her Mini-Cooper crashed through a two-story house in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood. Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department believe she was intoxicated at the time.

She sustained a severe anoxic brain injury along with severe burns and was being treated at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital, near Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley.

The 53-year-old actress who was a star of films like Donnie Brasco, the political satire Wag the Dog and the 1998 remake of Psycho, had been declared legally dead under California law on Friday, however, her family kept her alive long enough to be an organ donor.

In a statement Friday, the LAPD announced that: “As of today, there will be no further investigative efforts made in this case. Any information or records that have been requested prior to this turn of events will still be collected as they arrive as a matter of formalities and included in the overall case. When a person suspected of a crime expires, we do not present for filing consideration.” LAPD detectives had previously made public that investigators into the crash found narcotics in a blood sample taken from Heche.

The actress’s family released a statement on Friday:

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact,” the statement added.

Heche was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son, Homer, together. She had another son, named Atlas, during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.”

Laffoon left a moving tribute on an Instagram reel in which he also gave an update on how their 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon is coping with the loss of his mother.

“I loved her and I miss her, and I’m always going to,” he said adding: “Homer is okay. He’s grieving, of course, and it’s rough. It’s really rough, as probably anybody can imagine. But he’s surrounded by family and he’s strong, and he’s gonna be okay.”

“Rest In Peace, Mom, I love you, Homer,” the actor’s 20-year-old son, Homer, said in a statement after Heche was declared legally dead on Friday.“ My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” read the statement. “After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom. Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you, Homer.”

James Tupper a Canadian actor who starred alongside Heche in the ABC television series Men in Trees, had a 13-year-old son, Atlas, with her. “Love you forever,” Tupper, 57, wrote on his Instagram post’s caption with a broken heart emoji, which shared an image of the actress from Men in Trees.

Between 1997 and 2000, Heche was also in a relationship with Out talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. “This is a sad day,” DeGeneres posted on Twitter. “I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.” The year after her break-up with the comedian, in September 2001, Heche recounted in her memoir “Call Me Crazy,” about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.

KTLA’s entertainment reporter Sam Rubin noted that over the past two decades, Heche’s career pivoted several times. In 2017, she hosted a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Jason Ellis called “Love and Heche.”

In 2020, Heche made her way into the podcast world. She launched “Better Together” which she cohosted alongside Heather Duffy Boylston. The show was described as a way to celebrate friendship. 

She also worked in smaller films, on Broadway, and on TV shows. She recently had recurring roles on the network series “Chicago P.D.,” “All Rise,” and was a contestant on Season 29 “Dancing With the Stars.”

People Magazine reported that several of Heche’s acting projects are expected to be released posthumously.

These include Girl in Room 13, expected to be released on Lifetime in September 2022, What Remains, scheduled to be released in 2023, and HBO Max TV series The Idol, created by Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.

In her Insta post from earlier this year Heche stands between her sons Atlas, 13 and Homer, 20.

From KTLA:

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LGBTQ ally Olivia Newton-John has died at 73

Newton-John had been battling breast cancer for over three decades, her first cancer diagnosis in 1992 when she was 44

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Olivia Newton-John (Family provided photograph/Facebook)

SANTA BARBARA – In an announcement on Facebook Monday, John Easterling, the husband of singer and actress Olivia Newton-John relayed the news that she had died at age 73.

Newton-John had been battling breast cancer for over three decades, her first cancer diagnosis in 1992 when she was 44. Although she had previously seen her cancer in remission, in 2017 she was diagnosed again.

In October of 2020 in an interview with The Guardian the pop star and actor spoke about her third diagnosis of cancer. “Three times lucky, right?” she smiles warmly. “I’m going to look at it like that. Listen, I think every day is a blessing. You never know when your time is over; we all have a finite amount of time on this planet, and we just need to be grateful for that.” She genuinely sounds as if she means every word.

The cancer’s return in 2017 was, she told The Guardian, not unexpected. “It’s been a part of my life for so long. I felt something was wrong. It’s concerning when it comes back, but I thought: ‘I’ll get through it again.’”

Olivia Newton-John (Photo by Michelle Day)

What of her health problems? “I don’t think of myself as sick with cancer,” she says firmly. “I choose not to see it as a fight either because I don’t like war. I don’t like fighting wherever it is – whether it’s outside or an actual war inside my body. I choose not to see it that way. I want to get my body healthy and back in balance. Part of that is your mental attitude to it. If you think: ‘Poor me,’ or ‘I’m sick,’ then you’re going to be sick.”

The popstar-singer was arguably best known for her breakout role in Grease, the 1978 American musical romantic comedy film based on the 1971 musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, which co-starred Oscar nominated actor John Travolta.

Travolta paid tribute to his co-star in a post on his Insta:

Newton-John was an ally to the LGBTQ community who was appreciative of her LGBTQ fans. In an interview with Logo/MTV she noted: “The gay fans have always been very loyal, they are a really great audience and have always been there for me.”

Out actor George Takei tweeted his remembrance:

In addition to her husband she is survived by her 36-year-old daughter, Chloe Lattanzi. 

The family asked for donations to be made to her cancer organization, the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, in lieu of flowers. 

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Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Nyota Uhura, has died at 89

Roddenberry’s decision to cast Nichols, an African American woman, as major character on Star Trek was an almost unheard-of move in 1966

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Screenshot/YouTube The Smithsonian Channel

SILVER CITY, Nm. – She was a groundbreaking cultural icon who broke barriers in a time of societal upheaval and battling for the civil rights of Black Americans. An actress, a mother, and thoroughly devoted to the legions of fans of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Nyota Uhura, has died at 89.

The announcement on her Facebook page by her son read:

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Friends, Fans, Colleagues, World

I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years.

Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration.

Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.

I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further. Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends and we request that her and our privacy be respected.

Live Long and Prosper,

Kyle Johnson

Nichols was born in Robbins, Illinois, in 1932, according to her IMDb page. Legendary composer Duke Ellington “discovered” Nichols and helped her become a singer and dancer. She later turned to acting, and joined Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,” where she played Lt. Uhura from 1966 to 1969.

Out actor George Takei who played ‘Sulu’ on Star Trek the original series with Nichols who played Lt. Uhura, at a Star Trek convention in this undated photo. (George Takei/Twitter)

It was in that role of Nyota Uhura that Nichols not only broke barriers between races, most famously her onscreen kiss the first between a Black person and a White person, with castmate William Shatner who played Captain James T. Kirk, but she also became a role model for young Black women and men inspiring them to seek out their own places in science, technology, and other human endeavors.

In numerous interviews over the years Nichols often recalled how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of the show and praised her role and personally encouraged her to stay with the series.

When the first series ended Nichols went on to become a spokesperson for NASA, where she “helped recruit and inspire a new generation of fearless astronauts.”  She later reprised her role in several successful Star Trek films and continued to advocate for the advancement of Black Americans especially in the areas of science and technology.

Formerly a NASA deputy administrator, Frederick Gregory, now 81, told the Associated Press he once saw an advertisement in which Nichols said “I want you to apply for the NASA program.”

“She was talking to me,” he recounted. The U.S. Air Force pilot would apply and later become the first African American shuttle pilot.

President Joe Biden weighed in Sunday afternoon on her passing in a statement issued by the White House:

In Nichelle Nichols, our nation has lost a trailblazer of stage and screen who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women.
 
A daughter of a working-class family from Illinois, she first honed her craft as an actor and singer in Chicago before touring the country and the world performing with the likes of Duke Ellington and giving life to the words of James Baldwin.
 
During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, she shattered stereotypes to become the first Black woman to act in a major role on a primetime television show with her groundbreaking portrayal of Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek. With a defining dignity and authority, she helped tell a central story that reimagined scientific pursuits and discoveries. And she continued this legacy by going on to work with NASA to empower generations of Americans from every background to reach for the stars and beyond.
 
Our nation is forever indebted to inspiring artists like Nichelle Nichols, who show us a future where unity, dignity, and respect are cornerstones of every society.

Nichols son said that services will be private for family members and her closest friends.

In 2008 the actress at a news conference, coordinated by the filmmakers of the motion picture TRU LOVED, in honor of the more than 900 students at LAUSD’s Miguel Contreras Learning Complex’s School of Social Justice who participated in the LGBTQ+ National Day of Silence.

TRU LOVED Star Nichelle Nichols Speaks on LGBT Civil Rights:

Her fellow castmate and life long friend, openly Out actor George Takei shared his sadness on hearing of Nichol’s passing on Twitter:

From the September 2016 edition of the Smithsonian Channel: “Star Trek’s decision to cast Nichelle Nichols, an African American woman, as major character on the show was an almost unheard-of move in 1966. But for black women all over the country, it redefined the notions of what was possible.”

Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols on Uhura’s Radical Impact:

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