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Out Olympian Dominic Clarke competes on a different ‘stage’

Clarke, who identifies as gay and queer, received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his performance from judges

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Dominic Clarke (Screenshot/Channel 7 Australia)

EVELEIGH-SYDNEY, Australia – Within mere seconds of his vocal opener on reality singing contest franchise The Voice Australia 2022, all four judges hit their buttons to spin round and watch Out Olympic trampoline gymnast Dominic Clarke singing Sam Fischer’s “This City.”

Clarke, who identifies as gay and queer, received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his performance from judges Guy Sebastian, Keith Urban, Jessica Mauboy, and the judge he ultimately picked as his coach and The Voice mentor, Rita Ora.

During the discussions following his performance, Clarke acknowledged that he was an athlete and right after Sebastian called attention to the Olympic rings tattoo on his left forearm, he admitted, in responding to a question of which endeavor was more difficult for him it was singing.

Clarke told the quartet that: “This [singing] is way scarier. Because this is my soul! This is my soul! I’m a robot on the trampoline. But here this is…you’re getting 100 percent me. And that’s really scary.”

Clarke, who had come out just prior to the Tokyo Olympic games, told Outsports magazine at the time:

“When I got onto that Olympic floor with all those other athletes, I danced and smiled, and I was campy and quirky with the whole world watching. I was composed and competed authentically and it led me to be Dominic Clarke, Olympic Finalist and Proud Gay Olympian. I was having a gay old time.”

Dominic Clarke – This City – The Voice Australia 2022 Full Blind Audition:

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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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Allegations of abuse & incest against pop star Ricky Martin dismissed

“Today I have to heal because I am very hurt. I will find calm, the necessary silence to find the light again at the end of the road”

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Screenshot/Rick Martin video after court hearing on abuse allegations

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A restraining order issued July 2 against 50-year-old openly gay singer Ricky Martin, legal name Enrique José Martin Morales, which contained allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse were dismissed by Tribunal de Primera Instancia (Court of First Instance) Judge Raiza Cajigas Campbell Thursday.

The accuser, the global pop-star’s 21-year-old nephew, Dennis Yodiel Sanchez, his sister’s son had petitioned the court for the protection order in which he accused Martin of sexual abuse.

According to the Associated Press, the court “archived” the restraining order issued against Martin, meaning the case was closed, a judicial spokesperson said Thursday.

“The petitioner ceased his claims voluntarily; therefore the case was archived and no further procedures are required,” the spokesperson, who was not authorized to be quoted by name under the tribunal rules, told The Associated Press.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin’s legal team Joaquín Monserrate Matienzo, Carmelo Dávila and Harry Massanet Pastrana said, “Just as we had anticipated, the temporary protection order was not extended by the Court.”

Adding, “The request came from the accuser asking to dismiss the case. This was never anything more than a troubled individual making false allegations with absolutely nothing to substantiate them. We are glad that our client saw justice done and can now move forward with his life and his career.”

Puerto Rican Spanish langrage media outlet El Vocero reported that the global popstar broke the silence through a video, after his nephew, Denis Sánchez Martin, requested at the hearing that took place Thursday, the dismissal of a protection order against him, in force since the beginning. of July.

In his first direct statements after the events, the singer denied the allegations against him and pointed out that “lies do a lot of damage.”

“I have been working on stage for almost four decades, in the public eye and I have never, ever had to deal with something so painful… I was a victim of lies,” he said in his video.

“Unfortunately, the attack came from a member of my family who, sadly, is dealing with mental issues. The only thing I wish him is the best, that he finds the light, ”he said around his nephew.

“Lying does a lot of damage. It hurt me, my husband, my parents, my whole family a lot. I couldn’t defend myself before because there is a process that I had to follow where I was required to be silent, until I can vent in front of a judge,” said Martin.

Joaquín Monserrate Matienzo, who joined Martin’s legal team along with lawyers Carmelo Dávila and Harry Massanet, told El Vocer that his client had suffered too much due to the accusations that his nephew had made.

“It doesn’t matter if one is acquitted, there is always damage. Nobody takes away suffering from you. It takes time to recover from it because there are people who judge you ,” said Matienzo.

The singer also remarked in his video released after the hearing, “Today I have to heal because I am very hurt. I will find calm, the necessary silence to find the light again at the end of the road. Thank you very much to all those fans who sent me messages of love, positive messages. There is a God who rewards one who focuses and lives in the truth,” he said.

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