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After outing legendary comic book superheroes Batwoman and Green Lantern last year, DC Comics is making an effort to represent a more diverse LGBT community by introducing the first bisexual and openly transgender character in a mainstream superhero comic.
In Batgirl #19, an emotional exchange between Alysia Yeoh and Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) prompts Alysia to reveal she is a transwoman.
For Batgirl writer Gail Simone, a more diverse LGBT comic book cast is the biggest issue in her industry today—in fact, she considers it “the issue for superhero comics.” In an interview with Wired, Simone claims the addition of Alysia’s new plotline was a no-brainer, and overdue for the loyal comic book fans waiting for more relatable characters. “It just hit me,” she says. “Why in the world can we not do a better job of representation of not just humanity, but also our own loyal audience?”
Girl took the words right out of our mouths. Can she try working for Fox News?
The introduction of a transwoman in mainstream comics may be a dramatic first for the industry (even though independent comics have featured trans characters for years), but Simone believes the comic industry may be one of the most accepting. After pitching the idea to DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio, Alysia’s new plotline was “immediately approved,” and Simone expects most superhero comic readers to be just as open-minded and quick to embrace.
Simone isn’t planning on turning Alysia into an inflated stereotype, either, realizing the power behind approaching the subject in a way that isn’t intense and hostile. She reassures Wired that Alysia is “a character, not a public service announcement…being trans is just part of her story.”
Now, more than ever, we wonder why real life can’t be more like a comic book?
In the midst of a rumored mass outing in the NFL and growing support from Magic Johnson (via his own fabulously dapper gay son), NFL star Kerry Rhodes is one of the first to be pegged as a homosexual after giving his assistant some hands-on lovin’ while on vacation this week.
The photos, posted by Media Takeout, show Rhodes pulling the old arm-around-your-shoulders-in-the-movie-theater trick and carrying his presumed lover to the pool. He’s shirtless, and his man is beaming with the glow of 1,000 suns (a natural reaction for anyone being carried by a beautiful, jacked, shirtless football player).
Rhodes spoke exclusively with TMZ shortly after the photos leaked. “Photos have been circulating of my former assistant and I that have caused some rumors regarding my sexuality, and I want to address the situation,” he said. “I am not gay.”
According to Rhodes, the shots were taken “in a casual environment” in good fun. He’s managing to be a good sport about the situation, using it as an opportunity to show support for fellow athletes struggling to come out: “I know a lot of people are recently talking about athletes struggling to come out to their fans right now, and I support them, as well as wish those individuals comfort.”
Aww! With an attitude like that, how could you not want to jump into his arms?
The wedding march continues. Legislators in Delaware are preparing today to introduce a bill to approve marriage equality.
Pretty much the entire political leadership of the state is lined up in support of the legislation, and with Democrats controlling both houses of the legislature and the governorship, prospects look bright.
Civil unions only became legal in the state last year, but with the momentum on the side of marriage equality, Delaware looks well positioned to become the tenth state to approve same-sex marriage.
It probably hasn’t hurt that Vice President Joe Biden, who represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years, was one of the first high-profile national figures to come out for marriage equality.
Joe knows his state, and if can push his boss into supporting marriage equality, he can probably help out back at home too. He’s also got inside help: his son Beau is the state attorney general and one of the key supporters of the new legislation.
Great news this morning for anyone that thought Montana had a chance at getting away with enforcing an outdated sodomy law in 2013. After an emotionally taxing debate earlier this week, the Montana House has voted 64-34 in favor of repealing the law, which currently makes sodomy a felony.
The bill is now cruising into Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s office, where it’s expected to be swiftly signed into law. Though Montana’s Supreme Court held the law unconstitutional in 1997, Gov. Bullock’s signature has the power to strike it from the books altogether.
The great news came from Montana’s only out gay lawmaker, Rep. Bryce Bennett, who tweeted this convenient photo that clearly shows which 34 Representatives are still in favor of the sodomy ban. It’s quite hypocritical, given the fact that under their precious law, the giant sticks up their asses would make them all felons.
“While it’s exciting that we got to this point,” Rep. Bennett told Buzzfeed on Tuesday, “we’ve got a number of steps to take forward before we can tackle other issues to make sure everyone in our state is truly equal.”
And they’re not just baby steps! Since Tuesday, it appears that four representatives had a change of heart. For a state enforcing an ancient law, that’s pretty progressive!
– We love that being really, really ridiculously good-looking is considered news these days.
– Speaking of which: Mila Kunis and Ryan Gosling clearly need to make a sex tape and the Citizen Kane of celebrity sex tapes it would be according to Details magazine, which named the pair the “Most Fuckable.”
– We’ve got something Splash star Drake Bell can dive into. Hint: it’s crotch.
– Debbie Reynolds – old school hag. Which goes a long way towards explaining Carrie Fisher.
– Everyone seems to be jumping ship behind the scenes at Glee as executive producers Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk are rumored to be leaving the show’s fifth season as high in the air as a Rachel Berry showstopping note.
– Meanwhile, Murphy’s new baby, the sexcapade Open, has been picked up by HBO.
– It’s nice to know gays in England don’t hold any grudges against Margaret Thatcher.
– Oh hey, Lindsay Lohan. You think you cute, huh? It ain’t that cute from back here. Trust.
– Joe Jonas took a break from making other sexy tapes to make this kinda (?) sexy tape for a lucky fan who had asked him out to prom. Then he surprised her with a kooky disguise on the Today show. And then he surprised her with an array of sex toys…we assume:
Ben Carson, the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who became the latest darling of the right wing for espousing the usual nutty causes, won’t be inflicting his ideas on Johns Hopkins graduates this year.
Carson’s comments two weeks ago led to a petition from students calling for his ouster as the commencement speaker, as well as a humiliating public rebuke from the dean of the medical faculty.
Of course, for a man who has been singlehandedly trying to revive the phrase “political correctness” as a battle cry for conservatives, Carson decided to step aside because he was the victim of – you guessed it — political correctness, instead of — you know — being a homophobe.
“Someday in the future, it is my hope and prayer that the emphasis on political correctness will decrease and we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences so we can actually resolve problems and chart a course that is inclusive of everyone,” Carson wrote in his letter of withdrawal.
In other words, “I’m not sorry.”
Photo: White House
South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced a new affordable single dose treatment that could possibly revolutionize treatment of HIV/AIDS in the country. The three-in-one anti-retroviral combination will cost each patient a record low $10 per dose.
The Raw Story reports:
After years of refusing to roll out ARVs, South Africa now has 1.9 million people on treatment among its 5.6 million HIV-positive population, which is the world’s largest.
The new pill will be introduced this month to positive pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, people co-infected with TB, and to new ARV patients.
“Before 2010, we were buying the most expensive ARVs in the world. Now we are a country where the ARVs are the cheapest in the world,” Motsoaledi said, adding that they’ll now be able to “increase the number of patients on treatment.”
Under former president Thabo Mbeki, South Africa refused to roll out ARVs, but the nation now has the largest ARV program in the world, and as a result, life expectancy has increased significantly over the last six years.
Fareed Abdullah, the CEO of South African National AIDS Council, said the new pill will simplify the way patients have been used to taking ARV treatment.
“We have come a very long way since the advent of anti-retrovirals,” Abdullah said. “At one point, patients used to take up to 16 pills a day.”
Roger Gorley (far right) of Lee’s Summit went to visit his husband, Allen, at Research Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. When he got there, a member of Allen’s family asked him to leave and when Gorley refused, hospital security forcibly removed him in handcuffs.
“I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner,” Gorley told Kansas City’s Fox 4 News.
Though Missouri does not legally recognize them as a couple, according to Gorley, he and Allen have been in a civil union for nearly five years and make medical decisions for each other. Gorley also asserts that the nurse on duty refused to verify that the two men share joint power of attorney.
“She didn’t even bother to go look it up to check into it,” Gorley said. “He’s been at the psychiatric unit part several times.”
Research Medical Center said it does not discriminate based on sexual orientation or race and released the following statement:
We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process. And, the patient`s needs are always our first priority. When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance.
Though President Obama extended hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners in 2010, Roger Gorley cannot visit his husband Allen thanks to the restraining order.
“All we want is equal rights,” he said.
(h/t: The Raw Story)