A judge unsealed grand jury transcripts earlier this week in a case about the death of a 10-year-old boy whose parents allegedly tortured and killed him after he came out.
Earlier this year, Anthony Avalos died after what investigators described as years of torture at the hands of his mother, Heather Barron, and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva.
The director of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) said that Anthony had “said he liked boys” in the weeks leading up to his death.
The prosecution’s case involves both physical evidence and witness testimony. Assistant district attorney Jonathan Hatami told the grand jury about the coroner’s report, which found injuries all over Anthony’s body.
“There were injuries to Anthony’s side and his hip area, both his left hip and his right hip, and his arms, and even injuries to his feet,” Hatami said. There were also abrasions to his knees, circular marks on his stomach and torso, and bruises on his face, and blunt force trauma to Anthony’s brain and his body.
The grand jury also heard from Anthony’s 8-year-old sister, whose name was not released.
She described horrific abuse that Leiva meted out mostly to her, Anthony, and another brother.
She said that the kids were often forced to kneel on rice. Both of the parents would punish them with the rice, and sometimes Leiva would push on their knees with his foot.
The girl said that she was forced to clean up the rice. “Was there any blood on the rice?” the prosecutor asked. “Yes,” she responded.
“One time, Kareem dragged [Anthony] on the carpet and he got a rug burn,” she told the grand jury.
The kids were also sometimes forced to stand in a corner for hours after they got home from school.
“Sometimes we would like go in the hallway, the little wall between my room and my mom’s room, we would have to go there on our knees and carry books and with two weights on top tied all together and we would have to hold it for like ten minutes,” the girl said.
If the dropped the books, they had to start over for another hour. The parents also beat the kids with belts, according to the sister, and the prosecutor said there was evidence that they were hit with power cords and vacuum tubes, as well as by Leiva’s fists.
Leiva would also have the kids beat each other. “So the boys would be in trouble so Kareem would have me and [my other brother] beat up Anthony or me and Anthony beat up [my other brother]. Kareem would have us pinch him or sock him.”
The sister talked about how food was used to punish the kids. It was often withheld, and sometimes they were forced to eat things like a raw corn tortilla with peanut butter on it.
“Kareem would time us for two minutes or five to eat the tortilla or sandwich and if we didn’t get it on time because it’s nasty we would get sriracha or Tapatio on it,” she said.
Leiva put an alarm on the boys’ bedroom door because he caught them sneaking out to look for food at times when he was starving them.
They weren’t let out, even to use the bathroom. If they soiled themselves, they had to either sleep in it or on the floor.
“Kareem would hold their legs, make them lay down, and put their face in the pee,” the sister said.
Last, she talked about the days leading up to Anthony’s death. Barron found Anthony “acting weird” and saying he wanted to sleep. Later she noticed that he wasn’t breathing.
The sister said that Barron “told Anthony that they were gonna go to the hospital, Kareem picked him up from his armpits and dropped him on the floor. He did that about 10 times.”
The next morning, Anthony wouldn’t wake up and Barron called 911. He died the next day in the hospital.
When police showed up at their house, the girl said that she lied to them because her mother told her not to talk about Leiva. Barron said that Anthony’s injuries happened because he fell.
The prosecutor said that Leiva was primarily responsible for the injuries, but Barron also beat the children and did nothing to stop Leiva. Hatami also said that she should have taken Anthony to the hospital earlier.
Body camera footage of a deputy talking to Barron after Anthony’s death was also released. When she is told of some of the allegations of torture, she scoffs.
The date of the trial has not been set. Bail is set at $2 million each for Leiva and Barron.
Written by: Alex Bollinger. 07 December, 2018. lgbtqnation.com
Paddy Smyth was born with cerebral palsy. In a op0ed written for International Day of Persons with Disabilities he opens up about being disabled and the impact it’s had on his love life.
“My insecurities about having a disability included not feeling hot enough, not feeling like I was worth enough,” Smyth writes candidly.
“We live in a society where it’s all about the image you have. And I never fit into that ideal of a gay person.”
Smyth describes dating with a disability as “cutthroat.”
“Us gays can be bitches,” he says.
Recounting some of the conversations he’s had with guys while out on the scene, he writes:
Guys would be direct–they’d say ‘can you even have sex though, are you able to do it?’ or ‘it must be really difficult for you’. Hearing those things can be very disheartening. Disabled people are treated like babies, like newborns, people are very protective. I think that’s a lot of why they can’t find someone with a disability attractive–because society’s instinct is to protect them and keep them safe, like we’re going to shatter.
Apps like Grindr and SCRUFF aren’t much better.
Smyth says he could hide his disability on them for a while, but sooner or later “I’d have to have that weird conversation–‘I’m actually disabled’ and then guys would go ‘how disabled?’ and then it would turn into a thing where they would think I’d be worse than I am.”
When he wasn’t dealing with that, Smyth was fielding off guys who fetishized his disability.
“Sometimes for guys, I would have been a fantasy. They would be like–‘oh my god, you’re disabled’, so I could be a notch on the bedpost. They could fantasize about it–overpower me almost.”
Today, Smyth is in a relationship with a man who he says loves him for him and couldn’t care less about his disability.
Thinking about what advice he might give his younger self, he writes:
The advice I would give to my younger self would be to believe in myself more. And to not try so hard to fit in- to accept my own flag and fly it. And don’t be afraid not to be liked! Have the confidence in yourself to be okay with people not liking you.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently named a new director for the Office of Public Affairs. Kerri Kupec was named to basically be their spokesperson, and she just happened to work for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a LGBTQ hate group.
ADF is a legal group designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). It regularly takes on court cases representing clients who discriminate against LGBTQ folks. The ADF supports the criminalization of sodomy, Russia’s “gay propaganda” law and the right to fire or refuse service to LGBTQ people.
The ADF has asked the Supreme Court to hear two cases that just might roll back LGBTQ rights.
Kupec’s appointment wouldn’t be so concerning except for the fact that it continues the Trump Administration’s habit of advancing anti-LGBTQ bigotry in its ranks.
In May 2018, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), another SPLC certified hate group, was appointed onto the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal commission “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.”
In July 2018, the Trump administration held a U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom led by the Secretary of State. During the ministerial meeting, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, announced that African laws criminalizing LGBTQ identity are a form of “religious freedom.”
In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, which exists almost entirely to allow medical professionals to oppose abortion and discriminate against LGBTQ people.
These moves are largely bits of red meat that Trump throws to his religious conservative base. Remember, 81% of evangelical voters voted for Trump in 2016.
If you’ve been around you understand that some people are born to be the life of the party and Lady Bunny is certainly one of them. “I kind of lived in drag as a child. You know, long hair was in for men and I lived in the South, so I would often wear T-shirts so long they covered the bottom of my shorts. I invented the T-shirt dress!”
“I was always involved in theater and just could not pry myself away from the makeup table.” Ms. Bunny was born in Chattanooga, TN and believe it or not she perfected her makeup talents in her mother’s kitchen. For example, she made eyeshadow out of baking soda and food coloring.
But it was her flair for outlandish makeup, hair, and character that landed her a job at the legendary Pyramid Club in New York City. She has performed just about everywhere including the Eiffel Tower and is the founder of Wigstock, the drag/music festival in Manhattan.
When asked about drag she said; “drag is proportion. You don’t want to see a drag queen in a diminutive Laura Ashley print. You don’t want to see us in an earring that’s dainty.” Furthermore,” A huge head of hair with several wigs [sewn] together is going to make your shoulder appear smaller.”
What make’s Lady Bunny so funny to me is her ability to never take herself seriously. Her style of drag is unique to her and involves lip-synching to versions of popular songs, and she has recorded her own vocal parodies. But make no mistake her lyrics are sexually explicit. For example, she did a parody of Gwen Stefani’s song Hollaback Girl with the lyric: “I shit a banana/a banana in my ass!” She also has several video parodies of “Santa Claus is coming to town” and California Gurls.”
Lady Bunny has stood the test of time in my opinion, always being herself and never compromising herself. She admits that she is twisted, has a dirty mind, is fat, vulgar and has no problem admitting it.
Lady Bunny will be performing in New Orleans Monday, December 17 at the Always Lounge & Cabaret in her show “The Stocking were Hung!”. For more information and tickets.
follow Lady Bunny
The Virginian-Pilot reported that a Norfolk firefighter was forced by city officials to leave after they learned he is gay. Scott Phillips-Gartner 55 apparently ran into trouble after marrying his longtime boyfriend.
Phillips-Gartner worked for Fire-Rescue, staring his career as a 911 operator and then eventually becoming an assistant fire marshal and bomb squad technician.
However, after his wedding, the department stripped away his rank and law-enforcement powers and assigning him a low-level desk job.
His attorney, Barry Montgomery, says Phillips-Gartner wound up retiring amid threats of being fired. “This was not the way he wanted to leave,” Montgomery says. “It was humiliating.”
With Montgomery’s help, he’s suing the city of Norfolk for creating a hostile work environment. The suit notes that Battalion Chief Roger Burris mocked Phillips-Gartner throughout 2015, treating him poorly and asking “Where is Ms. Gartner?” in staff meetings.
It also claims Phillips-Gartner was well regarded by superiors and colleagues until he informed the city’s HR department that he’d gotten married.
In 2016, Norfolk implemented a non-discrimination policy protecting city employees from being unfairly treated on the basis of sexual orientation.
City officials from Norfolk have declined to comment to the Virginian-Pilot on the story or the lawsuit.
The 29-year-old first became interested in wrestling at the age of eight, when his brother introduced him to his first ever wrestling show. ‘It was like watching real life superheroes.' Ever since then, he became fascinated with the spectacle and the physical endurance of the sport.
He said he wasn’t very confident in himself while growing up.
Marshall started his wrestling career in 2015, at the age of 26. He was in sales before he started working on his dream of becoming a wrestler. He now wrestles for Perth-based wrestling company Southern Hemisphere Wrestling Alliance. For almost 10 years, they’ve held monthly shows all across Western Australia’s capital city.
Marshall’s wrestling persona is a ‘much more cocky, arrogant and aggressive version of myself, turned up to 11,’ he revealed.
He trains two to four times a week, for two hours at a time. Marshall said it’s ‘a lot of rolls and falls training with huge amounts of cardio.’
Wrestling is also the reason he got into his personal training career. ‘Wrestling had always been the reason I got into fitness and is a big part of what keeps me going,’ he said. ‘I wanted to be a wrestler since I was 10 and am finally living the dream.’
Around the time Marshall started wrestling, his life also changed dramatically for another reason – he came out as gay.
‘I had hooked up with guys in my early years of high school, although it was always in secret,’ he said. ‘I ended up in and out of relationships with girls.
‘The last one when I was 18 – that lasted for seven years. I told her when we were 23 I was bi but [she said] as long as I loved her, she didn’t care,’ he said. But by the age of 25, he couldn’t keep it in anymore. He came out to his girlfriend as gay and then they broke up.
‘We are still friends to this day,’ he said. ‘I owed it to myself to explore [it] at a mature age.’
When he told his family and friends he was gay, they were all supportive. He said: ‘Fortunately, not a single person has been negative towards my coming out.
‘My family – even a very homophobic uncle – were all very supportive,’ he said.
Dave Marshall said his fellow wrestlers have been completely supportive of his sexuality. ‘Southern Hemisphere Wrestling Alliance has been like a family to me since day one,’ the gay wrestler said. ‘They don’t treat me any different.’
The 6’3″ Aussie said he’s not experienced any homophobia during his wrestling career, although his sexuality isn’t part of his onstage persona.
When asked if he would consider introducing it to his character, he responded: ‘As long as it’s done in a correct way, I am not against it. ‘It shouldn’t change much,’ he said. He then added: ‘[Being gay] is not any different to being straight.’
Soon after Marshall broke up with his girlfriend in 2015, he started dating guys. He began a relationship with a man, lasting about three years. They only recently broke up.
But before they did, his ex encouraged him to start an OnlyFans account. OnlyFans is a subscription-based platform that allows users to access X-rated content from someone, with a small monthly fee. Marshall wasn’t initially sure about starting it so took some time to think.
The gay wrestler eventually began posting content in March this year and says he wanted it to be a little different. He explained: ‘After some thought, I did start it up with part [of the] proceeds going to Beyond Blue – a suicide prevention charity.’ The reason he wanted to help this charity is because his dad took his own life last year.
In an Instagram post, Marshall revealed: ‘The reason the money I raise from my OnlyFans goes towards Beyond Blue is seeing everyday how big depression and anxiety has become in society and almost overlooked. ‘[It’s my] first time saying this but my father took his life last year.’
Marshall then added: ‘Older men have a “Harden the fuck up” mentality they were brought up with.
‘Stats on LGBT in this area are quite scary too so I hope I can in some way, give back to my community. Positivity is everything,’ he said.
So far, Marshall has raised $5,000AUD ($3,617US) for the suicide prevention charity. He posts regular updates to his Instagram about the initiative, including screenshots of the confirmation emails Beyond Blue sends him after every donation.
Marshall recently started dating someone new, but says his new boyfriend is not publicly out as gay so it wouldn’t be fair to name him. ‘We have very similar values,’ Marshall revealed. ‘He is very driven in his work, has a passion for fitness and makes me feel like a million dollars. ‘And of course is gorgeous,’ he jokes.
A Florida man is under arrest and two others remain at large after they allegedly kidnapped, stripped, beat, and robbed a man who had arranged a hookup with one of them on Instagram.
20-year-old Matthew Evans is charged with felony kidnapping and attempted robbery. The alleged attack happened last week near the Sebastian River Landing clubhouse in Sebastian, Florida.
According to the victim, whose identity has not been released, he had agreed to pay Evans $50 for a quickie. They arranged to meet in the club parking lot inside the gated community at 11 PM on the evening of November 18. Evans pulled up in a car and the man got in.
What happened next is truly horrifying…
Before the victim could register what was going on, Evans allegedly put him a choke hold and began shouting antigay slurs at him as a getaway driver of the car sped off down the dark street and out of the gated community.
The TCPalm reports:
They drove about a quarter-mile east and parked at San Sebastian Park, where another man with a handgun was waiting, the warrant said. Evans and the man with the gun demanded the $50 and punched the accuser in the face until he blacked out, breaking his nose and leaving him with a depression in his cheekbone, according to police. His sweatpants, cellphone and the money were gone by the time the man walked home 20 minutes later and called 911, according to a detective.
When police arrived at the victim’s home, he was in bad shape, his face swollen and bleeding.
Police were able to track Evans down through his Instagram profile. He is currently being held without bail.
The alleged gunman and the getaway driver still remain at large.
Scott Chen president of Grindr, one of the world’s largest gay dating and hook-up app recently wrote on Facebook.
Chen in his post wrote: “Some people think the marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman. And I think so too. But that’s your own business. Some people think the purpose of the marriage is to have a child carries your DNA. But again, that’s your own business.”
He continued, “Marriage is personal. Why can’t you use your money to help the people suffer from poverty, hunger, war or disasters? Why would you want to spend your money on preventing people who love each other from getting married? There is nothing else more important in your life?”
“Yes. I won’t purchase any HTC product in my life,” he concluded, “and I won’t donate to any Christian organization based in Taiwan.”
Chen later elaborated on his views, reassuring everyone that he does support marriage equality:
The reason I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience. I am a straight man married to a woman I love and I have two beautiful daughters I love from the marriage. This is how I feel about my marriage. Different people have their different feelings about their marriages. You can’t deny my feelings about my marriage.
I took down this post because there were some heated discussions and my aunt was involved there. She was a really nice Taiwanese lady in her 60s and she is a very convinced Christian like my Dad. I love my aunt. I no longer want her to see the discussion this post so I changed the settings to Friend of Friends and excluded her.
I am a huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since I was young. I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr.
At the start of 2018, Grindr was acquired by the China-based tech firm Kunlun Group. Chen originally began as the company’s CTO before becoming president.
The New York Times reports Chen previously posted social media messages promoting LGBTQ rights in China and Taiwan.
There is trash, then there is Bryan Eure and Bill White. Two rich Manhattanites who support Trump even in spite of his anti-transgender policies, and on top of that Eure thinks being âtransgender is gross.â
The commercial insurance broker, who was just featured in The New York Times as a gay Trump fan, reportedly made a now-deleted transphobic comment in an Instagram reply to drag queen and activist Marti Gould Cummings.
In his comment, Cummings critiqued Eureâs support for No. 45. âThis is shameful and disgusting,â he wrote. âChelsea didnât wave at you, Hillary didnât take a photo so you jump ship â¦ The incredible privilege you have showâs in this article. You could be using your wealth to help transgender people [whom] Trump is actively discriminating against or you could use it to help families seeking asylum. You are both gross.â
And thatâs when Eure apparently replied with those three hateful words.
Captioning a screenshot of the exchange, Cummings wrote, âHey @euregram you can delete your reply but just to remind people that you posted it â here ya go.â
The Times profiled Eure and his husband, Bill White, as a âliberal coupleâ who became âtwo of New Yorkâs biggest Trump supporters.â The duo, who once hosted a fundraiser for former President Obama and supported Hillary Clinton in the last election, told the newspaper they turned coat on Election Night. With Americaâs decision made, they contended, it was time to âget behindâ the new President. (Never mind that popular vote!)
In the hours since the profile went live, social media users havenât minced their words about Eure and White.
Even New York Times opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg trashed the couple in an op-ed for the newspaper, calling the two menâs support for the current president âshameless, unvarnished thirst.â
âTrump is hardly the first politician to attract self-serving followers,â Goldberg added. âBut Trump is unique as a magnet for grifters, climbers and self-promoters, in part because decent people wonât associate with him.â
Greg McLean is the latest gay man to come out publicly in English soccer, now part of a slowly growing list that is showing the true acceptance at the heart of the sport.
McLean is a coach and club secretary at St Margaret’s Old Boys football club in Liverpool on the western coast of England. He recently talked with Sky Sports about coming out to his family and soon after quitting soccer for fear of how he would be accepted. When he decided to come out to the players in text messages to see if they would be comfortable playing for a gay man, the response was predictable:
“Every player texted back to tell him that his fears were unfounded, and that he’d be welcome to return to the club when he was ready - something he did soon after,” according to Sky Sports.
He’s now back with the team and sharing his story of acceptance as a gay man in soccer in hopes of inspiring other LGBTQ people in sports to be their true selves, particularly in the midst of the Rainbow Laces campaign.
“I feel it’s an important subject to share and to talk about - even if my story resonates deeply with just one person, it’s worth doing,” he told Sky Sports. “But I’ve already had so many messages that I know it’s gone much further than that.”
While they are still few and far between, we’ve now seen a handful of men come out publicly in English soccer, namely out gay soccer player Liam Davis, referee Ryan Atkin, executive Hugo Schecter and now a coach in McLean. These men are finally showing people across English soccer what we in the United States have seen for years, thanks to athletes in high school and college sports: Athletes are far more accepting than we give them credit for.
Read everything McLean had to say about his experience at Sky Sports.
Written by: Cyd Zeigler. Outsports.com. 27 November 2018