Rainbow Scoop

LGBTQ News, Gossip, Fashion, and Advice

Country Singer Billy Gilman Comes Out Today, Too!

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Another country singer came out today. Billy Gilman, who became the youngest singer to land a Top 40 hit on the country music charts at age 12 with 2000's "One Voice". He also revealed he's had a partner for 5 months. In the video, he worries about how the country music industry will react to his news and congratulates Ty Herndon, who came out today as well.

You know, it's difficult for me to make this video not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist or a gay artist or a gay person. But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that because I'm in an genre and industry that is ashamed of me for being me. That said, I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up with - Keith Urban, Vince, Lee Ann Rhimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine have been nothing but supportive. Not that they knew but they've just been such wonderful people.  

Congrats to both Billy and Ty for coming out! Visibility is important!  

Country Star Ty Herndon Comes Out: 'I'm an Out, Proud and Happy Gay Man'

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(Ty Herndon with Kristin Chenoweth after the 'I Am Harvey Milk' Benefit Concert October 6 in NYC)

Country singer Ty Herndon revealed "I'm an out, proud and happy gay man," to PEOPLE. The 51-year-old singer first wondered if he was gay when he was about 10 years old and began coming out to close family members at age 20. Ty, who has a long-time partner named Matt, was married to women twice before coming to terms with his sexuality. Ty says both ex-wives knew he was gay.

"I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. They've been my mistakes, and I own them. I've done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I've hurt and people I've not been honest with because of my sexuality." 

Ty thinks country music has made great strides, especially Kacey Musgraves winning Song of the Year at the CMAs for her LGBT-positive hit "Follow Your Arrow," a moment that made the singer well up in tears.

"There's never been a song more affirmative of that in country music, and it's our CMA Song of the year. I felt so proud of my city. I hope that trend continues; I pray it does." 

In addition to his PEOPLE feature, Ty appears on Entertainment Tonight tonight at 7 p.m. ET in his first interview since coming out. 

Inside the Gay Wing of L.A. Men's Central Jail


 L.A. Weekly has a feature on the subculture of the Gay Wing of the L.A. Men's Central Jail. "K6G," as it is known by, came about because of a 1985 ACLU lawsuit that exposed the disproportionate levels of violence faced by LGBT prisoners. It has become a home away from home for people who were often shunned by their own family members for being GBT. A prisoner named Yah Yah explained:

 “For some people, this is their home because a lot of their families have disowned them and shunned them, so we’re their family. A lot of people’s walks in here have been hard walks.”

The more relaxed, less violent wing has such a good reputation that straight inmates are claiming to be gay just to be housed in the unit (with officers having to question them about which gay clubs they attend and what the cover charge is to determine whether they're telling the truth about being gay...an admittedly unscientific determination process that may not get the best results).

The part that stands out the most to me in the article (besides the sense of family) is how the GBT inmates make the best of what they have in the jail to "make it work" (to paraphrase Tim Gunn), whether it be fashioning a bedsheet into a trendy gown or a piece of tinfoil into a silver button. It's this attitude that is pushing inmates to better themselves during their stint in jail so that they can get to a better place once released. Yah Yah said:

“I just want to be happy, that’s all I want. I don’t want to come to jail. I would love to walk in this place in a pair of high heels and a dress and regular clothes and facilitate some class and say, ‘I used to be where you were, and God brought me out, and I made it and I know you can make it.’ That’s what I would like to do.”

Jason Collins, First Openly Gay Athlete in the 4 Major US Sports, Retires from Basketball


Basketball player Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay athlete in North America's four recognized major team sports, has announced his retirement. Collins made the announcement in a first-person story for Sports Illustrated, the same publication he used to reveal his sexuality in April 2013. You can read his statement here.

“When we get to the point where a gay pro athlete is no longer forced to live in fear that he’ll be shunned by teammates or outed by tabloids, when we get to the point where he plays while his significant other waits in the family room, when we get to the point where he’s not compelled to hide his true self and is able to live an authentic life, then coming out won’t be such a big deal. But we’re not there yet.”

I'll be the first to admit, I don't know much about basketball or basketball players, but Jason Collins was actually the reason I came out in 2013. Jason had just finished the season with the Washington Wizards and had just come out as gay. I work in the DC area with what I like to call a bunch of Cranky Old White Men, and these COWMs were having a field day poking fun at Jason for being gay. I sat there at my work location listening to gay joke after gay joke and something in me just snapped. You see, I am a lesbian...something my co-workers at the time didn't know. I finally couldn't take it anymore and got in an argument with them, in the process revealing that I'd been in a relationship with my girlfriend for the past 7 years. I'm sure the COWMs weren't expecting that to happen that day, but I've never heard a gay joke in my presence again!

I never regret coming out, although I regret that it took me getting angry enough about the way LGBT people are treated to reveal that about myself after spending 7 years in the closet. After I came out to those COWMs, I decided I should probably come out to everyone else who didn't know - mainly my "good" coworkers at my home office and my parents (my friends and one of my sisters had known for years). I bought a bunch of rainbow cupcakes and brought them to the office. After I told my boss, who I've worked with for 17+ years, he shook my hand and said "congratulations". My dad ended up being super supportive of me and also told me he wasn't surprised. Coming out ended up not being the big scary thing I thought it would be.

So thanks, Jason Collins. You coming out actually helped me, a middle-aged women who doesn't even like basketball, come out. I don't know you and you don't know me, but your brave actions gave me the bravery to stand up to my ignorant co-workers to defend you...and in turn, myself.

One Direction Meets Prince William

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge met Harry Styles and the rest of One Direction at The Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.

One Direction's album has completely leaked in advance of its November 17 official release. It's really good and a big departure from the pop-y sound you're probably expecting. I just wish I didn't feel like such a hypocrite for liking it. LGBT fans are still waiting for an apology or some sort of comment about the twitter rant on Louis Tomlinson's twitter (which many believe was tweeted by his management team in reaction to articles that wondered if he was showing support for out Apple CEO Tim Cook). The fact that the tweets still are there and there's been no comment seem to indicate it's business as usual in 1D-land. At least Rainbow Direction, the fan group dedicated to supporting LGBT 1D fans, is getting loads of press!

Anyways, if you happen to stumble across the album out there on the Internets, check out Once In A Lifetime. It's amazing and will surprise you - not your usual boyband fodder. 

And if you need a laugh set to one of their new songs, Girl Almighty, check out this Vine that seems to go perfectly with the song! 

Kellogg's Faces Christian Backlash After Tony the Tiger Gay Pride Ad

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Kellogg's cereal company is facing a backlash from Christian consumers who say they'll no longer buy the company's products after it used the Frosted Flakes mascot, Tony the Tiger, in a pro-LGBT advertisement in the Atlanta gay pride march pride guide back in October.

The American Family Association, a traditional Christian values activist group, posted the ad on its Facebook page last Friday and has received over 800 comments, many critical of the company for using a cartoon character to promote homosexuality. Other commenters think Kellogg's, as a food manufacturer, shouldn't be weighing in on sexual preference.

Ed Vitagliano of the American Family Association says:

“Our policy toward corporate America and companies that serve the public is that we ask them to remain neutral in this battle over same-sex marriage. We don’t expect them to take our side but we don’t expect them to support groups that want to legalize same-sex marriage. So we let our followers and supporters know because these companies rely on the patronage of their customers; and there are a lot of people who, in their own states, voted to keep marriage between one man and one woman. I don’t think they appreciate knowing that the companies they buy products from are working against that.”

He also doesn't approve of using a cartoon character in the ad as the face of the company.

“They really have no choice but to put Tony the Tiger forward as the representative of Kellogg’s making this statement ‘wear your stripes with pride.’ But we do not approve of charging children with this messages that their parents might not approve.”

Kellogg spokesperson Mark King said via the Battle Creek Enquirer, that the Kellogg company is honored to have been recognized by a gay rights organization as one of the more gay-friendly places to work in the U.S.

“Kellogg is firmly committed to diversity and inclusion and puts a tremendous amount of effort toward ensuring equality through our policies, benefits and culture. We are honored to have been named a Top 50 company for Diversity by DiversityInc, and for achieving a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.”