Country Artist Ty Herndon’s Tour Schedule Even Busier Since Coming Out

The fear of many a gay artist,  no matter if they are a singer or an actor, is that  coming out will have some negative effect on their career, if not just kill it outright. Country artist Ty Herndon tour schedule is prooving that mentality wrong.


Ever since coming out publicly as a gay man late last year, Herndon has been mixing his regular concert tour dates with things like LA Pride, the GLAAD Media Awards, the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA’s Voice Awards and Pride Night at Dodgers Stadium.

‘I keep coming off tour to show up and do these things that are so important,’ Herndon, 51, told Gay Star News while at the Voice Awards.

‘It’s good to be busy. It’s a whirlwind right now,’ he said. ‘I remember a time in my life it was always like that and I also remember a time, just a short five years ago, I was sitting on my couch and just wishing the phone would ring.

Of course, we all have a hand in making this happen and sustaining out artists. By supporting our own, we can show the entertainment industry that being out isn’t a career killer. Now, go out and listen to some Chely Wright and Billy Gillman.

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Harvard Swim Team Welcomes Transgender Teammate

We often hear of the struggles transgender people face in being accepted, but an article from USA TODAY gives us some positive news from Harvard’s Swim Team.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Schuyler Bailar was a star recruit for the women’s swimming team at Harvard University, a tough competitor with a shot at winning titles. But Bailar is opting to forgo such honors to join the men’s team instead, competing as the first openly transgender swimmer in the NCAA.


Bailar, an incoming freshman, came out as transgender this year after already being recruited for the women’s team. Initially he planned to stay on that team but had mixed feelings about it — he wanted to swim, but he also wanted to embrace his identity.

The Harvard women’s coach saw that Bailar was torn and helped orchestrate another option: In a surprise move, the university offered Bailar a spot on either the men’s or women’s team.

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San Francisco to Open LGBT Homeless Center for Adults

When most people think of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender homeless (LGBT), they think of youth. Young folks who may have been kicked out and disowned by their families. But homelessness is not just a problem for LGBT youth, LGBT adults can become homeless as well for a variety of reasons: financial, escaping a dangerous or abusive situation, etc. As within larger society, LGBT people don’t always face welcome or acceptance in adult homeless shelters. The shelters can become as dangerous as the situation the LGBT person was leaving. San Francisco is hoping to address this problem in some small part by opening the first homeless shelter geared to homeless LGBT adults.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

In a city where nearly a third of the homeless population is gay or transgender, the shelter will make a small dent — it has just 24 beds. But supporters say it is a groundbreaking initiative that could offer a blueprint for similar efforts nationwide.

“This is so much bigger than 24 beds,” said Bevan Dufty, the mayor’s point person on homelessness. “It’s about looking at the homeless service system and asking, ‘How can we do a much better job for LGBT people?’” Continue reading

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Quote of the Day: What Marriage Equality Means for Future Generations

Words from a 2006 article written by blogger Andrew Sullivan reach out from the past to tell us what the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality really means for future gays and lesbians:

A gay child born today will grow up knowing that, in many parts of the world and in…the United States, gay couples can get married just as their parents did. From the very beginning of their gay lives, in other words, they will have internalized a sense of normality, of human potential, of self-worth—something that my generation never had and that previous generations would have found unimaginable. That shift in consciousness is as profound as it is irreversible.

The article form which the above quote comes was really a commentary on the shifting changes to gay culture and identity, but I thought the above quote, though written nearly a decade before the Supreme Court’s decision, was the most accurate summation of impact of marriage equality.

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Why It Gets Better: We Are Everywhere, including Subway Ads

These ads for Marriott Hotels featuring same-sex couples are appearing in various stations on the Washington, D.C. subway system (METRO). The text reads:

Meet Carmine and Tosh. Anywhere and everywhere they journey together, they take their love for each other with them. Together with Marriott, they’re showing the world how love travels.


One of the tenets that we have used as we strive for full equality is Continue reading

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No Shoes Nation Web Series from Kenney Chensey

To give fans who are there and those who are not a glimpse of the concert life, Kenney Chesney has started a web video series called ‘No Shoes TV.’ Kenny states in an article from Country Weekly magazine that “…I wanted to give the people who can’t be there a chance to get the feel for the whole day . . . because some of what happens, you’ll never get a regular TV network to make part of a concert special.”

One thing that I found annoyingly missing from the videos was more direct video footage from Kenny himself. Out of the five that I have watched so far, only two include Kenny himself. Most of the rest of the video is talking with fans and pushing the Twitter handle.

When I think of of the stuff that you’ll never make part of a concert special, I think of the artist giving you a backstage tour; showing you what they do and where they visit in each city; giving you the feel of what it takes to put on a party for thousands-plus; seeing them in some one-on-one talks with fans; and hearing some interesting background stories from some of the fans themselves. While there is a little bit of the latter, what they have is exactly the kind of thing you’d find in a run-off-the-mill TV special.

Hopefully future episodes will be much more robust.

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Photoessay of LGBT Folks Around the World

Transgender woman Tiwonge Chimbalanga

Transgender woman Tiwonge Chimbalanga; arrested in 2009 for unnatural indecent practices between men (photo credit: Robin Hammond)

Photographer Robin Hammond brings photos and stories from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed (LGBTQI) persons from around the world. His photography is an effort to highlight the injustices and abuse that many face in countries that are openly hostile to their LGBTQI country men and women:

From Time magazine:

Human rights groups say that in some of these countries — including Russia, Nigeria and Uganda — governments have targeted LGBT people as a way to redirect peoples’ anger from the governments to a vulnerable minority. All three countries have introduced anti-gay legislation in the past three years and in all three countries human rights groups have reported simultaneous increases in attacks on LGBT people.

Photographer Robin Hammond, who is from New Zealand, first started documenting these issues when he was on assignment in Lagos, Nigeria, and read about five people who had been arrested for being gay. He then decided to expand his work to seven countries, photographing LGBT people of 15 different nationalities.

Hammond says he wants to improve peoples’ lives rather than simply chronicling their suffering and is today launching a non-governmental organization named Witness Change, which aims to kickstart social media campaigns and put on traveling exhibitions to help raise funds for grassroots organizations that are dealing with the highlighted human rights issues, including LGBT rights.

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Learn more about Witness Change

See the ‘Where Love is Illegal’ photo gallery

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