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Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014

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"I think coming out...is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known, and now you're sharing that honestly with people for the first time."

2014faces2Such is how Rodrigo Lehtinen, the trans son of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, explained to CBS Miami last month what it meant for him to now be open about who he is.

It's as simple as that, whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or some fluid combination of any of them. But it's certainly an act of courage in a world where LGBTQ people face obstacles in marriage, employment, and even basic acceptance. In many places, the status of being 'out' about one's sexual orientation or gender identity is dangerous, even life-threatening.

In 2014 thousands, perhaps millions of people came out all over the world. They all made a difference. The folks featured here are just a few who happened to make a big difference and caught our eye on Towleroad this year. Some are well-known, some are little-known: the CEO of the largest corporation in the world, an NFL player, a Kenyan literary figure, fashion models, the foreign minister of a Baltic state, country singers, Mormon pop stars, a few of the stars of your favorite television shows, and unknowns from the world of YouTube.

When it comes to coming out, 2014 was certainly the year of the athlete.

Of the 80 people on our list this year, more than 1/3 come from the sports world — football, baseball, boxing, tennis, long distance running, hurling, basketball, rowing, and diving. Many of these athletes are making a name for themselves in college sports, many in conservative places. Twenty-one come from the entertainment world. And they are from all over the world — Japan, Peru, Ireland, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Finland, Canada, Spain, Chile, and more... Also, the leader of a company worth more than all the world's airlines combined, worth more than the entire Russian stock market.

It's quite an impressive group of folks. We're proud of all of you. By choosing to come out as L, G, B, T, queer, or whatever label your sexual orientation or gender identity is telling you is yours, you've made life easier for all those who haven't come out yet, and all those who are currently struggling for their civil and human rights.

Please enjoy reading their stories. And share this post with your friends, family, and anyone in the closet to whom you'd like to offer a bit of courage or support.

 

Read on, AFTER THE JUMP...

Contributions to this post were made earlier this year by Kyler Geoffroy, Sean Mandell, Joseph Ehrman-Dupre, Steve Pep, Brian Sloan, Daniel Villareal, Anthony Costello, Jim Redmond, Charles Pulliam-Moore, Christian Walters, John Wright, and Jake Folsom.

Make sure not to miss a Towleroad headline by following @TLRD on Twitter.

Continue reading "Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014" »


Bryan Singer and 'Queer as Folk' Actress Michelle Clunie Expecting a Child

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X-Men director Bryan Singer and actress Michelle Clunie (Queer as Folk) are expecting a child, Singer's rep Simon Halls announced to E!'s Marc Malkin:

"I can confirm that Michelle Clunie and Bryan Singer are happily expecting a baby together in early 2015. Best friends for 25 years, mother and father are both very excited about the upcoming birth and look forward to co-parenting the child together. The pair have been planning this baby for years and have been trying for the last two."

Singer came out as bisexual in May while fighting sexual abuse charges in a lawsuit that was later withdrawn, and releasing his 10th feature film, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Since her role as Melanie Marcus in Queer as Folk, Clunie has played a recurring character on Make It or Break It and has had numerous guest appearances on shows such as Bones, NCIS, The Mentalist, The Closer, and CSI.


Bryan Singer Being Investigated By NYPD In New Sexual Assault Case

SingerThe New York Police Department is reportedly investigating X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer in connection to an alleged sexual assault that took place early last year. Though Singer has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing, the NYPD is actively looking into events around March 23, when the assault occurred. Singer recently avoided making a court appearance after two suits accusing him of the sexual assault of two minors were dropped.

One of Singer’s accusers, Michael Egan, claimed that Singer abused him during multiple trips to Hawaii when Egan was 17 years old. Jeffrey Herman, Egan’s attorney, dropped him as a client after Egan declined a $100,000 settlement. Singer’s legal counsel, Martin Singer, unsuccessfully moved to have the entire case dismissed with prejudice, which would have made it so that Egan could not re-file his case with a new lawyer.

“Neither my client nor any of his representatives have been contacted by the NYPD, or anyone else about an alleged criminal investigation of my client,” Singer wrote in an e-mail to Buzzfeed about the new investigation. “False investigations are filed all the time and no action is taken by the authorities.”

Kim Royster, Deputy Chief with the NYPD, confirmed that the police department Special Victims squad was, in fact, looking into Singer as a potential suspect.


Attorney Representing Bryan Singer Accuser Dropping His Client

Amidst claims that relationships between he and his client have deteriorated over the past few months Jeff Herman, the attorney representing Michael Egan who is suing Bryan Singer over claims of sexual abuse, is in the process of  dropping his client.  

Screenshot 2014-07-30 08.49.25Martin Singer, Bryan Singer’s representation, has gone public stating that Egan attempted to contact them with a potential settlement draft complete with scripted language to be used by both parties after the agreement was made official. Both Bryan and Martin Singer’s signatures appear on the agreement for $100,000, though Egan’s is inconspicuously absent.

“This exact kind of take-it-and-shut-up deal is why I decided to stand up in the first place,” Egan told Buzzfeed. “Being silenced goes completely against what I believe in and offers no protection for other vulnerable children.”

Though Egan seems to have decided against his earlier suggestion for settlement, Singer and his team have expressed their resolve not to settle out of court. Singer cites his desire to act in his client’s best business interests as the reasoning behind their initial consideration of a settlement, but the team has since moved to have the case dismissed in Hawaii federal court.

“Once we prevail, we intend to go after Mr. Egan,” Singer expressed.

Read the full memorandum of settlement here AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Attorney Representing Bryan Singer Accuser Dropping His Client" »


Bryan Singer Teases 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Movie Treatment

 

Bryan Singer posted his very first Instagram photo to Twitter yesterday; suffice it to say that the picture was rather apocalyptic.

It would seem as if development of X-Men: Apocalypse, the sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past, is well under way. The photo confirms 20th Century Fox President of Production Emma Watts’s recent assertion that Singer is definitely slated to be a very large part of the project. Singer’s involvement in Fox’s future installments of the X-Men franchise came under question after he dropped out of all press engagements for Days of Future Past in the wake of sexual abuse allegations earlier this year.


Bryan Singer's Accuser Michael Egan Says He Never Left The Continental U.S.

Michael Egan

Bryan Singer's accuser Michael Egan says he never left the continental United States. Which is a pretty big deal given that the alleged rape of Egan took place in Hawaii. From the deposition with Egan:

Q. Did you ever take any trips with them?

A. Yes. several trips.

Q. Where to?

A. Las Vegas, Lake Havasu.

Q. Anything outside the continental U.S.?

A. Never had any trips outside the continental U.S., no.

Q. Do you know if [redacted] did?

A. Yes, I know he did.

Q. Where do you know that he went?

A. From what I recollect, I believe he went to Hawaii, went to --

It should also be noted that Hawaii has an extended statute of limitations, which for Egan's case would have ended April 24, 2014. Egan's complaint was filed on April 16, 2014.


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