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Openly Gay Rev. Malcolm Boyd, Episcopal Pioneer, Dies at 91

Boyd

Rev. Malcolm Boyd, an early leader in the push for a more LGBT inclusive Episcopal Church, passed away Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 91 from severe complications with pneumonia, The Advocate reports:

Boyd was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1955, having left a career in film, TV, and radio production for the religious life, the Episcopal News Servicereports. As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, he became an activist clergyman, advocating for racial integration and other social justice causes. He embraced the era’s counterculture, speaking in coffeehouses and other unconventional venues, such as the Newport Jazz Festival and the Hungry I nightclub in San Francisco. At the latter he sometimes opened for politically outspoken comedian Dick Gregory. [...]

While many lauded Boyd’s unusual approach to ministry, few of his fans — or members of the church hierarchy — were ready to embrace his homosexuality when he came out in 1976. For several years no church would hire him.

“It was wilderness time,” he told The Indianapolis Star in 2003. “There was criticism, there was unemployability. I learned you have to be flexible in life.” He wrote books on gay spirituality and ran consciousness-raising groups, and finally, in 1982, St. Augustine-by-the-Sea in Santa Monica, Calif., offered him a job.

“We lost some members but those who stayed loved Malcolm dearly,” the church’s rector, the Rev. Frederick Fenton, told the Times. “He was incredibly creative, compassionate, funny.”

Boyd is survived by his partner of over 30 years Mark Thompson. In 2004, the two had their relationship blessed in a church ceremony and in 2013 were legally married in California after Proposition 8 was struck down by the Supreme Court. 

Frontiers Media has a poignant look back at Boyd's life and career that you can read here

Watch a video of Boyd talking about his journey towards self-acceptance as a gay Christian, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Zachary Quinto and George Takei React to Leonard Nimoy's Passing

Nimoy

The Star Trek family is reacting to Leonard Nimoy's death on social media.

Zachary Quinto, who shared the role of Spock with Nimoy in the 2009 reboot film, wrote on Instagram:

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"my heart is broken. i love you profoundly my dear friend. and i will miss you everyday. may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series, reacted to the news via Facebook: 

 

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Spock', Dead at 83

Nimoy

Actor Leonard Nimoy died at his home in Los Angeles this morning at the age of 83, the NYT reports:

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, which he attributed to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

Nimoy, of course, was best known for playing Spock in the original Star Trek TV series and in multiple sequels.

RIP.


Scott Hines, Out Former Mayor Of Rancho Mirage, California, Dies Following Battle With Depression: VIDEO

Scott Hines

Scott Hines, the gay former mayor of Rancho Mirage, California, died last Saturday night following a battle with depression, reports the Desert Sun.

581985_3530204861565_416052484_nScott Hines was elected to the City Council in April 2010 and served one term. During the 2010 campaign, residents received fliers encouraging them not to let Hines "infect" the city, a message interpreted by many as an attack on the gay community.

Hines, who served as an Air Force intelligence officer until the early 2000s, worked to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and a number of LGBT issues. In 2013, he appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the U.S. Air Force employment of "ex-gay" therapist Dr. Mike Rosebush as head of the Center for Character and Leadership Development.

Writing on Facebook, Hines' husband, Kevin Blessing, said:

"I am less of a person today as I will no longer have this man's wonderful energy around me, at the same time I am so blessed to have had him in my life in the first place."

Blessing also said that Hines had been suffering from liver cancer.

His biological mother Cindy Gough Montgomery (above right, with Hines) also wrote about her son's death:

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Watch Hines on The Rachel Maddow Show, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NY Teen Behind Viral Cat Yearbook Photo Commits Suicide

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Draven Rodriguez, the New York teen who made headlines and garnered the support of celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon for his campaign to get his laser cat photo in his high school yearbook, has killed himself at the age of 17.

Syracuse reports:

Rodriguez made national news last fall when he started a petition to get his unique photo featured in the yearbook as his senior portrait. The petition was a precaution, while the school did not decline the photo just yet.

"This is my pre-emptive strike just in case such a thing were to happen," Rodriguez explained in his petition. "I wanted as many backers as possible before the deadline of September 15th."

Cat2However, even after reaching more than 7,000 signatures, Rodriguez was not allowed to use the photo in the yearbook. Instead, Principal Diane Wilkinson, and her Chihuahua Vivienne, joined Rodriguez for a new laser cat yearbook photo.

Times Union adds:

Although his humor and intelligence were readily apparent, Rodriguez was more cherished by family and schoolmates for his easy facility for friendship.

"He made friends wherever he went," said Rodriguez's father, Jonathan Stewart. "He had friends all over the country — people he'd met at youth-leadership conferences, online, just around town."

The photo of Rodriguez, his cat Mr. Bigglesworth, Principal Wilkinson, and Vivienne will reportedly get its own page in the yearbook with a message about adopting pets through shelters and rescue organizations. 

Watch Jimmy Fallon's opening monologue a few months back mentioning Rodriguez, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Openly Gay 60's Teen Idol Lesley Gore Passes Away at Age 68

60s teen idol/pop icon Lesley Gore, best know for her classic songs "“It’s My Party (I’ll Cry if I Want To)” and “You Don’t Own Me,” has passed away at the age of 68, the AP reports:

GoreAccording to her partner of 33 years, Gore died Monday of cancer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

Brooklyn-born and New Jersey-raised, Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records.

Gore came out publicly as a lesbian in a 2005 interview with Afterellen, saying:

Well, you know, it’s funny. I just never found it was necessary because I really never kept my life private. Those who knew me, those who worked with me were well aware.

Gore also appeared on the camptastic 1960s Batman television series playing Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions. 

Watch a 1965 video of Gore performing "It's My Party," and the classic First Wives Club performance of "You Don't Own Me" as sung by Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn AFTER THE JUMP...

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