As same-sex couples in states across the nation celebrate new marriage equality victories, it's important to remember there remains a large segment of our LGBT community still living in states where the safety and security of marriage is not an option.
Jessica and Chi (along with their daughter Nailah) are one such family in one of the 18 states without marriage equality - Alabama. Freedom to Marry has a new ad out telling their story and highlighting why every American in every state deserves the right to marry.
Watch the stunning video, AFTER THE JUMP...
The 45-day campaign - the sixth most successful Kickstarter music campaign and the number one campaign in country music - raised $250,000, which will allow Wright to record and promote the album and to produce a music video.
Born in Missouri, Wright came out in 2010. In the same year she published an autobiography and released a critically-acclaimed documentary about her coming-out process. She married Sony Music Entertainment's Director of Marketing, Lauren Blitzer the following year and gave birth to their twin sons in 2013.
Wright knew that after coming out she would lose old fans and gain news, but she says that she was "reduced to tears on a daily basis" by the number of private notes she received thanking her for the support her book and film had offered them in their own coming-out experiences.
With about half of the record already written, Wright looking at mid-2015 as a potential release date for the new project.
Watch the official video for Chely Wright's 1999 country chart number one 'Single White Female,' AFTER THE JUMP...
Rob Kearney is one tough dude. In addition to being ranked the 2nd strongest middleweight champ in the world, Kearney also recently became the first openly gay man to be actively competing in a professional level international strongman competition.
Kearney made the announcment via Facebook last week, writing:
In an interview with sporting site Starting Strongman, Kearney shared what the reaction has been like following his coming out:
I knew there would be both negative & positive feedback. To be honest I was surprised from the amount of positive feedback. I got texts and phone calls from a lot of other pros and people high up in the sport I was not expecting. I also knew there would be negative or “indifferent” reactions, but that is ok.
There's also a great feature piece over at The Next Level that further dives into Kearney's professional accomplishments and what his coming out means for the sport.
You can also check out Kearney in action, AFTER THE JUMP...
Dylan Beard, a gay Houston teen, was ambushed and beaten in a planned hate crime by his peers, KHOU reports:
Dylan Beard says he lost his sense of security. His friends told him to meet him at Jenkins Park in Baytown, only to get jumped.
"It's tough being gay. It's tough. Because we are out of the norm I guess. They lured me indirectly. They had one of their friends, who I'm also friends with, tell me to come up there and they walked up and did it," said Beard.
Dylan says a girl started hitting him.
"Then two of her friends who are guys jumped in and they all started hitting me, got on the ground hit me and punched me," said Beard.
The teens posted the attack on Facebook, where Beard's mother saw it before he got home.
"His face was swelled, his nose was broken, he bit through his tongue, his bottom teeth were chipped, his knees were scabbed everywhere." said Jennifer Beard, the victim's mother.
KHOU reports that police are releasing very little information about the case except that the girl is facing an assault charge.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Beard was called a "faggot" and a "booty lover" by his attackers and an activist is calling for the FBI to step in:
The Baytown Police Department's lack of response to the assault prompted activist Quanell X to hold a press conference Thursday, claiming they have been negligent in the case by allegedly ignoring witnesses, refusing statements and openly insulting Beard, all because he is gay. They've also filed a hate crime complaint with the FBI.
"It doesn't make you a man, it doesn't make you a tough guy, it doesn't make you some real person to be proud of because you want to prey on a little kid because he's gay. Why don't you pick on somebody your own size? Why won't you pick on some men who you know will fight you back?" said the activist, gesturing to Beard's bruised eye and chipped tooth. "This little kid does not deserve to be treated like this. Whether you agree or disagree with his sexual orientation, or not, it does not give anyone the right to treat him like he's less than a human being and rob him of his human and civil rights."
Watch KHOU's report, AFTER THE JUMP...
Ellen revealed her Halloween costume which is: "Amal, the luckiest woman in the world, Mrs. George Clooney."
"I like Halloween because it’s the one time of year you can dress up however you want, and pretend you’re someone you’d never be in real life. For me, that’s married to a man."
Clooney also got very frisky and tried to get a peek at Ellen's blue underwear.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's Part 4 of our weekly comic Applications, by Josh Trujillo and Dave Valeza.
Click panes to enlarge.
To start from the beginning of the series, click HERE.
Tune in next Friday for Part 5!Sphere: Related Content