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Indianapolis Bakery That Refused to Make Cake for Gay Couple Has Gone Out of Business


111 Cakery, an Indianapolis bakery that made headlines last year for refusing to make a cake for a gay couple's commitment ceremony because the owners claimed it was a "commitment to sin," has now closed its doors, The Indianapolis Star reports:

One elevenThe 111 Cakery was still profitable, said co-owner Randy McGath, but McGath's 45-year-old wife, Trish, who did most of the baking, wanted more time to spend with the couple's four grandchildren. The business "was wearing her out," her husband said. She has been taking a break from working since Dec. 31, when the bakery went out of business, he said. [...]

The flap led to just a single picketer urging a bakery boycott, but many nearby residents were on his side. The bakery was at the intersection of 16th and Talbott streets, a hub of gay culture for decades. At least three long-established gay bars are just blocks away.

Other people, however, seemed to applaud the bakery's stand, traveling long distances for pastries. "We had people from all over, from Brownsburg and Lafayette," McGath, 48, said.

An ensuing sales spike lasted three or four months. After that the long-distance business seemed to cool, but McGath insisted sales never dipped below their pre-flap levels.

Businesses in Indiana can lawfully discriminate against and refuse to do business with individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Steve Grand Talks About Debut Album 'All-American Boy', His Desire to Be a 'Uniter': VIDEO


Steve Grand, who catapulted to success on the heels of his super-viral "All-American Boy" video (now closing in on 4 million views), dropped an EPK this week talking about his upcoming album of the same name, which he has been working on since and is released on March 24.

"What really made a difference for me was the people who would write in," Grand says of his romantic clip about the guy that got away. "That made me realize that yes this was why I did this. To connect people, and to connect with people. Thousands of letters and emails were coming in at the time..."

He adds:

“So while people say this is no big deal anymore. Who cares? You know who cares are the kids that are really struggling with this. The kids who feel like they would still rather be dead than live life as a gay person. I’m thinking about them all the time when I’m doing these things. Because deep down we really all just want to loved, we want to experience love, we want to give love, we want to take in love, and we want to feel valued and understood...

...That's all you could hope for as an artist, as someone who lives to be a uniter."


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Jack Falahee is Sick of People Asking Him If He's Gay Just Because His Character Is


How To Get Away With Murder actor Jack Falahee tells Vulture that he's tired of people asking if he's gay:

"People have been asking me about my sexuality ever since that OUT interview. I’m very confident in my sexuality, and I really don’t like talking about my romantic life in the press. It’s pretty reductive to ask just the actor playing the gay character what his sexuality is if you’re not going to ask that question of people playing straight characters on the show. I really don’t see what my sexuality has to do with the characters, and I think that’s private. But I find it interesting, the fascination with picking apart or outing actors who play homosexual characters on TV or in films. We don’t have that same fascination with actors who are portraying heterosexual characters."

FalaheeFalahee expanded on that answer this week in an interview with  Michelangelo Signorile on SiriusXM Progress:

“I was basically trying to say [in the OUT interview], for me it’s like asking an actor who plays an alcoholic what their relationship is with alcohol. It’s not necessarily — I think we’re projecting onto actors in a way. I think we’re expecting them to be their characters when, at the end of the day, this is my job and I’m an actor portraying a role on a fictitious television show.”

Signorile then asked Falahee if it's not fair to ask an actor what they personally bring to the experience of playing a character.

Falahee says that's a very different question than "How do I define my sexuality," adding that he thought he got a great question from an interviewer down in Atlanta who asked, ‘What personal experience do you bring to portray — what did she say? — a ‘manwhore’ homosexual on television?’

He said:

 “That is a different question than how do I define my sexuality. And to answer that question, I would say, well, you know, I went to NYU, and the Tisch School of Drama, and there we studied Stanislavski-based acting techniques. And while I have dabbled in the Lee Strasberg method of sense-memory and using your own experience to portray a character, I found that that was a fast track, maybe, to therapy. And so, I fell more into the Stella Adler method of acting camp, and create fictitious circumstances….I’m creating circumstances in which Conor exists to accurately portray him..I just think it’s interesting because I have a body of work before Conor Walsh that is primarily heterosexual and yet people want to ask — you know, no on asks any other man, or woman, on my show, about their sexuality, and that’s what fascinates me...We don’t ask the actor playing James Bond what his sexual preference is. So I don’t know what it is, really, with trying to out actors who portray gay characters on television. But it is some sort of fascination in society.”

Here's the excerpt from the February OUT interview to which Falahee refers at the beginning of this post:

“I don’t think answering who I’m sleeping with accomplishes anything other than quenching the thirst of curiosity. And moreover, it seems reductive. It’s been really interesting to be in the middle of the industry’s fascination with the individual, because I never thought about that growing up or when I was at acting school. No matter how I answer, someone will say, ‘No, that’s not true.’”

I’m the first journalist to straight-out ask, he says, “but everyone wants to.” We spend a good 10 minutes debating why it might matter to any of us how he answers, or why he won’t. “We still live in this hetero-normative, patriarchal society that is intent on placing everything within these binaries,” he says. “I really hope that — if not in my lifetime, my children’s lifetime — this won’t be a question, that we won’t need this.”

Watch a scene from the latest episode (the finale) in which Oliver and Connor discuss HIV and head to a clinic to get tested (spoilers), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Travel Notes from All Over: News for the Global Gay Jetsetter


WISCONSIN: The Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore off Lake Superior will be open THIS WEEKEND: "The ice caves are located several miles outside of Bayfield, Wis., on a 12-mile stretch along the coast. Those hoping to admire the dazzling ice displays have to walk at least a mile on lake ice and up to 6 miles, depending on how many caves they want to visit, says Neil Howk, assistant chief of interpretation and education for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore." More on the ice caves HERE and on their Facebook page.

DogMAIN12ALBERTA, CANADA: Ever wanted to go dog sledding? Notcot continues its series on great escapes in Alberta, Canada, and went on a 2-hour adventure: "Snowy Owl Sled Dog Kennel was created in 1983 by Connie and Charles Arsenault as one of the first dog sledding tours, and is now run by their kids, Jereme and Carlin. They have around 175 dogs, and tend to breed/adopt their dogs. While they are of racing stock, they really train them for tourist adventures - meaning they are all extremely people and camera friendly, and love the hugs and attention from all the visitors."

SCOTLAND: If you're thinking about getting married in Loch Lomond, Scotland, don't think about doing so at the Loch Lomond Waterfront wedding venue. They just turned away a gay couple. You might try one of these venues.

CAMBODIA: At least five foreign visitors have been deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites of Angkor Wat: "Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping off at Angkor archaeological park, a sprawling Unesco World Heritage Site that drew 2 million visitors last year. The incidents are also upsetting to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex, built between the ninth and 15th centuries, holds enormous spiritual and historical significance."

NYC: Mashable offers 22 tips for navigating NYC like a pro for you travelers headed to the city that never sleeps.

GoogleflightsRESERVATION TIPS: Are you trip planning and want an efficient way to see the lowest fare for each day of a certain month, or see how fares fluctuate from season to season? Google Flights allows you to do that: "Regardless of which day you sit down to plan your trip, you can use the calendar in Google Flights to scroll through months and see the lowest fare highlighted for each day. If you’re planning even further out, use the lowest fares graph beneath the calendar to see how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events. You can also set preferences (such as direct flights only) and our calendar will adjust to show you just those flights and fares that fit the bill. Finally, if you can save more by using a nearby airport or flying on a different day, we’ll show you a tip at the top of your results. "

SAFETY ALERT: Southwest grounded 128 planes this week after discovering that they had missed their inspections. Said the FAA: "The airline voluntarily removed these aircraft from service while the FAA works with Boeing and Southwest to evaluate a proposal that would allow the airline to continue flying the planes until the inspections are completed over the next few days."

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: UK Street artist/prankster Banksy has unleashed a new work in the form of a video which starts off as a travel ad, saying "Make this the year YOU discover a new destination." It is then revealed that the clip intends to expose the destruction caused in the Gaza Strip during last year's bombing.

NFL Free Agent Michael Sam Invited to Veteran Combine, Says He's 'Getting the Hang' of Dancing: VIDEO


NFL free agent defensive end Michael Sam has been invited to the first-ever veteran combine, ESPN reports:

The veteran combine will be held March 22 in Tempe, Arizona, less than a week after Sam is set to start competing on the latest season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which starts March 16.

Sam was chosen last year in the seventh round of the draft by the St. Louis Rams but the team released him before the season began. He was later signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad but then waived.

The Veteran Combine is similar to the one held for potential draftees but it is for current NFL free agents like Sam.

Following the announcement this week that Sam would compete on Dancing With The Stars, he released a statement on Twitter:

Very excited to be a part of @DancingABC. Football remains my unquestioned number 1 priority, however, while I continue to train and stay ready, I am ecstatic to participate in a fun, athletic competition like so many players before me have done. Filming this offseason is very flexible and allows me to be part of the veterans combine 3/22 if accepted or any other workouts. I’m looking forward to getting started with @PetaMurgatroyd and winning! Thanks for the support! #TeamSambatroyd

Paparazzi stationed outside Dancing With The Stars rehearsals caught up with Sam this week as he arrived to rehearsals with fiancé Vito Cammisano in tow, and asked him which was tougher, dancing or the combine.

"Both," he replied.

They also asked if he has nailed his first dance yet:

"I think it's a secret right now. It's different from football. Peta's (Murgatroyd, his partner) doing a great job. She's bearing with me. It's different than football, clearly. But I'm getting the hang of it. It's fun. Great workout."

And what kind of advice he had for gay kids nervous to come out.

"Be on your truth. On your truth."


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Kentucky State Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Anti-trans Bathroom Bill for Students


Yesterday, the Kentucky Senate approved a bill that would require transgender students in the state to use the bathroom that matches their biological sex rather than their gender identification.

The vote was 27-9, with three Republicans joining Senate Democrats in opposing the bill. 

The Courier-Journal reports:

EmbryRepublican Sen. C.B. Embry (right), the bill's sponsor, calls it a "common sense" approach to guide school administrators and safeguard privacy in areas where students are in a state of undress. Supporters argue the rule also would help protect transgender students from bullying and harassment by providing separate accommodations.

But opponents charged Friday that lawmakers are yielding to fear and discrimination. They said the bill will strip flexibility from school districts and violate federal guidelines on civil rights for transgender students.

"We need to acknowledge that this is the civil rights issue of our current time, and today this Senate has failed the people of Kentucky," said Sen. Reginald Thomas, a Democrat who warned that the legislation would "cast a shroud of darkness" over the Senate.

Under the legislation, transgender students must either use the bathroom of their biological sex or seek special accommodations such as a faculty or unisex bathroom. 

The Lexington Herald-Leader has background on why the bill was introduced in the first place:

The bill stems from a controversy last year at Atherton, where a transgender student who was born male identified as a female and wanted to use the girls' bathrooms and locker rooms.

A controversy arose, and the school eventually adopted a policy of letting students use bathrooms based on their gender identity. The decision was backed by the school's site-based council and a Jefferson County Public Schools appeals committee. 

The bill now heads to the Democrat-controlled House, where Speaker Greg Stumbo has already indicated he isn't interested in taking up the bill and "deciding where kids can go to the bathroom."


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