Omar Sharif Jr. Hub




Gay NYC Hotelier Ian Reisner Again Apologizes for Ted Cruz Debacle, Cuts $20,000 Check for Fire Island Pines Group

Reisner

With the firestorm still raging, real estate developer Ian Reisner has once again apologized for his decision to host a reception and dinner at his Manhattan penthouse (alongside business partner Mati Weiderpass) for virulently anti-LGBT senator and 2016 candidate Ted Cruz last month.

Reisner, who back in January paid $10.1 million for a commercial strip along the Fire Island Pines, has also pledged to redouble his support for LGBT causes and cut a $20,000 check for the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA) PAC. 

In the wake of the controversy, some in the Fire Island Pines community sought to distanced themselves from the two hoteliers. 

FIPPOA President Jay Pagano stated that he had recently met with Reisner and was given the following apology that was read at the group's spring meeting:

Reisner2"Dear Members of our Community, 

First I want to clear up that Mati Weiderpass has zero involvement or ownership in the Pines.    
 
Now let me state unequivocally that I made mistakes. While my initial intention was bi-partisan dialogue about National & Israeli security, I've come to learn that intentions and outcomes are different things. The outcomes of my actions are that I've deeply hurt our community - and I am truly sorry.   
 
In order to help build a stronger community I am taking the following steps: 

- I am renewing and redoubling my commitment as an ardent supporter of LGBT causes.   
 
- I will continue to invest my resources in the Pines, its cultural programs and activities that celebrate the diversity and acceptance of its community members, so that it always holds its rightful place in LGBT history.   

- To this end, today I made a donation to the 'FIPPOA-PAC' -- matching All funds raised in its last active year -- which supports politicians committed to the Pines and to LGBT issues. 

- More so, I will be donating profits from my Pines Investment this summer to the following organizations that I have supported in the past: The LGBT Community Center in NYC & The Jerusalem Open House, as well as to 'Equality Texas' which fights for LGBT rights on one of this countries more challenging fronts. 

- Further, I am in the process of hiring a Director of Community Affairs to serve as a liaison with various LGBT organizations and to guide me in better serving our community. 

- Lastly, I commit to meeting and consulting with community & organizational leaders, to hear their concerns and their ideas so that we can all work together for a better Pines and a stronger LGBT community. 

Please accept these preliminary steps as assurance of my commitment to getting this right and to becoming the community member you deserve." 
 
Pagano added:
 
The letter of apology was received with applause and approval.  I have since been informed that Omar Sharif Jr. from GLAAD was hired as Director of Community Affairs.  $20,000 was wired to the FIPPOA PAC account and Ian has clarified to me that he will be donating "all of his share" of the profits from the Pines investment.  Ian has again asked me to express his intention of getting it right.  
 
Sharif Jr. is a Golden Globe winning Egyptian-Canadian actor who came out back in 2012.
 
Update: Sharif Jr. left his position as National Spokesperson for GLAAD earlier this month. GLAAD is not working with Reisner in any capacity.
 

From Will and Grace to Modern Family: The Global Effect of Gay Characters on American TV - VIDEO

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In a new video for BBC News, Tom Brook reports on the ubiquity of gay characters in American TV shows and the effect these characters have worldwide.

The short video segment profiles two men: one with a more optimistic outlook on the issue, and one who is more pessimistic.

WillandgraceThe former is activist Omar Sharif Jr.,  who spent his youth in Egypt. He didn't know any gay people growing up, but he was familiar with characters like Jack from "Will and Grace." Said Sharif:

By seeing these characters on TV, youth across the world — myself included — learned that we weren't alone, that different isn't bad. That there's a community out there (even if it's across vast oceans sometimes) that supports them and loves them for who they are.

Russian-born pianist and journalist Oleg Dusaev has a different take. He now lives in New York, but he has experienced homophobia in Russia. Dusaev says he once "had hope these shows and films could change society in a more tolerant way."

Unfortunately, he worries that shows like "Modern Family" could make people "resistant" to new attitudes; he believes homophobic people "hate gays" point blank, and that these shows "could increase the hatred." 

Sharif makes a similar point, noting that gay characters are sometimes used "as a tool to propagate hate," but that in terms of net effect, these shows are doing much more good than bad to change the cultural tenor.

Head to BBC, or check the video out embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "From Will and Grace to Modern Family: The Global Effect of Gay Characters on American TV - VIDEO" »


News: Episcopal Support For Gay Marriage, Rugby, Omar Sharif Jr., Gay CEOs

Jesus RoadAwesome counter-protest at Chicago Pride.

RoadA guy in Britain had his already well endowed member made girthier thanks to plastic surgery.

RoadChris Colfer tweets he was let go from Glee; reps then say his account was hacked and the actor will in fact be returning to the show.

RoadThrowback Thursday: TRL returns for one day only.

RoadThe Episcopal Diocese of St. Louis announces support for challenge to Missouri's same-sex marriage ban: "Bishop George Wayne Smith said in a statement that he 'supports St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and City Counselor Winston Calvert in their challenge to Missouri law prohibiting same-sex marriage. Even as the Episcopal Church works to clarify our theological understanding of and pastoral practices around same-sex blessings, I believe that it is not the place of the State of Missouri to deny the privileges and responsibilities of marriage to anyone, basing that denial solely on the gender of the couple.'”

RoadJessica Chastain played Juliet in NYC's Shakespeare in the Park.

RoadFault in Our Stars star Ansel Elgort to play gay pianist Van Cliburn in biopic.

RoadFirst official image of Henry Cavill as Superman in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Henry RoadPennsylvania High School won't allow production of Monty Python's Spamelot because play features gay wedding: "Dawn Burch, director of the school’s drama department, told WNEP news that Principal Jesse Smith wrote an email to her informing her that homosexuality does not exist in a conservative community such as South Williamsport. Smith did not respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry regarding these specific comments."

RoadApparently, there were some fireworks on the set of The Notebook. Hate and love are the closest emotions.

RoadAustralian rugby team Sydney Convicts are first gay team to play on professional level: “The Sydney Convicts are very excited and proud to be the first gay and inclusive rugby team to be invited to play as part of an elite level rugby match," [The president of the Convicts, Dave] Whitaker told the Gay News Network. “We hope this game helps to challenge these misconceptions while also raising awareness that homophobia in sport is still a major issue and gay people often still feel unwelcome.”

RoadHorrible Bosses 2 trailer released.

RoadOmar Sharif Jr. one of People's hottest bachelors.

RoadBrothers & Sisters alum and out actor Luke MacFarlane to play gay service-member on NBC's Night Shift

RoadRussian conductor Valery Gergiev, known for being close with Russian President Vladimir Putin, says Russia's anti-gay propaganda law isn't anti-gay: “It’s not anti-gay… Nothing to do with gay. It’s about propaganda in schools, in schools, what they call ‘non-traditional’. I don’t understand all these things; I also don’t understand the campaign [of protests against his performances].” He went on to claim that the impacts of the law are exaggerated by western media, saying: “I didn’t know about this law. I learnt about this law in the west. Nobody knows about this law in Russia because [the] law is never applied. No one is put in prison, no one is killed, no one is arrested. We have no idea what is this law in reality to do with our lives here. No idea. Nobody here is about this at all.”

RoadGay CEOs reluctant to come out? "'Of course there are gay CEOs and I reached out to many of them and got an extremely cool reception,' said New York Times columnist Jim Stewart on CNBC, 'Not one would allow to be named for the column.'"


I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012

2012

2012: GAYEST YEAR EVER

"The fact is, I'm gay." Anderson Cooper's long-awaited announcement sums what it meant to come out in 2012. Again and again we heard the same sentiment — from pop singer Mika's equally anticipated confirmation, "If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah," to actor Andrew Rannells casually remarking about relating to a gay character, "I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it." —  proving that coming out today is in many cases a non-event, and certainly secondary to other achievements.

Yes, a lot has changed in the 15 years since Time magazine ran that cover of Ellen DeGeneres declaring, "Yep, I'm Gay," and even in the six since Lance Bass told People, "I'm Gay." Entertainment Weekly published a cover story this summer called "The New Art Of Coming Out," concluding, "The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow."

Yet most of this positive change has happened in familiar territory.

Former NFL star Wade Davis' coming out was a first, as was current professional boxer Orlando Cruz's. And Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo helped broaden the overall discussion about LGBT people. But there are a few people on this list who were less valiant, like Republican Sheriff Paul Babeu, and still others who remained quiet about their sexuality to the day they died. The debate over balance between privacy and responsibility is still one worth having, and clearly there are more arenas where LGBT people need space to shine.

All in all, though, 2012 shows that gay people who break down that closet can have it all.

Who had the 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012?

Find out (in alphabetical order), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012" »


Omar Sharif Jr: I'm Gay, Jewish, and May Be Persecuted in My Home Country of Egypt

Sharifjr

Omar Sharif Jr. the grandson of the actor with the same name, who made some headlines last year after appearing at the Oscars and battling Kirk Douglas for his cane, has come out as gay and Jewish.

Sharif had spoken out for gay rights following the Oscars, but he talks about his own sexuality, and faith, and the fear that his home country Egypt will persecute him, for the first time with The Advocate:

And so I hesitantly confess: I am Egyptian, I am half Jewish, and I am gay.

That my mother is Jewish is no small disclosure when you are from Egypt, no matter the year. And being openly gay has always meant asking for trouble, but perhaps especially during this time of political and social upheaval. With the victories of several Islamist parties in recent elections, a conversation needs to be had and certain questions need to be raised. I ask myself: Am I welcome in the new Egypt?

...While to many in Europe and North America mine might seem like trivial admissions, I am afraid this is not so in Egypt. I anticipate that I will be chastised, scorned, and most certainly threatened. From the vaunted class of Egyptian actor and personality, I might just become an Egyptian public enemy.

And yet I speak out because I am a patriot.

I am a patriot who remembers a pluralistic Egypt, where despite a lack of choice in the political sphere, society comprised a multitude of beliefs and backgrounds. I remember growing up knowing gay men and women who were quietly accepted by those around them in everyday society.

The Jerusalem Post notes: "Sharif's Jewish heritage comes from his mother's side, making him fully Jewish according to the rabbinical tradition."


Omar Sharif Jr., Hottie Oscar Trophy Presenter, Discusses Gay Rights

Sharifjr

That was the grandson of actor Omar Sharif holding Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony the other night, and battling Kirk Douglas for his cane, in case you were wondering.

The Advocate tracked down Omar Sharif Jr. (because he's a hottie basically - note the Facebook photo, above), and asked him a few questions, one specifically about gay rights and the situation in Egypt where he grew up:

"Well, it was bittersweet being on stage yesterday, just because… I’m having such a great time, it’s such a wonderful experience, and known that so many of my friends and my family are living through such a tumultuous time. That being said, after 30 years… or lets say centuries or millenniums — people are finally standing up and voicing their legitimate claims to self determination. Human rights and equal rights — it isn’t based on religion, based on politics, based on gender. It’s across the board. Actually, the first time I met Bruce Cohen, the producer of the Oscar, was at a benefit for the American Foundation for Equal Rights where Elton John was singing. They raised a substantial sum to fight Prop. 8. Coming from the Middle East especially, I’m mindful of these issues, and it’s not something you get to pick and choose."

(image kissing kamal via sticky (nsfw))


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