West Hollywood Hub

Gay West Hollywood Man Brain Dead from Bacterial Meningitis; Not Known if Related to Deadly NYC Outbreak

A gay West Hollywood attorney is brain dead from bacterial meningitis, the AP reports:

ShaadBrett Shaad was declared brain dead but remained on life support Friday afternoon, said Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for Shaad’s family. She declined to release further details.

West Hollywood Councilman John Duran incorrectly said he had been taken off life support earlier on Friday, the wire adds:

Duran, who saw Shaad last weekend, described the openly gay man as being “robust and healthy” prior to Monday, when he began to feel sick.

On Wednesday, he went into the emergency room. By Thursday, he was in a coma.

Tests are underway on the strain of meningitis to determine if it is related to the deadly strain in NYC, against which health officials have urged sexually active gay men to be vaccinated.

It has not been determined how Shaad contracted meningitis. Shaad's family cricized Duran after he mentioned that Shaad attended the recent White Party in Palm Springs. Shaad also recently visited an Equinox gym in WeHo, the AP adds.

Symptoms typically develop within three to seven days of exposure and can include stiff neck, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and an altered mental state, often confusion.

More info on meningitis and how it is spread here at the CDC.

According to WABC: "Vaccinations are not being widely recommended in Los Angeles County. But community agencies such as the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center are urging individuals to take precautions."

Added Duran: “We don’t want to panic people. But we learned 30 years ago the consequences of delay in the response to AIDS. We are sounding the alarm that sexually active gay men need to be aware that we have a strain of meningitis that is deadly on our hands."

Our thoughts go out to Shaad's friends and family.

West Hollywood Getting Permanent Rainbow Crosswalks


Work has begun on two permanent rainbow-colored crosswalks on Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevards in West Hollywood, California, KTLA reports:

The permanent crosswalks will have skid-resistant thermoplastic pavement markings and new asphalt. The estimated cost to upgrade the rainbow crosswalks is $67,364. The estimated cost for the initial temporary installation was $13,000. Construction is being done by Sharidan Design Asphalt of Alpine and it's expected to be completed by the first week of October.

(via americablog)

NEWS: Medicine, Mansions, Music (VIDEO)


Towleroad-roadicon Walking in LA? You'll find America's gayest intersection in West Hollywood, at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica.

VersaceManse Towleroad-roadicon Versace's South Beach manse hits the market. Asking price: $125 million.

Known as Casa Casuarina, the 10-bedroom, 11-bathroom house overlooks the ocean. Mr. Versace bought the home and its adjacent lot in 1992 for just under $10 million and then invested another $33 million in the property, adding a 6,100-square-foot south wing, a 54-foot-long mosaic-tiled pool lined with 24-karat gold, a mosaic-covered courtyard and frescoes on the home's walls and ceilings. He was killed outside the home in July 1997. Peter Loftin, a telecom entrepreneur, purchased the property in 2000 for $20 million. After using it as a residence for several years, Mr. Loftin turned the home into a boutique hotel with a restaurant and opened it in late 2009 as the Villa by Barton G.

Towleroad-roadicon Yesterday I posted this awesome country-song-cum-It-Gets-Better video. Here's a making-of vid, in which the principals explain why the world needed a countrified It Gets Better video in the first place. 

Towleroad-roadicon MP Dr. Liam Fox, babbling British bigot, explains that only a "metrpolitan elite" cares about marriage equality:

“This is a contentious issue but I have to say that I am much more in favour of social mobility than social engineering.

“I think that the vast majority of the public have a completely different set of priorities from what I would call the metropolitan elite and I think they will be looking for economic and social issues to be dealt with first.”

His comments come as a major Conservative donor, Michael Farmer, reportedly joined the campaign against same-sex marriage.

Towleroad-roadicon Is Mayor Bloomberg hip to evolutionary biology?

Towleroad-roadicon Religious Minnesotans divided on marriage equality:

Members of Minnesota’s clergy are increasingly taking sides on the push for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, a political battle that’s pitting certain denominations against others and, in some cases, splitting believers from the same faith.

This Sunday, a group of Catholic churchgoers opposed to the amendment are kicking off the “Catholics Vote NO!” campaign, flying in the face of the church’s local hierarchy, which supports the measure.

It’s just the latest in a lengthy list of recent organizing efforts by the faithful — from a recent “pastor’s summit” of church leaders who support a ban to a gathering this past week of more than 100 Christian and Jewish ministers opposed to it.

Towleroad-roadicon A peaceful Pride Parade in Croatia.

Towleroad-roadicon Might gay-inclusiveness be hurting J.C. Penney's bottom line?

"Mr. Johnson is alienating Penney's traditional customers in a bid to attract new customers from higher socio-economic segments that now shop Macy's, Nordstrom and Target," wrote Al Lewis of Dow Jones Newswires, which appears in the Wall Street Journal. "The result? Larger-than-expected losses, plunging revenues, dwindling customer traffic and a plunging stock price."

Finnsco Towleroad-roadicon A further step towards an HIV vaccine.

Towleroad-roadicon Quick -- could someone old enough to remember the disco era please tell me if Armi & Danny ever made it out of Finland? (Don't know Armi & Danny? Well then -- prepare to witness the best, or maybe the worst, or possibly the only Finnish sci-fi disco ever committed to Betamax, AFTER THE JUMP ... )

Continue reading "NEWS: Medicine, Mansions, Music (VIDEO)" »

Nightclub Bouncer Caught on Camera Beating Gay Man Outside Club in West Hollywood: VIDEO


A video of a nightclub bouncer restraining a man on a West Hollywood sidewalk outside Voyeur nightclub is being circulated on the web. The incident captured on video, in which the bouncer uses a homophobic slur before assaulting the man, who is also being held down by another man, reportedly occurred on February 25th. The man being held down identifies himself as a "gay boy".

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

L.A. Weekly's Dennis Romero transcribes:

The bald-headed bouncer guy and another man hold down the victim while one of them accuses him of instigating a fight. (Warning: Foul language).

"Look at my face man," the victim says, "-they f**ked me up."

One of two men holding him down says: "F**k your face. I don't give a shit about your face."

Victim: "Trust me please I didn't start the sh*t. I was with my boyfriend. I'm a gay boy."

Face down on the ground, he tries to look up at his captors. One of them says:

"Yeah well your a f**kin' [unintelligible] ... Stop f**kin' struggling motherfucker. "

At that point the victim receives what appear to be a pair of punches, one to his back and one to the back of his head, by the winner in black.

"Stop resisting," one of the men says. "Stay still motherf**ker."

Then one of the captors unleashes this: "Stop fuckin' moving you c*cks**ker."

Just then a security guard with a badge walks up, and one of the captors says, "Hey can we get some cuffs please."

"Stay where you are motherf**ker," the victim is told. "Shut up."

The paper also did some investigation and the bouncer may be from nearby gay club Fubar:

Det. Mike Berbiar of the West Hollywood sheriff's station says the person we've been calling the victim here was the only one arrested: The man, identified as, Timothy Reyes, is alleged to have assaulted five people inside Fubar that night before he was taken out and taken to the ground.

As Berbiar understands it, the fighting started over a jacket that the suspect thought was his but apparently wasn't. Some of those assaulted included folks such as bar staff who tried to break up the fight, he said. Reyes was cited on suspicion of battery and public intoxication and released, the detective told us. The detective wasn't aware of the video or of the action of the bouncer, however, and said he "would definitely be interested in looking into it."

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

A more detailed look at the incident at L.A. Weekly.

Continue reading "Nightclub Bouncer Caught on Camera Beating Gay Man Outside Club in West Hollywood: VIDEO" »

J.T. Chestnut Says He Went AWOL While Under Investigation For Homosexuality; Now He's Off To Stand Trial

JTChestnutJ.T. Chestnut says he didn't want to join the army. But his father exerted the peculiar pressure disapproving fathers can sometimes exert on their gay sons, and in 2007 he sent 18-year-old J.T. off to enlist. The army would toughen him up, dad hoped. “Straighten” him up. It didn't work. According to J.T.:

 ... [two] months before basic training graduation, I was led on by a guy and was framed for homosexual conduct.

During the investigation, I was constantly bullied for my "lifestyle" of being gay and for being who I was. This time for me was very depressing, horrible, and I was desperate to get out. In late November of 2007, I went AWOL and moved to California.

Once in West Hollywood, J.T. recreated himself as a happy gay man and activist. He discovered what he calls his family among open-minded Los Angelinos. And then:

... on Oct 31st 2011, I was arrested in West Hollywood on the way to a friend's house for no reason at all. The sheriffs found about my warrant and took me in. I was just released from LA County Jail but have to report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to surrender myself in. I am frightened, scared, and worried that I will be physically hurt for my being openly gay. This is where I need your help.

Please post my story on your FB, blogs, twitter, and etc in hopes of more people hearing me out and supporting me. I do not want to serve time and I have not been this afraid ever in my life. I want to continue to live the life I am living here in LA. Please help me.

J.T. appends his story with an apology to his West Hollywood friends, in whom he apparently never confided about his army past:

PS. I'm so sorry for not sharing this dark secret. It causes too much but knowing u guys made life worth living. I love you. And while I am away..please don't forget about me.

Kevin Miniter, of the Fred Karger campaign, has launched this petition at Change.org in the hopes of securing JT's pardon.

[Pic: Courtesy of WeHo Confidential]

String of Gay Bashings in West Hollywood Unrelated, Says Mayor: VIDEO


A string of recent gay bashings in West Hollywood, reported in detail over at WeHo Confidential, are not related, says Mayor John Duran and police officials.

The blog and Duran are at odds over what is going on. Said Duran, yesterday:

"This is what happens when people try to do investigations through social media. You know somebody, who knows somebody. Before you know it there are a rash of gay beatings going on, it's not true."

L.A. Weekly says it is looking into it.

Watch a report from NBC Los Angeles, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "String of Gay Bashings in West Hollywood Unrelated, Says Mayor: VIDEO" »


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