Friday, March 27, 2015

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Serena Williams On Cover Of Vogue


Serena Williams is on the cover of the April 2015 Vogue magazine. Aso appearing in the magazine is one of her best friends, Caroline Wozniacki, who is back up to World #5 in the WTA rankings.

Serena withdrew from her Indian Wells semifinal last Friday with a knee injury but is scheduled to play her first match in Miami today. She has won that tournament a record 7 times.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Victory Fund Names Black Lesbian As Executive Director


The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the national LGBT organization devoted to increasing the number of openly LGBT people as elected and appointed officials nationwide announced today that they were naming Aisha Moodie-Mills as executive director and chief operating officer of the $4-million-dollar organization. This means that Moodie-Mills will become the first Black Lesbian to head the Victory Fund, and one of the very few LGBT people of color ever to head a national LGBT organization.
Moodie-Mills comes to Victory from the Center for American Progress, where she served as a senior fellow and director of the FIRE Initiative that explores the intersections of race, class, and sexuality. She has worked as a political advisor, private-sector liaison, and fundraiser to more than 50 members of Congress, including six senators and the Congressional Black Caucus. Before joining American Progress, she was the president of Synergy Strategy Group, a boutique fundraising and political consulting firm where she raised millions of dollars for candidates and advocacy organizations.Moodie-Mills also made headlines as a key strategist and spokesperson for the campaign to bring marriage equality to the District of Columbia, where she and her wife Danielle were among the first same-sex couples to receive a marriage license.Her work and publications have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Atlantic, Black Enterprise, The Washington Post, Essence, Politico, Ebony, The Huffington Post, and Uptown Magazine, and she also appears regularly as a political commentator on MSNBC.
Congratulations! Amazing in 2015 we are still having historic firsts happening, huh?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Doh! HBO Cancels Gay Drama Looking After 2 Seasons


I just watched the finale of Season 2 of Looking with the Other Half last night and both of us were quite impressed. It was probably the best episode of the show in its 18-episode history.

Sadly, today comes word that HBO has cancelled the show and decided that there will be no more episodes of Looking, although there will be a final movie:

Looking was never a strong ratings performer. Last year, HBO executives proceeded with a second season renewal encouraged by the attention the show was getting in the cultural conversation and by its week-to-week ratings growth. Unfortunately, the second season couldn’t build on that, falling from the Season 1 highs and drawing 300,000 viewers for its last episode.

Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: "Religiously Unaffiliated" Are A Plurality In 13 States!


The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has set up an American Values Atlas website which allows you to see the geographic distribution of the various polling data they have collected about Americans.

One result that gladdens my heart is the news that the percentage of what PRRI called "religiously unaffiliated" (and who I would call "godless") is now 22% of Americans overall, and among younger people it is closer to 34%.

In fact, in numerous states (13) a plurality of respondents are godless! Some of those states are Oregon (37 percent), New Hampshire (35 percent), Washington State (33 percent), Vermont (32 percent) and Montana (29 percent).

That's all the geographic-based data on godlessness for today!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2015 INDIAN WELLS: Djokovic and Halep Win 3-Set Thrillers


Simona Halep and Novak Djokovic are the 2015 BNP Paribas Open champions. Djokovic, as I predicted, defeated Roger Federer in an exciting 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2 match (that was much closer than the score indicates). Halep defeated Jelena Jankovic 2-6 7-5 6-4 in a drama and error-filled encounter that featured 18(!) breaks of serve between the two players.

It's Djokovic's 21st ATP Masters Shield title, just 2 behind Federer and 5 behind Nadal on the all-time leaders list and 50th ATP career title overall. He is now 18-20 in his career head-to-head with Federer and ties him with 4 titles at the Indian Wells tennis garden, becoming the first player since Federer did it twice (from 2004-2006) to defend this title.

It was Halep's first Premier Mandatory title, and her 11th career WTA title overall.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gallup Ranks U.S. Metro Areas By LGBT Population Percentage


There has been a bunch of chatter in the blogosphere recently about the release by the Gallup organization of the top 10 metropolitan regions ranked by LGBT population percentage. Unsurprisingly, San Francisco is ranked #1 and the usual suspects are found in the Top 10 (Austin, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles and Denver). The big surprise is that Salt Lake City is at #7.

The Williams Institute looked at the difference in the Top 10 most LGBT metropolitan areas from 1990 to 2014:


Only San Francisco, Austin and Seattle are in the Top 5 on both lists. In 1990 Salt Lake City was at #39. Dr. Gary Gates explains why:
The substantial change in the position of Salt Lake City in the 1990 same-sex couple rankings compared to its position in the recent rankings based on LGBT identity offers evidence of increased LGBT visibility even in conservative states like Utah. This may be a factor in why, in 2015, Utah became the first state in the last seven years to pass a law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace and in public accommodation based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The majority of states still do not have such laws on their books. Substantial increases in LGBT visibility in more socially conservative places like Salt Lake City, Louisville, and Norfolk likely mean that these areas are not as different from cities like San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle (all with long histories of fostering social climates where LGBT people felt more comfortable) in their acceptance of the LGBT community today than they were twenty years ago.
Basically, the entire country is more accepting as a whole so the geographical variation is much smaller (the difference between the #1 area of San Francisco at 6.2% and the median nationwide percentage of 3.6% is not that great) so that even the the area with the lowest LGBT population (unsurprisingly, Birmingham, Alabama) is only one percentage point below this mark.

EYE CANDY: Rodiney Santiago (black/white)





Rodiney Santiago is a handsome male model originally from Brazil. According to his Model Mayhem page, he is 33 years old, 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He has his own website, RodineySantiago.com, and is very popular on Instagram and Twitter.

Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015 INDIAN WELLS: Blockbuster Final For 2nd Year In A Row (Federer-Djokovic XXXVIII)


For the second year in a row Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are meeting in the final of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Last year's match was won by Djokovic, 6-3 3-6 7-6(3). This is the 38th meeting between these two rivals, with Federer currently leading 20-17, including just a few weeks ago in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Open to win his 84th title. In fact, since losing in the 3rd round of the Australian Open to Andreas Seppi, Federer has won 20 consecutive sets.

Both Federer and Djokovic are playing excellent tennis; Djokovic demolished Andy Murray 6-2 6-3 in the first semifinal, while Federer outplayed Milos Raonic 7-5 6-4 who had a thrilling come-from-behind breakthrough win against Rafael Nadal the round before.

Djokovic is trying to win his 21st Masters series title (Federer has 23, Nadal has 28). 50th career ATP title and become the second person (after Federer) to win 4 Indian Wells trophies.

Although I am a huge Federer fan, I think Djokovic will have the edge in today's match. The Indian Wells court is a medium-slow hard-court with a high-bounce that will move the ball out of Federer's optimal strike zone.

Prediction: Djokovic

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2015 INDIAN WELLS: Raonic Knocks Out Nadal; Serena Withdraws With Knee Injury


In one of the biggest upsets of the year to date, World #6 Milos Raonic won his first match in six meeting against World #3 Rafael Nadal 4-6 7-6(10) 7-5, saving three match points in the process, to reach a semifinal against Roger Federer, who dispatched Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-0. Raonic has one match in 9 meetings with Federer. The other men's semifinal will feature Djokovic-Murray XXV.

The women's side of the draw was stunned when Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament prior to her semifinal match with Simona Halep, citing a knee injury. This was somewhat ironic, because it was her sister Venus Williams withdrawal in their scheduled semifinal 14 years ago and the crowd's reaction that led to the absence of the Williams sisters from the Indian Wells tournament since 2001. Serena's return to the tournament is one of the big tennis stories of the year so far and hopefully this knee injury will not dampen her prospects for the rest of the year. Serena was playing in only her second tournament of the year and presumably will now skip the Miami tournament, but she has a week before she would play her first match at the tournament located within a 30 minutes of her main residence.

Halep will face a resurgent Jelena Jankovic who dispatched Sabine Lisicki in the only women's semifinal match. Lisicki had beaten last year's champion Flavia Pennetta in one of the most dramatic matches of the year (6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(4) and was unable to sustain the mental energy for two consecutive nights, losing after being up a set and a break.

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