Tag: homophobic

Major League Soccer investigating Sebastian Lletget for homophobic slur

Sebastian Lletget

Sebastian Lletget during the Italy v USA International Friendly in 2018 in Belgium. (Pier Marco Tacca/Getty)

Major League Soccer has launched an investigation into LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget over a homophobic slur in a video he posted to Instagram.

The 28-year-old, who began his career at West Ham before returning to the US in 2015, admitted he “messed up” in sharing the video on Friday (9 April).

In the clip Lletget approaches his teammate Julian Araujo from behind, slaps him on the neck and calls him by the Spanish slur “puto”, referring to a gay man.

The offensive term has a long history of being sung as a chant by football supporters from Latin American nations. FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, has repeatedly sanctioned the Mexican soccer federation over its fans’ use of the insult.

Araujo also posted the video on his Instagram account, but it has since been removed by both players.

Major League Soccer immediately distanced itself from Lletget and confirmed it would be reviewing his conduct in an internal investigation.

“We have no tolerance for discrimination and prejudice of any kind,” the league said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“We are aware of the use of a homophobic slur by an LA Galaxy player. MLS has begun a formal investigation regarding the language used by the player and more information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.”

In a statement to Outsports, Lletget said he wanted to “address [the] impact” of the video, “not hide from this,” and thanked for the website for holding him accountable.

“I take full responsibility and ownership of what was an extremely poor and ill-thought phrase and have no excuse for my actions,” he wrote.

“I want to be part of the solution — not part of the problem — and continue to be an advocate and an ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Those who know me know my character and heart. I will remain outspoken in my support and advocacy. My error doesn’t change that.

“Thanks for your accountability. I need to do and be better.”

LA Galaxy were early supporters of the LGBT+ community within US football, according to the LA Times. In 2013 the team signed Robbie Rogers, the first professional player in US soccer history to come out as gay, and the team has hosted annual Gay Pride nights at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Homophobic wrester with gay-for-pay past has resorted to selling $20 autographs to make ends meet / Queerty

Homophobic wrester with gay-for-pay past has resorted to selling $20

Once upon a time, Lars Sullivan was one of the biggest stars in the WWE, raking in $500,000 a year to prance around the ring in little red shorts. But after a series of back-to-back scandals, including a gay-for-pay adult video leak, he has now resorted to peddling autographs at a memorabilia store at a strip mall in Queens, New York to make ends meet.

The Wrestling Universe Store, located between a Dollar Tree and a barber shop, just announced that Sullivan will be stopping by for two hours on May 8 to greet fans and sign autographs. It will be his first public appearance since being let go from the WWE in January for purportedly not showing up for tapings.

Fans can snap a selfie with Sullivan for $20, or have him autograph one item (but only one!) for $20. Big spenders can buy a combo pack, which includes a photo and an autograph, for $30. And any additional autographs are $15.

The event page also notes: “SORRY but no refunds on tickets if the talent appears at the event.”

In addition to his little meet-and-greet, Sullivan has launched a Cameo account under his real name, Dylan Miley, where he makes personalized videos for $40 and sends DMs for $9.99.

In 2019, Sullivan was exposed for posting dozens of racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks on an online message board at BodyBuilding.com over a seven year period. The posts included attacks against drag queens, “manly” women, feminine guys, and closeted men.

Shortly after the posts resurfaced, so did an old clip of Sullivan appearing as “Mitch Bennett” in a Randy Blue film. Viewers quickly identified Sullivan by the tattoo on his arm. You can see a work-friendly preview of that here–Sullivan is on the left:

Peddling autographs for $20 is a far, far cry from the half a mil 32-year-old Sullivan used to make just a couple of years ago, but we suppose a guy’s gotta eat, especially when he’s 6’3 and weighs 330 pounds.

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.

Ferris State professor fired over racist, homophobic tweets

Thomas Brennan Ferris State University Michigan

Thomas Brennan. (Facebook/Twitter)

Ferris State University professor Thomas Brennan was fired after tweeting about “fags” and dismissing COVID-19 as a “hoax”.

Brennan, a former assistant physical science professor at the Ferris State University in Michigan, was previously placed on leave in November last year for a slew of homophobic, racist and antisemitic social media posts.

He often tweeted about the “Jewish mafia”, called the coronavirus pandemic a “Jewish revolution” and used the N-word in reference to Black physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, according to an exposé by the university’s newspaper The Torch.

As much as Brennan sought to shrug off the article as a “hit piece” at a time, he confirmed on Twitter Saturday (27 February) that he has now been dismissed from the university.

The school confirmed to The Detroit News that it had terminated his contract Thursday (25 February).

“Ferris State University Assistant Professor of Physical Sciences Thomas Brennan’s employment at the university has been terminated, effective Thursday, 25 February 2021,” a spokesperson said.

“The university has no further comment.”

Ferris State professor Thomas Brennan blames homophobic tweets on ‘electromagnetic fields’

In a lengthy, six-page statement on his personal website, Brennan said he tweeted what he did because of, among other things, electromagnetic fields.

“My defence is that I was acting out and speaking out of despair caused by a personal crisis involving extremely painful migraines, EMF sensitivity and a series of repeated break-ins into my home,” he wrote.

“I am one of thousands of Americans from all walks of life who claim to be victims of a secret programme that harasses people, breaks into their homes, and uses [electromagnetic frequency] along with bio, neuro, or nano-technologies to poison and torture their targets,” the statement continued.

“Rather than kill the target, the goal is to get the target to have a breakdown that discredits them and causes them to lose their livelihood.”

He went on to detail various points of contention between himself and faculty leaders, such as refusing to wear a mask on the grounds that a mandate would be “immoral” and claiming that the severity of the coronavirus has been “exaggerated by revolutionary leftists in the media and government”.

He also admitted to the “red zingers” he posted to his Twitter and described his account on the platform as a “little hole to shout in and purge my despair”.

“As I said, it was despair that led me to do this, and I knew I might get in trouble but I needed to cry out,” he said.

“Since I had no way to speak about my disability at work,” Brennan added, “I was exercising my free speech rights on Twitter as a result of my disability.

“Therefore the things I said on Twitter were not expressed in order to discriminate against people of different races or social categories but were uttered as a result of my disability. This is one of many reasons why freedom of speech exists.”

A UK court put the smackdown on homophobic ‘Color Purple’ actress / Queerty

A UK court put the smackdown on homophobic ‘Color Purple’

Seyi Omooba. Via YouTube

Seyi Omooba, the actress fired from a UK revival of The Color Purple over homophobic social media posts just suffered a major loss in a UK court. A judicial panel known as the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled against Omooba in a wrongful termination claim.

Omooba had filed the lawsuit following her termination from the Leicester Theatre Trust’s revival of the stage musical version of The Color Purple in 2019. The producers had sacked Omooba following the resurfacing of a Facebook post from 2014 in which she decried LGBTQ people as immoral. The producers felt that casting a homophobic actress as the character of Celie, a lesbian, would not suit the production. The theatre also offered to pay Omooba her full salary, but she refused. The actress then filed suit, claiming that her career had collapsed from the negative backlash. In court, Omooba sought £4,309 from the theatre plus a further £25,000 for damages to her career.

Related: Fired, homophobic ‘Color Purple’ actress sues; claims she’d never play a gay character

The BBC reports that a judicial tribunal found Omooba’s case unconvincing, and on February 17 rejected her claims of discrimination, harassment and breach of contract.

“In the view of the tribunal,” the court wrote in its opinion, “Mr. Stafford [Chris Stafford, chief executive of Leicester Theatre Trust] did not have the purpose of violating the claimant’s dignity or creating an intimidating or humiliating environment for her. His purpose was to save the production.”

“There is no financial loss because she would not have played the part,” the court said. “There is no loss of opportunity to enhance her reputation by performing, because she would not have played the part. If there is damage to her reputation, it was not caused by being dropped from the production but by an unconnected person’s tweeting… of her Facebook post and the outcry resulting from that.”

Attorneys for Omooba expressed their disappointment for the ruling, but have not ruled out options for appeal.

In her original Facebook post–later circulated on Twitter by actor Aaron Lee Lambert–Omooba expressed her disapproval of homosexuality, writing: “I do not believe you can be born gay, and I do not believe homosexuality is right, though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean its right.” Following the controversy over her firing, it also came to light that her father, pastor Adegboyega Omooba, advocates for gay conversion therapy.

Based on the novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple debuted on Broadway in 2005, and would run for three years. The show also received 11 Tony Award nominations, winning one.  A 2015 Broadway revival of the show won two Tony Awards in 2015, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress for future Oscar-nominee Cynthia Erivo.

Joe Biden invited to Nigeria to ‘marry a man’ by raging homophobic bishop

Bishop Emmah Isong of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria

An anti-LGBT+ bishop from Nigeria has suggested that if Joe Biden wants the country to decriminalise homosexuality, he should take a Nigerian man as his “second wife”.

The angry tirade comes after Biden vowed to advance the cause of LGBT+ rights around the world, threatening financial sanctions on regimes deemed to have infringed on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people.

A memo signed by Biden on 4 February instructed US government agencies to “strengthen existing efforts to combat the criminalisation by foreign governments of LGBTQI+ status or conduct”.

It added: “When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.”

Preacher says Joe Biden should come to Nigeria and marry a man

Speaking to African outlet Sahara Reporters, bishop Emmah Isong of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria hit out at Biden in the wake of the memo, defending Nigeria’s laws criminalising homosexuality.

He said: “I personally take it as a rumour that America wants to sanction governments that are anti-gay. The US has not communicated officially with the government of Nigeria.

“Let there be an official gazetted letter signed by the Secretary of State of the United States telling us to become gay, then we invite the president of the US to come and marry a man in Nigeria as his second wife.

“He must practise what he’s preaching, if the president of America wants Nigeria to practise gay, he should come and marry a man from here so we will know he means business.”

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden (Getty/SAUL LOEB)

He added: “Every nation is equal in the comity of nations. America is a country that believes in the tenets of democracy which is freedom of speech, and I believe that Nigeria is an independent nation, we are not a nation under America.

“We are not among the states under American nation. We have the right to be anti-gay, I believe no one can sanction us for that.

“If they sanction us for being against gays, we can sanction them for believing in it… the worst thing they can do is raise their visa fees and we raise ours too and they reduce it and apologise and we also reduce ours and apologise.”

Nigeria maintains strict anti-gay laws

Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria and is punished by up to 14 years in prison.

A law passed by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 bans same-sex relationships, and also makes a person who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or directly or indirectly make public show of same-sex amorous relationship” liable for 10 years in prison.

In October, a judge threw out charges against 47 men arrested under the country’s anti-gay law after a raid on a hotel.

Golf star Justin Thomas apologises for saying homophobic slur at Sentry

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the third round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on 9 January, 2021 in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Getty/ Cliff Hawkins)

American golf star and world number three Justin Thomas has been forced to apologise after blurting out a homophobic slur live on air at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

On Saturday (9 January), during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, Thomas missed a five-foot putt on the fourth hole.

As he missed, the television microphone picked up his voice as he muttered: “Faggot.”

Sports Media LGBT+, a network group that “advocates for inclusion in both our own industry and across sport in general”, responded to the clip on social media.

The organisation wrote on Twitter: “The casual use of anti-gay language in sports – usually without homophobic intent – is a major reason why many athletes and coaches who are LGBT+ don’t feel they would be made welcome if they came out.” 

Justin Thomas described his homophobic outburst as “terrible”

Afterwards, Justin Thomas, 27, apologised for the homophobic slur while speaking to Golf Channel.

According to Reuters, he said: “There’s just no excuse. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. It’s not the kind of person that I am.”

“I need to do better,” he added. “I deeply apologise to anyone and everybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”

He also told BBC Sport: “It’s inexcusable… I’m an adult. I’m a grown man, there’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed.

“It’s not who I am, it’s not the kind of person that I am or anything that I do. Unfortunately, I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”

But some golf fans on social media were hesitant to accept his apology, with one writing: “Justin Thomas apologised for GETTING CAUGHT using a homophobic slur.

“No way was it the first time just lack of crowd noise to hide it this time!”

The PGA Tour said in a statement: “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable.”

Professor who tweeted homophobic slurs placed on leave

Thomas Brennan Ferris State University Michigan

Thomas Brennan was placed on administrative leave by Ferris State University (Facebook/Twitter)

A Michigan university professor who tweeted “racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs” and dismissed COVID-19 as a “leftist stunt” has been placed on administrative leave.

Thomas Brennan, an assistant physical science professor at the Ferris State University in Michigan, was placed on leave on Thursday (November 19) after student newspaper The Torch shared screenshots of tweets he posted in which he used racist and homophobic slurs.

In a bizarre and lengthy statement posted to his own website, Brennan said the student newspaper’s article was a “hit piece”.

“This controversy started after I made a few statements in a College of Arts and Sciences meeting of faculty and staff about the COVID-19 pandemic,” Brennan wrote.

“My statements were to the effect that I believe the COVID-19 pandemic is a stunt designed to enslave humanity and strip us all of our rights and freedoms.”

Michigan professor Thomas Brennan claimed the severity of COVID-19 has been ‘exaggerated’ by ‘leftists’.

While Brennan said he does not believe the COVID-19 pandemic is a “hoax”, he claimed its severity has been “exaggerated by revolutionary leftists in the media and government”, despite the fact that 1.4 million people have died from the virus worldwide.

He went on to defend his use of slurs on Twitter, saying he likes to “test the boundaries of language and ideas” and will “sometimes say some things that sound inflammatory or strange”.

“It’s been my way of ‘poking the dragon.’ Until now, it’s gone unnoticed, but I have finally caught the attention of the ‘cancel culture’,” Brennan wrote.

In his statement, Brennan did not reference his use of homophobic slurs, but claimed that he used the N-word because he wanted to “neutralise its power”.

Brennan went on to wheel out bizarre conspiracy theories in his statement, suggesting that atomic bombs are not real and that the moon landings were faked.

Our students, faculty, staff and members of the community are upset and offended by these comments, and they should be.

University president David L Eisler condemned Brennan’s comments in a statement released on Monday (November 23).

“Last week the university learned of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs made on Twitter that appear to be posted by Thomas Brennan, an assistant physical science professor in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education,” Eisler wrote.

“Individually and collectively we were shocked and outraged by these tweets. They are extremely offensive and run counter to the values of our university and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Our students, faculty, staff and members of the community are upset and offended by these comments, and they should be.”

Eisler also referenced a staff meeting in August, at which Brennan, over Zoom, claimed that COVID-19 death rates had been exaggerated. At that meeting, Brennan claimed that the pandemic and rioting were “leftist stunts”, Eisler wrote.

“Our university was founded on the concept that education is for all of the people all of the time, that all people are welcome here. We strongly reject these statements, condemn them and will not tolerate them.

“We have worked diligently to become a more diverse university, and these statements demonstrate vividly how one person can set back the work of many.

“I call on our university community to come together, to discuss these challenges and to begin to repair the damage from these actions,” Eisler concluded.

 

Homophobic Trump supporter coughs on ‘pansy-a**’ BLM protester

Robert Brissette, an ardent Trump support, coughed at Black Lives Matter protesters while hurling homophobic insults. (Screen captures via YouTube)

Robert Brissette, an ardent Trump support, coughed at Black Lives Matter protesters while hurling homophobic insults. (Screen captures via YouTube)

A Donald Trump supporter once again proved that the president’s fans are the pinnacle of grace and decorum by… taunting Black Lives Matter supporters with homophobic slurs before violently coughing on them.

While pumping gas at a service station in Kanab, Utah, Robert Brissette, who clearly had nothing better to do, was filmed screaming at Black Lives Matter demonstrators last week (10 October).

He said one protester looked like a “little pansy-a** piece of sh*t”, and said” Black lives don’t matter. All lives matter.”

Trump flag touting supporter screams and coughs at Black Lives Matter demonstrators. 

The scene bristles with tension, as Brissette continues to verbally browbeat the demonstrators before coughing on them no less than 11 times.

“Oh, I’m so scared of your little f**king virus,” the 42-year-old said as the two sides square-off. Some of the protesters attempt to ward him off with their signs and shoving him away.

He eventually walks back to his white pickup truck which sports a pro-Trump flag as protesters can be heard yelling: “Take your hate back somewhere else.”

Because it’s the year 2020 and logic is dead, Brissette set up a GoFundMe and sought to say that he was the victim. He claimed he was charged by police over the encounter.

In the crowdfunder, he alleged that the Black Lives Matter protesters “laughed” at him and “threw rocks”.

“I need help to clear my name against these race-baiting protesters,” he said, noting his “reputation [is] trashed”.

Out of his $10,000 goal, he raised a whopping $50 before the page was removed, according to the New York Post.

On Wednesday (14 October) when the video went viral on social media, Brissette changed his profile picture and cover photograph on Facebook to a text post which read: “LIVES MATTER!

“If you need a colour in from of those words, YOU’RE a racist,”

“Okay to all,” he wrote in a status. “Do not believe partial Videos they do not tell the hole [sic] story.

“A group will only post what they want you to believe. And With out telling the hole story behind the actions of the person.”

Hundreds of users replied simply with: “Black Lives Matter.”

Gay couple kicked out of taxi by homophobic driver for being affectionate

Gay couple kicked out of taxi by homophobic driver for being affectionate

A queer couple were left shaken after a cab driver told them not to be affectionate to one another. (Screen captures via Twitter)

A taxi driver cancelled a gay couple’s ride midway on Thursday (1 October) after they placed their hands on one another’s knees in Perth, Australia.

Anthony Price and his partner, Jordan Hitch, were booted out of an Ola Cabs by a driver who has since been banned from not only Ola, but ridesharing apps DiDi and Uber as well.

The couple told OutInPerth that were stunned to hear the driver say “stop, this is my rule” when they were being affectionate to one another.

“I’ll drop you off here,” the driver said according to video footage seen by the outlet, “I can’t take you.”

Price and Hitch grabbed their bags and stormed out of the vehicle as the driver forced them off at a car park. They shared the footage of the incident to show “why we march at Pride”.

Many ride-hailing services have been dogged by similar incidents, while studies suggest that drivers at companies such as Uber and Lyft cancel on LGBT+ users almost twice as frequently as straight passengers.

Gay couple forced to flee from taxi after driver is homophobic. 

The couple had returned from a romantic getaway to Broome when they flagged down a taxi.

“We’d been in the car for about five minutes,” Hitch told the outlet, “Anthony had his hand on my knee and I was resting my head on his shoulder, when the driver turned around and said: ‘None of that in this car, stop what you’re doing’.

“We just looked at each other trying to work out what was going on.”

Hitch hastily pulled out his mobile phone and began to record what was unfolding, with the footage showing the driver saying: “I’ll drop you off here… I can’t take you.”

“He told us to stop doing this behaviour,” Price said in the video, “because I have my hand on my partner’s leg.”

A representative of Ola said: “We do not in any way condone this behaviour from our drivers.

“This does not fall in line with our practices and guidelines.”

“Further action will be taken against the driver for his misconduct as per the Ola policy.”

“I get into rideshare cars three times a week in full drag but never have a problem,” Price reflected.

“So this is an isolated incident for us, but once we put the video up on Facebook we heard from lots of people who have had similar incidents.”

Gay owner of guesthouse educates homophobic teen caller in best way possible / GayCities Blog

Gay owner of guesthouse educates homophobic teen caller in best

Jim Culbert runs the Green Gay Bulls guesthouse
Jim Culbert runs the Green Gay Bulls guesthouse (Photo: Supplied)

The gay owner of a B&B in Canada has revealed how he helped educate a young man who’d left him homophobic voicemail messages.

Jim Culbert, 69, has run the Green Gay Bulls bed and breakfast in Vernon Bridge, Prince Edward Island, on the eastern edge of Canada, for the past eight years.

Prior to this, he ran the nearby Rainbow Lodge, the region’s first openly gay-friendly guesthouse. One of its exterior walls had a large rainbow flag painted across it, making it probably the first business in the area to display the flag.

Culbert moved to the area in 1988 (he’s originally from Bradford, Ontario), first opening up Blair Hall Guest Home. He later sold that and opened up Rainbow Lodge in 1998 and then moved to Green Gay Bulls in 2013.

Jim Culbert and his vintage car
Jim Culbert and his vintage car (Photo: Supplied)

In an interview with The Guardian, he recalled experiencing a variety of homophobic abuse over the years, including hate mail, nasty phone calls, people throwing things at his house or yelling slurs as they slowly drove past in their cars.

Related: Gay Montreal

One incident in particular sticks in his memory. Around 20 years he received a string of homophobic phone calls from a group of teenagers. He contacted the police, who managed to trace the calls to the home of the parents of one of the teens.

After the police got involved, Culbert says he received a letter of apology from the 15-year-old boy. However, Culbert thought more could be done to educate the youngster. He contacted the boy’s parents and invited the family to meet with Culbert and some of his friends. That meeting took place on a Thanksgiving Monday at Culbert’s home.

“I wanted him to see that we weren’t people with horns. He went away; I went away and I think his parents went away feeling better.”

Culbert then offered the boy work mowing his lawns, which the youngster accepted.

That boy is now grown up. He married a woman and has two kids of his own. He agreed to be interviewed by the newspaper on the condition of anonymity. He said there are no excuses for what he did when he was younger.

“Looking back on it now, it’s embarrassing that it even happened. We thought we were being funny and weren’t thinking about the fact that somebody is going to pick up these voicemails and listen to these hurtful things that are said.”

He said he had not given a thought to how the person on the receiving end of the phonecalls might react to them, or if they were having a hard time from others because of their sexuality.

“People use words without thinking about what they really mean and I think that was a lot of it.”

He went on to say he’d let his parents down and would be horrified if any of his kids did the same thing.

“My parents were pretty disappointed in me … and, if it were my kids in that situation, I would be very, very disappointed.”

Related: Canada may soon have the world’s “most progressive and comprehensive” conversion therapy ban

Besides flying the rainbow flag, Culbert has been an advocate for LGBTQ rights in other ways – founding the P.E.I gay tourism association, which ran for ten years, and giving local talks on the importance of equality. He’s widely acknowledged for helping to make a difference in the area.

Today, he would have been celebrating his 32nd year of running a B&B but has closed his business because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He hopes to reopen soon.

“We have opted to remain closed this year due to COVID, but we are hopeful that next year we will be as busy as ever,” he said in a message to GayCities. “Thankfully, I also run an Upholstery & Refinishing business on the property that has allowed me to maintain a bit of an income.”

Once he reopens, he’d love to welcome visitors to the area. His guesthouse is in a building that was originally a United Church manse built in 1896.

“On the front door of Green Gay Bulls B&B, we have a plaque that states ‘There are no strangers here, only friends we have yet to meet.’ That is a motto we live by here. You are not ‘just’ a guest to us, you are a friend.”