Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman — Photo: Paramount Pictures
Delta Air Lines will restore gay scenes that were previously censored in two films, Germany is considering whether to ban conversion therapy, and researchers have discovered an antibiotic-resistant bacteria strain in gay men — these are the LGBTQ stories you need to know now:
Ellen to receive Carol Burnett Award at Golden Globes
Ellen DeGeneres will be honored with the Carol Burnett Award for outstanding achievement in television at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards. “From her sitcoms, to stand-up, to becoming a household staple on daytime television, she is a pioneer who has captivated audiences for nearly 25 years with her undeniable charm and wit,” Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, said in a statement. “In addition to her television success, she’s an advocate and philanthropist, lending her voice to those who don’t have one, and spreading kindness and joy through the power of her platform. We look forward to celebrating her achievements at this year’s ceremony.”
Delta restores censored gay scenes to Rocketman, Booksmart after online protests
Delta Air Lines has announced that it will replace heavily censored versions of Elton John biopic Rocketman and teen comedy Booksmart on its airlines. Passengers took to social media to complain that all gay scenes were deleted from Rocketman, and Booksmart was missing its lesbian sex scene and most references to female sexuality, leading Booksmart director Olivia Wilde to ask ““What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?” Delta told NBC News it had requested “a special edit” of both films that would be loaded onto its flights “as soon as possible.”
Conversion therapy could soon be illegal for minors and restricted for adults in Germany, if new draft legislation becomes law. Per Deutsche Welle, openly gay Health Minister Jens Spahn released a draft proposal which would ban the harmful, ineffective practice, saying being LGBTQ is “not a disease.” He added: “A ban also sends an important societal signal to all those who are struggling with their homosexuality: ‘You’re OK just as you are.'”
Researchers discover new drug-resistant gut bacteria in gay men
A new antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria has been found in gay and bisexual men in Seattle and Montreal, reports Science Blog. The bacteria, campylobacter, is commonly associated with food poisoning and can cause abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and fever. Usually those infected recover without treatment, but particularly severe cases require antibiotic treatment — treatment that researchers say is ineffective on this new strain. Researchers noted similarly to the spread of another bacteria, shigella, among men who have sex with men, due to sexual practices that bring them into contact with intestinal bacteria (i.e. rimming).
George Takei asked Gene Roddenberry about putting a gay character in original Star Trek
Star Trek actor George Takei has revealed to PBS NewsHour that he once spoke to creator Gene Roddenberry about adding a gay character to the groundbreaking series. The show has become a cultural icon in part because it rejected the norms of the time, including airing one of the first scripted interracial kisses on television, between Kirk and Uhura. But, according to Takei, Roddenberry rejected introducing a gay character to audiences because the aforementioned kiss had left him in a delicate position. Per Takei, Roddenberry said, “You’re right, I’d like to do that, but I’m walking a tightrope. The interracial kiss was very controversial… I’ve got to keep the show on to tell the stories that I’m telling, which aren’t being dramatized metaphorically on any other show. I’ve got to keep the show on. And [a gay character], as you say, may be a bridge too far.”
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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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