Carl Bean, singer of LGBTQ anthem dies aged 77
Archbishop Carl Bean, a former Motown singer best known for the 1977 gay liberation anthem I Was Born This Way, has died. The song which featured the lyrics “I’m happy, I’m carefree, and I’m gay, I was born this way,” was a disco hit and inspired Lady Gaga’s Born this Way. Bean left the music industry after being asked to sing more commercially viable love songs about women. He went on to become an AIDS activist and founded a network of LGBT churches.
Tradition of Afghan girls who live as boys may be threatened
There is an ancient tradition in Afghanistan where some girls are designated as boys by their families prior to puberty. Families have done this if they have no sons so that the child can help with duties that boys do. After puberty, the children are expected to return to being girls and eventually wives and mothers. Some of them however chose not to. There are now concerns in Afghanistan that this tradition will be stamped out under the Taliban government. This interview explains the process and the concerns.
American Idol finalist David Archuleta says God told him to come out
David Archuleta admits he was shocked at the reaction to his coming out as gay earlier this year. The singer said he didn’t expect the media or thousands of people to pick up on his revelation. He admits to having had some struggles with coming out, but said he prayed to God, and God ‘said’ to him: “David, you know I trust you right? I want you to post about what you’re going through right now.” You can read more about David’s story here.
Transgender actors march on Broadway
Transgender actors and advocates for greater trans inclusion on Broadway gathered on the thoroughfare to protest comments by a leading producer. The event was organised after Cameron Mackintosh (pictured), said that transgender casting in classical musicals is a ‘gimmick.’ Mackintosh later clarified his statement by saying that he was speaking specifically about re-casting the lead role in his musical version of Mary Poppins with a trans actress. “Unfortunately, my answer has been misinterpreted to suggest that I am opposed to casting a transgender performer to play the role,” Mackintosh said in a statement. “This is absolutely not true. I meant only that I would not as a producer disregard the author P.L. Travers’ original intention for the character.”