Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary covers Vogue Australia: stunning or blah?

Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary covers Vogue Australia: stunning or blah?

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I’ll admit it: I’ve never paid much attention to Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary. There are dedicated royal-watchers who enjoy all of the royal houses, but I generally limit myself to the Windsors, Bernadottes and Grimaldis. Crown Princess Mary is the Australian woman who married Crown Prince Frederick in 2004, after a three-year courtship and one-year-long engagement. They met in a pub in Sydney, Australia in 2000 and love blossomed. Mary is actually accomplished, and she worked at real jobs before and during their courtship. She’s often compared to the Duchess of Cambridge because of the whole “commoner marrying a prince” thing, but in side-by-side comparisons, Mary does seem like a better/cooler/more accomplished person.

Anyway, Mary and Frederick cover the August issue of Vogue Australia. Mary is sort of a hero (the Duchess Kate of Australia, if you will) in her home country, so it makes sense that they would do an exclusive photoshoot for Australian Vogue. The photoshoot was done by Mario Testino, and Mary and Frederick even included their four kids in one of the photos. They are parents to Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, and twins Vincent and Josephine. Here are some highlights from Mary’s interview:

Whether she considers herself a role model: “I always find it difficult to speak of myself as a role model, you know, because I think it is other people and their impression of you that makes a role model. It’s not something I consciously think about but at the same time I am very aware of my role and my responsibility.”

Her work with the conditions within the fashion industry: “It will take time to create real and sustainable change. If we are talking about the textile and fashion industry, it is one of the most female-dominated industries in the world and yet many of these working women are voiceless. I do use the platform I have built up over the years as a vocal and passionate voice for the empowerment of women and girls and the protection and respect of their human rights to bring attention to this.”

Her foundation deals with issues of domestic violence, bullying and loneliness: “One thing I have always found difficult from as early as I can remember is seeing people who appear to be alone. It has always affected me deeply and I can’t explain why. To see people standing on the outside looking in, who can’t understand why they aren’t part of a community or group. We all have this innate fear of not belonging… We all have a right to belong. The abused woman, the bullied child, and the lonely adolescent feel very, very lonely in the world with their problems and will often never share them.”

[From The Daily Mail]

I think it’s difficult to make “loneliness” a cause, specifically a royal cause. Lots of people are alone, and lots of people are lonely, but she’s conflating those two things and making it seem like everyone who is alone is pitiable and sad. While “loneliness” is good subject to raise and de-stigmatize, what work is there to be done realistically? As for the rest of it, she sounds absolutely fine. It would be fascinating to see the Duchess of Cambridge do an interview like this at one point, but it won’t happen.

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Photos courtesy of Mario Testino for Vogue Australia.

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Zachary Quinto hopes George Takei changes his mind about Sulu being gay

Australian outlet Pedestrian.TV asked Star Trek: Beyond star and openly gay actor Zachary Quinto (Spock) to respond to George Takei’s negative take on the fact that the character he played in the original TV series, Sulu, was going to be made gay in the upcoming prequel. As you may recall, Takei said that while he was “delighted that there’s a gay character” that he found it to be a “twisting of [creator] Gene [Rodenberry’s] creation, to which he put in so much thought.” and that he thought it was “really unfortunate.” Takei had explained to both John Cho, who plays him in the reboot, and director Justin Lin why he didn’t want Sulu to be gay and how it was unrealistic for the character that he be closeted throughout his life essentially. They went ahead with that direction for the character despite Takei’s objections.

So Quinto has a response for Takei and while the headlines make it seem like he’s going hard against Takei’s statement, in the actual video he’s more measured and makes it about the broader point on inclusion.

As a member of the LGBT community myself I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed. I think any member of the LGBT community that takes issue with the normalized and positive portrayal of members of our community in Hollywood and in mainstream blockbuster cinema… I get it that he has his own personal journey and his own personal relationship with this character but, you know, as we’ve established in the first Star Trek Film in 2009 we’ve created an alternate universe and my hope is that eventually George can be strengthened by the enormously positive response especially from young people who are heartened by and inspired by this really tasteful and beautiful portrayal of something that I think is gaining acceptance and inclusion in our societies across the world and should be.

So Quinto kind of gets why Takei would object to his character having an entirely different backstory but doesn’t think it matters in the long run, which kind of goes to show how Takei got ignored in the first place. Of course it’s nice to have a gay character in Star Trek but I think they should have listened to Takei and respected his wishes instead of assuming they were doing homage to him. Takei made it clear ahead of time that wasn’t the case and it’s like they expected him to come around, that’s basically what Quino is saying. Also, I tried to go to George Takei’s twitter account to see if he’s responded to Quinto and I just got lost in all the excellent links he shares. (I searched on “Zachary” and “Quinto” on his account and there’s nothing recent.)

While searching on Twitter I found that Simon Pegg issued a lengthy response to Takei as well. Pegg defended their decision to make Sulu gay and wrote that they never suggest in the film that Sulu was ever closeted, that it’s an “alternate timeline” with “alternate details” and that “We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character’, rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?” Ok, so when Takei said he objected to his character being gay because it wasn’t right for Sulu, did they consider making a different core character gay, like Scotty?

Here’s the video and check out John Cho’s body language:

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Anderson Cooper takes down Florida’s Attorney General a second time

Anderson Cooper takes down Florida’s Attorney General a second time

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After an emotional statement on Monday’s Anderson Copper 360 about the tragedy in Orlando, on Tuesday Cooper grilled Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi over her anti-gay record. Mainly, he questioned her championing herself as a voice for the LGBTQ community by establishing a hotline for spouses when Bondi had actively worked to limit gay rights. Bondi’s administration had used anti-gay rhetoric to fight same sex marriage in court, and Anderson brought it up to her. Bondi grew flustered and the interview, which you can watch here, ended professionally but tersely.

After the segment aired, Bondi called in to WOR 710 radio and blamed Cooper for misleading her about the interview’s objective and editing her in a bad light. One problem, Cooper had his receipts and showed them on air that night.

Fighting words. Anderson Cooper responded on Wednesday, June 15, to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s claims that their interview in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, which aired live on CNN the previous day, was edited to portray her in a bad light.

“She’s either mistaken or she’s not telling the truth,” the CNN host said on his show, Anderson Cooper 360. “Let’s be real here. Ms. Bondi’s big complaint seems to be that I asked in the wake of a massacre of gay and lesbian citizens about her new statements about the gay community and about her old ones.”

Bondi claimed during a radio interview with WOR 710 in New York on Wednesday that she was led to believe that the interview with Cooper would focus on donation scams affecting the victims and their families.

Instead, “when he posted the clip [online], he cut out the entire first portion that discussed people donating to legitimate funds,” she said, and insisted that all the interview did was “encourage anger and hate.” (CNN.com later posted the interview online in its entirety.)

“There’s a time and place for everything, but yesterday wasn’t the time nor the place in front of a hospital when we could have been helping victims,” Bondi added.

“For the record, my interview was not filled with any anger,” Cooper responded on air on Wednesday. “My job is to hold people accountable, and if on Sunday a politician is talking about love and about embracing ‘our LGBT community,’ I don’t think it’s unfair to look at their record and see if they have ever actually spoken that way publicly before, which I’ve never heard her say.”

“The fact is Attorney General Bondi signed off on a 2014 federal court brief that claimed married gay people would ‘impose significant public harm.’ Harm. She spent hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayers’ money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry,” he continued.

“Good people can and do disagree on that issue — everyone has the right to their own opinion, thank goodness — but Miss Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors. With the very right which allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones — that’s a right that would not exist if Miss Bondi had her way. I think it’s fair to ask her about that. There is an irony in that.”

[From Us Magazine]

I am so tired of the “time and place” argument to waylay discussions about gun and LGBTQ rights. I think when you can point to the result of these antiquated views and say, “that, right there,” it is the perfect time to hold a dialogue. Bondi did much more damage with her radio response than she did in the initial interview. Even without Cooper countering her every claim, she acted against her own argument that it wasn’t the time or place. She asserted Cooper stirred up anger and hate but she missed the point, Cooper’s questions were borne of the anger from the LGBTQ community. She could have admitted that her stance has changed and discussed what her office would do going forward but instead decided to call in for a proper pout to a radio station.

Cooper said he does not like to make himself the story but he felt strongly about addressing her claims. I’m very glad he did. Just like Connecticut’s Rep Chris Murphy’s filibuster to get gun legislation on the floor, we need to keep up the pressure to have a real discourse that brings about a solution to mass shootings.

Here’s is Copper’s full response to Bondi’s claims:

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Photo credit: fame/Flynet Photos and Getty Images

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Ruby Rose had just performed at Pulse nightclub: ‘nothing I can do but cry’

Ruby Rose had just performed at Pulse nightclub: ‘nothing I can do but cry’

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As most of you unfortunately know by now, a man whose name I will not dignify by writing walked into the Orlando nightclub Pulse early Sunday morning and committed a heinous act, the worst mass shooting in US history. Among those for whom this hit far too close to home was actor and DJ Ruby Rose. Ruby is a strong voice and advocate for the LGBTQ community and had just recently done a gig at Pulse.

Ruby Rose has shared an emotional social media post after the horrific Orlando mass shooting, revealing she performed in the city where 50 people were slain only last week.

“Woke up in tears to hear the news about Orlando. Devastated, heartbroken, sick,” the Aussie actor and DJ posted on Facebook and Instagram.

“I played there last Friday and last night I performed after Pride in LA. From the DJ booth you see laughter, love, dancing freedom and beautiful people living their lives not harming anyone. It’s one of the beautiful things to see from stage.”

“This horrific tragedy has me on my knees at the mercy of a greater power to ask the simple question of ‘When will this end’ … I’m praying for Orlando, I’m crying for Orlando and I am there with you in spirit sending my love and strength.”

[From Page Six]

I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like for Ruby to have been in that location, celebrating one day and waking up to find out that about a week later 50 lives were taken there. I had a loose connection to the UCLA shooting earlier this month and the chill of having proximity to tragedy is hard to shake.

The heartbreak from this tragic event is far reaching. J.K. Rowling posted the following to her Twitter Sunday to honor one of the victims, Luis Vielma. Luis worked on the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios in Orlando:

Walt Disney World, which was another potential target for attack, and Universal both lost cast members. I have a friend at Disneyland, Anaheim and all cast members are devastated. Even if they had not met their East Coast counterparts, there is a real sense of family among the parks. I absolutely believe J.K. feels Luis’ loss personally. You can see a couple of general tributes posted by the cast members here and here. The Daily Beast has profiles and photos of many of the young people whose lives were cut tragically short.

I don’t know how to close this post with the proper respect. Please know my heart goes out to anyone and all affected by this. By way of concluding, I want to leave the thoughts of Michigan State Representative Jeremy Moss:

Photo credit: Twitter, WENN Photos and Getty Images

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Prince Harry is having the time of his life in Florida for the Invictus Games

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The Invictus Games officially begin today, but Prince Harry (King Dirty Ginger Snap) has already been in Florida for days. On Friday and Saturday, Harry was participating in the welcoming events, holding babies, kissing puppies, shaking hands with veterans and generally being lovely and adorable. Interestingly enough, I think Poor Jason (the PR guy for the Cambridges and Harry) is with Harry in Florida. Just before Jason released a slew of lovely Harry photos, the KensingtonRoyal Twitter released some information about upcoming events involving Prince William. Because of course Harry can’t just have a moment. Speaking of Harry’s moment, I loved this story from People Magazine:

Over breakfast at the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013, Prince Harry turned to friend David Wiseman and said: “We’re going to bring this idea back to the U.K. and make it massive.”

Now, two years on from the first Paralympic-style Invictus Games in London, the excitement is building for second event, which will kick off in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday. “It’s going to be such a fantastic atmosphere which the athletes will draw from,” U.K team captain Wiseman says.

While Harry’s hopes for the UK version were big “if he had said there would be the First Lady and former President Bush at a games in Orlando a few years later I would have said ‘wow,’ ” Wiseman adds. “The world is watching this and hopefully lots of people can drawn inspiration from the amazing men and women competing in sport here. There’s going to be a lot of razzmataz.”

Wiseman, who qualified for four swimming races in preliminary races on Saturday, was speaking to reporters after Harry had visited the swimming pool. “He has been knocking around for the last couple of days. He has a good, natural affinity with the veterans and service personnel. He belongs to that community and he can just rock up and whoever you are can stand here having a chat with the competitors. It’s natural, it’s genuine.”

(more…)

Rihanna wears shorts, Miu Miu fur to Black Girls Rock: ridiculous or amazing?

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For six years now, BET has been doing an event called Black Girls Rock! It’s about promoting positivity with African-American women and black women and showing young women of color that there are some amazing role models in their community. Considering the consistent underrepresentation of women of color in the media, I think the event is pretty great. In years past, Michelle Obama has even come out for it. And this year, Rihanna and Hillary Clinton came out. Clinton gave a speech about her African-American female role models – you can read her speech here. Rihanna was there because she picked up the Rock Star Award.

In the past month, we’ve gotten more red carpet and paparazzi photos of Rihanna than we’ve had in the previous year. When she amps up her promotion, she really brings it. While I’m happy about all of the new Rihanna photos, I do wonder the interest level? Like, do you guys want more Rih-Rih? Do you want more fashion posts and street-style posts about Rihanna? I’m really asking – honk if you want more Rihanna! For the Black Girls Rock event, Rihanna wore this… unusual ensemble. With that face and that body, she can pull off nearly anything, but this outfit did leave me with a “???” thought bubble. She wore an oversized gingham blouse, shorts and a giant fur coat by Miu Miu. While I knew that Rihanna doesn’t have a problem with wearing fur, the choice of wearing fur to this event – and wearing fur over shorts and a blouse – is really strange. Rihanna also made a nice, tearful speech for her Rock Star Award:

“Thank you so much for celebrating us in a world that doesn’t celebrate us enough. The minute you learn to love yourself, you will not want to be anybody else. Role model is not the title they like to give me…but I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle. Hopefully one day I’ll be raising my own little black girl who rocks.”

Aw. Rihanna has been talking about babies more and more lately. It does feel like her biological clock has started ticking and she’s thinking more and more about settling down and starting a family. I genuinely believe she will be a kickass mom.

Last things… Rihanna dropped her video for “Kiss It Better” last week, and you can see the NSFW video here. That single has a real ‘80s vibe and I don’t know how to feel about it. Also, Chris Hemsworth did a dramatic reading of the lyrics for “Work.”

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Gwen Stefani: divorce was ‘the worst thing that can happen to me besides death’

The Battles, Part 4 episode 9 Season 10 'The Voice' on NBC
Gwen Stefani has a long, extensive interview with LGBT publication Pride Source promoting her new album. She’s asked a lot of questions about her relationship with the gay community, and about being a woman in the male-dominated music industry. To be fair to Stefani, when she talks about her “gay friends” or about one of her sons potentially coming out, she’s asked specifically about that by the journalist, in those words. She’s not bringing it up out without context.

The quotes from Stefani which are getting the most press were when she said that she would be “blessed” if one of her sons came out. Again, she was asked what she would do in this instance. Writer Chris Azzopardi knows how to get a good quote. Stefani was extremely chatty too; she said several times that she’s horrible at keeping secrets. She didn’t exactly dish the dirt on her relationship ending, she only described how hurt she was. She did suggest that she was having problems in her relationship around 2013 and frames it around her own personal spiritual journey, which she credits with giving her the tools to survive her divorce.

On embarrassing her kids and her divorce
I can’t talk about them because they’re gonna be 15 and like, “Mom, why did you say that? You’re embarrassing me!” I have to think a little bit about that now. But I just think… I don’t know how else to be. Everybody knows what happened to me. I got a divorce. It’s the worst thing that can happen to me besides death.

Her divorce was devastating
My whole life all I wanted to do was be a mother and a wife… In February (2015), my family fell apart. It was devastating. I didn’t know what to do. It was a real big secret, but as I just explained, I’m not good with that. I tried everything to fix it. By June (2015), I went into the studio and started writing. I was praying. I had already started on a spiritual journey when I got pregnant with Apollo (in 2013) that was sort of like, “Wow, really? I’m gonna be blessed with a baby… now?” That was a miracle. It just started me on this spiritual journey and thank God it started then because I was prepared when I had the tragedy. I had that nest of spirituality in me.

On criticism of letting her boys paint their nails and dye their hair
Of course everyone’s gonna have their perspective and their opinion, and I know what’s real and what’s honest and true, and that’s really all that matters to me and all that’s important. So, it doesn’t really bother me. As long as my boys are protected and happy and I’m spending quality time with them, whether it’s doing sports or doing nails, it really doesn’t matter.

Q: “What would you say to one of your boys if they came out to you one day?”
I would be blessed with a gay son. You know that I would feel blessed about that. I just want my boys to be happy and healthy, and I just ask God to guide me every day to be a good mother because it is not an easy job.

I’ve been lucky enough to have such a blessed life. I’ve been able to travel the world and meet so many different kinds of people. And it doesn’t really matter if you’re gay, straight, whatever. There are good and bad people, and I would be happy. I just want my kids to be happy, and whatever journey God gives them is their journey.

On how it’s better now for gay people growing up, she calls “The Danish Girl” “The Dutch Girl”
I do know that it’s gotta be difficult to be the alternative, to not be the mainstream, or to be different, if you want to call it that. I feel like it’s less and less (like that) these days, and it’s hard for me to understand because it doesn’t seem different or weird or anything anymore because it just seems so normal to me. I just saw that movie… what was it… “The Dutch Girl”?

“The Danish Girl”…?
Yeah, “The Danish Girl.” I think what was so incredible about that movie was just – that was so long ago. I mean, can you imagine back then? Whoa. Now it feels like nothing anymore.

[From Pride Source]

Her heart’s in the right place, even if she comes across as rather ditzy at times. The entire interview is long and well worth reading if you’re interested in her at all. Stefani references God and feeling “blessed” multiple times, as she’s done in past interviews. She peppers so many religious references into the conversation that she sounds like she’s from the south. It makes me wonder if that’s Blake Shelton’s influence, because Stefani was raised Catholic in California. I’m a former Catholic too and in my experience we don’t bring up God that much in everyday conversation.

As for the end of her relationship with Gavin Rossdale, she describes it as a tragedy and like a death, which she’s said before. Stefani claims that she has a confessional nature but she seems to be hinting around the details behind her divorce, like she’s trying to keep some things from the public but is just dying to tell us. She may be doing that with the lyrics to her songs. “Red Flag” is about a one-sided relationship imploding “Big mistake, red flags fly… you know how to blow up” while “Naughty” definitely seems to be about Rossdale. Read these lyrics, “You did it, and then you hid it…The naughty, naughty things you do. I think there’s something that you might perhaps forgot to say. Locked in the closet but it never goes away.” That closet line sounds telling right?

This is What The Truth Feels Like is currently number one on Billboard’s Hot 200 charts. It’s Stefani’s first number one album.

Gwen Stefani Takes Her Boys To Disneyland

Gwen Stefani Visits A Studio In Culver City

Gwen Stefani is seen at Haneda Airport

The Battles, Part 4 episode 9 Season 10 'The Voice' on NBC
Gwen Stefani is seen at Haneda Airport
Gwen Stefani Visits A Studio In Culver City
Gwen Stefani is seen at Haneda Airport
Gwen Stefani Takes Her Boys To Disneyland

photos credit: WENN.com and FameFlynet

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