Dwyane Wade Powerful Speech ... On Parenting Gay Son

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Matt Barnes asked Dwyane Wade straight-up what it's like raising a gay son coming from a hyper-masculine NBA background ... and what D-Wade says is powerful stuff.

Dwyane and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have been publicly supportive of 12-year-old Zion (Wade's son from a previous relationship) over the past year ... even taking him to a Gay Pride Festival in Miami Beach last April.

FAMILY PRIDE

So, when Wade appeared on Stephen Jackson and Barnes' "All The Smoke" podcast this week ... Matt asked Dwyane about his approach to parenting a gay son.

That's when Dwyane delivered a powerful message ... saying Zion essentially forced him to learn about accepting people for who they are.

"I had to look myself in the mirror when my son at the time was 3 years old and me and my wife started having conversations about us noticing that he wasn't on the boy vibe that Zaire [Wade's other son] was on," Wade said.

"And, I had to look myself in the mirror and say, 'What if your son come home and tell you he's gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act? It ain't about him. He knows who he is. It's about you. Who are you?'"

Wade says that conversation with himself wasn't easy ... the 37-year-old told Barnes and Jackson he grew up "ignorant" and had to lean on his wife to open his eyes.

"I grew up with the same perspective as a lot of these people out here that's a little ignorant. I grew up with a similar perspective," Wade says. "And, you meet people along the way that help you take those glasses off and put on some different ones. Look through life through a different lens. That's what my wife has been able to do. So, it's been cool."

Wade has been very vocal in defending his son and his family from critics ... and he tells Barnes and Jackson he feels a duty to be a voice for others who can't speak up the way he can.

"Everybody get used to it, man," Wade says. "This is the new normal. So if anybody different, we looked at as different. You know what I'm saying? The ones that don't understand it. The ones that don't get it. The ones that are stuck in a box. You're different. Not the people that are out here living their lives, man."

As for how his son is handling it all ... Wade said, "You want to talk about strength and courage? My 12-year-old has way more than I have."

"You can learn something from your kids."

Hallmark We Were Wrong ... Bringing Back Same-Sex Marriage Ads

The Hallmark Channel is walking back its decision to pull TV ads featuring a same-sex couple kissing on their wedding day ... saying it messed up and is "truly sorry."

The channel recently removed the ads from Zola, a major online wedding registry and planning site, after receiving complaints from the conservative group, One Million Moms. The backlash included a petition signed by more than 30,000 people criticizing Hallmark.

SEALED WITH A KISS
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However, that decision was met with considerably more backlash from the public -- including another petition signed by 70,000 people blasting Hallmark for "shamefully caving to pressure from an anti-LGBTQ group."

Ellen DeGeneres and Pete Buttigieg also weighed in, with the presidential candidate responding to One Million Moms' gripe that the ads weren't "family friendly."

Hallmark listened, and its CEO, Mike Perry, says it will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish their partnership and "reinstate the commercials."

What's interesting ... Perry essentially lays the blame on Hallmark's parent company, Crown Media Family Networks and its CEO, Bill Abbott, which he says made the call to pull the ads featuring 2 brides kissing at the altar.

Elizabeth Smart's Parents Officially Divorced ... New Chapter Begins

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Elizabeth Smart's parents are putting 34 years of marriage in the rearview mirror ... 'cause they're officially divorced.

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... Ed and Lois finalized their divorce in Salt Lake County Court. The terms of the divorce -- the division of their property and financial accounts -- are not disclosed in the settlement.

As we reported, Ed revealed back in August that he's gay -- and also announced he and Lois were in the process of getting divorced. They hammered out the settlement pretty quickly -- by Hollywood standards, anyway -- and the judge has already signed off.

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At the time, Ed said he would no longer live a lie and insinuated he contemplated suicide while he kept his secret. Ed spoke out publicly Monday for the first time and talked about being gay, telling Gayle King on "CBS This Morning" ... "There is no cure. This is absolutely not a choice. And, I wish my wife knew that. I wish that, more than anything."

Ed said he went to therapists and church leaders in hopes they would help him with his anxiety over his sexuality. Elizabeth -- whose kidnapping made national headlines back in 2002 -- had said at the time she was saddened by her parents' split.

Rapper Saucy Santana Drive-By Was Gay-Hating Payback ... Just 'Cause Strippers πŸ’– Me

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I WAS TARGETED
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Saucy Santana says the goons who shot him and his friends in a drive-by might be from the same strip club where he was pulling girls away from straight dudes.

We talked to the rapper Wednesday while he was still in his hospital gown ... just a few hours after he and 2 pals were shot in Miami following a late night at a gentleman's club called The Office. Santana makes no bones about it, he thinks this was homophobic retaliation.

Check out his rationale ... Santana, who is openly gay, tells us he believes guys he'd seen at the club were pissed because he and his crew were getting all the love from female strippers.

SAUCE BOSS

He posted video of himself partying it up, and he certainly wasn't shying away from the spotlight there ... even doing a little twerking himself. He says he was just having a good time and tipping the dancers, but he believes straight guys there didn't appreciate it one bit.

Fast-forward to around 4 AM ET ... and Santana's friend's Honda was riddled with bullets. A rep for the Florida Highway Patrol tells us a white Chevy sedan pulled up alongside them and opened fire with 6 to 7 shots.

Santana and one pal were shot in the arm, and the third friend was hit in the hand. All of them were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

If it was, indeed, a homophobic attack ... Santana says he understands not everyone's going to accept him as he is -- but he's got a message for his haters.

Khloe Kardashian Confused by Caitlyn's Claim ... Old Beef Doesn't Mean We Don't Talk

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Caitlyn Jenner saying she hasn't talked to Khloe Kardashian in several years was a claim that completely blindsided Khloe.

Sources connected to the situation tell TMZ ... Khloe is genuinely confused by Caitlyn's recent claim they haven't talked in "five, six years" and their current relationship is sour. We're told Khloe refutes that notion on several fronts -- starting with the numbers.

You'll recall ... she told her castmates on the British reality show "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" she hadn't "really talked" to Khloe in a long time since coming out.

Caitlyn publicly came out as transgender in 2015 -- and we're told the Kardashian side of her family found out only shortly before then. So, the five or six-year claim just doesn't add up.

What's more ... our sources tell us Khloe was completely supportive of Caitlyn's transition at the time, and things only got bitter between them when Caitlyn took shots at Kris in her memoir -- something we're told none of the Kardashian sisters appreciated.

Khloe was also there for Caitlyn when she accepted her ESPY award and the two have been nothing but pleasant at family holiday parties and birthdays.

However, we're told Khloe feels things have gotten better between them, and she rejects the notion they're still beefing. Take, for example, Caitlyn's recent 70th birthday.

While Khloe wasn't there, she did have a legit excuse -- she was working -- and even sent a bouquet of roses as a gift. We're told she texted Caitlyn as well to wish her a happy bday.

Bottom line ... there's no bad blood from Khloe's side, she loves Caitlyn, and our sources say she's confused by Caitlyn's accusation there's tension.

Transgender Singer Kim Petras Shows Westboro Baptist Her Ass ... Trolls Hateful Church, In Person This Time

Kim Petras is sticking it to the Westboro Baptist Church once again, but this time ... she's her own walking billboard.

The transgender singer made her way to Kansas City, Missouri Sunday night for a show planned months ago. We're told WBC members set up shop outside the concert, picketing with hateful messages, and Kim decided to step out and show them what's up.

HATERS GONNA HATE

Kim shared a photo and video of the scene along with an update -- "hoes still mad ..."

The post is being flooded with comments calling her legendary and a genius, and Katy Perry commented with just one word ... "icon."

We broke the story ... billboards for Petras -- whose songs have been blowing up in the LGBTQ+ community lately -- began popping up last month all over Topeka, Kansas last month, near the headquarters of the hate-mongering church.

AWESOME SURPRISE
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Kim told us she enjoys razzing the homophobic folks at Westboro Baptist, even if she didn't know for certain who was responsible for the billboards.

There's no doubt who's responsible for the latest expert troll job, though ... well done!

Transgender Singer Kim Petras I Didn't Put Billboards Up ... But I Love Razzing Westboro Baptist!!!

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AWESOME SURPRISE
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Kim Petras has no clue who is responsible for placing those bombshell billboards right under the nose of a homophobic church ... but she loves sticking it to Westboro Baptist!!!

The transgender singer spoke to us Monday on "TMZ Live" after her mug started popping up on electronic billboards right down the street from the hatemongers' HQ in Topeka, Kansas ... and Kim says she's tickled by the fact folks at Westboro Baptist have to see her every day.

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While Kim is coy about who is ultimately behind the placement of ads purposefully directed at the infamously anti-LGBTQ church -- she has a few ideas -- the up-and-coming singer takes a stab at the campaign's endgame and tells us why the move fits her brand.

Kim fills us in on the statement she's hoping to make on behalf of the transgender community ... a message that goes beyond sassy billboards and music.

Transgender Singer Kim Petras Billboards Razz Homophobic Church ... Get a Load o' Her, Westboro Baptist!!!

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Kim Petras is making a huge splash ... first with music fans, and now with the infamously anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church ... with a bombshell right under its nose.

Kim, an up-and-coming singer who is transgender, has her mug plastered all over 4 electronic billboards in Topeka, Kansas. That's not exactly where you'd expect a singer who's blowing up in the gay community to promote, but it starts to make sense when you realize Topeka is HQ for the hatemongers at Westboro Baptist.

Sources connected to Kim tell TMZ ... they don't know who put the billboards up but they were clearly designed to yutz the church -- known for its campaigns against several entertainers, gay and straight. They once went after Blake Shelton simply because he supports the LGBTQ community.

The billboards are all near the church and, we're told, purposefully directed at Westboro. Pretty great, huh?

So far, Westboro's yet to fire any shots at Kim -- whose music's been compared to early Lady Gaga -- but that's probably only because it didn't know she's transgender, or that the billboards were an intentional jab.

BTW, the ads feature a phone number which is a lyric from Kim's song, "Got My Number." It's also reportedly the real number for friend and fellow singer Jesse Saint John.

Pete Buttigieg Glad I Got Trump's Odds ... But Our Campaigns Are Way Different

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PART OF THE PROCESS
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Pete Buttigieg says while his odds to the win the White House might be similar to Donald Trump's a year out from election day ... he's going about getting there with a full 180.

The South Bend Mayor spoke to us Wednesday on "TMZ Live" after news broke that he's the leading Democratic candidate in Iowa, according to a new poll ... not to mention that his chances at going the distance are eerily similar to DT's from this time 4 years ago.

He weighs in on both, telling us the new poll reflects what he's been feeling on the ground ... a connection to voters and a groundswell that just can't be stopped.

As for the Trump comparison, he says the only thing he wants to share with 45 is the final destination. That said, he does admit there are similarities in how folks perceived their campaigns early on -- namely, they were seen as odd men out despite later success.

EVEN NASCAR LIKES ME!
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Then, we got into what could become a problem ... how PB plans to deal with religious voters -- especially in the South -- who may view the fact he's gay as a dealbreaker.

Check out his answer ... sounds like he believes even the most homophobic of folks can look past that, so long as he gives them something to believe in. He's confident he can.

Walter Mercado Dead at 87

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Walter Mercado -- a Spanish TV icon who served as an eccentric astrologist with his own syndicated segments -- has died.

Mercado passed away late Saturday at a hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico due to kidney failure, according to the facility's spokesperson, Sofia Luquis, who told AP. It's unclear how long he'd been hospitalized there and what exact ailment he'd been battling.

Nonetheless, a major loss in the Spanish community -- as Mercado was a staple in many Latino homes through the '80s, '90s and onward. He got his start on TV in his native land of Puerto Rico, establishing himself with daily horoscopes, advice and predictions.

Eventually, he got his own show on Univision, where he had a home for years before parting ways in 2010 and moving on to other Spanish networks. He was known for his lavish outfits, which often included robes, capes, jewelry, makeup and other extravagant accessories.

While he never came out and announced his sexual preferences, Mercado was a bit of a hero in the LGBTQ community ... with many viewing him as a trend-setter on Spanish TV, which had often leaned more conservative. He had no children,  and no known partners.

In 2012, Mercado was rushed to a Cleveland area hospital for cardiac problems -- after which, he claimed he'd seen death ...  wanting to devote himself to philanthropic causes.

Mercado had a known catchphrase he'd always end his horoscope segments with. It went like ... "Que reciban de mi siempre pas, mucha pas. Pero sobre todo, mucho, mucho, mucho amor." It translates to, "May you always receive peace from me, but above all else ... lots and lots of love."

He was 87. RIP

Miley Cyrus Responds to LGBTQ Backlash ... After Liam Hemsworth Dig

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FINALLY, A NICE GUY

12:05 PM PT -- Miley's now addressing the backlash for her claim that crappy men forced her to be gay. She's making it crystal clear ... she stands with the LGBTQ community.

10:17 AM PT -- We're told Miley's attack has nothing to do with their divorce case. We're told the divorce is going smoothly. We've learned there was a prenup, so they aren't fighting over property, and they didn't have kids so there's no custody battle. What's more ... we're told Miley and Liam don't even speak so an argument didn't trigger her comments.

Miley Cyrus is taking some thinly-veiled shots at Liam Hemsworth, suggesting he was such a bad husband ... she thought all men were trash, and had no choice but to be gay.

Miley and her new man, Cody Simpson, did an Instagram Live video together Sunday to reminisce about their less-than-a-month-long relationship. The chat included her discussing her "hardcore feminist vibes" and dating struggles after splitting from Liam, which led to her whirlwind relationship with Kaitlynn Carter.

Miley said, "There are good men out there, guys. Don't give up. You don't have to be gay. There are good people with dicks out there. You just gotta find them. You gotta find a dick that's not a dick, you know what I mean?"

After Cody laughed about her advice, she continued ... "I always thought I had to be gay because I just thought, like, all guys were evil, but it's not true. There are good people out there that just happen to have dicks. I've only ever met one."

She then insinuated that one good guy with a penis is, in fact, Cody ... which put a smile on his face.

As we've reported ... the 2 have been getting closer and closer since video surfaced of them kissing, and Cody's even been spotted hanging with Miley and her mom.

Miley's remarks probably won't sit well with the LGBTQ community, and could potentially make her divorce from Liam more contentious.

Originally Published -- 9:18 AM PT

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Star Tatianna Arrested ... For Disorderly Conduct

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5:34 AM PT -- Tatianna released a statement Monday, saying, "im fine! It was a dumb situation that I wish didn't happen  but shit happens and people make mistakes. There was no violence or ridiculousness."

She continues, "I'm crying in the picture because I was scared and had never been in that position before. wish I would have just smiled."

A well-known contestant from "RuPaul's Drag Race" got busted this weekend for allegedly acting a fool -- and then posed for this epic mug shot afterward.

Joey Santolini -- AKA Tatianna of season 2 -- was arrested Sunday in Atlanta for disorderly conduct. Allow us to explain.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Tatianna was taken in by cops after she allegedly followed a nightclub employee back into the building through a door she wasn't supposed to use. According to cops, the employee had just snapped a photo with her, and after that ... he went in through an employees-only entrance.

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Tatianna allegedly wanted to come in that way too, despite the employee telling her to go around the front. We're told Tatianna ignored him, and came in through the back anyway. That's when cops were called ... and things allegedly got a little outta hand.

Mayor Pete Respect to Protesters at Rally ... I'm Only Here Because of Them

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THEY MEAN WELL
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Mayor Pete Buttigieg was briefly upstaged during CNN's LGBTQ town hall by transgender protesters, but there are no hard feelings -- in fact, he's taking a stand for them.

We got the Democratic Presidential candidate in L.A. Thursday night as he left the theater where the event was held, and he had an interesting perspective about the trans women who were forcibly removed as they shouted, "Black trans women are dying, our lives matter!"

Buttigieg says he understands he wouldn't even be running for Prez without the proud history of protesters in the LGBTQ community.

As for the fact that they chose to rush the stage as he -- the first openly gay candidate for Prez -- was speaking? Pete's not taking it personally. He told us he understands their goal -- shining the brightest spotlight possible on the "epidemic violence against black trans women."

The reality is Pete wasn't singled out. Protesters grabbed microphones and raised banners throughout the night.

Chris Cuomo Apologizes for Cringe-Worthy Female Pronoun Joke ... At CNN LGBTQ Town Hall

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Chris Cuomo became the target of some serious heat after jokingly assuming female pronouns during an LGBTQ town hall event ... and then offering up a quick apology.

Cuomo was one of several CNN personalities to take the stage Thursday with Democratic candidates to discuss issues facing the LGBTQ community. Kamala Harris joined Cuomo on the stage and announced, "My pronouns are she/her/hers."

Cuomo mockingly replied, "Mine too." Harris responded with, "Alright."

The backlash on social media was immediate ... and Cuomo apologized, tweeting, "PLEASE READ: When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her's, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologize. I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall."

The town hall was a first of its kind ... with each candidate getting about 15 minutes to field questions from audience members.

'Drag Race' Star Gia Gunn Trisha Paytas is Not Transgender ... She's a YouTuber with Penis Envy!!!

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NOT BUYING IT
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Gia Gunn's calling BS on Trisha Paytas -- not just for announcing she's transgender ... but for her ensuing apology she believes was just an attempt to save face.

The "RuPaul's Drag Race" star tells TMZ she doesn't believe for a second that Paytas is transgender, and says Trisha telling us she's not transitioning is obvious ... because she's not legit.

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I'M NOT TRANSITIONING
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Gia says it's clear Trisha's behavior is that of a YouTuber using clickbait to gain followers, NOT a transgender person. She concedes Paytas may have some conflicted feelings -- including penis envy -- but doesn't buy her identifying as a man.

FOX News Makeup Artist Sues ... They Mocked My Sexuality!!!

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8:58 PM PT -- Fox News tells us ... the network "denies these allegations and will vigorously defend against these baseless claims."

FOX News anchor Harris Faulkner and contributor Angela McGlowan are getting sued by a makeup artist at the channel for allegedly discriminating against him because he's gay.

According to docs, Juan Legramandi claims McGlowan entered a green room in February 2018 and walked past him and another openly gay stylist -- and said, "Ugh! It's like Sodom and Gomorrah in here!"

Juan also claims in September 2017 he was doing Faulkner's hair when a news story involving Hispanic women crossing the southern U.S. border came on a nearby TV. In the suit, obtained by TMZ, he says Faulkner launched into a xenophobic, anti-Latino tirade ... which allegedly included the statement, "Hispanic women are so ignorant."

He says he was shocked and told Faulkner, his mother is Hispanic and he'd been born in Colombia. He claims Faulkner responded, "Your family is from a third world country."

Juan says he filed a complaint with Human Resources at FOX News but claims nothing was done.

After he filed that report, he claims, Jill Van Why -- Senior VP of programming operations -- told him, in June 2018, everyone is replaceable ... which he took as a threat.

Juan says he was later fired -- the lawsuit doesn't mention the date -- by Van Why and Marsheila Hayes, a VP of diversity and inclusion at FOX News.

He's suing the 4 women, as well as the network, for sexual discrimination, ethnic discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, age discrimination and retaliation.

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