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Carson Kressley 'Bout Time PBS Aired a Gay Wedding 'Arthur' Gave Kids the Truth

5/15/2019 7:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Carson Kressley thinks it's incredible a major children's show has finally caught up with the times and showcased a gay marriage ... 'cause it sure ain't 1950 anymore.

We got the 'Queer Eye' legend Tuesday at LAX and he gave us his take on the cartoon series, "Arthur," having its longtime classroom teacher, Mr. Ratburn, marry a guy in the Season 22 premiere ... much to his students' pleasant surprise. It was a HUGE moment in TV history.

Carson tells us it's satisfying to see media gatekeepers realize reality has caught up to us, and you can't really ignore gay people anymore, especially when it comes to kids.

Oh, and check out Carson's attempt at trying to decipher what kind of animal Mr. Ratburn (rat, BTW) -- it's hilarious ... and a little NSFW too. Get this man back in front of a camera!!!

It's interesting ... "Sesame Street" brass came out last year to shoot one of their former writer's notion that Bert and Ernie were, in fact, a gay couple -- to the chagrin of the LGBT community. Weirdly enough though, the company seems to have deleted its statement.

Either way, it looks like "Arthur" is picking up the baton though and ready to represent. 

Harry, Meghan, William, Kate No Royal Family Feud Here ... Coming Together To Help People In Crisis

5/9/2019 4:18 PM PDT
Breaking News

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are joining forces with Prince William and Kate Middleton to cast their rumored differences aside in the name of helping others ... namely, people dealing with mental health issues. 

The British Royals just launched a mental health crisis hotline, dubbed Shout ... a free text messaging service aiming to provide 24/7 support for people in the UK who are going through a rough patch. 

The fact Harry and Meghan are working alongside William and Kate is huge news ... because it comes in the face of swirling rumors about possible feuds and rifts within the Royal family. 

As for the new text messaging helpline ... it's powered by a team of volunteers trained to create a safe space for people burdened by mental health issues. The conversations can be difficult, as volunteers must listen without judgment on a range of issues, including suicidal thoughts, bullying, self-harm, abuse, relationships and sexuality. 

That last topic is super interesting as it relates to the Royals ... they don't usually talk about issues with sexuality. 

Shout launching in the United Kingdom comes on the heels of Harry, Meghan, William and Kate making a commitment to their Heads Together campaign, which supports conversations on mental health. 

There's no rest for the weary ... Harry and Meghan are jumping right into a new project only days after she gave birth to the couple's first child, baby Archie.

Mayor Pete You Want to Scream Homophobic Comments .... I Fought for Your Right to Do So

5/4/2019 7:07 AM PDT

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg got another dose of homophobia Friday night during a Dallas campaign event.

Mayor Pete was speaking at the Dallas County Democratic Party's Johnson Jordan Dinner when some hecklers started screaming at him to "repent." Some screamed, "marriage is between a man and a woman."  

Buttigieg clearly was locked and loaded, responding to one heckler by saying he packed his bags to serve in Afghanistan, "to defend the  man's freedom of speech." 

He went on to talk about the very book from which the hecklers were quoting ... "Just thinking of the scripture that says bless and do not curse."

It's interesting ... fellow Democratic Presidential candidate/rival and Texan, Beto O'Rourke, said later, "Texans don't stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred. Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon."

Gabrielle, Dwyane, Ludacris Help Mother of 'Bama Teen ... Died of Suicide After Anti-Gay Bullying

4/30/2019 12:58 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are springing into action to help the mother of the Alabama teen who recently died from suicide after he was mercilessly bullied for being gay.

Sources tell TMZ ... the actress and NBA star are part of a group of celebs -- which also includes Ludacris and Janelle Monae -- donating money to help cover Nigel Shelby's funeral. Nigel is the 15-year-old who took his own life nearly 2 weeks ago.

We're told the effort was spearheaded by Pinky Cole -- owner of the popular ATL restaurant Slutty Vegan -- and "Master of None" star Lena Waithe, who enlisted their famous friends to help out.

Nigel's mother, Camika, had said Nigel suffered from depression and struggled with his identity. Our sources wouldn't say how much money was raised, but we know it was enough to cover the expense of Nigel's tombstone, funeral service ... and a separate amount to support Camika.  

Nigel's memorial was held over the weekend at Rock Family Worship Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He was laid to rest in a colorful casket wrapped in rainbows and butterflies.

Nigel died just 10 days after Gabrielle attended the Pride Festival in Miami Beach with Dwyane's son, Zion.

'ANTM' Star Miss J LGBTQ Fam Has Mayor Pete's Back ... I Hope He's Got Ours!!!

4/17/2019 8:06 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

J Alexander, aka Miss J, is ready to throw support behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg, but wants him to know the LGBTQ community expects his in return ... on every level, with no excuses.

The "America's Next Top Model" coach was at the Strand Book Store in NYC Tuesday when he told us his thoughts on the rising star in the Democratic primary field, who happens to be openly gay.

Miss J believes Pete's got what it takes to win votes -- even from anti-gay voters -- but strongly hopes he does it by continuing to be inclusive and do work on behalf of all LGBTQ folks.

J even calls for his people to "band together" for the South Bend, Indiana mayor, because he believes if they get him in the White House ... real differences can be made.

Meanwhile, Mayor Pete got a dose of homophobia Tuesday in Iowa from a couple of protesters, including one chanting "Remember Sodom and Gomorrah!" You'll recall Pete told us he was prepared to handle these sorts of attacks during the campaign, and he did just that.

Miss J should be encouraged by how the situation played out -- Buttigieg's supporters shouted them down and Pete was unfazed ... simply reminding the crowd the Iowa caucuses are up to all of them.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Surging Candidate Talks Pop Culture, Strums Hendrix ... Watch The Full Interview

4/16/2019 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is capturing the imagination of the country in a way we haven't seen in decades ... and aside from politics, one of the ways he's connecting with voters is through pop culture. 

The openly gay South Bend Mayor, who is soaring in popularity during the early stages of his 2020 Presidential campaign, came on "TMZ Live" for a lengthy interview, and you really get a sense of what he's all about during our 25-minute conversation.

Buttigieg tackles a variety of issues, from how he plans to respond when Donald Trump targets him with homophobic remarks, to the consequences parents like Lori Loughlin should face if they cheat the system to get their kids into college. 

During his visit, Pete also chats with us about religion, coming out, and Kim Kardashian's role in prison reform

And, that's not all ... Mayor Pete dishes on his fitness routine, downloads us on his favorite music and plays a solid Jimi Hendrix riff when we hand him a guitar!!!

BTW ... Nate Silver just upped Buttigieg's rank in the gambling world ... most likely to snag the Dem nom.

Chick-fil-A Protesters Hijack Zamboni ... At Pro Hockey Game

4/15/2019 9:25 AM PDT
Breaking News

Call this the Trojan Horse on ice ... a bunch of protesters snuck "Chick-fil-A Is Anti-Gay" signs onto the fast food restaurant's Zamboni at a pro hockey game Saturday -- and the video is hilarious!!!

It all went down at this weekend's Cincinnati Cyclones game ... where fans usually pay a small fee to ride in the Zamboni during intermission with fun signs.

The problem for the Cyclones? They say fans concealed anti-Chick-fil-A messages inside of "Happy Birthday" signs ... and then broke out the protesting ones once they were on the ice.

TROJAN HORSE!!!

The clip is pretty funny ... the Zamboni is decked out in Chick-fil-A swag and the cow mascot is obliviously waving to the crowd -- all while the anti-fast food signs are on full display!!!

Of course, the Cyclones were pretty pissed over the incident ... they booted the protesters from the game and apologized afterward.

"During the first intermission a group of protesters riding the Chick-fil-A Fan Zam displayed unacceptable messaging that was hidden inside of a birthday sign," the team said in a statement.

"The Cincinnati Cyclones & U.S. Bank Arena do not condone this type of behavior or the messaging expressed."

The team added, "These actions do not align with the family-friendly atmosphere that we aim to provide. Chick-fil-A has been a wonderful partner and we are thankful for their on-going support."

As for the game, seems the drama affected the players on the ice ... the Cyclones lost to the Kalamazoo Wings, 2-0.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Not Counting Out Religious Voters Who Have Issues with Gays

4/15/2019 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mayor Pete Buttigieg thinks he can surprise a lot of people who believe it's impossible for him to successfully court super religious voters.

The South Bend Mayor will appear on "TMZ Live" Monday afternoon and he makes it clear ... he's not giving up on voters who believe the Holy Scriptures disqualify gay candidates.

The openly gay Mayor, who announced his candidacy for President Sunday, says voters have surprisingly open minds, and he points to something then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence was pushing back in 2015 -- a law that allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

Buttigieg, who came out during what he calls that ferocious fight, notes that he not only had Democrats on his side but Republicans and even NASCAR fans.

During the show (click here for times), Mayor Pete says what his strategy will be when Trump gets homophobic and what should happen to parents who got their kids into college by hook or crook. He also shows off his guitar skills ... with no less than a Hendrix riff. 

Morehouse College Famous All-Male Campus Now Accepting Trans Men Students

4/14/2019 12:32 PM PDT

The historically black all-male university that people like Martin Luther King Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and other famous folks attended will now start accepting transgender men onto its campus ... but there's a catch that excludes other trans students.

Atlanta's Morehouse College announced this weekend that it would begin admitting transgender students who identify as male starting in the fall semester of 2020. The move comes as part of its new Gender Identity Admissions and Matriculation Policy. 

It also follows in the footsteps of neighboring Spelman College -- an all-female university -- which rolled out a similar policy for transgender women in 2017.

There's a caveat though -- Morehouse says its trans policy will only be applicable to students who identify as men throughout their academic careers. Any man who transitions from male to female during their time at Morehouse will not be eligible for enrollment.

It goes without saying, trans women won't be eligible for initial admission either. The good news ... the school says any already-enrolled students who identified as trans women before 2020 will be able to graduate. But, after 2020, that ain't gonna be the case.

Just to give you a sense of how historically important this college is, here's a brief list of some of its other famous alumni: Spike Lee, Herman Cain, Guru, John David Washington, Donn Clendenon, Fonzworth Bentley, Metro Boomin, Isaac Keys, Bill Nunn ... and many, many other guys who went on to great success. 

In short ... this is a huge deal. 

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Announces 2020 Prez Run ... Plays Hendrix for TMZ

4/14/2019 12:53 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

12:52 PM PT -- Mayor Buttigieg just formally announced that he's running for President of the United States down at an event in his city of South Bend, IN. In his opening speech, he touched on a few simple issues his platform will address, which he says can fit on a bumper sticker.

-- Freedom

-- Security 

-- Democracy

Check it out, he gets into the freedom pillar first ... and laid out what he believes the concept means for a modern-day America. Also, he kinda sounds like someone we've heard before on the campaign trail who went on to sit in the Oval. Any guesses?

He went on to say that he recognizes the "audacity" of running for POTUS as a "mid-western millennial mayor" in his mid-30s, but insisted there's no better time for someone like him to make a run at it than right now. 

As Mayor Pete puts it, we're living in a time that compels us (and obviously him) to act, adding ... "That's why this time, it's not just about winning an election. It's about winning an era."

Mayor Pete Buttigieg loves to rock ... classic rock, specifically, and he doesn't just listen to it -- turns out the Democratic candidate for President can play some Jimi Hendrix.

The mayor of South Bend, IN, who's expected to officially announce his candidacy Sunday, stopped by our office and downloaded us on his favorite music. Seems he's got a thing for jam bands because he told us the Dave Matthews Band and Phish were his faves during high school and at Harvard.

He also told us his pops got him hooked on Creedence Clearwater Revival, and he's been revisiting those tunes lately. Now, we knew he played guitar growing up ... so we kinda put him on the spot by handing him a Gibson Les Paul.

Mayor Pete didn't disappoint as he started riffin' "Hey Joe" by Hendrix! 

During his visit, the candidate, who is openly gay, also talked about the inevitable -- homophobic attacks on the campaign trail ... possibly from President Trump's camp.

Tune in Monday for "TMZ Live" (click here for showtimes) because Mayor Pete chats with us about a whole lot more ... including religion, Kim Kardashian's role in prison reform ... and Lori Loughlin possibly doing hard time for the college admissions scandal

But, seriously -- politics aside, for just a moment -- it would be pretty cool to have a President who can play Hendrix, right?

Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Yep, Trump Will Get Homophobic ... And Here's How I'll Respond

4/13/2019 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mayor Pete Buttigieg isn't fooling himself ... Donald Trump will target him with homophobic remarks as the 2020 Presidential campaign heats up.

The openly gay South Bend Mayor, who has soared in popularity, will appear on "TMZ Live" Monday ... the day after he formally announces his bid to make a move to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Buttigieg has a plan if Trump goes low ... confront and disengage.

The Mayor will tackle a variety of issues on "TMZ Live", from courting voters who may have predisposed views of gays, to the consequences people should face if they cheat to get their kids into college.

And, hint ... he plays a respectable guitar!!!

Buttigieg is expected to make a formal announcement he's running on Sunday.

Rugby Australia Fires Star Player ... After Saying Gays Will Burn In Hell

4/11/2019 8:30 AM PDT
Breaking News

Israel Folau -- a star rugby player -- has been fired from Australia's national team after he said gays will burn in hell in a social media post on Wednesday ... Rugby Australia announced.

30-year-old Folau took to Instagram this week to post a picture that read, "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters," will all, "end up in hell unless [they] repent."

The post immediately went viral ... and caused such a backlash -- Rugby Australia acted swiftly, terminating his $4 million contract just hours after the post went up.

"As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action," RA chief executive Raelene Castle said.

“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”

Folau has repeatedly bashed gays in homophobic rants throughout his career ... reportedly writing in a separate social media post last year, "God’s plan for gay people was hell."

For his part, Folau has reportedly insisted he's not homophobic ... saying he's a devout Christian who believes the Bible condemns gays.

On that topic, Castle said, "Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts."

Folau was expected to be a key piece of Australian's national team in this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney I'm Glad We Have a Gay Candidate, But ... I'm for Beto Over Mayor Pete

4/10/2019 7:56 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

If you think Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney is voting for Mayor Pete Buttigieg just because they're both gay, you're dead wrong -- instead, Maloney's sticking with Beto O'Rourke.

We got Rep. Maloney Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill, and got his take on the Democratic mayor outta South Bend, Indiana ... who is making waves even before officially announcing he's running for Prez in 2020.

SPM showers Mayor Pete with tons of props, but shuns the notion he, or anyone else, should vote for a candidate just because they have similar backgrounds. We also asked Maloney -- who became NY's first openly gay Congressman in 2012 -- if he thinks the country is ready for a gay president, and he has strong feelings about that.

But, mostly ... the Congressman hammered home why he's throwing his support behind Beto. Point being ... just because a candidate's gay doesn't mean he'll automatically get the gay community's vote.

OG 'Queer Eye' cast member Carson Kressley seconds that emotion.

Also, guess how many times Maloney says Beto's name in this clip. He's in mid-campaign form already!

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