Jennifer Aniston is still looking for love — but she refuses to find it online. The “Friends” alum, 52, said in an interview published on Wednesday that she “absolutely” will not try dating apps to find a new partner. “Absolutely no,” she told People. “I’m going to just stick to the normal ways of dating. Having someone ask you out. That’s the way I would prefer it.” Although she’s still looking for a “fantastic partner,” the twice-divorced “Morning Show” star isn’t certain about making any relationship legally binding again.
“Oh, God, I don’t know,” she said. “It’s not on my radar. I’m interested in finding a fantastic partner and just living an enjoyable life and having fun with one another. That’s all we should hope for. It doesn’t have to be etched in stone in legal documents.”
Aniston was married to Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005 and Justin Theroux from 2015 to 2017. She is still friends with both of her exes.
“I would say we’ve remained friends,” Theroux, 49, said in his Esquire cover story published in April. “We don’t talk every day, but we call each other. We FaceTime. We text.”
Denying that they had a “dramatic split,” he added, “I’m sincere when I say that I cherish our friendship.”
Naomi Osaka discovered what it’s like to be at the sharp end of a sporting governing body’s regulations this summer.
The four-time grand slam singles champion declined to attend press conferences as she began her French Open campaign in June — citing the importance of protecting her mental health and addressing the toll that media interviews had previously taken on her.
The French Open organizers responded by fining the world No. 2 an amount of $15,000 and threatening to expel her from future grand slams, after they deemed her withdrawal from press conferences as a failure on her part to meet “contractual media obligations.”
Osaka made the decision to withdraw from Roland Garros altogether, then skipped Wimbledon, before returning to play at the Tokyo Olympics.
What’s happened to Osaka over the last few months has left many critical of her sport’s handling of the situation, and wishing those who govern her sport had adopted a more empathetic and sensitive approach given she was dealing with mental health issues.
In fact, just after Osaka said she would be opting out of speaking to the press at the tournament, the French Open official Twitter account posted a since-deleted tweet that included photos of four other players engaging in media duties — Coco Gauff, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sablenka and Rafael Nadal — which carried the caption: “They understood the assignment.”
The tweet appeared to be directed at Osaka and her decision to withdraw from media obligations. It was considered by several former tennis players and pundits as insensitive, and former doubles champion Rennae Stubbs said that the post could make Osaka “feel guilty” and described it as “humiliating” for her.
And while the rule itself — in which players are required to engage in press conferences throughout the tournament — may not be a racist or misogynistic one, the context in which Osaka found herself punished and seemingly mocked by officials is part of a pattern in which Black women in elite sports are subject to harsh scrutiny.
The rigidity with which Roland Garros responded to Osaka’s decision is reminiscent of the scrutiny that tennis governing bodies have previously bestowed upon other prominent players, including Serena Williams.
Osaka is a young, Black and Japanese athlete whose decision at the French Open is considered outside of the box by many. Her refusal to play by the traditional rules has seen her face backlash across the board in a particular right-wing media landscape that doesn’t look too fondly on Black women that diverge from the expected path.
And tennis has a history in the way it has dealt with Black women who do things differently.
Dolly Parton’s 1973 song “I Will Always Love You” found a new generation of fans when Whitney Houston took on the song for her 1992 movie “The Bodyguard.”
Houston’s version became one of the best-selling singles of all time and led to Parton pocketing $10 million through the 1990s in royalties, according to Forbes. Those earnings have only grown through the decades, especially following Houston’s death in 2012 when the song re-entered the charts.
So how has Parton spent that money? According to the country music legend, she used it to help a Black community in Nashville.
“I bought my big office complex down in Nashville,” she told Andy Cohen on Thursday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live” (via Yahoo). “So I thought, ‘well this is a wonderful place to be.'”
“I bought a property down in what was the Black area of town, and it was mostly just Black families and people that lived around there,” she continued. “And it was off the beaten path from 16th avenue and I thought, ‘Well I am going to buy this place, the whole strip mall.’ And thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney.”
“So I just thought this was great, I’m just gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well,” Parton said. “And so I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex. And I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.'”
In a November appearance on Apple TV+’s “The Oprah Conversation,” Parton recalled what it was like to hear Houston’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” for the first time. She explained that she unexpectedly heard the song on the radio when she was driving and didn’t immediately realize it was her song.
“I was shot so full of adrenaline and energy, I had to pull off, because I was afraid that I would wreck, so I pulled over quick as I could to listen to that whole song,” Parton told Winfrey, according to Yahoo. “I could not believe how she did that. I mean, how beautiful it was that my little song had turned into that, so that was a major, major thing.”
By Susan Au Allen: National President & CEO, US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC)
The vaccines are here. This marks a critical turning point — a year into the pandemic — in the fight against a virulent disease that has wreaked months-long havoc to lives and livelihood.
Millions of Americans have already been vaccinated from COVID-19; millions more are awaiting their turn. This is welcome news that brings renewed optimism.
Our collective jubilation, however, is tempered by caveats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts estimate that the United States is still months away from reaching the threshold of herd immunity.
To cut the chain of transmission, at least 70% of the U.S. population — or over 200 million people — would have to recover from the illness and achieve natural immunity or undergo vaccinations. According to CDC, only 7.9% of the U.S. population — or just over 26 million people — have been given the recommended two doses.
This sobering reality is compounded by the arrival of highly contagious variants — increasing exponentially — which could spark new outbreaks and undermine vaccination progress. This does not augur well for the public sentiment that has been aching to return to a semblance of normalcy.
First the Fear, Now the Fatigue
In the early days of the pandemic, as the infection spiked, fear was foremost in everyone’s mind. Few questioned government-imposed lockdowns, restrictions of unfettered movements, enforced social distancing and other health protocols. Public compliance was high.
Today, more than a year later, the public attitude has changed: fear has been supplanted by fatigue. People have become more relaxed due to collective boredom, exhaustion, impatience or a sense of apathy — a phenomenon experts refer to as “pandemic fatigue.”
Uncertainty, a sense of lack of control and limited options fuel anxiety. This leads to profound shifts in social and work behaviors, as well as consumer preferences. Humans — social animals who are naturally in need of constant contact with each other — will keep on seeking out one another.
Signs are everywhere: recent outbreaks have been traced to bars, restaurants and air travel. An exhausted public has begun to disregard health protocols. This trend will continue.
What likely emerges next is a vicious cycle. When the public lets its guard down, health protocols will be broken. This will then trigger more infections. Eventually, this will lead to more restrictions — and pandemic fatigue will worsen.
The Business of Coping
There simply is no available playbook in corporate America and government today that offers guidance on how to effectively handle pandemic fatigue. Psychologists counsel that the art of mitigating pandemic-related fatigue begins with accepting the current reality.
It is also important to accept that the adaptations in how people work these days could become protracted or even permanent. With workflow significantly disrupted, output and morale are at their nadir. Employees have hit the motivational wall. Social calendars are wiped clean. Small talk among office colleagues — including spontaneous gossip sessions next to the water cooler — is replaced by seemingly interminable, back-to-back video calls that ironically lead many to feel more disconnected than ever.
Since the work-from-home set-up began, employees have also noticed that their working hours have been stretched. They struggle to follow a structured work schedule. It is difficult to set and adhere to work-related parameters at home, in part because they worry that they will lose their job or be seen as weak contributors to the team effort. These amorphous work boundaries, plus the associated stress, contribute to the energy drain among the workforce.
In response, companies of every size are bringing out myriad new initiatives from their arsenal to support their employees. A host of activities are offered that focus on connection, care and the well-being of staff — often ranging from tailored wellness programs to virtual happy hours. Managers are clearing their calendars to make themselves available for informal, agenda-free connections. Others are allowing employees to take more time off.
But more needs to be done. Organizations must empower teams, simplify unnecessary bureaucracy and enable a faster decision-making process. Conduct listening tours to take the pulse of employees and assess their needs. Apply innovative, best-practice work-from-home models. Help prioritize available work, put a pause on the introduction of new projects, limit work in progress and allow for respite and recovery.
Individually, employees must slow down. Keep a sense of calm and focus. Stave off ennui by virtually reaching out to a community with shared interests, such as gardening, painting and other hobbies. Take periodic breaks to replenish energy. Try breathing exercises and meditation, go for a stroll, read a book, engage in online shopping or “retail therapy,” etc. Channel fatigue into meaningful and creative endeavors.
Further, limit access to social media and avoid tuning in to negative stories on television that raise stress and anxiety levels. Do not let negativity foster.
The Untrodden Path to the ‘Next Normal’
A sense of loss is at the heart of pandemic fatigue — the loss of control in our daily life, work, business, finances, travel, important events, opportunities and more. On a personal level, it is the loss of connection to our family, friends, peers and community.
Understandably, stress levels remain high and taking their toll. According to Nielsen data, alcohol sales in the U.S. are up 23 percent.
As the U.S. crosses yet another grim milestone with over half a million deaths from COVID-19, the country’s policymakers have the daunting task of trying to deflate the rate of infection. They face a tenuous balancing act: enforcing a range of restrictions while weighing public health-related and economic repercussions.
Compliance wanes as pandemic fatigue spreads. Worse, as more people get vaccinated, many become more complacent and tempted to disregard precautions. Some take their cues from several state leaders who have announced the easing of restrictions, including the lifting of mask mandates and allowing businesses to open at full capacity.
The vaccines are no panacea for this contagion. If the public fails to adhere to minimum public health standards, it will only aggravate the current situation. To avoid reaching the tipping point of yet another coronavirus surge, safety measures must remain and be heeded. It is up to a conscientious public to do its share to ensure that our collective journey through this untrodden path to the “next normal” will be smooth, safe and healthy.
Susan Au Allen came to the United States from Hong Kong on an invitation from the White House in recognition of her volunteer work for people with disabilities. She received her Juris Doctor from the Antioch School of Law and LL.M. in International Law from Georgetown University. During her 17 years with Paul Shearman Allen & Associates of Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong, she became nationally recognized for her work on immigration, international trade and investment. Once an immigrant, she knows the obstacles that one must be overcome to achieve the American Dream, and she has dedicated her life to help entrepreneurs to pursue their Dream — develop, grow and build a successful business.
Leyna Bloom says she was raped as a child, sexually fetishized her entire life and forced to hide who she really was. Now, she’s the first transgender woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, celebrated as “a symbol of beauty.”
Bloom, a 27-year-old model, actress and dancer, is one of three women to appear on the 2021 edition’s cover when it hits stands later this week, the magazine announced on Monday. The others are tennis star Naomi Osaka, 23, and rapper Megan Thee Stallion, 26.
“This moment heals a lot of pain in the world. We deserve this moment,” Bloom said on Instagram. “… Many girls like us don’t have the chance to live our dreams, or to live long at all. I hope my cover empowers those, who are struggling to be seen, feel valued.”
Last month, Bloom told Variety that before coming out seven years ago, she was terrified people would discover she was transgender. She hid her identity because she believed the world wasn’t ready and that someone might attack her.
“They see how you move, they see your magic [and] they want to hurt you,” she said.
But in 2014, Bloom announced herself to the world by modeling for a magazine shoot featuring her and other trans women. Since then, she became one of the first openly trans women to walk the runway at Paris Fashion Week, Sports Illustrated said on its website.
Other milestones followed: She was the first trans woman of color on the cover of Vogue India and the first trans woman of color to star in a movie at the Cannes Film Festival — “Port Authority,” a Martin Scorsese-produced tale about a fresh-off-the-bus cisgender man who stumbles into New York City’s queer ballroom scene and falls in love with Bloom’s character. Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated announced Bloom would be the first trans woman of color modeling in the magazine’s swimsuit issue, although the revelation about the cover would take four more months.
Having a trans woman held up as a symbol of beauty alongside past participants such as Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen and Heidi Klum shows things are changing, Bloom told Variety.
“I think it’s just a powerful time right now,” Bloom told Variety. “I’m so happy Sports Illustrated wanted to have the nerve to really say, ‘We got to have this moment, and if you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else.’ ”
Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue — once described in a 1998 Washington Post article as “mainstream, middlebrow … middle American” and little more than “a volume of cheesecake portraiture” — has tried in recent years to stay abreast of an ever-changing social landscape.
In 2018, the issue’s creators reacted to the #MeToo era with a photo shoot in which women crafted their own messages with carefully chosen words written on their naked bodies or clothing. In 2019, the issue for the first time featured a model wearing a hijab and burkini. Last year, a 56-year-old woman graced the pages.
“That’s the great thing about Sports Illustrated is they just keep reinventing themselves and they keep reinventing what is your view of beauty,” Kathy Jacobs, the 56-year-old woman, told the AP. “And they keep showing people that there’s more than one kind of beauty out there.”
Bloom, a transgender woman who’s Black and Filipina, is now part of that representation.
In March, a New York Times reporter asked Bloom if being in the swimsuit issue was the best way for people to learn that you can be respected, appreciated and loved no matter your body shape, sexuality or skin color.
“It’s one way,” she responded. “This is a way of reaching the top of the food chain. Let’s at least have this moment and say that we had it, and then we can go on to dismantle it.”
But, Bloom added, beauty standards that aren’t easy to shatter can be made more inclusive. “Up to now, it was strictly, ‘Oh, you’re trans so you cannot be a princess.’ But when we’re seen in these spaces — the runways, the magazines — trans children can look up and say, ‘This is what a princess looks like to me.’ ”
Bloom said she thinks of herself as “a third sex” and that as she’s gotten older, she’s become more in tune with both her masculine and feminine energies. That wasn’t easy, she told The Times. She said she was raped as a child and fetishized as an adult, so the life of a princess didn’t always seem attainable.
“I have dreamt a million beautiful dreams, but for girls like me, most dreams are just fanciful hopes in a world that often erases and omits our history and even existence,” Bloom said Monday on Instagram.
Click here to read the full article on The Washington Post.
The daughter of two civil servants, Luzio said she picked up on the values that her father championed. She shared how her father encouraged her to pick herself up when she was down, and to remember she was ok.
“You have got to make your mark and, you know what, you are going to get pushed down a million times in your life,” Luzio said. “The defining part is can you get back up and just keep going.”
Luzio never saw herself going into banking, much less founding a company. At the start of her career, she worked for a small tech startup, where she had the opportunity to work on joint ventures in China. Shortly after, she decided to go back to school to get her masters, and then was recruited by a bank. “I remember thinking, ‘why are they even talking to me? I know nothing about this,’ she said. “All I know is what I’ve been doing. And I love international and I now have a master’s degree.”
Luzio loved corporate work, especially the stability. As she began to form the idea of Luminary, she said she returned to her corporate experience to make a business plan for herself, tracking the path she wanted to take.
“Just like I said no one would ever think I was a banker, I would have said, ‘I can’t run it. I don’t know how to run a company. I don’t have ideas.’ And then I did.”
Now, she makes a point to work with corporate members at Luminary as part of her ongoing networking efforts. Networking, she said, has been a cornerstone to her career, both as a banker and as an entrepreneur.
On the rest of this episode, Luzio talks about her goals for Luminary, about supporting and being supported by other female founders, and the confidence she finds knowing she can return to corporate work if she ever is inclined. She also discussed at length the measures she took to make it through the pandemic at such an early-stage with her company.
Cate Luzio is the founder and CEO of Luminary, a resource and physical space for female founders to connect and support one another.
Grammy-winning artist Ciara encourages Black women to take care of themselves from the inside out in Hologic’s new campaign to raise awareness around cervical cancer. Playing on the phrase “serving looks” meaning looking good, Ciara is “Cerving Confidence” in the campaign created with the Black Women’s Health Imperative. The intent? Prompt Black women to serve looks on themselves, starting on the inside.
“It’s more than a manicure, getting our hair done or a new outfit, it’s taking care of our health inside and out. Your health comes first Sis—yes!” Ciara says in the debut video.
Other Black women in the video chime in with additional thoughts such as “Let’s normalize being on top of our stuff” and “If you can go get your hair done, nails done, make up done, you can go get that wellness exam.”
Ciara is an ideal ambassador for the campaign, thanks to her music, business leadership and frequent messages speaking out to empower women and especially Black women.
“She’s not just ‘a celebrity,’ but a celebrity and a personality who’s relatable,” Linda Blount, CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative, said. “We talk about the lived experience as a Black woman, Ciara is someone who shares those experiences and talks about it openly and publicly.”
The campaign invites women on social and digital media to participate by uploading a photo and telling how they “cerv confidence.” Ciara will also host an online summit later this summer about the importance of self-care for Black women.
Blount’s hope is that Ciara and the “Cerving Confidence” campaign help advance the better outcomes for Black women that they’ve been working with Hologics on for years. Hologic’s recently launched Project Health Equality directly addresses the inequities in women’s healthcare for Black and Hispanic women and includes BWHI as a partner.
While racial and socioeconomic inequalities are not new in creating a disproportionate cervical cancer burden for Black women, the pandemic has made the situation worse. Black women, in fact, are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer than white women.
Click here to read the full article on Fierce Pharma.
The Victoria’s Secret Angels, those avatars of Barbie bodies and playboy reverie, are gone. Their wings, fluttery confections of rhinestones and feathers that could weigh almost 30 pounds, are gathering dust in storage. The “Fantasy Bra,” dangling real diamonds and other gems, is no more.
In their place are seven women famous for their achievements and not their proportions. They include Megan Rapinoe, the 35-year-old pink-haired soccer star and gender equity campaigner; Eileen Gu, a 17-year-old Chinese American freestyle skier and soon-to-be Olympian; the 29-year-old biracial model and inclusivity advocate Paloma Elsesser, who was the rare size 14 woman on the cover of Vogue; and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, a 38-year-old Indian actor and tech investor.
They will be spearheading what may be the most extreme and unabashed attempt at a brand turnaround in recent memory: an effort to redefine the version of “sexy” that Victoria’s Secret represents (and sells) to the masses. For decades, Victoria’s Secret’s scantily clad supermodels with Jessica Rabbit curves epitomized a certain widely accepted stereotype of femininity. Now, with that kind of imagery out of step with the broader culture and Victoria’s Secret facing increased competition and internal turmoil, the company wants to become, its chief executive said, a leading global “advocate” for female empowerment.
Will women buy it? An upcoming spinoff, more than $5 billion in annual sales, and 32,000 jobs in a global retail network that includes roughly 1,400 stores are riding on the answer.
It is a stark change for a brand that not only long sold lingerie in the guise of male fantasy, but has also been scrutinized heavily in recent years for its owner’s relationship with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and revelations about a misogynistic corporate culture that trafficked in sexism, sizeism and ageism.
“When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” said Martin Waters, the former head of Victoria’s Secret’s international business who was appointed chief executive of the brand in February. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”
The seven women, who form a group called the VS Collective, will alternately advise the brand, appear in ads and promote Victoria’s Secret on Instagram. They are joining a company that has an entirely new executive team and is forming a board of directors in which all but one seat will be occupied by women.
Rarely has a company so dominant in its sector been exposed as trailing so far behind the culture as Victoria’s Secret was in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
It was, Ms. Rapinoe said bluntly, “patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired. And it was very much marketed toward younger women.” That message, she said, was “really harmful.”
Click here to read the full article on the New York Times.
For the very first time, a transgender athlete will compete in the summer Olympics … and shocker, there’s already controversy. 43-year-old Laurel Hubbard — who transitioned from male to female in 2013 — has been selected to the New Zealand women’s weightlifting team to compete in the women’s 87-kilogram division. The issue?? Hubbard competed in men’s weightlifting competitions before she transitioned — and some critics are already blasting the situation as unfair to other athletes.
But, the International Olympic Committee has specific guidelines for transgender athletes to compete — testosterone levels must be below a certain level — and Hubbard has met the criteria since 2015. In other words, she’s good to go!! The CEO of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Kereyn Smith, issued a statement Monday supporting Hubbard.
“We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play,” Smith said. “As the New Zealand Team, we have a strong culture of manaaki and inclusion and respect for all. We are committed to supporting all eligible New Zealand athletes and ensuring their mental and physical wellbeing, along with their high-performance needs, while preparing for and competing at the Olympic Games are met.”
Not everyone feels that way … back in May, Belgian weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen reportedly called Hubbard’s qualifying situation “unfair” and a “bad joke.”
Hubbard, though, wasn’t letting the disapproval get in the way of her feat Monday … saying, “I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders.”
“The last 18 months has shown us all that there is strength in kinship, in community, and in working together towards a common purpose. The mana of the silver fern comes from all of you and I will wear it with pride.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Laganja Estranja is chassé-ing into a new chapter of her life as an out, proud trans woman. “There are so many other women around me who’ve inspired me to come forward today, and it’s because of their fight and their struggle that I’m able to really do this and say that I’m nervous, but I’m not scared,” the 32-year-old recording artist and cannabis activist exclusively reveals to EW. “I’m not going to live my life in fear anymore.” Estranja says after “presenting as female for the last 10 years” as a drag performer, she eased into her identity while on the stage in a way that “made it more explainable to the masses,” but, in 2021, she’s living her truth for one person only: Herself.
“I do want to be able to express this at all times,” she continues. “I just got my haircut – a very feminine cut – and in one week already, my life has changed. I’m able to come off stage and take my makeup off and still see a beautiful woman in the mirror. It’s powerful.”
The Texas native, who rose to prominence thanks to her flamboyant personality on season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014, says she came out to her “incredibly supportive” family one week ago, but has been “comfortably, fully committing” to who she is as a trans woman among her inner circle for one year, after previously revealing her truth to friends on her birthday in 2020.
Without a prompt, she volunteers information about her physical transformation, stressing that it’s important for her to highlight this part of her story – which involves deliberately coming out before beginning hormone therapy – to emphasize that no one’s transition is the same, and that everyone deserves the space, time, and love to come out on their own terms, at any age, and at any physical point on their personal trajectory.
“That will come,” she says, later explaining: “Glam doesn’t make you a woman; it makes you a woman to people outside, in the world…. gender is performative, and what we wear is an extension of what we feel on the inside. That’s the real truth here: once this is out and once people know, I’m going to be more free to explore what it means to be a woman on the inside. The dressing part? I’ve got it down, but that’s not what makes you a woman.”
For Estranja, getting to a place of comfort took time. She says she first told others she was nonbinary as both an easing-in for her and those around her, because she often felt trapped by the pressure to fit into the constraints of constructed gender.
“People think that when you’re trans that you’ve wanted to be a girl your whole life; yes, that’s partly true [for me], but it’s also true that I’ve wanted to be male my whole life to fit into what society deems as normal,” she explains. “But, that isn’t my truth, and I’m daring to take this on. I tried to be male and be in-between and nonbinary. The truth is I’m a feminine entity and I can live this life.”
Still, her transition will be an ode to the person that laid the foundation for this moment over the last three decades of life. She doesn’t plan to change her drag name or her birth name; she’ll still perform as Laganja Estranja, and go by Jay among those closest to her, so she feels like she’s “not turning [her] back on” the bricks that built the woman she is today – many of which, she reveals, came to her in unexpected ways, like the time she remembers feeling her natural hair growing long enough to touch her neck for the first time last year, when the global pandemic interrupted her regular two-week haircut schedule.
“When my real hair started growing, I remember it touching the back of my neck, and that’s funny, because wigs have touched the back of my neck forever, but it was my real hair; my real truth was physically touching me in a way,” she recalls.
She shares that something as simple as performing drag with her natural hair versus a wig has drawn criticism from cis members of the community in the past – something that’s “not fair,” though she’s prepared herself for it by watching her Drag Race season 6 castmate and close friend, Gia Gunn, while the pair lived together.
“I feel blessed to have had that experience. Our transitions are different and will manifest in different ways, but it was so incredible to see someone live their truth and to be happy,” says Estranja, who joins past Drag Race contestants like Gunn, Gottmik, Peppermint, Kylie Sonique Love, Jiggly Caliente, and Carmen Carrera, among others, who’ve come out either before, during, or after their time on the show.
“I’m so thankful that Gia didn’t push me and has allowed me to take my time,” Estranja says. “Of course she’s encouraged me. From day one when we met, she was like, ‘Oh honey, you’re a woman!’ She’s known longer than I have!”
Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, and to mark the occasion, the City of West Hollywood officially declared May 23 “Born This Way Day.” Gaga was also awarded the key to the city by West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “Thank you for encouraging us to love ourselves and be proud,” Horvath told Gaga. A street painting featuring the album’s title was also unveiled to kick-off West Hollywood’s Pride season.
“Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being ‘Born This Way.‘ Notably, his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born,” Gaga wrote. “Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we reserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all.”
“Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all.” – Lady Gaga Instagram