Big Gay News: 503
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Friends Collect $10K In Reward Fund To Find Arden Hills Suspect
WCCO News reports that friends of the man gunned down at a Twin Cities gas station have now created a reward fund in hopes of finding the shooter, and have already collected $10,000.
Lyle “Ty” Hoffman, ex-boyfriend of the victim, is believed by police to be responsible for the murder of Kyle Phillips last week, and has been on the run since the killing took place.
The reward is in addition to $1,000 already offered by Crime Stoppers. Donations to the fund can also be made to the Kelly Phillips Reward Fund. Any information on Hoffman’s whereabouts should be reported to the police or to Crime Stoppers of Minnesota at 1-800-222-8477.
BigGayNews from Arizona:
Chip Sarafin Comes Out Publicly
ESPN reports that Arizona State offensive lineman Edward “Chip” Sarafin told Compete Magazine that he is gay, becoming the first active Division I college football player to come out publicly.
Citing Michael Sam’s earlier coming out as his inspiration for doing so, Sarafin came out to his coach and teammates before the interview, and said that his revelation has “benefited my peace of mind greatly.”
Todd Graham, ASU coach, applauded Sarafin’s decision, offering both support and praise, saying: “diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff.”
BigGayNews from New York:
Robina Asti Wins An Important Legal Battle For Transgender Couples
People Magazine reports that in the Navy during World War II, Robert Astey flew combat missions and later became a commercial pilot, a mutual fund senior vice president, as well as a husband and father to three children.
However, after transitioning to living as a female, marrying her husband, and being recognized legally as a woman for over 38 years, Asti found herself denied survivor benefits when her husband died in 2012.
With the help of Lambda Legal and the fact that Asti had been legally regarded as female on her Social Security card, her passport, her pilot’s license and her federal taxes, Asti won a legal victory to gain spousal survivor benefits and thus caused the federal government and Social Security to change their policy regarding transgendered people.
BigGayNews from California:
Gay Man Beaten, Left For Dead, Dies After Being Removed From Life Support
LGBTQNation reports that a San Francisco gay man who was beaten and left for dead in the city’s Castro District last Sunday was taken off life support Wednesday afternoon while more than 100 people gathered in a silent vigil on a hill in a nearby park.
Bryan Higgins, 31, was found beaten and unconscious as a John Doe on a street corner in the city, and identified only after his hospital photo made the rounds on social media.
Higgins, also known as “Feather Lyn”, was a member of the Radical Faeries, and leaves behind a husband and family. His death is being investigated as a homicide by San Francisco police who are checking into possible leads in determining a suspect.
BigGayNews from Washington D.C.:
Smithsonian Adds Gay Rights History To Museum Collection
CBS News reports that hundreds of photographs, papers and historical objects documenting the history of GLBT people are being added to the Smithsonian Institution’s collection Tuesday, including items from the popular TV show Will and Grace.
The collection, which features items from such diverse areas as sports, political activism and cultural history, is meant to show the impact that GLBT people have had on the American cultural landscape over the decades, often without people even realizing that important figures were even gay or lesbian.
In the case of Will and Grace, exhibit curator Dwight Blocker Bowers says that the writers used comedy to bring gay culture to a mainstream audience without them feeling threatened, and broke ground in much the same way that All In The Family did in regards to issues of bigotry and tolerance.
BigGayNews from Iowa:
Mom Calls To Lift Ban On Tissue Donations From Gay Men
The Des Moines Register reports that Sheryl Moore wants the law changed so gay men can donate their eyes along with other organs at death.
Moore’s son, A.J. Betts, committed suicide in July of 2013, partially due to bullying for being gay, but when Moore decided to donate his organs, she found that certain organs were barred from being donated if they came from gay men.
After discovering that so-called “non lifesaving” organs such as bone, skin, heart valves and eyes were not allowed to be donated due to FDA regulations surrounding donations from men who have sex with men, she has made it her mission to get the laws changed.
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Vikings, Former Punter Kluwe Reach Deal To Avert Lawsuit, Team To Give To Gay Rights Groups
The Star Tribune reports that former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said Tuesday that he reached a settlement with the team to avert a threatened lawsuit over his release, saying the club had agreed to donate to several groups that support gay rights.
Although no financial details were released, Kluwe did say that he himself would get no money from the settlement, but that five different GLBT charities will benefit from the proceeds over the next five years.
Kluwe’s attorney, Clayton Halunen, said that the Matthew Shepard Foundation and a charity headed by gay retired NFL player Wade Davis would be among those receiving financial support.
BigGayNews from Azerbaijan:
Parents Nearly Burn Teen Son To Death After They Find Out He Is Gay
GayStarNews reports that an 18-year-old from Azerbaijan has escaped with his life after his parents doused him with gasoline and threatened to murder him.
The teenager, known as “Malik” to protect his identity, had been being blackmailed on Facebook by an anonymous person who was threatening to out him to his family by sending his parents a photo of him marching in the July 23 Pride parade.
The young man’s parents punched and kicked him, then poured gasoline on him to try to kill him. “Malik” managed to run away, and while he is currently in a safe location, he had to leave most of his personal belonging as well as travel documents with his family which means that he has no chance of being able to flee the country at the moment.