LGBTQ+ ally & comedian Judy Tenuta has died at 72 – Los Angeles Blade

LGBTQ+ ally & comedian Judy Tenuta has died at 72 – Los Angeles Blade

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“She was a very funny, amazing performer and it was always a “happy time to be around her” Celebrities and comedy stars pay tribute
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LOS ANGELES – She was a staple at hundreds of LGBTQ+ events, often performing around her beloved Chicago, over the years and a staunch defender of LGBTQ+ equality. Often referred to as  “The Love Goddess” and “Aphrodite of the Accordion,” comedian Judy Tenuta died at age 72 from ovarian cancer.
Tenuta died Thursday afternoon at home in Los Angeles, with her family around her, publicist Roger Neal told The Associated Press.
“She was a very funny, amazing performer,” Neal said, and it was always a “happy time to be around her.”
Named after another LGBTQ+ icon Judy Garland, Tenuta born in suburban Oak Park, Illinois was known for her raspy voice, her ever present accordion, and her bawdy acerbic sense of humour with expletive-laden jokes.
As word of her passing spread among the tight-knit comedy world performers took to Twitter paying tribute including Weird Al Yankovic, with whom she frequently partnered with in performances.
Devastated to hear of the passing of my dear, dear friend, the lovely Miss Judy Tenuta. I can’t believe she’s gone. Earth has truly lost a goddess. pic.twitter.com/TiRuWTARiB

Cassandra Peterson, an American actress, writer, and singer best known for her portrayal of the horror hostess character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and also a friend and fellow performer of Tenuta also posted a tribute to her friend:
So sad to hear of the passing of my longtime friend and collaborator @JudyTenuta. The world has lost a brilliant talent. https://t.co/oBjuw8uqQX

Tenuta gained national attention in 1987 with “On Location: Women of the Night,” a HBO special in which she starred with Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone and Rita Rudner the Associated Press noted.
Tenuta often toured with fellow comedian George Carlin, who was also known for his edgy expletive-laden comedy routines, was named best female comedy club performer opposite male winner Jerry Seinfeld in 1988′s “American Comedy Awards” TV special. Other honorees that year for their club or screen work included Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler.
Accepting the award from Carlin, Tenuta joked “I would trade it in a minute, if I could just be a wife and mother.”
The Associated Press also reported that Tenuta, a two-time Grammy nominee, receiving back-to-back nominations in 1995 and 1996 for best spoken word comedy album for “Attention Butt Pirates and Lesbetarians” and “In Goddess We Trust,” was a long-time supporter of LGBTQ rights.
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Representatives for Carter’s family confirmed the singer’s death but did not provide any immediate further comment
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LANCASTER, Ca. – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide investigators are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of singer-rapper Aaron Carter, 34, who was found unresponsive in his home.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and EMS from L.A. County Fire Department’s Fire station 129, responded to the Carter residence at 42502 Valley Vista Drive Saturday morning at approximately 11:00 a.m.
According to LASD spokesperson Deputy Alejandra Parra, the person making the 911 call, later identified as the house sitter, stated “she found a male unresponsive in the bath tub.” She was advised by the dispatcher to begin cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prior to the deputies arrival. 
Shortly after the deputies arrived, LACD Fire department EMS personnel arrived and pronounced the male (Carter) deceased at the scene. Representatives for Carter’s family confirmed the singer’s death but did not provide any immediate further comment.
“We are still in the process of accepting this unfortunate reality,” Carter’s fiancé, Melanie Martin said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.”
The singer’s publicist released a statement noting: “The family has been notified and will be flying out to Los Angeles. Aaron worked very hard towards the end of his life in recovery, to be a good father and to make amends with his family.”
The singer-rapper rose to fame as an adolescent star singing and acting. Carter, the younger brother of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter was an actor in film and television shows like “Lizzie McGuire” and “7th Heaven.”
He opened for the Backstreet Boys on a 1997 tour, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and he did the same for Britney Spears, according to The Associated Press.
Carter is perhaps most well known, however, for his sophomore album “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” which was released in 2000 and has been certified triple platinum, KTLA reported.
It included the title track as its first single, as well as a cover of “I Want Candy” and a basketball-themed song “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” The parody song features an accompanying video with NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal in which the Hall of Famer loses a game of pickup to the scrawny preteen.
The teenage Carter was seen as a heartthrob who had several high-profile romances, including with fellow child stars Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff. In 2019, he publicly came out as bisexual, although he admitted he had only dated women.

Following his initial twitter post Carter appeared on an episode of The Doctors, during which he confirmed he was bisexual, and that he would be open to dating a man if one “comes into my life and sparks an interest.”

He later appeared to have partially walked back his coming Out as bisexual saying his remarks were misconstrued.
In a podcast for Hollywood Life, Carter was asked if he would ever date a man. The 30-year-old singer said no.
“It was more so just a story that happened when I was like 17 with somebody. And I can find men and women attractive, but when it comes down to it, I think it was a little misconstrued,” Carter said. “I see myself being with a woman and having kids. I want to have a family.”
“I keep telling people that. I don’t want it to be misconstrued too much just because I was open about a story,” he added.
He later seemed to reconsider claiming that he was ready to embrace his bisexuality and would be open to dating a man if one caught his interest. He also had plans to include his bisexuality in his upcoming music.
KTLA reported that the singer also had publicly battled addiction for many years, facing legal troubles and entering rehabilitation while continuing with his music career, according to E!.
In September of this year, he entered rehab for the fifth time so he could regain custody of his infant son, Prince, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He also publicly feuded with many, including his brother Nick, whom he accused of trying to put him under a conservatorship.
In 2019, he revealed on “The Doctors” that he was diagnosed with “multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety and manic depression,” according to CNN.
“I truly don’t understand how people can watch & then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities based on stereotypes”
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LONDON – The runaway Netflix-See Saw Films series Heartstopper made Kit Connor a star, but the 18-year-old actor is accusing Twitter trolls of making him come out as bisexual before he was ready. 
Connor broke a self-imposed hiatus from Twitter on Monday with a short tweet declaring he’s bi, and pointing a finger at all those who put pressure on him to reveal his orientation; 
“back for a minute. i’m bi. congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself. i think some of you missed the point of the show. bye”
back for a minute. i’m bi. congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself. i think some of you missed the point of the show. bye
Since Monday, Connor’s tweet has been liked more than 980K times, and PinkNewsUK reports there’s been an outpouring of support, starting with the author of the series the Netflix show is based upon. 
“I truly don’t understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes,” Alice Oseman tweeted. “I hope all those people are embarrassed as FUCK. Kit you are amazing.”
A fan responded with a screengrab from Oseman’s comic about coming out, which says: “You don’t have to do anything until you’re ready,” to back her up. “Not sure the trolls can actually be called fans,” said Wispa in their tweet.
I mean, you said here first. Not sure the trolls can actually be called fans. pic.twitter.com/0eVajgmu9e
Another fan tweeted: “i cannot believe that some of you are so insufferable that you watched a show about positive identity and forced kit connor to go through the exact thing that his character was terrified of.”
Connor announced he was leaving Twitter in September after a video was shared that showed him holding hands with actress Maia Reficco. He had previously refused to accept any label for his sexuality, including with a May 2022 tweet that said people on social media “know my sexuality better than I do.” 
But with accusations of queerbaiting flying about, Connor apparently felt pressured to clear the air. 
Since coming out on Monday, Connor has again gone silent on Twitter, but PinkNewsUK reported some prominent voices have filled the vacuum. 
“No actor should be forced into this position,” tweeted writer Mark Harris. “When it’s done by a fandom that pretends to righteousness about whether someone should be allowed to play a role or talk in certain terms, it is no less toxic.”
SkyNews Journalist David Chipakupaku told PinkNews “this isn’t a cause of celebration, just very sad.” He felt Connor’s coming out was “deeply upsetting” because of the “constant internet speculation and accusations of queerbaiting.” 
“Some of you didn’t take any lessons despite profession a love for this show,” he added.
Nadia Whittome, the youngest member of British parliament who is also queer and a woman of color, also tweeted her support, saying: “Being forced to come out is being outed and it’s disgusting. I’m sorry you’ve been put through that. Sending you so much love and solidarity, Kit.”
Being forced to come out is being outed and it’s disgusting. I’m so sorry you’ve been put through that. Sending you so much love and solidarity, Kit ❤️
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments & actions have been unacceptable”
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HERZOGENAURACH, Germany – German sportswear company Adidas announced Tuesday that it has ended its partnership with disgraced rapper Kanye West, now referred to as ‘Ye’ for his recent antisemitic comments.
“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies,” Adidas said in a statement.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

Problems in the business relationship between the rapper and the sportswear company were already tenuous. Adidas had publicly announced it was evaluating its relationship with West earlier this month after West, in the company of far-right talk show host Candace Owens, were seen wearing T-shirts that read; “White Lives Matter” during a Paris Fashion Week event where he was promoting his Yeezy branded Adidas products.
When the company announced it was reviewing its relationship over that incident the rapper exploded with a profane rant on Insta directed at the company and then he added more fuel to the controversy posting: “EVERYONE KNOWS THAT BLACK LIVES MATTER WAS A SCAM NOW ITS OVER YOU’RE WELCOME.”
Then after his antisemitic comments that prompted the most recent uproar over this past weekend, the rapper was locked out of his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
In West’s recent appearance on the Drink Champs Podcast, he blamed “Jewish Zionists” for the reports that his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend Pete Davidson had sexual intercourse next to a fireplace, claimed that “Jewish people have owned the black voice,” and described Disney as a Jewish platform.
In the same Drink Champs podcast, which was removed from Youtube, West also claimed that Jewish people “came into money through the lawyers” divorcing Christians because Catholics refused to do so.
Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, released a statement mildly critical of the sportswear giant for not dropping the rapper sooner.
“I would have liked a clear stance earlier from a German company that also was entangled with the Nazi regime,” Schuster said. “Adidas has done a lot to distance itself from its past and, like many sports brands, is one of those companies that conduct big campaigns against antisemitism and racism. That’s why an earlier separation from Kanye West would have been appropriate.”
Yesterday mega-talent agency CAA announced that it had dropped West as a client.
West has engaged in hateful intolerant rants on podcasts and social media posts ranting about Jewish people’s collective power & control
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LOS ANGELES – Fallout from the display of antisemitic hatred on banners suspended over the 405 freeway Saturday by the ‘Goyim Defense League,’ a group of white neo-Nazi white supremacists led by the hate speech purveyor Jon Minadeo II, continued Monday.
Minadeo and his group told media outlets that they were acting in “support” of Rapper Kanye West, also known as Ye. The group gave Nazi salutes as they stood behind a large banner that read, “Kanye is right about the Jews,” according to images collected by antidiscrimination organizations and Los Angeles Jewish residents appalled by the group’s message and shared on Twitter and other social media platforms.
West has engaged in several hateful intolerant rants on podcasts and social media posts in which he has made comments about supposed Jewish people’s collective power and control.
In West’s recent appearance on the Drink Champs Podcast, he blamed “Jewish Zionists” for the reports that his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend Pete Davidson had sexual intercourse next to a fireplace, claimed that “Jewish people have owned the black voice,” and described Disney as a Jewish platform.
In the same Drink Champs podcast, which was removed from Youtube, West also claimed that Jewish people “came into money through the lawyers” divorcing Christians because Catholics refused to do so.
On Monday, CAA, the prominent Hollywood talent agency, stopped representing Ye amid growing calls to boycott the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. The agency ended its relationship with Ye following his recent antisemitic outbursts in various interviews, according to a person with knowledge of the situation speaking to the Los Angeles Times.
Reaction to the hate-filled display included the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre earlier on Monday who tweeted:
.@POTUS ran to heal the soul of the nation after years of hate and division. As part of this healing, we need to call out antisemitism everywhere it rears its ugly head. These actions in LA are disgusting and should be condemned.https://t.co/6B3TpLRqiT

California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) and State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), Chair and Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus issued a statement Monday saying: “Words have consequences. Kanye West threatened Jews, and now other extremists are openly threatening our Jewish community with hateful banners on the 405 freeway and distributing appalling antisemitic propaganda in our neighborhoods.
“We are proud to be Jewish and we will not remain silent when hatred and bigotry are openly directed at our Jewish community or any other community in California.
“Any company—including Adidas—that continues to do business with Kanye West is party to this attack on Jews. It is morally indefensible to turn a blind eye to antisemitism and to put profits over the safety of Jews or others targeted by hate.
“We are grateful to those who have spoken out in solidarity with our Jewish community. Together, we will build a stronger and safer state.”
Governor Gavin Newsom reacted to Saturday’s incident and the ongoing acts of antisemitism:
“This weekend’s public display of anti-Semitic hate is another wake-up call to all of us that we must remain vigilant to protect our values and freedoms as Californians,” said Governor Newsom. “The former President gave a platform to extremists spewing hate speech and we continue to see the dangerous consequences – from the insurrection on January 6th to Nazi salutes and anti-Jewish signs over the 405 freeway here in California. Our state is committed to protecting our diverse communities and will continue to lead the fight against racial, ethnic, and religious hate wherever it rears its ugly head.”
In Los Angeles Out City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell in an emailed statement noted:
“The poison of hate has no place anywhere, and the rise in anti-Semitism in so many places, including Los Angeles, is deeply disturbing. It’s hard to fathom the malevolence required to put such vile words and gestures on public display, as well as the bigoted mindset required to think this way in the first place.
These acts are part of an alarming trend of abhorrent verbal and literal attacks against Jews here and everywhere. History has shown that ignorance, bigotry and hatred begets violence. Those of us who believe in and celebrate our pluralism and diversity must speak loudly against this. We absolutely cannot be silent.”
Speaking with reporters Monday during the daily briefing the subject came up as the White House Press queried the Press Secretary:
Q    With the Israeli President coming for a visit, it comes at a time when there has been a notable uptick in some prominent antisemitism and some questions about how Republicans are responding to that, how the culture is responding to that. 
 
What is the President’s view of how that might even influence the visit or be a subject of the visit or how he believes the country should be responding to that?  Kanye West has been a part of it.  Others have been asked to respond to the corporate side of those sort of notable instances. 
 
MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So I could — I could just speak for the President and how he feels.  And he feels that our administration and himself should respond to this. 
 
Let’s not forget the President ran on — on healing — on healing the soul of our nation — right? — after years of — of just years of division, years of hatred. 
 
And so, he’s very, very — been very clear on that and how important it is to make sure that he does that in this administration.
 
So, when racism or antisemitism rears its ugly head, he is going to call that out.  And he has called it out.  We should not allow that conversation to be existing — not just in the political discourse but in our — in our everyday lives. 
 
And so, that is something that we’re going to continue to — to call out, that the President is going to call out.  It is ugly.  It is dangerous.  It is despicable. 
 
And he believes that — that we should con- — we should, as leaders — leaders in the political party, leaders — it doesn’t matter if you’re — which side of the aisle that you sit in, you should — we should be calling this out.  And that is something that, again, he’s going to condemn.  And he’s going to be very, very clear to call this out in the strongest terms.
 
Q    Does he think others have been timid in that area?
 
MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Look, I’ve talked about this before, when we saw the situation in Los Angeles and I was asked about the city council members, specifically in Los Angeles.  And they were Democrats, and we were very clear: It doesn’t matter if there’s a “D” or an “R” after your name, but that we should call this out. 
 
And what is sad about this is you see Republicans — Republicans in Congress who — who make these horrific — and not just in Congress, but, you know, across — across the — across the spectrum, make these really vile and dismi- — despicable comments about racism and antisemitism.  And they don’t call — they don’t call it out. 
 
And that — and that is going to be — that is not going to be how the President is going to handle situations like this.  He is going to call it out, regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on, regardless of, again, if there’s a “D” or an “R” after your name.
 
There is no place — no place at all for that type of vile belief or language in our political discourse.
The actor died in a single-car crash Monday morning in Hollywood after suffering an unspecified medical emergency the LAPD said
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LOS ANGELES – Beloved Out actor and comedian Leslie Jordan has died in a single-car crash Monday morning in Hollywood after suffering an unspecified medical emergency an LAPD source said. The news of his death was first broken by entertainment gossip news website TMZ.
The 67-year-old saw a resurgence of fame with his viral and hilarious videos on social media during the lengthy coronavirus pandemic. Jordon was best known for his roles as Lonnie Garr in Hearts Afire (1993–1995), Beverly Leslie in Will & Grace (2001–2006, 2017–2020), and several characters in the American Horror Story franchise (2011–present).
Jordon, an accomplished stage actor and playwright, was also devoted as an advocate for LGBTQ+ equality rights. Early on during the HIV/AIDS crisis, Jordan, a Los Angeles resident became involved in AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) as a buddy and as a food delivery-person for Project Angel Food, a non-profit founded during the HIV/AIDS pandemic which to the present day prepares and delivers healthy meals to feed people impacted by serious illness.
In statement to the Blade after learning of Jordan’s death, Richard Ayoub, the CEO of Project Angel Food said:
“Leslie was more than just a supporter of Project Angel Food, he was family. When Leslie first moved to LA in the 90s he wanted to help people with AIDS so he volunteered as a driver for Project Angel Food. Leslie presented Project Angel Food with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Creative Business Award in 2019, and was such a joy to be around. Our hearts ache.”
“Today APLA Health joins our community in mourning the loss of Leslie Jordan, a long-time APLA Health supporter and a true warrior in the fight for LGBT health and equality. Leslie was there when AIDS Project Los Angeles (the former name of APLA Health) began and was a ceaseless advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS,” said APLA spokesperson Craig Bowers in an emailed statement to the Blade. “During the onset of the HIV pandemic, he volunteered his time in our Buddy Program and emceed several of our fundraising events. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends during this time.”
Two years ago in a lengthy interview with Page Six, Jordan revealed he once hated himself for being gay. The star and social media phenom told Page Six that homophobia and self-loathing were planted deep inside him growing up in a church-going family in 1950s Tennessee.
“If you’re born homosexual, it’s not a choice,” said Jordan, who has released a book of essays called “How Y’All Doing?”
“I think for myself when you know something in your heart and you’re [told] that’s just wrong … I talk to a lot of my gay friends and I say it’s a wonder we’re even alive!”
In a 2018 interview with the Blade, Jordan spoke about his career:
“It feels amazing. I’ve always been the funny guy that came in with a zinger.  That was my job from the day I got here in 1982, with $1,200 that my mother pinned into my underpants on a Greyhound bus,” he quipped during a panel at the Television Critics Press Tour.
“I got off at the corner of Vine Street and De Longpre and I realized that was my job.…Thirty years I did that. ‘’Will & Grace’ (which he guest starred in) won an Emmy for it. And I thought, ‘you know what? It’s time.’ Just the way it’s unfolded has been amazing.”
“We’re very grateful to the jury for seeing through these false allegations,” said his attorney, Jennifer Keller
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NEW YORK – The federal grand jury hearing the $40 million dollar civil sexual assault lawsuit brought against Kevin Spacey found the actor not liable after about only an hour of deliberations.
Out actor Anthony Rapp had sued Spacey alleging that the time two Academy Award winning actor had molested him. Rapp, 50, and Spacey, 63, each testified over several days at the three-week trial.
In court documents, Rapp states that in 1986, Spacey, then 26, invited him, when he as 14, to his Manhattan home where Spacey allegedly assaulted him.
ABC News reported that deliberations began in midafternoon after a lawyer for Rapp, Richard Steigman, urged jurors to make Spacey pay for trying to make a sexual advance on Rapp in Spacey’s Manhattan apartment in 1986 after a party. He accused Spacey of lying on the witness stand.
The Associated Press reported when the verdict was read, Spacey dropped his head, then hugged his lawyers. He didn’t speak to reporters as he left the courthouse.
“We’re very grateful to the jury for seeing through these false allegations,” said his attorney, Jennifer Keller.
“What’s next is Mr. Spacey is going to be proven that he’s innocent of anything he’s been accused of. That there was no truth to any of the allegations,” she added, a reference to other sexual misconduct claims against the actor, including criminal charges in England.
Rapp released a statement after the verdict on Twitter:
pic.twitter.com/JrvFBbSMjq
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