In 2016 SFGN published Top Openly Gay and Allied Christian Musicians. Since then, Queer Christian songwriters have continued to make their voices heard.
Some LGBT Christian artists choose to leave the Christian music scene entirely after coming out. Jennifer Knapp, profiled in our original story, took a lengthy hiatus from music, saying that she was leaving her career “in God’s hands.” She has since returned to music as a mainstream singer/songwriter. She has toured since returning, releasing the albums “Letting Go” and “Set Me Free.”
Knapp is not the only LGBT Christian artist to move into the mainstream. In 2019 songwriter Amy Kuney saw Kelly Clarkson’s album Meaning of Life nominated for the Best Pop Vocal Grammy. Kuney, who’s music is inspired by her being both Christian and Queer, contributed two songs to the album.
According to an article published at read.tidal.com, Kuney grew up in a strict Southern Baptist home, where her homosexuality was frowned upon. She was a big fan of Christian country artist Susan Ashton and was particularly fond of Ashton’s song “You Move Me”–Kuney wrote a Clarkson song titled “Move You”, which was inspired by Aston’s song.
The original story also profiled Ray Boltz, a Fort Lauderdale resident, who came out to his family in 2004. “Their reaction was incredible. They affirmed me and told me they loved me,” Boltz told SFGN in a 2010 interview.
A few years later, the artist, who sold 4.5 million records, went public with his sexuality.
In 2015, SFGN followed up with Boltz for an update. At the time of publication, the Christian music artist lived with his partner of eight years, Franco Sperduti.
Other artists SFGN profiled in the story includ Dan Haseltine; Vicky Beeching; and Marsha Stevens.
2. Gay Bashing on Miami Beach; Suspects Surrendered
In 2018, after the closing festivities of Miami Beach Pride, four men attacked a gay couple, which was later determined to be a hate crime.
On Thursday, Dec. 19 the circuit court held a status conference in Miami on the matter. The criminal case was continued until Feb. 10.
The four defendants — Adonis Diaz, Juan Carlos Lopez, Luis Alonso Piovet, and Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa — all in their early 20s, have pled not guilty.
The trial was supposed to start on Jan. 21 and before that Nov. 18.
Here’s a recap of what allegedly happened: the attack took place when Rene Chalarca and Dmitry Logunov were leaving a public bathroom in Lummus Park in Miami Beach on April 8, 2018.
“We were walking and holding hands and needed to use the bathroom,” Logunov told SFGN in 2018. So the two of them stopped at public restroom as they headed home for the evening.
As Logunov walked out of the restroom he was allegedly called a “faggot” in Spanish, punched, and then beaten unconscious. His boyfriend at the time, Chalarca, quickly intervened, but three more men jumped in and began to attack them both.
“This was my first time going to a gay parade,” Chalarca said last year. Physically they’ve both recovered.
The attack was caught on camera and the four suspects have been charged with three counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime enhancement was added to the charges.
In 2017 SFGN wrote about the arrest and release of a young gay porn actor Kyle Dean, whose real name is Brandon Chrisan. A Florida court ordered Chrisan to continue participation in a drug intervention program.
A year later Chrisan, 21, died..
Chrisan, worked for several gay adult film studios, including Corbin Fisher.
He died Sept. 28, 2018. At the time of his death no cause had been released. However some media outlets reported that after his death scammers set up a fake GoFundMe account in order to defraud the community.
“This is Jerfry, Brandon’s roommate as you guys may know, in the early hours on yesterday Brandon sadly passed away in a struggle to survive I’ve spent the last days mourning and trying to gather up fees for his funeral. Please donate as much as you can.”
The GoFundMe page was quickly taken down.
It appears there are no further updates online.
Chrisan was born in Austin, Texas but spent most of his life in Bradenton, Florida.
According to an obituary “He loved to play football and physically train his body. He won fourth placed in an Adult Physique Competition at the age of seventeen.”
4 & 9. Kaitlyn Hunt
Kaitlyn Hunt made national news in 2013 when the then 18-year-old’s life was turned upside after she was arrested for having a sexual relationship with her then 14-year-old freshman girlfriend. Both were students at Sebastian River High School and played on the basketball team together.
The story took several twists and turns until Hunt finally agreed to a plea deal that included two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of felony interference with child custody, which required her to serve three years’ probation and complete 150 hours of community service. However, she did not have to register as a sex offender.
Hunt’s case received international attention with a slew of local LGBT community leaders weighing in on the matter. A campaign called “Free Kate” was launched with a Change.org petition collecting over 325,000 signatures.
Hunt’s family accused the younger girl’s family and prosecution of coming after them because it was a same-sex relationship. The girl’s family, however, said they were simply concerned parents, while the prosecution said they’ve prosecuted similar heterosexual cases in the past.
Hunt went on to marry a woman and they had a child together, Kingston, now 4. There’s Facebook page launched by Hunt’s mother to give her supporters updates on her life. The last update, from March 2018, read, “Kate and Kingston 💗 Doing well, keeping busy with life!”
Kaitlyn Hunt is Engaged and Pregnant
Kaitlyn Hunt is Finally Free
In 2018 all of the gay bars in Fort Lauderdale were almost shut down when the city’s Nighttime Advisory Task Force decided the bars would have to shut down at midnight instead of 2 a.m. which would have devastated their businesses.
Sarah Spurlock, the head of the task force at the time, said, “The provisions of the law give the city the rights to deny renewals based either on code violations or ‘excessive’ police calls to the licensed premises.”
Meanwhile Steve Whitney, an owner of Ramrod countered, “The ordinance does not even define what constitutes excessive. We got no notice or warning or request to comply, just a letter to close our doors at midnight. Not exactly the way to work with a business with someone who has partnered to promote your community for a quarter century.”
Eventually Mayor Dean Trantalis, a gay man himself, intervened and saved the day.
6. Life After Porn: Controversial Blue Bailey Talks HIV And Barebacking
In 2014 SFGN chatted with controversial gay porn star Blue Bailey, who raised eyebrows when he chose to bareback even though he’s HIV positive.
We recently caught up with the now retired Bailey, who’s now living a very different life.
“I graduated from UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco’s pulsating Civic Center District,” Bailey said. “I earned my JD and I focused my coursework on copyright, trademark, and privacy issues. I served as President of the student ran LGBTQ group OUTLAW, and was Managing Editor of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal.”
Now known as Francisco Ferris, his adult work landed him a publishing gig.
“An editor from a University in England saw a piece that I wrote for my Law review journal and reached out to me to author a chapter in a research handbook on gender, sexuality, and the law,” Ferris says. My chapter explores the criminalization of BDSM through the use of assault and battery charges.”
Ferris’ office is in Oakland, California, right across the Bay from San Francisco. He practices business law, predominately mergers and acquisitions.
“In 2018, I was appointed Mr. Friendly SF Leather and served as an ambassador for mrfriendly.org,” Ferris said. “Mr. Friendly is a non profit who’s mission is to reduce stigma around HIV in friendly ways through education and outreach.
In 2014, in Famous Actors Who Never Came Out And A Few Who Finally Did, SFGN took a look at big name performers in the film and television industry who, while gay, largely remained in the closet.
One star from our story who did come out late in life was 1950s heartthrob Tab Hunter, who remained closeted during his movie heyday. His 2005 autobiography “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making Of A Movie Star,” was a New York Times bestseller. In the book Hunter wrote of his life in the closet and the studio manufactured dates with women he was forced to go on. Hunter died on July 8, 2018, age 86. He had been with his partner Allan Glaser since 1983.
Since our original story was published, actor DJ Qualls, 41, came out in a tweet in January 2020, when he wrote “Yep, I’m gay, been gay this whole time. Tired of worrying about what people would think of me. Tired of worrying about what it would do to my career.”
And sadly, also in January, gender fluid actor Harry Hain, who appeared on “American Horror Story” and in other television roles, died at age 27. The actor, who used he/him pronouns, was quite open about his gender fluidity.
Some of the actors we looked in the original piece included Montgomery Clift (1920-1966); Ramon Navarro (1899-1968); William Haines (1900-1973); Roddy McDowall (1928-1998); Sal Mineo (1939-1976); Jodie Foster; Paul Lynde (1926-1982); Meredith Baxter; Gillian Anderson; and Joel Crothers (1941-1985).
8. Tony’s Talks: An Anti-gay Cardinal And A Gay Prostitute Are Bedfellows In Italy
In 2018 SFGN interviewed Francesco Mangiacapra, a self-identified “marchettaro,” also known as a male prostitute servicing gay men.
In 2018 Mangiacapra sent the Vatican a personal 1,200 page dossier exposing 40 Italian priests, who had been his clients.
In 2017 the escort published a memoir called “Il Numero Uno. Confessioni di un Marchettaro.”
“I released this dossier because I wanted to expose the ‘bad apples,’ not to throw mud at the Catholic Church but to help her get rid of the rot that contaminates the healthy part,” Mangiacapra told SFGN at the time of the interview. “The behavior of these priests is, in many cases, the fruit of bad leadership in which priests are allowed to do the opposite of what they preach.”
In 2018 SFGN previewed Captain Sandy Yawn’s “I Believe” tour. Yawn is a Fort Lauderdale resident who is cast member on Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean.”
“It hasn’t been easy and women captains are still pretty rare,” the maritime industry veteran told SFGN at the time. “I want to take this opportunity to share some of the leadership lessons I’ve learned and (especially) inspire women.”
Yawn joined the show in season 2 as the ship’s captain. Since our story came out Yawn has appeared on seasons 3 and 4 as well.
The series chronicles the lives of the crew members who work and reside aboard a 150′ mega-yacht.
The Biggest National LGBT Stories of 2019