Smoking Now Bigger Health Risk To LGBTs Than HIV: Today In Gay

smoking
Smoking now leads to more deaths in the LGBT community than HIV according to the Centers for Disease Control, which also reports that while 20.5% of heterosexuals smoke, 30.8% of  gay people use tobacco products. “We know that approximately one million LGBT people [in the U.S.] will die early from tobacco-related causes,” says Dr. Scout from the Network for LGBT Health Equity. “We want to save those lives instead.”

I you’re HIV-positive and smoke, the combination can take even more years off your life: According to the Network for LGBT Health Equity, being HIV-positive takes an average of 5.1 years off one’s life, but people who smoke and have HIV die 12.3 years earlier on average. Yet the smoking rate is two to three times higher among adults who are HIV-positive than in the general public.

The Centers for Disease Control is targeting LGBT smokers this month with a cautionary video (below) featuring a HIV-positive man who smoked for 30 years before a smoking- and HIV-related stroke almost killed him.


flint dollarA music teacher in Macon, Georgia, claims his contract was not renewed after the Catholic school he worked at learned he was marrying a man.

Flint Dollar says he was open about his sexual orientation with administrators at the Mount de Sales Academy, But when Dollar posted on Facebook that he and his boyfriend were getting married in Minnesota over the summer, “the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah called and expressed his concern that if I was to return [after the summer], it would be against the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

Dollar says the bishop explained “there were no parent complaints, no student complaints, but regardless, I would not be returning. I’m still kind of processing that.”

Three school board members have resigned over his dismissal, and a “Save Flint Dollar” Facebook campaign has garnered more than 2,300 likes.

Georgia’s anti-discrimination laws don’t cover sexual orientation, so Dollar’s lawyer, Charles Cox, is filing suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. “When you fire somebody because they are engaging in a same-sex marriage, I think that pretty clearly fits with gender discrimination,” said Cox. You’re being fired because you’re not complying with traditional gender stereotypes, and that’s wrong, and we believe it’s unlawful.”


ellen degeneresEllen DeGeneres is getting ready to take on Martha Stewart with a new line of lifestyle products. E.D. (pronounced “Ed”) is named after Portia de Rossi’s pet nickname for DeGeneres, not the talk-show legend’s initials.

It will include homewares, fashion, and pet goods. “I’m not trying to launch a little boutique situation,” DeGeneres told WWD. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t want it to be the biggest brand name that you can imagine.”

E.D. will launch online in late October/early November with a capsule holiday collection featuring home decor and a pjs-and-slippers set. A broader line will launch in full later at a major department store.


Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day -1

While the dire situation for LGBT people in Russia was a subject of international concern during the Sochi Olympics, director Noam Gonick was able to collect secret footage for To Russia With Love, a documentary about gay athletes at the 2014 Winter Games.

Airing October 22 on Epix, the doc will be hosted by Johnny Weir and include interviews with Sochi Olympic hopefuls like snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, speed skater Blake Skjellerup and hockey player Charline Labonté.

Gonick also interviews LGBT sports icons like Greg Louganis, Canadian swimmer Mark Tewksbury, Jason Collins and Billie Jean King, who was part of  the U.S. mission to the Sochi Games.