When several gay men in Orlando volunteered that they thought they'd seen or even interacted with mass shooter Omar Mateen on various gay dating apps—immediately setting into motion the narrative that he was a self-hating closet case—I was skeptical. The witnesses didn't strike me as liars (the one who gave an interview on TV in makeup did), but they didn't sound that sure, and there is a wealth of information out there on how people mix these kinds of things up, even those who are “sure.”
The FBI has since noted that there is no evidence at all that Mateen was gay, or that he ever joined a gay dating app, even to do research. That would imply that the witnesses are simply mistaking him for someone else, which is not hard to grasp—it's hard to positively ID people you chatted with or just saw on an app for a short time. Pictures are not the same as flesh, and one picture of someone may look totally different from another.
I was struck by the conspiracy-drenched denials of at least one witness, who insisted his version of reality trumped anything the FBI could unravel.
Via the Los Angeles Times:
Kevin West, 29, a Navy veteran and Pulse regular, said Mateen messaged him on Jack’d and also said he recognized him entering the club on the night of the shooting. After the attack, West turned his phone and app passwords over to police and FBI investigators. He said Mateen didn’t reveal his name, but he recognized him from the photo Mateen had posted on the app, which matched one of the gunman released after the shooting.
On Thursday, he dismissed federal investigators’ doubts.
“No one is lying about him being on there,” West said of the gay apps, adding that “once you have the app and delete your profile, it’s gone.”
I received this statement from Jack'd regarding the possibility of old profiles being gone forever:
When Online Buddies purchased Jack'd it was built so deleted profiles were in fact deleted and info was not kept.
I'm very proud of 20-year-old singer Ryan Beatty, who came out on Instagram, playfully declaring he is “a raging homosexual.” I say proud because I chose him as one of the stars of 2012 (we were often early on this stuff, often to the detriment of sales!) when I ran a teen magazine. We feted him and 11 others at a party in L.A. He was a very sweet boy, and I believed in his talent and his ability to generate interest online. It's gratifying to see him shrug off religious considerations and declare himself a proud gay man.
He can “finally breathe”—what a fitting way to describe it.
Here's a Tweet from 2012 when we had our party, showing Ryan with Cody Simpson's sister, Alli:
Hillary Clinton responds to anticlimactic Benghazi report: “It's time to move on.” Slain ambassador Stevens's sister doesn't blame Hillary.
How Bernie Sanders apparently overplayed his hand, squandering the real power he'd accumulated.
Does watching condomless porn lead gay men to engage in more condomless sex? Will you see condomless porn at the link?
Find out who wants the FDA to end the ban on gay male blood donors.
Lady Gaga meets with Dalai Lama to discuss kindness (tell some of your monsters, lady), gets banned from China? She did right. More power to her.
RuPaul has been going mainstream in a big way lately! Check him out matching wits with Stephen Colbert (plus, his take on Gay Pride):
Several suicide bombers blew themselves up and another used a gun to wreak havoc at Ataturk Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world.
As of this writing, at least 36 are confirmed dead, with 150 injured.
Caitlyn Jenner covers Sports Illustrated in a rare pose—wearing the gold medal she won at the Olympics back when she was Bruce.
In the interview, the Republican transgender trailblazer says:
I loved Bruce… I still love him today. I like what he did and the way he set an example for hard work and dedication. I’m proud of that part of my life. But this woman was living inside me, all my life, and it reached the point where I had to let her live and put Bruce inside. And I am happier, these last 12 months, than I’ve ever been in my life.
It's an interesting way to think of herself—her selves—even if the cover is Basic Bitch 101.