Today, we've got some ups and downs. On the up side, the Golden Globes honored a show where the main character is transgender, and a new ad shows why Tiffany & Co’s ethics are just as fabulous as their diamonds! On the down side? Sad news about a favorite Easter treat (okay, maybe it’s just my favorite Easter treat) for our friends across the pond. I also have the latest on the situation in France. Plus, George Zimmerman gets arrested again (yes, you read that correctly).
Do you think Obama should have showed up in Paris? Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ characters on television? Discuss these or any news item in the comments or tweet me directly @AmandaLauren (or just follow me)
George Zimmerman Is Arrested Again
If the name George Zimmerman sounds familiar, it’s because he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, in 2012. He was infamously acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Over the weekend, Zimmerman found himself on the wrong side of the law for what is technically the sixth time since his acquittal. On January 9, he was arrested in Florida for aggravated assault with a weapon and domestic violence after throwing a wine bottle at his ex-girlfriend. So how did this whole thing go down? Said girlfriend broke up with Zimmerman, and he was none too happy with her, but after she asked for a painting back, Zimmerman threw the bottle at her. He missed. The unnamed woman left the house and was pulled over as she was driving away because the police noticed there were sounds of breaking glass coming from the house.
The woman was said to be “extremely emotional, crying, mad and upset,” by detectives. She refereed to her ex-boyfriend as “that psycho, George Zimmerman” and said they had been involved in an “intimate relationship” since the end of last year.
After being charged with aggravated assault, Zimmerman was released on a $5k bond the next day and ordered to surrender all weapons. In Florida, aggravated assault is a felony. So, if he is convicted, Zimmerman will be banned from purchasing and owning guns.
It’s been reported that, as Zimmerman was being released from court on Saturday, he joked around and laughed with an officer while he was signing paper work.
In September 2013, his ex-wife Shellie called the police, saying he had threatened her with a gun, but she declined to press charges. A few months later, Zimmerman’s girlfriend at the time, Samantha Scheibe, told police he had done the same thing to her, but she also declined to press charges. Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic violations.
Zimmerman’s attorney Don West told the Orlando Sentinel,
If charges are filed, Mr. Zimmerman stands ready to defend against them. There will be an arraignment, at which point I'll appear, enter a plea of not guilty, and we'll proceed as we always do.
Zimmerman is due back in court on February 17.
Audrey Kishline Commits Suicide
It was reported last week that Audrey Kishline, also known as Audrey Conn, committed suicide in her Happy Valley, Oregon home on December 14, 2014. She is best known for founding the harm reduction mutual aid support group, Moderation Management.
Moderation Management is considered an alternative to the most well known mutual aid support group, Alcoholics Anonymous. Moderation Management helps “problem drinkers” who may or may not be dependent on alcohol to moderate their use.
In 1995, Kishline wrote Moderate Drinking: The Moderation Management Guide for People Who Want to Reduce Their Drinking. Kishline became a celebrity of sorts, appearing on television and featured in national publications including The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Business Week, U.S. News and World Report, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, Dateline and Oprah.
But by 2000 Kishline realized the program she created wasn’t working for her and severed ties with the organization to become a member of other mutual aid support groups.
Two months later, in an alcoholic blackout, Kishline drove the wrong way on an Interstate in Washington with a blood alcohol level of .26, and killed Danny Davis, 38 and his 12-year-old daughter LaShell. She served 3 and a half years in prison.
In 2007, Kishline co-authored Face to Face with Sheryl Maloy-Davis, the ex-wife of Davis and mother of LaShell, about forgiveness and the subsequent friendship that developed between the two women.
Kishline suffered from anxiety and depression. In the last months of her life, her Facebook posts reflected her mental state. Her last update, from November, expressed her frustration with quitting smoking:
Talk about a CHALLENGE. I have now "quit" smoking every night. That's right! Full of determination! I can do it! No problem! Then........morning dawns. A little voice says "just one more, that's all, I promise, THEN I'll stop, for SURE...blah-de-blah." I'll keep you posted, even tho I do not want to. THIS IS SCARY STUFF. I mean it. Totally terrifying.
Conn’s obituary did not mention she was the founder of Moderation Management.
Je Suis Updated
Last Wednesday, the offices French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were attacked by terrorists leaving twelve people dead and eleven injured.
The attackers, brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, escaped to an area North of Paris, where they took a hostage, but were ultimately killed in a shootout with police. The hostage was freed.
On Friday, another gunman who had coordinated with the two brothers, took hostages at a Kosher market in Paris, but police were able to intervene and killed the gunman. Fifteen hostages were freed.
On Sunday, over 3.5 million people attended rallies throughout France, including Paris, where over 40 world leaders showed up. Who was there? Even major enemies including Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas (yes, at the same time, for real), as well as Ukrainian President Poroshenko and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (yes you read that correctly) showed up in solidarity for France. But, not US President Obama. Or even John Kerry. The US had Ambassador Jane D. Hartley represent.
So why the no-show? A lot of people thought it was a little weird that everyone showed up but Obama. An unnamed White House staff member told Time:
It is worth noting that the security requirements for both the President and (Vice President) can be distracting from events like this - for once this event is not about us.
Okaaay….But, the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest admitted by Monday afternoon, that Obama’s lack of attendance was essentially their bad:
I think it's fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there. That said, there is no doubt that the American people and this administration stand foursquare behind our allies in France as they face down this threat. And that was evident throughout last week.
· They say no bunny knows Easter better than the Cadbury bunny, but something odd is happening with this seasonal treat in the UK. Cadbury announced the delicious shell would not be made of Dairy Milk chocolate this year (as it has been since 1905), but a slightly different recipe. A company spokesperson said, “It’s no longer Dairy Milk. It’s similar, but not exactly Dairy Milk.” Nobody in the UK thinks this is an eggcellent idea. But fear not, American egg enthusiasts, Hershey manufactures Cadbury Eggs on this side of the pond and our eggs will not be changing. In fact, Cadbury eggs sold in the US, while delicious, were never made Dairy Milk chocolate in the first place.
· Yet another reason to like Tiffany & Company jewelry -- they are officially the first major jewelry company to feature a same-sex couple in their ad campaign for wedding rings. And it turns out the models, who aren’t actually professional models (but sure do look like them) are a couple in real life. Linda Buckley, Tiffany & Co. VP of North American PR, told Elle.com, “Nowadays, the road to marriage is no longer linear, and true love can happen more than once with love stories coming in a variety of forms. The Tiffany engagement ring is the first sentence of the story that a couple will write together as they create a life that is deeply intimate and exceptional, which is the message we hope to convey through this campaign.”
· The Amazon series Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor, about a father who comes out as transgender later in life, won the Golden Glove for Best Television Series- Musical or Comedy. Tambor also won took home the trophy for Best Actor in A Television Series -- Musical or Comedy.