1. The long-overdue Employment Non-Discrimination Act is doing a fairly good job of working its way through the Senate. There is an overwhelming national push for ENDA's passage from public figures such as Apple CEO Tim Cook, who according to The Advocate, said "Protections thta promote equality and diversity should not be conditional on someone's sexual orientations. For too long, too many people have had to hide that part of their identity in the workplace." John Boehner, however, opposes the bill (shocker) and his statement might very well hinder it from passing in the House.
2. Thailand deserves some major snaps. Over here in the US, we still can't seem to wrap our mind around the need for gender neutral bathrooms; meanwhile, Thailand held its ninth Miss International Beauty Queen Pageant for transgender women. Marcelo Ohio, the drop-dead gorgeous Brazilian competitor, took the crown this past weekend in the Thai city of Pattaya, Gay Star News reports. As Arisa Phanthusak, the pageant's organizer, explained, Thailand is unique in "being just one of the handful of societies where transgendered people have such a high profile and acceptance."
3. David Barton, founder of David Barton Gym, reveals that he is leaving his empire to, "reinvent the gym experience all over again." "It was no longer the right place for me," Barton tells New York Magazine. For most people, the news came out of nowhere, and many suspect it was not 100 percent his decision. Nevertheless, Barton seems to be in good spirits, optimistic and overflowing with fresh ideas. "I'm an upstart. I need to innovate. Status quo is not my comfort zone."
4. Last Thursday morning, a group of five belligerently drunk French teenagers wandered into a closed down circus and stole a llama. (Yes, you read that correctly.) According to The Independent, "they originally had their hearts set on takign a zebra, but after the beast proved too stubborn, they happily settled for the more amenable Serge." They even managed to lead Serge onto the Bordeaux tram system with them, but a few grumbling passenger's decided to piss all over their good time and report it to the ticket inspector. (No worries, the llama is just fine.) So sure, you might have performed some regrettable deeds this Halloweekend. But don't get too down on yourself. At least you didn't kidnap a llama.
5. Huffington Post reports that Hallmark has issued a public apology via Twitter in response to their bigoted Christmas sweater ornament, saying they "never intended to offend or make political statements" with their products. On the tree decoration were amended "Deck The Halls" lyrics; instead of "Don we now our gay appearal," it reads, "Don we now our fun appearal." "The whole thing seems silly to us," explains Mitch Levine, community ambassador for the Lesbian and Gay Community Center fo Kansas City. "No one was offended by that in the song and the change was not necessary." There are, of course, those who support the change, like Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, who claims "homosexual activists stole that word [gay] just like they stole the rainbow."
6. "Werk Out," the fifth video in the "Sextape" series for international club brand Room Service. Thomas Knights, the video's photographer and music producer, tells Huffington Post, " 'Werk Out' tells the story of a seemingly heterosexual guy who drinks a magic protein shake and gets transported into a world where fitness and looking good is the ultimate aim." Umm, OK.
Watch "Werk Out" below: