1. Hate-crime rates rose in nine major U.S. cities for the third consecutive year in 2017, fueled by increases in attacks of Jews, Muslims, African-Americans and LGBT people, Voice of America reports.
2. Bisexual actor Alan Cumming, who plays the first lead gay character in a broadcast drama on CBS’s upcoming “Instinct” (premiering in March), told AP that Donald Trump “is actively condoning, by his silence, violence and persecution against the LGBT community.”
3. Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who recently became the chairwoman of the Miss America organization, told UPI one of her goals is to make the pageant more inclusive. “Recently we had our first open lesbian contestant. Fantastic,” she said. “The lesbian, transgender community has already reached out to me. I mean, I am open to speaking to every single person who wants to have a voice.”
4. Producer Ryan Murphy, who has assembled the largest cast of transgender actors in television history for his upcoming Fox show “Pose,” told Vox that he and producers spent “months and months and months” casting the show because it was “not an option” to cast cisgender actors in trans roles.
5. VIDEO OF THE DAY: The final season of IFC’s hilarious hipster satire “Portlandia,” starring out actress/musician Carrie Brownstein, starts January 18.