Ezra Furman

5 LGBTQ things you need to know today, Feb. 13

1. John Cox, a Republican candidate for governor in California, once equated homosexuality with polygamy and bestiality. At a Values Voter Presidential Debate in September 2007, the San Diego businessman said what he would do to “counteract the homosexual agenda” would be to “stand up for the proper behavior” and “talk about the fact that we can’t open the floodgates to polygamy and bestiality and all kinds of other things.”

2. A new portrait of President Barack Obama has been taking over social media, and it was painted by openly gay black artist Kehinde Wiley, best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans. “We had an immediate connection with the two artists who are sitting here today,” President Obama said. “I think it’s fair to say Kehinde and I bonded maybe not in the same away as this whole sister-girl thing. We shook hands. We had a nice conversation. He and I made different sartorial decisions, but what we did find was that we had certain things in common.” Obama explained the pair both had American mothers who raised them and African fathers who were absent. “Our journeys involved searching for them and what that meant.”

3. Openly bisexual Dutch speed skater Ireen Wust now has won the most medals of any LGBTQ Olympian in the history of the Games. Wüst, who married her partner Letitia de Jong in 2011, also became the all-time Olympic medal leader in her sport.

4. The U.S. Department of Education, under the leadership of Betsy DeVos, announced yesterday that it refuses to act on any complaints of discrimination regarding transgender restroom access for students.

5. VIDEO OF THE DAY: Gender nonconforming artist Ezra Furman’s “Driving Down to L.A.,” from their new album, “Transangelic Exodus.”