By Johnny Trlica

It’ s easy to forget that it wasn’ t too many years ago that coming out was an act of courage. President Barack Obama made mention of that when he presented Ellen DeGeneres the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’ s highest civilian honor, reported the WashingtonBlade.com.

Obama noted how courageous it was for DeGeneres to come out 20 years ago and reminded everyone that the comedian did face backlash for her decision resulting in the cancellation of her sitcom, Ellen.

“ And she did pay a price. We don’ t remember this; I hadn’ t remembered it. She did, for a pretty long stretch of time even in Hollywood,” Obama says. “ And yet today, every day in every way Ellen counters what too often divides us with the countless things that bind us together and inspires us to be better, one joke, one dance at a time,” Obama continued.

Lovely Ladies, Gay Slurs in Mexico City and Other Top Stories

Now that the elections are over (well, maybe) and Thanksgiving is behind us, the HRH Report can get back to its usual format of presenting highlights of some of the stories we reported on in the past couple of weeks

A ‘lovely lady’ passes

She ranks right up there with the likes of June Cleaver and Harriet Nelson, only instead of doing housework and raising kids wearing pearls she did it in a mullet. Florence Henderson who for five seasons was Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch passed away on Thanksgiving Day.

Henderson, 82, was a long-time supporter of gay rights and was one of the first Hollywood actresses to campaign against AIDS, reported GayStarNews.com. Robert Reed, who played her husband on the show was gay and early in the show’ s run, Henderson put her foot down with a director who tried to mistreat the actor because of his sexuality.

Henderson thought a show like The Brady Bunch could have helped families had it included a positive gay storyline, although that could not have happened on television during that era.

“ I think so many young people have such a difficult time,’ she said. “ Most of the gay people I know—and I have so many gay and lesbian friends—so many tell me they were disowned and how tough it was for them growing up. And all of them, they all knew they were gay from the time they were five or six years old. The kids that have no place to go and the parents don’ t get it, don’ t understand and stop loving them. How can you do that to a child?”

Rothko Chapel commemorates World AIDS Day

The Rothko Chapel is joining a worldwide effort to fight HIV/AIDS, show support for those living with the disease and to commemorate individuals who have lost their lives to the virus, reported HoustonRainbowHerald.com

World AIDS Day is held on the first December of every year. The Rothko Chapel has a special event planned for the occasion—a Twilight Meditation, slated for 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 1. The chapel is located at 3900 Yupon Street in Houston.

For registration, and for more information about the Rothko Chapel and the full calendar of upcoming programs, workshops and events, visit rothkochapel.org or call 713-524-9839.

Texans taunted with gay slurs in Mexico City

As if losing a big game on national television wasn’ t bad enough, the Houston Texans were greeted by gay slurs from the fans as well. Mexican fans of the Oakland Raiders chanted the gay slur “ ¡Puto!” during the game between the Raiders and Texans in Mexico City on November 21, reported Outsports.com.

The slur could be heard on the ESPN broadcast and grew louder as more of the stadium got in on the act as the game progressed.

” Puto has always been a derogatory term used against gay men and, therefore, is a gay slur. In the macho universe, gay men are a subset of the universe of ‘ putos,’” said Andres Aradillas-Lopez, an economics professor at Penn State who was born and raised in Mexico.

The game was technically a Raiders home game and the crowd was heavily supporting Oakland. The chant was heard at least a dozen times during the game, mostly on kicks.

Forcing teachers to out students

Teachers are at times the only safe adult LGBTQ kids have to turn to. But that may change if a Republican Texas State senator has her way. A proposed bill in the Texas Senate will force public school teachers to reveal confidential information about their students, even if the student wants to keep it private, reported TexasTribune.com.

” Proposed by Tea Party State Senator Konni Burton, SB 242 will give parents full access to all written records, including counseling records, psychological records and teacher and student counselor evaluations. This means that parents will have access to conversations that students may be having with their teachers about their sexual or gender identity,” wrote the Tribune.

Under the proposed bill, a teacher’ s failure to disclose a student’ s gender identity or sexual orientation would result in disciplinary action. Burton’ s bill is among dozens of anti-LGBT measures expected to be considered by the Texas legislature when it convenes in January.

Johnny Trlica is the editor of the HoustonRainbowHerald.com, the Bayou City’s only daily LGBT internet newspaper. Contact him at TXHRH@yahoo.com