By Johnny Trlica

The United States dropped the mother of all bombs a few days ago, or so we’ve been told. Apparently, they’ve never seen one of Tanya Hyde’s performances at TC’s Vicious Voices. But give the girl credit. Not everyone can sing live, or attempt to anyway. (BTW, we love Tanya and know she has a sense of humor.)

Here’s a bit of what we’ve been reading at Houston Rainbow Herald.com.

Missing UH student

Authorities are seeking information on a missing University of Houston student. An Vinh Nguyen was last seen on March 31 in Northwest Harris County, reports KTRK ABC13.com. Nguyen is a student at the UH Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. He recently booked a flight to Fort Lauderdale where he was preparing to interview for a flight attendant job with Spirit Airlines. His paperwork along with the suit he just bought was untouched. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office recently recovered his 2016 Jeep Renegade and searched the vehicle for evidence.
If you have any information on his disappearance, contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 713-755-7427.

Syphilis rates high among gay men
A new study reveals men who have sex with men are 106 times more likely to contract syphilis than men who exclusively have sex with women. Wow! The same study by the American Sexual Health Association also showed men who have sex with men account for 81.7 percent of cases in the United States.
Researchers analyzed data collected in 2015 and compiled the first of its kind state-by-state report on syphilis rates.

Gay concentration camps

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” is a famous quote by George Santayana.
Chechnya has opened the first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler, where campaigners say gay men are being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death, reports DailyMail.co.uk.
Reports claim 100 gay men were detained and three killed in Chechnya during the second week of April. Novoya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper, said authorities had set up several campswhere homosexuals are killed or forced to promise to leave the republic.
The men are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.

Opinion: Losing focus
Sometimes we as a nation seem to lose focus on what’s important. The hot topic of the day is about a passenger being tossed off an overbooked flight.
A disturbing scene captured on cellphone videos by United Airlines passengers showed a 69-year-old man being dragged off the plane. Cue the outrage, threats of boycotts against United Airlines and non-stop debate over passenger rights for the next week.
Never mind that the airline did nothing illegal and the “victim” was offered monetary compensation.
Yet in this same news cycle, there was another shooting at an elementary school. A man walked into a San Bernardino elementary school classroom and shot his wife/teacher in front of the class before turning the gun on himself. A nine-year-old girl was also injured. But a man was booted off an overbooked flight.
As mentioned earlier in this column, news coming from Chechnya report gay men are being rounded up and placed in concentration-style camps. A Russian opposition newspaper cited claims by federal law enforcement officials who said the men, ranging in ages from 16 to 50, were detained “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.”Those arrests apparently began when a local LGBTQ rights group, GayRussia.ru, applied for Pride parade permits, which were immediately denied.
Torture is going on with electric shocks, beatings with cables and glass bottles being forced into the men’s anus until it breaks say some reports.
But a man was booted off an overbooked flight.
Here in Texas, the Texas Senate gave initial approval, voting 21-10, to a bill that would allow county clerks to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples over religious objections to the practice. SB 522 would let county clerks refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as an assistant clerk or judge is willing to provide the service, said the author, state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury.
But a man was booted off an overbooked flight.
Then, to top things off, White House press secretary Sean Spicer went Holocaust denial and was lampooned brilliantly on Saturday Night Live, while discussing the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, arguing that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” (Fact check: Hitler gassed millions of Jews, gays, Slovaks, Poles and other ethnic minorities during World War II.)
But Hillary’s emails! Yes, while the Russians were conspiring with the Trump campaign to put a stooge in the Oval Office, the nation turned a blind eye and lost focus, just as we are doing today.

For the latest LGBTQ news and current events in 2017, click on HoustonRainbowHerald.com. Johnny Trlica is the editor of the HoustonRainbowHerald.com, the Bayou City’s only daily LGBT internet newspaper. Contact him at jtrlica@houstonrainbowherald.com.