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RPDR S11E4: Nina West Shares Her Story Of Growing Up As A Republican While Growing Up As Gay



Nina West shares her experience growing up as a republican and being targeted in college for being gay.

This week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 was very political, and I love it. The maxi-challenge is a lipsync musical where the queens played as different women in Donald Trump’s life like Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Omorosa, Betsy DeVos, and of course, his arch nemesis, Hillary Clinton.

The challenge is RuPaul’s attempt to bring a hyper-political topic in a very creative and entertaining way. The musical number entitled “Trump: The Rusical” is a social commentary about the women in President Trump’s life and the roles they play in his presidency. It eventually sent a message of women power, where women are said to be the future – encouraging the audience to vote more women politicians to government positions.

Nina West performed as Sarah Sanders in Trump: The Rusical. Photo from @NinaWest / Instagram

The main challenge has brought out different political emotions from the queens – who mostly grew up in a homophobic society – and started conversations about political issues that other queens did not bring up in the past.

The episode has uncovered different political anecdotes from the competing queens that helped educate people about the political climate in the United States.


In a conversation with Ru during the time that she checked out the queens progress in the challenge, Nina revealed that she actually grew up in a very political family, a Republican at that. At the age of 12, she went to the Republican National Convention.

Asked if ‘her party’ win that year, Nina immediately denied her involvement with the Republicans saying that “it is not my political party, but I believe they did win. I believe it was George Bush…The father.”

She also told viewers in her confessionals that she was able to meet Bush’s wife, Barbar and Connie Chung and that she was also the president of the Young Republican Club until she started to realize that she was gay.

She clarified, however, that now she is already super liberal and progressive.


Nina West shares being targeted in college for being gay. Screenshot from VH1

During the time where the queens put their make up on, Nina west opened up being a target in college. She said that during her sophomore year, she ran for student government. Because of the extra attention that her candidacy made her, an underground anti-gay hate group in her college campus took into themselves to harass her, break into her dorm room, and threatened her life.

She revealed that one day, she arrived into her dorm greeted by the word “fag” carved in her dorm room and a distorted voice message threatening to kill her saying “we’re gonna get you.” Later that day, one of her dorm mates told her that someone tried to break into her room. She expressed how scared she was during that time and shared to her fellow queens that the incident forced her to move out of her dorm room and transfer to an all-girls dorm and remained hidden for two weeks until authorities found the perpetrator of the threats.

The incident rang hard on Nina as it happened in the wake of Matthew Sheppard, a college student in Wyoming who was killed by anti-gay “monsters.” Sheppard went to a local bar, and a group of men picked him up and beat him to death, eventually hanging him in a fence.

Nina said that the Matthew Sheppard incident and her experience in her sophomore year made her the gender rights activist that she is now.

“The Matthew Sheppard murder changed my life…This is why I’m involved in gay rights issues; because I don’t want anyone to feel that way that I felt – that I was suicidal, that I was not good enough, or that I didn’t belong. That’s why I do what I do; so they will never feel that way,” Nina said on the show.

“It is awful, you don’t want to feel like you don’t matter,” she added.

Nina urged people not to let anyone tell them that their voice doesn’t matter in this time where the environment is very divisive.

The revelations of Nina West have moved her fellow competing queens, and they started to hug her and gave her message of support. Fans in Twitter have also expressed how proud they are of Nina and have called upon more queens to tell their stories and fight just like what Nina did. /apr

A consumer tech and cybersecurity journalist who does content marketing while daydreaming about having unlimited coffee for life and getting a pet llama.

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Arts & Entertainment

5 Top Las Vegas 2019 Shows You Should Watch

Las Vegas is known for parties and gambling. However, the sin city is also a hub for the best performances in the world Click To Tweet



Photo by Ken Yam on Unsplash

Las Vegas is where people go to have one of the wildest weekends in their lives. It’s the 28th most populated city in the United States and boasts millions of visitors annually. In 2018, there over 42 million people who went to visit the “sin city. “

Popularly known as a city for drinking, gambling, and even getting married to strangers, Las Vegas proves to be one of the fascinating cities in the world. But the city is not only known to host the biggest parties but also host the biggest performers.

Singers, Dancers, Magicians, and a ton of different acts and performances are in Las Vegas — to accommodate its millions of visitors and throw a one of a kind experience.

If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas, here’s a list of shows you should watch:

#1 Cher

Classic Cher at Park MGM, Las Vegas
Photo From:

The Goddess of Pop and queen of Camp is making a visit in the sin city this March and between August 21 until the first day of September at Park MGM.

She is an Emmy, Grammy, and Academy-Award winner, as well as, the recipient of hundreds of other awards spanning her decades-long career as one of the top-selling performers of all time.

She is also popularly known for her highly energetic and entrancing performances on stage that should please all Cher fans.

#2 Absinthe

Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace
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You may know Absinthe as the green alcoholic drink that knocks you right off your feet, but the Absinthe in Vegas is way more than a glass of intoxication.

Unassumingly located in the Roman Plaza (just steps from the front entrance of Caesars Palace), “Absinthe,” the show that will entertain, surprise, and might even push you on the edge of your seats (if you take it too seriously).

Moreover, Absinthe is an adults-only, circus-type show that features an impressive variety of productions with burlesque-type performances bordering on becoming too lewd with funny, fast-witted acts that will surely give you a laugh.

#3 Cirque Du Soleil

“O” CIrque Du Soleil Las Vegas
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TripAdvisor’s top two most recommended shows to visit when in Las Vegas both come from Cirque Du Soleil. The play performs seven times a week featuring different fanciful worlds and extreme acrobatics that will entice the viewer’s imagination.

Among Cirque Du Soleil’s seven different shows, here are two of the most reviewed on TripAdvisor:

O: Is an aquatic-themed wonderland of surrealism, artistry, and romance during a performance of ‘O,’ one of the most sought-after and iconic Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. Combining a worldwide crew of synchronized swimmers, daring acrobats, and elegant divers, the show seamlessly transitions between the fantasy worlds above, on and below the water to produce a stunning spectacle, all housed inside an elegant theater similar to some of Europe’s grandest opera houses.

The Beatles: Celebrates the musical legacy of The Beatles during a performance of LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This performance features the musical catalog of the Fab Four alongside special effects, freestyle dancing, and aerial acrobatics, offering an intimate chance to relive some of your favorite Beatles moments.

#4 Magic Mike Live

Magic Mike Live
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Described by The Hard Rock Hotel as “a sizzling 360-degree dance and acrobatic striptease spectacular guaranteed to bring on the heat,” Magic Mike Live at Las Vegas will get everyone screaming.

The 18 years old and above show is inspired by the Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL movie franchise that stars Hollywood hunk, Channing Tatum. Also, Tatum is genuinely part of the show. He will not be dancing, however, but this is his idea come to life.

Moreover, it will resemble Club Domina (the popular club where Tatum performs in the movie) and will include 13 extremely fit, barely-clothed men.

The show runs from Wednesday to Sunday weekly with each show running for 80 minutes each.

#5 Barry Manilow

Manilow Las Vegas
Photo From:

Barry Manilow is making a comeback “through October 2019!”

Barry Manilow returns to Las Vegas for an exclusive residency show at the International Theater at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. With an extensive back catalog, including over 50 Top 40 hits and 85 million albums sold worldwide.

There’s also an all-new stage design that’s touted to give his performance a new dynamic.

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Something Is “Out Of Tune” In Spotify — As Service Blackout Experienced In The US and 30 Other Countries

Spotify is down in more than 30 countries but the company says it is unrelated to the recent UI update focused on podcasts. Click To Tweet



Spotify is down in more than 30 countries but the company says it is unrelated to the recent UI update.
Spotify is down since 8AM. Photo: Andrew Mager | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Spotify says that today, something is “out of tune” as reports regarding the outage in the app and the inability of users to use the favorite music and podcast streaming app exposed a problem in the platform. The disruption comes after the company has officially a rolled out a redesigned user-interface today.

The downtime was first noticed by users who have stormed to Spotify’s official Twitter account, @SpotifyCares, to report the problem. The same outage was also reported by downtime tracking company, Down Detector, who said that the problem started since 8:22 AM EDT.

Initially, the company have failed to acknowledge the outage in its status Twitter account but has recently posted about it saying that the company is already doing something to fix the problem.

“Something’s out of tune. We’re currently investigating, and we’ll keep you posted here!” posted by the company in its @SpotifyStatus Twitter to update users regarding the apparent service blackout.

Aside from its official announcement, Spotify’s technical support has also started responding to users to update them personally with what is happening.

Many of the users have attributed the problem with Spotify’s latest UI update as they started experiencing the loss of service following the update completion. However, Spotify denies it as they said it is not the case.

Nonetheless, the company is yet to offer further information regarding the problem or has released any statement as to what caused the outage.

According to outage tracking company, Down Detector, the outage started around eight in the morning, but their outage map shows that reports regarding the outage spikes later in the morning and continued until the afternoon.

It also appears that most of the outage is localized in the United States, but reports from the U.K. also suggests that British users are also experiencing the service blackout. Another outage tracking company, Outage.Report, claims that reports hail from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., and 26 other countries, it says.

Spotify UI update

As the Spotify moves towards promoting podcasts in its platform more, the company today has announced that it will be updating its UI where a new “Your Library” section is being rolled out now to paying subscribers on its Premium plan. The latest update will make it easier for users to navigate from music and podcasts.

With the update, users will be able to swipe or tap to switch between music and podcasts, while the latter also features three sections for podcast management: Episodes, Downloads, and Shows. The Episodes tab is where the users can find the episodes of the podcast they are already listening to so that they can get back to where they previously left off. The Downloads tab, episodes you’ve saved for offline listening and the Shows tab is where you can manage the podcasts you follow and check out their previous episodes.

The redesign places far less emphasis on video content, an earlier focus for the streaming music provider. This year, Spotify has instead doubled down on podcasts, believing in its ability to shift radio advertising over to its app by offering better targeting.

Spotify puts its money on podcasts

The favorite music streaming app, Spotify, is all-in with podcasts as it launches a redesigned user interface (UI) that refocuses Spotify into two different audio categories: Music and Podcasts. While it is not new that podcasts and audio shows are already thriving in the app, Spotify makes it easier for listeners to navigate the app to search for their favorite podcast shows.

According to Spotify, last year, “seven million people in the US produced podcasts—and even more, people consumed them.” And it makes sense why the app company is putting money on podcasts on its platform. Spotify has spent up to $500 million on podcasts alone. The spending included their acquisition of major companies like Gimlet Media. The equivocal emphasis of Spotify to spend on promoting podcasts on its platform says so much about its goal to compete with Apple and Luminary to try to become the go-to place for podcast listeners, and improving “discoverability” and ease of use is necessary to achieve their goal.

Spotify also released a tool called Soundtrap for Storytellers to encourage podcast producers to produce more shows on Spotify. Soundtrap for Storytellers is a comprehensive podcast creation tool that offers recording, remote multi-track interviewing with video chat, smart editing of audio as a text document, full audio production, direct-to-Spotify publishing of the podcast, and transcript publishing to optimize SEO all in one service.

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Arts & Entertainment

And The New Batman Is…

After starring as Twilight's Edward Cullen and Harry Potter's Cedric Diggory, Robert Pattinson takes on Gotham's City protector for DCU's new Batman. Click To Tweet



Robert Pattinson is the new Batman
Photo: Kevin Dooley | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

DC confirms today that Robert Pattinson will be playing Gotham City’s newBatman.

The news broke last week that DC was looking to cast Pattinson for the Batman role—that received a mix of support and outrage from the online community although it watered down when other stories told that DC was also considering to cast Nicholas Hoult, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Armie Hammer for the role.

With characters like Batman, production houses often walk on thin ice to cast suitable actors to play the role. They don’t only have to put into account the talent and skills an actor possesses but also how the audience would receive it.

Besides, Benn Affleck’s 2016 ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and 2017 ‘Justice League,’ both received mixed reviews and shown to be a disappointment for Warner Bros. with both failed to compete against the MCU—that earned a billion dollars in its Avengers 1 movie.

Also, Pattinson will be following after other Batman icons, Michael Keaton (for 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns), Val Kilmer (for 1995’s Batman Forever), George Clooney (for 1997’s Batman & Robin), and Christian Bale (for the Dark Knight trilogy spanning from 2005 to 2012).

Amidst immense opinions regarding Pattinson’s consideration for the role, Scott Dickerson — Marvel’s Doctor Strange director — gave his sign of approval on Twitter saying that Pattinson would be a “remarkable actor and an outstanding choice.”

Moreover, Matt Reeves, the filmmaker behind the last two ‘Planet of the Apes’ sequels, will produce and direct the 2021 Batman movie alongside his ‘Planet of the Apes’ collaborator Dylan Clark. Reeves, also assumed ‘Batman’ directing duties from Ben Affleck in January 2017.

Photo From: Fandom
Twitter @getFANDOM

Reports indicate that Pattinson’s ‘The Batman’ would be a fresh take on the Caped Crusader. Fandom on Twitter released the photo above, showing that the 2021 Batman sets in the 1990s — where he’ll face villains like Catwoman, Riddler, and The Penguin. Other characters such as Commissioner Gordon and Alfred should also be expected.

Also, Pattinson will most likely sign for a 3-movie deal with the DCU that will tackle Bruce Wayne’s younger years as the Gotham crime fighter. However, while the plot and further details are still under wraps, fandom suggests that it will not be an origin story.

Moreover, “it’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” Reeves told THR. “It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that.”

“He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been,” the director continued. “I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”

Furthermore, Forbes reported that rumors include Robin — Batman’s crime-fighting sidekick — would also be part of the cast in 2021′ ‘The Batman.’ It would be most likely since the story’s believed to be surrounding Bruce Wayne’s earlier years into being Gotham City’s protector.

Pattinson initially grew popularity in his role as vampire Edward Cullen in the five-film “Twilight” franchise alongside Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan. But he was also seen in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” with his role as Cedric Diggory.

This year, Pattinson will also star in Christopher Nolan’s latest film, ‘Tenet,’ with John David Washington — set to open July 17, 2020. Also, ‘The Lighthouse,’ which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and appeared in Claire Denis’ ‘High Life,’ ‘The King’ for Netflix, ‘Waiting for the Barbarians,’ and ‘The Lost City of Z.’

Although no production start date is announced yet, the studio is expected to start pre-production this summer (which suggests filming will begin late this year or early 2020), according to Rotten Tomatoes.

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