NATIONAL NEWS: Former U.S. Senator Announces Same-Sex Engagement

Plus: A transgender high school talks about her banishment from a graduation ceremony, and college students cancel a concert featuring a homophobic rapper.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Songquan Deng

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Songquan Deng

Former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford announces his engagement to a man 50 years his junior.

Former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford, 90, opened up in a New York Times op-ed about his late wife, Clare, and his engagement to Matthew Charlton, 40. The Pennsylvania statesmen, who served as a Democrat in the Senate from 1991 to 1995, does not quite describe his announcement as a coming out: “Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall — straight, gay or in between,” he writes. “I don’t categorize myself based on the gender of those I love.” As far as finally revealing his long-time relationship with Charlton (they started dating five years after Clare’s 1996 death), Wofford writes that “same sex-marriage equality” seemed impossible at one time in America: “I was wrong, and should not have been so pessimistic.” He plans to marry Charlton on April 30th.

Jennea Purcell, a Hawaiian transgender student, reveals that she was excluded from her high school graduation.

Jennea Purcell, a 2015 transgender graduate of Kahuku High School, claims she was prohibited from wearing a white graduation robe (made primarily for girls in Hawaii) and altogether restricted from attending the school’s annual graduation dance. “When I talked to [principal] Pauline Masaniai, she was telling me that my choice is the male’s choice and that’s the only option I have,” Purcell told the media. Purcell is telling her story through filmmakers with the Kumu Hina Project and starting a petition to spark awareness. “My intention in making this film and having the petition is just to make sure that no other child, even if they’re not transgender or part of the LGBT community, doesn’t have to go through something like this. It’s not okay.” Purcell’s overall goal is to push the Hawaii Department of Education to create an accepting policy for transgender students to “provide an environment in which students have the opportunity to learn, express themselves, and live authentically.”

Anti-gay rapper Action Bronson got his campus concert canceled at Trinity College.

Trinity College in Connecticut canceled a concert by rapper Action Bronson based on student complaints that his lyrics incite misogyny and LGBTQ hatred. Student leaders who booked him as the headliner for Trinity’s Spring Weekend concert, scheduled for April 30th, said on Facebook that they were faced with “overwhelming concerns” about Bronson. This is not the first time Bronson has had to deal with similar issues. His appearance at George Washington University was canceled last month based on similar concerns. At the time, Bronson responded to various media outlets: “I have never had any issues with anyone’s sexual orientation or gender transitioning. I’m far, far from perfect and I recognize my flaws, and I’m making an effort to grow and be a better human.”