People in the news

Hoaxer hangs legal threat over events

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An innkeeper selling tickets for campers next week in a tiny Nevada desert town is being threatened with legal action by the originator of the “Storm Area 51“ internet hoax over the “Alienstock” name.

A Las Vegas attorney representing 20-year-old Matty Roberts sent a cease-and-desist letter Thursday telling Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West to pull the plug on events West says she’s still planning Sept. 19 to 22.

West didn’t immediately respond Friday to telephone and email messages.

She told the Las Vegas Review-Journal she’s still “full steam ahead” with vendors, merchandise and musical acts.

Roberts broke with West this week and says he’ll appear at a party venue in downtown Las Vegas Sept. 19 — the night before the Life is Beautiful music and art festival begins a few blocks away.

Smith announces new pronouns

NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Smith has declared the pronouns of “they/them” on social media after coming out as non-binary in what the pop star called a “lifetime of being at war with my gender.”

The English “Too Good at Goodbyes” singer was met with thousands of mostly supportive comments, along with some detractors questioned the need to change pronouns, an increasingly common practice both within and outside of the LGBTQ community.

“Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM,“ the 27-year-old Smith wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”

Smith said they were excited and privileged for the support, adding that they’ve been “very nervous” about the announcement because they “care too much about what people think.” Smith said they finally decided to go for it.

“Love you all,” Smith wrote on Twitter, adding they’re scared “but feeling super free right now. Be kind.”

Smith won an Oscar in 2016 for the song “Writing’s on the Wall,” from the James Bond thriller “Spectre.” They received global attention by winning a Grammy for best new artist in 2014, following up with a Grammy for record of the year in 2015 for “Stay With Me.“


This story has been corrected throughout to reflect Sam Smith’s pronoun preferences.”

By Kerry Minor

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