SMU adds LGBT to Women’s Center name

Posted on 23 Sep 2014 at 3:22pm

SMUThe Southern Methodist University Women Center has been renamed the Women and LGBT Center.

The Center hasn’t changed its mission or added any programs, because LGBT programs have come under the Women’s Center since the 1980s, according to the school’s newspaper The Daily Campus.

Spectrum, the school’s LGBT group, has been based at the Women Center for years. Other programs at the center include the Allies program for students, faculty and staff “to show tangible support of the LGBT community on campus.” Participation includes a two-hour training and ongoing educational workshops.

The Every Student Campaign works with students on issues of discrimination.

The Women and LGBT Center is located on the third floor of Hughes Trigg.

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REVIEW: DTC’s anything-but-rocky, definitely-not-a-horror ‘Show’

Posted on 23 Sep 2014 at 2:24pm

Frank (Dan Domenech) and Rocky (Justin Labosco) put on quite a ‘Show.’ Photo by Karen Almond

I have a confession: I was a gay man long before I ever saw The Rocky Horror Show in any of its incarnations, and I intend to remain that way despite the best efforts of The Bachelor. Still, seeing the Dallas Theater Center’s full-on erection of Richard O’Brien’s puzzling, explosive cult classic did not make me more gay … as if that were possible. It’s a musical for people who don’t think of it as musical, a rock opera for those who couldn’t care less about pop music, a drag show for those who don’t know what drag is and a spoof of a genre without a huge following. The Rocky Horror Show is theatrical tofu: All things to all people, if can be almost anything you want it to be.

Except safe. At least, not the way director Joel Ferrell and his team of collaborators at the DTC have turned out this oddly entrenched stage granddaddy, now more than 40 years old but still as relevant (and buoyantly irrelevant) as a piece of witty entertainment can be. The plot — eh; I guess you’d call it that — is about a cross-dressing weirdo with the unlikely name Frank-N-Furter (Dan Domenech) who presides over strange biogenetic engineering that allows him to “create” the perfect mate: a four-percent-body-fat muscle-twink with the haircut of Melchor from Spring Awakening named Rocky (Justin Labosco). Witnesses to all this Tesla-coiled madness are chaste sweethearts Brad (“Asshole!”) and Janet (“Slut!”), played with a look of Wonder Bread by Alex Organ and Morgan Mabry Mason. The sleight-of-hand of the show is: It parodies ’50s-era sci-fi films while undercutting them with the sense of sexual desperation and reckless abandon that you know the actors playing these roles 60 years ago wished they could have imparted.

The intent aside, Rocky Horror has never made clear exactly what universe its spoofiness comes from (though, perhaps, the galaxy of Transylvania). The opening number, “Science Fiction Double Feature,” is a precious “list” song, mentioning old movies like Forbidden Planet, Flash Gordon and The Invisible Man, but the artistic antecedents end there. It has more in common with Kinky Boots than The Day of the Triffids. It’s a musical mashup of the LSD-fueled variety, a trippy, extravagantly tasteless exercise in campy excess. You either get it or you don’t.

I get it — even though I was never one of the teens who traipsed to the mall at midnight on Saturday to throw toast at the screen dressed in fishnets and guyliner. Actually, a lot of the audience members on opening night at the Wyly did just that, and if you had a seat where you could spy the faces of season ticketholders as well as the onstage action, you could tell who was into it and who was flummoxed. Some didn’t get it. But no one was bored.

That’s because Ferrell & Co. have turned a frothy bit of energetic ribaldry into something more resembling a BDSM fashion show. It’s dark and Goth, with Andy Warhol-esque excesses and the punk sensibility of a rave at CBGB, but without the hepatitis and tainted X. The music is provided by the band Zoe Destroyer, in costume and as essential to the show as the actors. Transylvanians dangle from the rafter while a parade of side-show wannabes in Lederhosen, leather and high heels strut around, doing the “Time Warp” while key audience members shout back lines at them. The actors occasional shout back or are caught smiling like Harvey Korman in a sketch with Tim Conway. It’s all very fun. It’s all very funny.

And endlessly entertaining. Heck, you can even buy a goodie bag filled with the accoutrements of interaction — toilet paper, water pistols — to feel like you’re in high school again.

The singing and acting (more about enthusiasm than character development, to be honest) dazzle as the show’s music-box-on-speed style keeps everything moving along like a runaway train. Domenech doesn’t make his entrance until midway into Act 1, and the jolt of electricity he brings almost makes you forget about the plot involving Brad (“Asshole!”) and Janet (“Slut!”), but don’t worry — they take focus back.

Walter Lee Cunningham’s androgynous Columbia is a sly casting choice (it does make Frank seem even gayer) and J. Brent Alford’s Masterpiece Theatre diction turns the role of the narrator into a Stephen Colbert-ish collaborator in the faux duplicity. It’s all raucous and sexy and un-self-censoring — a play that lost its superego when it realized there was fun to be had.

I walked away thinking more about the images — Chamblee Ferguson’s Douglas-Fairbanks-in-Bea-Arthur-drag version of Riff Raff, Liz Mikel’s butch take on Eddie, Mason’s Douglas Sirk-inspired bad girl, Jeremy Dumont’s surefootedness high-kicking in heels and a mane, Labosco’s … well, where do I start? — than the scenes. That makes sense. When you go to the circus, it’s not what ring the acts performed in but the amazement they left you with that matters.

Through Oct. 12.

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Opening ceremony of the Gay Softball World Series

Posted on 23 Sep 2014 at 1:27pm

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Opening ceremony of the Gay Softball World Series took place on Sept. 22 at Annette Strauss Artist Square. Bars were also open inside the lobby of the Winspear Opera House. Among those from Dallas welcoming teams from 45 cities were Councilmen Scott Griggs and Adam Medrano, Sheriff Lupe Valdez and sportscaster Dale Hansen.

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An appalling ‘review’ of ‘Rocky Horror’ (not mine)

Posted on 23 Sep 2014 at 12:09pm
DTC's-The-Rocky-Horror-Show

Rest assured: Seeing this play won’t make you gay … no matter what The Column says.

OK, I was gonna post my review this morning of Dallas Theater Center’s production of The Rocky Horror Show, but I decided to interrupt that plan to do something I never, ever do: Publicly call out another “review.” (Here’s my review.)

In the theater blog called The Column, Mary L. Clark reviewed the show … at least, that’s what they call it. The first quarter of the nearly 3,000 word piece is culled from Wikipedia, and after that, it delves into press releases and Playbill notes before, somewhere around paragraph 6, finally mentioning the current production.

All of this — and even such cringe-worthy malapropisms are referring to the “free sex generation” (she means, I assume, “free love” — everyone knows, sex is never free) — are tolerable. But as someone who directed my attention to this story pointed out, she refers to out director Joel Ferrell’s “lifestyle choice” being affected by the show.

Ummm…. what?

I really, really thought we had progressed past the point one’s innate sexual orientation was labeled — insultingly, ignorantly, regressively — as a “choice” and a “lifestyle.” She even concludes with this caveat: “I never thought about gender equality when seeing Rocky Horror. … Don’t be worried you are going to be pro-gay rallied or asked to make any choices other than to have a really good time.” OK, poor writing aside, this comes dangerously close to saying, “Rest assured: You can’t ‘catch gay’ watching this show.” It made me throw up a bit in my mouth.

(By the way: I loved the show. And it won’t make you gay anymore than watching Love, American Style as a kid made me straight.)

This weekend, a writer for the New York Times got vilified after referring to TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy) as an “angry black woman.” At least she didn’t say being a black woman was a “choice” or a “lifestyle.” I guess we still have a long way to go.

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UPDATE: More on the latest marriage ruling out of Louisiana

Posted on 22 Sep 2014 at 4:26pm

Adam Polaski at FreedomToMarry.org has posted this blog about the latest court ruling out of Louisiana on same-sex marriage, this time striking down the state’s ban on gay marriage.Screen shot 2014-09-22 at 4.24.40 PM

Polaski explains: “The case, In Re Costanza and Brewer, was filed in 2013 on behalf of Angela Marie Costanza and Chastity Shanelle Brewer, who are raising their 10-year-old son in Lafayette. The case sought respect for Angela and Chastity’s marriage license; since Louisiana did not respect their marriage, one mother was not permitted to legally adopt her son.

“The ruling today grants the second-parent adoption and affirms that the Louisiana amendment violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.”

Polaski calls Louisiana federal Judge Martin Feldman’s Sept. 3 upholding the same-sex marriage ban an “out-of-step decision,” and notes that “40 separate rulings have been issued since June 2013 in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples [and m]ore than 80 cases have been filed in state and federal courts across the country.”

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BREAKING NEWS: Louisiana state judge says marriage ban is unconstitutional

Posted on 22 Sep 2014 at 4:02pm

KLFY Channel 10 News in Lafayette is reporting that Louisiana State Judge Edward Rubin has ruled that the state’s law banning same-sex gavelmarriage is unconstitutional because it violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution.

That’s all I can find on the ruling right now, but Rubin’s ruling is in direct contrast to a ruling earlier this month by federal Judge Martin L. C. Feldman in Louisiana that the state’s gay marriage is not unconstitutional. Feldman’s ruling on Sept. 3 is the only ruling in favor of gay marriage bans.

 

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PHOTOS FROM PRIDE: Scenes from the 31st annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade

Posted on 22 Sep 2014 at 2:57pm

Photos from the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday by Kat Haygood, Arnold Wayne Jones, Chad Mantooth and Stephen Mobley.

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Museveni threatens to take revenge on his LGBT population

Posted on 22 Sep 2014 at 2:25pm

Yoweni MuseveniUgandan dictator Yoweni Museveni spoke to supporters at a private ranch near Allen in Collin County on Sunday, Sept. 21.

One Ugandan that attended described the event as taking place in a “hot, mosquito-filled tent.” He said Museveni threatened to take revenge on his country’s LGBT citizens for his treatment in Dallas.

“I was told that Dallas is full of homosexuals and lesbians,” he reportedly told the people gathered to meet with him. “I didn’t know they were so powerful.”

He mentioned being refused reservations at area hotels after Dallas Voice reported on his plans.

Then came the threats.

“I wish I knew what to do with them,” Museveni said.

And the dictator intent on LGBT genocide said he’d show us what happens to homosexuals when he gets home.

We know Museveni was given a visa to enter the U.S. to attend a U.N. conference this week, but such visas to the U.N. are often restricted to New York City. Our question is, why is a head of state allowed to travel around the U.S. and make veiled threats of murder?

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Trans exchange student needs a new host home

Posted on 22 Sep 2014 at 12:21pm

New SHARE LogoShare High School Exchange called this morning looking for a new host home for a transgender exchange student.

The 16-year-old student from Germany was removed from his host home after he sent pictures of the house to his exchange organization in Germany.

“The house was filthy and inappropriate for a student,” Yvette Coffman from Share said.

She said they’re looking for a kind, loving environment for the student.

“He’s an A student who wants to be a doctor,” Coffman said.

She said he’s great with other kids in the house and with animals. He has his own medical and dental insurance. Families participate in the program voluntarily and do not receive compensation for hosting.

Coffman described the student as wonderful and said a good host family will have a great year with him in their household.

She also said his being trans had nothing to do with his being removed from the home. In Germany, he attends Catholic school where he transitioned. OK, once he’s settled, I want to tell that story and make sure our local bishop sees it.

The student was in school in Azle, but Coffman said they are looking for a host family anywhere in the DFW area and he will attend school locally wherever they find an appropriate host home.

For more information, contact the Share office at 214-366-4678 or email Yvette Coffman.

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Queerbomb stages downtown non-corporate Pride event

Posted on 22 Sep 2014 at 11:21am

IMG_5380Protesting the Alan Ross Freedom Parade taking money from a sponsor who is also fundraising for homophobic Lt. Gov. candidate Pan Patrick, Queerbomb staged its own Pride event on Sunday, Sept. 21.

About 100 people gathered in Main Street Garden for speeches, spoken word presentations and music.

Most of the speakers urged a boycott of products distributed by Andrews Distributing, the parade’s title sponsor.

The head of Dallas Girls of Leather suggested another approach. She said her group, which meets at Dallas Eagle, has allies among the Dallas Tavern Guild members. DTG stages the Pride parade. She would like to work with the Tavern Guild to find different sponsors for next year’s event.

Organizers of Queerbomb described their group as anti-capitalist and anti-corporate who didn’t see much improvement in changing sponsorship to banks or other corporations.

Attendees were happy to have a place to do their own thing. Organizers Daniel Cates and Daniel Villareal both indicated they’d continue having their own events and will be bigger next year.

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