Sarah MacLachlan: The gay interview

Posted on 31 Jul 2014 at 7:34pm

20140425KharenHillSarahMclachlan_Bedroom_0175While promoting Shine On, her first album in four years — which brings her to the Winspear Opera House on Sunday — Sarah McLachlan breaks her silence in a recent interview with our Chris Azzopardi.

Dallas Voice: At what point in your career did you know you had a big gay following?  Sarah MacLachlan: Hmm … probably Boston 1991.

That’s very specific.  I’m serious. Maybe 1992. It was with my second record [Solace] and I remember going to do a gig in Boston. I hung out with a lot of women after the show and there was one bartender in particular who was really hot! And I’m not gonna say anything else, but yeah.

Wait, no, no. You can’t just leave me hanging like that.  She was a good kisser  — that’s all I’m gonna say! That was my first sort of foray. It didn’t go past that, but that was, mmm, yeah.

I just remember there being a lot of women holding hands in the audience — and not only that, but it was a really intelligent audience. I don’t even know how I could tell that, but I just remember this feeling of, wow, this is just a great, great audience. I wish I could say why, but anyway, that was sort of the beginning of it and I think it just progressed from there.

So girls aren’t just good kissers but also super attentive?  I can generalize with my fans in that way, and all my fans — gay, straight — are coming for the music. They’re coming for church. I say that because that’s how I feel, especially about playing live; for me, that’s sort of my church. I get to be a part of something bigger than myself and be really connected to other human beings on a real emotional and visceral level. It’s very powerful.

It’s a mutual feeling.  It’s a mutual lovin’!

You mention your girl-on-girl foray in 1991, and for the longest time people have made assumptions about your sexuality. What do you think of the public’s interest in whether you’re bisexual?  People are always interested in how people bend. I’ve never shied away from it. I mean, I’m pretty straight. Let me just put it this way: I’ve never had sex with a woman. I haven’t. I’ve made out with more than one woman, but it just sort of happened. And there may have been alcohol involved during one of them.

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LGBT Houston group posts anti-HERO petitioners’ names and addreses online

Posted on 31 Jul 2014 at 4:11pm

HERO petitionThe Houston GLBT Political Caucus posted copies of the petition asking for a recall of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance. The petition includes the names and addresses of 50,000 people.

Only 25,000 signatures were needed to force the issue onto the ballot. Signatures are still being verified, but there will probably be enough to force a vote. Mayor Annise Parker, who championed the ordinance, said she will have it placed on the November ballot if the city secretary certifies the vote.

GLBT Political Caucus President Noel Freeman encouraged people to look through signatures on the petition to see if their names were added fraudulently.

Those petitioning the city said the organization posted the names and addresses as a form of intimidation and to get people fired from their jobs.

In a KHOU-TV report, one supporter of the ordinance found irony in this.

“I just find it incredibly ironic that a group whose M.O. was to track down gay people outside of bars and try to get them fired from their jobs for decades are now suddenly worried about people losing their jobs,” said Kristen Capps.

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Dallas’ Emmanuel Tobias, on (almost) getting on ‘Project Runway’

Posted on 31 Jul 2014 at 10:01am

Emmanuel Tobias

Out Dallas designer Emmanuel Tobias made it onto TV last week as one of the finalists for Project Runway. Well, sort of. He wasn’t a “final-finalist;” he was a pre-final finalist, one of three designers who seemed to make the cut (he appeared on the run-up special before the season premiere) only to be dismissed before any real competition got started.

And here’s the thing: If you saw his designs, and especially those of some of the contestants who sailed through, you had to ask yourself (as I often do on that show) “what were they thinking?”

But Tobias has a good attitude about it all, and agreed to relive his brush with Heidifame. Maybe next season!

Season 13 of Project Runway continues tonight on Lifetime, at 8 p.m. (and you can re-watch Emmanuel’s episodes on the recap at 7 p.m.).

Dallas Voice: Sorry you got booted so soon! Describe your design style. What’s your signature look? Emmanuel Tobias: I have always leaned to being a conceptual designer, but as of late, I have been combining my avant garde aesthetic with a more approachable, ready-to-wear style. I would describe it as an artistic approach to wearable clothing. My signature look combines powerful masculine and feminine qualities and always has an interesting textile, whether it is texture, specialty dyeing technique, or print.

Did you know you still had to prove yourself before you were “officially” on the show?  The production company prepped us with a timeline after the “semi-finals” casting interview, so I knew that I still had more hurdles to jump.  The process for this was truly a rigorous one and the timeframe/turnaround times that we were required in every aspect were very fast. I had a good feeling I was going to make it to the finals, but I knew that I would have to prove myself to the Heidi, Zac and scary Nina. What you saw on TV was probably less than 15 seconds of my finals casting, but I was in that room for quite some time.  Nina and Heidi were very nice, and I thought I had sold them on putting me on the show, but we now know Nina didn’t care for me! I gave so much conviction in every question they asked with smiles coming back and forth from the judges and myself … except for Zac. Zac was the one that was so hard on me, but on TV he seemed easy-going.

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Perry speaks at pro-Israel rally at Dallas City Hall

Posted on 30 Jul 2014 at 7:50pm

About 1,000 people gathered on Dallas City Hall Plaza Wednesday afternoon for a rally supporting Israel. Among those in the crowd were members of Congregation Beth El Binah, Oak Lawn’s LGBT synagogue.

Gov. Rick Perry was the first speaker and received a fairly warm welcome from the mostly Jewish crowd, a crowd that predominantly votes Democratic.

Roberta Clark, community director of the Anti-Defamation League in Dallas, said this was an international issue that transcends party lines.

A Christian pastor who said, “I support Israel,” got louder cheers. The only mix of boos and cheers came when one speaker read a message from Sen. Ted Cruz.

Members of the LGBT community who attended had similar reasons for being at City Hall.

“I’m Jewish,” said Beth El Binah member Roz Tuerk. “I support Israel.”

“I’m here to show our community’s support,” said David Moskowitz.

Mark Kline used just one word to say why he attended. “Support,” he said,

Gay activist Geoff Staples said, “I’m here because Israel deserves our support despite Netanyahu.”

Netanyahu is Israel’s conservative prime minister.

Staples pointed out that while Perry never mentioned President Obama, his speech was littered with veiled barbs. Among the governor’s comments were references like, “We can’t have a government that is ambivalent.”

“Blame Obama without saying his name to a largely Democratic crowd,” Staples said.

Few protesters attended. Two people carried signs that read, “Stop killing children” and “Dignity for all.”

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9 unmissable CDs of 2014 (so far)

Posted on 30 Jul 2014 at 12:44pm

No. 2: Against Me!

1. Sia, 1000 Forms of Fear. Sia’s come a long way since “Breathe Me,” a song so emotionally vulnerable it borders on overwhelming. No wonder premier pop starlets have been knocking on her door, hoping for a piece of her songwriting genius (ask Rihanna and Beyoncé). Luckily, though, Sia held onto some of her gems for her first release in four years. The moving-on mantra “Burn the Pages” is a glorious circus of sounds, while soaring ballads “Big Girls Cry” and “Eye of the Needle” take her to new heights. A stunning full-blown pop achievement, this album should do the same.

2. Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Against Me!’s sixth release is a deeply personal outpouring, a disc as necessary — both to now-frontwoman Laura Jane Grace and the band’s fans — as it is empowering. An open diary exploring internal and external struggles with identity, but also acceptance and love, fear and loss, the complex, often-tremendous Transgender Dysphoria Blues triumphs at acknowledging one’s differences and the power that can be had when we embrace them.

No. 5: Mariah

3. Miranda Lambert, Platinum. While Lambert’s restless peers stray from the purity of the country genre to achieve mainstream acclaim, the Nashville Star alum (and reigning queen of country) has stuck to her guns and been rewarded for it. She’s known for slipping one in her back pocket should she need to pop an abusive lover, but what’s more, Lambert’s not leaving the house that built her. At least not any time soon, as demonstrated by yet another feather in her cowgirl hat with the irresistibly witty, hit-heavy Platinum.

4. Lykke Li, I Never Learn. It’s hard not to wish eternal sadness upon Lykke Li — her gloom inspires greatness. Thankfully, the Swedish songstress is in a bleak place on I Never Learn, an emotional reflection of fragility and isolation that abandons almost all sense of hope – and also almost all sense of pop. Li is better for it: The intimacy she strikes on this album is a portal into her broken heart.

5. Mariah Carey, Me. I Am Mariah … The Elusive Chanteuse. The title is insane; the retouched album art, even more so. So how is it that Mariah Carey’s latest album — her 14th! — defies expectations, making for one of the diva’s best? Simply put: She. She is Mariah. And from the surprisingly low-key lead-in, “Cry,” to the glass-shattering gospel stunner “Heavenly (No Ways Tired / Can’t Give Up Now),” Carey affirms that when you’ve survived Glitter, anything is possible.

6. Sharon Van Etten, Are We There. Affecting without any of that sentimental preciousness, there’s a transparency to Sharon Van Etten’s latest that daringly exposes the visceral emotions of the end of a relationship. A stunningly sad truth-telling about two hearts that have grown apart, “I Love You But I’m Lost” cuts deep. “I Know,” too, is simple poignancy told potently. This fourth album from Van Etten is a work of soul-baring genius.

No. 7: The Antlers

7. The Antlers, Familiars. An enveloping soundscape of crescendos and thoughtful literary reflections, the Brooklyn band’s fifth album is, at its core, concerned with catharsis — particularly having to do with mortality. That universal certainty is threaded throughout Familiars. Void of singles, its intention is to be heard as a full narrative. Conjuring one endless dream with its majestic lacing of twinkling pianos and wistful horns — on “Palace,” particularly, it sounds like the sky is opening up — The Antlers know that even in death, there’s life.

8. Tori Amos, Unrepentant Geraldines. Tori Amos is reinvigorated on Unrepentant Geraldines, a compelling return to the back-to-basics sound of her ’90s zenith. “Invisible Boy,” an obvious standout, wouldn’t have sounded out of place on any of Tori’s earliest works. Then there’s “Promise,” an inspiring conversation with Amos’ daughter that sweetly embodies the lifelong bond between mother and child. (Read our interview with Tori, who performed last night at the Winspear, here.)

9. Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence. Lana Del Rey’s follow up to her claim-to-fame, Born to Die, is such a convincing piece of mainstream-defying art that it’s easy to write off that Saturday Night Live flub. Fleshing out the persona introduced on its 2012 predecessor, Rey’s follow-up feels like a hallucinatory acid trip — it could levitate you to the sky on its feathery sound pillows.

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Abbott argues equal protection as a right to discriminate

Posted on 30 Jul 2014 at 12:02pm
Texas AG Greg Abbott

Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott

In his brief filed Monday with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas marriage case, Attorney General Greg Abbott used the Equal Protection Clause to argue for discrimination.

Earlier this year, a U.S. District court in San Antonio threw out the Texas marriage amendment on the basis of due process and equal protection guaranteed in the U.S. and Texas constitutions.

“This does not require a state to confer equal treatment on things that are truly different from one another in relevant respects, and the district court did not deny that opposite-sex unions are the only type of human relationship that is biologically capable of producing children,” Abbott wrote.

In other words, equal protection protects Abbott’s right to discriminate. Special rights should only be given to couples seen as capable of reproducing and not to those couples adopting the kids whose reproducing parents aren’t taking care of them.

He dismissed the idea that opposite-sex couples may marry who may not have children by saying rational basis “allows states to enact over-inclusive or under-inclusive laws” and that “rational-basis review does not require a state to produce evidence that a law will achieve its objectives.”

So Texas’ argument to defend discrimination is that that state may discriminate because gay and straight are different and if the argument for straight marriage is procreation, Texas can make laws favoring procreation even if they don’t work.

Abbott dismisses calling gays and lesbians a “suspect class” that should be protected because “The political influence of the gay-rights movement has only grown since the time of the many court decisions rejecting suspect-class status.”

In other words, rather than protecting everyone’s rights equally, it’s OK to discriminate against gays and lesbians now because we’re actually politically stronger than we used to be.

Abbott also dismisses due process — the entire concept.

“There is also no stopping point to this abstraction maneuver. If courts and litigants can create a constitutional right to same-sex marriage by defining it as part of a more general ‘right to marry,’ then any conduct that has been traditionally prohibited can become a constitutional right simply by redefining it at a higher level of abstraction — perhaps as part of a ‘right to be let alone’ or a ‘freedom not to conform,’” he wrote.

Abbott’s brief is a rehash of arguments put forth in 20 other cases that other states have lost and the conservative Fifth Circuit is just likely to buy it. He even quotes from Bowers v. Hardwick in his brief. That case was overturned by Lawrence v. Texas. He might as well have quoted from the Dred Scott decision.

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Uptown Players announces 2015 season

Posted on 29 Jul 2014 at 7:20pm

Nathan Lane starred on Broadway in ‘The Nance,’ which will receive its regional premiere from Uptown Players in 2015.

Uptown Players’ upcoming 2015 season will feature two major recent Tony winners, from a new comedy to a rock musical, as well as the return of a TV spoof in the Rose Room at S4 and the annual fundraising performance.

Things were more complicated for Uptown Players this time, scheduling-wise. For several years, they have shared the Kalita Humphreys Theater with the Dallas Theater Center, which moved to its new digs in Downtown’s Wyly Theatre, but which is still the primary leaseholder at the Kalita. DTC mostly performs at the Wyly … mostly — not exclusively. So when DTC announced its 2014-15 schedule this spring, it threw a monkey wrench into the works: Its plays would seesaw between the venues, and the timing was going to interfere with Uptown Players’ calendar.

But they worked it out, in part by starting a month early. The first show of their 2015 season will actually be in December 2014: Christmas Our Way, UP’s holiday-themed Broadway Our Way fundraiser (where men sing women’s songs and vice versa) will be held Dec. 11–14.

The first official show of 2015 will be Gilligan’s Fire Island, another spoof by playwright/actor Jamie Morris, who was last represented onstage at the Rose Room as Julia Sugarbaker in Re-Designing Women. As the title suggests, the castaways have gotten pretty gay.

The mainstage season will arrive at the Kalita in June, starting with the wonderful comedy-drama The Nance, then the regional North Texas-produced premiere of Catch Me If You Can, the rock opera Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the new off-Broadway hit Harbor.

See the complete lineup after the jump. You can also get season tickets here.

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1 killed, 1 injured in break-in in Fort Worth

Posted on 29 Jul 2014 at 4:51pm
Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 4.47.40 PM

Miguel Angel Hernandez

Dallas Voice has learned that a member of Celebration Community Church was killed and another was severely injured by a man who broke into their home on Fort Worth’s west side early Sunday morning.

According to reports in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, James Bowling, 56, was killed when he and Don Keaton, 82, confronted the intruder, identified by police as Miguel Angel Hernandez, 29.

According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s website, Bowling was strangled to death. The Medical Examiner places his time of death at 3:06 a.m.

Police said Keaton suffered multiple blunt force injuries and that both men suffered chemical burns that could have resulted from Hernandez throwing drain cleaner on him. They said Keaton may have suffered permanent damage to his eyes from the cleaner.

Celebration Community Church Pastor Carol West said that Keaton and Bowling had been members of her church for “at least 15 or 16 years” and were both active in “quite a few aspects of our church’s ministry.”

“They were both wonderful, loving men. Just good, good men, very good-hearted,” West said Tuesday. “This attack was just so random. It is really scary for a lot of people in our congregation that it was so random and so violent.”

Police believe Hernandez chose Keaton and Bowling’s home at random. Patrol officers found him sitting in his own truck, naked, two houses down, according to Star-Telegram reports. Police said he took off his bloody clothes and left them in the yard of Keaton and Bowling’s home, but left the keys to his vehicle in he pocket of his pants in the yard.

Hernandez was treated for multiple cuts, apparently incurred when he jumped through a window to escape the house, and booked into the Mansfield Jail. He was already wanted on outstanding warrants, including one for a parole violation on a sexual assault charge from 2010 for failing to register as a sex offender, and on a warrant for insufficient bail on a pending DWI charge. He has been convicted in Tarrant County on charges of assault with bodily injury and failure to identify, as well as DWI and sexual assault.

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Abbott a no-show at petition drop

Posted on 29 Jul 2014 at 10:54am

AG delivery2Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for Texas governor, was a no-show Monday when Equality Texas dropped off nearly 5,200 petitions demanding Gov. Rick Perry and Abbott drop their defense of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

“Despite the plans prearranged last week in which a staff member would meet us in the lobby and take possession of the petitions, the Attorney General’s office said they would only accept the petitions if they were mailed via an acceptable ground carrier,” wrote Chuck Smith in an e-mail.

Instead of giving up, the group headed to the nearby UPS store and mailed them. They’re expected to arrive today.

The action comes after the Feb.26 ruling earlier this year finding Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Despite growing support for same-sex marriage both in Texas and nationwide, Abbott and Perry appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit of Appeals.

Abbott filed that appeal Monday, arguing that Texas was within its constitutional right to ban same-sex marriage.”Because same-sex relationships do not naturally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does,” the brief reads. “That is enough to supply a rational basis for Texas’s marriage laws.”

Birds of a feather stick together.

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DMA begins sale of David Sedaris tickets

Posted on 29 Jul 2014 at 10:50am

SedarisYou know how arts organizations are always encouraging you to become a season subscriber for all the great benefits? Well, here’s a prime example of why it really does pay to do that.

Starting right now, the Dallas Museum of Art has on sale tickets to hear David Sedaris talk pretty via its Arts & Letters Live series at the Winspear Opera House on Nov. 11. Tickets don’t go on sale to the general public until Aug. 12. Now, you may think, “That’s only two weeks; the Winspear holds 2,300 people. I can wait.” But you’d probably be wrong. Or at least disadvantaged.

I know from experience how quickly Sedaris’ readings sell, and how hard tickets can be to come by. You really will benefit getting them early, and you can join for as little as $100 (which comes with free parking at the museum and is 80 percent tax deductible). Click the link or call 214-922-1247 to join and get the code. Tickets start at $25.

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