Last weekend, over the course of a brief 24 hours, three different charities — AIDS Services of Dallas, Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage and AIDS Arms — received an awful lot of love from the Dallas gay community … and did so with a lot of costume changes.
On Saturday, The Summer Party, a 12-year-old pool bash at a private home in East Dallas, raised money for ASD, and included a fashion show by Skivvies, as well as a sarong contest for the gathered guests. Later that evening, The Red Party, a fundraising group benefiting Legacy, staged a poolside fashion show of its own at the ilume, with vodka by Hudson Ferus, snacks and margaritas from Mi Cocina and swimwear by Aussie Bum, ES Collection, Marek+Richard and others. Then on Sunday evening, the Rose Room gave over to the Miss LifeWalk contest, a fundraiser for AIDS Arms. Thousands of dollars were raised … and a lot of eyes popped.
You can see slide shows of each of them with these links to the Summer Party, the Red Party and Miss LifeWalk.
If you’ve ever wondered what to read before visiting a state, Vulture.com, the online entertainment portal owned by New York Magazine, just made the list for you. In choosing 50 nonfiction books to read about 50 states, the website includes both national treasures like James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Alabama), Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on the Road (Florida) as well as some kitschier choices like Vice President Joe Biden’s Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics (Delaware).
Before even scrolling down, I assumed their choice would be kitschier, if not dismissive. (Think Rick Perry’s presidential manifesto Fed Up.)
If you want to learn about Texas, Vulture.com suggests the groundbreaking Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by the late Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, a well-known Chicana lesbian activist and writer born in the Rio Grande Valley. Released in 1987, the semi-autobiographical book challenges and explores, through poems and prose, concepts like borders and identity.
If you’re interested, the book is available at Amazon.com and if you’re lucky, your neighborhood library.
I first met Chris Miklos about eight years ago, when he was the partner of a friend of mine, but anyone who met Chris even once would remember him for a long time. Tall, fit and handsome, he was a staple in the gay community, especially popular within the bear culture, spotted instantly for his smile and personal magnetism.
So the Dallas community, and beyond, was shocked to learn Monday afternoon that Miklos died in his sleep, apparently of a heart attack. He was 40. Reports say he was discovered by a neighbor Monday, though he had not been seen since Saturday night.
Chris graduated from the University of Akron and was a clinical research associate, performing medical testing on experimental drugs to treat a variety of ailments, including HIV. He traveled weekly for his work, which he loved. His friends remember him for all he did for the community.
He leaves behind a younger brother and his parents. Services have not been announced.
Heidi Liqueur, left, and Siena Silver, Brianna Michelle and Rosio Bencos.
… Heidi Liqueur!
Last night in the Rose Room, the LifeWalk Green Team contestant faced off against three other awesome drag divas to take the crown at the 11th annual fundraiser preliminary for October’s walk, which benefits AIDS Arms. Heidi’s dazzling beaded gown, in the same red-and-white colors as her Chick-Fil-A dress (which she performed to the “Hold On” parody “Chow Down”) while serving chicken tenders to the audience, won over the judges (and I was one of them!) in a satisfying finale. But all four entrant were insanely talented and impressive, from Siena Silver’s rainbow-accented dress following a champagne accented evening-wear gown, to Rosio Bencos’ back-up dancers and elaborate costume, to Brianna Michelle’s pink-and-emerald palette.
The winner being cheered
Heidi won individual awards for Spirit of Miss LifeWalk and for evening wear and talent in addition to the overall prize, while Siena took Miss Congeniality and Brianna won Miss Moneybags for raising the most for AIDS Arms — $7,400! In total, the event took in a staggering $21,628 — $4,000 more than last year.
The show was a hoot, with primary host Heather Thomas bullying the crowd into donating more and more money, and five former Miss LifeWalk winners performing, with all money going to the charity. Victoria Weston wowed the audience with two live performances. Outgoing Miss LifeWalk Vida Chardonnay did a tribute to Elaine Stritch that stunned everyone. View pictures in our full slideshow here.
LifeWalk takes place Oct. 5, and it’s never too late to volunteer or participate.
On Friday, July 25, we at Dallas Voice will publish our 2014 Family Issue. To get ready for that, let me share with you this trailer for a new sci-fi film called Credence, from director Mike Buonaiuto.
Says TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com: “Ever wondered what it might look like if a science fiction film presented LGBT people the way it should be done? Credence will be the first sci-fi of its kind to challenge the way gay characters are portrayed in film.”
It is the story of the end of the earth, the last days, when ever-more-violent storms are making the survival of the human race impossible. Fortunately, new worlds have been discovered that will support the human race. Unfortunately, limited rocket capacity and the realities of the human life expectancy mean only children are being evacuated to these new worlds. And the cost means only the children of wealthy people are able to afford tickets to these new worlds.
Credence tells the story of a gay couple, fathers, who make the heart-rending decision to get their daughter on one of the rockets, giving up all their possessions to be able to afford the ticket, even though it means never seeing her again.
Buonaiuto has an Indiegogo account established to help fund the production of the film, in case you are interested. And by the way, thanks to my friend Misty Hillin who posted this on Facebook, where I saw it.
“I had a lot of experience living something bigger than myself,” Michael Sam says, choking back tears as he accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs last night, honoring him for coming out prior to NFL draft earlier this year. It’s a beautiful speech, including another on-air kiss of his boyfriend and a special thank-you to him. You can watch it in full after the jump. Try not to cry. You won’t succeed, but try anyway.
It was just a few months ago that I got to interview Elaine Stritch, the Broadway legend whose irascible nature and coffee-stained voice made her a one-of-a-kind star. That was the second time I interviewed her, which I did for the documentary about her life that came out earlier this year. Both times were high-water marks in my career.
But I also got to do more than just talk to Elaine: I got to see her — onstage (in her acclaimed, Tony Award-winning one-woman show At Liberty and most recently on Broadway with Bernadette Peters in A Little Night Music) and once you’ve seen the old broad perform, your life is forever transformed.
She was a marvelous performer, a prickly human being and an unforgettable character … as well as a true friend of the gay community. The footlights are dimmer with her passing.
Me with Banjo, in the last minutes of his life two weeks ago.
Tomorrow’s edition of Dallas Voice is called The Pet Issue, but the timing for me is bittersweet. Two weeks ago, I had to put down a cat — my pet grimalkin Banjo — when he became inexplicably ill and stopped eating and drinking. I took him to the vet and spent a small fortune without ever learning what was wrong with him, other than he was shutting down. I tried injecting water down his throat with a syringe, but he fought me — he cast a look that seemed to say, “What are you doing? I’m trying to die and you’re messing me up.”
We communicate with our pets in a series of largely non-verbal ways. We cluck our tongues and whistle and stroke their fur. We play with them and walk them and get them worked up and excitable because it makes us happy to see them happy. We feed them and nurture them and, when the time comes, we lead them out of this world — the hardest thing, and the one that requires the most love.
Gay folks often talk about our pets as if they were our children. In many ways, they are, at a minimum, members of our families. A lot of LGBT are used to “making” family — a word we have co-opted to mean who we choose to form a bond with instead of those we are born to. No pets are “born” to humans, so of course they are all adopted. And all are “made” members of our family.
Banjo left this life too soon. At 12, he still should have had a few years left in him. But I adopted him from the SPCA to give him a life rather than having him destroyed. He had a good life, and I miss him every day … even as I have three dogs remaining to keep me company.
Anyway, I hope you will pick up the paper tomorrow, or read the stories online, because even though we call it The Pet Issue, it’s really something else. It’s The Love Issue. Because that’s what our pets are.
Tim Love and Joe Bastianich
Restaurant Startup, a new reality series airing its second episode tonight on CNBC, is kind of a culinary version of Shark Tank, where two famed restaurateurs decide whether to invest their own money in a particular concept. But rather than featuring Dallas’ Mark Cuban, this show stars Fort Worth chef Tim Love, alongside Joe Bastianich. Each episode begins with two teams pitch their ideas and possibly launching a pop-up version of their concept.
Tim and Joe sat down for a joint interview, and here’s some of what they had to say.
Question: You guys can be pretty rough sometimes. What was it about the premise of the show that appealed to you, made you want to be involved? Did CNBC basically come to you and pitch the show to you similar to the way the wanna-be restaurants did and if so did you make the people at CNBC cry or stammer during the negotiations?
Joe Bastianich: I think it’s an opportunity to take an inside look at a very unique business that not many people understand it and combine a lot of things that people are very passionate about: great hospitality, food, money in the restaurant business, what it takes to be successful in the hospitality industry [and] show the inner workings.
Tim Love: The show itself is really a completely different look at a food show, which is really what interested me. I have a big passion for the business side of the food and wine world and I spoke with Joe about doing the show and he has the same kind of outlook. There’s a lot of shows out there that talk about the drama of whether or not you can make a blah-blah. But really, this show is about whether or not you can build an actual restaurant and the inner workings of how that even happens.
So we feel like this show is going to really expose a new material to people and understanding of really the start to finish of how you might operate a restaurant and how that comes to fruition because, quite frankly, these days it’s almost impossible to have a restaurant without getting an investor, and this gives us an opportunity to show people that not only works but also gives Joe and I an opportunity to maybe invest in something we feel like can be really great.