Cocktail Friday: Independence Day!

Posted on 03 Jul 2015 at 1:47pm

MARTINI Prosecco float HiResIt’s almost the Fourth of July! And the gay community really has reason to celebrate, what with marriage equality being a reality instead of a dream.

To show your red, white and blue, here are a few cocktail recipes that reflect the colors of ‘Murica!

Red and White: Proseco floats

For red, a scoop of raspberry sorbet; for white, a scoop of lemon sorbet. Add to a chilled flute. Fill with Martini & Rossi prosecco. Garnish with berries, mint, or a twist.

blue_heavenBlue Heaven

1 oz. Dark rum

1/2 oz. Disaronno amaretto

1/2 oz. Blue Curacao

3 oz. pineapple juice

Juice from 1/2 fresh lime

Fresh pineapple to garnish.

Making it: Combine in a shaker with ice; shake and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.


iPod alert: 25 essential tracks for your poolside playlist

Posted on 02 Jul 2015 at 8:46am

Brandon Urie, Panic! At the Disco

In this Friday’s edition of Dallas Voice, we provide our list the of unmissable albums of the year so far, but what about the singles? As a companion piece before the long weekend, our Mikey Rox developed this playlist for you iPod of 25 essential tracks. So slip on your swimsuit, break out the blender and pump up the jams. Today you’re kickin’ it poolside with a freshly selected and eclectic playlist that screams fun in the sun.

FreshPrinceSummertime, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. There’s not a chance in hell you’ll make it to Labor Day without this warm-weather classic infiltrating your ears. That goes double if you run in hipster circles where early-’90s nostalgia is all the rage. (You can thank BuzzFeed for that.)

Amber, 311. Laid back with reggae roots, this turn-of-the-century love note to Nicole Scherzinger remains 311’s most popular song, despite it never cracking the Top 10.

SugarRayFly, Sugar Ray. Remember the time that Mark McGrath’s SoCal surfer-meets-rockstar style made your loins quiver. That’s a statement, not a question. 

Summer Girls, Lyte Funkie Ones. The song is nonsensical and juvenile — but that’s precisely what made it so popular the summer of ’99. You’re welcome, Abercrombie & Fitch.

Jamaican Betel Nut, Amit. Aside from the hook (an encouraging Get up! Stand up!) and a reference to Bob Marley, the lyrics to this genre-bending T-Pop song are in Thai. But that’s OK, because it’s the beat that’ll have you like, “Where the beach party at?”

Good People, Jack Johnson. J.J. asks, “Where’d all the good people go?” Put your phone down and reacquaint yourself with a few that are near you.

Summer of  69, Bryan Adams. You may not remember it — for one of many reasons — but the summer of ’69 had a lion’s share of awesomeness. From the moon landing to Woodstock — and this quintessential summer song that captures the innocence of American adolescence — it’s no wonder why Adams belted out that this was “the best day of my life.”

EaglesOne Love, Lucky Dube. Life would be so much sweeter if we lived in a world according to Lucky Dube.

Life in the Fast Lane, Eagles. Enjoy the summer at a slower pace? Nah — that’s what winter is for.

Lovely Day, Bill Withers. If you’re by the pool with your besties, it is.

Kokomo, Beach Boys. You didn’t think I’d create a sunshine-y playlist without the Beach Boys, did you? While “Kokomo” and its promises of bodies in the sand / tropical drink melting in your hand top our list of BB faves, close runners up include “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” and (the likely relatable) “I Get Around.”

Shut Up and Dance, Walk the Moon. Do what they say and nobody gets hurts.

Cant Deny My Love, Brandon Flowers. Admittedly there’s somewhat of a stalker-ish vibe to this ’80s-tinged lead single from Flowers’ second studio album, but we’ve all been there. Especially when you’re crushin’ on that lifeguard who’s sun-kissed and dripping wet.

SaintMotelMy Type, Saint Motel. Let me guess, your type is the one over there with the beach-blond hair and abs that ripple like steam from a sidewalk. Full of surprises, aren’t ya?

Trap Queen, Fetty Wap. Crank it up in the grotto. You won’t regret it.

Bad Blood, Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar. Did you really think you’d get through this summer without a T. Swift banger on repeat? Don’t resist this remix; submit to the overlords.

Cant Keep Checking My Phone, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Make this your motto — stat! Enjoy… your… life… more.

This Summers Gonna Hurt, Maroon 5. Skip the track and cue up the Vevo instead. Adam Levine’s naked bum makes summer days brighter.

ShamirOn the Regular, Shamir. If I had to choose just one song on this list, this would be it, hands down. Energetic, upbeat, sassy and fun, Shamir’s “On the Regular” puts your iPod on lock. Besides, anybody who describes himself as a musician, comedian, singer, rapper, twerker, chef, writer, filmmaker, tumblr, skinny fat ass is A-OK in my book.

The Boys of Summer, Don Henley. Government-mandated listening when the mercury is above 90.

Fancy, Iggy Azalea. Say what you will about Iggy, just don’t pretend this song doesn’t make you all swishy, grrl.

Run, Coin. For that extra pep you’ll need to complete the canyon before you can get your dip on.

Girls/Girls/Boys, Panic! At the Disco. Because a bare-chested Brendon Urie is what dope summers are made of.

Until We Cant Go (Lets Go), Passion Pit. Wait for it… wait for it… Ah, there we go.

And We Danced, Macklemore feat. Ziggy Stardust. For that end-of-the-night pants off dance-off. It’s been a loooong day.

Mikey Rox


After 6 years, Dallas Bears pass the honey to new leadership

Posted on 01 Jul 2015 at 1:38pm


Wayne Davis has been a member of the Dallas Bears for so long, he easily remembers when they could hold the annual membership meeting in a small room. And then they moved on to a restaurant. And another restaurant. And now, in a room inside the Crowne Plaza Market Center hotel, the same host hotel for the annual Texas Bear Round Up each spring. That’s an indication of growth.

And a lot of that growth took place under Davis, who first became president of the club in 2009 and was repeatedly re-elected — six times, in fact, until this year, when he finally stepped aside. (Davis will remain on the board, in his former position — treasurer.)

At the dinner last Saturday at the Crowne Plaza, at which approximately 100 bears attended, Davis voiced his emotional farewells, bestowed a few awards, gave away money, introduced the new board and— perhaps most predictably — teared up.

The Dallas Bears’ new president Ray Farias, took to the podium to share a few thoughts. the new vice president, Gauge Xavier, stood on the dais twice — once as a board member, and once when accepting the top award of the night: Bear of the Year.

The Dallas Bears have always been a nonprofit charitable group, and this year they gave away a record amount of money — a hair shy of $82,000, including donations to Resource Center ($37,000), the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, AIDS Outreach Center of Fort Worth ($18,500 each) and AIDS Services of Dallas.

This was the 20th annual Dallas Bears celebration; next year, its 21st TBRU event will have the theme Mardi Gras.

Here are some more photos from the event.



Side trip: The Sam Houston statue

Posted on 30 Jun 2015 at 11:06am

Sam Houston's headYou know you’ve always been curious but ended up just driving by.

On the way home from Houston Pride, we stopped off to see the Sam Houston monument along I-45 in Huntsville, about 70 miles north of Houston.

As a major general, Houston 1793–1863 won the Battle of San Jacinto, securing Texas independence. He’s the only American to be elected governor of two different states — Tennessee and Texas — and the only governor within a future Confederate state to oppose secession. When he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, he was removed from office by the Texas secession convention.

The statue has been standing there since 1994 and I never knew you could stop off and actually see it. Get off the exit before or after and take the service road to the welcome center. From there walk out along the Interstate and walk around big Sam — the second tallest monument in the state. (Could Dallas be outdone? By someone named Houston? No way. When the giraffe was erected in front of the Dallas Zoo, a tongue reaching upward was added so it would be taller than Sam).

Sam’s pretty impressive. I thought he’d been standing there a decade or two longer, but the inscription says 1994. But you really get a great view of him from the highway — the better view driving north. But I did get a picture of Houston’s ass, which can’t be seen from the Interstate.



4th annual Nike LGBT Sports Summit expands with youth, narrows focus

Posted on 30 Jun 2015 at 9:24am

Cyd Ziegler

The first Nike LGBT Sports Summit four years ago was a modest affair. Twenty-five men and women — coaches, professors and activists — spent two days in Portland, Ore., assessing the gay sports landscape and figuring out how to cast a wider net.

Over the next two years, the event grew. One hundred people gathered, for three days each year up from two. Big goals were set, bold plans envisioned, to make the sports world more open and accepting for LGBT athletes and coaches.

This year’s Nike LGBT Sports Summit — which took place early last month — was the biggest and best, participants agree. And the reason is that the focus became more narrow.

“We finally got it,” says LGBT Sports Coalition co-chair Cyd Ziegler, founders of the gay sports website “Our outcome changed from grand projects to trying to figure out what attendees can do in their own local communities. We ended up with 100 different things” — one for each person in Portland — “and I think everyone left with a real sense of community and purpose.”

This year’s Nike LGBT Sports Summit, sponsored by the Oregon-based footwear, apparel and equipment giant, was the most diverse yet. Last year’s summit included a few college-age athletes, so this time around a concerted effort was made to invite younger participants. Approximately half of the 125 attendees were 17 to 24 years old.

“They bring so much energy. It was palpable,” Ziegler notes.

They inspired the “veterans” — who watched with wonder as some of the young athletes participated in their first Gay Pride event ever. (The final day of the summit traditionally ends at Portland Pride.)

The LGBT Sports Summit was also a chance for teenage and college athletes to meet others like themselves. One of the most powerful parts of the weekend for Ziegler began Friday night, at Nike’s party. A young African-American football player described what happened when he came out. There was abuse from his family and team — but also incredible support, from people he did not expect.

The next morning, Ziegler invited the young man up to tell his story to everyone. On the final day, all 125 attendees gathered together, linked arms, and gave a “group hug” to the football player. It was a small, but very powerful moment — for the individuals, and the entire movement.

Others shared personal moments, too. A distance runner from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho is a Jehovah’s Witness. He described his own very recent coming out process, and the effect it has had on others.

Trans athletes added their own perspectives. Nearly a dozen attendees identified as trans or gender-fluid. Trans man Isaiah Wilson, 20, attends the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. A former high school athlete who now coaches youth basketball, he appreciated sharing “space and air time” with athletes who are making a difference.

One of his favorite workshops centered around the inclusion of trans students in athletics. “I know a number of trans people who either aren’t coming out or aren’t transitioning because they think they will be completely barred for playing sports,” Wilson says. “This weekend reminded me that athletics keep so many LGBT individuals alive and going. Athletes inspire people — and that’s exactly what the attendees of the summit do too.”

This year’s summit featured more breakout sessions than ever, but also large group discussions. “It’s not easy with 125 people,” Ziegler acknowledges. “But people really did listen to each other, and learn.” Topics included the importance of inclusion, anti-bullying strategies, the responsibilities of social media, taking care of oneself after coming out, how to lead training sessions for coaches and how to create trans-inclusive policies.

At the end, each attendee came up with an action plan to bring to his or her community. The plans range from organizing panels on college campuses and creating videos to show at professional conferences, to influencing policies in athletic conferences (especially around trans issues) and creating support networks and safe spaces on campuses for LGBT athletes and coaches.

“Big grand plans are hard to make happen,” Ziegler admits. “This year, we had one big plan: to create an army that can head out across the country and influence local communities. It’s very empowering to feel that you as an individual can make an impact wherever you live.”

The final Pride Parade pulsed with energy. “There was an overwhelming sense of community,” Ziegler says. “No one felt alone. The people who already were active in the community found new people to help. And everyone who was at the summit now has a network of people they can count on.”

In a sense, this year’s LGBT Sports Summit marks a turning point for the entire gay sports movement. The torch has been passed to a new generation. Veteran leaders like Ziegler and his LGBT Sports Coalition co-chair Kathleen Hatch are eager for this new crop of now-empowered athletes and coaches to assume leadership roles.

—  Dan Woog



Jaster appointed permanent executive director of Turtle Creek Chorale

Posted on 29 Jun 2015 at 8:33am
Bruce Jaster

Bruce Jaster

Bruce Jaster, who took quickly over as interim executive director for the Turtle Creek Chorale following the departure of the previous post-holder in January, has been confirmed as the new full-time permanent executive director, the TCC announced late Friday. The ED is responsible for the management and business side of the organization. Sean Baugh, who was made full-time artistic director earlier this spring after overseeing the most recent season of the TCC since the departure of Trey Jacobs last June, will continue to be in charge of the music, programs and singers.

Jaster received the unanimous support of the board of directors in voting him to the post. He has been on the board himself for 10 years, and spent 15 as a singing member. Since assuming the interim role, he has led the chorale through a dicey period in its history, building up its financial security and “continuing the chorale’s movement toward stability and new growth,” according to a release. Jaster was with Price Waterhouse Coopers before stepping away to take the interim position in January.

“The chorale has been a part of my life since first attending a concert on the early 1980s. To be able to now serve as executive director is a dream realized,” Jaster said.

The chorale is Dallas’ 35-year-old gay men’s chorus, one of the fourth oldest gay men’s singing groups in the U.S. It starts its 36th season Oct. 9.

When I jokingly observed that the timing of the promotion from interim to permanent looked conditioned upon the Supreme Court bestowing marriage equality, the TCC’s director of marketing Tri Truong laughed, adding, “I feel like you can spin it that way.”


KERA to interview ‘Mark and Vic,’ Texas plaintiffs in SCOTUS marriage equality case

Posted on 28 Jun 2015 at 1:04pm

IMG_0427Mark Pariss and Vic Holmes, two of the plaintiffs in the marriage equality case that was decided by the Supreme Court last week, are Plano-based and will be the guests in the first hour of Monday’s Think, the midday talk show on local National Public Radio affiliate 90.1 KERA-FM. The show airs from noon to 1 p.m. June 29 if you get a chance to listen to it live; it will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m. Monday and available as well on the show’s podcast.


Bolsa buys dinner for gays who marry today

Posted on 26 Jun 2015 at 2:40pm

image1 (1)So, I decided I wouldn’t be posting my usual Cocktail Friday drink recipe, to honor the solemnity of this historic occasion. And I won’t. But on the other hand, I will share this news with you from Bolsa:

In honor of the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, Bolsa is renaming its frozen cocktail to #loveislove. We will be selling #loveislove for $5 today. We will also buy dinner for anyone who gets married today. Just bring in your proof of marriage. Come down to Bolsa and celebrate this historic moment!


BREAKING: Bulletins from the front lines of the courthouse

Posted on 26 Jun 2015 at 10:46am

Neal and Williams

A few month ago, Richard Neal, the owner of Zeus Comics, was so excited about the Supreme Court finally hearing the marriage equality case that he brought a change of clothes to his shop so that he and partner Chris Williams, who have been together 12 years, could rush to the courthouse the second it became legal in Texas. When I told him it wouldn’t be until June that SCOTUS likely decided the case, he was undeterred — he and Chris were fully prepared to drop everything and get hitched the second they could.

“We’re not going to miss this!” he told me.  “Chris sees getting married as our civic duty to participate in what we’ve been fighting for. For me, it’s the validation for LGBT individuals and in particular LGBT youth to know that they can have real and whole relationships.”

This isn’t the first time they’ve affirmed their devotion to each other. They met more than a decade ago, “and followed that six years ago with an announcement in the Dallas Voice and a gorgeous ceremony with family and friends at the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park. Though no piece of paper can give value to what we already have, it’s important to us that we make it official in Texas,” Neal says. (I was at that ceremony. It was charming.)

This morning, the second they heard about the decision, Neal and Williams jumped into action, texting me updates all morning. Here are some of his bulletins from the front lines:

“We saw two other gays running while we were looking for parking!”

Later: “We’ve filled out the application They’ve told us they’re waiting for the go-ahead. This place is chaotic.”

Then: “We’ve been told the clerk’s office is working on finding a judge to waive the waiting period — The media are interviewing people in line as if they’ve [already] been married.”

As of earlier this hour, it was still a madhouse of waiting, though progress was being made: “No one has been called yet. They’re crossing Ts and dotting Is. We’ve been told Judge George Tillery is making it happen [i.e., waiving the three-day waiting period for gay couples]. Once they get going, we’ll head over there to finalize [our marriage].”

It’s a tremendous time of support and excitement, Neal says: “Jack Evans and George Harris are now in the paperwork line! We’re still ahead of them in the process, but so great to see them here!”

We’ll update this post as Richard and Chris tell us more. Congrats, guys!


“Folks that have filed like us are being send to the probate court for finalization. … We’re in a court waiting with about another 50 couples. Judge Garcia is going to waive the 72 hour waiting period. She’s here now. Lots of applause.”

“We’re being addressed by John Warren. He said sam-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. He said licenses will begin being issued.”

Chris and I are the 7th couple [married in Dallas County]!”

“I should have brought snacks.”


June 27 is Rainbow Family Day at Dallas City Hall

Posted on 25 Jun 2015 at 5:39pm