Cocktail Friday: The Siege of Lisbon

Posted on 24 Jun 2016 at 2:09pm

TheSeigeofLisbon_LizClayman_01We’ve all heard of champagne cocktails, and even wine spritzers. But porto — a form of wine that originated on the Iberian peninsula — isn’t all that familiar as a cocktail mixer. The sweetish wine mixes well with other liquors, though, as this recipe bears out.

1.5 oz. of Sandeman Porto Founders Reserve

1 oz. gin

3/4 oz. fresh lime juice

3/4 oz. simple syrup

Angostura bitters

Making it: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and top with ice. Shake to chill and dilute. Strain into a chilled rock-filled double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an edible flower.


The Brick/Joe’s saying farewell after 25 years

Posted on 24 Jun 2016 at 12:06pm


3 Greg Christi Howard Greg BRICK IMG_1647

Brick owners Howard Okon, second from right, and Greg Parrish, right, pictured here with friends at the Brick, announced this week they are closing the bar July 24 and retiring.

Howard Okon and Greg Parrish announced this week that, after 25 years, they are closing The Brick/Joe’s and retiring from the bar business.

The popular Wycliff Avenue bar’s final day will be Sunday, July 24. Watch for Dallas Voice’s profile of the bar and its owners during the month of July, before the final day.

Here is the full text of Okon and Parrish’s announcement:

The Brick Dallas would like to thank the community and our patrons for 25 wonderful years in Oak Lawn. We have seen many changes in the last 25 years in the LGBT community and the bar industry, made many new friends over this time, and lost some along the way. The Brick has an amazing staff that has been loyal and now are some of our closest friends. This includes DJs, promoters and entertainers. We have strived to provide a fun, entertaining and safe environment for everyone.

It is now time for us to start a new chapter in our lives. Over the years we have watched many young men and women go from kids into productive members of the community. We started here when our community had few places to go. Times are changing, and we are hopeful that progress continues for the LGBT community and Oak Lawn.

July will be our last month in business and our final day will be Sunday, July 24.

We hope you will come by in the following days and say goodbye to us as we prepare to say goodbye to Dallas.  We have a full calendar of events in July and hope to see all of our customers before we close our doors July 24th with our “Farewell” Party.

As one of the last founding members of The Dallas Tavern Guild remaining, I want to say thank you to all the members and bars who have been a part of this group. Michael Doughman has been a great leader and we wish many more years of events and strength for The Tavern Guild and all the bars.

We could not have been in business for 25 years without teaming up with these great agencies: Resource Center, AIDS Arms, LifeWalk, AIDS Services of Dallas, GDMAF, Legacy Counseling Center, The Red Foundation, The Purple Party and many more.

Thank you to our softball (Titans, Hashtags, Synergy), volleyball (DIVAS) and rugby teams that have been very supportive to us for many years.

Thank you to our loyal poker players who come out week after week to play poker and eat pizza.

Thank you to Greg Turner (Camille), Bob Wright, Dan Lambert, Betty Neal, Gaylan Zant and Adam Metts for your years of service to The Brick.

A very special thank you to Mikey Howard, and Dannee Phann for being the most amazing managers we could have asked for.

Thank you to our staff and friends: Jimmy, Laurie, Shawn, Dwayne, Mickey, Charles (DJ Unique), Ivan (Ida Mae), Netta, Michael, Brittanie, Larry, Jason, DJ Rudeboy, Stanley, Chris, Andy, Brandon, Jennifer, Shy T, Jay, Blake, Pay, CJ, Cooper, K, Baby, Lukas, Skylar, Aubrey, Kingston, Travis.

Orlando Strong!

Howard Okon and

Greg Parrish


Dallas Southern Pride celebrates Juneteenth

Posted on 23 Jun 2016 at 11:10pm


Celebrating Tammye Nash’s anniversary as managing editor

Posted on 23 Jun 2016 at 12:17pm

anniversary---Tammye-NashTammy Nash, managing editor of Dallas Voice, has a 28-year history with Dallas Voice.

Tammye started at Dallas Voice in June 1988 as a news writer and worked as a news reporter through March 2001. She worked about three years in the mainstream press, as a reporter for Cleburne Times-Review, before returning to the Voice staff in May 2004. Named senior editor in October 2006 following the death of longtime editor Dennis Vercher, she remained through mid January 2012. She spent a year as a freelance reporter and photographer before once again joining the staff of Cleburne Times-Review.

In June 2014 Tammye returned to Dallas Voice as managing editor.


5 reasons you need to stop treating your gym like a bathhouse

Posted on 23 Jun 2016 at 9:18am

Portrait Of A Muscular Man Relaxing In SaunaVisit a gym in any major city and you’ll quickly pick up on the local “culture.” You know what I’m talking about. New York and Los Angeles, specifically, are notorious for the goings-on in its gyms showers, steam rooms and saunas. It’s become such a huge problem in certain places that there are signs posted warning guests about lascivious behavior, and a handful of locations have removed the locker-room relaxation stations altogether to discourage such activities. While I contend that exercising your demons to completion can be exciting and fun and – probably, the most appealing part of it – anonymous, it can make other gym-goers uncomfortable. Thus, five reasons you need to stop treating your gym like a bathhouse – if you know what’s good for you.

1. You’re making other people uncomfortable with all that cruising.  Although it may seem like everybody came to the gym to get a “full body” workout — from your perspective, anyway — not every guy in the joint is looking for play. Believe it or not, the majority of dudes are there to get their lift on and go about their day. Staring bros down with come-hither glances may work on some patrons, but there are a high percentage of people who aren’t into it — at all. Of course, as gay men we think every hot bloke pumping iron must be at least a little bit homo, but that’s rarely the case. Do what you came to the gym to do — stay active and healthy — and save the cruising for the bars and bedroom apps where they belong, lest you become a homophobe’s new punching bag.

2. Most guys prefer discretion in the locker room.  It must be a generational thing, because when I’m in the locker room I rarely see guys my age — I’m 35 — milling about with their junk hanging out. Rather, it’s the older crowd that likes to walk around naked, stand at their locker for an extended period of time in the buff (sending minutes-long emails, no less), and generally move at a glacial pace drying off every nook and cranny of their bodies. Certainly that’s not a definitive statement — there are men of all ages trying to entice the rippling mass of man-flesh next to them with an ample showing of their own skin – but from my experience there’s consistently an age gap between those of us who from go from soaking wet post-shower to dry and draped in clothing in less than 60 seconds and those who could’ve had a three-martini lunch in the time it takes them to put on a pair of underwear.

3. Likewise, most guys came to workout and relax, not hookup.  Your gym’s saunas and steam rooms exist to serve its customers with a place to unwind and loosen tight muscles after an intense workout. They were not installed for anybody to have sex inside them, despite popular opinion. But thanks to the bathhouse culture that’s deeply rooted within our community, we’ve come to regard any heated, clothing-optional area as a destination of desire. Sure, these spaces and situations can be sexy — exposed private parts have a way of getting a rise out of people, after all – but not all occupants are up for getting down. That’s not to say that two consenting adults can’t make a go of it, but you shouldn’t put anyone else out, run them off, or otherwise make them uncomfortable because you want to act out a fantasy. You have a bedroom for that. And if your boyfriend is home — making a one-on-one tryst with a gym trick a no-go — that’s your problem and nobody else’s.

4. What you’re doing in the facilities is unsanitary.  All that grimy sweat pooling on the benches and floors of steam rooms and saunas aside, the fact remains that not everyone showers before they enter; that’s issue number one, and it’s pretty disgusting if you’ve just come from a five-mile run on the treadmill. Secondly, if you’re having sexual contact with another person in these rooms, you’re introducing a whole host of other bacteria to the scenario that, personally, I’d rather do without – and I’m not alone. I’ve witnessed plenty of questionable activities happen here — from making out to oral sex to full-on penetration — and I’m never more disgusted (or run out of a room quicker) than when a guy blows his load all over the wood or tile structures instead of his towel and quickly exits without a second thought about cleaning it up. This is how things like death get spread, and it needs to stop.

5. Performing lewd acts in public Is illegal.  While the after-exercise facilities at your gym seem like private places — low lights and condensation-covered doors have a way of suggesting to your subconscious that they are — they’re still very much public. As such, if you get caught performing lewd acts in public, you’re subject to the codes of conduct that help keep our world free from sexual predators — and that’s exactly how you’ll be defined, perhaps forever if you’re charged with a criminal act. Now, most gyms will simply ask you to leave and revoke your membership in this case, but if you’ve offended or touched someone else without their consent, it could mean big trouble, and in the end that’s just not worth it. Which brings me back to the bathhouse: If you’re feeling frisky, head over there. Otherwise, keep your love muscle to yourself at the gym and nobody gets hurt.

 — Mikey Rox


#ProudToBe gathers the voices and the faces of the LGBT community on YouTube, refusing to give in to fear

Posted on 22 Jun 2016 at 10:28am

Screen shot 2016-06-22 at 10.26.15 AM

A coworker shared this video with me today. I am just going to put the info here from the “about” section and let that explain it for you:

“From commemorating Pride parades to opening up about transitions and explaining the ABCs of LGBT, YouTube is a place where anyone can belong no matter who they are or who they love. That is why today we want to help people honor and celebrate who they’re#ProudToBe.

Now, more than ever, it’s important that we help accept, love, and celebrate one another. In the wake of the tragic events in Orlando, we stand together in support of the LGBTQ community. We stand together with everyone who has the courage to own and share their identity. We stand together to show the power of solidarity, the power of love, the power of pride. To those beautiful and brave voices who continue to make YouTube the vibrant, diverse and empathetic community it is, we are #ProudToBe with you.

JOIN IN: Who are you #ProudToBe?
Upload a video or share a post with #ProudToBe in the title so others can find it.”


Love MUST Prevail: Broadway stars record song to honor Orlando victims

Posted on 20 Jun 2016 at 2:09pm


An “array of musical theater all-stars” came together last week to record a very special version of “What the World Needs Now is Love” in tribute to the victims of the June 12 attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando, with 100 percent of the profit from sales of the recording going to the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.

The line-up of performers includes Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Lin-Manuel Mirando, Orfeh, Lillias White, Keala Settle, Carmen Cusack and many more. Watch the video below.

The song is available for download at Broadway Records for $1.99.


5 reasons why being a gay extrovert is sometimes the pits

Posted on 20 Jun 2016 at 8:17am

Black handsome man's shock reactionBeing gay and an extrovert seems to go hand-in-hand. Many of us have an innate ability to connect with others that makes being outgoing look effortless, but the truth is, sometimes we need a break just like the rest of the world. Take a breather and reflect on everyone else’s obsession with you with these five reasons why being an extrovert is sometimes the pits — even though you wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. You’re expected to be ‘on’ from the minute you pop out of bed. I wouldn’t say that I’m not a morning person — I like to think I’m fairly agreeable when I wake up — but I also work from home on a regular basis and generally take my time getting ready for the day, which probably contributes to my upbeat demeanor. But even when I have an off day, people notice, and I’m sure you’ll recognize the same. Just try keeping to yourself the first couple hours at the office and see what happens. By noon, an all-hands meeting will be scheduled to discuss how your personality is affecting productivity, your cube mate will have a doctor’s appointment on your calendar, and your mother will be blowing you up on text because your boss called with concern. Alas, this crisis can be avoided; you just have to grin and bear it on life’s rainy days, too.

2. Your straight pals rely on uou to be their social director. When I go out on the town, I’m usually the axis of my group. It’s not that I surround myself with wallflowers either; all my friends are perfectly social, yet they seem to like it when I take the wheel. We go to sporting events, shows, bars, restaurants — all the typical things you do with friends. Not only am I the one planning the activities, but it also happens that I’m literally and physically the center of attention. I’m smack dab in the middle of the situation so everybody can benefit from my wit and charm equally while not worrying about having to work so hard for laughs themselves. It’s tiresome, and it’s resulted in canceled plans more than once when I’m not up for being everybody’s tour guide/comedian/camp director.

3. The fate of your friends’ weddings is in your hands.  I’m asked one specific question by nearly every bride to whose wedding I’m invited: “You’re gonna dance, right?” You see, over the years I’ve built a reputation of being a mover and shaker on the dance floor — so much so that that reputation precedes me, and even before I accept the invitation I’m expected to be part of the evening’s entertainment. There have been a few weddings, however, where I just wasn’t feeling the boogie. Perhaps the music wasn’t right, maybe I was a little hungover from the previous night’s festivities, or, and this is the most likely scenario, I didn’t feel like being a show monkey for a free buffet and a slice of stale cake. Just let me be. Just once I’d like to select a couple overpriced kitchen items from the gift registry like the rest of the guests and be allowed to sit at my assigned seat while getting blitzed on the open bar as I cry inside about how I’ll never find someone to love me. You know, like a normal person.

4. People are worried about your health and safety if you take a break from social media. True story: I’m currently traveling as I write this column and I haven’t had time to post my quippy and, oftentimes, hourly observations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as much as my friends and followers are accustomed. Hand to God, earlier today I received a message from one of my social media contacts asking me if I’m OK because I “haven’t posted in days.” In reality, I updated my status about 24 hours ago, but he’s about to call in a missing person’s report because I’m enjoying my vacation. Next time I’ll send out announcements so people can prepare.

5. Basically, if you don’t have rainbows shooting out of your butt at all times, the world might end. Don’t get me wrong here. Even though I’m probably sounding a little complain-y, I’m glad I’m an extrovert. I mean, I can’t imagine what it’s like being a gay introvert who inevitably gets treated like the extrovert everyone else wants you to be because me and the rest of the constant attention seekers in the LGBT community have ruined anonymity for you. But even though it seems easy being us, we have a lot of the same insecurities, feelings of isolation, and even loneliness. We’re just better at hiding it, mostly by bending over backwards to please other people — or else. Frankly, I wish rainbows did shoot out of my butt just so I didn’t have to talk so damn much. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’m sure my hangers-on would agree – if they could ever get a word in edgewise.

 — Mikey Rox




Cocktail Friday: Grapefruit Summer Solstice Punch

Posted on 17 Jun 2016 at 2:07pm

The summer solstice — the astronomical start to summer, and the longest day of the year — arrives bright and early on June 20, which gives you all that much more time for day drinking. Of course, day drinking is sad unless you do it with other people, and a punch is the ideal way to get everyone a little hammered and soak in the season.

10 parts Bacardi Grapefruit

4 parts Pineau des Charentes

5 parts triple sec

7 parts lime juice

5 parts orange blossom honey syrup

Making it: Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl with a block of ice and stir. Garnish with lemon slices.


7 ways social media has made you a sex addict

Posted on 16 Jun 2016 at 9:18am

Finger Pressing On Red Button With Porn Word On It And Blurred BTen years ago, when Facebook was in its infancy and iPhones were but a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ eyes, you had to work hard to be a perv. Now, fulfilling your friskiness is just a flick away, and that’s not exactly a good thing. Social media has taken over our lives, both personally and professionally, and the dark underbelly of our online world is as dank and seedy as a dimly lit bathhouse. As a result, you may very well be a sex addict; here are seven ways to find out.

1. DM on Twitter and Facebook has gotten you in trouble with your boo. What starts out as innocent “likes” and flirty comments on Facebook and Twitter soon evolves into a deep-see-diving expedition into the object of your burgeoning affection’s profile, left-swiping on the family and milestone photos but holding steady on the shirtless-vacay jackpot. Eventually one DMs the other in an attempt to push the boundaries of social-stranger etiquette — even though you know you shouldn’t – until a sordid relationship of sexts and sweet-nothings arises. Which is all well and good if it’s as innocuous as you say it is, but your partner doesn’t believe you when you get caught (as well he shouldn’t since you’re being dishonest), and therein lies your problem — likely one of many.

2. You spend way too much time on Grindr. Thanks to social media — and very specifically Grindr with regards to our gay community — most of us have developed not only a need but, more dastardly, an affinity for 375-feet-away validation and instant gratification. You open the app every 15 minutes to see if someone new has pinged you or, hopefully, that brick-bodied bro you’ve got your eye on has finally responded to your “Sup?” Friday and Saturday nights? Forget about it. What were once bastions of freedom and nightlife exploration have devolved into afternoon-to-evening-long sessions of sitting on the couch surfing headless thumbnails while Netflix plays in the background as you consistently turn down the so-sos and frequently get rejected or ignored by the more-sos. It’s cyclical, and you can’t quit it — until you hit it, that is (and you’re almost always compromising, which makes the whole situation even sadder), ultimately ushering in a brief respite before ending up back at square one a few hours later.

3. When theres a Grindr outage, you turn to Scruff. Gay Twitter loses it collective mind when Grindr experiences an outage, like it did recently — at least on the West Coast (and during the Palm Springs White Party, no less) — driving hordes of Grindr loyalists to other apps like Scruff to fulfill their insatiable desires. If you find yourself in a cold sweat, clamoring to connect nakedly with somebody — anybody! — nearby when the Grindr gods throw down the gauntlet, it’s probably high-time for reflection… and confession.

4. You’re really on Instagram for the man-butts. You’re kidding yourself if you think you’re on Instagram for the sweeping views and vistas of other people’s getaways, pics of kittens and your BFF’s brunch plate. Real talk, you’re there to scroll through the endless images of the buffed-out, swole-up models and meatheads you daydream about tossing you around like a rag doll. If you follow @seductionboys, @themuscleleague or @datbubblebutt, you might be a sex addict.

5. You bookmark YouPorn and Pornhub more than any other websites. We all have a handful of super-hot vids saved that are our go-tos. But if you’ve got them bookmarked on your phone or computer so you can have them at the ready whenever you’re ready — and they outnumber the more relevant and G-rated content you have stored — it’s time to pull up your pants, put the devices away and introduce yourself to the real world again.

6. We can all agree that Snapchat exists to share dick pix. A friend of mine asked me a few months ago if I’m on Snapchat. My response? No, because I’m not a 17-year-old kid trying to sext undercover. I’m grown, and when I send you my dick pic you get to keep it forever — because I’m confident like that. But I digress. My point that Snapchat is strictly for younger Millennials and high-schoolers to trade nudies with no cyber trail (even though that’s inaccurate) is proven by this appropriately worded statistic from research firm Martin-Wilbourn Partners: “Snapchat is now the third most popular social app among Millennials, with a 32.9 percent penetration on the demographic’s mobile phones, trailing only Instagram (43.1 percent) and Facebook (75.6 percent).”

7. You visit Tumbl for celeb nudes and homemade sex tapes. Does anybody even understand Tumblr? I don’t — except when I’m googling a celebrity’s junk or looking for amateur porn (because watching normal people do it as awkwardly as I do is comforting). That’s really all Tumblr is good for. Anybody who tries to tell you differently is either a liar or a 13-year-old girl, or probably both.

— Mikey Rox