Steve Grand’s au natural plunge for ALS

Posted on 02 Sep 2014 at 1:24pm

Steve Grand takes the plunge for ALS

I like country-western music in general, but I have to admit, I hadn’t heard about Steve Grand until a coworker sent me a link to Grand’s FB post about how he answered the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

So I watched the video for his song, “All-American Boy,” (below) which went viral after it his YouTube back in July 2013, and it’s pretty good. And maybe I am not the right person to judge how hot the photo is that he posted for his ALS Challenge answer, but I think he did a pretty good job with the challenge.

You know what the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is, right? It’s where someone agrees to be doused in ice water and/or donate money to the ALS Foundation to raise money for and awareness research and treatment into the disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and then calls out their friends to do the same. You make a video of your answer to the challenge and post it online, so the effort perpetuates itself.

Everybody is doing it. Some people are ridiculing it. Others are criticizing it for wasting water.

For those making fun of the challenge and those who participate, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $100 million so far, according to this article posted yesterday by the New York Daily News. For those criticizing the challenges as a waste of precious water, well, Steve Grand found a way to avoid that:

“I didn’t want to waste fresh water (since there are so many without) so naturally, I jumped into Lake Superior, naked, after my performance here in Duluth, MN.,” he posted Saturday on Facebook — along with a naked photo of him getting ready to take the plunge (the one at the top of this post).

Grand notes that in addition to skinny-dipping for the cause, he will be making a cash donation to ALS Foundation and to and to “a local charity” addressing homelessness among LGBT youth.

And, his post ends, “do your research, and donate according to your means.”

So I still don’t know much about Steve Grand, but I know this: I kind of like his style.


Michael Urie opens ‘Buyer & Cellar’ tomorrow night

Posted on 02 Sep 2014 at 10:02am

Even though he trained in theater here in North Texas, Wednesday night will be something special: the professional Dallas stage debut of Michael Urie, in his one-man show Buyer & Cellar. Urie recreated his starring role in the off-Broadway hit — about a man who curates Barbra Streisand’s memorabilia mall — with a handful of performances at the City Performance Hall. Welcome home, Michael! We look forward to enjoying you again … for the first time.

0630 flash


BREAKING: Michael Sam cut by St. Louis Rams

Posted on 30 Aug 2014 at 4:24pm

Michael.SamMichael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay football player and a Texas native, was cut today, Aug. 30, in the seventh round of cuts by the St. Louis Rams.

The defensive player for the Rams may still be able to play for the practice team. “In order to place him on their practice squad, they would need to place him on the waiver wire for a day, thus making him available to the league’s other 31 teams,” The Los Angeles Times explains.

But reports that “thirty-one other teams now have an opportunity to pluck Sam off waivers over the next 24 hours.”

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he was pulling for Sam, who got along well with the team, but the decision to cut him was ultimately a “football decision.”

He added “[Sam] has the ability to play someplace. It’s gotta be the right place, it’s gotta be a fit.”

All of the seventh round drafts were cut to reach the maximum of 53 players.

The University of Missouri graduate became the first openly gay NFL player in the final round of drafting for the NFL earlier this year.


Cocktail Friday: Skinny Colada

Posted on 29 Aug 2014 at 12:04pm

SkinnyColadaIf you’ve been making these cocktails all month, you might want to end the summer with a little healthier version of a classic. Add this simple-but-satisfying booze fix to the mix.

3 parts Vita Coco Coconut Water with Pineapple

1 part coconut rum

Making it: Fill a highball glass with ice. Add Vita Coco Coconut Water with Pineapple and coconut rum. Stir, sip and enjoy.


Throwback Thursday: From the first issue of Dallas Voice

Posted on 28 Aug 2014 at 4:58pm

We’re just about all packed for our move this weekend and we’ve even managed to put together a 48-page issue that’ll be on the stands Friday morning. As we were packing papers from the storage room, we found a few pages from the very first Dallas Voice printed May 11, 1984. Here are a few samples:


‘Normal Heart,’ ‘Modern Family’ and Jim Parsons win Emmy Awards

Posted on 26 Aug 2014 at 10:03am

916137691In what could have been a night for firsts, the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards last night stuck with the predictable.

The night was still a great night for LGBT characters, stars and media, however. Houston native Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, the ABC comedy Modern Family and HBO’s adaptation of The Normal Heart all won Emmys in their respective categories. The latter was produced by Ryan Murphy, the out gay director who also produced nominees American Horror Story and Glee.

Among notable nominees in other categories were AHS‘s Sarah Paulson; Orange is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox, who was the first transperson to ever be nominated for an Emmy; Nathan Lane, for a guest appearance on Modern Family; and Kevin Spacey for his performance as a ruthless congressman in House of Cards. (While Spacey isn’t out, he frequently dodges questions about his sexuality.)

You can see a full list of the winners here.



Tossback Tuesday: G*U*T*S stopped Sanus from withholding treatment

Posted on 26 Aug 2014 at 7:30am

Think your insurance company is killing you now? In 1989, Irving-based HMO Sanus almost killed dozens of its customers in Dallas and thousands more across the country by refusing payment for one of the first drugs that prevented an opportunistic infection.

In January 1989, Sanus announced it would stop paying for pentamidine aerosol treatments, which prevented pneumocystis pneumonia that was taking the lives of many people with AIDS. The company called the drug experimental because the Food and Drug Administration had not given final approval of the medication. The drug was one of the first effective drugs used in the fight against AIDS.

Dallas Gay Alliance President William Waybourn told the Dallas Morning News at the time, the decision was “a form of patient dumping.” Those who were no longer covered by Sanus were going to Parkland or the AIDS Resource Center for treatment.

Resource Center began giving pentamidine treatments to people without insurance in 1987. That program developed into the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic.

Waybourn said adding 35 patients that had contacted the Resource Center after being dumped by Sanus would bankrupt the agency. Pentamidine treatments each cost $165 and were usually administered twice a month. Resource Center was already treating 80 people with no coverage.

G*U*T*S — Gay Urban Truth Squad, a precursor to ACT-UP — staged a die-in at Sanus’ office in Irving. About two dozen G*U*T*S members walked into Sanus’ office with tombstones and laid down in the lobby and hallway.

Geoff Staples was one of the protesters. He said several people handcuffed themselves to the desks. Although Sanus only had one floor of the 10-story building, they evacuated the entire building during the protest. Who knows what this healthcare company did after the protesters left, knowing people with AIDS had been in their office.

After the protest, the company announced on Feb. 16 that it would resume payments for treatment. While the Morning News printed four articles on the Sanus controversy over pentamidine, they never mentioned the protest.

Please help us identify the names of those in the pictures. Most of them died before medication that made HIV manageable was available.


Iggy Azalea: The gay interview

Posted on 25 Aug 2014 at 1:01pm

Iggy5Let’s get something straight: Iggy Azalea is not a “fake lesbian.” In an era where pseudo bisexuality is all the rage — and though her YouTube breakthrough was basically an anthem for female genitalia — Australia’s rising rap star (real name Amethyst Amelia Kelly) refuses to admit that she kissed a girl and liked it. (And if you wanna see a very different YouTube video, Google “Fancy” and Barack Obama and see what you get.)

Doing it her own way, songs off Azalea’s long-awaited debut, The New Classic — the autobiographical rags-to-riches “Work,” and the boasting liberation single “Fancy” — showcase a fierce fighter who’s resilient, empowered and ready for rap domination, as our Chris Azzopardi found.

Dallas Voice: After several delays, how does it feel to finally get this album out?  Iggy Azalea: Definitely a relief. I think people’s interest and support of “Fancy” came as a bit of a surprise. I didn’t anticipate it being as embraced as it has been on radio, so I think I’ve been very lucky in my situation leading up to my album. I’m very happy at the moment to be putting [the album] out and feeling like, yes, it’s finally out, but also, I have a song that’s doing well and getting radio play, which is something that I never usually get, so I’m very excited.

You’ve been embraced in the gay community since the beginning, when you released your mixtape, Ignorant Art, in 2011.  Well, I am a drag queen, so …

Do you call yourself a drag queen?  I always call myself a drag queen. My hairdresser always says, “You’re a big drag queen. You’re in drag makeup, drag hair…” And it’s true! I can’t help it!

The New Classic embraces themes of empowerment, independence and perseverance. Was that intentional?  That’s the general gist of my album, yeah, but I didn’t go into it thinking, “Oh, I’m gonna do these themes.” I just said, “I’m gonna write about my life.” And reflecting on it, and in retrospect, it makes sense considering it is my life, and my life is a shit fight.


Memory Monday: Mayor Annette Strauss visits the AIDS Resource Center

Posted on 25 Aug 2014 at 11:50am

In February 1988, Mayor Annette Strauss visited the AIDS Resource Center on Cedar Springs Road, which was located about where TapeLenders is now. Strauss served from 1987–91.

This was during the height of the AIDS crisis and the visit marked the beginning of any cooperation between the city and the LGBT community in providing services to people living with AIDS. Until this time, few grants were available and little government money was going to help people with AIDS. After the visit, other government officials visited and began working with the LGBT community to provide services.

This wasn’t the first time a Dallas mayor visited the LGBT community. Jack Evans, who was mayor 1981–83, was the featured speaker at a Dallas Gay Alliance monthly meeting. The next day, the Dallas Morning News got wind of the event. Evans said he spoke to the group, but he didn’t know who they were.

That story was related to Mayor Ron Kirk, 1995–2002. Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s monthly was one of his first stops after his election. He opened by thanking everyone at DGLA, the Dallas Gun Lovers Association, for their support in his election.

These are the only pictures I found in our archives of the old AIDS Resource Center/DGA office on Cedar Springs. The building was destroyed in 1989 by an arson fire set by a DGA volunteer to cover up the theft of computer equipment. At the time, the AIDS Resource Center was a non-profit project of DGA, which spun off several years later. Today, it’s known Resource Center.


Cocktail Friday: Cherry POM Bomb

Posted on 22 Aug 2014 at 12:02pm

CherryPOMWhile Southern Comfort-loving frat boys are slinging back Soco and Limes like their paddles depend on it — because heterosexuality is only 55 proof in a house with wall-to-wall dudes — you can take a more sophisticated approach to the New Orleans-born spirit by serving up these come-to-papa Cherry POMs poolside this summer.

1 1/4 oz Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry

2 oz lemonade

1 oz pomegranate juice

Lemon twist garnish

Making it: Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend. Strain into large rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with lemon twist.