Oak Lawn library’s Angie Bartula named Librarian of the Year

Posted on 16 Apr 2014 at 4:01pm

BigDReads.113821Oak Lawn Library’s branch manager Angie Bartula was named Dallas Librarian of the Year.

“She won talent, swimsuit AND personality,” North Oak Cliff branch manager Ray Sablack said.

To celebrate, D Magazine is staging a festival at the deck park downtown.

“On the 26th, we are having a huge festival at Klyde Warren Park celebrating storytelling of all forms,” said D Magazine’s Community Engagement Manager Krista Nightengale. “It’s a free event that’s open to the public.”

Bartula encouraged people to bring a book to the park and spend the afternoon reading.

However, in the event she’s unable to fulfill her reign as Dallas Librarian of the Year …

“Hey,” Bartula objected. “Why wouldn’t I be able to fulfill my term?”

Absolutely no reason at all.

Since becoming Oak Lawn’s librarian, she’s expanded the LGBT section at her branch and encouraged other branches to begin LGBT sections as well, which Sablack has done in North Oak Cliff. She recently partnered with Dish, at ilume across the street from her branch, to host author lesbian Leslea Newman for a reading.

She’s active throughout the community, welcoming senior citizens, a crime watch and a North Dallas High School group. She’s encouraged a knitting group that meets at the library, a homeowners group and loves to help people with their job searches.

Well deserved, Angie, and we’re looking forward to the D Magazine centerfold in May.

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4 Texans top Out Magazine’s Power 50 List

Posted on 16 Apr 2014 at 1:51pm

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Out Magazine’s eighth annual Power 50 List released this week includes four Texans among the ranks.

Houston Mayor Annise Mayor, Brittney Griner, Michael Sam and Dustin Lance Black are featured. Both Parker and Black have been included before on the list, which examines LGBT officials, leaders, athletes, musicians and business people (among others) who have the power in America.

Parker, now in her third and final term as mayor, has used her role in the past to chair Mayors for the Freedom to Marry and recently announced she planned to introduce a nondiscrimination ordinance in the city, which is the largest city in Texas without such a measure.

Black, known as the screenwriter for Milk, has been active in LGBT causes, including taking down California’s Prop 8 and later writing the play about the events surrounding the ballot measure. He continues to work on pro-LGBT projects.

The two new Texas additions also happen to be leading the way for LGBT inclusion in sports, an area in which LGBT equality and attitudes are still homophobic.

Griner came out last April after the WMBA draft. She’s discussed how difficult it was attending college at the Baptist-affiliated Baylor University before she went to play professionally. She goes into more detail in her recent book In My Skin.

Sam, also a Texas native, made waves earlier this year at the first player pre-NFL draft to come out as gay. He said he wanted to be honest about his sexuality before the draft. While he’s expected to be an early round pick, six teams have recently come out in favor of signing an openly gay player and are seriously considering Sam.

Read the full list here.

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SMU students will vote again on LGBT Senate seat

Posted on 15 Apr 2014 at 6:35pm
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Spectrum’s Kathrina Macalanda solicits a signature from Ryan Patrick McLaughlin

Over the weekend, Southern Methodist University students collected enough signatures to get a revote on whether to add an LGBT Student Senate seat.

After the Student Senate voted in March to add the seat, the student body needed to pass the measure by a two-thirds vote. Only 53 percent voted April 3 for the amendment to the Student Constitution. To get another vote, supporters needed to collect signatures from 10 percent of the student body, which is 1,053 people.

“I am excited to report that we actually surpassed that goal,” former Spectrum President Harvey Luna said. “We collected about 1,400 signatures.”

Normally, the issue would be put to students this week, but faculty is using the website link this week for their own elections. Instead, the amendment to add the LGBT seat will be put to students next week.

“In the meantime, we are going to begin strategizing on advertising the issue on campus — tabling, flyers, buttons, etc.,” Luna said.

 

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Judge rules Ohio must recognize out-of-state marriages

Posted on 15 Apr 2014 at 12:31pm
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Judge Timothy Black

Federal Judge Timothy Black on Monday ordered Ohio to recognize all marriages performed out of state.

In December, Black called the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and said states can’t discriminate just because they don’t like homosexuality. That order, however, only applied to the case he was deciding and to others in similar situations. He ordered Ohio to recognize marriages performed out-of-state for the purposes of a death certificate.

In February, an Ohio couple sued to overturn the marriage ban because it was preventing them from applying for health insurance for themselves and their daughter as a family.

Black again called the state’s constitutional amendment passed in 2004 unconstitutional, but did not order the state to begin issuing marriage licenses.

The state plans to appeal Black’s ruling, arguing that Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage.

Black delayed deciding whether to stay his ruling, pending appeal until attorneys on both sides present their arguments on the issue by the end of Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

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Ground broken on Lee Park entrance to Katy Trail

Posted on 15 Apr 2014 at 11:17am
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City and park officials pretending to turn some dirt

More than 50 people attended a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a ramp will extend from Snyder’s Union on the Katy Trail to Lee Park’s eastern section just below the trail. Representatives of the construction contractor said work should begin within a week, and Lee Park Conservancy President and CEO Gay Waldrop Donnell said construction should take about 20 weeks.

Donnell said the ramp will link the “Katy Trail from its mid point to Lee Park.”

Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston said the trail and the park have a natural affinity.

“As we make our city more walkable, it represents what we want to see in Dallas,” Kingston said.

The ramp will run from the Synder’s Union promenade that opened in 2009 toward Hall Street. In Phase 2 of the project, the area between Turtle Creek and the Katy Trail will have several courts for shuffleboard, bocci ball and several other games. Stairs already link the trail to the area across Hall Street.

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Artist’s rendering of new Lee Park entrance

 

 

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Indian Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as ‘third gender’

Posted on 15 Apr 2014 at 10:53am
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Rose, India’s first transgender TV anchor

In what is being called a landmark judgment, India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday created a “third gender” status for transgender people, granting the group formal recognition for the first time, The Washington Post reported.

“Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue,” Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said when he announced the ruling. “Transgenders are citizens of this country and are entitled to education and all other rights.”

He directed local governmental bureaucracies to identify transgender people as a neutral third gender, adding that they will now have the same access to social welfare programs as other minority groups in India, the world’s largest democracy and currently in the midst an election campaign.

The court’s decision would apply to individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth, the Associated Press said.

The Supreme Court specified that its ruling would apply only to transgender people and not to gays, lesbians or bisexuals. India’s LGBT communities have been protesting the court’s recent decision to reinstate a colonial-era law banning gay sex, which they say will make them vulnerable to police harassment.

The case was brought in 2012 when a group led by transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a Hindi film actress, sought equal rights for India’s transgender population.

On Tuesday, Tripathi was triumphant.

“Today, for the first time I feel very proud to be an Indian,” she told reporters gathered at the New Delhi court. “Today, my sisters and I feel like real Indians, and we feel so proud because of the rights granted to us by the Supreme Court.”

Across much of South Asia and Southeast Asia, the language of gender is substantially more ambiguous than it is in the West. In countries such as Thailand and Cambodia, transgender people aren’t usually referred to as either a man or a woman — but as kathoey. India’s decision follows other regional countries’ decisions to recognize a third gender. Last year, neighboring Nepal offered a third gender option on official documents for its transgender population.

The West has been a tad slower to adopt such measures. Last year, Germany became the first European country to recognize a third gender, allowing parents of newborns to mark “male,” “female” or “indeterminate” on birth certificates.

Across the rest of Europe, Spiegel Online reports, change has been more halting. “Things are moving slower than they should at the European level,” human rights activist Silvan Agius said. “Though Brussels has ramped up efforts to promote awareness of trans and intersex discrimination, I would like to see things speed up.”

Things in India sped up this year. For the first time, India’s Election Commission allowed a third gender of “other” on voter registration forms for this election. Nearly 30,000 people designated themselves as “other,” the Associated Press reported, and there are an estimated 3 million transgender individuals in India.

“The progress of the country is dependent upon [the] human rights of the people, and we are very happy with the judgment,” Tripathi said. “The Supreme Court has given us those rights.”

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Gun Barrel City mayor stops police harassment at gay bar

Posted on 14 Apr 2014 at 11:23am

GarlowsEmployees of Garlows, a gay bar located on Cedar Creek Lake about 60 miles southeast of Dallas, said police surveillance of the bar had been going on for several weeks before a number of patrons were stopped by police on April 5. Several were arrested for DUI. The bar’s owner was arrested for public intoxication while he was walking home.

Retired Dallas Voice reporter David Webb reported:

On April 5, following a drag show at the gay bar, patrons leaving the bar met as many as five squad cars sitting outside of the bar. Drivers who failed to signal whether they were turning left or right were stopped, according to sources at the scene. Several DUI arrests were made. One squad car followed the operator of the bar as he attempted to walk home and and handcuffed and jailed him on a charge of public intoxication, allegedly without testing him for intoxication.

Gun Barrel City mayor Paul Eaton told Webb surveillance would end immediately, saying he acted as soon as he heard about it.

Cedar Creek Lake has been home to LGBT retirees and weekend home owners for several decades. Garlows, in GBC, is the second gay bar in the area. Also, Celebration Church on the Lake, founded with help from Celebration Church in Fort Worth, has a large LGBT membership and is located in nearby Mabank.

David’s full report is here.

 

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Day of Silence at Bryan Adams High School

Posted on 14 Apr 2014 at 10:32am

Bryan Adams has become one of the safest high schools in Dallas for LGBT teens. More than 100 students have joined the school’s gay-straight alliance.

GSA adviser Danielle Jones sent over a few pictures of the school’s National Day of Silence observation held on Friday.

According to GLSEN, National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.

Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

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Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words

Posted on 11 Apr 2014 at 9:23pm

2Craig Watkins NOH8It’s not always easy to hold elected officials accountable, but when they take part in a campaign as public and identifiable as NOH8, the job gets easier. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins was one of the hundreds who had his picture taken at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration earlier this year, along with Dallas City Councilmen Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston.

The iconic NOH8 logo placed on Watkins’ cheek goes along with his establishment of an LGBT Task Force in February. He said that after meeting with members of the community, he “was disappointed to hear that many victims of domestic violence or hate crimes were afraid to speak out because they feared lack of a law enforcement response.”

The NOH8 stamped on Watkins’ cheek will remind him and the community of the commitment he’s made to eliminate bias and discrimination. For all the people, LGBT and others, who haven’t always been treated fairly by the legal and law enforcement systems, this is the image we can hold up to Watkins as a reminder of his promise that, at least in his office, justice is blind.

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No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party set for Saturday

Posted on 11 Apr 2014 at 7:30pm

Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 6.31.23 PMWe know you’ve been working on your summer pool figures, but it’s OK to break your diet for just one day. On Saturday, the No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party gets going at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. This event is a benefit to raise money for AIDS Services of Dallas, which provides housing and supportive services for low-income and formerly homeless men, women and children and families living with HIV/AIDS.

ASD supporters have been hosting social gatherings that range from backyard barbecues to formal dinners, and their guests donated $50 or more, which goes to ASD. No Southern dinner is complete without dessert, so the hosts and their guests will sample offerings from some of Dallas’ best caterers and restaurants at Saturday’s event. They’ll need the nourishment to get them through a night of the dancing and entertainment that will be offered.

And what’s a benefit if it doesn’t have an auction? Designers, restaurants and stores donated items you’ll want to bid on and take home.

The event will be held from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. at Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave. And like the name says — no tie.

 

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