Chefs for Farmers’ Big Oyster Bash tickets on sale

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 at 10:17am

oysterThe charitable group Chefs for Farmers — just three years old, but already one of the best-attended and most acclaimed foodie events in Dallas, attracting some of the top culinary talent in town — will hold its inaugural Big Oyster Bash at the Dallas Farmers Market on Oct. 26. And what do I mean by top talent? Matt McCallister (FT33), Jack Perkins (The Slow Bone), Kyle McClelland (Proof and Pantry), John Tesar (Spoon and Knife), Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood Market), Jon Stevens (Stock & Barrel) and Stephen Rogers (Gemma). Tickets went on sale this morning, and you can get them here. And I hope you will. CFF, which recognizes those working to better Dallas’ culinary scene, has invited me to serve as one of the hosts of the event, which I gladly accepted. So come, eat good food, have a good time and say hello!

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Congressmen urge FCC to end blocking of LGBT content

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 at 9:51am

Mike_With_BullhornRep. Mike Honda, D-C.A., sent a letter to officials at the Federal Communications Commission Thursday, Sept. 25, urging the commission to ensure that federally-mandated online filtering software used at public schools and libraries do not block resources for the LGBT community, according to a statement released by Honda’s office. He was joined by 13 members of Congress and 20 other organizations.

In the letter, Honda notes, “It has been reported to me that filtering software also can be used to block much more. Regrettably, Internet content filtering software can — intentionally or unintentionally — be used to block access to particular viewpoints in a discriminatory manner.”

Honda is the founder and chair of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus.

In a statement, Ian Thompson of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “Unintentionally or not, internet filtering software can be employed in a discriminatory manner that denies LGBT students in crisis a much-needed lifeline for support. The FCC now has an opportunity to address this problem, and they should act to do so.”

You can read the full letter here.

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KNON’s Lambda Weekly named 2014 best radio show

Posted on 25 Sep 2014 at 4:58pm

Taffet.DavidVoice staff writer David Taffet and his KNON radio show Lambda Weekly co-hosts Patti Fink and Lerone Landis won a 2014 best radio show citation from the Dallas Observer.

According to the citation:

On the air since 1983, Lambda Weekly claims to be the longest-running gay and lesbian radio show on the air anywhere on Earth. We were unwilling to do the work required to substantiate that claim but considered it irrelevant anyway: Lambda Weekly is just such a great show, gay or lesbian or longest-running or not.

I asked my colleague, whom they described as ”genial and well-informed”, what he thought. He said he was “shocked but delighted.” KNON, he said, “is so excited.”

Then he went to Twitter to say the same:

Fortunately, Fink’s partner Erin Moore just joined the Voice staff, so hopefully David’s ego won’t become too inflated.

Congratulations, y’all.

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WATCH: President Obama announces personnel change

Posted on 25 Sep 2014 at 3:19pm

Stay tuned for a 3:30 p.m. announcement by President Obama about what is widely assumed to be about Eric Holder’s resignation as Attorney General.

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WATCH: ‘Key & Peele’ returns, gayer than ever

Posted on 25 Sep 2014 at 12:52pm

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 12.46.28 PMMy favorite show, Key & Peele, had its season premiere last night, and not only is it just as funny as ever, it’s also just as biting … and gay. To wit: This sketch during the premiere, in which a black family try wrap their brains around the idea of a gay wedding … and can’t be convinced that it’s just the same as a straight one. This team does more mocking gay issues than some, let’s say, “other” outlets do when trying to sound gay-friendly. But don’t worry: Watching this will not make you pro-gay rallied. Enjoy!

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The Year of the Outhlete

Posted on 25 Sep 2014 at 11:23am

With Dallas Pride just over and the Gay Softball World Series still going strong, it’s difficult not to see thing about how influential the Year of the Outhlete has been in our community. Indeed, tomorrow’s edition of Dallas Voice is even out Sports Issue to mark the occasion. So let’s hoist the rainbow flag, drink a toast (with the alcohol of a gay-friendly sponsor) and honor the LGBT athletes who exemplify Pride.

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets

The biggest — physically, anyway — is Jason Collins. The NBA player made us proud when he came out as the first active male pro sport athlete. Dozens of former teammates — and many opponents — made us just as proud when they tweeted sincere messages of congratulations the moment the news broke. The Brooklyn Nets made us proud when they signed him to a 10-day contract — not because he was gay, but because they needed a strong, experienced veteran to bring maturity to their locker room. Then the Nets liked him so much, they extended his contract. And NBA fans made us proud by making Jason Collins’ souvenir jersey the best-selling one in all of sports. Let’s go Nets!

Michael-SamAnother big story — physically, too — is, of course, Michael Sam. The University of Missouri star impressed us by coming out publicly a month before the NFL draft. (He’d been out to his team for a long time; they and their coaches made us proud by supporting him strongly, en route to a kick-ass season.) Mizzou fans stood out (and shattered East and West Coast stereotypes) with their fervent embrace of him. ESPN done good by showing him kissing his boyfriend after Sam’s name was called in the draft. And Sam made us very, very proud with that kiss.  It — and his tears of joy — were the exact same reactions as all the other macho, straight NFL draftees have. We are proud that all of America saw it, and prouder still that our own Dallas Cowboys saw fit to recruit him after the Rams cut him in training. Sam even turned up at Dallas’ Red Party last week.

When Robbie Rogers came out, soon after retiring from Major League Soccer, we were filled with pride. (He had a drink of water with the national team, too.) He made us even prouder when he returned to the sport, signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy. And soccer fans around North America — particularly those in the Cascadia region of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver — have made us tremendously proud by their heartfelt, vocal and very clever signs of support not just of Rogers, but of the entire “You Can Play”/gays-in sport movement. It takes a village — or, more appropriately, an entire stadium. And MLS has ’em.

Olympics Day 14 - DivingWe were proud when English Olympic diver Tom Daley came out … except, some of us were not proud because he didn’t exactly come out. He said, “Right now I’m dating a guy, and I couldn’t be happier.” Then he said, “Of course, I still fancy girls.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being bisexual … but Daley didn’t use the “B” word either. (Eventually we learned that the “guy” is Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black.) Some members of the LGBT community are proud to have a top-level athlete like Daley in our midst; others wish he’d embrace his sexuality more fully; still others point to his non-disclosure disclosure as a sign that times are changing for the better. Labels don’t matter, they say; just be proud of who you are.

We are proud of Brittney Griner, for sure. One of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time plays on our team. But while part we’re in awe of her talent, her competitiveness and her honesty, we’re saddened by the way female athletes are marginalized. Her coming-out announcement should have been huge news, on par with those of Collins, Sam and Rogers. In her sport, she’s even bigger than they are. But it wasn’t. We’re not proud that female athletes — and lesbians — still have a long way to go.

Mercury Welcomes Brittney GrinerWe are also not proud that the Winter Olympics were held in Sochi earlier this year. Russia’s gay rights record is abysmal, and President Vladimir Putin didn’t even pretend to whitewash it. Instead, he warned gay visitors not to spread “gay propaganda.” We were not proud that governments and Olympic committees around the world did not raise more of a protest. We were not proud that none of the athletes, or their allies, raised a rainbow flag in protest. On the other hand, we should probably be proud that the Russians did not arrest, intimidate or even harass any LGBT folks. Small victories and all that.

But that was winter. With the summer, and Gay Pride Week in Dallas last week, Pride has been busting out all over. Yet with all we have to be proud of, the most Pride-worthy folks are the men and women (and boys and girls) who are out and proud as college and high school athletes. They don’t get nearly as much attention as the Jason Collinses, Michael Sams and Robbie Rogerses. But they are our true, and very prideful, champions.

— Dan Woog and Arnold Wayne Jones

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UPDATED: Human Rights Campaign praises outgoing AG Eric Holder

Posted on 25 Sep 2014 at 10:01am

eric holder.smallFollowing reports that United States Attorney General Eric Holder will announce his resignation today, the Human Rights Campaign released a statement praising him while calling for President Obama to nominate an out LGBT cabinet member.

“Some Attorneys General wait for history, others make history happen. Attorney General Holder made history for the LGBT community,” said Chad Griffin, president of HRC. “He was our Robert F. Kennedy, lightening the burden of every American who faces legal discrimination and social oppression. We owe him a profound debt of gratitude for his legacy of advocacy and service.”

“The President has expressed a commitment to appointing a cabinet that reflects the full diversity of the American people, and there are many richly-qualified candidates available to serve as the first openly-LGBT cabinet secretary. It would be a natural extension of this administration’s enduring commitment to equality to send a message of visibility and inclusion by nominating such a candidate to serve in this historic role,” Griffin added.

You can read the full statement here.

According to NPR, the nation’s first black attorney general is one of the longest-serving Obama appointees and “ranks as the fourth longest tenured AG in history.”

Holder is well-known for refusing to defend DOMA and suing Texas over its voter ID law.

He plans to serve until a successor is nominated and approved by the Senate.

Check out Instant Tea throughout the day as details come in.

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Forced to wear ‘gaytard’ name tag, Gay South Dakota teen files complaint

Posted on 24 Sep 2014 at 3:34pm

act14-tacojohns-500x280-v01A gay South Dakota teenager who was allegedly forced to wear by his boss to wear a name tag reading “Gaytard”  filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this week alleging discrimination by his former employer, according to the Sioux, Falls, S.D. Argus Leader.

Tyler Brandt, 16, of Yankston, S.D., resigned from his job at Taco John in June after the manager made wear him the name tag. Brandt told Keloland at first he wore the name tag because he feared for losing his job.

“I would always stay behind the till so they couldn’t see the name tag, I didn’t want them to see it, but even though they couldn’t see it, he would still call me by the name across the store and customers would notice,” the teen said.

Brandt is represented by American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota. His complaint alleges that Taco John’s of Yankton and its parent company, Taco John’s International, violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“What happened to me was so incredibly humiliating. My hope is that this filing results in a policy to ensure that no other Taco John’s employee will ever experience this kind of harassment,” he said in a statement.

The Argus Leader reported that the store’s manager saw the story differently.

John Scott, the franchised store’s  manager, said over the summer that Brandt had asked for the name tag. ”He asked [a different] manager to make that name tag for him,” Scott said in June. “He [the manager] didn’t tell him he had to wear it. [Brandt] put it on himself and created the situation.”

Taco John International released a statement in June saying that the company “has a strict anti-discrimination policy and does not tolerate harassment.” However, Patricia Hays, The corporation’s counsel, said  the company would not investigate the incident because it happened at an independently-owned store.

“We think what happened to Tyler is deplorable, and this is a chance for Taco John’s International to make it right,” said Heather Smith, head of the ACLU of South Dakota.

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‘Rocky Horror’ review review: Mary L. Clark responds

Posted on 24 Sep 2014 at 12:26pm

Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 12.01.28 PM

Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, Sept. 23), Dallas Voice’s executive editor of life+style, Arnold Wayne Jones, posted this blog criticizing this review, by Mary L. Clark, associate critic for John Garcia’s The Column, of Dallas Theater Center‘s current production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Arnold’s blog obviously generated a lot of discussion. It has, as I write this, been “tweeted” nine times and “shared” or “liked” on Facebook 401 times. I was out of the office taking photos of Gay World Series opening day games, so I missed the uproar. But I heard about it this morning.

In my email was a response from Mary L. Clark. I read that, then I started reading Arnold’s review of the DTC production and then his post criticizing Mary Clark’s review. Then I got a call from John Garcia. I don’t think he was satisfied with my response because I didn’t agree to delete Arnold’s blog about Mary Clark’s review. What I am going to do, though, is post Mary Clark’s email here on our blog — find it below — and give folks the chance to see what she had to say. I think that’s fair.

And also in the interest of fairness, let me say these two things: I believe that some of the language to which Arnold objected has been changed in Mary Clark’s review posted online at The Column. And John Garcia stressed that some of the language to which Arnold objected — including the word “lifestyle”—  were, in fact, direct quotes from the production’s director, Joel Ferrell, that Mary Clark found in an interview with him elsewhere.

On a personal note, let me say this: I would not EVER presume to critique a theatrical performance or a movie or a restaurant or a theater/movie/restaurant critic. I would totally suck at that. I mean, I loved Sharknado and potato chips and some beef jerky from the corner convenience store are my idea of fine dining. So I don’t feel comfortable criticizing either Mary Clark’s review of the show, Arnold Wayne Jones’ review of the show or of Mary Clark’s review, nor do I feel qualified to comment on John Garcia’s complaint that it is unheard of for one critic to so publicly criticize another’s work.

Here is Mary L. Clark’s response:

Hey Arnold, I got home late yesterday evening and had a call concerning your commentary on DallasVoice.com and the comments posted afterward. Was surprised to say the least and thought it a good idea to go over some things.

First, I didn’t know you read any of The Column’s reviews, so thank you for reading mine. Yes, I am a true Mrs. Malaprop — I did mean “free love” — thanks for the correction.

As for culling from Wikipedia, well not really, but facts are facts. I read several articles on The Rocky Horror Show and, as you read our reviews, you’ve certainly noticed they often include the history of a play or musical as our readers appreciate some background on a piece.

That you didn’t like my writing style, I can’t help you there. We all have our own opinions and I thank you for yours. You wrote your review on the basis of being a gay man and I wrote mine on the basis of not seeing any labels at all.

Apologies to Foe Destroyer — I have a friend named Zoe, and even after proofing three times, the word just went by me. Even you made the same error Arnold, and that’s all it was, a human error.

But now, to the real reason you wrote your commentary, my using the words “lifestyle” and “choice”.

I can see where you would think I meant being gay is a choice. Of course it’s not.

No, the word “choice” refers to being open to one’s beliefs, sexuality, or anything. The word lifestyle is defined as “the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, etc. that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group”.

To choose to live your life openly as a gay person is a lifestyle, and that is how I used it. Throughout my adult life I’ve heard many friends and others who are gay talk of it being their lifestyle. I cannot be sorry, as that means that I was at fault. I can, however, apologize if my choice of the words offended you.

The information I got on Joel Ferrell’s vision and choices in directing the musical came from an interview in another magazine where he says, “… we’re going to work to confuse you on gender identity as much and in as many ways as we possibly can”.

Me saying, “I never thought about gender equality when seeing Rocky Horror” means just that. In the 20+ times I’ve watched the film, never once did I view it as a banner for homosexuality. I saw it as a crazy, fun movie about people who weren’t afraid to be who they wanted to be and reveled in their differences. Early college days and being in theatre is a great time to learn about that!

Arnold, you forgot to include that my statement “don’t be worried you are going to be pro-gay rallied or asked to make any choices other than to have a really good time” came AFTER I wrote about the film, and now musical, not offending me, and that we see wilder things on TV, in video games and in magazines. But after my description of the characters, the costumes, and some of the scenes, I did not want our readers to think DTC is rallying around homosexuality any more than they are rallying around heterosexuality . . . and isn’t that the point after all, and what Ferrell was after, to blur the lines?

And here is a good place to note that only you used the phrase “catch gay”. I found it interesting that so many of people that commented jumped on the same phrase, the phrase only you used.

I’m not upset about your commentary. Thank god for free speech. What made me sad, though, were comments made by several people I met after the musical. I’m disappointed that my true self and my beliefs were not reflected in all the fun we were having talking about the show, the clothes everyone was wearing, and the audience reactions. That they met me, hopefully formed some opinion of me, but then made inaccurate decisions about me based on your commentary is truly the saddest part of it all. Oh, what the power of speech can do indeed.

Regards to all,

Mary L Clark

(And yes, Kent Boyer, I worked for Dallas Voice, mainly writing theatre reviews and one huge feature article on being a production assistant for the JFK film while here. So that would be around 1988 – 1990.)

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Soldier booed at 2011 GOP debate releases book, GLAAD video

Posted on 24 Sep 2014 at 11:26am
Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 10.58.29 AM

Stephen Snyder-Hill

Stephen Snyder-Hill, the soldier booed for sending a video question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and spousal benefits for married same-sex military couples to GOP presidential candidates at a 2011 debate, has released a new memoir. The book, Soldier of Change: From the Closet to the Forefront of the Gay Rights Movement, chronicles Snyder-Hill’s time as a gay soldier, and what he plans to do in the future to bring equality to gays and lesbians in the military.

He discussed the book with GLAAD:

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