Lory Masters: Her life in photos

Posted on 14 Oct 2016 at 1:50pm

We didn’t have room in our print edition to share the wonderful photos we found in our archives and that her friends sent to us of Lory Master’s through the years. So we are sharing them all here online. Enjoy.


A gay view from a red state

Posted on 14 Oct 2016 at 7:55am

Growing up ‘different’ puts a different spin on ‘the Trump Effect’

brent-paxtonIt’s never easy having a point of view at odds with the rest of your community. That is exactly how I’ve felt most of my life, having grown up in a small town in East Texas.

East Texas is VERY red — as Republican as you can get. I was taught that Republicans are Christians and that Democrats are atheists. No, really. I was taught this. I was also forced to watch a poorly made documentary in the late 1990s about how either Bill or Hillary Clinton was the Antichrist – or that they both were, simultaneously, in some unholy union.

This was my upbringing — and it’s not too far from the reality of many people, gay and straight, who live in rural areas of conservative states.

Like most families in most communities, I was indoctrinated into the right-wing conservatism of my community. Grandparents, preachers, teachers, parents and community leaders regularly reinforced their rules. I distinctly remember a grade school teacher telling me then-President Bill Clinton was “the devil.” Sadly, this didn’t shock me or bother me, because this was a sentiment I’d heard time and time again. Now, Donald Trump actually called Hillary Clinton “the devil” in the second presidential debate.

As I’ve gotten older and more independent, I’ve learned to come to my own conclusions about politics. I now identify as a Democrat and many in my family and community have accused me of “drinking the Kool-Aid.” This is code for saying that I don’t really believe in Democratic ideals, I’m just doing it to fit in with other gay people.

The truth is, I never agreed with the Republican platform or their ideas. I remember thinking from a very early age that there was something very wrong with what I was being taught. Perhaps it was my own internal moral compass. Or maybe it was the fact that Republicans, especially when I was younger, shunned and talked about gays with such hate and disgust that I simply had to distance myself from their ideology.

Whether it was the horrible things they said to me about people with AIDS, or maybe the “he had it coming attitude when Matthew Shepherd was murdered, or something else, I finally decided I couldn’t call myself a Republican.

Today, as an adult, I can express my political affiliations, opinions and concerns without fear of backlash. Or can I?

Presidential elections seem to bring out the worst in people. And this year, the Republicans have nominated Donald Trump, a man who has magnified the very worst attributes of his party. His inappropriate behavior has reached the point that the even Republican leadership have distanced themselves from him. But his supporters aren’t worried about the next election, and the “Trump Effect” is in full swing.

The Trumpians are everywhere. As polls indicate, they are almost half of the voting population; and they are truly everywhere. Sadly, this includes my Facebook.

This election, I’ve come to personally identify Trump supporters as “the angry mob.” “Angry” and “mob” go perfectly together because Trump has emboldened people to voice outdated opinions that are racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic and just downright hateful in general. The comments they leave on my Facebook posts are reminiscent of the crowd shouting, “Burn the witch!” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Recently, I shared a few thoughts on Trump’s sexist comments about former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado. And the Trump train of comments came rolling in.

One read: “Well, what do you expect when Miss Universe turns into an overgrown cow!” (A reference to Machado gaining weight during her year as Miss Universe.) Another said: “She doesn’t belong here. Ship Ms. Piggy back to Mexico!”

Now, these are people I know! I ought to mention that Machado is from Venezuela and recently became a U.S. citizen.

These kinds comments perfectly intertwine sexism, racism and misogyny into one hateful bundle. And they show that Trump followers will defend anything he does. This became even more evident when Trump’s mob didn’t back down after he bragged about sexually assaulting women. Specifically, he said that he grabs them by their genitals and starts kissing them with no self control.

Shocking? Not to Trump supporters.

So, he doesn’t respect women. He doesn’t respect Muslims. He doesn’t respect people with disabilities (He mocked a reporter with a physical disability). He doesn’t respect Mexicans (i.e. calling them rapists and murders and advocating literally building a wall to keep them out).

What about the LGBT community? One comment on my page suggested that I should be happy that Trump is the Republican candidate. After all, the commentator said, “He’s the first Republican presidential candidate to support gay rights.”

What the hell?! Just to be clear, Trump has consistently opposed same-sex marriage in interviews since 2000. He also said he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would favor reversing the decision and leave the issue of same-sex marriage to the states. And he selected one of the most anti-LGBT politicians available to be his vice-presidential running mate.

Obviously the Republican Party hasn’t changed from when I was a child. They are just as angry a mob as they were before. And now they have a candidate just as angry and hateful as they are.

Trump has normalized the idea of spewing lie after lie with zero remorse; of perpetuating unsubstantiated and thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories; of objectifying and belittling women; of scapegoating the entire Mexican-American population; and too many others to mention here. Surely, by the time this hits newsstands another Trump controversy will have emerged.

As a proud gay person, I find Donald Trump reprehensible. Members of the gay community have struggled for so long to win even our most basic rights — like marriage equality, equal housing, access to partners in medical facilities, protections through hate crime laws and equal treatment in the military. How could I stand by and allow any man to say such horrible things about other communities engaged in their own fight for equality and equal footing in the world?

You see, it’s not really about being gay at all. It’s about being different. Growing up different is what lead me to the conclusion that the Republican Party is not for me. My childhood taught me that the party is for white, American-born straight people who claim to be Christians — no one else.

Trump is reviving this sentiment, with the occasional minority beside him as a political prop. And when commentators attack people of different backgrounds, people with disabilities and immigrants — I take that personally. As a person who is, and always has been, different, I know how wrong that is.

So, listen here my red state brothers, sisters, neighbors, co-workers, family and friends: When you defend racism, sexism, misogyny and xenophobia and claim that you’re “all for” gay rights, you are fooling no one. An attack against one is an attack against all.

Attacking people who are simply different than you because it gives you a sense of superiority is not okay. That superiority and privileged has been harnessed into a weapon this election, and I am not having it. This is why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. I want to build bridges between us, not walls. Clinton’s slogan wraps up what we need to hear this election, “Stronger. Together.”

Brent Paxton is a freelance writer, filmmaker and political commentator living in Dallas, Texas. You can follow him on Facebook at Facebook.com/BrentPaxton.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2016.


What we’ve learned about Trump

Posted on 14 Oct 2016 at 7:50am

The more I’ve learned about the GOP candidate, the more solid is my support for Clinton

david-webbFor four decades I avoided voting in political primaries because I thought it would be inappropriate for a reporter to align with a political party. I often covered political campaigns, so choosing one political party primary over another one would represent a bias in my view. I waited until the general election to cast my votes for candidates I preferred, and I usually kept my vote to myself.

That all changed when I retired and moved to Cedar Creek Lake in 2008. Down here, Democrats hold few offices, because East Texas is known as a Republican, Christian stronghold. I knew if I wanted my vote to count for much I needed to support moderate Republicans in the primaries for offices such as state representative and senator and for county offices.

That brings me to the 2016 presidential election. I did vote in the Republican Primary, and I voted for Donald Trump. At that time I knew what I thought was a lot about him, and I didn’t think of him as menacing. I knew that Ted Cruz would represent practically nothing I favored and almost everything that I deplored.

So here we are, less than a month out from the general election in November, and I’m mighty happy to know that even though I voted for Trump in the 2016 primary, I can cast my ballot for Hillary Clinton for president if I so choose.

Absolutely nothing prepared me for what I would learn about Trump during the past few months. Thank God for our relentlessly thorough media (hated by Trump for obvious reasons) that reveals what you need to know about political candidates and their agendas.

The media has revealed Trump lost almost $1 billion in 1995, according to a tax return obtained by the New York Times, and that allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for almost two decades.That pretty much shot down any claim to him being an “economic genius.” With that record, just think what he could do for America in four years.

We also now know that Trump is a sexist, racist, homophobe who would reverse every social gain made by any minority group if he only could become what he seems to really want to be — a dictator with absolute control over all of the branches of government.

Since the recent release of the Access Hollywood tape from 2005 that revealed him denigrating women and saying he could molest any of them he wanted because of his “star” status, Trump appears to be plummeting in the polls. In a four-way race, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Clinton leading Trump 46 percent to 35 percent, with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polling at 9 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein showing 2 percent.

In a head-to-head match, Clinton leads Trump 52 percent to 38 percent.

Trump’s core support appears to be white men without degrees and, in smaller numbers, white women without degrees, and also seniors, according to the Washington Post. The Atlantic reported that 90 percent of Trump’s support is white.

Trump already had failed to gain the critical support of the Bush family, and now that his conversation with Hollywood Access co-anchor Billy Bush (a first cousin to George W. Bush) has cost the younger Bush his job with NBC Today, that’s unlikely to change.

Clinton’s support is higher than Trump’s among female voters, blacks and Hispanics, according to the Washington Post.

It comes as a bit of a surprise to me that so many women dislike Clinton, given that she has worked most of her career as an advocate for women and children. In the Cedar Creek Lake area, I’ve yet to find a female senior, young woman or even a lesbian to say anything nice about her.

One of the most frequent complaints appears to be that she didn’t divorce Bill Clinton when the news about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky became public and several other women claimed he engaged in affairs with them or sexually harassed and assaulted them.

The women to whom I spoke also claimed Hillary Clinton verbally attacked and ordered private investigations of Bill Clinton’s accusers. They called her a serial liar, and they criticized her sympathy for immigrants fleeing war-torn countries.

I would say the decisions of the Clintons to remain married is their business, and I’m not going to fault her for that choice. Most married people these days seem to be on at least their second marriage, and I’ve known people who were married as many as five times and divorced just as many.

One of the more bizarre comments about support for Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood dialog came from a Kansas woman who identified herself as a Republican Party chair. She said that although she deplored Trump’s remarks, she believed he would be the kind of man Christians should support: “God can use anybody,” she said. “God can use this man.”

I gather she thinks God is in charge of the Republican Party.

Neither Clinton nor Trump are models of propriety, but I know which candidate is most likely to take my interests to heart when it comes to really important matters, such as the appointment of a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting an agenda that protects the rights of all people and preventing our nation from taking rash military action that could lead to catastrophic results.

I’m for Hillary and the Democratic Party, and if you share my concerns, you should be too.

David Webb is a veteran journalist with more than three decades of experience, including a stint as a staff reporter for Dallas Voice. He now lives on Cedar Creek Lake and writes for publications nationwide.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2016.


Partying for Peggy

Posted on 13 Oct 2016 at 4:15pm

Peggy Drury, left, with her longtime boss — and friend — Joe Elliott

If you ever went to Jugs on a Friday night, then you know who Peggy Drury is. She could sling some drinks faster than just about anybody you ever saw, and if somebody started getting a little too rowdy, she could usually get them to calm it down with a stern scowl and a gruff “Hey!” If that didn’t work … well, she’d come out from behind that bar and take care of business.

I first met Peggy at the Jugs on Congress Avenue, and I spent many a night laughing at her silly stories — like the one about the time she was trying to impress a girl (her beloved Diane, who was at that time not yet her girlfriend) by super-gluing her upper lip to her nose. She’d come over when she had a minute to give me a hug, and when she was feeling particularly feisty, she’d grab my head between her hands and lick my glasses. Then’d she laugh and laugh.

Later on, after Diane had passed away unexpectedly, Peggy moved to Irving with me and Betty Pepper. I will never forget the two of them calling me at work in the afternoons so I could listen as Peggy’s dog Bubba “sang along” to the “Jeopardy” theme song.

After Joe Elliott died and Howard Okon kept Joe’s Place open, as the small bar at The Brick, Peggy worked there, too. But eventually health problems forced her to retire from the bar business, and these days she hangs out with her sister and brother-in-law in Garland.

But Saturday night, Oct. 15, Peggy is coming back to the gayborhood for a party in her honor at Liquid Zoo Bar and Grill, 2506 Knight St., from 7-9 p.m. There will be food for munching (sandwiches, chips and dip) provided by the bar, a special cake and, of course, the beverages of your choice available for purchase. Organizers — Deedee Heart, Norma Jean Featherson and Shelley Benson, want everybody to wear green — Peggy’s favorite color.

Make your plans now to go by and say hi to Peggy — or, as Dedra always called her, Poogy. It will make her day, and yours, too.


Michelle Obama addresses sexual assault

Posted on 13 Oct 2016 at 12:14pm

First lady Michelle Obama

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, first lady Michelle Obama said she couldn’t just deliver her usual campaign speech because she was so upset and shaken about Donald Trump’s joking about sexual assault of women. She said a country should be judged on how it treats its women and girls.

She said:

We have a candidate for president of the United States who over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign have said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning, I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week we saw this candidate bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.

I can’t stop thinking about this.

It has shaken me to my core in a way I couldn’t have predicted.


Get ready for the PrEP Rally!

Posted on 12 Oct 2016 at 3:58pm


Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis — PrEP for short — is a a daily regime of medicines for HIV-negative individuals who are at high risk of HIV infection intended to help them keep from becoming HIV-positive. It is, Resource Center Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell said, “one of the tools” that people can use to avoid HIV infection.

But it is, possibly, a greatly under-utilized tool, McDonnell said, maybe because people just aren’t familiar with it and how it works.

Resource Center‘s United Black Ellument and Team Friendly DFW, an organization focused on fighting the stigma that too often accompanies  an HIV-positive status, aim to change that. And they plan to start with the PrEP Rally set for Saturday, Oct. 15, from 2-5 p.m. at Resource Center, 5750 Cedar Springs Road.

Those who attend will learn what PrEP is, how it works, and if it is right for them, as medical professionals and community volunteers share their own PrEP stories and talk about Resource Center’s plan to launch its own PrEP clinic soon.

“We will be launching a PrEP clinic sometime later this fall or early next year,” McDonnell said, adding that center officials are already working to line-up the volunteer medical professionals necessary to operate the clinic.

“We need medical professionals to do the necessary blood work for those who come in, and to talk to people about PrEP and whether it’s right for them,” he explained.

“Right now, Tarrant County is the only public health clinic in the state of Texas that operates a PrEP clinic,” McDonnell continued. “We’d love to see Dallas County start a similar program here. It’s likely that a county PrEP clinic would reach people that the Resource Center couldn’t reach, and we’d reach people the county couldn’t reach.”

The PrEP Rally will include food and beverages for those attending, but McDonnell encouraged interested persons to RSVP quickly because seating is limited. Admission is free, but those who want to attend should register here to guarantee their seat.

For more information visit UBEDallas.org/PrEP16.



Kitchen Dog Theater lands permanent new home (and it’s near me!)

Posted on 12 Oct 2016 at 1:09pm

kd_beckett_projectpr1Kitchen Dog Theater has long produced underground and edgy theater, and for most of its 26 year history, it was performed at Uptown along McKinney Avenue. But earlier this year, that venue — the MAC — was razed for a new development. For the past 15 months, Kitchen Dog has been an itinerant company — first at the Green Zone in the Design District (right behind Dallas Voice offices, in fact), then at the Undermain Theatre in Deep Ellum; its latest production, A Stain Upon the Silence: Beckett’s Bequest (pictured), is playing at Uptown Players’ old stomping grounds: The Trinity River Arts Center in the Medical District. There was talk the company would eventually settle in The Cedars, but that fell through. Now comes the official work: Kitchen Dog will finally have a home of its own… and it’s back in the Design District.

KDT will break ground soon on a 10,000 space near the intersection of Irving Boulevard and Inwood Road, at 4774 Algiers St., co-artistic director Tina Parker revealed today. The complex will house the company’s performance venue, rehearsal space, administrative offices and shop. It will modify the current home of Presidio Tile into a 140-seat auditorium — the largest theater space in the company’s history. The renovation comes at a price tag of nearly $1 million, making it a major development in the Dallas arts scene (especially on the heals of controversies about the funding of the AT&T Performing Arts Center.) KDT will own the space outright.

The move-in target in 2018, meaning the TRAC will probably continue to be KDT’s home through next season,


WATCH: Tyler Glenn’s ‘Shameless’ video

Posted on 12 Oct 2016 at 11:22am

shamelessEarlier this week, I interviewed Tyler Glenn, the out frontman of pop quartet Neon Trees, about his new solo album, Excommunication, which drops on Oct. 21. It was an amazing conversation — look for the interview in next week’s Dallas Voice — and we talked about his dance-y first single from the disc, “Shameless,” which has this electric, Frankie Goes to Hollywood vibe. You can see the video here. And check out the album (and my interview) next Friday.


Dallas City Council names Union Station for EBJ

Posted on 11 Oct 2016 at 1:55pm

Dallas City Council voting to name Union Station for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (photo courtesy Mayor Mike Rawlings)

The Dallas City Council just voted to rename Union Station in honor of U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernie Johnson.

Johnson has represented the 30th District since 1992. Her district includes parts of Oak Lawn and Oak Cliff. Before entering Congress, she was a state senator and worked in the Carter Administration.

Mayor Mike Rawlings tweeted, “Rep. EBJ has been a strong advocate for Dallas residents. It is our pleasure to name Union Station in her honor.”