The train won

Posted on 08 Sep 2016 at 3:42pm

trainA truck tried to beat an Amtrak train at the crossing along Harry Hines Boulevard at Market Center Boulevard. The truck lost.

No one was seriously injured when the train hit the rear of the truck, according to DART police who were on the scene along with sheriff’s deputies.

What’s amazing is that this doesn’t happen regularly. Daily. The Dallas Voice office is right down the street and half of us cross this intersection everyday. People stop for the light on the tracks regularly. Try and stop before the crossing arm and people drive around you. Dumb asses.



Drag legend The Lady Chablis has died

Posted on 08 Sep 2016 at 1:39pm

Arnold Wayne Jones with The Lady Chablis

If you read the non-fiction best seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil — gay author John Berendt’s telling of the murder of a gay hustler in sleepy Savannah, Ga. —  you certainly walked away being gobsmacked by the presence of The Lady Chablis, a central figure and a popular drag queen who knew all the principals. When director Clint Eastwood turned the book into a movie, he mucked up the story with stupid subplots and sluggish pacing, but he had the good sense to cast Chablis as herself in the film — when she didn’t receive an Oscar nomination, many heads were scratched.

I’ve both met and seen Chablis perform, so I was saddened to read today in Variety that she had died, at age 59. Honestly, I would have guessed older, because her sassiness was well-honed. Savannah will not seem the same without her.

Au revoir, Chablis!


Hi from South Beach

Posted on 08 Sep 2016 at 12:48pm


Hi there, everyone. Just dropping in to say hello from Miami’s South Beach. I am here for the 2016 convention and LGBT media summit presented by NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

Today is the first day of the conference, and so far I’ve attended a workshop on transgender representation in the media and a lunch plenary on religious freedom and the LGBTQ community. And I’m on my way now to the NLGJA Boot Camp, presented by Google News Lab, on using freedom of information laws to tell better stories.

Stay tuned for more stories — and photos — from South Beach.


Oak Lawn Library seeking submissions for 10th annual Art Show

Posted on 08 Sep 2016 at 8:43am

Dallas skyline poster in editable vector file.For the past decade, Oak Lawn Library Friends has conducted a Dallas-based art show and exhibition, seeking works by its supporters for a juried display of pieces that reflect a theme. This year’s theme — simply called “Dallas” — welcomes submissions in six categories: Painting, drawing, print, mixed media, water color and photography. If you have any works that fit in with those, and want to let the gayborhood see your talent — have your pieces (ready for hanging, no more than 36×36 inches, and new to the event — maximum of three pieces per artist) prepared at set. Submission day is Saturday, Oct. 1, from 2–4 p.m. at the Oak Lawn Library, and the exhibit will be up from Oct. 3–29. A panel of experts will present awards for best in show, as well as first place, second place and honorable mention in each category. Good luck!


Apparently no one at the DMN was fired for calling Donald Trump a dumb ass

Posted on 07 Sep 2016 at 11:46am

the_dallas_morning_news_logoApparently no one at the Dallas Morning News was fired for calling Donald Trump a dumb ass. Really. I checked.

And this morning, again no one was fired for issuing a half-assed endorsement of Hillary Clinton, their first endorsement of a Democrat for president since FDR before World War 2 (but not during).

OK, so they didn’t exactly call him a dumb ass, but they did say, “Donald Trump is not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote,” and certainly gave lots of examples why.

That was the final line of their editorial. But here’s where they were wrong. Their headline proclaims, “Donald Trump is no Republican.”

Their headline implies it was someone else who nominated him as the choice to head the party ticket. Despite lots of defections from the party by elected Republicans to the Hillary camp, the majority rallied around Trump, nominated him and are supporting him — at least to some extent.

Here’s what didn’t happen: Lots of Democrats crossed over to vote in the Republican Party in order to nominate the most unqualified person to head a national ticket since, well, ever. Really. Didn’t happen. I even checked. I called Jay Narey, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. How many of his members voted for Trump. With certainty, he said none. The Democratic Party recorded a record number of primary voters, not an exodus to cross over and stick the Republican Party with Trump.

Here’s what did happen. A lot of Republicans voted for Trump. More Republicans voted for Trump than for any of the candidates the Dallas Morning News thinks are better Republicans.

The DMN editorial says these are the beliefs Republicans have had for generations: A belief in individual liberty. Free markets. Strong national defense.

Really? Individual liberty? Is that why the Republican-led Texas Legislature refuses to remove 21.06, the Texas sodomy law, from the state constitution, even it was declared unconstitutional in 2003?

Wasn’t it their choice for Texas Attorney General who advised county clerks to disregard a U.S. Supreme Court ruling about same-sex marriage? Isn’t the right to marry an individual liberty issue? The one Texas county clerk who took the AG’s advise, Hood County Clerk Katie Lang, ended up owing a gay couple $40,000 for legal fees after she followed his advise. Or does individual liberty end with the rights of Republican county clerks to refuse the rights of LGBT people?

At least the Morning News does draw some lines. My right to marry wasn’t an individual liberty issue to them, but banning Muslims from the U.S. does cross the line. At least we agree there.

Over the years, the newspaper has endorsed lots of Republicans who have moved the party farther and farther to the right. My favorite was its endorsement of Stephen Broden, who was running against Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. The paper had to rescind its endorsement when he said armed insurrection isn’t out of the question if he loses. Ah, true democracy in action.

But these editorials weren’t aimed at their Democratic readers whose stomachs collectively turn at a majority of their editorial opinions. It was aimed at their Republican readers using a device Republicans love doing most: quoting Saint Ronald Reagan.

The editorial says, “Trump doesn’t reflect Republican ideals of the past; we are certain he shouldn’t reflect the GOP of the future.”

So let me speak their own language to them. To quote Ronald Reagan, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.”

Trump is certainly a Republican of today. His signature issue, to build a wall, is absolutely not a Democratic issue. Building a wall is a great issue for Trump. He knows a lot about building crappy structures. When he says, “We’re not going to pay for it,” believe him. He’ll create another corporation to build it, hire Mexicans to do the work and when it’s time to pay the workers who built it, he’ll declare bankruptcy, keeping his promise that Mexico — at least the Mexicans he hires to build it — will pay for it.

So maybe the Morning News believes in the Republican Party that freed the slaves and established the National Park System. Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system created the cities of today. They endorsed Nixon who established the Environmental Protection Agency and opened diplomatic relations with China.

But that’s not the Republican Party of today. The idea Trump — who’s just Sarah Palin with bad hair — came out of nowhere is totally delusional. You may not have left the Republican Party, but yes, the Republican Party left you.


DA Susan Hawk releases resignation letter

Posted on 07 Sep 2016 at 9:32am

Former D.A. Susan Hawk

After meeting with her staff yesterday (Tuesday, Sept. 6), District Attorney Susan Hawk released her resignation letter. In it, she lists accomplishments since she took office in January 2015. She concludes with a note to voters in Dallas County saying it was an honor to serve for 22 years as an intern, prosecutor, judge and D.A.

She does not address the timing of her resignation. Had she resigned by last week, the chair of each political party could name someone to be listed on the November ballot and voters would have selected a district attorney. By waiting until September, Gov. Greg Abbott chooses the replacement for the remainder of her term. Abbott has until the election to name a replacement. If he doesn’t, then the office remains open and voters again may choose from candidates nominated by the parties.

Abbott is expected to name a Republican. In a countywide election, a Democrat is likely to win. Hawk is the only Republican to win a countywide election in Dallas since 2004.

Click here for Hawk Letter

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released the following statement on Hawk’s resignation:

“I hope Susan Hawk succeeds in her battle with health challenges and I believe she can. The timing of the resignation is very unfortunate for Dallas County voters because it is coming just days after the ballot submission deadline. Whenever possible, the voters — not the politicians — should decide who represents them in elected office. Had the District Attorney resigned a few days earlier, the Democratic and Republican precinct chairs could have each selected a candidate to represent their respective parties on the upcoming November 8 ballot. The Libertarian Party could have placed a candidate on the ballot as well and the Dallas County voters would then choose their new District Attorney. Because of the timing of the resignation, a political appointee chosen by Governor Abbott will fill the position for over two years.”


Cookout fundraiser Burgers & Burgundy moves to Trinity Groves

Posted on 07 Sep 2016 at 8:23am

knifeBurgers & Burgundy started when chef John Tesar was on the DIFFA Style Council and wanted to host a fundraiser. I was at the first one… and the six since then. It has moved from an Uptown condo rooftop to a fancy North Dallas estate’s garden, where it has been for several years. It seems it has finally outgrown that space, though, and for its 8th year will move to the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, the walkway connecting Calatrava’s “Large Marge” with the Trinity Groves development in West Dallas.

It’s a fancy-casual event with live music and celebrichefs, where folks dress dapper and simple, where simple burgers are transformed into works of culinary art … all to raise money for DIFFA. This year, it comes on the heals of Black Tie Dinner (which, technically, moved a lot earlier this year), taking place on Friday, Oct. 7, from 6:30–9:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 and space is limited.

In addition, here are some photos from the recent check presentations to the beneficiaries of this year’s DIFFA, presented at LA Traffic at The Joule Hotel.


Jungwirth arrested over the holiday weekend

Posted on 06 Sep 2016 at 3:55pm
Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 3.52.03 PM

Craig Jungwirth

The man who set the south central Florida LGBT community on edge by posting threats on Facebook that he would stage an attack that would make the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando look tame has been arrested.

Peacock Panache, an LGBT blog, reports that a Broward County judge held an emergency hearing Saturday, Sept. 3, to issue an arrest warrant for Craig Jungwirth, 50. Jungwirth’s attorney said his client lives in Orange County and didn’t have time to get to the hearing, and Jungwirth was arrested for driving with a suspended license by troopers in Osceola County.

Jungwirth faces charges for violating conditions on a bond stemming from a 2014 incident in which he allegedly defrauded a Wilton Manors innkeeper by refusing to pay his bill for food and drinks, and from an incident in May in which he is accused of damaging windows a Rumors Bar & Grill, a gay bar in Wilton Manors. The judge said that the bond violations coupled with the failure to appear in court Saturday and the “escalating  concerns of public safety” provided grounds for the arrest warrant.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is also investigating the Pulse shooting, began investigating threats Jungwirth posted on Facebook on Aug. 30, the day the threats were reported.

Jungwirth, who recently has been accused of taking over Florida’s Beach Bear Weekend and using it to scam money for the LGBT community, reportedly has a lengthy criminal history that includes numerous restraining orders filed against him. On Aug. 30, he posted several threatening comments to David Herbert’s Facebook page, including this one: “My events are selling out cause you faggots are total patsies. None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”

He also said that since gay men “aren’t dying from AIDS anymore, I have a better solution to exterminate you losers,” and, “I’m gonna be killing you fags faster than cops kill niggers. It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers.”

The FBI is urging anyone victimized by Jungwirth to contact them immediately at 754-703-2000.


BREAKING: DA Susan Hawk resigning

Posted on 06 Sep 2016 at 12:29pm

DA Susan Hawk

WFAA Channel 8 is reporting that Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk will resign.

By waiting until a week after the deadline in early August, Hawk ensured that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will name her replacement to finish the term, rather than allowing voters to select a new D.A. During her year-and-a-half in office, Hawk has battled depression and has taken two extended leaves of absence.

Soon after coming into office, she created quite a bit of controversy by firing a number of high-level prosecutors and staff. One, prosecutor Cindy Stormer, filed a petition to remove her from office, but a San Antonio judge dismissed the case.

Over the past year, Hawk has held two community forums for the LGBT community at Cathedral of Hope in support of the investigation into a series of attacks on gay men in Oak Lawn.

Hawk is the first Republican to win county-wide office in Dallas since 2004.

Channel 8 reports that Hawk has only worked 66 days this year. She returned to work in August after a 12-week absence.


Parkland program identifies those at risk for suicide

Posted on 06 Sep 2016 at 10:33am

Parkland Hospital

Experts at Parkland Health & Hospital System have developed an innovative suicide prevention program using an algorithm in the electronic health record that triggers the appropriate clinical intervention depending on the patient’s answers to a few simple questions.

Suicide in the U.S. has surged to the highest rate in almost 30 years. From 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate rose by 24 percent according to a study by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Sept. 5-11 is Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with one suicide occurring on average every 12.3 minutes.

Parkland launched its Universal Suicide Screening Program last year to identify those at risk and help save lives by intervening immediately. Parkland has more than 250,000 Emergency Department patient encounters and more than 1 million outpatient encounters annually.

“To our knowledge we are the first big hospital system in the U.S. to implement a universal screening program for suicide risk and the data we are gathering will be significant for other organizations in the future,” said Kimberly Roaten, director of quality for safety, education and implementation, Department of Psychiatry at Parkland and associate professor of psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

According to Roaten, 77 percent of people who die by suicide had contact with a primary care provider in the months before their death.

“We want to use every patient encounter at Parkland as an opportunity to identify those at risk,” Roaten said.

The standardized suicide risk screening was added at all Parkland facilities including its community health centers and for all inmates at the Dallas County Jail. Parkland hired psychiatric social workers and trained nursing staff to implement the program.

The Parkland algorithm sorts patients into three suicide risk categories based on their answers to the screening questions: no risk identified, moderate risk identified and high risk identified.

Those at high risk are immediately placed under one-to-one supervision, suicide precautions are implemented, and an evaluation by a behavioral health clinician is initiated. Patients at moderate risk are automatically referred to a psychiatric social worker and usually are seen during the same visit. If a patient chooses not to speak with a psychiatric social worker during the visit, they receive a follow-up phone call to provide additional support and resources.

Emergency has found about 2 percent of patients to be at high risk and 4 percent at moderate risk for suicide. In the inpatients units 0.2 percent of patients were high risk and 0.8 percent were moderate risk. Patients screened at Parkland COPCs were found to have 1.8 percent at moderate risk and 0.15 percent at high risk of suicide.