Come out for the gayest of opening night film fests at the Angelika tonight

Posted on 21 Apr 2016 at 8:41am

0700-flashThe Dallas International Film Festival is midway through its run, but the USA Film Festival is just getting started tonight, with three screenings. And for the first time in its history, all three opening-night films are from gay directors: Ira Sachs’ Little Men, Terrence Davies’ Sunset Song and Dallas newcomer Steven Pomerantz, whose documentary Taking Back Oak Lawn was filmed right here in the last seven months. I’ll be hosting the post-screening Q-and-A with Steven, but you will certainly enjoy any of the films tonight, as well as other movies screening there this week. Everything takes place at the Angelika Film Center Mockingbird Station. See you there!


Kim Davis in the news one last time, hopefully

Posted on 20 Apr 2016 at 4:33pm

kim-davis-barsA federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by County Clerk Kim Davis against the state of Kentucky for forcing her to issue marriage licenses with her name on them. Davis made the news when she refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality last summer.

Names of county clerks were removed from Kentucky marriage licenses by executive order when Republican Gov. Matt Bevin replaced his Democratic predecessor in December. Davis was horrified her name would be required to go on documents issued by an office she presumably wasn’t forced to run for.

In dismissing the suit, the court ruled Davis has not suffered irreparable harm.

No irreparable harm? She’s been forced to do her job against her will!

The ACLU filed suit on behalf of four couples — two gay and two straight — to whom Davis refused to issued licenses. So actually, she’ll be in the news once more when that lawsuit is settled.


Come see a newly-digitized ‘Late Bloomers’ tonight at DIFF

Posted on 20 Apr 2016 at 3:37pm

LATE BLOOMERS - Dinah (Connie Nelson) and Carly (Dee Hennigan) exchange vows - image by Bill MatlockTwenty years ago, sister Gretchen and Julia Dyer teamed up to make a movie in Dallas — Gretchen writing, Julia directing — about two middle-aged high school employees who fall in love and wanna tie the knot. It upset the apple-cart of the staid Texas community, as it empowered the women to be out-and-proud about their love.

That film, Late Bloomers, became a cult hit, especially with its cast of local stage and film actors (Connie Nelson, Joe Nemmers, Bruce DuBose) among the cast. Now in time for the 20th anniversary, a newly digitally-transfered version of the film will screen as part of the queer content featured at this year’s Dallas International Film Festival. The screening is at 7:30 p.m. at the Angelika, with Julia Dyer and several returning cast members in attendance. I’ll even be conducting the post-screening Q-and-A, so come loaded with questions and have me call on you!


Federal court hears eXXXotica case

Posted on 20 Apr 2016 at 2:18pm

eXXXoticaU.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater heard arguments on Monday (April 18) from eXXXotica, the largest expo dedicated to love and sex, and the city of Dallas, state of Texas and Dallas Citizens Council. The city voted to refuse to allow the expo, which drew 15,000 people last year, to return to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center this year (even though the expo organizers had already reserved the center).

EXXXotica claims the city violated its First Amendment rights. Although Dallas has a sexually-oriented business ordinance that regulates where those businesses operate, it doesn’t apply to temporary businesses like an expo.

The city argued illegal activity took place at last year’s expo, but city officials were unable to give any evidence of such activity. Police reported no illegal activity at last year’s expo, but maybe some lurking city officials saw something and are just afraid to go public with the information in fear that anyone will know they attended.

Other issues discussed included whether the Kay is a private or public venue. EXXXotica claims the city convention center is a public facility and therefore can’t pick and choose who rents it. The city had some weird argument that its facility has some sort of status other than that.

And a note to Dallas Morning News writers: You called eXXXotica “the porn convention.” They really hate it when you call it that. Just like the way the Dallas Convention Center really hates being called the Kay when I’m referring to the porn convention, I mean the love and sex expo.

Finally, sorry I’m a few days late getting this blog post up. There’s really nothing LGBT about eXXXotica other than our taxes have been paying attorneys $4,000 a day to defend the lawsuit and will pay eXXXotica maybe millions more in punitive damages when we lose.


Preserving the hetero roots of ‘Bruce Jenner’

Posted on 20 Apr 2016 at 10:34am
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Bruce Jenner, formerly known as Mark Behar

If you needed any further proof beyond Donald Trump’s candidacy that stupid has run amok in this country, turn your eyes to Delray Beach, Fla.:

An “actor and bodyguard” from Delray Beach, formerly known as Mark Behar, has had his name legally changed to “Bruce Jenner” to preserve that name’s “heterosexual roots,” according to Tom Madden, the new Bruce Jenner’s publicist.

In a statement released by his public relations firm, Madden says: “”We’re representing Mark, who is now legally Bruce, so the famous Bruce Jenner name will return to its heterosexual roots where our client believes it belongs, instead of hanging around out with the likes of the Kardashians and getting into car accidents as Caitlyn.”

According to an article in The Sun-Sentinel, New Bruce, a “security specialist,” once got into the ring with Original Bruce for a boxing match. The PR firm’s statement notes that New Bruce thinks that “keeping the name Bruce Jenner alive and well is a big story.”

I think that New Bruce is trying to cash in on Original Bruce/New Caitlyn’s fame in hopes that some of that fame will rub off on him and give his acting career a boost.

And, in perhaps the most interesting and definitely most ironic twist to the story, Tom Madden’s PR firm is called TransMedia Group.

And just to give you an idea of what kind of PR firm/PR guy is representing New Bruce, here’s the introductory paragraph about Tom Madden from TransMedia Group’s website:

“To tell Tom Madden to stop spinning and inventing is like telling the Federal Government to stop spending. He is the quintessential ‘Spin Man,’ the title of his engaging memoir recounting his rise from a harrowing career as a newspaper reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer to the pinnacle of the PR world. One of his latest inventions, The Knife and Forklift™, is making the media rounds and gobbling up air time almost as fast as his drag racer client Alexis Dejoria drives her Alcohol Funny Car.”


Food pantry awaiting inspection to reopen

Posted on 19 Apr 2016 at 3:37pm

Food pantry space under construction last month

The Resource Center Food Pantry is awaiting one final inspection before it can reopen.

The pantryhas  moved from its Denton Drive location to the main Resource Center building at 2701 Reagan St. but hasn’t opened yet as it waits for its final city permit to operate.

“Once we get our permit, we can get the freezer hooked up,” Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell said.

That involved adding  220-current outlets, and that means extra inspections.

McDonnell said dry goods are out and ready for distribution.

If the space does pass inspection tomorrow (Wednesday, April 20), the pantry should reopen for business on Monday, April 25.

The hot meals program, which takes place in the building next door to the main space, has continued serving meals uninterrupted. The center lost its space on Denton Drive sooner than it expected.


Colbert extradition delayed a month

Posted on 19 Apr 2016 at 1:27pm

Christopher Colbert

Christopher (aka Christian) Colbert’s extradition from Los Angeles County to Dallas has been delayed, possibly for as long as a month, according to a court clerk in L.A. He has a new court date set for May 18.

A clerk at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles confirms that Colbert is still being held at that facility.

Colbert has been indicted on murder charges in connection with the death of Ronald Shumway last April. After killing Shumway, Colbert is accused of burying the body in cement in the backyard and then falsifying IDs to sell Shumway’s house. Colbert then withdrew the money from Shumway’s bank account and fled to L.A.

A tip from a Dallas Voice reader helped police locate Colbert and L.A. police arrested him on March 3. Dallas police detectives interviewed Colbert in L.A., where Colbert confessed to the murder, but claimed self-defense.


Everybody who met her loved Doris

Posted on 19 Apr 2016 at 11:18am

Brian Cross, left, Doris Roberts and me at Melrose Hotel

Doris Roberts died in her sleep on April 16.

My friend Bob Williams, who runs Ranch Hand Rescue, introduced me to Doris Roberts several years ago. She was in North Texas to help him raise money for his animal rescue organization. While she was here, we had lunch at the Melrose Hotel so I could interview her for a story for Dallas Voice. I called the story Everybody Love Doris.

Everybody we passed at the hotel mouthed to me “Is that Marie Barone?” and I nodded. A few came up to her and politely said, “I don’t mean to interrupt your lunch, but I just had to tell you how much I love your work.”

She beamed as each one complimented her. I asked if that ever bothered her, if she ever preferred just to be left alone.

Roberts said something like: “She just told me she loves me and my work. How can anyone get upset with that?” But many actors do mind, but Roberts loved making people happy.

The last time I saw Roberts was at a fundraiser in Lewisville for Ranch Hand Rescue. She wasn’t quite as sharp as she had been the year before — at least until it was time for her to go on stage. She began doing an auction and the bidding wasn’t going as well as she hoped. So she stepped away from the podium and began doing a strip tease. The crowd went wild and bidding soared. Roberts was the ultimate entertainer.

As a friend, she was devoted. When Williams lived in L.A., he had a stroke. Roberts raced him to the hospital and then nursed him back to health.

Marie Barone would have done that for Raymond. But Roberts insisted she wasn’t at all like Marie. Marie was based on her own mother-in-law, she said. But that’s something Marie would have said, too. In fact, in one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond she empathizes with Debra by telling her about her own intrusively horrible mother-in-law who always sugarcoated the nasty things she had to say.

Although we only met a few times, I’ll miss you, Doris.


Doris Roberts and Bob Williams

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Gwen Stefani tour coming to Gexa Pavilion

Posted on 19 Apr 2016 at 8:50am

Gwen22016Gwen Stefani — whom we interviewed here and whose new CD we reviewed here — has announced her summer tour in support of the album This Is What the Truth Feels Like. It kicks off in Massachusetts on July 12, and makes its way to Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 13. Eve will be the opening act.

Tickets officially go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday here, but if you’re a CitiBank card member, you can get exclusive access to tickets today starting at 10 a.m. here.


DA Hawk schedules another Oak Lawn Town Hall

Posted on 18 Apr 2016 at 3:36pm

Dallas County DA Susan Hawk

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk will hold a second Oak Lawn Town Hall meeting on Monday, April 25, 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Hawk held the first town hall in mid-December to address the rash of attacks happening in the gayborhood and to hear residents’ concerns and questions.

In a press statement released today (Monday, Aug. 18), the D.A. said she is holding the April 25 meeting because, “I wanted to meet with Oak Lawn area community members, again, to follow up with them regarding the safety concerns they presented at our December Town Hall meeting, Our office wants to remain a consistent resource for our community, and to do that we can’t just show up once. We have to keep the lines of communication open and continue to have a presence.”

Hawk said she will update the community on office initiatives and on programs and resources in place to help the LGBT community and Dallas County in general. She will also address ongoing concerns about the attacks last fall. No arrests have been made yet in any of those assaults.

Hawk said at that December meeting that she lived in the Oak Lawn area and had often walked her dog near the location of one of the attacks. Because of that, she added, the attacks in the area “are personal.”