Abbott to deliver UNT commencement address

Posted on 06 Apr 2015 at 3:49pm
Texas AG Greg Abbott

Gov, Greg Abbott

University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk has announced that Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will deliver the keynote address during UNT’s inaugural university-wide commencement ceremony on May 16.

“I can think of no one better to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and kick off our yearlong 125th anniversary celebration,” Smatresk  said in a letter to students.

This will be UNT’s first university-wide graduation, and Smatresk said about 25,000 people are expected to attend.

Saying that school officials are looking forward “with great enthusiasm” to welcoming Abbott and Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott to the UNT campus, adding that he expects the governor’s “message of hope and inspiration will resonate with all of us and leave a lasting impression on the Class of 2015.”


Suicide by McKinney teen recalls series of bullying deaths

Posted on 06 Apr 2015 at 2:51pm

Raymond Howell, Jr., (Instagram)

Raymond Howell Jr., 14, was found dead of an apparent suicide near a culvert beside busy Eldorado Parkway in McKinney on Thursday, April 2. The McKinney Boyd High School freshman is believed to have committed suicide after being bullied by older students.

According to CBS 11, Howell had recently asked for a transfer to a different school to escape the bullying.

School districts throughout Texas have anti-bullying policies as a result of a series of suicides in the fall of 2012, including several in Texas and Oklahoma. It was during that period that Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns rose to national attention with his story of being bullied as a teen.

The McKinney police public information officer didn’t return a call today to confirm whether the bullying that led to Howell’s death was LGBT-related.

The Trevor Project hotline is a toll-free 24 hour LGBTQ suicide prevention line at 1-866-488-7386.


Dallas Voice on Lone Star Politics on NBC 5

Posted on 06 Apr 2015 at 11:05am

Lone Star PoliticsDallas Voice was asked to be a guest on Lone Star Politics on NBC 5 on Sunday, April 5. The show is a 15-minute lead in to Meet the Press.

The topic was the Religious Freedom bills that passed and were revised in Indiana and Arkansas. Six so-called religious freedom bills are in committee in the Texas legislature. James Russell wrote about them in Friday’s paper.

It’s a lot different being the guest rather than the host and radio is so much easier to do than TV. I’m the first guest. Here’s the video:


Gaymers turn out for HavenCon

Posted on 06 Apr 2015 at 10:56am

Dallas Voice Publisher Leo Cusimano and his family headed south to Austin over the Easter weekend, to attend HavenCon, “the first LGBTQIA Geek and Gaming Convention.” Here are some of the photos from their trip.


2015 Pooch Parade and Deep Ellum Arts Festival

Posted on 06 Apr 2015 at 10:32am

Chris Watts and Petropolitan took the annual Pooch Parade from Lee Park to Deep Ellum this year, successfully transitioning the Easter tradition to a new location.
Chuck Marcelo was on hand to capture the event in photos for Dallas Voice.

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Dallas Voice on ‘Lone Star Politics’ on Channel 5

Posted on 04 Apr 2015 at 8:36am

David TaffetThis Sunday, April 5, I’m one of the guests on Lone Star Politics on KXAS Channel 5. The 15-minute political show airs at 8:45 a.m. I’m on talking about the “religious freedom” laws that are in committee in Austin and passed in Indiana and Arkansas.

The show was taped on Friday and don’t worry, I didn’t say anything that will embarrass everyone at Dallas Voice. Editor Tammye Nash thinks I could be the next Ann Coulter.


Cocktail Friday: Springtime Easter punch

Posted on 03 Apr 2015 at 1:20pm

image008Easter weekend is the springiest of times, and nothing if springier that a light and fruit punch drink. This creation from mixologist Enzo Cangemi sounds perfect for brunch at your place, or even a picnic or patio party.

14 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin

7 oz. St-Germain liqueur

6 oz. fresh guava juice

6 oz. lemon juice

Sprig of sage

Black peppercorn

Build ingredients in a punch bowl with ice. Stir. Serves 5–7 (or 1–2 drag queens).


Upcoming LGBT-friendly Easter events and services

Posted on 03 Apr 2015 at 1:08pm

EasterIf you’re looking for an LGBT- and family-friendly Easter service or event this weekend, check out the list below. Feel free to e-mail russell(at)dallasvoice(dot)com t add your event. I’ll be sure to get it up.


Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, hosts a Good Friday service at 7:15 p.m. and three Easter services at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, and 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 5. For more information call 214-351-1901 or visit

Grace United Methodist Church, 4105 Junius Street, hosts a Good Friday service 7–8 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and three Easter services from 8–11:45 a.m. Easter SONrise Service 8–9 a.m. followed by an Easter Egg Hunt at 9:30–10:15 am for children ages 3–12, and a worship service 10:30–11:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 5. For more information call 214-824-2533 or e-mail

Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Road, hosts a Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and two Easter Sunday services from 7:30–11 a.m. Sunrise service 7:30 a.m. and a worship service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 5 Easter Egg-stravaganza, an LGBT family friendly even from 10 a.m.–noon on Saturday, April 4. Easter egg hunts, raffle, egg races with prizes and photo opportunities with Easter Bunny. Doughnuts, kolaches and other sweets for sale with proceeds benefitting youth mission trips. For more information call 214-363-2479.

Fort Worth

Agape MCC, 4615 E. California Parkway, Fort Worth, hosts an an Easter egg hunt and fundraiser for Tarrant County Gay Pride Association from noon–5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. For more information call or e-mail Richard Tinker at 817-921-3318 or Join the church for a sunrise service at 7:15 a.m. followed by a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. and worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 5.

Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fort Worth hosts a Tenebrae service at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and Easter services from 6:30 a.m.–11 a.m. Sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. followed by breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Easter services at 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 5. For more information call or e-mail 817-335-3222 or


TARDIS couple launch Cross My Hearts Foundation

Posted on 03 Apr 2015 at 10:20am

TARDIS_engage_169It today’s edition, we have a story about HavenCon, Texas’ first-ever gay-targeted sci-fi and fantasy convention, taking place this weekend in Austin. In addition to the all the events covered in that story, though, is another event not to miss. Dallas entrepreneurs, married couple and Doctor Who geeks TJ and Timmy Mundell-Patterson will be appearing there to promote their new nonprofit, the Cross My Hearts Foundation, which supports LGBT families through advocacy for marriage equality, same-sex adoptions and legal counseling. You can learn more about the group on their Facebook page.


Hearing set in Fort Worth on FMLA injunction

Posted on 03 Apr 2015 at 9:28am

Rep. Ken PaxtonA hearing about the federal injunction against extending Family Medical Leave Act benefits to married same-sex couples in non-marriage-equality states has been scheduled. The temporary injunction was placed on the order by a federal judge in Wichita Falls after Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the federal government.

The hearing will be held in Fort Worth. According to the order:

“Due to a scheduling conflict, the Court sets this matter for a hearing on April 10, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Fort Worth, Texas. Counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants are ORDERED to attend and to be prepared to address all issues relating to the preliminary injunction briefing in this case.This hearing will convene in the United States Courthouse, Courtroom Second Floor, 501 West 10th Street, Fort Worth, Texas.”