Cocktail Friday: In time for Thanksgiving, the Mayflower

Posted on 11 Nov 2016 at 1:43pm

7266e3de-mayflower-drinkWe’re on the cusp of Thanksgiving — less than two weeks away — and the weather is beginning to reflect that, with cooler temps. Our palates change too around this time, and it’s even shown in the drink recipes that are emerging. Jonathan Bona, bar manager at the Pyramid Restaurant inside the Fairmont Hotel (he was recently at The Four Seasons), has created this potent potable, and shared the recipe. Or you can ask Jonathan for it directly at the Pyramid, where it will be offered throughout November.

1 oz. Remy Martin VSOP cognac

1/2 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel rum

1/2 oz. apple cinnamon shrub (chefs Brandon and Chris Dempsey’s new D&D Shrubs company makes one)

2 dashed Angostura bitters

Making it: Combine all ingredients in a mixing breaker and stir with a bar spoon for 30 seconds. Rim a rocks glass with cinnamon and Demerara sugar. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a fan of apple slices.


Election Day a mixed bag for LGBT candidates

Posted on 11 Nov 2016 at 10:58am

Oregon Gov.-elect Kate Brown, left, Houston District Attorney-elect Kim Ogg, center, and Austin City Councilman-elect Jimmy Flannigan were among the openly-LGBT people elected on Tuesday

Oregon elects first openly-bisexual governor; 6 of 8
openly-LGBT candidates in Texas won


Lisa Keen | Keen News Service

Kate Brown became the first openly-LGBT person to be elected governor in the U.S., winning the office in Oregon on Nov. 8. Elsewhere in the nation, there were only a few scattered “firsts” to be celebrated. But 61 percent of 188 openly-LGBT candidates this year won their races.

By comparison, in 2012, out of 152 LGBT candidates on the ballot, 77 percent — 118 — won, while 22 percent — 33 — lost.

In addition to Brown, the winners included Leslie Herod, the first openly-LGBT African-American elected to the Colorado House; Carlos Guillermo Smith, the first openly-LGBT Latino to be elected to the Florida state legislature, representing Orlando; and Sam Park, the first openly-gay man to be elected to the Georgia legislature.

All six incumbent LGBT members of Congress won re-election, but other candidates for federal office had tough fights: None of the 12 newcomers seeking seats in Congress won. Two sought U.S. Senate seats, and 10 sought House seats.

Businesswoman Angie Craig was expected to beat a Trump-like radio talk show host for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional district, but fell short 45 percent to Jason Lewis’ 47 percent, while 8 percent of the vote went to an independent candidate.

Candidates for state house and senate seats fared much better: 74 percent of the 89 candidates won. Among the winners was newcomers Daniel Hernandez, the aide who helped save the life of then-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords during a 2011 shooting incident in Tucson. Hernandez won a seat to the Arizona State House.

Toni Atkins, who was term-limited out of her position as speaker of the California Assembly, won a seat in the state senate.

Among the incumbents to win re-election was Minnesota State Rep. Karen Clark. Clark was elected in 1980 and has now been re-elected 18 times, representing the south Minneapolis area.

In local office elections, 33 out of 60 LGBT candidates won. Among them was newcomer Jimmy Flannigan who unseated an incumbent for a seat on the Austin, City Council.

And half of 16 LGBT candidates for elective judicial seats won election Tuesday. Kim Ogg beat out an incumbent to become Houston’s new district attorney. And, in Washington state, lesbian Mary Yu won re-election to her seat on the Washington Supreme Court.

But the biggest victory by far on Nov. 8 for the LGBT community was that of Kate Brown, in her first run for governor of Oregon. Brown won with 51 percent of the vote. Her Republican challenger took 44 percent, and three other candidates took the remaining 5 percent.

“Kate Brown’s win in Oregon is one for the history books,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

Brown, a bisexual married for almost 20 years to her husband Dan Little, is the first openly-LGBT person to be elected as governor anywhere in the country. (The first LGBT person to serve as governor was Jim McGreevey, who came out as gay after being elected governor of New Jersey and then resigned from office.)

Brown has been elected as a state representative, a state senator, and twice as Oregon’s secretary of state. But she stepped into the governor’s position in 2015, after then-Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned following an ethics scandal.

Brown, 56, embraces the opportunities she has to help the LGBT community. She told the Washington Post the day after the election, “I will, within my role at the National Governors’ Association and other organizations like the Western Governors Association, continue to use that voice and my experiences as a member of the LGBT community, as well as my female voice to help us push forward as a nation.”

The 188 LGBT candidates spanned 36 states plus the District of Columbia. California had the greatest number of LGBT candidates by far, with 50; followed by Washington State with 10, and Georgia with nine.

Texas had eight LGBT candidates, six of whom won: Celia Israel and Mary Gonzalez were re-elected to state house seats; Lupe Valdez won re-election as sheriff in Dallas; Kim Ogg was elected district attorney in Houston; Jimmy Flannigan won a seat on the Austin City Council; and Steve Kirkland won his race for a district court seat in Harris County.

One candidate this year came out during his re-election campaign: North Carolina State Rep. Cecil Brockman of Greensboro publicly acknowledged being bisexual in an interview with his local paper on Nov. 3. Brockman, 32, was running unopposed for his seat in the General Assembly.

Brockman told the News & Record, “I always felt that I tried to stick up for the LGBT community, even when I wasn’t ‘out.’ I want to do more of my part, to be stronger and admit to the world that I’m actually a member of this community as well.”

© 2016 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Election 2016

Posted on 11 Nov 2016 at 8:10am

Our thoughts on the day after the 2016 Presidential election


Shocked, devastated, heartbroken, angry, sad, discouraged, exhausted.

This just can’t be our country. How can we live here now? Where can we go? Should we leave our country or stay?

The feelings and questions flowed with the tears. Despair. Difficulty focusing. It feels like the sudden loss of a loved one.

How can we go on?

But then we think about the bigger picture.  We cannot yield to the forces of anger, bitterness, vengeance and vile language used by Trump and his supporters. Denial won’t work long term. The blame game won’t change the results.

We need to find support and strength to survive the next days, months and years.  It is fitting that the slogans of the Clinton campaign should become our mantra. Yes, we are “Stronger Together” and yes,  “Love Trumps Hate.”

Tuesday night as the results confirmed the awful reality that we lost, Vivienne and I remembered how we felt in 1980 when Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. We successfully stayed in relative denial until the night before his Inauguration.  It was Monday, Jan. 19, 1981, and we both had the flu.

Reagan family friend Frank Sinatra had organized a pre-inaugural show for the First Couple. We watched it, lying on the couch, while sobbing and passing a tissue box and a pan of brownies back and forth to each other.

Our actions sound comical now, but the LGBT rights movement was a far “younger” movement then and few legal rights had been won. We were just organizing politically and wondered what the setback would mean.

Worse yet, almost half of the DFW LGBT community had voted for Reagan. We were not politically unified, nor had we become an integral part of the Democratic Party because they were still cautiously considering us.
We will survive Trump because of the progress towards equality we have made since 1981. Because of 35 years of hard work, we are not starting from the same position.

The Supreme Court impact is the worst of course. We’re still trying to get our heads around that one.

Perhaps this quote might be helpful: The French philosopher Albert Camus wrote, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

We need to reach out, comfort and support each other. Then we must become more involved, ensure that those people attacked and disparaged during the Trump campaign are protected and the rights and welfare of all are secured.

Finally, we need to change our country at a very basic level. We can do this in our personal lives. We all need to see the common humanity in others, and just share and practice our basic values of goodness.

If we need to demonstrate or to march, we will march.

We can learn from our DFW LGBT community’s rich history and ensure the lessons we learned are not lost to the next generation.

So, let it be of some comfort: We survived Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes and now we’ll survive Trump.
Vivienne Armstrong and Louise Young have been a couple since they met at Colorado University — Boulder in 1971 and have devoted their entire adult lives to LGBT activism, including playing roles in the founding of North Texas’ premiere LGBT organizations. Louise Young also played a key role in the formation of the LGBT employee resource group at Texas Instruments, and later at Raytheon.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 4, 2016.


Not heading for Canada yet

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 8:55pm

haberman-hardyI am very disappointed by the election results. “Depressed” would be a mild description.

That said I am making some tough decisions. Do I cut and run? Or do I stay and fight?

As a young man, I did a lot of running, until I decided to fight. And since that day, I have not stopped fighting. We have gained far too much to just give up and leave. That time may come, and that prospect saddens me a great deal, but now is not that time for me.

I don’t think 50 percent of the people in our country are racist bigots. I do think a great deal of our country was unhappy with the situation they found themselves in over the past decade.

The populist appeal of that man (he who must not be named) is exactly what the Democrats used to have, but ceded to politically savvy strategists who figured things would be business as usual. They weren’t. And they won’t be anymore.

Do I think a dark side of the American populace has been empowered and uncovered? Yes. It is the same group that have always been there, but at different times in our history they have felt more or less empowered.

Do I have hope? As hard as it is to muster, yes I do.

I know that I am stronger than I ever suspected, and I believe the other 50 percent of America is as well.

There is no easy win; there is no jackpot, and there is no candidate who can be a savior. We have to do that ourselves.

We have to start by figuring out how to reach the non-racist part of the electorate who voted Republican, and we have to make the case that fairness, equality, peace and sanity can prevail. We can only do that if we stay involved and refuse to give up.

Now, I have still not processed the stunning election results from Tuesday night, and I suspect every pollster and pundit feels the same way. That will take some time and lots of coffee and perhaps some crying.

By the looks of the Canadian immigration website last night, which crashed from an overload of queries, a lot of people are considering running away. To be honest, my partner and I discussed that as well. But in the cold light of morning, I don’t think I am ready to do that.

Giving away my community, my family, my friends, my church and running away, abandoning my life and my work to live as a refugee in the Great White North is not appealing. (Nothing against Canada; I love your country and your poutine, but I am not done with America just yet.)

The American experiment has come too far to be destroyed by one election.

And to those who do not accept the results of the election I say this, remember how appalled we were when Trump said he would not accept the results? If we don’t, we simply prove we are petulant children, stomping our feet with our fingers in our ears screaming “la la la la la.”

That solves nothing.

We have lived through Reagan, Bush the greater and Bush the lesser, and I pray that we can live through a single term of this. It will not be easy, but having lived through police raids on gay bars, anti-war protests, civil rights marches, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the “Macarena,” in the words of Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive.”

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at


Is this really going to affect us personally? The short answer is yes

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 8:47pm

Leslie McMurray

Tuesday night, Nov. 8, Katie and I went out and grabbed a bite to eat and got it “to go” so we could go home and watch the election results. It was supposed to be a “done deal” for Hillary.

We settled in — and then watched in horror as one state after another turned red. I couldn’t take it anymore and went to bed around 10:30, and quite literally cried myself to sleep.

This was, for me, a worst-case scenario. I am scared, I’m angry and I feel let down by people who I thought cared about their fellow human beings. But those of us on the left side of the political spectrum vastly underestimated the anger of uneducated white America.

The backlash over the last eight years and the ever-increasing “encroachment” of LGBT, immigrant and racial equality has apparently made enough of them mad enough to hurl a flaming dumpster at the system.

I personally don’t believe they think Trump will make their lives better. But they damn well believe Trump will make the establishment pay dearly.

Facebook was hard to take. I unfriended a number of people. I truly feel that if you vote for Trump, that is an act that is incompatible with being my friend.

This isn’t political difference of opinion; I welcome that. This is about my safety, my health and the ability to marry the woman I love. If you deny me those things, you are not my friend.

I used to work in Sacramento on a news/talk station (among others) and on their site Wednesday morning, the host had made a post about the election and asking listeners their reaction. A man named Eric P. (A white male heterosexual Trump supporter) commented: “Tax rates notwithstanding, is this really going to affect us personally?”

That sentence sums up white male hetero privilege in a nutshell.

No, Eric, Trump may not affect you personally, but for many others you never give a moment’s thought to, hell yes it affects us!

Let me explain a few ways how:

  • My dear friend Ethel, with whom I worked closely in Houston for five years, was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was in tears at the thought of Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, since no insurance company would cover her without it. She doesn’t want to die. I don’t want her to either.
  • I am transgender. Prior to the ACA, I was unable to get health insurance of any kind. That’s personal.
  • A trans male student, Gavin Grimm, has a case before the Supreme Court that now will be moot. Gavin just wants to go to the bathroom in the boys’ room at school. Now, because of Trump winning, he probably won’t be able to.
  • It’s extremely likely the federal protections for LGBT employees will be stripped away. New Vice President Pence has a deep-seated hatred of the LGBT community and a track record as governor of Indiana to back it up. That affects a lot of people personally.
  • Title IX and Title VII may also be weakened with more protections against sex discrimination claims and the floodgates for more anti-transgender laws will swing open. Add in Mr. Trump’s promise to reverse the executive orders of President Obama, which could end protection for transgender employees in the federal government and their contractors.
  • Parents of trans kids are trying to explain to them what happened. Many of these kids are in hysterics. Losing a child to suicide because they feel the president hates them is pretty “personal,” Eric.
  • African-American people seeing the KKK openly celebrating affects them personally.
  • Immigrants who are in the country legally on a green card face uncertain futures. That’s personal, Eric.
  • My 9-5 job, Eric, is helping people with HIV navigate the confusing world of health insurance. My clients are scared, I hold them in my arms and reassure them as best I can. They are afraid without the ACA, they will be uninsurable. That affects them personally, Eric.
  • Parents who raise their children to not be bullies, to be honest, to respect other people are at a loss as to what to tell their children when a dishonest, mysogynistic, xenophobic bully is now the president. That’s personal.
  • My own daughter called me this morning; she is a white, female heterosexual mother of three children who feels so let down. She was angry. Her two daughters, ages 5 and 7, had come home from school telling her that they didn’t want the girl to win because she killed people. Who at that school is telling that to a 7-year-old? That affects people personally.
  • I used to be a morning show radio disc jockey. But if video ever surfaced of my saying what Trump said with Billy Bush, I’d have been fired. Hell, the manager of a Motel 6 who said that would be fired. Pretty much anyone who worked for a company with an ounce of decency would never tolerate that kind of language and behavior from one of their employees.

Ands yet, we put that in the White House? Seriously America?

So there you are Eric P. — a whole lot of people who are deeply, personally affected in horrific ways by the specter of a President Trump who intends on keeping his promises. We wish the only worry we had was tax rates. Lucky you!

For us, our best hope is that Trump ends up being the same horse’s ass as president as he was in private life and that his campaign promises mean the same as those he made to countless contractors and employees.

Oh, and Eric — I hope your taxes go through the roof.

Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman, is a former radio DJ who lives and works in Dallas. Read more of her blogs at


Completely not gay former Congressman Aaron Schock indicted on 24 counts

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 2:27pm

Not gay former Rep. Aaron Schock photographed by his not gay photographer and companion while Congress was in session

Former Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who is still not gay, was indicted on 24 counts including fraud, over-billing the government for auto mileage, theft of government funds, making false statements and filing false income tax returns.

The flamboyant Schock came to national attention when he redecorated his congressional office to look like a set from Downton Abbey. Not gay.

Schock also spent quite a bit of time away from Congress, usually on skiing, surfing or other adventure holidays with his also totally not gay male photographer, who was there only to save the congressman’s adventures for posterior, I mean posterity. Some of those pictures showed off Schock’s six-pack abs and landed him on magazine covers. But not gay magazines, because he’s completely not gay.

Schock resigned from Congress in March 2015, the same day he was subpoenaed by a grand jury investigating his finances.

Some of the charges against him carry a 20-year sentence, according to the Chicago Tribune.


Thairrific closing until it has a new location

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 1:14pm

Thairrific owner Danny Sikora with one of his Reader’s Voice awards

Thairrific, a restaurant on Throckmorton Street specializing in Asian cuisine, will close in its current location on Sunday (Nov. 13), according to its owner, Danny Sikora. The restaurant has won multiple Dallas Voice Reader’s Voice awards.

The restaurant has been open for more than five years and its lease is up. Sikora said he’s been on a month-to-month basis for several months now. He’s been looking at alternative locations, both on and off The Strip. Several locations have opened facing Cedar Springs Road over the past year, and he has been talking to landlords about the possibility of taking one of those spaces.

By city code, restaurants must provide more parking spaces than retail stores. Also, restaurants require more remodeling than retail locations, including adding plumbing and grease traps. That makes adding restaurants on Cedar Springs Road a challenge.

Sikora promised Thairrific would return. In the mean time, Thairrific’s staff will work at Zephyr, the European-style cafe and bakery Sikora opened with Josh Friedman on the corner of Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street.


Doughman: Berryman has returned missing funds

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 11:50am

Michael Doughman

Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman released a statement today indicating that the guild’s former assistant director, David Berryman, has returned the full amount he has admitted taking from the Tavern Guild’s accounts.

Here is Doughman’s statement in full:

“We are pleased to announce that the entire amount of money taken from the Dallas Tavern Guild has been returned and we will be able to finish out the 2016 year as originally planned. We appreciate that David Berryman did the right thing and stepped up to accept his mistake and has made every effort to rectify that situation. We look forward to putting this all behind us and moving forward with a new, stronger structure for managing our finances and maintaining a better oversight to avoid the possibility of this ever occurring again.

“I also want to extend a very special thank-you to all of our partners, sponsors, members and beneficiary agencies for staying firmly in support of our mission, our transparency and our commitment to the future. Many within that group have commended us for handling the situation with forethought, calm maturity and a steady focus to come to the best resolution for all parties.

“We want to assure our community that the Dallas Tavern Guild will continue to create the best possible events and promote the best image of our organization. We thank you for your patience as we work through this and we pledge to do better in the future.”


David Sedaris returns for Arts & Letters Live

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 10:15am

David-SedarisIn tomorrow’s Dallas Voice, I have an interview with Patricia Cornwell, lesbian author of the Kay Scarpetta mystery novels, who is closing out the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live Series next week. And at the same time comes word of the spring A&L series, and the return — for an eighth time — of gay humorist David Sedaris.

Sedaris will appear at the Winspear Opera House on April 28, reading new and unpublished material as part of the museum’s 26th anniversary of live readings. Pre-sale tickets are now available to members of the DMA, KERA and the ATTPAC Circle. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Nov. 14, starting at $35. You can buy them here.


Dallas Red Foundation makes record donation to Legacy Counseling

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 10:01am

dallas-red-foundationDallas Red Foundation presented a check for $57,000 to Melissa Grove, executive director of Legacy Counseling Center, which includes Legacy Founders Cottage, Homebase for Housing and other HIV-related programs.

The donation was a 119 percent increase over last year’s donation and is the largest DRF has made since its founding in 2009.

In addition to the cash donation, DFR has been working at Legacy Founders Cottage transforming the garden behind the cottage into a sanctuary where patients can enjoy nature. The Legacy Garden Project includes building a new, accessible deck, installing new personalized pavers, as well as redesigning and replacing the landscaping throughout.

DRF is also replaced the tube televisions in all patient rooms with new flat screen TVs.

“The 8th year of Dallas Red Foundation has taken the organization to a new level and we are looking forward to continuing that,” said Cody Lynch, DRF board president. “Our Board of Directors is looking forward to raising the caliber even further for the 2017.”

Through the year, DRF raised money at its annual Red Party featuring J. Sutta, drag performers, aerialists, DJs and more. as well as the Miss Red Pageant and Red in Wonderland.

DRF announced its events for 2017 that include the second annual Miss Red Pageant on March 7. Ruby City, a follow up to Red in Wonderland, but with a Wizard of Oz theme, will be held on May 19. The 9th annual Red Party on Sept. 15, will be on the Friday night of Pride weekend.