Megan Mullally — the gay interview

Posted on 22 Dec 2016 at 6:59am


WHY HIMTip one back for Megan Mullally, who’s making a move to the big screen in Why Him? after a drove of indie roles, including gay-affirming mom Mrs. Van Camp in 2013’s G.B.F., and a variety of TV stints. But when it comes to the small screen, it’s the 58-year-old actress’ eight-year role on the groundbreaking late ’90s NBC sitcom Will & Grace, as quippy, martini-swigging socialite Karen Walker, that changed Mullally’s life as much as it changed ours (including two Emmy Awards).

So, honey, sit back and catch up on all things Mullally. She has a lot to say about that time a female coworker attempted to seduce her, crushing on “the gayest person in the world,” witnessing “100 percent” of James Franco’s butt crack and the likelihood of a Will & Grace reboot (spoiler alert: it’s very, very likely).

Dallas Voice: There are a lot of gays who’d like to chat with you, so I feel very lucky.  Megan Mullally: I love it. You can say, “Oh my god, she was really boring.”

Why Him? centers on the awkward situation of bringing home someone your parents are likely to dislike. Have you ever brought a controversial boyfriend home to your parents?  My first boyfriend in college, Brad. My father was an arch-conservative and Brad subscribed to the communist newspaper, so that was not cute. My father wasn’t too thrilled about Brad.

You’re saying he had a “why him?” moment?  Yeah… and then some.

Having you and James Franco in a movie together is basically a match made in gay heaven. He has quite the gay resume.  That’s funny. I never thought about that! But yeah, totally.


Taylor Dayne and Cece Peniston signed for Metro Ball

Posted on 21 Dec 2016 at 11:57am

Taylor Dayne

Dance-music icons Taylor Dayne and Cece Peniston, along with American Idol favorite David Hernandez, will headline for the 12th annual Metro Ball.

Metro Ball, the main fundraiser for the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, will be held on June 2 at S4 on Cedar Springs Road. In addition to musical talent, the event features surprise guests, a DJ-dance party, and an art and gifts silent auction.

Over the past two decades, MetroBall has raised more than $500,000 and assisted more than 3,000 people with HIV/AIDS. GDMAF partners with other HIV agencies to provide emergency financial assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Dayne has enjoyed Top 10 hits over three decades, selling a combined 75 million singles and albums along the way. With the release of her first two albums, 1988’s Tell It to My Heart and 1989’s Can’t Fight Fate, Dayne racked up three number 1 singles: “Tell It to My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back” and “Prove Your Love to Me.” On Broadway, she starred in Elton John’s Aida.

Peniston’s first single, “Finally,” thrust her into the international spotlight and she has continued her success ever since. She continued to achieve Billboard Top Ten Pop chart status with singles including: “We Got A Love Thang,” “Keep On Walkin,” “I’m Not Over You” and “Lifetime To Love.” Her numerous awards include: Billboard Best New Artist and Best New Song of The Year; ASCAP Song of The Year, Pop Songwriter of The Year, and Most Performed Song of The Year; Annual Winter Music Conference’s Best New Dance Artist, Best Dance Artist Solo and Best 12″ Dance Record.

David Hernandez gained national attention with his powerful voice and affable personality as an American Idol finalist. He began acting and singing at age six, starring in musicals and performing with various theatre companies throughout Arizona. As a teenager David began writing original music and recording his material. President Barack Obama invited him to sing at the Inaugural Kick-Off Celebration ball in 2008.

Tickets are $30 in advance and available online here.

Information on sponsorship packages are available at GDMAF, or contact David Hearn or 972-743-6323.


Albany squeaks past SMU in tight game but …..

Posted on 21 Dec 2016 at 11:07am

albany-smuAlbany squeaked past SMU in men’s basketball Tuesday night, Dec. 20, but didn’t hold the lead. (From the picture and the headline, you’d think Albany won. Well, that’ll teach you to actually read the article.)

The game — at Moody Coliseum on the SMU campus — began with SMU scoring 9 points before Albany got on the board. But during the first half, Albany not only caught up but pulled ahead. That happened again during the second half.

But SMU held a slight lead through most of the game and dominated for the last six minutes.

Then, in the waning seconds of the game SMU pulled its rich white kid stunt that distinguishes the school from Albany. About a minute-and-a-half before the final buzzer, SMU called a time out. The school pulled its black team off the court and let its rich, white kids — that come from as far away as Highland Park and Plano — on the court. These are the kids the “real” team practices against. They looked nervous but managed to score a point.

Here’s the difference between the teams. Albany’s team is required to actually attend classes and students participating in Albany Athletics have an average cumulative average of 3.1. Go Scooby Doos. You made your Texas alums (and people came in from around the state to support you) very proud.

The final score was 71-53. Congratulations, SMU, on your win. Good game. Your Albany guests had a blast.


GLBT Chamber seeks Business Excellence Award nominations

Posted on 20 Dec 2016 at 4:14pm

glbtchamberlogoThe North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its 2016 Business Excellence Awards. The Business Excellence Awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding businesses, individuals and organizations that have had a positive impact on the North Texas GLBT community.

Nominations, which may come from anyone in the community, are open from now until Monday, Jan. 30, and can be submitted through the Chamber’s website. Awards will be given in several categories including Business of the Year, Emerging Leader, Extra Mile–Community Service, Member Service, Corporate Ally and Supplier Diversity Champion.

Business Excellence Awards will be presented at the Celebration of Excellence Dinner on Friday, April 28. More details about the dinner will follow.


LGBT North Carolinians just as vulnerable after HB2 repeal

Posted on 20 Dec 2016 at 11:59am

Gov. Pat McCrory

North Carolina is not better off with its repeal of HB2, the law that allowed businesses to discriminate against its LGBT citizens.

The deal that paved the way for repeal of HB2 included Charlotte repealing its city nondiscrimination ordinance. So a law allowing discrimination will be repealed, but only after a law preventing discrimination was rescinded. Without a law protecting citizens, discrimination that HB2 allowed is just as legal in the state without any protections.

While HB2 specifically enumerated ways to discriminate and the Charlotte ordinance enumerated who could not be discriminated against, LGBT Charlotte residents now have no recourse when they suspect discrimination. And the rest of North Carolina’s residents are just as unprotected.

What good does a nondiscrimination ordinance do? Here in Dallas, since our nondiscrimination ordinance was passed, there have been very few complaints under the law. And only two major cases have been settled as a result of an investigation into the charges.

In one, the Dallas Morning News was “forced” to accept more than $1,000 every time a same-sex couple wants to place a marriage notice in the paper. Dallas Voice is on record that we want to be forced to accept advertising money as well.

In the other case, Baylor Hospital’s Landry gym was found to be discriminating by not accepting family memberships from same-sex couples. To settle the case, the fitness center did away with all family memberships, because it’s better to punish all your customers than allow one same-sex couple to use your facility. But good for them for standing up for their Christian principles of discrimination in a city that doesn’t tolerate hate (and where most Christian churches don’t either).

But if there’ve been so few discrimination cases in Dallas, what good is the ordinance? It says who we already are — as opposed to, say Irving. It says what we believe. It welcomes businesses to our city, because nondiscrimination is already a core value for most businesses in the U.S.

So now, that type of discrimination is still legal in North Carolina, even in Charlotte. The people of Charlotte don’t want to put up with that sort of petty hatred in their city, but their state legislature says they must. Charlotte should have stood by its ordinance, because the state is no better off without HB2 than it was with it. On this one, Gov. Pat McCrory gets one final win before he’s tossed out of office in two weeks.


6 tricks for giving your partner the perfect gift

Posted on 20 Dec 2016 at 9:07am


Christmas gift box and fir tree branch. Isolated on white backgroundChoosing the perfect gift for your significant other can be stressful, especially if it’s your first holiday together. But there are ways you can sneak a peek at your partner’s wish list (without outright asking for it) if you engage in a few spy tactics. Consider these six tinseled gift-giving tricks as Santa’s little sleuth to surprise your better half this season.

1. Mine his social media. Social media profiles are full of interesting information about an individual — but you already know that, you stalker. Use your data-mining skills for treasure hunts that don’t include shirtless summer pics to find out what your babe wants under the tree this year. Perhaps they’ve shared an item on their Facebook page, tweeted a link or liked an Instagram photo of something that caught their eye. Browse the businesses they like, and keep an eye on the comments they make on those pages. A little attention to Internet detail will go a long way in unearthing all the things that strike your S.O.’s fancy.

2. Ask his friends and family. I started dating someone new this year, and even though I’m fairly astute in gathering clues about what he’d like for Christmas, I also asked his mother and brother to gain a more comprehensive perspective. If it’s not too awkward, you should reach out to some of your partner’s family members, too. You may come up with ideas you haven’t thought of yet, and your thoughtfulness toward your mutual loved one will be recognized by the family early on, which will help you build a rapport much quicker and easier in the New Year.

3. Be a great observer. Whether you know it or not, your partner has been dropping clues for what he or she would like as a gift since shortly after you started dating. You’ve had countless conversation on your likes and dislikes throughout your relationship, you’ve talked about childhood memories and holidays past, and you’ve each pointed out objects and ideas that pique your interest while on vacation or shopping or just walking around town. Take these collective experiences and put the pieces together to come up with a gift that’s not only special and memorable but also shows that you listen — which, in all likelihood, will be the best present of all.

4. Choose memories over material goods. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a tangible thing to buy, skip the material object all together. Rather, opt for an experience gift — like a quick getaway or an exciting activity — which you two can do together. Not only will you make a lasting memory out of the experience, you’ll prevent one more thing from collecting dust in his or her house before eventually ending up in the attic (or worse) a landfill.

5. Consider needs vs. wants. We all want plenty of things, but are they necessities? If you partner needs things — like, say, a new interview suit or tires for his car — prioritize these over frivolous gifts that serve no real purpose. Sure, these gifts aren’t glamorous or even exciting, but your partner will be thankful that they don’t have to spring for them… and if they’re a decent person in general, they’ll recognize that your love for them runs deeper than that video game console.

6. Stay In sync. Couples who are in sync don’t have much problem thinking of gifts to give one another. Moreover, couples who are in sync make their own rules at the holidays by forgoing traditional gift-giving tactics by finding interesting ways to show their love and affection. Make ornaments for one another, bid on that coveted childhood wish-list item that they never got, or make by hand (and heart) a piece of art that they’ll hang and think of you often. When you’re on the same page romantically, there won’t be any disappointment when it’s time to unwrap all the goodies. It’s the thought that counts, after all, and couples recognize that above all else.

— Mikey Rox


National Scouting Museum leaving Irving

Posted on 19 Dec 2016 at 3:38pm

Rockwell painting from the National Scouting Museum

Getting out of Irving is always a good goal. The Cowboys did it. Now, the Boy Scouts of America announced it’s moving its National Scouting Museum to Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. That leaves Irving with its mayor who won by keeping Sharia Law out of the city (clockboy incident, 6 rating on Municipal Equality Index), earthquakes and ExxonMobil.

Most of the exhibits at the Scouting Museum are scouting-related and moving it to a scouting camp will give more Boy Scouts access to it than in its current location in a business park in Irving.

But the real loss to the area is the Boy Scouts’ collection of Norman Rockwell paintings. The museum has the largest collection of Rockwell Boy Scout paintings — 48 of them — as well as 11 studies and drawings. The museum is moving in 2018, so there’s still a year to see them.

The museum is located at 1329 W. Walnut Hill Lane, Irving. Take the MacArthur exit off 114. Head south and make a right on Walnut Hill Lane. The museum is open daily and free.


Omar Narvaez running for Dallas City Council

Posted on 19 Dec 2016 at 2:48pm

Omar Narvaez

Lambda Legal community educator and former Stonewall Democrats President Omar Narvaez is running for Dallas City Council District 6. He is challenging three-term incumbent Monica Alonzo. If she wins, this would be her final term in office due to term limits. Narvaez currently serves on the Dallas County Schools board.

While it’s unusual for a candidate to unseat an incumbent on Dallas City Council, Councilman Scott Griggs won his seat against incumbent Dave Neumann.

In a break from council tradition, District 14 Councilman Philip Kingston endorsed Narvaez. In a Facebook post, Kingston wrote, “I endorse Omar Narvaez for D6. Please send me Omar. I want to work with him.”

Kingston wrote that he was endorsing him as a private citizen and in his official capacity as city councilman, which, he said, are about the same thing. Alonzo supports the tollroad in the Trinity River. Kingston and Narvaez opposed it.

District 6 includes most of West Dallas but also includes The Design District and two small wedges into North Dallas: South of I-635 from I-35 to Marsh Lane and another narrow strip from I-35 to Midway Road between Northwest Highway and Walnut Hill Road.

CORRECTION: Originally we wrote, “Narvaez becomes the first openly LGBT person to seek the District 6 seat.” Actually, Buster Spiller ran for the District seat twice. Buster is very gay.



N.C. legislature to repeal HB2?

Posted on 19 Dec 2016 at 2:24pm

North Carolina Gov.-elect Roy Cooper

It appears that the North Carolina Legislature is poised to repeal its venomously anti-LGBT HB2 as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 20), after losing millions in revenue and adding significantly to its reputation for being discriminatory.

But that victory comes at a price: repeal of Charlotte, N.C.’s ordinance protecting LGBT from discrimination.

The Charlotte City Council voted today to repeal the ordinance, and Gov.-elect Roy Cooper said that lawmakers have promised to call a special session as early tomorrow to repeal HB2, according to this report by Reuters.

“I hope they will keep their word to me,” Cooper said in a statement. “Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state.”

(I’m not holding my breath that the legislators will keep their word. They have already called a special session to pass legislation stripping much of the governor’s powers away before Cooper can even take office — a measure that out-going Gov. Pat McCrory, who lost his job in large part because of his support for HB2. Thankfully, the North Carolina NAACP has already announced a lawsuit challenging the new law.)

The Charlotte City Council, following several public hearings, voted last Feb. 22 to approved a nondiscrimination ordinance that included protections for LGBT people. The very next day, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore called for legislative action to overturn that ordinance. The N.C. Legislature then convened for a special session a month later, and on March 23, passed HB 2. Then-Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law immediately. The Charlotte mayor and city council had originally rejected the legislature’s deal wherein lawmakers promised to repeal HB2 if Charlotte would repeal its nondiscrimination ordinance.


The man behind ‘Moonlight,’ playwright and MacArthur Fellow Tarell McCraney

Posted on 19 Dec 2016 at 8:39am


Tarell McCraney, 2013 MacArthur Fellow“It was a lot,” Tarell Alvin McCraney says of his oddly coincidental evening not long ago, when the out playwright attended the premiere of Moonlight in Miami, where he grew up.

Family he hadn’t met before came out in droves. His brother showed up, and longtime friends too. It also happened to be the birthday of “Kevin,” a childhood confidante from his youth who was the basis for an influential character in Moonlight.

“I’m like…” he starts, grunting with frustration at an experience he calls “difficult” and “complicated.”

“I mean, it was a full moon,” McCraney continues. “It was a year to the day it started filming, it was my birthday weekend – and there was a storm, but then there were, like, clear skies.”

That day, as he watched the film adaptation of his semi-autobiographical stage piece, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, in a theater just a quick jaunt from where he was raised, the intersections between reality and film were palpable. So were his feelings. During the premiere in Miami, “a lot of me wanted to be like, ‘It’s happening, go to sleep,’” but in London, he says, “It was easy to tell the lineal space between reality and myth and fiction.”

McCraney wrote In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue in 2003, while experiencing “depression” and “sadness” as he grieved the loss of his mother, who died that summer. Like the film’s protagonist, Chiron, whose life unfolds in three chapters, the playwright has always preferred expressing himself outside of conversation.

MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 15: Tarell Alvin McCraney attends "MOONLIGHT" Cast & Crew Hometown Premiere in Miami at Colony Theater on October 15, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for A24)“I can talk ad nauseam about art, but ask me how I feel that day and I can barely say about five words,” he says, chuckling. For McCraney, making his press rounds for Moonlight — a major contender at the Golden Globes, recipient just last week of best picture honors (and more) from the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association as well as a frontrunner at the Oscars — is a new, unnerving process. “Normally people ask the same five questions about the play and you kind of go, ‘Thanks so much, and it’s about this and come see it,’ but this is different.”

McCraney wrote his first play at age 13. Later, he graduated from Yale School of Drama’s playwriting program, receiving the Cole Porter Playwriting Award upon graduation. In 2013, the playwright garnered the MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Though McCraney, now 36, has written several plays since his teenage years, including The Brothers Size, which earned him the 2009 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue reflects his life most intimately and explores a question he has a better grasp of now: “Why wasn’t I brave enough to become like the men I knew in my life?”

Directed by Barry Jenkins, who also grew up in Miami’s Liberty City, just blocks away from McCraney, Moonlight chronicles Chiron’s discovery of identity and sexuality through a multi-tiered, age-shifting narrative: “I: Little,” when we meet small, shy Chiron, who lives with his drug-addicted mother and essentially becomes the adopted son of a compassionate crack dealer, Juan; “II: Chiron,” when he first sexually engages with his friend, Kevin; and “III: Black,” which ends with grown Chiron, hardened and on the same path as Juan, though still sexually conflicted.

“The original piece,” McCraney says, “was and is a kind of meditation on what my life could be, less about what my life actually is.” He unleashes a hearty laugh. “Clearly, I was trying to do some sort of inner excavation. But for me, it’s about watching how identity plays out and looking at chaotic portions of my childhood and trying to figure out when there were other alternatives and what did those alternatives look like.”

Few existed for young McCraney, who snuck ballet lessons behind his father’s back and admits he would’ve felt ashamed to tell this story during his adolescence.

20151113_193323_Moonlight_D23_0117.tif“I think, for me, if there is a someone like me out there…,” he says, trailing off. “I feel like this piece talks so much about an American phenomenon of hyper masculinity that exists in so many forms.”

Because “I was not that brave,” he continues, McCraney admires the brazen nature of child actors Alex R. Hibbert (the first chapter’s “Little”) and Jaden Piner (the first chapter’s Kevin), who he calls “my heroes.”

“Kids are already so much more exposed and integrated than I was in terms of just understanding the voices of the world,” he says. “It’s important for me to see that these young people are finding avenues and platforms in which to speak their truth, not just about their own sexual identity, but that they want a diverse community and that their community is full of the voices that sometimes get siloed and stifled.”

The voice of the black, gay man is finally being heard in Moonlight, as demonstrated by its initial rollout at the end of October, when the film banked an impressive $414,740 on just four screens in New York and Los Angeles.

“People are walking away feeling like they’ve met somebody,” he says. “I think that’s what the film does. Barry was really adamant about making sure that you lived with Chiron and all of his iterations in a way that you probably might not have if this film was made by somebody else.”

For McCraney, “it preserves all the things that are important to me.”

As for the film’s success — both commercially, and as a projected Oscar contender — it’s not something he or Jenkins expected, the playwright says.

“I guess I wasn’t really thinking, ‘Oh, we’re gonna be talking about it at film screenings across the world,’” McCraney admits. “I just thought, ‘We’re telling a really good story, so I’m into it and you’re into it, and we’re into it in the same way, so let’s tell it.’”

— Chris Azzopardi