Dallas Voice celebrates its 32nd birthday

Posted on 11 May 2016 at 10:10am
Dallas Voice Vol 1 No 1

Front page of Dallas Voice 32 years ago today

Dallas Voice founder Don Ritz wrote the lead story in the first issue of Dallas Voice, printed 32 years ago today.

Dallas Gay Political Coalition, the political action committee of Dallas Gay Alliance, endorsed John Vance for Dallas County Sheriff and Lloyd Doggett for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Both earned enough votes to get into a June runoff.

The other front page story was about Pride III planning to celebrate national Pride Week in June and the second anniversary of Judge Jerry Buchmeyer’s decision to declared the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional in August.

That first paper was 24 pages. You know what wasn’t mentioned in that first issue? AIDS. By May 1984, AIDS already hit Houston hard and had touched Dallas, but it was another six months before AIDS hit hard enough that the Foundation for Human Understanding (now Resource Center) was formed as a project of Dallas Gay Alliance.

Here’s what else made news that first issue and other things I noticed:

Harvey Fierstein had been given the key to the city, the first openly gay person to be honored that way in Dallas.

Phone numbers were listed without area codes. Numbers that began with a 52 were Oak Lawn exchanges.

The Methodist Church had just reaffirmed its position on homosexuality. “Homosexuals are people of ‘sacred worth’ but the practice of homosexuality is ‘incompatible’ with Christian teaching,” the article stated. That line is being debated at its quadrennial conference again this month.

Howie Daire answered relationship questions from readers. Howie had created Oak Lawn Counseling Center with his best buddy Candy Marcum. He died of AIDS a couple of years later.

In an ad, Crossroads Market welcomed Dallas Voice to the family of gay-owned gay-operated businesses.

Wayland Flowers, an outrageous gay performer who died of AIDS in 1988, and Madame, his drag puppet, were performing at Granny’s Dinner Playhouse, a place way up north in the suburbs (at the time) on LBJ.

Tickets for the Turtle Creek Chorale’s cabaret show at Gran Crystal Palace (on Airport Freeway in Irving, I think, the article doesn’t specify an address) were on sale for two performances.

Most of the ads were from the bars. Mahogany was performing at The Unicorn on Lemmon Avenue. MCA recording artists Bubba and Bear performed at Patrick’s on Fitzhugh. Comedy stars Jerry and Lola performed at the Fraternity House on Fitzhugh. Tina and Mack performed at the Hideaway on Buena Vista. Throckmorton Mining Company advertised that Heda Quote would be “serving subs soon.” James Griffith (DJ?) appeared at 4001 (Village Station).

Heda Quote was dishing the bar gossip. “Lonnie and Bill, owners of the Hideaway, toast their first year anniversary with singing star Dena Kaye.”

Club Dallas had the inside back cover and has advertised in Dallas Voice every issue since then. To them, a special thank you. And a thank you to all our advertisers and to all of our readers.

So today we celebrate our 32nd birthday looking back. Friday we look forward with the first issue of Volume 33.

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