The gay (or just ‘queer’) personalities who made last year memorable
With the News department looking to someone you’d normally find in the Life+Style section for its person of the year (Q Cinema founder Todd Camp), we decided it appropriate to name our own LGBT (or allied) locals who helped define 2009 for us.
Here are 10 (including Camp) queer — true and honorary — men and women who made the arts world in North Texas special last year.
— Arnold Wayne Jones
Cedric Neal, actor
As the mischievous Puck in the Dallas Theater Center’s energetic updating of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Neal was the citywide poster boy for the show, christened the new Wyly Theatre in its debut production.
Jeffrey Payne, leather icon
This time last year, Payne was the surprise winner of Mr. Dallas Eagle. Within five months, he would go on to win Mr. Texas Leather and eventually International Mr. Leather, the top title in the leather community.
Richard Neal, comic book entrepreneur
The owner of Zeus Comics, Neal turned his respected shop into its the center of its own Web-based faux reality series, The Variants, adding a geek chorus to the online queermunity.
Stephan Pyles, chef
Texas’ most acclaimed cook for 25 years, Pyles opened a hot new Downtown joint, Samar, across from the new Arts District, flawlessly reinterpreting flavors from India, Spain and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Jenny Block, writer
The bisexual gadlfy’s book Open won her a Lambda Literary Award and the hot-seat on an episode of Nightline about her open relationship with a husband and girlfriend.
J.W. Richard, blogger
His Mandrake Society Radio tracks the pulse of the black LGBT community, but he also works with the Fahari Arts Institute in hosting the new Queerly Speaking and the Queer Film Series of Black Cinematheque.
With a brilliant new CD, 2009 was a good year for the Dallas soul singer. And even though she keeps us guessing, she was friendly to the peeps at LGBT-based Honey Entertainment’s summer launch.
Juliana Jeffrey, singer
This straight talent has consistently placed at the Voice of Pride competition. Always the bridesmaid, she should have been named VOP after winner Michael Gasparro backed out.
Blythe Beck, chef/TV personality
A straight woman with a gay man’s attitude, queer-friendly Beck kicked off 2009 by taking over at Central 214, then ended the year starring on Oxygen’s reality show The Naughty Kitchen.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 01, 2010.