People from other cities try to pigeonhole queer Dallasites. They say we’re pretentious, money-hungry and obsessed with lip-gloss and Prada. And that we’re always claiming we have “the biggest” something or other.
Well, at least we have personality worth stereotyping.
Welcome to Dallas Voice’s inaugural Readers Voice Awards. If there’s any indication about what identifies Big D’s queer vibe, you’ll find it in this section. Instead of our staff of know-it-all-editors, blowhard critics and muckraking journalists recommending where to go, what to do and whom not to trust, it’s all y’all readers who are telling it like it is.
The online balloting was launched on Jan. 6, and came down on Jan. 31. From an exhaustive 197-category ballot, voters entered their favorite places to eat, party, spend money and rant about how much they detest Governor Rick Perry (the overwhelming winner of Most Homophobic Elected Official).
The awards are divided into 12 sections everything from medical (What’s Up Doc?) and pets (Animal Farm) to travel (Gay Globetrotting) and fitness (Flex Appeal). Some winners (Most Knowledgeable Bartender, Best Weekend Getaway) have editorial components. That’s because they received the most votes in their sections. And some winners (like The Round-Up Saloon and Trilogy/Obscurities piercing-tattoo salon) racked up multiple wins.
So what does the Readers Voice say about gay life in North Texas? We like to dance and sing karaoke. We take care of our teeth. We buy homes and cars, and we even shop at dollar stores. We appreciate nice panties, tragic drag queens and Ikea furniture. And we’ve effortlessly reclaimed country-and-western traditions and Christianity, and adapted them into gay culture.
Dallas queers are a fabulous species, but as GLBT Texans, we’re at the front line of a fierce battle for equality. And with our lip-gloss cocked and ready and our cowgirl dykes who can hogtie a homophobe in a New York minute, Dallas is helping transform Texas into a GLBT utopia.
Daniel A. Kusner
Luck was on Brad Hawkins’ side when he got online and filled out his Readers Voice ballot. As the 1,737th entrant, Hawkins’ ballot was picked at random, and he won two round-trip tickets on American Airlines. Where’s he going? Who’s going with him? Hawkins answered some questions about his upcoming travel plans.
Who: Brad Hawkins, journalist for WFAA-TV, Channel 8.
Where did you grow up? The southern tip of Texas
How long have you lived in Dallas? More than 15 years.
When did you fill out your Readers Choice on-line ballot? Jan 31 at 1:56 p.m. the absolute last day, of course. I was voting Jeff Manning for best chiropractor. He and his wife have been friends of mine for years.
In the past, how has your luck paid off when it comes to winning jackpots and prizes? Never. This is a first, honestly.
Have you planned where you’ll go with the winning tickets? If I get it together soon, a warm beach or an August vacation to do some kayaking in much cooler British Colombia.
Do you know whom you might take with you? My friends are circling the wagon.
Most exotic destination you’ve ever visited: A tie: Malaysia and South Africa.
Favorite thing about leaving town: The binge while emptying the fridge.
What do you dread having to do in order to prepare for travel? Packing everything into one carry-on suitcase.
See the world before you leave it. Name three destinations you want to visit before you croak: Sri Lanka and coastal India, Mozambique and Antarctica.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 17, 2006.