5 questions with Roy Murray
Roy Murray is 2006 chairman of the Dallas Southern Pride Committee, and one of three co-founders of the promotions company 7 Connections. He also owns Murray Entertainment, through which he frequently donates his services as a DJ to GLBT community events. Among those events is the Juneteenth picnic on Sunday at Samuel Grand Park.
1. How did you first get involved in planning and promoting events?
When I was in high school and college, I was very active in planning and participating in parties and events for the schools and the community. I tried to plan events that would keep people entertained while at the same time stimulating their minds. After college, when I moved to Dallas, I saw a great void in the black gay community when it came to events like that, and I wanted to do something to fill that void.
2. Did you ever have a problem with your family in coming out and promoting GLBT events?
I don’t really know what the term “out” means. I have always just been who I am. I never made any big announcement to my family or at work. There was never some big epiphany or turning point for me. I never had an identity crisis where I felt like I had to assert myself as a black gay man. It’s all just a part of me, a part of who I am.
3. Why is it important to you to donate your time to events like the Juneteenth picnic?
Things like the Juneteenth picnic and black gay Pride events give the black community a sense of belonging. As gays and lesbians, many of them have had their ties to their families severed. These kinds of events help keep the idea of family alive for them.
4. What sets 7 Connections events apart from other entertainment?
Keith Boyd and Isiah Payne are my partners in 7 Connections. We felt like the entertainment community in Dallas was limited to just a couple of clubs offering a very limited view of what entertainment could be. So we try to offer people different entertainment options things like pool parties and picnics and cookouts. We usually have two rooms at our events, one for hip-hop and another where we have live music and poets performing.
5. What are some of the events other events coming up that you are involved in?
We have Dallas Southern Pride planned for Sept. 28 through Oct. 2. And since I am a Louisiana native, last year we started Shreveport Pride. It’s going to be Nov. 2 through the fifth this year.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Tammye Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 16, 2006.