Kelly Moyer’s Keynote Address At San Diego’s Transgender Day Of Remembrance Memorium

This is the speech that my friend Kelly Moyer gave at San Diego’s Transgender Day Of Remembrance memoriam at the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center. It’s not the usual message of sad memoriam, or a message of hope for the future — she instead focused on how trans people treat each other.

There’s a lesson in here too for broader lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community on how to treat our siblings in community.

~~Autumn~~

San Diego Transgender Day Of Remembrance Keynote Address

By Kelly Moyer

November 20, 2010

When I was asked to speak at this year’s Day of Remembrance, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. Thumbnail Link: Kelly Moyer's Prepared Remarks For San Diego's 2010 Transgender Day Of Remembrance MemoriamSome previous speeches have shared messages of hope and change and progress. This will not be one of those speeches. Other speeches called us to action and encouraged us to be out, to educate the people around us and show them our humanity. This will not be one of those speeches either. We do have reasons to be hopeful, and we do need to keep educating people, but there are other issues we need to discuss tonight.

Every year, we read the names and stories of people who were murdered for being – or appearing to be – trans. At the end, we recognize all the victims whose stories were not told, and whose names we will never know. But we never talk about what may be the largest group of victims. Violence does not always involve blows from a fist or bullets from a gun. People who take their own lives – overwhelmed by pain and driven to despair by the hatred, cruelty and intolerance around them – are just as much victims as the people whose names we hear tonight.

News reports talk about a recent epidemic of suicides amongst youth who were bullied for being – or seeming to be – trans, bisexual, lesbian or gay. It is an epidemic, but it is hardly recent. Countless studies have shown that suicide rates in the LGBT community – especially amongst youth and trans people – are many times greater than the overall population, and have been for some time now. A recent survey found that 41% of trans participants had attempted suicide at some point in their lives, which is 25 times higher than the general population… and that only counts the survivors. If you know three trans people, it is likely that at least one of them has attempted suicide at some point. I am one of those survivors.

[More below the fold}

As horrible as the statistics are, it is easy to feel overwhelmed… to feel like there is nothing we can do to stop the deaths. If it doesn’t affect us personally, it is easy to think of it as a problem that other people need to solve. But even if you aren’t an activist, or can’t afford to donate money to organizations, or can’t be out in your personal life, there are are some simple things we all can do to make a difference.

The first thing each of us can do to help reduce trans suicides is to stop being part of the problem. We can’t just talk about the hatred and prejudice directed at us by other people… we have to confront our own. We all have prejudice of one sort or another. It might be based on the color of someone’s skin or the language they speak, their political or religious beliefs, the size of their body or a disability they have. Maybe it’s directed toward lesbians, or gay men, or straight people. Or perhaps it is directed at members of this very community.

Far too often, we tear each other down instead of building each other up. This person gets cast out because they want an operation we would never consider. That person is shunned because they don’t want surgery that we had. He gets excluded from groups because we don’t like his ideas about gender, she’s left out because she “looks too trans.” Nobody talks to her because she does sex work. Nobody talks to him because he’s gay. We don’t respect them because they don’t want hormones, or they’re genderqueer, or they crossdress. Or maybe we just aren’t quite ready to be seen in public with a trans friend, because who knows what people will think about us.

Making people feel disrespected, isolated and worthless contributes to suicide, and all of that… all of it shows up in our community. We do that to each other! We can’t very well demand that the rest of the world treat us better than we treat each other, can we? Think about the way you interact with other community members – the things you say and do, openly or behind their back – and ask yourself how you will feel if you find out tomorrow that they killed themselves tonight.

The second thing each of us can do is to actively be part of the solution. We can do better than just not making each other feel disrespected, isolated and worthless. If we truly act like a community, we can help each other feel respected, accepted and worthwhile. But what does being a community mean? Who does it include? Is it only people like us? Is it only people we like? Does it just mean showing up for a few events each year, or something more? Is it even possible for us to be a community when we are so different from each other? I think so.

Being a community doesn’t mean we all have to be friends. It doesn’t mean we have to agree about everything. It doesn’t mean we have to agree about anything! It doesn’t even mean we have to like each other. What it does mean is that we treat each other with respect, even when we disagree or dislike one another. It means knowing that every voice deserves to be heard, and making sure that happens. It means standing up for each other when one of us is being harassed. It can be as simple as sharing information about safe housing, or available jobs, or going to the hospital with someone to make sure they are treated well… or sharing some food. Being a community means understanding that we are stronger together than we will ever be apart… that we need each other, and can count on one another.

Suicide takes too many people from us, and scars many people it doesn’t kill. There are members of this community struggling to hang on right now. Some of them aren’t here because it was just too hard to step through the front door. Some are sitting in this room right now.

If you are one of them, I want you to know something. We may not know each other, but you are an important part of my community. I feel stronger knowing that you and I are in this together, because you add value to this world that nobody else could ever replace. I care that you are here, and if I found out tomorrow that the pain was too much to bear… that you couldn’t hold on any longer… it would break my heart. And I am not the only person who feels that way.

I would like everyone in this room who feels the way I do – who would be devastated by the loss of anyone here – to raise your hand and show our community that you care.

Thank you.

.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

When will we address THIS reason why the Democrats lost the mid terms?

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Per usual, Rachel Maddow destroys conservative lies. It bothers me just a bit that while all these reasons why the Democrats got swamped in the mid terms are floating around, very few are calling attention to the right-wing echo chamber which ratcheted up the lies against Obama and the Democrats, thereby scaring Americans and exploiting covert prejudices against Obama.

Saying “that's just how politics is” is a cop-out. Strangely enough, the same people who always claim about how sick they are with Washington or how Washington is broken seems to always be silent when it comes to calling lies out. You can't defeat a disease without naming it.

And don't even get me started on Fox News. The fact that for the first time in history, a political party has an entire “news” network – the number one news network at that – in its back pocket and pushing its agenda seems to escape everyone. This is a shame because it's significant. And ironic. The clarion call against Obama seems to be that he is a dictator and runs a regime.

Who's more of a product of a “regime?” President Obama or a network fueling a political party?

Lastly, the lgbt community really needs to pay attention to this because there is a case to be made – which I will get into later – in how the campaign of lies against Obama and the Democrats are similar to the campaign of lies the religious right wages against us.

How sad is it that those who market in lies can borrow for one another, but those engaged in truth and progressive ideas can't. Or rather don't.


Hat tip to Joe.My.God.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Rabbis Address Wedding Notice Dispute

Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner of Temple Emanu-El in Closter X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMRabbis and other Jewish leaders discussed the controversy over same-sex wedding notices in New Jersey’s Jewish Standard.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

David Cicilline: Capital D.C. already on his monogram — next his address line?

From the Victory Fund’s Gay Politics:

Cicilline Election NightProvidence, R.I., Mayor David Cicilline has won the all-important Democratic primary in the race to represent Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, a key victory in an overwhelmingly Democratic state.



If he wins the general election in November, Cicilline will become just the third openly gay, non-incumbent candidate to win a congressional seat, and only the seventh openly gay person to serve in the U.S. Congress.


BREAKING: Cicilline wins Democratic primary for Congress [Gay Politics]

(Pic., L to R: Eric Hyers, campaign mgr.; DavidCicilline; Victory Fund’s Chuck Wolfe)

Cicilline will now face Republican state Rep. John Loughlin in the general. A man who recently said this:

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, [Loughlin] said, he sees no reason to repeal the military’s “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy for gay servicemen because “service in the military is about defending our country … it is not necessarily about open sexuality of any kind.”

GOP Loughlin launches bid to unseat Kennedy [Pro Jo]

So basically, candidate Loughlin will now fight a metaphorical battle with a man who he doesn’t even think deserves the basic right to fight literal battles free from the fear that the merest of identity acknowledgements will derail his life and career. We’ll leave it at that for now.




Good As You

—  John Wright

I didn’t watch the President’s address tonight, but you can read it here

I had a long hard day at work (you know, the one that keeps a roof over my head) with the prospect of more tomorrow, so I wanted forget about politics this evening, or think about the approaching hurricane, and just went out to dinner with my wife. Now I’m in my jammies and feeling beat. Will give the dogs a snack and hit the sack since I have to get on the hamster wheel again in the AM.

But you all can read what President Obama said (nothing about LGBT service members, naturally) about the close of combat operations in Iraq. It’s below the fold.

Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home.

I know this historic moment comes at a time of great uncertainty for many Americans. We have now been through nearly a decade of war. We have endured a long and painful recession. And sometimes in the midst of these storms, the future that we are trying to build for our nation – a future of lasting peace and long-term prosperity may seem beyond our reach.

But this milestone should serve as a reminder to all Americans that the future is ours to shape if we move forward with confidence and commitment. It should also serve as a message to the world that the United States of America intends to sustain and strengthen our leadership in this young century.

From this desk, seven and a half years ago, President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq. Much has changed since that night. A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency. Terrorism and sectarian warfare threatened to tear Iraq apart. Thousands of Americans gave their lives; tens of thousands have been wounded. Our relations abroad were strained. Our unity at home was tested.

These are the rough waters encountered during the course of one of America’s longest wars. Yet there has been one constant amidst those shifting tides. At every turn, America’s men and women in uniform have served with courage and resolve. As Commander-in-Chief, I am proud of their service. Like all Americans, I am awed by their sacrifice, and by the sacrifices of their families.

The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given. They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people. Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future. They shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people; trained Iraqi Security Forces; and took out terrorist leaders. Because of our troops and civilians – and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people – Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain.

So tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.

This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office. Last February, I announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of Iraq, while redoubling our efforts to strengthen Iraq’s Security Forces and support its government and people. That is what we have done. We have removed nearly 100,000 U.S. troops from Iraq. We have closed or transferred hundreds of bases to the Iraqis. And we have moved millions of pieces of equipment out of Iraq.

This completes a transition to Iraqi responsibility for their own security. U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq’s cities last summer, and Iraqi forces have moved into the lead with considerable skill and commitment to their fellow citizens. Even as Iraq continues to suffer terrorist attacks, security incidents have been near the lowest on record since the war began. And Iraqi forces have taken the fight to al Qaeda, removing much of its leadership in Iraqi-led operations.

This year also saw Iraq hold credible elections that drew a strong turnout. A caretaker administration is in place as Iraqis form a government based on the results of that election. Tonight, I encourage Iraq’s leaders to move forward with a sense of urgency to form an inclusive government that is just, representative, and accountable to the Iraqi people. And when that government is in place, there should be no doubt: the Iraqi people will have a strong partner in the United States. Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not.

Going forward, a transitional force of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq with a different mission: advising and assisting Iraq’s Security Forces; supporting Iraqi troops in targeted counter-terrorism missions; and protecting our civilians. Consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, all U.S. troops will leave by the end of next year. As our military draws down, our dedicated civilians – diplomats, aid workers, and advisors – are moving into the lead to support Iraq as it strengthens its government, resolves political disputes, resettles those displaced by war, and builds ties with the region and the world. And that is a message that Vice President Biden is delivering to the Iraqi people through his visit there today.

This new approach reflects our long-term partnership with Iraq – one based upon mutual interests, and mutual respect. Of course, violence will not end with our combat mission. Extremists will continue to set off bombs, attack Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife. But ultimately, these terrorists will fail to achieve their goals. Iraqis are a proud people. They have rejected sectarian war, and they have no interest in endless destruction. They understand that, in the end, only Iraqis can resolve their differences and police their streets. Only Iraqis can build a democracy within their borders. What America can do, and will do, is provide support for the Iraqi people as both a friend and a partner.

Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest – it is in our own. The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people – a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it is time to turn the page.

As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.

The greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences, and to learn from our experience as we confront the many challenges ahead. And no challenge is more essential to our security than our fight against al Qaeda.

Americans across the political spectrum supported the use of force against those who attacked us on 9/11. Now, as we approach our 10th year of combat in Afghanistan, there are those who are understandably asking tough questions about our mission there. But we must never lose sight of what’s at stake. As we speak, al Qaeda continues to plot against us, and its leadership remains anchored in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We will disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists. And because of our drawdown in Iraq, we are now able to apply the resources necessary to go on offense. In fact, over the last 19 months, nearly a dozen al Qaeda leaders – and hundreds of Al Qaeda’s extremist allies – have been killed or captured around the world.

Within Afghanistan, I have ordered the deployment of additional troops who – under the command of General David Petraeus – are fighting to break the Taliban’s momentum. As with the surge in Iraq, these forces will be in place for a limited time to provide space for the Afghans to build their capacity and secure their own future. But, as was the case in Iraq, we cannot do for Afghans what they must ultimately do for themselves. That’s why we are training Afghan Security Forces and supporting a political resolution to Afghanistan’s problems. And, next July, we will begin a transition to Afghan responsibility. The pace of our troop reductions will be determined by conditions on the ground, and our support for Afghanistan will endure. But make no mistake: this transition will begin – because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.

Indeed, one of the lessons of our effort in Iraq is that American influence around the world is not a function of military force alone. We must use all elements of our power including our diplomacy, our economic strength, and the power of America’s example to secure our interests and stand by our allies. And we must project a vision of the future that is based not just on our fears, but also on our hopes – a vision that recognizes the real dangers that exist around the world, but also the limitless possibility of our time.

Today, old adversaries are at peace, and emerging democracies are potential partners. New markets for our goods stretch from Asia to the Americas. A new push for peace in the Middle East will begin here tomorrow. Billions of young people want to move beyond the shackles of poverty and conflict. As the leader of the free world, America will do more than just defeat on the battlefield those who offer hatred and destruction – we will also lead among those who are willing to work together to expand freedom and opportunity for all people.

That effort must begin within our own borders. Throughout our history, America has been willing to bear the burden of promoting liberty and human dignity overseas, understanding its link to our own liberty and security. But we have also understood that our nation’s strength and influence abroad must be firmly anchored in our prosperity at home. And the bedrock of that prosperity must be a growing middle class.

Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have not done what is necessary to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity. We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits. For too long, we have put off tough decisions on everything from our manufacturing base to our energy policy to education reform. As a result, too many middle class families find themselves working harder for less, while our nation’s long-term competitiveness is put at risk.

And so at this moment, as we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad. They have met every test that they faced. Now, it is our turn. Now, it is our responsibility to honor them by coming together, all of us, and working to secure the dream that so many generations have fought for – the dream that a better life awaits anyone who is willing to work for it and reach for it.

Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy. We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs. This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.

Part of that responsibility is making sure that we honor our commitments to those who have served our country with such valor. As long as I am President, we will maintain the finest fighting force that the world has ever known, and do whatever it takes to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. This is a sacred trust. That is why we have already made one of the largest increases in funding for veterans in decades. We are treating the signature wounds of today’s wars post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, while providing the health care and benefits that all of our veterans have earned. And we are funding a post-9/11 GI Bill that helps our veterans and their families pursue the dream of a college education. Just as the GI Bill helped those who fought World War II – including my grandfather – become the backbone of our middle class, so today’s servicemen and women must have the chance to apply their gifts to expand the American economy. Because part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who have fought it.

Two weeks ago, America’s final combat brigade in Iraq – the Army’s Fourth Stryker Brigade – journeyed home in the pre-dawn darkness. Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of vehicles made the trip from Baghdad, the last of them passing into Kuwait in the early morning hours. Over seven years before, American troops and coalition partners had fought their way across similar highways, but this time no shots were fired. It was just a convoy of brave Americans, making their way home.

Of course, the soldiers left much behind. Some were teenagers when the war began. Many have served multiple tours of duty, far from their families who bore a heroic burden of their own, enduring the absence of a husband’s embrace or a mother’s kiss. Most painfully, since the war began fifty-five members of the Fourth Stryker Brigade made the ultimate sacrifice – part of over 4,400 Americans who have given their lives in Iraq. As one staff sergeant said, “I know that to my brothers in arms who fought and died, this day would probably mean a lot.”

Those Americans gave their lives for the values that have lived in the hearts of our people for over two centuries. Along with nearly 1.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq, they fought in a faraway place for people they never knew. They stared into the darkest of human creations – war -and helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace.

In an age without surrender ceremonies, we must earn victory through the success of our partners and the strength of our own nation. Every American who serves joins an unbroken line of heroes that stretches from Lexington to Gettysburg; from Iwo Jima to Inchon; from Khe Sanh to Kandahar – Americans who have fought to see that the lives of our children are better than our own. Our troops are the steel in our ship of state. And though our nation may be travelling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the pre-dawn darkness, better days lie ahead.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America, and all who serve her.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Daily Kos diary: ‘Who Are The LGBT Community?’ I ask: how do we address leadership?

There is a must-read diary over at DKos by GLBT and Friends that covers some ground that we discuss here in the coffeehouse fairly often – can we define a single view of what the LGBT community is? And even if we can’t all agree on what “the community” is, who is currently effectively representing it? The logical and thorny extension of the latter is who is now qualified to represent the LGBT community.

The African American civil rights movement has a similar history in its organizational development. The early organizations of the Urban League and the NAACP were born in the progressive era and originally partook of the rather paternalistic philosophy of the times. The membership was composed of middle class African Americans and their middle class white allies. The ferment of the 60s had a similar impact on that movement as well. New organizations such as CORE and SNCC came along to challenge the leadership and philosophy of the older groups.

Up until recently The Human Rights Campaign has attempted to present itself as the voice of the LGBT community. Its primary focus has been on fund raising for political campaign contributions. It has always had a preference for glitzy fund raising events attended by designer clothed celebrities. They were pursuing the beltway inside track. Since they were providing politicians with money and very modest requests for social change they made non-threatening mascots for the Democratic Party. The Republicans had the Log Cabin Republicans who followed a similar approach. More recently there has been a growing impatience with such a gradualist approach and organizations with a more aggressive approach have emerged. Two groups that have been very publicly visible are The Service Members Legal Defense Network and Get Equal.

There are literally hundreds of LGBT organizations in the US. Many of them are focused on particular types of associations such as professional, occupational or religious interest. Others are limited to particular geographic locations such as cities or states. There are several that have focused on providing specialized legal support such as Lambda Legal and The National Center For Lesbian Rights. Also the ACLU has a special section dealing with LGBT rights issues.

There really aren’t any organizations that can plausibly claim to speak for all LGBT people.

And the plethora of LGBT advocacy groups shows you that it is not possible; however the reality is we all know that if there is breaking news about the LGBT community, the tattered rolodexes of lazy producers usually means a call to HRC’s Joe Solmonese. Notable recent exceptions were the Prop 8 verdict, where more air time was given to Freedom To Marry’s Evan Wolfson, and attorneys Olsen and Boies, as well as legal analysts; and for DADT, usually the MSM turned to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network or organizations directly tied to repeal.

What the diary also touched upon, but did not delve deeply into was the red alert item of class and its impact on both public perception of the community and who represents the face of LGBT America.  The luxury of time and money means many who are working in the movement are likely 1) single, 2) have no children, 3) are independently wealthy or committed to the cause and willing to work for less than they could in the private sector (see “Between Floating and Leeching: The Financial Struggle of the LGBT Activist“).

More below the fold — addressing failed leadership.
If you’re in a leadership position, money obviously isn’t the problem as EDs are compensated at a higher rate than the average working stiff, but being tied into the “A-list” political network is critical, and it’s often less how much you know, but who you know. That’s no different than the rarified air in corporate America, it’s just less frequently acknowledged as creating the gulf between leadership and those they purport to represent.

That’s not, however, a call for pay cuts or heads to roll for poor, middling, or great performance, it’s to point out the class glass ceiling for many potential leaders at the grassroots who are closed off from these networks. That’s how the cycle of stale, clueless thinking occurs. It results in poor judgment at the top about “the community’s” reaction to a recommendation by an organization. There’s no one in that stale-air network that is capable of doing a “smell test” regarding an initiative.

It happens to almost every “change agent” organization at some point; good leadership seeks challenges to convention to keep adept and nimble in its mission. Poor leaders attempt to stifle or ignore change because of fear of loss of power or access. The strange thing about the latter is that in this mode, the weakness in leadership is quite obvious to the very people an organization is attempting to influence, or change policy or raise money from. That leads to isolation, a defensive posture, and ultimately one is discredited or a leader is toppled.

Of course that doesn’t solve the problem of an organization in distress — that leader is usually replaced by someone breathing the same stale air and nothing fundamentally changes.

That’s what spurs renegade organizations to form because they see the system is broken and too incestuous to change.

And that’s why there are simply too many organizations; we are a diverse, fairly non-cohesive population trying to stay banded together politically when class, race and cultural diversity can and does sometimes work against that by default.

It doesn’t mean it’s an insurmountable matter, it only underscores that those who lead need a level of self-awareness and self-disclosure that is uncommon - too many of us don’t like to examine our privilege (or lack thereof) in the context of how we lead and what barriers may need to be broken down to do an effective job.

And I doubt that is a question asked in any interview.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Readers Voice Awards – Travel


RIGHT AT HOME: Owner Wayne Falcone polished a gem of Oak Lawn history by rescuing and reinventing the Daisy Polk House. – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST BED AND BREAKFAST


Daisy Polk Inn
2917 Reagan St., Dallas.
214-522-4692
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Daisy Suite and Reagan Suite: $150 a night.
Dickason Suite: $129 a night.
DaisyPolkInn.com

The Daisy Polk Inn is every bit the grand dame that its namesake was. Built in 1904 and fully restored by 2002, the home was first owned by, who else, Daisy Polk — an “up and coming” star (according to the Dallas Press) of the Dallas opera scene who also taught at Hockaday School for Girls and passed away in 1980.

She lived at the Reagan Street address for 60 years. The gorgeous arts and crafts home now belongs to local pharmacist Wayne Falcone, who purchased the property in 1996. He lovingly restored it to its natural and historically correct beauty with the help of Dallas antiques expert and interior designer Gerald Tomlin.

Once the home was granted historical status and licensure to become a bed and breakfast, Falcone decided to open its doors to the public.

Guests can rent any one of the three rooms or the whole place if they prefer. Unlike typical B&Bs. Falcone turns over the keys to his guests, and they have the place to themselves until morning, when breakfast is served. And breakfast at the Daisy Polk Inn is no simple affair. From the china to the home-baked goodies, it is a lavish meal that guests won’t soon forget.

— Jenny Block

 



BEST ROMANTIC GETAWAY
New Orleans, La.
Convention and Visitor’s Bureau:
NewOrleansCVB.com
Visitor’s bureau LGBT focus:
NewOrleansOnline GLBT

 

A little more than two years ago, most of America seemed to have written off New Orleans — it was destined to become a modern-day Atlantis, swallowed up by the sea and passed away into legend.

But the residents of the Crescent City would have none of that. They persevered, rehabilitating the city as quickly as possible and welcoming back tourists — especially gay tourists — with enthusiasm. (It helps that the French Quarter, the center of gay life, is above sea-level and was largely spared when the levees broke.)

Certainly bachelor revelers into great partying and easy hookups don’t have to find a reason to frequent the Big Easy other than Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence, but the city’s old antebellum charm makes it a romantic getaway for couples, too.

For exploring together, there’s the fabulous architecture, much of it spared from the hurricane: elaborate wrought iron, ethereal churches, sprawling plantations on the outskirts (including one, Houmas House, where “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte” was filmed).

Then there’s the food, an essential component whenever lovers get together. Creole and Cajun cuisine, from rich cream sauces to spices that can shoot steam from your ears, dominate, but the French influences extend all the way to the café au lait and beignets. And is there anything more romantic than a boat ride along the Mighty Mississip?

So yes, New Orleans is a great party town for solos, but we love to go there as pairs. After all, even couples know how to party.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

 


BEST AIRLINE
American Airlines
Corporate headquarters: 4333 Amon Carter Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas.
817-963-1234, 800-321-2121
Mon.-Sat. 24 hrs.
aa.com or American Airlines Rainbow

 


BEST NATIONAL ONLINE TRAVEL SITE
Travelocity
Corporate headquarters: 3150 Sabre Drive, Southlake, Texas.
888-872-8356
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Travelocity.com

BEST LOCAL ONLINE TRAVEL SITE
Best Gay Cruises
P.O. Box 59994, Dallas.
972-241-2000
Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
BestGayCruises.com


BEST BUDGET HOTEL CHAIN
La Quinta
Corporate headquarters: 909 Hidden Ridge, Suite 600, Irving, Texas.
800-642-4271
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
LQ.com


BEST LUXURY HOTEL CHAIN
Hilton Hotels
Eight hotels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
800-774-1500
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Hilton.com


BEST DALLAS HOTEL
W Dallas-Victory
2440 Victory Park Lane, Dallas.
888-625-5144
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
WHotels.com/Dallas


BEST AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE
SuperShuttle
SuperShuttle local office: 3010 N. Airfield Drive, Suite 100, DFW Airport, Texas.
With service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Love Field and Fort Worth Meacham International Airport.
800-258-3826
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
SuperShuttle.com

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY
Rainbow Ranch
1662 Limestone County Road 800, Groesbeck, Texas.
888-875-7596
Sun.-Thu. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
RainbowRanch.net

BEST LOCAL TOURIST DESTINATION
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
411 Elm St., Suite 120.
214-747-6660
Tue.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon. noon-6 p.m.
JFK.org

BEST LOCAL TOURIST TRAP
West End Historical District
214-741-7180
DallasWestEnd.org

BEST VACATION SPOT TO GET LAID
Palm Springs, Calif.
Palm Springs tourism bureau:
Palm-Springs.org


BEST EXOTIC DESTINATION
Hawaii
Official tourism site: GoHawaii.com

‘GET ME OUT OF HERE!’ DESTINATION
Jamaica
Visitor Web site: ComeToJamaica.com

These articles appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 21, 2008

—  admin