Lots of LGBT orgs participating in North Texas Giving Day on Thursday

givingday

North Texas Giving Day is Thursday and a lot of LGBT organizations are participating.

Donations can be made online from 7 a.m. to midnight by going here and searching for an organization.

Among the LGBT organizations participating are AIDS Arms, AIDS Outreach, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Legacy Gay & Lesbian Fund for Dallas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and North Texas Food Bank, which supplies much of the food for Resource Center’s food pantry.

Communities Foundation of Texas organized the event. Each $25 donation and above received Thursday will get bonus funds. If an organization receives 32 individual donations, it will be entered to win an additional $10,000.

Funds can also be designated to a specific program in the notes section.

For a complete list of organizations, go here.

—  Dallasvoice

Give thanks, give help

AIN is a small agency with a small budget — and they need all the volunteers they can get

With just over two weeks left before Thanksgiving, each of us has plenty of time to decide what we are going to give thanks for. And where. And how.
I decided I would give thanks for my health, happiness and longevity by making a modest monthly donation to AIDS Interfaith Network in honor of two very good friends who died in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

One, Barnaby, used to coax me out to one of two or three New York LGBT bars whenever I started feeling sorry for myself for working long hours. After he got a law degree in his 30s, and I got a job here in Dallas, he took me out for pricey lunches and dinners on my trips back to New York. And he called me just to talk the week before he died.

Guest.Phyllis

Phyllis Guest -Taking Notes

The other, Steven, was my boss at one job, my associate at another, and a quiet joy to be around. When we made a corporate move from New York to Dallas, and I could not make up my mind on a condo, he let me sleep in his spare bedroom for most of a month. And when he got sick, we were close until he could no longer speak.

But why did I choose AIN rather than one of the other nonprofits dealing with HIV/AIDS? Three reasons:

First, AIN was one of four organizations that lost money in September 2009, when the city of Dallas cut $325,000 from funding for HIV/AIDS outreach, prevention and education programs. Shortly after, the city received a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, but that went to a new city program, none to AIN.

AIN lost an entire program aimed at preventing infection among young, high-risk males. As you know, infections among this group are still soaring.

Second, on a 9/11 Day of Service, I joined other Stonewall Democrats of Dallas in working at AIN. We did nothing daunting — some cooked; others served the food; still others washed dishes. I just picked up used plates, wiped tables and poured water.

But what an eye-opener! These clients are the poorest of the poor, many of them homeless. AIN serves breakfast and lunch five days a week — a total of 26,000 meals a year. Without AIN, most would have no food, no transportation (bus passes), no water when it’s hot, no bedding when it’s cold.
Third, AIN is smaller and somewhat less well-known than other nonprofits serving the many individuals living with HIV/AIDS or in danger of becoming infected. When it was more fully funded by the city, state and federal governments, it had a staff of more than 30; now a baker’s dozen of staff and variable numbers of volunteers try to pick up the slack. All volunteers get a choice of chores.

Right now, a prime need is for an Internet guru — a person who knows the ins and outs of and enjoys emailing, posting on Facebook, Tweeting the latest news, etc. Some staffers are rather Internet savvy, but they lack the time and the fine-tuned skills to turn social media into a recruiting and fundraising tool.

Another need is for a community activist who can set up a monthly “Saturday Night Live @ Daire Center” for 2012. Each SNL evening involves providing an early dinner for 30 or so clients, plus light entertainment such as music or board games. Church, mosque and synagogue social action groups know how to do this, as do many political, professional and community clubs.

A third need is for a different kind of community activist, one who can represent AIN at city events, shows, fundraisers and the like. This is perfect for someone who has a varied wardrobe and a love of nightlife. Anytime there is a chance to mention good works, the AIN rep should be on hand to reach out and speak up.

A host of other volunteer jobs are available. Because I lack the above special talents and am neither a cook nor a carpenter, I will probably end up turning handwritten notes into computer files or sorting donated items into manageable piles. That will be my way of giving thanks for the two dear friends who died and the many who remain.

To outdo me — you know you can — call Travis Gasper at 214-943-4444 or email him at tgasper@aidsinterfaithnetwork.org.
Phyllis Guest is a longtime activist on political and LGBT issues and is a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 4, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Two LGBT workplace conferences coming to Dallas this month

In two weeks, the Out & Equal Workplace Equality Summit will be held at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas. This is expected to be the largest LGBT convention the city ever hosted.

But this weekend another large LGBT conference will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in Downtown Dallas and until today, we knew nothing about it.

Reaching Out is a student-run conference for LGBT MBA candidates and professionals that runs Oct. 13-16.

Theresa Bates-McLemore, president of LEAGUE@AT&T, said her company will be at the conference recruiting new employees. So will more than 50 other major corporations.

About 500 students and 500 professionals are expected at the Fairmont for the convention this weekend. Among the speakers are HRC President Joe Solmonese, CA Technologies executive and LGBT activist Meghan Stabler and Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns.

Organizer Anthony Esposito called the conference, “A forum to empower LGBT MBAs to go out into the workforce and change the workplace.”

A committee of four made up the sponsorship team that put together 77 corporate sponsors including top-level underwriter Target. That company, which got into trouble with the LGBT community last summer for a political donation to an LGBT equality adversary, will sponsor a charity event for the Point Foundation, Esposito said. That organization provides scholarships to LGBT students.

For more about the Out & Equal Workplace Summit at the Anatole Oct. 25-28, watch the Oct. 21 issue of Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet

FEEDBACK: More on District 14, Leppert’s tweet on DOMA decision

More on District 14

I appreciate your having published my letter in the Feb. 18 Dallas Voice (“Looking at District 14”). And in the interest of fairness, I want to add two more sentences about Angela Hunt.

Angela is not just the incumbent, she is a good friend to the LGBT community, standing by us, parading with us, even proposing a creative funding option when the city erased four of our local HIV/AIDS outreach/education/prevention programs from the 2010 budget.

Incumbent Angela Hunt and challenger James Nowlin — come on, lucky fellow District 14 residents! Register and vote!
Phyllis Guest, Dallas

Leppert’s Tweet on DOMA decision

Responses to an Instant Tea blog post regarding Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert’s tweet criticizing President Barack Obama for directing the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court:

As a recent new resident to Dallas from Iowa, as well as a civic/community activist for the LBGT and other diverse communities, this is just plain awful and beyond ignorant of Leppert. Lord, I guess stupid exists all over this country. I’m sure those in Dallas are smarter than Leppert’s way of thinking.
Carlos

He’s been reading Sarah Palin’s playbook really closely:
1. Quit your job early — check
2. Say ignorant things about the LGBT community — check
3. Look stupid and incompetent on TV and lose your election — in progress.
Michael

In his first step towards candidacy, Tom chooses to come out of the gate with divisiveness. He questions the leadership skills of our president, yet his embracing the gay community when it was politically convenient only to abandon those who embraced him when it no longer serves his purpose shows a total lack of integrity. Tweeting Tom has let his hypocritical fingers expose him as just another political opportunist whose own idea of leadership is to follow whatever it takes to get elected. So disappointed. So unnecessary.
John McGill

Helen Keller could see through Tom Leppert. I’m glad he’s gone!
Okln

I don’t think anyone who had an ounce of knowledge of local politics ever believed that Tom Leppert was any sort of “friend” to the local GLBT community. One need only re-examine all the shenanigans which went on in the election vs. Ed Oakley to find your answers.
Kevin Hollingsworth

Disgusting. So when’s rally? I’m in.
Scott Stevenson

Sad. Very sad. I can’t tell you who I will be voting for in the upcoming Senate election, but I do know who I will NOT be voting for!
Charles Goodman

I call bullshit on this. Now you see why he joined the First Baptist Church of Dallas — pandering to that crowd early for votes. I attended a lunch two years ago when the Dallas gay chamber hosted a press tour. Tom Leppert attended and spoke so highly of the LGBT community and blah blah blah. Politics as usual. You sorry SOB.
Uncle JoJo

Leppert is an opportunist. It was obvious when he took office and it still is. He will say and do whatever he needs to gain what he wants. His benevolence toward the LGBT community was a step of expediency. It avoided any direct conflicts and kept him from gaining any strong enemies. On a local level, the LGBT community in Dallas has clout. On a state level, not so much. And so, under the bus we go.
Hardy Haberman

I’m just left wondering why he was invited to participate in not one, but two gay Pride parades. Anyone who pays attention to politics could see this day coming from a hundred miles away and knew that Leppert was not a true friend of the community. I guess the upside is that maybe this will come back to bite him in the ass. If there’s going to be hate in office, I’d rather it be the hate I know than the hate that’s trying to be my friend.
Wonk

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 25.

—  John Wright

LGBT community helps raise money for Oak Cliff artist who needs kidney transplant

Monaliza Morris

Oak Cliff artist Monaliza Morris will undergo a kidney transplant next month. For the last 19 years, she’s lived with lupus, an immune system disease that has compromised her kidneys.

While waiting for the surgery to take place, friends have been helping her do some remodeling in her Winnetka Heights house to make her convalescence easier.

Morris is a volunteer at the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, a non-profit organization that helps refugees who have suffered human rights abuses. They have worked to eliminate the anti-gay bias in immigration laws. Friends said she has worked with the North Texas Food Bank’s Empty Bowls program and done AIDS outreach work as well.

Jenny Vann is Morris’ best friend. They met in middle school in Hawaii. Vann was the first person to be tested as a possible donor. They were a match, so Vann is giving Morris one of her kidneys the first week of March.

A fundraiser is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 23 at Agora Entertainment, 3225 Premiere Drive, Irving from 5 to 8:30 p.m. “The Art of Friendship” will include live music and a silent art auction.

“The goal of this is to raise $50,000,” said RafiQ Salleh, whose partner, Cannon Flowers, is the Human Rights Initiative’s CEO. The money will help with the cost of surgery and follow-up medical care.

For more information about Morris or to make a donation online, go here.

—  David Taffet