Why do we ride? I was reminded during Pride

The Lone Star Ride’s Riderless Bike makes its way down Cedar Springs Road during the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

I participated in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade for the first time in many years, riding my bike with the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS group. Along the route, a young man reminded me why we’ll ride this coming weekend.

As we proceeded down Cedar Springs Road, the bike riders made circles and loops because it was too hard to stay on a bike behind the walkers and the Riderless Bike that is walked in memory of those we have lost to AIDS. Along the sidelines, parade-goers held out their hands to give us victory slaps. Keeping balance, riding a straight line, avoiding police officers in the street and hitting as many hands as possible took some coordination — something I’m not known for on a bike.

Along the way, many bystanders shouted a thank you for our fundraising and for raising awareness. Along the route, three announcers explained what LSR is. Cheers followed. Those cheers and thank yous felt good. People know about Lone Star Ride and support its efforts and helped pump each of us up for this weekend’s event.

I never needed much encouragement to participate in LSR. I’ve always ridden for my many friends who died of AIDS and I ride each year to remember my partner Jon who died in 1990, more than 20 years ago.

—  David Taffet

Scenes from Dallas Pride — Part III

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Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice (MarceloMedia)


 

—  John Wright

28th Annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade today

It only gets better

That’s this year’s theme of the Pride parade which features Honorary Grand Marshal, Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns and VIP guest, rugby star Ben Cohen. The parade is followed by the festival at Lee Park featuring live music and speakers. And it’s looking like the perfect day for a parade. Happy Pride.

DEETS: Parade starts at 2 p.m. $5 for festival. For details, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Stonewall Archives to honor Joel Burns

Joel Burns

Officials with the Stonewall National Museum and Archives announced today that they will be presenting Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns with the Stonewall Spirit of Pride Award at the museum’s Our Stars event Nov. 11 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Burns is being honored for his efforts as part of the It Gets Better campaign to fight bullying and LGBT teen suicide, which began in October last year when he delivered a tearful speech during a council meeting about his own experiences as a bullied teen and the day he contemplated suicide.

Video of Burns’ speech went viral on YouTube, receiving more than 2.6 million views.

Burns will also be speaking Saturday at the annual award program for LEAGUE, the LGBT employee group at AT&T, and on Sunday, Sept. 18, he will be honorary grand marshal in the annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade — a fitting choice since the theme for this year’s parade is “It Only Gets Better.”

The Stonewall museum and archives will also be honoring pioneering lesbian politician Elaine Noble at the Our Stars event, presenting her with the Heritage of Pride Award. Noble made history in 1975 as the first openly gay person in the U.S. to be elected to a state legislature.

Previous winners of the Heritage of Pride Award include legendary LGBT activist Barbara Gittings and openly gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts. Burns is the first person to receive the Spirit of Pride Award.

—  admin

FW Councilman Joel Burns, rugby star Ben Cohen will be among dignitaries at Dallas Pride

Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade dignitaries for 2011 include, from left, male co-grand marshals Gary Miller and Alan Pierce, female grand marshal Chris Bengston and honorary grand marshal Joel Burns.  British rugby star Ben Cohen, pictured below, is special VIP guest for the Pride festivities this year.

Round-Up Saloon owners— and life partners — Alan Pierce and Gary Miller will share male grand marshal honors for the 2011 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sept. 18, and longtime Caven Enterprises employee and community volunteer Chris Bengston will be female grand marshal, according to information released by the Dallas Tavern Guild, the organization of local LGBT nightclubs that puts on the parade each year.

Gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, who made national headlines last year with his emotional speech during a council meeting to tell LGBT teens considering suicide that life does get better, will be honorary grand marshal. The theme for this year’s parade is “It Only Gets Better.”

The Tavern Guild is dedicating its annual Pride Guide — the magazine published at the first of September each year to detail Dallas Pride activities — to the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce. And British rugby star Ben Cohen, who has campaigned against homophobia and bullying, will be the Tavern Guild’s special VIP guest at the parade this year.

Ben Cohen

—  admin

What’s Brewing: Round-Up co-owners Gary Miller, Alan Pierce named Pride grand marshals

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Round-Up Saloon co-owners Gary Miller and Alan Pierce have been selected as grand marshals of the 28th annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, set for Sept. 18, according to an announcement by the bar this morning on Facebook. The Round-Up celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2010.

2. A former U.S. Navy commander has been censured for allowing an ensign to receive anti-gay call signs including “Romo’s Bitch,” “Fagmeister” and “Gay Boy.” Ensign Steve Crowston, an East Texas native and avid Dallas Cowboys fan, filed a complaint against Cmdr. Liam Bruen over the incident. Bruen abruptly retired from the Navy in May. Read our previous coverage of the case here.

3. The festivities continued Monday in New York, with 46 gay couples tying the knot in a joint ceremony at Niagara Falls, and three more marrying on stage at a Broadway theater following a performance of Hair. Watch video of the post-Hair ceremonies below. Meanwhile, an anti-gay group has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn marriage equality.

—  John Wright

Scenes from Dallas Pride 2010

Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO FROM PRIDE

—  John Wright

Parker touts gay community during China visit

Houston’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker
Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is in Shanghai on her first official foreign visit.

According to Xinhua news agency, Parker praised the Chinese city for being the most open to its LGBT community. Last year, the city hosted China’s first gay Pride event.

Parker was attending Houston Day at the Shanghai World Expo. She spoke from the American pavilion.

“Shanghainese and Houstonians are similar. They care about what you do, not who you are,” said Parker. “To boost development, a city needs to be open to a full range of people, especially the innovative ones who break barriers, like people of the gay community.”

Parker will be in Dallas in September. She will serve as honorary grand marshal of the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.

—  David Taffet

FB campaign to bring Laura Bush to gay Pride makes headlines, grows to 600-plus members

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Since my initial post the other day, the Facebook campaign to bring former first lady Laura Bush to Dallas’ gay Pride celebration in September has quite simply exploded. The FB group now has more than 600 members, and the effort has been featured by several media outlets including but not limited to The Advocate, SheWired.com and The Dallas Morning News. The Voice’s own Chance Browning has uploaded the above photo to the FB page, with the caption “A little preview of what Laura might look like.” (Chance appears to be devoting his vacation to the effort this week.) I left a message yesterday for Laura’s publicist to find out whether there’s any chance she’ll come, but I haven’t heard back. I’ve also sent her a message on Twitter, so keep your fingers crossed.

—  John Wright

Facebook page aims to bring former first lady Laura Bush to Dallas' gay Pride parade in 2010

In the comments to my post about Laura Bush below, Terry B.H. points us to the Facebook page titled “Draft Laura Bush for Dallas Pride 2010.” The page, created by David Ethridge, already has 122 members. Here’s what it says:

During her recent book tour, former First Lady Laura Bush revealed that she supports marriage equality. While some have criticized Mrs. Bush for not speaking up sooner, if she is serious about standing up for what is right, we welcome her to the cause.

Let’s draft her as a guest of honor for the 2010 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday, September 19, 2010 in Lee Park!

We’re guessing George won’t let Laura come, but we’ll try to get in touch with her publicist to get an answer one way or the other. Incidentally, the Rangers play at 3:10 p.m. that afternoon, so George will prolly be getting wasted in his man-cave anyway. We promise not to hurt her, W.

—  John Wright