ANNIVERSARIES: Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong, George Amerson and Mike Grossman

ARMSTRONG-YOUNG  | Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong celebrated their 40th anniversary Monday, April 18. The couple met on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1971 through the Gay Liberation Front organization there. They had a civil union in Vermont in 2000 and were legally married in California in August 2008.


GROSSMAN-AMERSON  | George Amerson and Mike Grossman marked their 40th anniversary Wednesday, April 20, after celebrating the event with a gathering of family and friends the previous weekend. Grossman is a Minneapolis native who had lived in Dallas a year when he met Amerson, a native of west Texas who had already lived in Dallas several years when they met. The couple say they are most proud of their children, Laura and Devon Cloud and Barney and Stephanie Grossman, and their grandchildren, Miles and Rachel. The two work in residential real estate, Grossman for 50 years and Amerson for more than 35 years.

—  John Wright

A Renewed Hope For the 22nd Anniversary of World AIDS Day

Today we observe the 22nd anniversary of World AIDS day, a day which serves to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education around HIV/AIDS issues.

Nearly 30 years after the emergence of HIV/AIDS, the statistics on infection remain alarming. HIV/AIDS continues to wreak havoc on populations around the globe, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM), individuals living in poverty, and those living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 33.4 million people live with HIV/AIDS worldwide, including 1.1 million here in the U.S.  A recent CDC study showed that of those infected here in the U.S., a terrifying 44% of MSM are unaware of their status. HIV/AIDS continues to tear through our communities, but there is hope.

Earlier this year, the administration released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the first comprehensive national strategy on HIV/AIDS, which included a federal implementation plan to direct the goals addressed in the strategy. The strategy aims at three primary goals: reducing the number of those infected, increased access to care for those already infected and reducing HIV-related health disparities. These goals are the end state of the strategy’s clear and simple vision:


The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.

Toward that end, just last week, after years of investments in research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced results of an international study to determine whether drugs used to treat HIV can also help prevent the infection.  The trial demonstrated for the first time that a pill taken daily to treat HIV is partially effective for preventing HIV among gay and bisexual men at high risk for infection, when combined with other prevention strategies.  News of this new tool is very exciting and on this day, very welcomed.

While we are proud of the progress that has been made, both here and globally we still have a long fight ahead of us in this struggle. This is particularly true when it comes to devoting the kinds of resources necessary to battle the disease domestically as well as internationally.  We remain committed to doing everything we can to continue the progress toward reducing and eventually eliminating HIV/AIDS, but we need your help. There are plenty of ways to make a difference on this World AIDS Day; attend a World AIDS Day event, or consider donating to or participating with organizations that address HIV/AIDS issues. Even the simple act of wearing a red ribbon can help by bringing visibility to this struggle, and starting a conversation about the issue. Here at HRC, we are assembling a mosaic of people who support the fight against HIV/AIDS. You can add your image to this mosaic of people, and then ask your friends to do the same, to sound off and show your support during World AIDS Day.

On this World AIDS Day, let us stand together as we continue to bring education and awareness to the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, do our part to reduce new infections and continue to pressure law makers to do everything they can to pass laws and policies that reduce or eliminate the impact of HIV/AIDS.  It may be a long road, but the news of this recent research has given us  renewed hope that together we can make life better for those infected, while working to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Nearly 6 months after gay Dallas woman Lisa Stone vanished, some national media attention

Dec. 5 will mark six months since the disappearance of Lisa Stone, a 52-year-old gay woman from northeast Dallas. But Stone’s friends remain optimistic that the case will soon be solved, and their hopes have been buoyed this week by some national media attention.

America’s Most Wanted posted a story about Stone’s disappearance on its website Monday, and her friends plan to meet with producers from CBS’ 48 Hours on Wednesday.

“We have worked for five months to get this kind of national exposure,” said Tina Wiley, one of Stone’s friends who’s been leading the effort to find her. “We need this to get answers.”

Wiley said Stone’s friends are also hearing rumors that arrests in the case may be imminent. A Dallas police investigator who’s handling the case couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Wiley said nothing is planned to mark the six-month anniversary of Stone’s disappearance. However, the group known as the Sisters of ’77 — Stone’s friends who graduated from Mesquite High School in 1977 — plans another reunion on Dec. 11. It was during the first-ever reunion of the Sisters of ’77 in May 2009, WIley said, when Stone came out to many of her former classmates.

“It was a huge deal to her, so I think it’s going to be a really emotional party,” Wiley said. “She was real hesitant at first about going even. She was so worried about what everyone would think, but she was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t an issue to anybody.”

—  John Wright

Recycled Pic of the Day: First Wednesday on Cedar Springs to mark 3rd anniversary this week

If we’re not mistaken, and it seems we rarely are, Wednesday marks the third anniversary of, well, First Wednesday on the Cedar Springs strip. And this year it looks like they’ll have slightly milder temps for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on the TMC patio. (Two years ago we recall Miss Oak Lawn requesting that the lighting ceremony be moved up so she didn’t get frostbite.) Also this year, the below flier is advertising a “sexy Santa Claus,” so we’ll be interested to what that’s all about, though we doubt it can get much sexier than the scene above from 2008, which along with the bad economy prompted Instant Tea to famously ask, “Why is Santa’s sack so light?”

—  John Wright

WATCH: Oral Roberts’ gay grandson Randy Potts records ‘It Gets Better’ video message

Randy Potts recording his “It Gets Better” video.

Earlier this year we profiled North Texas’ Randy Potts, whose grandfather was anti-gay evangelist Oral Roberts.

Randy Potts is gay, and so was his uncle, Ronnie, who committed suicide in 1982. Now, using a letter to his deceased uncle as a backdrop, Randy has recorded an “It Gets Better” video message to LGBT youth.

Potts lives in Farmers Branch. He moved to the area to be near his three children. He has little contact with the Roberts family although last year he did attend his grandfather’s funeral. In the video, he describes how, in front of 4,000 mourners, his mother told him he’d be going to hell.

NPR’s “The Story” interviewed him for an upcoming episode. He expects it to run later this year on the anniversary of his grandfather’s death.

—  David Taffet

New York Commemorates 9/11 Anniversary

9/11President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden joined in commemorations of those who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks nine
years ago. Daily News

—  John Wright

Man bearing resemblance to Jesus prevents burning of Quran in Amarillo city park

The other day we told you about the leader of a right-wing group in Amarillo, David Grisham, who planned to publicly burn a Quran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. Grisham tried to go through with his plan, dousing a Quran in kerosene and placing it on a barbecue grill in a city park. But protesters, many from the local Unitarian Universalist congregation, blocked Grisham from setting fire to the book. According to the below report, some placed their hands on the grill to deter Grisham from lighting it. Then Jacob Isom, shown above, snatched away the Quran while Grisham wasn’t looking.

—  John Wright

Leader of anti-gay group in Amarillo plans to publicly burn Quran on 9/11 anniversary

A Florida pastor may have called off his plan to burn Qurans on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But David Grisham, the leader of a militant evangelical group in Amarillo, tells the local CBS affiliate that he plans to publicly burn the Muslim holy book on Saturday. Grisham is the leader of Repent Amarillo, which gained attention in January when it launched a boycott of Houston after the city elected on openly gay mayor, Annise Parker:

According to Grisham, he has questioned why he should go through with his plan, but in the end, he feels it is right.

“Terrorism was seeded by the ideas in the Quran. It’s the Quran that has put our troops in danger. Burning one isn’t going to put our troops in danger. It’s the ideas contained in that book that put them in danger,” said Grisham.

Grisham is a security guard at a nuclear-bomb facility called Pantex, according to media reports. Repent Amarillo goes by the moniker “Army of God” and refers to itself as the “special forces of spiritual warfare.” The group has also gained attention for a campaign to shut down a local swingers club, as well as a “warfare map” posted on its website identifying its enemies in Amarillo.

—  John Wright

Anniversary • 08.27.10

Philip Horton and Steven Olson
HORTON-OLSON | Philip Horton and Steven Olson will celebrate 20 years together on Aug. 31. Olson owns a landscape/gardening business and Horton is a buyer for an import company based out of the Dallas Market Center. They live together in East Dallas with their two cats and a dog.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 27, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

El Paso men who were kicked out of taco restaurant for kissing mark Stonewall anniversary by suing the city

Five men who were kicked out of Chico’s Taco’s in El Paso after two of them kissed last year have filed a lawsuit against the city, a security company and the restaurant, The El Paso Times reports. If you’ll remember, El Paso police threatened to charge the men under Texas’ sodomy statute, which was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.

Plaintiff Carlos Diaz de Leon and lawyers with the Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project announced the lawsuit at a news conference in Central El Paso.

Diaz De Leon, 32, said the other four plaintiffs are identified only as “John Does” because they fear threats or retaliation.

“I’m doing this because I want to see change, a lot of change,” Diaz De Leon said. “I would like for people to be aware of their rights, and basically, I want equality for everyone.”

Briana Stone, a lawyer and director of the Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project, said the date the suit was filed coincides with the June 28, 1969, anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

—  John Wright