QUEER CLIPS: USAFF Short Film Showcase

Hello Caller: A suicidal woman calls a help line only to find the man on the opposite end (gay filmmaker Tom Lenk, pictured, who produced and wrote the script) seems not to understand the situation. A gem of a comedy with very dark undertones and a great twist.

Clara’s Carma: A psychiatrist (Dallas native Stephen Tobolowsky of Glee) deals with a flaky patient and unexpected expenses on his new car.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Short Film Showcase plays April 29 at 9:15 p.m. with short film awards presented May 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center Mockingbird Station.

—  John Wright

Great Spaces • April 2011

Click magazine cover to download issue pdf.


Great Spaces • April 2011

—  Michael Stephens

FEEDBACK: Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Thank you for the in-depth expose on the three major mayoral candidates (“Decision in Dallas,” Dallas Voice, April 8).

While there are different opinions regarding the candidates, David Kunkle is my personal choice. I have watched him closely over the last several years and was so impressed with his style of leadership and soft-spoken manner when he was police chief. He went all over this city, listening and getting feedback from not only the GLBT community, but everywhere.

Additionally, he is effective. He may not be the flashiest or most dynamic of the candidates, but he’s a keen thinker and avid reader focused on real world solutions on what works and what doesn’t.

He also appreciates the eclectic aspects of Dallas. That’s an important place to be in my mind, so that we can attract not only Fortune 500 companies but also the small businessman/woman and the budding creative entrepreneurs who want to live in our city.

I don’t know that I necessarily want another CEO as mayor. We hear all the time that government should be run like a business. I think it should not be. Contrary to popular belief today, government is not a business.

Municipal government needs an experienced and competent administrator. In addition to serving as Dallas police chief, David Kunkle also has experience serving as the assistant city manager of Arlington, which will provide him with a skill set from day one that will no doubt serve him well as mayor.

Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings both are pleasant gentlemen and they each bring their own “skill set” to the table and there are good people supporting them. But I’m going to be casting my ballot for David Kunkle.

Jay Narey

—  John Wright

Snap shots: ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ turns the camera on fashion’s most influential paparazzo

LENS ME A SHOE | The Times photographer documents foot fashion in ‘Bill Cunningham New York.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor

Maybe Project Runway’s to blame, maybe The Devil Wears Prada, but for the past few years there has been a surplus of documentaries about the fashion industry, with profiles of designers like Valentino (Valentino: The Last Emperor), Yves Saint-Laurent (several in fact), even young designers (Seamless) and Vogue magazine’s editor (The September Issue). (By contrast, I can only recall one fashion doc from the 1990s: Unzipped, about a young designer named Isaac Mizrahi.) Is there really that much to say about dressmaking?

Maybe not, but while Bill Cunningham New York fits broadly within the category of fashion documentaries, its subject is unusual because he eschews the trappings of haute couture even as he’s inextricably a part of it — a huge part, really.

If you don’t read the New York Times, you might not recognize Cunningham’s name, and even if you do read it, it may not have registered with you. For about, well, maybe 1,000 years, Cunningham has chronicled New York society with his candid photos of the glitterati on the Evening Hours page. At the same time, however, he has documented real fashion — how New Yorkers dress in their daily lives — with his page On the Street, where he teases out trends (from hats to men in skirts to hip-hoppers allowing their jeans to dangle around their knees). Anna Wintour may tell us what we should wear; Cunningham shows us what we do.

“We all get dressed for Bill,” Wintour observes.

What makes Cunningham such an interesting character is how impervious he seems to the responsibility he effortlessly wields. He loves fashion, yes, but he’s not a slave to it himself. He scurries around Manhattan (even in his 80s) on his bicycle (he’s had dozens; they are frequently stolen), sometimes in a nondescript tux but mostly in jeans, a ratty blue smock and duck shoes, looking more like a homeless shoeshiner than the arbiter of great fashion. He flits through the city like a pixie with his 35mm camera (film-loaded, not digital), a vacant, toothy smile peaking out behind the lens, snapping the denizens of Babylon whether they want it or not.

One of the funniest moments is when strangers shoo him away as some lunatic paparazzo, unaware how all the well-heeled doyens on the Upper East would trade a nut to have Cunningham photograph them for inclusion in the Times. Patrick McDonald, the weirdly superficial modern dandy (he competed as a wannabe designer on the flop reality series Launch My Line a few seasons back), seems to exist with the hope that Cunningham will shoot him. And shoot him he does.

Many artists are idiosyncratic, even eccentric, but Cunningham is supremely odd by any standards. He lives in a tiny studio near Carnegie Hall filled with filing cabinets cluttered with decades of film negatives on the same floor as a crazy old woman, a kind of urban variation on Grey Gardens. He knows tons of people but most of them seem to know very little about him. By the time near the end when the filmmaker, director Richard Press, finally comes out and ask him outright whether he’s gay, Cunningham arches in that prickly New England way, never really answering outright, though he says he’s never — never — had a romantic relationship. Things like that were simply not discussed by men of his generation.

In some ways, we never really know any more about Cunningham at the end than any of his friends do, and perhaps even him. Cunningham comes across as defiantly non-self-reflective. He lets his work do all the talking for him. And that work has a lot to say on its own.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 04.08

He’ll keep a ‘Light’ on for you
Last year, Jake Heggie brought people back to the opera with the world premiere of his adaptation of Moby Dick. The gay composer works his magic with another world premiere, but for one night only. He and Gene Scheer debut their song cycle A Question of Light, performed by Nathan Gunn, as part of
Unveil: The Dallas Opera 2011 Gala.
DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2301 Flora Way. 8 p.m. $75. DallasOpera.org/gala


Saturday 04.09

This comedy isn’t down the tubes
As the Dweeb Girls, rock band The Surly Bitches or pseudo country music sensations Euomi and Wynotta Spudd, comedy team Dos Fallopia works hard for the laughs. The “kamikaze comedy team” of Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch have been at this for 25 years and bring the funny to Fort Worth.
DEETS: Youth Orchestra Hall, 4401 Trail Lake Drive. 8 p.m. $20­–$40. OpenDoorProductionsTx.com.


Sunday 04.10

Get hallucinating with ‘Alice’
Nouveau 47 amps up last year’s production of the Lewis Carroll classic by adding more of his work in Alice in Wonderland & Other Hallucinations. We’re glad we get to partake in theater that acts as an hallucinogen rather than taking a pill. So much easier.
DEETS: The Magnolia Lounge, 1121 First Ave. Through April 23. Nouveau47.com

—  John Wright

Local Briefs

CCGLA surveys candidates, sets meet-and-greet events

As municipal elections approach, the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance has sent an online survey to city council, school board and mayoral candidates in Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, and “meet-and-greet” sessions for candidates are planned in Frisco, Plano and McKinney in April.

The organization will also create and distribute a voters’ guide.

The Plano “meet-and-greet” will be held on Friday, April 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at a private residence. For more information, go online to CCGLA.org.

Results of CCGLA’s candidate surveys will be posted on the CCGLA website prior to each event. The events are informal, non-partisan, and all candidates are invited.

Oak Cliff Earth Day to feature vendors, info booths and more

Oak Cliff Earth Day, which has become the largest all-volunteer-run Earth Day since it started five years ago, will be held on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Cliff Park, located at the intersection of Colorado Street and Zang Boulevard in Oak Cliff.

There is no charge to attend the event, which will include art, food, plants and other environmentally-friendly products available for purchase.

There will also be educational booths on topics such as how to save energy and clean up the environment, along with locally-grown honey, animals to adopt and native plants for gardens.

Parking at the park is limited, however, free parking is available at Methodist Hospital, in Lot 10 only, located at 1400 S. Beckley Ave. across from the hospital entrance on Beckley Ave. Methodist Hospital is providing a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the event.

Participants are also encouraged to take DART to the event or walk or ride a bicycle. There are a number of bike racks, funded by Oak Cliff Earth Day, at the park.

Mayoral candidates to speak Sunday on animal issues in Dallas

Dallas’ mayoral candidates will participate in a forum on animal issues in the city of Dallas on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Central Dallas Library, 1515 Young St., in downtown Dallas. The Metroplex Animal Coalition is sponsoring the forum, with is free and open to the public. Journalist Larry Powell with Urban Animal magazine will moderate.

The mayoral candidates are former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, Councilman Ron Natinsky, real estate consultant Edward Okpa and Mike Rawlings, former Pizza Hut CEO and Dallas homeless czar.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Again, I’m Here Near The Place I Was Last April

As you read this, I’ve again began engagement in direct action with my peer activists over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Five of the six of us who handcuffed ourselves to the Whitehouse Fence on April 20th are again here — I’m here with Mara Boyd, Jim Pietrangelo, Evelyn Thomas, and Dan Choi. There are others here too, and these include Robert Smith, Geoff Farrow, Miriam Ben-Shalom, Michael Bedwell, Justin Elzie, Robin McGehee, Scott Wooledge, Chris Tina Bruce, and Ian Finkenbinder — among others. Eight of us are in military uniform, many who are not in uniform are here too.

I’m again at the same place in the sense I’m here in Washington DC, and in the sense that I’m emotionally and idealistically in the same place as I was last April.

I remember still what Martin Luther King Jr. said:

The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.

If only one of the subcommunities of the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community finds an issue to be an important issue — even if that issues doesn’t affect my transgender subcommunity or me personally — then it’s still my issue too.

Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) is an issue that still will not directly effect those who identify as trans, nor will it directly affect me. If DADT were to be repealed tomorrow, lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers would be able to serve openly, but trans servicemembers still wouldn’t be able to serve openly.

We began the day by honoring Leonard Matloveich. Per Wikipedia:

Matlovich was the first gay service member to fight the ban on gays in the military, and perhaps the best-known gay man in America in the 1970s next to Harvey Milk. His fight to stay in the United States Air Force after coming out of the closet became a cause c?l?bre around which the gay community rallied.

We went to Senator Reid’s office next, asking when the Senator will uphold the promise to Lt. Dan Choi at Netroots Nation that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be repealed.

This afternoon, we are at the White House.

So again, I hold true that the good neighbor looks beyond him-, her-, or hirself, discerning those inner qualities that make all humankind human, and therefore, siblings. Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may not help my trans siblings, but it still helps my other siblings in the LGBT community. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues are still my issues.

I still, as a disabled transgender veteran who retired after twenty-years of service, choose to engage in civil disobedience with GetEqual for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I still choose to engage in personal sacrifice for others’ civil rights in the broader LGBT community in the exact kind of way I would hope that others in the LGBT community would sacrifice for my subcommunity’s civil rights.      

I don’t choose to fight for civil rights because this is about me, but instead I still choose to fight for civil rights because this is about us; this is still about being the good neighbor in the LGBT community.

As a military retiree who receives a pension, I am still considered by the United States government to be receiving lesser pay for lesser work. I am still subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) because I am a military retiree, and I am still receiving that pension. There still could be real consequence for engaging in the type of civil disobedience in which my peers and I are engaging. But, we still know how sacrifice; we still know how to combat the forces that oppose us. And, justice is still so on our side, that justice is still what is going to see we in the LGBT community through.

If a man hasn’t discovered something that he would die for, he isn’t fit to live.

~Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist. He discovered something worth dying for, and he died for it. I’m still not likely to die in the next few days for engaging in direct action with GetEqual. But that said, it doesn’t mean I don’t voluntarily sacrifice to achieve the LGBT community goal of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It is my broader community neighbors that I choose to sacrifice for in the short term, and possibly into the long term as well.

So, I am still challenging those of you reading this at Pam’s House Blend to ask yourself if you have discovered something for which you would die for — or even for which you would just engage in significant sacrifice for. Would you sacrifice for your family? For your personal goals? The goals of your community neighbors and siblings that might not directly affect you?

I’m still asking you, my siblings in the LGBT community, if you are a lesbian, gay, or bisexual person, would you sacrifice for your trans neighbors and siblings? If you are trans, would you sacrifice for your gay, lesbian, or bisexual neighbors and siblings? I said last April, that this is worth knowing about yourself and your LGBT siblings, and I will say again that it is still worth knowing about yourself today.

And I ask this question too: Is the freedom, equality, and justice for LGBT people about your civil rights, your LGBT subcommunity’s civil rights, or is it about our civil rights? Is it about you, your demographic peers in community, or is it about us?

I choose to make my efforts towards achieving freedom, equality, and justice about us. When it comes to liberty and justice, I choose to put my efforts towards fulfilling the American ideal of liberty and justice for all.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

~Cesar Chavez

Today I stand with many peer LGBT activists over the legislative repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Some are engaging in the direct action in front of the cameras, and some of us are supporting in strategy and logistics. those who are asking Senators and the President to make real the promises of democracy to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who wish to serve their country in military uniform. It is time for the Senate to vote to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell so that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people may openly serve their country in military uniform. This is not the time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism — my activist peers and I are here to remind our Senators, our President, and the American public of the fierce urgency of now.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin