Happy Birthday, Donna Dumae!

Donna Dumae

Over the years Don Jenkins, through his drag alter ego Donna Dumae, has helped raise thousands of dollars for charitable causes — most notably HIV/AIDS services — in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

This week, Don(na) turns 50 years old, and true to form, is using the occasion as yet another opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause.

Donna Dumae and Empress Anita Martini (who is also celebrating a birthday this week) are hosting the “Golden Oldies” fundraising show and birthday party on Sunday, June 19, at The Brick/Joe’s, 2525 Wycliff Ave. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit Resource Center Dallas’ Food Pantry, which helps feed people with HIV/AIDS.

Donna and Empress Anita are also inviting performers to join in. If you are interested in strutting your stuff for charity, get there by 6 to be part of the line-up. And if performing isn’t your strong point, then bring your wallet and show your appreciation for these folks who have been doing so much for so long to help others.

—  admin

NYPD arrests 5th suspect in deadly hate crime

Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York City police have arrested a fifth suspect in the suspected hate crime beating death of a teenager after a birthday party.

Police say 18-year-old Anthony Collao died Monday after he was taken off life support.

The suspects showed up Saturday at a party that had been advertised on Facebook, and refused to pay the cover charge.

Police say they flashed gang signs, yelled anti-gay slurs and scrawled epithets on the walls in red marker. Collao was severely beaten.

The fifth suspect, who’s 17 years old, was arrested Wednesday on charges of manslaughter and assault as hate crimes.

Four suspects were previously arrested and charged with manslaughter and assault and are being held on bail.

—  John Wright

Weekly Best Bets • 01.14.11

Click here to view the full calendar.

Friday 01.14

Hunka hunka burnin’ love times 2
If you’re going to have a birthday party, the best idea is to have not one, but two hot men jump out of the cake. Or is that just us? The Tin Room celebrates 10 years this weekend with adult actors Diesel Washington and Cameron Adams making cameo appearances. No doubt, the bar staff will enjoy blowing those candles out.

DEETS: The Tin Room, 2514 Hudnall St. Through Saturday. TinRoom.net.

Friday 01.14

This comic takes his first steps
Life as a Southern gay man would be far less interesting if Del Shores hadn’t been around. He gave us close-to-home hilarity with Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies, but now he gives us a different kind of funny. We’ll see Shores like never before — as a stand-up comic. Easy enough because we already know he’s funny.

DEETS: The Rose Room, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. $15.Caven.com.

Wednesday 01.19

Get twisted out this hump day
Twist GLBT is back and the lineup continues to open eyes to local out musicians. Kudos to the show for bringing these artists to light. Static Mind, pictured, Flash Mob, Junye, I.L.E. and Audacious star in this second edition of Twist while the night also features art by Laney Green. School night be damned.

DEETS: Lakewood Bar and Grill, 6340 Gaston Ave. 8 p.m. $10. TwistDallas.com.

To view the full Calendar, go here.

—  John Wright

The month of living romantically

Kevin Richberg turned his quest for a mate into a countrywide husband search

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor jones@dallasvoice.com

RIDE ’EM COWBOY (HUNTER)  |  Richberg allowed himself the full Texas experience — going horseback riding on a date.
RIDE ’EM COWBOY (HUNTER) | Richberg allowed himself the full Texas experience — going horseback riding on a date.

Kevin Richberg is looking for a man. And he’s giving himself a month — and most of America — to find him.

Richberg started his project — 30 Dates, 30 Days, 30 Cities — with a simple premise: Meet a month’s worth of men online, set up dates with one in each of 30 cities, and hit the road. For the month of October, he’s been driving around, starting from his home base of New York City and proceeding south, then west, then north, west again and back to the northeast. And each night, a new man in every port.

Initially the experiment may sound easy — a road trip with a date a day — until you realize it is unrelenting. Traveling and getting ready for a date and making a first impression 30 times in a row. But Richberg says it really was easy.

Earlier this year, “I spent 30 days going from city to city in India, sightseeing but not dating. That [experience] makes this seem like a birthday party,” he says.

The experience hasn’t been what he expected — it’s been much better.

“I went into this with the expectation that unintended consequences — glitches, unforeseen weather or being stood up — would be a part of this. Or that I might have completely misread who I had chosen to go out with and one of the dates would be a monumental disaster. It’s been the opposite of all those things.”

For the first half of the trip, he had near-perfect weather and “met the most amazing people with whom I have gotten along famously. There’s no one I didn’t laugh with or wouldn’t stay in touch with.”

He set a lot of ground rules: He wanted every date planned before he began the trip, using a variety of sites, from Manhunt.net to Gay.com and Craigslist, to find applicants (He didn’t allow photographs or ages to keep the selection process as fair as possible.) Throughout the summer, 1,000 people filled out “proposals” detailing the date they had planned. Then in September, he weeded through them to begin his quest for Mr. Right.

“I asked people in different cities if they would be my date in that particular city,” he says. Some said no for logistic reasons, such as being out of town the day he’d be in their city. At least one other has an even better excuse.

“My [planned] date in Salt Lake City told me right after he sent in the application, he met someone and now they’re getting married,” he says. He found replacement dates each time. (He had only one post-trip cancellation, in Chicago, just days before the project ended.)

Richberg spent two days in Texas a few weeks ago — Houston, then Fort Worth — with interesting results.

“In Houston, I went horseback riding and to the aquarium but the man I dated was very shy. He very politely tried to eat barbecue while I’m stuffing my face,” he says. North Texas was more complicated: His date had three kids and his babysitter cancelled. Richberg ended up going to the State Fair (“which was awesome!”) with the man he had originally asked out; then all three of them, plus the kids, went to a family-friendly restaurant together.

That wasn’t the only “threesome.”

“I did several dates outside my comfort zone,” he says. “I went out with a couple; I went out with an HIV-positive man in Montana, I went out with someone who’s blind, again in Montana — Montana’s got some great gays-with-a-twist.”

Richberg insists it isn’t just a gimmick: He really is on the prowl for a boyfriend.

“I got out of a relationship I was intense about in December 2009,” he says. “When I conceived this in March, it was being newly single and thinking about finding ‘the one’ — I’m 32 years old and wanna have a family. I thought, if I don’t take some radical chances… .”
So he left room for the possibility of actual romance?

“Absolutely. One thing I keyed in on [in the application process] was the feeling that the person [applying] was taking this seriously, the same way I was. Hopefully I will meet someone I will like and we’ll be friends. If all goes really well, we’ll hang out and see if this goes anywhere.”

So how will it all end?

“On Halloween there’s a twist,” he says. “You have to wait to find out what.”

To follow his romantic escapades, visit 30Dates30Days30Cities.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 29, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

Gay party-goers cry foul after Joule hotel bar turns them away at the door

Joule general manager admits that doormen were enforcing a gender ratio, but says practice isn’t anti-gay

John Wright  |  Online Editor wright@dallasvoice.com

Cordey Lash
Cordey Lash

Gay patrons of the Joule Hotel’s PM Nightlife Lounge allege that they were discriminated against by door staff who denied them entry to the upscale downtown bar last weekend.

However, the general manager of the Joule Hotel said the gay patrons were turned away due to capacity issues and blamed the incident on a “breakdown in communication.”

The gay patrons said doormen at the PM Nightlife Lounge were enforcing a “gender ratio” on Friday night, Aug. 13 — allowing straight couples in while refusing entrance to gay men who weren’t accompanied by women.

The gay patrons said they were registered guests of a joint birthday party for three friends. One of the three hosts, all of whom are gay, said the party was booked in advance for more than 200 people.

Despite being on the guest list, gay patrons said they were made to stand outside in the searing heat as straight couples passed them by, and some eventually left without going in.

“There are very few times in life where I’ve felt like I was discriminated against. That was clearly one,” said Cordey Lash, who left after being denied entrance.

Chris Heinbaugh, the openly gay chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, said he was eventually allowed in to the PM Lounge — but only after confronting the general manager, who walked by as he was waiting in line.

Heinbaugh said he spoke with the general manager, Brendan Carlin, again by phone this week.

“I’m satisfied after talking with them that they get it,” Heinbaugh said Wednesday. “They understand why this was so frustrating. At least at that upper level, they don’t want to see that happen.

“My hope is that they communicate that to the folks they have on the ground, because the actions they’re taking, whether intentional or not intentional, they have the effect of discriminating.”

In an interview with Dallas Voice on Thursday, Carlin called it “a very unfortunate incident.”

Carlin acknowledged that the door person was enforcing a gender ratio to create “an even distribution in the room” — a common practice at straight bars.

But Carlin insisted that PM Lounge staff had notified the three hosts of the party in advance that the facility could accommodate only 50 of their guests.

Carlin said the three hosts didn’t pay for the party and would have needed to buy out the nightclub, at a cost of $25,000, if they wanted to have 200 guests.

Carlin said in addition to those who were invited to the birthday party, the PM Lounge had to try to accommodate hotel guests as well as people who are on a VIP list.

“There certainly are legitimate capacity issues,” Carlin said. “It’s one of the hottest nightclubs in Dallas. It fills up every weekend. They [the gay patrons] didn’t think we were at capacity … but I was told we were at our capacity, which is 210.

“Really this was a breakdown in communication more than anything else,” Carlin added. “Certainly we had more invitations sent out than we could accommodate. We certainly don’t have the capability to accommodate what at this point in time was 282 people coming to this event.”

Asked whether there could have been anti-gay discrimination involved, Carlin said, “Absolutely not.”

“I guarantee you we have this situation every weekend with straight people who can’t get in there,” he said.

Daylon Pereira, one of the hosts of the joint birthday party, said when he arrived at about 9:30 p.m. the club was mostly empty. Soon Pereira began hearing that people were being turned away at the door.

“After well over 100 of our guests were turned away, all of whom were on the guest list given to the door men, the club was still empty and many of our friends were made to feel like second-class citizens,” Pereira said. “Had it been an issue of crowd control, I could understand, but the fact that PM was close to empty, I am having a tough time looking at this as anything but ‘gay’ control. All of my straight friends who arrived with their girlfriends were granted access with no issues. … This was such an embarrassing situation which has caused me to spend this entire week writing apologies to my friends for the rudeness they were treated with.”

Chris Heinbaugh
Chris Heinbaugh

LGBT legal experts say gender-based policies at bars and nightclubs are widespread but represent a gray area of the law.

Rob Wiley, a gay Dallas attorney who specializes in discrimination cases, said some courts in the U.S. have held that policies favoring one gender — such as cover charges for men but not women on “ladies night” — are a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Wiley said he once successfully challenged a gay nightclub in New Orleans that had imposed a cover charge for women but not men. But he acknowledged that while such policies may technically be illegal, the law is rarely enforced.

“It’s not really as much about sexual orientation rights as it is gender rights, but you have this problem all over,” Wiley said. “If you are a place of public accommodation, you are not supposed to exclude people in protected classes. Unfortunately, that law which was passed in 1964, 40 some odd years later, still is not always complied with.

“Folks who are doormen at clubs ought to be trained about not discriminating against people on the basis of gender or the basis of sexual orientation, and they ought to keep their eyes open for this,” Wiley added.

Heinbaugh and Lash agreed that more training is needed. And on Thursday afternoon, Carlin reported that Lash had agreed to conduct diversity training for door staff at the PM Nightlife Lounge.

Lash also said he believes the incident serves as a reminder about the importance of — and continued need for — the gayborhood. He said he hopes someone will “step up” and open an upscale lounge that caters to the LGBT community.

“Instead of it being anti-Joule, now that I’ve had time to stop and think about this, we as a community have lost sight of why our gayborhood is there,” Lash said.

Lash, who’s worked in the hospitality industry for more than a decade and currently serves on the board of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, stopped short of calling for a boycott of the PM Lounge.

“It’s difficult for me to get on board with promoting something negative. However, I do 100 percent promote the Joule receiving inclusion training, and bigger than that, I promote our community looking at where we spend our money.

“I want to not boycott the Joule, but uplift those that support my community,” he said.

Lash, who currently works for the Hilton Anatole, also noted that this marked the second recent incident of alleged discrimination at a property in Dallas that’s affiliated with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

In July two gay patrons accused an off-duty police officer working security at the W-Dallas Victory hotel of anti-gay discrimination. An internal affairs complaint against the officer is pending.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts maintains a perfect score of 100 for gay-friendliness from the Human Rights Campaign.

Carlin said Starwood does not own or manage the Joule Hotel, but has a marketing agreement for the property.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 20, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Best Bets • 07.16.10

Saturday 07.17

Happy birthday to you, GayBingo
Our favorite game turns nine years old this year and to help celebrate, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning cohost Kellie Raspberry comes in to host Not Another GayBingo. The GB peeps also want you to dress up for the birthday party or maybe it’s a bribe. They will offer discounts to anyone dressed in drag.

DEETS: Rose Room inside Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 5 p.m. $25. RCDallas.org.

Sunday 07.18

Alice is looking a little FIT lately
The Festival of Independent Theatres is back, featuring eight local theaters and a slew of new plays. We’re curious to see how company White Rock Pollution will convey its retelling of Alice in Wonderland that looks to be a whole lot darker than the original, and in real-life 3-D, unlike that Johnny Depp movie.

DEETS: Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Through Aug. 7. $12–$16. ATTPAC.org

Thursday 07.22

You won’t forget this lady’s Haus party
The last time we saw Gaga perform in Dallas was at the Round-Up when she was another club singer finding her audience. And boy did she. She comes back arena style, selling out many of large venues, and the gays have followed her through to superstar status. For two nights, AAC becomes the Haus of Gaga.

DEETS: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. July 22–23. 8 p.m. $49–$175. Ticketmaster.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 16, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas