PHOTOS: 2016 Black Tie Dinner (Part 4)

The 2016 Black Tie Dinner featured Kuchling Award Winner Dr. Steven Pounders, Olympian Greg Louganis, actresses Connie Britten and Debra Messing, comedienne Dana Goldberg, singers Todrick Hall and Deborah Cox and more. If you were there, here’s your chance to relive the evening in photos. If you weren’t there, you can see what you missed.

Watch for more slideshows to come!

All photos by Cassie Quinn of Hummingbird Blue Gallery.

—  Tammye Nash

PHOTOS: 2016 Black Tie Dinner (Part 3)

The 2016 Black Tie Dinner featured Kuchling Award Winner Dr. Steven Pounders, Olympian Greg Louganis, actresses Connie Britten and Debra Messing, comedienne Dana Goldberg, singers Todrick Hall and Deborah Cox and more. If you were there, here’s your chance to relive the evening in photos. If you weren’t there, you can see what you missed.

Watch for more slideshows to come!

All photos by Cassie Quinn of Hummingbird Blue Gallery.

—  Tammye Nash

PHOTOS: 2016 Black Tie Dinner (Part 2)

The 2016 Black Tie Dinner featured Kuchling Award Winner Dr. Steven Pounders, Olympian Greg Louganis, actresses Connie Britten and Debra Messing, comedienne Dana Goldberg, singers Todrick Hall and Deborah Cox and more. If you were there, here’s your chance to relive the evening in photos. If you weren’t there, you can see what you missed.

Watch for more slideshows to come!

All photos by Cassie Quinn of Hummingbird Blue Gallery.

—  Tammye Nash

PHOTOS: Black Tie Dinner 2016 (Part 1)

The 2016 Black Tie Dinner featured Kuchling Award Winner Dr. Steven Pounders, Olympian Greg Louganis, actresses Connie Britten and Debra Messing, comedienne Dana Goldberg, singers Todrick Hall and Deborah Cox and more. If you were there, here’s your chance to relive the evening in photos. If you weren’t there, you can see what you missed.

Watch for more slideshows to come!

All photos by Cassie Quinn of Hummingbird Blue Gallery.

—  Tammye Nash

Connie Britton to speak at Black Tie Dinner

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Connie Britton

Actress Connie Britton will be a featured speaker at Black Tie Dinner.

Britton, who starred in the TV series Nashville, may be best known to Texans as Tami Taylor, wife of Coach Eric Taylor in the series Friday Night Lights.

Friday Night Lights took place in fictional Dillon, Texas and was filmed in and around Austin. The football field was the former Del Valle High School field directly across the highway from Austin Bergstrom Airport.

“I’m very excited to attend the 35th Black Tie Dinner on Oct. 1, and for an awesome celebration with Dallas and the LGBT community!” Britton told Black Tie representatives.

Look forward to meeting Britton at Black Tie, because she was as accessible and friendly on the set of Friday Night Lights as her on screen persona.

During the run of the show, I played a reporter, usually standing somewhere on the sidelines. I’m sort of easy to spot in any of the football scenes because I’m the only one on the field in a sports coat — because, you know, that’s how us reporters always dress, especially in the heat.

But we spent long nights out of the field filming each of those scenes that were cut down to less than five minutes.

Britton, who was usually in the stands during filming, was always accessible, chatting with the crowd. And while we usually filmed in summer, the season 3 championship game was done on a freezing November weekend in the UT stadium. I wasn’t on the field that game (because state championships were covered by the international press, not the local Dillon press corps). Britton sat for hours freezing in the stands along with the rest of us.

Also announced, comedian Dana Goldberg returns to Black Tie for a third year to host the luxury auction. Goldberg brilliantly increased bids and generated excitement during her previous turns as Black Tie auctioneer.

Previously announced were a performance by Deborah Cox and Kuchling Award winner Steven Pounders, who will not be portrayed on stage by Jennifer Garner.

—  David Taffet

Black Tie Dinner Sneak Peek: Kuchling Award winner, headline entertainer announced

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DVtv went to the Black Tie Dinner Sneak Peek Party on Thursday night, where Brad Pritchett talked to co-chairs Nathan Robbins and Mitzi Lemons about the plans for the 35th annual fundraising dinner, set for Oct. 1, and about Kuchling Award winner Dr. Steven Pounders and singer Deborah Cox.

Read more about Pounders, Cox, and the BTD here. And watch the video below.

—  Tammye Nash

Black Tie Dinner: The Evening in Photos, Part 1

This is the first of two posts of photos from the 2015 Black Tie Dinner, held Saturday night, Nov. 14, at Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The fundraiser featured speeches by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Kuchling Award winner Melissa Grove, marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell, E! Entertainment Vice President Jim Olde, a representative of The Trevor Project, HRC President Chad Griffin and more.

Dana Goldberg emceed the evening, with entertainment by Well Strung, Ty Herndon and Betty Who.

First of two photo slideshow posts. Photos by Tammye Nash

—  Tammye Nash

Black Tie Dinner: The Evening in Photos, Part 2

This is the second of two posts of photos from the 2015 Black Tie Dinner, held Saturday night, Nov. 14, at Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The fundraiser featured speeches by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Kuchling Award winner Melissa Grove, marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell, E! Entertainment Vice President Jim Olde, a representative of The Trevor Project, HRC President Chad Griffin and more.

Dana Goldberg emceed the evening, with entertainment by Well Strung, Ty Herndon and Betty Who.

This is the second of two photo slideshow posts. See the first one here. Photos by Tammye Nash

—  Tammye Nash

Black Tie Dinner confirms Annise Parker as speaker

Black Tie Dinner officials confirmed today (Wednesday, Nov. 11) that Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be a featured guest speaker at the 2015 fundraising dinner on Saturday, Nov. 14.

Houston-Mayor-Annise-Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Parker is completing her third and final term as mayor of Houston, and is one of only two women to have held Houston’s highest elected office.  When she was first elected mayor in 2009, Parker made headlines around the world as the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, and Houston became the most populous U.S. city to have elected a lesbian to its top public office.

As she finishes her third term — the Houston mayor’s office has a three-term limit — Parker saw the city’s equal rights ordinance, adopted by the council, forced into a referendum where it was voted down by city residents last week following a vitriolic anti-transgender campaign by opponents, who claimed the ordinance would allow men to harass and attack women and girls in public restrooms.

“This was a campaign of fear-mongering and deliberate lies. No one’s rights should be subject to a popular vote,” Parker said following the vote. “This will have stained Houston’s reputation as a tolerant, welcoming global city. I absolutely fear there will be a direct economic backlash.”

Dallas Black Tie officials noted that Parker and her wife, Kathy Hubbard, will be joined at the event by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlins.

In a statement issued today, Black Tie Co-Chair Mitzi Lemons said, “We are excited and honored to have both Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlins and Houston Mayor Annise Parker and her wife attend this year’s event”. Support from city leaders is vital to our community.”

Black Tie Dinner co-chair John Lawrimore added, “Mayor Parker’s message, especially in light of the results from last week’s election results in Houston, we know will help further ignite the passion in all of us to continue our fight for equality.”

The 2015 Black Tie Dinner, with a theme of Ignite The Night, happens Saturday night, Nov. 14, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. A limited number of individual tickets are still available through the Black Tie Dinner website, but no additional tickets will be sold after midnight Friday, Nov. 13.

The Black Tie Dinner Preview Party takes place Friday, 8-10 p.m.. at the hotel, and is open to the public. Those attending have a chance to see silent auction items and place bids on those items.

—  Tammye Nash

Caitlyn Jenner still has a long way to go before being a true Friend of Dorothy

Jones, Arnold WayneWhen Bruce Jenner came out officially as transgender, and eventually as “Caitlyn,” I was extremely happy for her, and for what it meant to the wider culture. For people like me, Bruce Jenner was an iconic sportsman — think Michael Jordan or LeBron James, only bigger. He was a decathlete. Think about that: The best all-around athlete in the world. Better at doing 10 sports than most people are at one or two. For younger people, he was the spacey patriarch of the Kardashian clan — not, to my way thinking, a very reputable role, but one that put him into countless homes for years.

Coming out as trans meant that Jenner brought a lot of focus to issues of sexual orientation and identity. “Welcome to the party,” was my thought. Even when she claimed to be a conservative Republican, I said, “Now, now — let’s not ostracize her … yet. There are plenty of conservative (and racist, and ignorant) gays. Indeed, let her try to live as a trans woman in a GOP world. When she sees how slow John Boehner is to return her calls, maybe she’ll realize she was backing the wrong horse all the time.”

Some people objected when she won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from ESPN, but I didn’t. This did require courage, to be known as a specimen of male physical prowess and say, “Yes, but I was a woman all along.” That’s not courage on the field, perhaps, but it showed a degree of character. Remember: Arthur Ashe, for whom the award was named, was given that honor because of his dignity in the face of adversity after acquiring AIDS. (Previous recipients include the family of a coach who was murdered who lobbied for protective legislation, Billie Jean King and Michael Sam.) It’s not like there’s this magical list of “courageous people” that gets ranked by the AP. It was an internal decision.

Then a few weeks ago, a friend of mine was lamenting what he considered an anemic lineup of celebriguests at Dallas’ upcoming Black Tie Dinner. “You know who they should get? Caitlyn Jenner,” he suggested.

I said, “Absolutely not.”

Because it is totally different than every other honor we have bestowed upon her.

Caitlyn Jenner, showing her true colors with Ellen.

Yes, it took courage to come out. Yes, she is a hero for many in the trans community. Yes, she is a popular figure. But this is the difference: The Black Tie Dinner is a fundraiser for a political organization, the Human Rights Campaign, which fights for political rights for the LGBT community. Not some esoteric concept of “courage.” Not a trade group (sports, TV) recognizing a member for something significant. The people who attend Black Tie Dinner are doling out money (a lot of it) to support a political action committee that fought (and fights) diligently for marriage equality, employment nondiscrimination and the like. And as Caitlyn’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week manifested, she’s not worthy of being included in that group.

Think about it: Among the speakers at this year’s Black Tie Dinner will be Jim Obergefell, the name plaintiff in the SCOTUS decision that made marriage equality the law of the land. Here is a man who stood up for the dignity he required to honor his husband. What, exactly, would the conversation in the green room backstage at Black Tie be like? Cait: “Pleasure to meet you Mr. Obergefell … I’ve only been part of the LGBT community for a few months, but I hear you spent years struggling to have your marriage recognized … I guess since it’s the law, I’m OK with that, but I’m a traditionalist who thinks ‘marriage’ should be between one man and one woman … By the way, do you know my friend Nino Scalia? I hear you’ve met.”

I found Cait’s Ellen interview interesting, but I think she still has a long way to go — not as a trans woman, not as a member of the LGBT community, but as a person. She has courage, I’ll give her that. But that’s what only the Lion was looking for. She needs to embrace the rest of the desires of the friends of Dorothy. When she has a brain and a heart, then we can talk again.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones