The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

3 Suspects in Bronx Attack Released

NY BRONX GANG X390Police release three suspects in the October 3 gang-related antigay attack in New York City.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Watch: Glenn Beck Condemns Bronx Anti-Gay Attacks

Beck

Glenn Beck spoke for nearly 15 minutes regarding hate and the anti-gay gang attacks by the Latin King Goonies in the Bronx late last week, calling them "anti-human" and "bigotry for sport".

Glynnis MacNicol at Mediate writes: "A small part of me suspects tonight’s opener was in part a bit of a sideways response to the story Media Matters has been pushing out all week trying to connect Beck with Byron Williams, the guy who was arrested on his way to kill 'people of importance at the Tides Foundation and ACLU' (as if the actions of a crazy person can ever be blamed on anyone other than the crazy person). But even if it was, the larger message remains, and is one that Beck likes to reaffirm from time to time, namely, violence is bad."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

NY: seven arrested in vicious anti-gay ‘wolf-pack’ torture session in the Bronx

What in the world is going on? As you see, NYC, a “gay metropolis,” where by Red State standards, LGBTs are more visible, politically within the mainstream and have more legal rights locally than many, homophobia is alive and well in the most vile and beastly manner.

In this incident, it proves that in gang thug life, where being a “man” does not include being gay, three men were treated as subhumans; what’s tragic is that the suspects range from 16-23. So young, already culturally ingrained with such hate, violence, homophobia (and at its root, misogyny) that they engage in pack behavior worse than animals. WABC:

The first of the related attacks occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday, when a 17-year-old was approached by members of a street crew calling themselves the “Latin King Goonies.” The teen was apparently an aspiring member of the group. Kelly says the crew forced the 17-year-old into an unoccupied ground-floor apartment on Osborne Place, where he was thrown into a wall, made to strip naked, hit in the head with a beer can, cut with a box cutter and sodomized with the wooden handle of a plunger.

According to police, his tormentors denounced the victim and questioned him about his contact with a 30-year-old man who the same suspects would later assault. Afterwards, his assailants escorted him out of the location and warned him not to call police. At about 5:30 a.m., the victim walked into a nearby hospital and was treated and released. There, he explained his injuries by claiming he had been jumped by unknown assailants on the street.

“These suspects employed terrible wolf-pack odds of nine-against-one, odds which revealed them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable,” Kelly said. Then, police say the 30-year-old man was lured there at 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

He was allegedly forced to strip to his underwear and then tied to a chair opposite from the teenager. The teenager, at the direction of his assailants, hit the older male several times in the face and burned him with a cigarette.

The suspects also hit the man with their fists and a chain, police said, and sodomized him with a small baseball bat. They forced him to consume 10 cans of the malt beverage “Four Loko” that he had with him.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Breaking: NYTimes reports on capture of Bronx Group who trapped and tortured gay men

 09JPBIAS1CTY-articleInline

This is one of  the most heinous crimes i have ever heard about. Andrew mentioned it in his earlier news round up, but these details are going to be the news, especially i the context of increased awareness of crimes against gay people. Be warned, the NYTimes reporters share a great deal of graphic detail in this piece from tomorrow's paper, online now.   From the piece:

“These suspects deployed terrible, wolf-pack odds of nine against one, which revealed them as predators whose crimes were as cowardly as they were despicable,” Police Commissioner said as he described the attacks in grim detail at a news conference at Police Headquarters.,

In the piece it sounds as though police did a good and professional job of investigating but that the  perpetrators might still be at large were it not for the single neighbor who slipped a note to one of the officers at the scene and shared enough information for them to track and arrest these guys today and yesterday. The victims were hesitant to come forward immediately beccuase of the serious threats mad about what would happen if they did speak to authorities.

Though stories that hit on Friday nights typically  disappear by Monday. It's clear to me that i won't forget this for a long time, nor will many others. You need to read about it, but again, i warn of the graphic description.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Seven Arrested in Bronx Bashing Spree

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMMembers of the Bronx-based Latin King Goonies street gang went on a brutal gay-bashing spree that led them to sodomize a 17-year-old boy with the wooden handle of a toilet plunger, police said Friday.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Double Rainbow in Bronx Tornado?

I watched this popular YouTube video of an EF-1 (86–110 mph) tornado in the Bronx two days ago after photographer Jo Ann Santangelo mentioned to me her partner had just come up from the subway to discover the aftermath. Jo Ann had traveled through Picher, OK on her way to my mother’s ranch to do a photo shoot so that I might be included in her project featuring gay and lesbian servicemen and women who were discharged for being gay. We had begun chatting and she said, “Hey, I traveled through Picher, Oklahoma and what the heck happened to that town?” I explained the double disasters that befell Picher, and that it had been flattened by an Oklahoma EF-4 (166–200 mph) tornado, and because it was a superfund clean up site poisoned by lead and zinc mining, the authorities thought it was finally time to make Picher a ghost town. Believe me, that town with its chat piles and demolished buildings is an eerie sight to behold.

Back to why I thought this video of the tornado was interesting was that I scanned some of the comments on this tornado video and found it amazing how many people were commenting on the photographer’s perceived sexual orientation as possibly being gay. I watched the video again and I think I detected one of them exclaim, “Get inside, girl!” at 0:36 but not exactly sure. By reading the comments I was interested to note there was just as much commentary and controversy on the potential of them being gay as the amazing footage from a high rise building of an actual tornado in Brooklyn, NY, where tornadoes rarely form!

Two gay guys in Brooklyn, NY? Uh, not so uncommon. A tornado in Brooklyn, NY? Extremely uncommon! I’m not naive about the fact the comments on YouTube videos are not known for their serious nature and valued more for their comedic potential and less for their sensitivity. I just don’t know if I would bother debating whether or not the two guys in the sprawling metropolis of NYC who filmed the tornado were gay?




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright