Letting it REGISTER • Pride Weddings & Celebrations 2011

Gift registries can be intimidating. Dean Driver makes them easy

FASHION. PLATE. | Dean Driver knows how to make a tabletop pop — and how to make it easy on you to choose your gifts. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

BY RICH LOPEZ

Perhaps the one wedding tradition same-sex couples might waffle on is signing up for that beg-a-thon, the gift registry. Forget whether to do so (you should); the real question is, where can you find that particular china pattern you once saw in a magazine?

The answer to that question is probably Dean Driver. With his new company, Consilium Lifestyle Collections, Driver makes what could be a daunting (even intimidating) task for same-sex couples possibly the easiest  job out of all the wedding planning.

“I don’t know if the average gay couple feels comfortable going into stores,” Driver says. “They may, but many retailers just aren’t reaching out to gay couples.”

Teaming up with Consilium Creative Marketing, Driver created what may be the first by-appointment source of its kind in Dallas to provide a wedding gift registry for same-sex couples. While the services are for everyone, Driver believes that this personal touch can bring comfort to any gay newlyweds hesitant about how to sign up for gifts. It also gives them a home field advantage when looking for fine tabletop products and more.

“The way we do business is changing, and this has afforded me the ability to do in-home consultations and also wedding registries,” Driver says. “I come to the client with samples to get an idea of their lifestyle and suggest products and can see what will work with what’s already in the home.”

The affable Driver knows his stuff. After working with tabletop industries for years in large markets like New York, he has access to many luxury brands and even unique home products. The usual china and crystal items are no problem, but items like linens and household accessories are more easily available through him.

Driver’s first piece of advice on getting started with a registry: Don’t be intimidated.

“I demystify all that for you,” he says. “That’s what I’m here for. I’ll make it easier for you. And people shouldn’t think that everything offered in a registry costs so much. We do have some unique options that are moderately priced.”

Consilium has only been around for a few months, but it has burst out of the gate with a selection of up to 50 brands, some exclusive to them. And with Driver’s knowledge and background, he can pretty much get anybody anything they want.

“I’m a sort of an expert in tabletops, and I have my finger on the pulse of the industry,” he says. “I go to Paris, to Milan and see all the new patterns. And if you saw a plate in a magazine and brought it to me,  I could pinpoint what it is. When I say anything, I mean anything — and you may be only person in the country to have it.”

Something his company can guarantee is the death of that most dreaded wedding tradition: The return. Once items are selected for the registry, gift givers don’t have to worry about buying an item that’s already been purchased. Instead, the company does gift cards only, which are beautifully packaged for the giver to present.

“This prevents exchanges or duplicates,” he says. “Plus, clients may change their minds and gift cards give them an opportunity to get something else. And it’s a little more green without all that wrapping paper and shipping to worry about.”

Driver and company seems to have gotten rid of all the excuses couples can make to partake in registering for gifts. Being that a wedding is a life-changing event, Driver mostly wonders why not go all out?

“Couples shouldn’t shy away from getting nice things,” he says. “This is the one time to get the nice stuff, so why not? Anything you want, I can get.”

The only caveat — Driver encourages people to use the nice stuff everyday.

“Yeah, don’t pack it away in a cabinet like our parents did,” he says.

Of course, if there’s one thing gays know how to do it’s merchandise.

For more information, visit ConsiliumLifestyleCollections.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 6, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Business: Huckabee’s made it his to be all up in yours

Iowa Family Policy Center President Chuck Hurley once called for the “healing of openly gay students.” During the recent judicial retention campaign, he said that gays’ civil marriages are “a degradation of God’s best design for the family.” He’s the one to Mike Huckabee’s right, wearing both the glasses and the smile:

Screen Shot 2011-01-03 At 4.27.59 Pm

And that’s far from all we’ve seen from the Iowa Family Policy Center. Director of Public Relations & Outreach Bryan English warned state residents that marriage equality must be rolled back, as it’s “only a matter of time now before those of us who are still willing to speak the truth and say that homosexuality is wrong are the ones that they are calling criminals.” The group also once created a truly disgusting video featuring parents of a son who died of AIDS, with the suggestion being that Iowa marriage equality, a concept one would logically assume will actually encourage monogamy, will instead lead to more “evils of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Oh, and as for IFPC affilaite Bob Vander Plaats, who’s standing on Huckabee’s left in the above photo? Well, where to even begin with that one? Because while Bob, a one time candidate and personal Huck friend, is far savvier than others in the movement, his whole career over the past couple of years has revolved around telling his Iowa neighbors that gays’ marriages will destroy all that is good and right (even though gays marriages are currently, right now, as we speak, not destroy jack crapballs in the state). And in terms of personalizing his fight: Bob has focused not only on gays but rather on the personal lives of all Iowans, routinely claiming that private property, Second Amendment rights, education, and even life and death determinations hinge on banning gays’ marriages.

But never mind all that personally-targeted rhetoric. Because on the very day that the above Hurley/Huckabee/Vander Plaats photo was taken (at the launch of IFPC spinoff group The Family Leader), Mike Huckabee told his supporters that there’s absolutely nothing personal about he and his friends’ cultural mob war:

Right. Okay, so there are two ways of looking at this. (1) You can see it as incredibly disingenuous political speak, considering just how personally these fights affect gay families and their supporters. Or (2) you can see Huckabee’s words as incredibly revelatory, showing how what is so undeniably human-centric is nothing more than contrived, “culture war” business for these who turn actual lives into political rhetoric and associated fundraising opps.

Though don’t worry: Deep offense is at least one through line connecting the two options. Feel free to let out those emotions. Personally.




Good As You

—  admin

RI: ‘Stick to business’, says man whose business sticks a stick in equality’s eye

State-Flag-Rhode-IslandThe National Organization for Marriage’s Chris Plante is still working the irreconcilable position of (a) telling Rhode Island lawmakers that “there are more important things to deal with” than marriage, while (b) pushing those same lawmakers to put marriage to a state referendum:

“The National Organization for Marriage- Rhode Island is disappointed that Governor-elect Chafee, elected with only 36% of the vote, and fewer popular votes than Cool Moose Party Candidate for Lt. Governor Bob Healey, refuses to listen to the voice of over 80% of Rhode Islanders who want the right to vote on marriage,” said Christopher Plante, executive director of NOM-RI. “It is clear that Governor-elect Chafee intends to put fringe issues and radical politics over saving Rhode Islanders jobs and securing a prosperous future for our State. NOM – Rhode Island will work with Rhode Islanders to demand their right to vote on marriage, and demand that the Governor-elect sticks to the business of getting Rhode Island back on the right economic track. We are confident that the majority of Assembly-women and men know there are more important things to deal with and we will support their efforts to push for a referendum.”

National Organization for Marriage – Rhode Island Demands Governor-elect Chafee Listen To Voters [NOM]

It’s truly astounding. In addition to the aforementioned time-waster claims, Plante’s seriously laying phrases like “fringe issues” and “radical politics” at the governor-elect’s doorstep? Wow, who does he think the state elected to office, a gigantic mirror?!

The truth, of course, is that this marriage matter isn’t going to go away until those who’ve turned benign equal protection into a “fringe issue” stop their work and move on to actual societal problems. NOM staffers can try to flip this script all they want. The American public has eyes, ears, and a growing consciousness for this issue. When loving gay couples who live and work every day are stacked up against self-appointed marriage warriors whose sole focus is on stopping those same couples from having their tax-paying lives and loves met with the same sense of equal protection and due process, the national cognizance, writ large, will naturally flesh out the differences between those who are splurging seconds on a “culture war” and those who are having their own hourglasses unnecessarily drained by deleterious discrimination.

***

*EARLIER: NOM in Rhode Island: Don’t waste time on marriage — that’s our job [G-A-Y]

*A reminder of how “tragically” Plante sees our lives and loves:



*AUDIO SOURCE: NOM’s Chris Plante on Rhode Island radio [NOM]




Good As You

—  admin

Because Just Cookies Is A ‘Good Business,’ It Should Be Able To Discriminate Against Gay Customers

Will Just Cookies, the Indianapolis bakery, lose its lease in a city-owned market for refusing to bake rainbow cupcakes for local college gays? They shouldn't, say the authors of the city's human rights ordinance. Jesus.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Male Blenders, please hold onto your business before clicking health-related link

This is something that will end up on the Discovery Health Channel at some point…

From the world of adult entertainment, a workplace comp circumstance that most of you don’t have to worry about (AVN – not really safe for work),  the snippet — ahem — is below the fold.

Silverback Entertainment CEO and acclaimed male performer Prince Yahshua is resting comfortably at home after a freak on-set accident that occurred Aug. 23, and will keep him from performing for the next 60 days.

While on set for West Coast Productions performing with new female talent Bethany Benz, Yahshua sustained a torn urethra and ripped an aligning wall in his pelvis-what’s commonly referred to as a “broken dick.”

How can one break a dick, you ask?

Well, Yahshua sustained the injury while in the reverse cowgirl position. He was thrusting upwards while Benz was coming down; his penis popped out of her vagina and hit up against her thigh or pubic bone and “snapped.”

There was an audible snapping sound,” Yahshua told AVN. She jumped up, I jumped up and blood started pouring out of my dick like someone turned on a garden hose. It was a pretty freaky situation.”

I have a pretty high gore tolerance, but I think I would have passed out at that sight. He is to begin physical therapy (!) on Sept. 10. OH god, if it’s like any other PT on other parts of the body, he will be in excruciating pain after each session. How on earth will he be off the set for only two months? And when he gets “back in the saddle” do you think there will be any PTSD from that injury?

::shudders::

The hat tip goes to @blogdiva, Liza Sabater.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright