Ron J. Anderson, M.D., president and CEO of Parkland Health and Hospital System for 29 years, died Thursday, Sept. 11 of cancer. He was 68 years old. As of Friday morning, services were pending.
Anderson took over as head of Parkland in 1982, when he was 35 years old and when the AIDS epidemic was in its early days. Anderson was head of the county hospital when, in the late 80s, the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance (then called Dallas Gay Alliance) and Ron Woodruff of Dallas Buyers Club fame, filed — and won — the lawsuit that forced Parkland to treat people with HIV.
Anderson was named president and CEO after serving two years as medical director of the hospital’s emergency room and outpatient clinic and head of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Division of Internal Medicine. He retired from Parkland in 2011, after spending his last years with the hospital leading the bond campaign that brought in public financing for the new $1.3 billion facility due to open next year.
In the mid-1980s, Anderson grabbed national attention when he spoke out against the practice — called patient dumping — of transferring medically unstable patients from private hospitals to public hospitals based on the patient’s ability or inability to pay, leading to passage of state laws regarding indigent care in Texas and later federal legislation banning patient dumping.
According to a press release from Parkland announcing his death, Anderson was known as an advocate of universal health care and for leading development of Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care health centers. He came to national attention again in the mid-1990s as a spokesperson in the movement for better confidentiality regarding the patient/physician relationship.
Anderson once said, in a speech to a UT Southwestern graduating class, “It is not enough just to try ‘to do good’ and try ‘to avoid evil,’ although these are the ethical keystones of the physician/patient relationship. We cannot be paternalistic toward patients and must accept their cultural, religious, ethnic and social differences. We must respect our patients’ autonomy and desire for wholeness, which should stimulate us to address the social justice issues affecting our patients’ lives.”
Last Thursday was Dallas’ most fashionable day of the week — perhaps the year. On the heels of DIFFA the previous Saturday, three fashion events spread throughout the day captured our imaginations — and monopolized our time. (You can link to photos from all of the events here.)
It started in the morning with the cancer fundraiser Dress 4 Yellow, a luncheon and runway show at the Adolphus Hotel. With most (but not all) fashions splashing shades yellow, it was a canary-like kick off to spring.
The only men’s fashions to walk the catwalk were from Nike Golf, but one of the highlights was the appearance of a cancer survivor among the male models. Two women, although cancer survivors, both showed off the fashions of the day, and all were stunning. But this event was less about fashion itself than about hope — a message spread especially poignantly during the luncheon by former NFL player Dhani Jones, dapperly decked in one of his own bowties, designed for the LiveStrong Foundation. Jones’ personal story of being touched by cancer added a serious and sobering moment to all the glam.
The afternoon benefited from beautiful weather and low winds for the outdoor “What to Wear” fashion show at Mockingbird Station. Hosted by DFWStyleDaily.com editor Lisa Petty, who led a panel commenting on the horseshoe runway of fashions available from retailers at the upscale development, it took on the theme of Las Vegas glitz, with the panel commenting on trends like layered necklaces and how to pack for a weekend in Vegas to maximize looks in a minimum of space. Plus appearances by members of FC Dallas soccer team added some beefcake. (Arnold Wayne Jones)
In the evening, fashions took wing at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, a creative and diverse range of designs turned up the heat on the runway for the annual Fashion Cited show, benefiting Legal Hospice of Texas.
We’ve written about queermedian Tig Notaro on several occasions (including here) so we were distressed to learn that she has been diagnosed with cancer in both breasts. But in a story we read on New York magazine’s Culture Vulture page, it sounds like it is less distressing for Tig — or rather, she’s found a way to deal with it that is both healing and hilarious.
Over the weekend, she did a set in New York where she tackled the news, and the accounts are that she was brilliant. Louis C.K. even claimed via Twitter that in 27 years as a standup, he’d seen few sets to rival hers.
It’s the tritest of cliches to call “laughter the best medicine,” but it sounds as though, if that’s true, Tig is in good hands.
About a month ago, I wrote a story about Libby Serber, the daughter of local actress Cara Serber and her husband Jeff. Libby has been struggling with cancer and her story has inspired many in the theater community and beyond.
Apparently, well beyond. The 2nd annual Peace, Hope and Butterflies kick-off party — a fundraiser sponsored by the Miracle Players Foundation to bring music to children in the hospital — is tonight at Mason Bar in Uptown, and little Libby is being honored. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30, will feature live music and complimentary drinks and apps. And you can of course make a donation, and maybe make a difference in the lives of Libby and kids like her.
The word “meme” has recently itself become a meme. The word is more than a century old, but took root in the 1990s, but with the spread of Facebook and other social networking, it has become part of the culture itself.
It’s also been bastardized. Now, any YouTube video linked more than twice seems to call itself “viral;” short-term idiocy like “planking” gets the meme label, though it disappears as quickly as it arises.
You want to know a real meme, you want to know about Libby Serber.
If you are part of the North Texas theater community, or friends with anyone who is, chances are you have seen at least some reference to Libby. Her mother, Cara, is an actress in town, well-respected and even more well-liked.
About two weeks ago, Libby was just like and other 6-year-old kid. Now, she’s a cancer survivor and veteran of open-heart surgery. It all happened very quickly for Libby. Her parents Jeff and especially Cara were upfront about what was going on, and surprisingly frank and timely in their updates of Libby’s condition, which seemed, at time, to change hourly: Diagnosis, surgery, home, back to the hospital, more surgery, goofing with the other kids in the cancer ward. It was almost surreal what this beautiful little ginger-haired tyke was enduring. In not one picture, though, was she anything other than smiling.
It didn’t take long for the entire theater community to begin offering prayers and support. Soon, her photo (like the one above) was the profile picture of countless people — male, female, old and young, those who knew her and those who had only heard of her (Cara famously acted in a play, the camp musical Debbie Does Dallas, just a few weeks after Libby was born).
The word spread. Within the past few days, Libby has been profiled on NBC-5 and the Dallas Morning News. Everyone within six degrees of the Serbers know her as “our little rock star.” “Mom, I think I might be famous,” reported Cara on her Facebook page. If you want to experience the power of love, you just need to read the comments posted there.
Libby, of course, is not unique. Many kids — too many — endure such travails. But the sincerity with which the theater community (and now, the broader Metroplex, even nation) has rallied behind her is inspiring. Forget meme — Libby is part of the Zeitgeist, a child whose bravery has touched the better angels in many adults who perhaps don’t engage in the exchange of humanity as much as they should.
Last fall Tim Brookover, a long-time Houston LGBT activist and current president of the Houston GLBT Community Center, made public that he was undergoing treatment for cancer. Throughout his treatment Brookover has remained the vibrant advocate for LGBT people that Houston has always known him to be (he even started a cancer support group at the center). Brookover recently ended his employment in the office of Houston City Council member Sue Lovell and applied for disability.
While his application is pending the people of his long-time church home have decided to help. Bethel United Church of Christ (1107 Shepherd) will host a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for Brookover’s expenses this Sunday, Feb. 12, at noon. Ticket’s are $10 and include beverages and speghetti. RSVP via facebook.
The Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston is celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with their Celebration of Love Gala Saturday, Feb. 11. at the Double Tree Hotel downtown (400 Dallas Street). The 10th annual gala is the 20-year-old organization’s major fundraiser of the year.
This year the gala features comedienne Susanne Westenhoefer, who claims to be the “first openly-gay comedian to appear on television” (yep, she was out before Ellen). Dorothy Weston, co-founder and CEO of The Rose (a breast cancer prevention and treatment organization) will be honored for her years of service. In addition the evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and the raffling of a pink Vitacci 50cc Retro Scooter. LHI executive director Liz James is particularly excited about the raffle even if she didn’t quite get her way on the prize. “I wanted it to be a black scooter, as I’m a bit on the butch side,” said James, adding that more “femme” forces in the organization prevailed and a pink scooter was selected instead.
Regardless of the color of the scooter, the Celebration of Love Gala promises to be a fun filled night, not just for sapphic romantics, but for anyone looking for a valentine’s date night that supports a good cause. Tickets for the black tie affair start at $100 and can be purchased at lhihouston.org. Doors open at 6 pm.
We were sad to learn that Troy Sands passed away Sunday morning. He was a resident DJ at the Dallas Eagle. Sands built his reputation playing the old Brick on Maple Avenue and made a name for himself as a headlining DJ not only in Dallas, but throughout the country. I had the pleasure of writing this story on him as he made his return to the scene after a tough struggle with cancer.
This was posted by two of the Dallas Eagle’s managers on Facebook on Sunday:
It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that a very beloved member of our family has left us today. DJ Troy Sands passed away this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Troy’s family and loved ones. The DJ booth at the Dallas Eagle will never be the same without his smile and laugh. You will be missed greatly Troy. We will post additional information concerning any service or memorial as we receive it.
Mark [Frazier] and Cully [Johnson]
Upon the news, people began posting their condolences on Sands’ Facebook page.
For its lucky 13th, Cowtown’s annual gay and lesbian international film festival, Q Cinema, has love in its heart
NOTICE A COMMON THEME HERE? | Q Cinema is bringing sexy back with its 13th queer film festival, with gay rom-coms like ‘eCupid,’ top, ‘Judas Kiss,’ center, and the lesbian drama ‘Bloomington,’ bottom.
Q Cinema is bringing sexy back.
Its 13th annual festival, which begins on Thursday and runs over next weekend, is flush with sexy, fun and campy films, as well as smattering of dramas (gay, lesbian, trans and bi) through shorts and features. And, for a festival of its size, it manages to attract loads of talent, from stars like Bruce Vilanch and Charlie David to filmmakers like Casper Andreas.
And, in true Cowtown fashion, it finds a way to make it all yee-haw fun, with a bowling party and dishy programs.
Here’s a preview of some of the programs.
Going Down in LA-LA Land
OK, let’s be honest: A lot of gay cinema falls in too-easy pigeonholes and familiar clichés. Twinks getting shirtless. Over-the-top, homo-hating bad guys (who often turn out to be in the closet). Romantic encounters, both cheesy and predictable. Sitcom-y jokes — or else, tortured melodramatic emoting.
But we watch them, and even like them, because they have shirtless twinks. And romantic encounters. And bad guys who turn out to be closet cases.
So sue us. We like our mindless, lightweight fantasies as much as straight folks.
So, when Going Down in LA-LA Land starts with new kid Adam (Matthew Ludwinski) moving to Los Angeles only to be put off by back-stabbing, dating trouble and career misfires, it looks like it’ll be another of its genre: The sappy, silly, easy comedy.
And then something happens: It gets good.
Sure, you can see some of the plot turns easier than at the Texas Motor Speedway, but there’s also a canny, insider quality that adds some heft and authenticity to it all — largely with not-so-subtle references to real Hollywood (including Bruce Vilanch as a Chi Chi LaRue-esque porn director). Writer-director Casper Andreas has crafted a sexy but also funny and wise squinty-eyed look at Tinseltown, from the seductive side to the seedy (often one and the same), from the glamour to the pitfalls.
Andreas gets good performances from Ludwinski and Allison Lane (and himself as a methed-up photographer), but it’s the whole package of nudity, humor and pathos that makes it come together. — Arnold Wayne Jones
Marshall (Houston Rhines) and Gabe (Noah Schuffman) are both cute, young and seven years into their relationship — and, to Marshall at least, it feels as if that’s as long as it has been since they had sex. Hoping to spice up his love life, Marshall downloads an app called eCupid, which promises to match him with the love of his life. But, in traditional genie fashion, you need to be careful what you ask for.
The biggest problem with the film eCupid is that it’s a silly, supernatural romantic fantasy, but Marshall never seems weirded out that his phone seems to be sending text messages on its own, or that everything going wrong could be fixed with a system reboot.
Still, that’s also about the worst thing you can say about this breezy, sexy rom-com, filled with half-naked boys, familiar couples problems and easy-to-digest complications. — A.W.J.
A bad breakup will leave major scars, whether it’s the failure of a band or a couple. In the case of Trigger, it’s both.
ROCKER CHICKS | In ‘Trigger,’ Vic (Tracey Wright, left) and Kat (Molly Parker) recall themselves in their prime, before life took a turn a decade later.
Kat (Molly Parker) and Vic (Tracy Wright) reunite over dinner 10 years after their girl band Trigger suffered an onstage blowout. Vic is harder edged, battling her demons, while Kat has moved on to a glossier, pretentious life in Los Angeles. Both are different people; the tough part for them is figuring out if they are better people.
The movie is mostly a series of conversational vignettes between the two but director Bruce McDonald treats the scenes carefully, so as not to turn them into a gimmick. We learn about their backgrounds apart and relationships with each other: They were bandmates, they were lovers, they both got fucked up by drugs and alcohol.
Parker gets the flashier role as the bitchy but loveable Kat, but this is Wright’s show. As Vic, she delivers depths of frustration and hope while still eking out flashes of exhilaration. Her voice is heartbreaking and genuine. (The role was her last — Wright died of cancer shortly after filming.)
McDonald and screenwriter Daniel McIvor have churned out a very feminine film without pandering to clichés. There is no unnecessary delicacy added here. Minus some kitschy touches that missed
the mark (an after-party at a high school?), Trigger ends up being a surprising reality check that isn’t about a rock ‘n’ roll band, but how getting older is inevitable. — Rich Lopez
Bloomington Bloomington is about a student-teacher lesbian relationship, which falls under the still-lingering taboo of May-December romance with a strong sense of sexual exploitation. Jackie (Sarah Stouffer) is a 22-year-old college student; Prof. Catherine Stark (Allison McAtee) bears an almost creepy resemblance to Jackie’s mother, who was virtually absent during her daughter’s teen years.
Jackie spent those years as an actress in a TV series, Neptune 26, which ended four years earlier. Now Jackie’s in college, and although her fellow students are awed by her celebrity, her problems fitting in stem more from her own standoffishness. She hears rumors about the notorious Prof. Stark, who beds her female students, only to have them disappear. So when the two meet at a student-faculty mixer, they waste no time hooking up. The power dynamics change when Jackie is asked to reprise her role in a feature version of Neptune 26 and it becomes Catherine’s turn to worry about being discarded.
Perhaps out of fear of the creep factor, none of the displays of affection between the women even approach soft-core porn. They kiss a lot but when they take their clothes off, Brazilian-born writer-director Fernanda Cardoso gets coy about camera placement. Even Jackie’s bathtub scene has her well covered in bubbles.
Cardoso has supplied a lot of surprisingly intelligent dialogue about psychology, show business and academia, to shore up a plot that’s purely emotional. The ending may not be what you expect, but
ACTION! | An aspiring actor (Matthew Ludwinski) gets talked into making a film with a notorious porn director (Bruce Vilanch) in Q Cinema’s opening night film ‘Going Down in LA-LA Land.’
it’s in line with Cardoso’s constant clash between intellect and emotion. A couple of Ani DiFranco songs are well used to boost the film’s lez appeal, but your overall reaction will depend on whether you buy the central relationship. I didn’t. — Steve Warren
It’s been fun to watch Charlie David mature as both an actor and a producer. He first shot to prominence in the supernatural gay soap Dante’s Cove, where being hot and naked were the primary criteria. He parlayed that gig into hosting duties for the Logo travelog Bump! and the gay romance Mulligans.
Now, in Judas Kiss, David gets to show off his strongest acting chops yet. He plays Zach Wells, a once-promising filmmaker who pissed away his potential on drugs and bad decisions. When he returns to his alma mater for a film festival, Zach meets his younger self, and gets the chance to fix the errors of his youth.
The supernatural element is more subtle here than Dante’s, which allows the idea behind it to come through: How difficult it is to be someone you aren’t, no matter how much information you have.
The production values are as slick and sophisticated as gay cinema gets, and there’s a deliberative, smart style to it. — A.W.J.
All programs at the Rose Marine Theater, 1440 Main St., Fort Worth, except as noted
Going Down in LA-LA Land.
A gay newcomer find his way in Los Angeles, from porn to closeted movie stars. Filmmaker/stars in attendance.
Preceded by the short On the Bus. June 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Going Down in Cowtown Opening Night Party At the T&P Tavern, June 2 at 9:30 p.m.
Our Shorts Are Showing 1.
Program includes: The Colonel’s Outing, Nothing Happened, Freak, Slip Away, I was a Teenage Werebear,
plus a sneak peek at the new project from Israel Luna and Toni Miller, The Zombie Project. June 3 at 6:30 p.m.
An app takes over the romantic life of a 30-year-old gay man suffering from the seven- year itch. Filmmaker/stars in attendance. Preceded by the short Waiting for Goliath. June 3 at 8:45 p.m.
There’s an App for That Party. At The Usual, June 3 at 10 p.m.
Our Shorts Are Showing 2.
Program includes: Amen, Tools 4 Fools, Stay, The Defenders, Under Pressure, Bedfellows, and It’s Just a Community Place.
June 4 at noon.
The Cost of Love.
A gay escort craves genuine love. June 4 a 2 p.m.
Former lovers from a girl band reunite after a decade. Preceded by the short Allison My Love. June 4 at 4 p.m.
2 Frogs in the West.
A French-Canadian hitchhiker finds herself attracted to a man and a woman at the same time. Preceded by the short Refuge. June 4 at 6 p.m.
An Evening with Bruce Vilanch.
The LA-LA Land co-star dishes (followed by a bowling after-party with Vilanch at Lucky Strike). June 4 at 8 p.m.
We Were Here.
Documentary about the early days of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco. Preceded by the short Fucked. June 5 at noon.
AIDS at 30: Panel Discussion. June 5 at 2 p.m.
A college professor engages in a romance with her female student, a child star. June 5 a 3 p.m.
Gun Hill Road.
A Latino man, newly out of prison, discovers his son is now transgender. Preceded by the short Professor Godoy. June 4 at 4 p.m.
Charlie David stars as a time-traveling filmmaker given a second chance. Filmmaker/stars in attendance. Preceded by the video Like It Rough. June 4 at 6 p.m.
The Q Awards/Closing Night Party
June 4 at 9 p.m.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 27, 2011.