Gay bars dump Russian Vodka across U.S., Canada — but not yet in Dallas

dumprussianvodkalogoLGBT advocates are calling for a boycott of Russian goods in light of the recent anti-gay laws the country’s leadership has championed.

Recent violence highlighted by BuzzFeed and the arrests under the gay propaganda ban have also spurred activists to push for a boycott of the Winter Games scheduled to take place in Russia in 2014.

But instead of boycotting the games, others called for a boycott on products, mainly Stolichnaya Vodka.

Dan Savage wrote an article urging gay bars to stop serving the alcohol. Several Chicago gay bars have already said they won’t serve it anymore, along with bars in San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto.

Howard Okon, owner of The Brick and Joes’s, said he’s heard about the boycott but isn’t ready to make a decision about the bar carrying it.

“We will be looking into it today and remove it if that’s what people are doing across the nation,” he said.

—  Anna Waugh

13 LGBT Dallas employees honored for participating in ‘It Gets Better’ video

ItGetsBetter

City employees who took part in an It Gets Better video with council members and video funders Ed Oakley and Greg Kilhoffer.

Dallas City Councilwoman Delia Jasso honored 13 LGBT city employees who participated in the city of Dallas “It Gets Better” video at a council briefing this morning.

Jasso said what the employees did was truly special.

“They sat in front of a movie camera and told stories of being picked on and bullied at school and losing family and friends,” Jasso said.

She said she was proud this video that has been viewed more than 3,000 times. She also thanked former Councilman Ed Oakley and Caven Enterprises President Greg Kilhoffer for providing the funding.

“To make the video happen quickly took money,” Jasso said.

Oakley described the 13 participants as people you work with everyday who revealed part of their life you don’t know about. He said he hoped the video would inspire LGBT youth to know they could serve on City Council or run for mayor.

He said some of the people in the video he worked with everyday when he served on the council and didn’t know they were part of the community.

Mayor Mike Rawlings concluded the presentation.

“I love our LGBT community,” Rawlings said.

—  David Taffet

LifeWalk steps off Sunday in Lee Park

Nobles says that park will not be fenced this year but is worried about added cost and barrier affecting next year’s event

KICKING UP THEIR HEELS | The LifeWalk organizing committee gets ready for Sunday.

 

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

New requirements by the city of Dallas could affect proceed totals from this year’s AIDS Arms LifeWalk, and at least one more new requirement is expected to be added to the list next year, according to LifeWalk organizers.

The 21st annual LifeWalk steps off from Lee Park on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. for the 3.2-mile walk. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Last year’s event raised $401,000 and this year’s goal is $500,000.

Although thousands of people are expected for the event, Lee Park will remain unfenced this year, even though the city has said such gatherings will require fencing in the future.

Officials with the Dallas Tavern Guild, which stages the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and the Festival in Lee Park each year as part of Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride celebration, decided to get ahead of the new requirement by fencing in Lee Park this year for the festival, although the city requirement had not yet gone into effect.

Tavern Guild officials also chose to charge a $5 admission fee to the festival this year to help offset expenses and raise extra funds that will be distributed to parade beneficiaries.

The admission fee raised the ire of some in the community, and attendance at the festival was down compared to last year. But Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said the drop was not significant, and noted that the admission fee brought in about $25,000 that will be divided among beneficiaries.

But AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles said new city requirements have already had an impact on LifeWalk, and she is worried that the new fencing requirements could affect next year’s walk.

“There were a lot more expenses from the city this year,” she said. “It really hits the bottom line.”

The cost of fencing next year will add an additional, unwelcome expense. But Nobles said she isn’t going to worry about that until after this weekend’s event. Right now, her main concern is getting people out to participate in this year’s fundraiser.

“Anyone can participate in LifeWalk,” Nobles said. “You can walk alone or bring friends or join a team. We even have poop-out vans: In case you can’t walk the entire three-mile route, someone will pick you up and bring you back to the park to have a good time.”

She also invited people to just come to the park and cheer.

“We need cheerleaders at the start and finish and at the water stations,” Nobles said. “We have pompoms for anyone who wants to cheer the walkers on.”

Registration for LifeWalk is $40 for people and $10 for dogs participating in LifeBark. People get a T-shirt and dogs get a bandana to show their support for people with HIV.

AIDS Arms is the primary beneficiary of LifeWalk, but other organizations also receive funds from the event, including AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus, Bryan’s House, Resource Center Dallas and the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Money raised goes toward programming rather than capital costs. The chorale uses funds for their HIV fund, including giving tickets to performances through the year to people with AIDS.

Nobles praised that effort, saying that socializing is an important holistic element in treating HIV.

The Women’s Chorus will present a program at AIDS Arms in March on National HIV Women’s Day. Those expenses, Nobles said, should be covered by the group’s LifeWalk proceeds.

Nobles said it would be tempting for AIDS Arms to use the money to finish paying off the agency’s new Trinity Health and Wellness Center in Oak Cliff. She said that the new facility cost more than $2 million, and AIDS Arms needs to raise just $35,000 more to pay off the facility.

Trinity Health and Wellness Center opened in September and will have its formal grand opening in two weeks.

But despite the temptation, AIDS Arms will instead use proceeds from LifeWalk to support programs for clients at Trinity as well as at AIDS Arms’ older clinic, Peabody Health Center in South Dallas.

AIDS Arms also uses the money to administer HIV tests to more than 3,500 people a year and for case management for more than 3,400 people.

LifeWalk began in 1990 as a fundraiser for Oak Lawn Community Services. When that agency closed, management of the event moved to AIDS Arms.

LifeWalk Co-chair Marvin Green noted that his Green Team will mark its 20th year of participation in LifeWalk. He said he put the team together for the first time in the second year of LifeWalk because he had already lost 20 friends to AIDS.

That first year, three team members raised $75. This year, the 32-member Green Team has collected about $22,000.

Co-chair Fred Harris said that there were quite a few new teams this year.

“We’re reaching out to new communities,” Harris said. “There’s new energy. We’re branching outside Oak Lawn.”

He said teams are using creative new ways to raise money and AIDS Arms has actively brought in new sponsors such as Chipotle.

“Stoli is coming with a first-ever LifeWalk drink,” Nobles said. Returning sponsor Caven Enterprises will serve beer and Ben E. Keith donated iced tea.

Harris said planning has gone well, and that “LifeWalk is a well-oiled machine.”

Harris said he has seen more use of social media this year than ever, reaching out to people outside the Metroplex.

“This year Facebook has become a very powerful tool,” he said, not just for fundraising but also for recruiting walkers.

Last year, about 3,500 people walked, and this year, “Registration is ahead of where we were this time last year,” Harris said.

Waterpalooza, another AIDS Arms event, was moved to Pride weekend this year, just two weeks prior to LifeWalk. Harris said they took advantage of that event to sign up teams and walkers and generate excitement for this weekend’s walk.

Among the new teams, Harris said, are the DFW Sisters.

“Their efforts have been tireless,” he said. “They raise the bar.”

Nobles said that WFAA Channel 8 morning anchor Ron Corning will serve as M.C. in Lee Park. Although he’s appeared at several events since arriving in Dallas, this is the first big public event the openly gay television host has emceed.

LifeWalk received the Human Rights Campaign family-friendly designation, and Nobles said there will be bounce houses, clowns and face-painting for children.

Harris said the event is pet-friendly as well, “because pets are our family.”

There will be games and puppy pools for dogs as well as doggie adoptions, Nobles said.

She said the day would be a lot of fun but asked people to participate because the need is greater than ever.

“With the growth in the number of newly-infected people in Dallas County who need help in this economy, we’re seeing people who never would ask but must,” she said.

Next year, Nobles said, she would like to see LifeWalk return to Oak Lawn, but new city regulations for events may change those plans. Among the events changing plans this year because of the city involved Lone Star Ride.

Last year, Lone Star Riders participated in LifeWalk on bike. This year, city regulations banned bikes from walks so LSR riders who participate will have to walk.

Green was thinking about bigger plans for future LifeWalks. Other cities that raise more money stage longer walks. He said he’d love to use the new Downtown Deck Park that should be completed next year and dreamed of seeing LifeWalkers crossing the new suspension bridge that should be open in March 2012.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 02.11

She works hard for the money
How Kander and Ebb combined fashion, Communism, the Depression and relationships set to music in Lyric’s Flora the Red Menace is beyond us, but we’re curious. Kristin Dausch plays Flora, who juggles her career as an artist against the temptations of her new love Harry. All while trying to earn a buck. You go girl.

DEETS: Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. Through Feb. 26. $18–$29. LyricStage.org.

Saturday 02.12

This Vanity project is worth it
Not to take away from their pop rock brand of music, but if there’s one reason to check out Vanity Theft, it’s because of the one-name bassist Lalaine. She’s says of the band, “We may have vaginas, but we’re not pussies.” Well, said. Now we hope that means they will kill it live, because their rock is pretty major.

DEETS: With Hunter Valentine. Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. Caven.com.

Thursday 02.17

Drums along the Winspear
TITAS brings in the famous Kodo drummers for a life-changing experience. The 24 drum masters take the instrument beyond its percussive musicality into a “heart-pounding, earth-shaking experience.” And it’s one night only — meaning don’t miss out.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Feb. 17. 8 p.m. $19–$75. ATTPAC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 11, 2011.

—  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

Del Shores turns on the stand-up comedy at the Rose Room

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.

—  Rich Lopez

Have yourself a merry Trailer Park Christmas at JR.’s

Good things can come from a trailer

The Sam Houston School Holiday Project will be offering thanks to a slew of drag queens this season. Edna Jean Robinson brings back her annual Trailer Park Christmas which benefits the project. Onyx and Chanel are among the drag fabulous who will lend a manicured hand to the night. Those kids will be so happy. It just warms the heart.

DEETS: JR.’s Bar & Grill, 3923 Cedar Springs Road. 11 p.m. Caven.com.

—  Rich Lopez

2nd Dallas vigil for gay teen suicide victims planned Wednesday on Cedar Springs

If you missed last week’s vigil on Cedar Springs to honor gay teen suicide victims, there’s some good news. You’ll get another chance to break out your glowsticks and candles on Wednesday night.

A Peace March and Vigil in Memoriam will begin at  6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the paid Caven parking lot behind Zini’s and Skivvie’s near the Cedar Springs strip, according to co-organizer Steve Weir.

The vigil will be one of many similar events across the country on Spirit Day, Oct. 20, when we’re all supposed to wear purple.

“We’re expecting about 200,” Weir said. “I think after the Joel Burns thing, people started to say, maybe I could take a minute and go do this. Hopefully we’ll have a pretty good turnout and some people who are actually moved.”

Weir said he doesn’t think a lot of people knew about the previous vigil hosted by the DFW Sisters on Sunday, Oct. 8. Besides, who’s to say we shouldn’t have another?

Weir said Beaux Wellborn and a representative from Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats are slated to speak, before a march down Cedar Springs Road to the Legacy of Love Monument.

UPDATE: Here’s more on the vigil from co-organizer Ivan Watson:

Hello to all of you! I am so overwhelmed by the positive response this event has generated! I hope that it can educate, inform, inspire and empower all of the participants, as well as show the community that we care about each other. Can’t wait to see you there, just wanted to give you a run-down of what to expect. I am asking everyone to gather in Caven’s pay lot tomorrow at 6:30, the actual short program will not start until 7. We will have three speakers, who will speak briefly about the purpose of the rally, some ways to get involved and help those who are victims of bullying, or for the younger attendees, how perhaps you can get help in your own life, and also we will talk about some legislation that we need to support to get some things changed. After the short program it should be pretty close to dark, and we can light candles and have a silent march down Cedar Springs to the Legacy of Love monument where we will conclude there with a 10 minute candlelight vigil, a minute to remember each teen who took their life during the month of September due to anti-gay bullying and harrassment. Once again, I can’t say thank you enough to all of the help and assistance that I have received in planning this event, especially Steve Weir, thank you, and I hope it all goes well! If you have any questions, please ask!

Thanks,
Ivan Watson

—  John Wright

Cazwell brings his ‘Ice Cream Truck’ to Station 4

Cazwell is serious about his music … even if he is a club diva

CazwellIn this week’s issue, Cazwell talked with the Dallas Voice about his approach to music. Just because he’s all about beefcake and sexy, funny lyrics doesn’t mean you should take him less seriously as a musician. He’ll tell you why.

The last time we saw Cazwell in town was at the now-defunct minc in Exposition Park. Then he was first touted as the gay Eminem, but he’s really in his own league layering outrageous raps over dance music. He’s more fun than Eminem with songs like “I Seen Beyonce at Burger King” and “All Over Your Face” from his 2009 album Watch My Mouth. The rapper-singer’s newest hit, “Ice Cream Truck,” is big on the dance floor which I’m sure has nothing to do with the video.

He performs an 18-and-up show at S4 on Sept. 30 at midnight. After his performance, he’s gonna stick around for a Meet and Greet. Maybe he’ll have a Bomb Pop just for you.

DEETS: Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Sept. 30 at midnight. Doors at 9 p.m. $15. Caven.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Sticky sweet

Cheeky raps and beefcake videos? Yes. But Cazwell is serious about his music … even if he is a club diva

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

HIS ‘ICE CREAM’ BRINGS THE BOYS TO THE YARD  |  Damn right! Cazwell, in front with white hat, put together his viral video in a day, but the rap is poised to be his biggest hit yet — thanks in large part to all the beefcake.
HIS ‘ICE CREAM’ BRINGS THE BOYS TO THE YARD | Damn right! Cazwell, in front with white hat, put together his viral video in a day, but the rap is poised to be his biggest hit yet — thanks in large part to all the beefcake.

CAZWELL
Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Sept. 30 at midnight. Doors at 9 p.m. $15.
Caven.com.

………………………………..

The most surprising thing about Cazwell is his soft-spoken demeanor. With all the bravado in his rhymes, ranging from overtly sexual to ridiculously fun, he’s really just a guy. He just happens to also be the toast of gay club culture. But first thing’s first.

“Normally it takes a couple of months of planning,” he says. “But we did this quick.”

He’s referring to “Ice Cream Truck,” his rap and video which has turned into a sensation on gay dancefloors everywhere.

With a bevy of scantily clad beefcakes, including the tattooed hunk himself, the music video is two minutes and change of amateur production that doesn’t matter one bit — its guerrilla roots aside, it’s sexy as hell. When the video pops up at Station 4, the boys aren’t hoppin’; they’re staring at the monitors.

“That’s awesome,” he chuckles. “We were just gonna run up an ice cream truck with some friends and make it into this summer video. I knew some of the guys; Marco [Ovando, the director] knew others, and they came over. We filmed the whole thing at my apartment in a day.”

The video was posted a month ago on YouTube by Cazwell’s label, Peace Bisquit, and has notched more than 2 million views. For what started out as “a stupid song” for a movie called Spork, the old-school rap recorded in three hours is positioned to be Cazwell’s biggest hit to date.

With this tune and others such as  “I Seen Beyonce at Burger King” and “I Buy My Socks on 14th Street,” it’s easy to get the impression that Cazwell is more club kid than musician. And that would be wrong.

“I am serious about music,” he says. “Just because I don’t get too deep with my lyrics shouldn’t make me feel like I don’t do a good job. I’m flowing with it and I know I’m doing a good job. I think people might take things way too seriously. I just want people to connect to what I’ve done.”

Good thing, then, that he’s down with the people almost every night.

“Clubs are my life. I’m out like five nights a week,” he admits. “I don’t think anything shapes my music as much.”

Cazwell’s music is club-based, with slick danceable beats and raps that flow well over his groove. He’s a throwback to actual disco from its heyday. Cazwell and his team cleverly sidestep the detachment of DJ-induced techno and house and deliver reliable music to dance to.

“DJing has influenced my music and lyrics,” he says. “To me it’s more about the hook and lyrics. I think people don’t wanna think so much. That’s what I’m hearing in clubs. People just want to dance.”

With a big life in the circuit and club scene, Cazwell seems to have a very un-Lohan like air. He describes himself as a closet health nut and begins discussing his crash regimen to get cut for “Ice Cream Truck:” He swears by liquid meals and cleansing protocols.

“That’s changed my life the most,” he says. “I see results really quick and I’ve lost most of my cravings for processed foods — unless I’m stoned. Plus, I go to the gym as much as I can.”

Regardless of his boisterous persona and ability to get shirtless faster than Matthew McConaughey at a paparazzi convention, Cazwell is just a timid soul. Or so he says.

“The thing that would surprise most people about me is that I’m really, really shy,” he says. “People don’t expect that and sometimes I think they feel like I’m not making an effort. But, yeah, I’m painfully shy. “

He assures that won’t be an issue at Thursday’s meet and greet after his show at Station 4 — he knows how to turn it on. Mostly, he looks forward to meeting the fans he gained with his last show in Dallas at minc back in 2007. Plus, being in a different city than the Big Apple gives him some new perspective.

“Sometimes I take it for granted that I live in New York City where all these gay guys know the words,” he says. “I think they gain a sense of entitlement, but in a good way. I want people to feel like that. I hate to sound corny but it’s cooler to be gay than straight and I want people to get a taste of that.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas