CCGLA hosting 3 candidate forums for municipal elections in April

544659_560537957310358_129449817_nCollin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance is hosting candidate forums in April for Plano, McKinney and Frisco municipal elections.

The Plano event is tonight and 14 candidates are expected to attend, including those running for Plano City Council, mayor, and Collin College trustee seats.

Candidates will give short speeches about their platforms before talking questions from the audience.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at 4568 Southgate Dr. in Plano.

Candidate forums have also been scheduled for McKinney races on Wednesday, April 10, and Frisco races on Thursday, April 25.

—  Dallasvoice

“It’ll be a gay old weekend” in North Texas

Last year, the inaugural North Texas “Come As You Are” Pride Party had 60 inquiries, but ended up with more than 220 guests. “It was a heartfelt success,” said Morris Garcia, who organized the event along with partner Tim Phillips. This year, the party has 189 confirmed guests on Facebook, and Garcia is hoping the number of attendees will again be double that number.

The family-oriented event was created to help bring unity, awareness and education to a seemingly conservative community. The Pride Party was created by Garcia, current board member and former Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance president, and Phillips. Last year’s inaugural Come as You Are Pride Party exceeded expectations. Garcia said he and Phillips had been sitting on the idea for a Pride Party for five years when they finally decided to put one on.

Morris Garcia

This year’s North Texas “Come as You Are” Pride party is slated for Saturday, June 23 at Tierney’s Café and Tavern in Old Town Lewisville from 6-11 p.m. There will be drink specials, face painting, door prizes and vendor booths, as well as dancing to the music styling of The Ducado Vega Band (6-8 p.m.) and ending the night with DJ Fierce.

Raffles for specialty items from TapeLenders, a $175 spa gift certificate, Mocha Bakery gift certificates, along with kid-friendly items such as iTunes and McDonald’s gift cards, are up for grabs. Tickets may by purchased for $10 online at or $15 at the door, cash only.

Garcia is again spearheading the planning along with a slew of volunteers and a committee made up of Matthew Bado, Gene Goodwin, J.J. McCormick, Belinda Carmickle and  Rosemarie Odom. Odom is co-founder of Community, Unity, Respect and Education, or C.U.R.E.

Garcia said the proceeds to the “Come as You Are” pride party will benefit Health Services of North Texas and C.U.R.E., as well as help with the growth and planning of next year’s Pride Party.

—  admin

LOCAL BRIEFS: CCGLA taking party reservations

The Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance is now accepting reservations for its annual Party on Lake Lewisville aboard the Chamonix II party boat Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The boat, a 70-foot catamaran, accommodates 85 passengers and has a sit-down bar, a dance floor, a waterslide, two bathrooms, two fresh-water showers and indoor seating. Cost for the party is $30 for sustaining members, and $35 for others. The fee includes lunch by Cater 10, frozen margaritas and soft drinks. Those who reserve their space and pay before July 20 will receive a free LED light-up glass.

For more information or to reserve space for the party, go online to

—  John Wright

LOCAL BRIEFS: Agencies offering free HIV tests; DFW Bi Net celebrates Pride

Agencies offering free HIV tests

In observance of National HIV Testing Day, AIDS Interfaith Network, in partnership with Dallas County Health and Human Services, will offer free, on-site, anonymous HIV tests on Monday, June 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, 1210 River Bend Drive.

Prevention information will be available in English and Spanish, and testing will also include screenings for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Resource Center Dallas will offer expanded free walk-in testing opportunities Friday and Saturday, June 24-25 and Monday, June 27.

Free HIV testing will be offered Friday at the Nelson-Tebedo Community Clinic, 4012 Cedar Springs Roadd, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic will be open regular hours for testing on Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


DFW Bi Net celebrates Pride

DFW Bi Net is celebrating national LGBT Pride Month with a mixer from 6 pm. to 9 pm on Thursday, June 30, in the Great Room/Champagne Room at ilume on Cedar Springs.

The event will feature margarita and pina colada machines and a drag performer.


CCGLA elects board

Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance and JCPenney Pride members recently celebrated national Gay Pride Month with a mixer at Seasons 52 during which CCGLA members also elected board members.

Kyle Mabbitt was unanimously elected to his first term on the board, and Morris Garcia, Rosemarie Odom and Bob Shimmin were unanimously re-elected to new two-year terms. The 2011/2012 CCGLA board also includes continuing members Belinda Carmikle, Jeanne Rubin, Jane Schmidt and Ron Turner.

The new board’s first meeting will be Sunday, June 26, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Parr Library in Plano, during which board members will elect new board officers.

—  John Wright

Pride party announced for Collin County

Morris Garcia and Tim Phillips announced this week that they will be sponsoring the inaugural Come As You Are Pride party this month. Garcia, who is on the board of the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance, sent over the official flier for the event (below) which takes place June 25. Come As You Are will serve as a fundraiser for C.U.R.E. 2011 which will exhibit panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Dallas Convention Center this fall.

—  Rich Lopez