Celebration of Love Gala raises funds for Lesbian Health Initiative

The scooter's way cuter in pink, sorry Liz

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.

—  admin

Metro offers free bus rides on New Years Eve

Maybe there is such a thing as a free ride. Houston Metro is offering free bus and train fares starting at 6 pm New Years Eve and continuing through 6 am on New Years Day. Metro explains via press release that it “wants to help individuals celebrating the arrival of the New Year a safe option to get home rather than getting behind the wheel.”

As a bonus, the light rail is free on Sunday since it’s a game day, so if you are downtown and need to go to Reliant stadium, or at Reliant and need to go downtown, you’re set.

So when midnight rolls around on the 31st and it’s time to head home remember you have options. A DWI is a horrible way to start the new year.

—  admin

Cedar Springs Art Festival today

Street art a different way

Before celebrating Easter in the Park, check-in to the Cedar Springs Art Festival. Local art, food booths and snowcones make this a must. Plus, it’s probably the only art fest with dance music.

DEETS: Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street. 10 a.m. Free. ShopCedarSprings.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 04.22

Life is a … oh, you know it
This doesn’t look like your usual Liza version. The Dallas Theater Center stages the Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret, and by the looks of their ad campaign, it’s going to be sizzling. Sure Sally Bowles is the central character, but weren’t you always intrigued by the mysterious master of ceremonies? We’re even more so now.

DEETS: Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Through May 22. $10–$80. DallasTheaterCenter.org.

 

Friday 04.22

La vida out and proud
Not only did Ricky Martin come out in one of the most eloquent ways ever, he took to using his celebrity in advocating for LGBT rights. That only made him sexier than he already is. As if he needed to add to his hotness, he’s been baring a whole lot more skin lately — and we likey.

DEETS: Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place., Grand Prairie  8 p.m. $40–$126.
Ticketmaster.com.

 

Saturday 04.23

Street art a different way
Before celebrating Easter in the Park, check-in to the Cedar Springs Art Festival. Local art, food booths and snowcones make this a must. Plus, it’s probably the only art fest with dance music.

DEETS: Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street. 10 a.m. Free. ShopCedarSprings.com.

—  John Wright

ANNIVERSARIES: Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong, George Amerson and Mike Grossman

ARMSTRONG-YOUNG  | Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong celebrated their 40th anniversary Monday, April 18. The couple met on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1971 through the Gay Liberation Front organization there. They had a civil union in Vermont in 2000 and were legally married in California in August 2008.

 

GROSSMAN-AMERSON  | George Amerson and Mike Grossman marked their 40th anniversary Wednesday, April 20, after celebrating the event with a gathering of family and friends the previous weekend. Grossman is a Minneapolis native who had lived in Dallas a year when he met Amerson, a native of west Texas who had already lived in Dallas several years when they met. The couple say they are most proud of their children, Laura and Devon Cloud and Barney and Stephanie Grossman, and their grandchildren, Miles and Rachel. The two work in residential real estate, Grossman for 50 years and Amerson for more than 35 years.

—  John Wright

Johnny Weir Isn’t About To Start Celebrating His Gayness (Or Become An Activist)

Because he wasn't hiding in the closet, DIDN'TYOUKNOW. Out promoting his memoir Welcome To My World this morning on Today, Johnny says he does want you to judge his book by his cover. Also, that he's "very surprised" by the reaction to his big reveal, which surprises me, because I'm pretty sure everyone out there knew this already? "I was born a white male. A white gay male. And I don’t celebrate being white or male. So why should I celebrate being gay? … I know people who have been activists for years and have worked so hard and tirelessly … and they have definitely wanted me to be an activist, but I think the best way I can be an activist is to live my life and not make that the main thing that is Johnny Weir. I'm much more than just a gay man." So true. You are Evan Lysacek's mortal enemy!


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Celebrating Diversity and Fighting for DADT Repeal in Manchester, NH

“My daughter has risked her life in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and has a high security clearance from the United States government. We are her family and we accept her, why can’t the United States military?” a mother asked me bright and early Saturday morning.

I was surrounded by booth after booth celebrating the diversity of Manchester, NH at the fourth annual People Fest in Veteran’s Park. People Fest is an incredible open air festival that brings together the many cultures of the area, from its early Irish settlers to the French Canadian and Lebanese populations (to name a few) that have grown and prospered over the decades.

With the sounds of traditional Native American drums as a backdrop, I listened to the story of a woman from a small town in New Hampshire who was too afraid of jeopardizing her daughter’s celebrated military career to get involved in our campaign to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell beyond signing a petition.

Amidst the celebrations and festive music, I realized; we have so much more to do.

Luckily, People Fest was the right place to be. With the help of Mary Lou Paquette, a twenty year veteran who has been a powerful voice in New Hampshire, and Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress, we gathered more than 120 petition signatures to Senator Judd Gregg asking for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year at this fantastic local event.

That night, with the dedication of super volunteers Tom Lavalley and Joshua Bedard, we more than doubled our efforts by pounding the pavement the old fashioned way. We heard more stories, got more signatures, and listened to more messages as they were left on the voicemail of Senator Gregg’s Manchester office.

Hopefully, by this time next year, the woman I met Saturday morning, and the hundreds of supporters I have spoken to over the last months will be able to take a sigh of relief, and reflect upon the fact that we did it. We made history. We will repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year, but only with your continued support.

Zandra from Granite State Progress

We are so close to this historic vote, and there is no way that we’re going to let up the pressure now. Please join us Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 4 Park Street in Concord at 5:30 p.m. to make calls to make the difference. This is the last leg, and we need you now more than ever!

Please contact Christine Sloane at Christine.Sloane@hrc.org for more information.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright