DEATHS: James ‘Kissey’ Olson, James Edward ‘Beaux’ Geer, Ray ‘Alpha Pup’ Witt

James “Kissey” Olson, 62, died at his home in Dallas on March 30 after recently being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Olson was native of Iron River, Mich. After graduating from high school, he served in the U.S. Air Force for six years. He went to work for AT&T, living in Phoeniz, Little Rock and finally Dallas, where he retired.

He had lived in the Dallas area for more than 24 years.

His home here was party central and was always open to his many friends who will miss his and his hospitality.

Olson is survived by his mother, Minnie, and sisters, Ruth and Doris, of Iron River; his brother, Ron, of Milwaukee; his ex-wife, Jo, of Yuma, Az.; his two children, Scott and Amy of Phoenix, and six grandchildren; and his beloved Chihuahua, Moose.

Olson was cremated and his ashes were buried at Iron River. A celebration of his life will be held on the patio at The Hidden Door, 5025 Bowser St., on Saturday, April 30, at 2 p.m.

 

James Edward “Beaux” Geer, 46, died April 13.

Geer worked as a hairdresser with Salon D for 23 years. He was also an artist who founded “Healing Texas through the Arts” to showcase new artists and make their works available to the public.

Geer was truly loved by friends and family, and he had an innocent sweetness of spirit and extraordinary talent that turned everything he touched into a thing of beauty. His paintings provided a view into his soul. He will be profoundly missed by those who knew him and will keep him forever in their hearts.

Geer is survived by his mother and stepfather, Bill and Millie Ritter of Plano; his father, Thomas Geer, Lafayette, La.; his brother Greg “Blackie” Geer, wife Kayce, daughter Typhane and grandson Thor, all of Austin; his best friend and brother-of-the heart, Dale Hall; and a host of other family and friends. Plans are pending for a celebration of life memorial gathering.

 

Ray “Alpha Pup” Witt, 59, died March 30 from an apparent stroke. Witt, loving boy and partner to Daddy Ron Hertz of Dallas and a member of the Dallas leather community, was a former member of Discipline Corps and NLA-Dallas. He held the first International Puppy title presented in 2001, thus becoming the “Alpha Pup.” His gift for storytelling and his warm heart endeared him to many in the community and his presence will be missed.Witt is survived by his partner of 9 ½ years, Ron Hertz of Dallas; his mother, Duluth Witt of Lexington, Ky.; and his canine friend “Mugsy.” A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

 

—  John Wright

FEEDBACK: Tavern Guild treasurer responds to criticism over gay Pride festival changes

Clearing up some Festival facts

I’m a bit disappointed by the tone of Hardy Haberman’s article on the Festival in Lee Park (“The end of the free festival,” Dallas Voice, April 15).

The writer admits up front that he never attended the event. I’m not sure where the nostalgia comes from if you have not been a regular in the park following the parade.

We all miss the “good old days” when the world was different. Days when people respected the law, followed rules, respected each other and controlled their drinking and fighting.

Things have changed. Sadly, the festival has degenerated to an embarrassing level. It was evident on the parade route this past year. It was most evident in the park for the last two years.

Uncontrolled drinking of cases and cases of beer brought into the park led to a lot of issues: Gay on gay issues; drunk, loud, vulgar language in front of children; rude behavior and more fights than we have ever experienced.

The actions of a few of our community disgusted several GLBT families with children. Rude, vulgar actions led only to anger on the part of the offending parties that their actions were questioned. And most all of it was due to uncontrolled beer and even liquor consumption.

Public drunkenness is illegal. Bringing liquor into the park is illegal. We run the risk of losing the support and attendance of much of the GLBT community if we do not control the events in the park. That would be a real loss.

TABC and Homeland Security are an issue, even though the writer scoffed at the idea. Homeland Security is the reason police requirements rose from 20 officers to 85 officers (DPD wanted 100 officers). These are all $35 to $45 per hour, per officer. We are approaching $20,000 in security.

Add to that a clean-up cost of $12,000 because in a celebration, no one wants to pick up after themselves. Add to that a festival in the park where the celebration is used by a few as an excuse to get as drunk as they want, with no thought or respect for others in attendance.

Frankly, this damages the GLBT image. It drives away good, responsible GLBT people from attending, and it cheapens the event.

A loss for the community? Yes, but that loss is not about a free event in the park. It’s a loss of reason, a loss of responsibility, a loss of respect and decency.

Americans in general have lost it. Some in the GLBT community have lost it. Fencing in the park was a last resort effort to control the drunkenness and the sanity during our festival.

The decision would have been taken out of our hands next year anyway. The Tavern Guild made the only good choice, and thanks to that decision, the festival will continue, “for now.”

Alan Pierce
Treasurer, Dallas Tavern Guild


More on charging for the Festival

Though I understand the reasoning, I think they will find that far fewer people attend the event, myself included … unless truly there is big name entertainment.

Bummer, via DallasVoice.com


The entire “Pride” thing is a joke. There is no pride. Its an excuse to be exhibionistic and to get stinking drunk. Sad, sad, sad.

Jim, via DallasVoice.com


This is what you get when you allow a community event to be sponsored by a group of business people whose main concern is getting a large amount of people into their bars and drinking their overpriced drinks. Lee Park is a PUBLIC PARK and the idea that a business group could fence it and charge admission goes against everything the idea of a public park should be. Of course, if the Tavern Guild is decrying the amount of “drunks” at the parade, they have no one to blame but themselves. Pride Schmide.

Brett, via DallasVoice.com


It (charging admission) is a great idea. I wish it would have happened sooner. I re-read the article and the negative comments seem extreme and unfounded.

Little Monster, via DallasVoice.com


Log Cabin Republicans was planning on having a booth as it always does at the festival until we read about the rule changes. The rule changes will impede attendance as much or more than the $5.

Can you imagine Lee Park with a perimeter fence? Nobody will be able to enter without going through a main entrance. Can you imagine renting a booth and not being allowed to bring in a cooler for your workers and guests? We just offer water and soft drinks, but coolers are now prohibited.

I don’t believe these rules will stand for very long as surely nobody will commit to a festival that nobody will attend.

Robert Schlein, via DallasVoice.com

—  John Wright

Photo exclusive: On the field at the Super Bowl


We had an inside man working for us at the Super Bowl on Sunday, and he was able to get some up-close-and-personal pix from the field during the half-time show and even as the Green Bay Packers took the field in celebration of their victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here are some photos from the gridiron.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Why am I not celebrating more?

Although the swearing in of the first trans trial judge is cause for celebration, there is still a long, hard fight ahead

WREN A. WYNN  |  Special Contributor

We have recently seen America’s first transgender trial judge sworn in. So why am I not celebrating more?

Are you kidding? I read the news to my husband and son, and we all cheered and breathed a sigh of great relief and deep gratitude. This momentous ceremony brought us all one step closer to lawful and societal equality and a much safer pursuit of that very happiness our Constitution grants to us all.

But this is where I — as an American, a woman and the wife of an amazing transgender man — must restrain my celebration. The full celebration will commence the day society’s labels fade away.

Humans always try to define things we do not understand. Our lack of understanding leads to fear. Labels are incessantly cast onto anything we need defined for us.

For instance, say you have two tin cans, both sealed. One is labeled “beans;” the other has no label. Which would you choose?

Unless you have an aversion to legumes, you would probably choose the labeled one. I would — I mean, what if the other can has beets?

We should be electing transgender officials. We should be electing lesbian and gay officials, female officials, African-American officials, Hispanic officials, Jewish and Muslim officials — and so on. Because, quite simply, every one of the members of our global society are human beings.

We are all born inherently equal and all hold the same worthiness as our neighbor. Our labels do not designate our worth or, believe it or not, our contents. Existence is where our worth lies. You are here. I am here. We are amazing.

The full celebration will commence when all marginalized people refuse to be yoked to such a lexicon: marginalized, victimized, worthless, wrong, immoral, dangerous. These are only a very few of the terms used by the media, the Biblical Christian right and those in seats of actual “power” when referring to “them.”

When you are marginalized, the first thing that is stripped from you is your name. It is far easier to be cruel and hateful when you are aggressively pursuing the nameless.

How many of us have found ourselves in such a place — no name, no support, no safety? I was hit in the face in seventh grade by an extraordinarily hefty repeat eighth grader because my being gay offended her. Her name was Amie. I bet you a million dollars she doesn’t remember my name.

We cannot continue to allow our names to be replaced with a vocabulary of invisibility and hate. My name is Wren.

The full celebration will commence when those seated in positions of power and authority stop being so damn afraid that they will be dethroned and overrun. If you are a just and compassionate leader, this is not a concern. So it is no wonder that so many higher-ups are constantly having to towel off their flop-sweat as they stand at their microphones and bullhorns leaking their heartlessness and fear into the world.

This decidedly ridiculous behavior, though, should come as no real surprise. Look at what the leaders worship. All religions at all moments in history, both patriarchal and matriarchal (though to a lesser extent), worship very wrathful and immature gods and goddesses. How many times has a deity cruelly destroyed all of life because another god was getting more attention or because the people weren’t pliant enough or, sometimes, just for the hell of it?

I am all for America. This is proven by the fact that I haven’t run off to Canada or Europe … yet. I truly do believe, very dearly, that America is the home of the brave. Every day I encounter transgender people (my husband included) who are changing the world and saving lives by simply being who they are.

We hear and see and know lesbian, gay and bisexual people who are not willing to let another person die because bullying gay kids and adults is seen as not so big an issue. We have seen the African-American community rise up saying, “We are not second-class citizens.” Everyday the cycle of racism slows.

In recent months, we have witnessed the courageous stance of the Muslim community in New York as they prepare a way for a mosque, even as the Koran is being threatened in Florida. With every passing moment we see and hear men and women standing up for women’s and human rights and equal passage and opportunity in the world.
What amazing and brave people we all are when we stand up for one another!

So God, Goddess, Allah, Abba, Brahman, Waheguru, Yahweh, Jesus, The Light, Almighty, Bahá, Jehova, El Cantare, Oya — all of them — bless America, Mother Earth and all of her beautiful creations. We live in truly amazing times. May we be awake and willing, enthusiastic, even, to stand with one another in our various fires.

This is not a case of “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” This is about celebrating life and Victoria Kolakowski, America’s first sworn-in transgender trial judge. You go girl!

Wren Wynn is a local writer and artist and the author of Chrysalis, a collection of poetry and artworks. She is also a commissioned artist and her paintings have been chosen to hang in the Visual Arts Center of Dallas galleries. Wynn is currently working on a collection of personal essays and a second poetry collection. Go online to Open.Salon.com/blog/wrenaw to read a sample of her work.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 21, 2011.

—  John Wright

Deaths 01.14.11

Gary L. Allen, who was known as “The Uscan Man” at Kroger on Cedar Springs Road, died on Jan. 9, two days before his 61st birthday. He had worked at Kroger for 35 years and was one of two people who had worked at the store on Cedar Springs since it opened in 1998.

Throughout the years, he participated in many charity events. He won several honors for his volunteerism.

Allen is survived by his beloved dog Bo, who has been given a new home by some of his friends; and by friends Elaine and Mike Casey, John “Spanke” Studer, Mark Sharp and Rod Wait, Shannon Percell and Ronye Mitchell-Percell, Mariann Slocum and Cyndi Richards, and Don Maison.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to AIDS Services Dallas, P.O. Box 4338, Dallas, Texas 75208. A celebration of his life will be held at a private home on Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. Address and additional information is available at Kroger.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 14, 2011.

—  John Wright

Holiday kick-off

LIGHTING THE WAY  | The DFW Sisters perform a ceremonial lighting of the Christmas Tree on the patio of TMC during the Cedar Springs Merchants Association’s First Wednesday celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The event marked the third year in which businesses in the gayborhood have welcomed the holidays with a First Wednesday party. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

New Delhi holds first pride celebration since the decriminalization of homosexuality

Over 2,000 out and proud lesbian, gay, bisexual and trandgender people and their straight friends marched through India’s capitol today in the 3rd annual pride parade.

Today is about saying that we are gay and we are proud. We are not going anywhere, we are a part of society, and today we can celebrate being different.” –Amit Agrawal, a parade organizer

Past pride marches were held in protest against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial-era nugget which criminalized consensual sex between adult same-sex couples.  But this year was all about celebration because on July 2, 2009 the High Court of New Delhi ruled that Section 377 no longer applies to same-sex couples.  

Last year it was about protest, but this year it is all about celebration. It has only been a year, but it has been a huge year.”  –Hillol Dutta, gay activist

As we all know, changing the law doesn’t erase the bigotry in people’s hearts and many gay Indians still enter into the closet of heterosexual marriages.  But the positive effects of the High Court’s ruling are already being felt.  Mohnish Malhotra, another if the pride parade’s organizers said that

{Because}…gays and lesbians can no longer be legally prosecuted…this has had a visible trickle-down effect on people’s attitude to homosexuality on a grass-root level, at least in urban areas.  ”We are no longer considered criminals – people in general have become more tolerant,” he says. [snip]

Since Section 377 was struck down, many of Delhi’s hottest venues have started hosting gay-themed nights and businesses openly targeting gay consumers have sprung up in a variety of sectors. They include lifestyle magazine “Fun,” web-based travel agent “Indjapink“, and the specialized online bookstore “Queer Ink.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Delhi India’s First Pride Celebration

India x390 (Getty) I Advocate.comNearly 2,000 people gathered in Delhi, India’s capital, to celebrate gay
pride in the first such event since homosexuality was legalized in 2009
by the High Court.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Grindr to celebrate 1 million members at BJ’s NXS

Grindr members can celebrate. The app has surpassed 1 million members and that means a celebration, of course. With parties across the globe, the app continues its worldwide domination of man-to-man hookups … er, socializing.

The local Million Man Celebration (because Million Man March was taken) happens at BJ’s NXS! on Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. Expect drink specials and prizes — and hopefully that guy you’ve been trying to chat with who’s 146 feet away from your daytime gig.

—  Rich Lopez

Today’s Joe Farah Cry for Help: Homocon represents GOP ‘appeasement of the open celebration of sin’

 

Am I the only one willing to stand up for marriage as an institution of one man and one woman?

Am I the only one willing to stand up for a U.S. military unencumbered by perverse social experiments?

Am I the only one willing to stand up for liberty as a gift of God?

– WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah, continuing his public psychological meltdown in today’s column, “The homo con continues

Ah, I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning. It appears that poor Joseph Farah believes he stands alone in fighting the Homosexual Agenda these days. The level of desperation and flop sweat makes for excellent blogging opportunities here at the Blend, but I can’t help feeling that we’re really watching someone mentally unravel over the political changes afoot.

In yet another column (it’s up to a near daily e-blast or WND editorial at this point), Joseph Farah attacks GOProud, blaming the gay conservative organization for: 1) convincing Ann Coulter to come to HOMOCON; 2) having the gathering hosted at PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s house (he’s a libertarian, btw); 3) apparently “pro-gay brainwashing” a bunch of prominent conservatives to attend.

Sponsors for the Homocon event now include:
  • Conservative Political Action Conference director Lisa DePasquale;
  • Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, who sits on GOProud’s board;
  • John Hawkins of Right Wing News;
  • Fox News contributor Margaret Hoover;
  • Craig Engle, former general counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Suffice it to say, I told you so.

I told you this event was aptly named. It literally represents the homo conning of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

Now, Joe, all of the above people are attending and sponsoring of their own free will, so I presume that they want to be there, not jawboning with you about The Homosexual Agenda taking over the Republican party. I would, however, assume that they are thumbing their noses at your Bedroom Peeping Agenda.

Farah is really pissed at Coulter – she’s apparently earned as special place in Joe’s Hell; look at the path of social destruction he now applies to her (keyboard alert);

When I said Ann Coulter was giving validation to this group, this is what I meant. She has opened the floodgates for participation and support for a group that favors:
  • liberty-destroying hate-crimes legislation;
  • same-sex marriage;
  • open homosexuality in the U.S. military;
  • special government perks for homosexuals.

I’m trying to figure out what these special government perks are. Do you all have any ideas about that? Free toasters? Babies to eat? WTF?

The vast Farah ego that is now being crushed by rejection from these conservatives has him claiming “last man standing” status to save society – with his “Taking America Back National Conference.” Do I hear a plea for attendee$? Pull out the tiny violin…

We are witnessing the destruction of Washington’s conservative establishment before our eyes.

And what a time for capitulation – on the very brink of the biggest electoral mid-term congressional victory in modern American history!

Again, I repeat: I’m not seeing anyone of prominence in the Republican Party or the conservative movement standing up to this wholesale retreat on some fundamental conservative issues.

This kind of appeasement of the open celebration of sin represents the camel’s nose under the “big tent” that some conservatives and Republicans are so hell-bent on building.

There is a way that every non-celebrity conservative and Republican who recognizes this capitulation by the conservative establishment in Washington for what it is can stand up and be counted.

Join me in Miami for what has been planned as an alternative to this kind of surrender – the “Taking America Back National Conference” Sept. 16-18.

Stand up proudly for marriage, freedom and national security with me.

Here are the high-caliber people who will stand up proudly with Joe. I’m not seeing the future of the GOP in this crowd.

Related:

* WND’s Farah obsesses over GOProud’s ‘infiltration and subversion of the conservative movement’

* Mike Signorile interviews WND’s Farah – on Coulter’s ‘betrayal’: ‘My Eyes Have Been Opened’

* Coulter on fundie Take Back America confab: ‘They’re a bunch of fake Christians’

* WorldNetDaily’s Farah in complete meltdown as high-profile conservatives ‘embrace the homos’
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright