What’s Shakin’ – People Empowering People happy hour, Chaz Bono takes on the National Enquirer

1. People Empowering People is a collaboration between The Men’s Group, a social group for African-American gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men, and TMG One Voice, The Men’s Group’s co-ed counterpart.  PEP’s monthly happy hour tonight at F Bar (202 Tuam) provides a casual social setting open to all regardless of ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression and an opportunity to mix and mingle with the fabulous men and women of both organizations.  The festivities kick off at 6 pm.

2. Joe My God has a copy of the Cease and Desist letter sent by lawyers for Chaz Bono to the National Enquirer. Seems the tabloid ran a story in this week’s issue claiming that Bono’s gender transition has shortened his life expectancy to 4 years.  The Enquirer article quotes the opinion of Dr. Patrick Wanis, identified as a medical doctor specializing in transgender health issues.  The problem?  According to Bono’s lawyers not only is Wanis not an expert on trans health issues, he’s not a medical doctor.

3. Today is the last day to early vote in the Houston Municipal election, but if you miss this opportunity you can still cast your ballot at your precinct voting location on Nov 8. A list of all early voting locations and sample ballots  are available at harrisvotes.org.

—  admin

Cazwell headlines a full day of Razzle Dazzle today

Bedazzled

Once you recover from last night’s MetroBall, then you have a full day of Razzle Dazzle with today’s street festival. The day starts with the Sidewalk Sale and Fair where merchants once again offer discounts on your shopping excursions. The cool part will be the vintage auto show.About 50 autos from Classic Chassis Car Club will be parked along Cedar Springs Road until 4 p.m.

The night picks up when the Street Festival gets underway featuring live performances by Cheer Dallas, The Bright, Uptown Players, Chaz Marie, the Gary Floyd Trio and more. DJs Mickey Briggs and Tim Pfleuger provide dance music all night. All that will be highlighted by the return of Cazwell on the mainstage. And there is still all the goings-on in the bars and Midway of carnival games, a mechanical bull and an obstacle course. This could be like gay Wipeout.

DEETS: Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Streets. Sidewalk sale 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Street Festival 7 p.m.–1 a.m. Free. RazzleDazzleDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Driver’s seat

Chaz Marie brings country rock to Razzle Dazzle, but it’s a Jeep that brings her there

Razzle Dazzle Days will pump up the jams big time over the weekend with lots of music: “Ice Cream Truck” rapper Cazwell headlines Saturday’s street festival, but he’s got a strong line of supporting acts. Among them, local singer Chaz Marie, who brings some Texas flavor to the bill with her country rock.

The Irving-based singer may not have to travel far to this gig, but she still needs the roominess of her car. With enough space for her gear and guitars, Marie talks up the easy ride of her set of wheels.

— Rich Lopez

……………………….

Name: Chaz Marie

Occupation: Singer/entertainer

How might we know you? I sing all over the DFW area!

What kind of car do you have? 2002 Jeep Cherokee Laredo Sport.

Have you named her? Yes — her name is Meerie.

Why this car? Simple: I love Jeeps!

Good gas mileage? Meh… depends. It’s 20 city, 22 highway.

What are the rules of your car? You mess it, you clean it. And no complaining about the loud music.

Speed Racer or grandma? Speed. Racer. Definitely.

Best car memory: It’s a pretty simple one, but I just loved that feeling when I first got it and drove it off the lot, all shiny and new.

Funniest road trip story? One time, I drove off with my gig book on top! Fortunately, it enjoyed the ride. It stayed on because it got caught in the luggage rack.

What’s in your player right now? Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Deftones, Jack Johnson, Beth Hart, Janis Joplin and Maroon 5.

How do you rate this to previous cars you’ve owned? Seriously, this is the best car I have ever had. It’s classy and it’s fun, but it’s still sporty.

Sexiest thing about your car? Well, me driving it, of course.

Where is one place you would like to drive your car? I would love to take it through the mountains in Colorado to Manitou Springs.

How many gallons does it take to fill? 15.

Gas is a burden on the wallet now. How many gigs do you need to afford one fill-up? Thankfully, just one gig. At least for now.

Ever write a song in your car? Not yet.

So if we see the Jeep at Razzle Dazzle, can we shoe polish it like in high school? Absolutely!

Is this your touring bus? Oh, yes.

How big is your band and how many cars are needed for a gig? We are a five- to six-piece band, but we all usually drive our own cars.

Razzle Dazzle is super gay. How are your LGBT audiences different than your straight or mixed ones? Oh my gosh, gay crowds are so uninhibited. They know how to have a party and enjoy one!  Non-gay crowds do too, but, you know, they just need a little push to get the party started sometimes.

Where can we check your music out? Thanks for asking! You can find me on iTunes, YouTube and at ChazMarie.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 3, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Cedar Springs street party to proceed as scheduled

Country singer Chaz Marie, left, and Compete Magazine Athlete of the Year Michael Holtz

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Weather and other factors have affected a number of Super Bowl-related events originally set for this week. But despite the area’s winter weather woes, crowds are still expected to turn out for the Cedar Springs Merchants Association’s Super Street Party Saturday night on Cedar Springs.

Forecasts predict that the week’s record-setting low temperatures should give way to a more moderate seasonal chill by then, and organizers predict that the excitement of the event will be enough to keep party-goers warm — not to mention the chance for some prime celebrity-spotting.

The merchants association has received calls from a number of celebrities and athletes — gay and straight — who will be in town for the big event, all asking for details on the Super Street Party. Why? Because the straight celebs assume that in a straight-laced town like Dallas, it’s the gays who know how to party.

Those requests for information have come from celebrities said to be staying at The Melrose and other hotels in the Oak Lawn area.

Cedar Springs Road will close at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, and the party begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. In case it gets cold, the bars will all be open with most offering specials.

Buli promises hot chocolate and will stay open until at least 1 a.m. Hunky’s and Subway will remain open until 3 a.m., with Subway offering its Fabulous Foot-long as a Super Bowl special. Zini’s plans to operate until at least 4 a.m. and Café Brazil is open 24 hours.

The Bud Light Main Stage will be set up in the middle of Cedar Springs, with Chaz Marie as the featured entertainer. Guest DJs will provide music on the street throughout the evening.

Compete Magazine’s Gay Athlete of the Year Michael Holtz will be the MC.

Woody’s Sports and Video Bar will hold a meet-and-greet with Holtz on Friday, Feb. 4 at 9 p.m. and he will attend a brunch at Dish on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Beer booths will be set up on the street, staffed by some of the local gay sports groups raising money for their teams.

Other Super Bowl week events haven’t fared as well.

A gay-themed concert originally planned for Thursday night was cancelled, even before bad weather hit, because of poor ticket sales. The tent in the Cotton Bowl that was to house that and other concert events collapsed under the weight of the ice and snow, and the concerts were moved to the Fair Park Coliseum.

Dallas had hoped to show off many of its venues to visitors through the week but the ice that arrived early on Tuesday morning delayed the arrival of many visitors when both airports closed. The storm also caused the closing of the downtown museums for two days, as well as a number of other facilities around the area.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 4, 2011.

—  John Wright

Oprah Buys Chaz Bono Doc

BECOMING CHAZ BONO Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato X390 (PUB) | ADVOCATE.COMBefore the movie debuts at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, Oprah Winfrey’s cable upstart OWN has snapped up the rights has snapped up the rights to Becoming Chaz, a documentary that follows Chaz Bono’s gender reassignment journey.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

My take on ‘Burlesque’

There’s a review in the print edition this week (and online) of Burlesque, but I didn’t write it because I didn’t screen the film in time. But as the film opens today I wanted to weigh in. Not because I disagree with our reviewer, but because I agree with her … and wonder how many other gay men out there do, too.

I’ve often grouped gay men not into traditional categories like top/bottom, twink/bear, daddy/boy, but rather by their favorite diva. Judy queens. Liza queens. Bette queens. Barbra queens. Celine queens. Mariah queens. Patti queens. Of late, Gaga queens.

And, of course, Cher.

Often, this is a generational thing (I may be Gaga’s oldest living fan); some youngsters don’t even know who Judy is. But Cher seems to cross ages. Maybe it’s her long career (her 2000 single “Believe” made her the oldest soloist ever to have a No. 1 pop hit). Maybe it’s her massively bad career choices (her Oscar follow-up is Mermaids?) or her trans child, Chaz. But for some reason, gay men have always given Cher a pass when it comes to reviews of her work. You can never trust how good she really is, because her fans seem to want to prevent the truth from coming out. They protect her. And sometimes she needs it.

Cher hasn’t made a feature (other than a cameo in Stuck on You) since 1999′s Tea with Mussolini, and she chooses to return to film with a Showgirls-vibed musical from a first-time director? Just how badly does she need money?

But here’s the thing: The movie succeeds. This is not to say it is a good film; it is most definitely not. But it is exactly what it sets out to be. It’s the McDonald’s french fry of cinema: Addictively enjoyable if objectively trashy. Hooray for Cher — she gave us just what we wanted.

So did the writer-director, Steve Antin. He doesn’t miss one cliche. Not the farm-girl (Christina Aguilera) from, of course, Iowa; not the creditors beating at the door, wanting to shut down the Burlesque Lounge, which seems to emerge like a ghostly haunted house from the Sunset Strip. (Here’s my notion for why the club doesn’t turn a profit: 20 dancing girls who get free drinks and big enough salaries to drive BMWs, a six-man live band and staff of bartenders big enough to man a cruise ship.)

But there’s an energy to the movie — it succeeds despite itself. Antin has fun with the musical numbers, and he lingers on the body of hot young boytoy Cam Gigandet, dressing him in a Fosse-inspired bowler with sleeveless shirt and guyliner. It’s gayrific, but straight-friendly. (Eric Dane is in it too, but not the playing the beefcake this time.) Even gayer is Stanley Tucci, perfection as the bitchy old queen with the smart-ass wisecrack, who plays off of Cher expertly. He gives her sometimes wooden acting credibility.

Acting’s one thing, but Cher’s big number — which makes no logical sense in the movie; few scenes do — is a marvel of passion and pride and survival. It makes up for all the nonsense.

Aguilera acquits herself well both as a singer (no surprise there) and as an actress. Is she this year’s Mo’Nique? Not even close. But she could become Cher. And that’s not such a bad thing.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cher And David Letterman Discuss Her Son Chaz Bono’s Transition

They both stumbled repeatedly over their pronouns, but last night Cher and David Letterman had a frank discussion about Chaz’s transition and what the difference is between being gay and being transgender. Cher’s loving support is amply evident and Letterman’s questions and comments show that perhaps he learned something after being widely criticized for an anti-trans skit early this year. Let’s hope the language police aren’t too hard on either of them for their his/her missteps. Context, and all that. The bit about Chaz begins at 12:30 in the first clip and continues through the second. (Note that these clips are not from CBS and may disappear from YouTube.)

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Chaz Bono To Trans Kids: ‘Hang In There’

You're already well aware of the It Gets Better Project, and you know where to go if you want to find some videos to share with friends. But this entry from Chaz Bono is one of few from our big name transgender brother and sisters, and is a wonderful contribution for youth struggling with their gender identity. We saw Candis Cayne for a hot minute in one clip. More like this please.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Kirven arrested in D.C. protest

Chaz Kirven, right, was among the eight protesters who staged a sit-in Thursday in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's D.C. office, calling for passage of ENDA. Four, including Kirven, were arrested.
Chaz Kirven, right, was among the eight protesters who staged a sit-in Thursday in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s D.C. office, calling for passage of ENDA. Four, including Kirven, were arrested. (Photo e-mailed to Dallas Voice by Chaz Kirven)

Dallas activist C.D. (Chaz) Kirven was among the four activists arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C., when they staged a sit-in in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination in employment against LGBT people.

The action in D.C. was part of a bi-coastal protest: Eight people participated in the sit-in at Pelosi’s D.C. office, and 11 more staged a sit-in in Pelosi’s offices in her home district in San Francisco. A total of ten people were arrested between the two protests.

Chaz sent me e-mails early this morning, after she was released from jail. She said her court date is set for April 6, and she and the other protesters need our support. She was also rallying support for Lt. Dan Choi, who had been discharged under the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Choi was arrested yesterday after chaining himself to the fence around the White House as part of a protest calling for the repeal of DADT.

We’re trying to get in touch with Chaz now and will have a more complete story online as soon as we can. But for now, read Kerry Eleveld’s report at Advocate.com.

—  admin