I have to admit my jaw kind of dropped when I saw this on Sue Ellen’s calendar. The club scored a major coup booking country star Chely Wright to headline this year’s fifth annual Dallas Lesbian Festival set for May 6. Props to the club for taking the festival up to a whole other level. Let’s hope it continues.
Yes, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole will likely make appearances today singing their famous Christmas tunes, but queer artists have their signature contributions as well. I mean, Fred Schneider’s ridiculous humor may not compare with traditional carols, but he proves we need a little disco year round. And Pink Martini can croon just like the best of them.
Here’s a rundown of my top queer Christmas tunes for the day to add your to mix. Bing and Nat won’t mind the company.
10. The Superions — “Christmas Disco”This album is a pure exercise in the absurd, but Fred Schneider’s side project turns the reverent holiday into a flat out house party.
Officials with the Black Tie Dinner this week announced that Emmy Award-nominated actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson will be the recipient of the 2011 Media Award at this year’s 30th annual dinner, set for Nov. 12 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.
The Media Award is given to those who have promoted positive, increased awareness of LGBT issues in the media.
The 2010 Media Award was presented to newly out country music star Chely Wright.
Ferguson — who starred on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in 2005, where he originated the role Leaf Coneybear — stars as in the ABC comedy Modern Family as Mitchell Pritchett, who with his same-sex partner Cameron Tucker traveled to Vietnam to adopt their daughter.
Modern Family weaves together the interconnected stories of Mitch and Cameron’s family, Mitch’s sister, Claire Dunphy and her family, and their father, Jay Pritchett and his new wife and stepson, Gloria Delgado-Pritchett and Manny.
This is the second year in a row that Ferguson has been nominated for an Emmy as best supporting actor in a comedy for his role in Modern Family. He has also been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.
Earlier this year, Ferguson, acting on behalf of the Modern Familyd cast, accepted the GLAAD Media Award for outstanding comedy series when his show tied for the award with Glee.
Ferguson’s small-screen credits also include roles in The Class, Do Not Disturb and Ugly Betty. Among his film credits are roles in Untraceable, Griffin and Phoenix and Wonderful World.
Black Tie Co-Chair Nan Arnold, in a prepared statement announcing Ferguson as the Media Award winner, said the dinner is “thrilled” to present him with the award.
“As one of the few openly gay, working actors, he has established a wonderful and positive image on network television. The story of Mitchell and Cameron’s relationship is told with so much heart and love. Their storylines do not revolve around these characters being gay, but are instead about two new parents who are in a loving relationship and are trying to work their way through fatherhood together.”
Black Tie officials announced earlier this year that comedienne and Sordid Lives: The Series star Caroline Rhea will be master of ceremonies for the 2011 dinner, and that Chet Flake and his partner of 45 years, the late Bud Knight, will receive this year’s Kuchling Humanitarian Award.
Table Captain table sales are currently under way online at BlackTie.org/TableCaptains.
Chely Wright at the OMAs. (Photo by Andrew Werner)
Those OutMusic Awards people are something. They are something else. After coming off a Twitter onslaught from the Billboard Music Awards the day before, I expected to at least find out who the winners were from the ceremony as it happened. This wasn’t the case and as I scoured the social networks and interwebs, not a word of who won was available. Even this note from their site didn’t help my hopes for quick information: Stay tuned as OUTMUSIC revamps its look with a new website in the midst of the 7th Annual OUTMUSIC AWARDS. Sure it looked better, but with old press releases and 18-hour-old tweets, the realization came late that I was going to have to wait to find out who the winners were. And the wait is over — at 3 p.m. Central time the following day.
Of course, we had some personal interest vested in this year’s crop of nominees. We’ve mentioned repeatedly that local musician Gary Floyd was up for three nods and our homegrown appreciation kicked in. But this turned out to be his “glad to be nominated” year. Floyd was nominated with some primo artists like Ray Boltz and Rachael Sage, so at least we know he can hang with the some of the top names in the LGBT music scene.
The night also honored some big names in LGBT music as well. Chely Wright appeared last night to accept her Vanguard Award. Other honorees included Melissa Etheridge for Lifeteime Achievement and Sylvester for the Icon Award.
1. Last week the re-introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was delayed due to a lack of co-sponsors. Now we can see why. The federal bill to ban anti-LGBT job discrimination was finally re-introduced Wednesday with nearly half the co-sponsors it had in the last session. The number of ENDA co-sponsors is down from 203 in the last Congress to 111 in this one. Republicans, of course, picked up 70 seats in the House last November, but this still leaves a difference of 22. LGBT advocates are downplaying the numbers, saying the bill isn’t going to pass anyway this session so the most important thing is how much educating they’re able to do.
2. Nine million Americans, or about 3.5 percent of the overall population, identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to a new study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
3. Country singer Chely Wright, who came out last year and spoke at Black Die Dinner in Dallas in November, is engaged to LGBT activist Lauren Blitzer, accorrding to People magazine. They plan to marry in August.
Everybody knows that Cyndi Lauper is not just an LGBT rights supporter, she is a committed activist who is willing to put her time, talent and money where her mouth is when it comes to equality for all.
The shoes — “Glittery Heels Worn and Signed by Cyndi Lauper” — are just one of the 43 items up for auction in the third annual winter Give A Damn online auction. The list also includes opportunities to meet a wide range of celebrities (Lauper, Jason Mraz, Ricky Martin, The Scissor Sisters, Lily Tomlin and more) in person, a chance to have lunch with Carson Kressley, 2 VIP gold hot seat ticket packages to Lady Gaga’s sold-out show at MSG, tickets to see U2 at the Meadowlands, signed items from folks like Dolly Parton, a Skype chat with Chely Wright, the chance to have Lauper, Rosie O’Donnell or Sara Silverman record your voice mail message — and much, much more.
All the proceeds from the auction go to help fund the Give A Damn Campaign, a web-based initiative launched by Lauper’s True Colors Fund “with the goal of educating and engaging everyone, especially straight people, in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.”
So head on over to the auction page, check out the items up for auction and bid on one or two if you can. I mean, after all, who wouldn’t like the chance to walk in Cyndi Lauper’s shoes — literally?!
Officials with Black Tie Dinner this week announced that the organization will begin accepting applications Feb. 1 from potential beneficiaries of the 30th annual event, set for Nov. 12 at Sheraton Dallas hotel.
Each year, money raised by the dinner is divided between the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and local beneficiary organizations. As many as 20 local beneficiaries are chosen each year.
Beneficiary applications will be available on the BTD website on Feb. 1, and the deadline for submitting applications is. Feb. 25.
The names of those organizations chosen as beneficiaries will be announced March 30.
Eligible groups must have tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status with the IRS and must demonstrate service to the LGBT community, using a majority of their funds for direct programs and services.
Officials also said this week that other announcements about plans for the 30th annual Black Tie Dinner can be expected in the next week.
The dinner began in 1982 when organizers donated about $6,000 to HRCF and has grown into the largest LGBT fundraising dinner of its kind in the country. More than $15 million has been distributed to beneficiaries since then.
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin was the headliner of the 2010 Black Tie Dinner. Others that have appeared include Gov. Ann Richards, Maya Angelou, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Gavin Newsom.
The dinner committee honors individuals and corporations that have made contributions to the fight for LGBT rights both locally and nationally. Rev. Carol West and singer Chely Wright were 2010 recipients. Others have included Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Shepard and Bishop Gene Robinson.
Chris Kouvelis and Nan Arnold are this year’s Black Tie Dinner chairs.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 28, 2011.
I would have mentioned Burlesque, but the Golden Globes beat GLAAD to the punch. Anyhow, those are just two of the nominees GLAAD has announced for this year’s media awards. Unfortunately the Dallas Voice missed out on all the journalism nominations, but you know, the Atlanta Journal Constitution does a great job on LGBT issues?! Congrats are in order. GLAAD’s fetish of pissing on the gay press continues, but really, who are we compared to nominee People Magazine in regards to covering the gay stuff? And hey, what about Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives?
But seriously, I am pretty stoked about the music nominations. The nominees for outstanding music artist (LGBT music artists who released an original album in 2010) are:
Antony and the Johnsons Swanlights (Secretly Canadian)
Big Freedia Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1 (Big Freedia Records)
Chely Wright Lifted Off the Ground (Vanguard Records)
Kele Okereke The Boxer (Glassnote Records)
Scissor Sisters Night Work (Downtown Record
I’ll go out on a limb and predict Chely Wright as the clear winner, but wouldn’t mind a Big Freedia upset. Nothing against Wright, but Freedia’s was definitely the most exciting of this bunch and took us to places many haven’t been to much before.
We look at 2011 resolutions through the eyes (and tweets) of queer celebs
We know celebrities are busy, but somehow they are never too busy to pop out a tweet. Whether it’s to promote world peace, equal rights or simply themselves, celebs know the power of a good Twitter feed.
We scoured the feeds of various LGBT celebs and allies to see what they have in mind for 2011. Some started their 140-character resolutions for the New Year. Others, well, haven’t. That didn’t stop me from re-imagining some of their older tweets from December (minus any accompanying tiny URLs), nor did it stop me from either replying (@celeb) or retweeting (RT) from my own feed (indicated under theirs in italics). Because you know they’ll read it — or at least the person they’ve hired to manage it will (@theellenshow).
— Rich Lopez (@GetRichinDallas)
TWEETS FOR 2011 | Queer celebs who gave us some 140-character food for thought while beginning the new year include, Margaret Cho, Cazwell, Jay Brannan, Queen Latifah, Reichen Lehmkuhl, Kathy Griffin and Chely Wright.
JAY BRANNAN, orally gifted indie movie actor and musician (@Jaybrannan)
My NewYear’s res for2010 was2have a bf by the end of the year. Fail. I give up. In 2011 I accept I will
b alone4ever. Just me n the Griffins.
@jaybrannan There’s probably a song in there somewhere. #justsaying
CAZWELL, sexy musician and viral video hunk (@Cazwellnyc)
Thanks to everyone that gave me bong smoking advice. Too bad I’m too faded to follow any of them.
Did @xMileyCyrus offer any suggestions RT @Cazwellnyc Thanks to everyone that gave me bong smoking advice…
CHELY WRIGHT, recently outed country singer (@Chelywright)
Faith in America invites Christian university to join public dialogue about religion-based bigotry toward
@chelywright I totally mentioned this like you asked in my article. But you couldn’t get me in to Black Tie? #burn #ouch
CHI CHI LARUE, porn director and spin doctor (@DJChiChiLaRue)
@GetRichinDallas I will try to curb my shopping addiction in 2011 And try not to fall in drag!
@DJChiChiLaRue Just keep bringing back those hot porn boys of yours. Better yet, bring the daddies! #beefcakediet
REICHEN LEHMKUHL, perennial reality TV personality and putative A-lister (@ReichenLehmkuhl)
In honor of ArmPit Wednesday (which I am officially starting right now).
@ReichenLehmkuhl Um, not sure how A-list ArmPit Wed is. Aren’t those gays supposed to be kinda pristine. Fetish boys don’t seem the show’s type. #justsaying
JUDY TENUTA, strange comedian and self-appointed love goddess (@JudyTenuta)
I plan 2 get arrested 2 get a show. Hard cuz I’m law-abiding citizen. A sex video? Or I’ll gain 500 lbs 2 b on Biggest Loser. #comeback
@JudyTenuta Please use the big hunky guy from your @LadyGaga spoof in your sex video.
QUEEN LATIFAH, rap artist and Oscar nominated actress (@IAmQueenLatifah)
Happy Sunday. Cleaning out my closet. I have so many great things for people in need. Somebody is about to come up!
@IAMQUEENLATIFAH Come up? Girl, don’t you mean come out? #typo
ANDERSON COOPER, silver fox news hunk and Kathy Griffin New Year’s Eve sidekick
I threw out my back working out. An old spine injury that has flared up. I can walk but it hurts a lot.
I’m getting old.
I know that feeling! #hayyyyy RT @andersoncooper I can walk but it hurts a lot.
KATHY GRIFFIN, Emmy-winning D-lister and lover of “her gays” (@Kathygriffin)
Live on CNN w Anderson Cooper. How gorgeous is YOUR date?RT @OkKaiser: @kathygriffin, what’s ur New Years Eve plans? #CNN
@kathygriffin Not sure if @andersoncooper can still be your date. He “threw his back out.”
MARGARET CHO, queermedian and failed Bristol Palin dance rival (@Margaretcho)
There’s something about a bidet that is so invigorating and soothing. Instead of coffee — wash your hole!!
@margaretcho Thought you said wash your hole with coffee. Taking this off my resolutions
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 31, 2010.