DFW Pride Movement has scheduled a full weekend of programs on HIV, relationship issues, trans issues and more, but they didn’t forget the party
Tammye Nash | Senior Editor
For many people, when they think of “Pride,” they think of parades and parties. But for DFW Pride Movement/Dallas Black Pride, “Pride” means going beyond the parties to offer a slate of programs and events intended to “move the community forward and empower the people,” DFW Pride Movement Executive Director Derek Spillman said.
“There’s nothing wrong with parties, we just wanted to offer more,” Spillman said of DFW Pride Movement, the local affiliate of the International Federation of Black Prides. “We are not a party promoter. There are party promoters who have chosen to work with us and to hold parties in conjunction with our Black Pride events,” Spillman said. “Our purpose, though, is to have a weekend of programs that focus on the cultural aspects of Black Pride, that focus on social justice and advocacy.”
Spillman said that the theme for this year’s Dallas Black Pride, set for Sept. 39-Oct. 2, is “HisSTORY and HerSTORY,” and events will focus, in part, on combating the spread of HIV/AIDS in the black community.
The host hotel is the Marriott City Center in downtown Dallas, and most of the programs take place there.
This year, Spillman said, Dallas Black Pride organizers wanted to tie in some of its programs with an HIV vaccine trial underway at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and has done so by bringing in a number of speakers who will focus on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS among African-Americans.
In fact, the first major program of the weekend will be the Black LGBT Community Summit on Friday, Sept. 30, featuring keynote speaker Christopher Bates, senior public health advisor to the deputy assistant secretary for health, infectious diseases, and executive director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
The program takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the host hotel.
The programs continue Saturday, Oct. 1, with the Empowerment Series starting with Session 1, from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. It offers attendees a choice between a panel on Lambda
Legal, presented by Lambda’s Southwest Regional Director Omar Narvaez; “TRANScending All Obstacles,” presented by Carter Brown with Black Trans Men; “Financial FREEdom,” presented by Treach Wilson; and “If It’s So Wrong, Why Does It Feel So Right?” presented by Alex Byrd.
Options in Session 2, from 11 a.m. to noon, are “Stonewall Democrats,” presented by Omar Narvaez; “Erotic Play for Men: Serious Business,” presented by Dr. Herukhuit; and “Make
It Last Forever,” presented by the DFW Senators.
The noon special session will be “HisStory/HerStory: Telling Our Story — An Intergenerational Discussion.”
Session 3 will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and will include “Lying and Dying in Denial,” presented by author and poet Uriah Bell; “Sex and HIV Prevention Behind Prison Walls,” presented by Mychael Patterson; “Project Vogue,” presented by Stephaun Blahnik; and “The Ex-Factor: No More Drama — For Real,” presented by Q-Roc TV.
The final session of the day runs from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., and includes panels on “TRANSformation,” presented by Valerie Spencer and Kennedy Davenport; “HIV Through the
Looking Glass,” presented by Deneen Robinson; and “That’s Not Love, That’s Stupid!” presented by Angela Harvey.
The day’s programs wind up with “The Official Dallas Social Affair: Tweet & Greet, Part 2” from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a live taping of GLO TV’s “UNCUT: Sex and the Modern Man” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
There will also be a “Greater Than AIDS” photo shoot from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and “The Movement: Full Throttle Fashion Explosion” from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., and parties hosted by a variety of community organizations beginning at 11 p.m.
The weekend concludes Sunday with worship services at noon at Living Faith Covenant Church and Black Pride Dinner at Catfish Blues from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Spillman noted that organizers designed the weekend’s schedule with the intention of reaching out to as many different aspects and interests of the community as possible. He said organizers were especially glad to have adult film stars Deneen Robinson, Ty Lattimore and Rock Rockafella attending to talk about HIV from the perspective of the adult entertainment industry.
“These men will be appearing at some of the parties throughout the weekend also, but their main reason for being here is to talk to people about HIV and AIDS, and how everyone should protect themselves and how everyone should get tested,” Spillman said.
In another effort to encourage people to get tested, he added, everyone who gets tested can get their names entered into a raffle, with the prize being the opportunity to be a VIP guest of the celebrity of their choice at that evening’s parties.
“We want people to have a good time, and we want people to celebrate Pride,” Spillman said. “But we also want people to celebrate our culture and our community, and to learn and expand their thinking. These are the kinds of things we’ve been charged with doing by the International Federation of Black Prides, and these are the things that are important for our future.”
A full schedule and more information on special guests and parties can be found online at DFWPrideMovement.org.
The ‘Circus’ Circuit Party
Dallas Southern Pride, the Black Gay Pride circuit party held each year on the first weekend in October, returns this year with “Cirque, Cirque! Life is a Circus & We Are Your Ring Masters!” Sept. 29-Oct. 2, with Park Inn by Radisson as the host hotel.
Dallas Southern Pride kicks off Thursday, Sept. 29 with Hip Hop for Pride at Station 4, and continues Friday, Sept. 30 with the All-Star Pride Pre-Ball Party at Elm & Pearl and Cirque du Freak Ball at The Brick.
Saturday’s line-up includes a Grambling vs. Prairie View tailgate party at Level, Elm & Pearl’s Seductive Saturday’s Femme Figure, Cirque du Femme: Strawberries and Chocolate at Level, and Cirque du Male: Party Under the Big Top at The New J. Pepes.
The weekend concludes Sunday with The Official After Party/Lip Stick Ball, presented at the host hotel by Elm & Pearl and Dallas Southern Pride; The Family Affair Carnival at Elm & Pearl; and The “Whip My Hair” Hair Show and After Party at The Brick.
For complete details for all events, go online to DallasSouthernPride.com.
— Tammye Nash
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.