Gay Plano couple asked to leave family fun center, told they are ‘not family’

Alberto Lesmes, right, and his partner Chad Hemp.

A gay Plano couple is upset after a fun date night Sunday at Main Event was ruined when they were told they were not a family and asked to leave the venue.

Alberto Lesmes said he and his partner Chad Hemp went to the location at 3941 Central Expressway around 8:30 p.m. Sunday for a night of bowling. When their bowling lane continued to have technical difficulties, they requested a new lane.

Main Event Entertainment is a Dallas-based company with family entertainment centers featuring recreational bowling, billiards, laser tag and a unique selection of interactive games throughout Texas, according to its website.

Once the couple began to bowl in the new lane, a child from a large group next to them kept bowling in their lane. Lesmes said his partner went up to ask if they could be moved again. When Lesmes saw his partner get upset, he went over to speak to the manager on duty.

The manager was already irritated, Lesmes said, and said they were causing a problem by asking to be moved again. The manager asked if they were professional bowlers. When the couple replied they were not, the manager said the venue was a family environment. Lesmes said he told the manager he was with his family. When the manager asked where they were, Lesmes pointed to his partner and said they were family and wanted to enjoy their evening.

But the manager refused to move them to another lane and told them that they “were not family.”

—  Dallasvoice

Police say they’re treating teen’s assault outside Plano Sports Authority as an anti-gay hate crime

Plano Sports Authority

Plano police now say they’re treating an aggravated assault outside the Plano Sports Authority last weekend as an anti-gay hate crime.

The mother of the 18-year-old male victim told Instant Tea this week that her son was leaving the Plano Sports Authority, a public recreation center, with his two lesbian friends on Sunday when two men approached them. The men made comments about the teen’s friends holding hands, then kicked and beat him with a gun when he defended them. The victim told Instant Tea he didn’t want to comment on the incident or be identified.

David Tilley, a spokesman for the Plano Police Department, confirmed the mother’s account on Friday and said what were initially described as “rude comments” in an online crime bulletin were actually “derogatory sexually-oriented comments” toward the lesbian couple.

Tilley said while he doesn’t know what exactly was said by the suspects, they asked if the two girls were lesbians and may have said other things when the teen intervened to get them to leave his friends alone. He said the victim and his friends are cooperating with police, leading investigators to suspect a hate crime occurred.

“There was enough concern to believe that this could be classified as a hate crime,” Tilley said. “So we are looking into this as a hate crime.”

According to the FBI’s online “Hate Crimes Statistics” reports, the incident would be the first reported anti-gay hate crime in Plano since at least 2005, if not ever.

—  Dallasvoice

LOCAL BRIEFS: CCGLA taking party reservations

The Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance is now accepting reservations for its annual Party on Lake Lewisville aboard the Chamonix II party boat Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The boat, a 70-foot catamaran, accommodates 85 passengers and has a sit-down bar, a dance floor, a waterslide, two bathrooms, two fresh-water showers and indoor seating. Cost for the party is $30 for sustaining members, and $35 for others. The fee includes lunch by Cater 10, frozen margaritas and soft drinks. Those who reserve their space and pay before July 20 will receive a free LED light-up glass.

For more information or to reserve space for the party, go online to CCGLA.org.

—  John Wright

LOCAL BRIEFS: Agencies offering free HIV tests; DFW Bi Net celebrates Pride

Agencies offering free HIV tests

In observance of National HIV Testing Day, AIDS Interfaith Network, in partnership with Dallas County Health and Human Services, will offer free, on-site, anonymous HIV tests on Monday, June 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, 1210 River Bend Drive.

Prevention information will be available in English and Spanish, and testing will also include screenings for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Resource Center Dallas will offer expanded free walk-in testing opportunities Friday and Saturday, June 24-25 and Monday, June 27.

Free HIV testing will be offered Friday at the Nelson-Tebedo Community Clinic, 4012 Cedar Springs Roadd, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic will be open regular hours for testing on Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

DFW Bi Net celebrates Pride

DFW Bi Net is celebrating national LGBT Pride Month with a mixer from 6 pm. to 9 pm on Thursday, June 30, in the Great Room/Champagne Room at ilume on Cedar Springs.

The event will feature margarita and pina colada machines and a drag performer.

 

CCGLA elects board

Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance and JCPenney Pride members recently celebrated national Gay Pride Month with a mixer at Seasons 52 during which CCGLA members also elected board members.

Kyle Mabbitt was unanimously elected to his first term on the board, and Morris Garcia, Rosemarie Odom and Bob Shimmin were unanimously re-elected to new two-year terms. The 2011/2012 CCGLA board also includes continuing members Belinda Carmikle, Jeanne Rubin, Jane Schmidt and Ron Turner.

The new board’s first meeting will be Sunday, June 26, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Parr Library in Plano, during which board members will elect new board officers.

—  John Wright