Every morning when I get up, as I wait for my turn in the shower, I log on to Facebook to check in with my “friends” and see what’s trending in the world of social media.
And every morning in my timeline, there’s a post from my friend — on Facebook and, for many, many years, in real life — Betty Neal. Betty always posts something inspiring and uplifting. Even she is herself going through trying times, such as the recent death of her brother from cancer, Betty offers something positive to start the day.
And when you “like” the post, or comment on it, Betty comes back right away to say hello.
“Good morning Tammye Nash.”
“Good morning Betty Neal.”
So even though I rarely see Betty in person these days, I “talk” to her every day. And I was glad to hear that someone who always brightens my day is being recognized this weekend for her years of hard work and contributions to Dallas’ LGBT and same-gender-loving communities.
During Dallas Southern Pride weekend — Dallas’ black Pride celebration — Betty will be presented with the B/HAP Tommie Ross Pioneer Award in recognition of her “longstanding presence, her grace, her poise and her many accomplishments within both the pageant and the house/ball communities.”
“B/HAP” stands for Ball/House And Pageant communities. The award is named in honor of pioneering and iconic entertainer, and Pageant Hall of Famer, Tommie Ross. The award “recognizes and honors an individual whose work, art and achievements have demonstrated a legacy of passion, commitment, grace, style and transcendence within the pageant community.”
Betty Neal, who helped originate Dallas’ black Pride celebration back in the 1990s and who is a long-time volunteer with the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, will receive the award Saturday, Oct. 3, during the B/HAP Awards Ceremony, starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dallas – Market Center. The awards ceremony is part of the Southern Regional B/HAP Communities Health Disparities and Leadership Conference, being held in conjunction with Dallas Southern Pride.
In a statement on Facebook, Betty said she is “humbled to be receiving this prestigious award from the Ballroom/House And Pageant system, and to have been nominated by the legendary Tommie Ross herself. I am a huge fan and friend. What an honor! Thank you all from the depths of my heart.”
I just want to say congratulations Betty. You deserve this recognition and more. And I am proud to call you my friend.
This week’s upcoming edition is our annual Music Issue, and in preparing for it, I’m gonna be posting some music-related stories dealing with the gay community on Instant Tea all week. (Don’t worry: The print edition will contain all different stories, so be sure to pick it up Friday.) We’re gonna start out with a little music video.
A little more than a year ago, I did a story on Nehemiah Akbar, an Oklahoma-based gay musician who was in town for Dallas Southern Pride. He’s a talented guy, and even better, a nice one. (And, it goes without saying, a handsome devil.)
He has a video, just up, of his latest song, “Thank God.” It’s terrific song and a nice video. Check it out after the jump … and watch it past the closing credits for a small surprise.
The celebration of Dallas Black Pride last weekend had a great variety of sponsored events.
Dallas Southern Pride kicked off with the Miss Dallas Southern Pride event held at the Crown Plaza in Downtown. Emceed by Shemar Garçon, the crown of the pageant went to Loretta Armani Mack with Dimetriya Dickerson, Akeria Davenport, and Alexis Davenport-White finishing in order behind Mack. Notable people in attendance included Tommie Ross and Raquel Lord.
With only two events last year, Dallas Her Pride, which partnered with Dallas Southern Pride this year, drew a crowd of approximately 400 women from all over the country. This year, Teedee Davis, one of the event’s organizers, reported that Her Pride turnout was about the same as last year, but glowingly said that there were now five events instead of just one.
In addition to Her Pride’s success in boosting the variety of events specifically for women, it boasted featured celebrities. Tajir Hawkins, cast member of the hit YouTube series Between Women attended, as well as several former WMBA players that included Scholanda Dorell, Chamique Holdsclaw and Dominique Canty.
Not to be outdone by the draw of celebrities, DFW Pride Movement, now in its fifth year of hosting a separate celebration, had several big names performing. Perhaps the biggest names were found in its comedy night at the DoubleTree Campbell Centre Hotel. Hosted by the LGBT Queen of Comedy Ms. Sophia McIntosh, the show included the headliner Monifah, as well as local comedian Anastasia, and a variety of other spoken word artists. Dallas’ very own LGBT activist Cd Kirven was also in attendance.
Perhaps the biggest event with the most crossover appeal was the Lipstick Ball hosted by Dallas Southern Pride at the Crown Plaza. Contestants vogued, shade was thrown and trophies and certificates were awarded. Jack Mizrahi, emcee of the event, provided exquisite wit and a near perfect recollection of lines from Paris is Burning. Music was provided by the talented AiR DJ. A partial list of houses present include the houses of Ebony, Escada, Davenport and St. Laurent.
View photos by Patrick Hoffman from the various events below.
Last week, I ran a story about up-and-coming R&B artist Nehemiah Akbar, who did two sets this weekend at Dallas Southern Pride, performing two songs Friday and Saturday at the Brick. Here’s a video of his performance of the single “Make My Move.” Too bad the sound isn’t better.
Fahari Arts Institute Artistic Director Harold Steward announced the 2012-13 season that begins on Sept. 15 with Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales, written and performed by E. Patrick Johnson.
The dramatic reading is based on oral histories collected in Johnson’s book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South — An Oral History. The histories are from black gay men who were born, raised and continue to live in the South and range in age from 19 to 93. The stories range from religion and sex to transgenderism, love and coming out.
The show takes place at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 Fitzhugh Ave. on Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The program is free.
That will be followed on Oct. 5 with Queerly Speaking PRIDE Edition in conjunction with Dallas Southern Pride. Poets Ronamber “Flo” Deloney and Marvin K. White are scheduled to appear. That takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dallas Downtown, 1015 Elm St.
Let’s just say GLO TV looks like they know how to make an entrance. As part of Black Pride Weekend, the new network is bringing out some big guns for its Dallas premiere party this Saturday. And according to the press release, it’s also a gesture of solidarity with DFW Pride Movement “to support the community activism and social action of ‘The Movement.'”
We can dig that, but we can especially get behind the star power they are bringing to town. The cocktail reception will include appearances by Maurice Jamal (“Dirty Laundry,” “The Ski Trip” and network president), DeMarco Majors (“Shirts and Skins”), Rodney Chester (“Noah’s Arc”) and J.R. Rolley (“Slutty Summer,” “Four Letter Word”). They will also give a peek at the upcoming season with new shows “Friends and Lovers,” “Dating Dwight,” “The Gayest Sh%t Ever” and “Beyond the Heels,” which the network deems as “a ground-breaking shows about the transgender community.”
The best part — it’s open to the public.They reception will be at The Westin City Center, 650 N. Pearl St. on Saturday at 3 p.m.
More than 10,000 people are expected to attend Dallas Southern Pride, the premier annual black Pride event in North Texas, on Sept. 23-26.
Promoter Kirk Myers said that the event is moving from a regional event to a nationally recognized circuit party.
JuJu Bee from “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” will be one of the performers featured over the weekend. She will be at the Brick on Friday night, Sept. 24.
Myers traveled to Cleveland to see JuJu Bee perform.
“She’s very personable,” he said. “She gets out and meets everyone and is overwhelmed by the response.”
He said she didn’t realize she had such a large African-American fan base.
“A lot of people thought she should have won,” he said.
Myers said GloTV will be in town filming the Masquerade Ball on Saturday, Sept. 25, as part of a new reality series about the emerging ballroom scene in the black LGBT community.
Dallas Southern Pride has always been scheduled to coincide with the Grambling/Prairie View Classic football game generally held the first weekend in October at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park. This year, the game was moved back a week, so Pride moved, too.
Myers said he hopes the move encourages more people of all backgrounds from Dallas to participate in some of the events. With Dallas Southern Pride coming the week after the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, Myers said he believes people will still be in the mood for more Pride celebrations.
“That party is really an opportunity for the mainstream LGBT community to party with us,” he said.
Myers said several things indicate this year’s event will be larger than ever. He said the Convention and Visitors Bureau has been very supportive. More sponsors have signed on this year as well.
To close the weekend, the Signature Black Party will be held at the host hotel on Sunday night. SizzleMiami, the largest black circuit party that attracts more than 100,000 each Memorial Day, is sponsoring the event.
Myers said that the various promoters represent the diversity of the community. To attract women, they added Her 4 Her last year.
T.D. Davis, a Her 4 Her organizer, said that the theme for Dallas Southern Pride is “Taste of Dallas — Best of Both Worlds.” She said the women’s events “bring different flavors to Dallas.”
The women’s parties begin with Bourbon Street at Victory Tavern near the American Airlines Center on Thursday, Sept. 23, presented by Sophisticated Fridays.
DeMarco Major from Logo’s “Shirts & Skins” will host “New York — A Taste of the Big Apple” at the Radisson Love Field, the host hotel, on Friday evening.
The Saturday afternoon pool party has a South Beach theme and “A Night in Paris,” the Saturday night party at Wendy Krispin’s in the Design District, has a French flair.
Sunday’s brunch with Church of the Solid Rock features New Orleans soul food.
“We’re continuing to build the Her 4 Her brand,” said organizer Angela Amos.
Amos said all of the most recognized women’s organizations in the Metroplex participated in organizing the weekend’s events.
“I’d like to keep building the alliances and reaching out on an individual level,” she said.
On Saturday, several workshops presented by Glamour Girls and Alpha Lambda Zeta, a nationally recognized gay fraternity, will be held at the hotel.
“Then Sunday is a concoction of everyone,” Davis said.
After Sunday brunch and worship, both the men and the women head to Bachman Lake Park for a picnic. Myers said the food is being provided by Buffalo Wild Wings.
That event is free.
The organizers all said additional highlights and entertainment are still being booked for next week’s events.
With the Brick closing, it looked like there were zero options for hip-hop in the local gay scene, but Kirk Myers, business advisor for Dallas Southern Pride, called to tell me that The Mining Company will pick up the slack and partner with DSP to host Magnum Thursdays starting this week. TMC is already posting it on their Web site.
“We see this as a new time in Dallas where all races can have events on the strip and that Caven took the lead on providing a place to have a hip-hop night,” he said. Myers also mentioned that Caven might be a part in this year’s Dallas Southern Pride event with current event promoters, Magnum Encounters and After Dark Entertainment in October. “Cavern has expressed a desire to support this year’s Dallas Southern Pride as they see it as vital part of the overall gay scene in Dallas. We hope this partnership leads to more exciting ventures and we see this as a great opportunity to make the strip the go-to destination for all in the GLBT community,” he said.
DSP chair, Val Coleman chimed in as well. “Although there are several African-American social and civic organizations in Dallas, we are ecstatic that Caven has chosen to partner with the only official African-American Pride in Dallas and as a result we look forward to this leading to an ongoing effort to make the strip the go to GLBT all inclusive destination,” he said.jet-hackспособы рекламы сайта