REVIEW: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 6 premiere

Ru

For devotees of RuPaul’s Drag Race, one of the joys of each new season is discovering the hot new term of the year: “Eleganza extravaganza” and “hunty” are memorable one that played out for a season then wafted into the ether. But in addition to “fishy,” which has lingered (the way fish do), the word for the 6th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which kicks off tonight, is “sickening.” And for fans, that’s just what it is.

Ru is back, of course, as are judges Michelle Visage and Santino Rice, but there are some shakeups: New members of the Pit Crew for one (brought to you by Scruff, no less!) and a “divided” season premiere that may become the standard for future reality competition shows. Divided how, you ask? Well, only half of the 14 queens on this season compete in the season opener; the remaining half-dozen-plus won’t show up until Episode 2 next week. Which means your chances of being cut — and the focus on you — are twice what they usually are. No coasting, girls … you gotta work it from out the gates.

For fans (including yours truly), it’s a boon to spend more quality time with each queen early in the season and establish favorites, whether it Adore (bitchy but delightful) or Ben DeLaCreme, and the competitions are just as intense as ever. Best yet is guest judge Adam Lambert (sporting some sexy whiskers).

The season premiere conflicts with the premiere tonight also of Dallas, but that’s the great thing about cable — you can always DVR one or catch the replay a few hours later. Whichever you do, figure out a way to watch both … and as Ru would say, don’t f*** it up.

And read about former contestant Alyssa Edwards in this week’s issue of Dallas Voice.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Teen charged in brutal Springtown beating to be tried under federal hate crime law

Hate-Crime

Arron Keahey

Federal prosecutors plan to try the teen who nearly killed a gay Dallas man last year under the federal hate crime law, according to The Associated Press.

Brice Johnson, 19, allegedly attacked and beat Arron Keahey after meeting him on the mobile app MeetMe over Labor Day weekend in Springtown, a small town about 70 miles west of Dallas in Parker County.

Keahey, who lived in Dallas at the time, suffered severe injuries, including nerve damage and a shattered eye socket.

Johnson was later arrested for aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony, which police investigated as a hate crime. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted under the federal hate crime law.

Johnson’s trial is slated to begin in late March.

—  Anna Waugh

Dallas Councilmen Adam Medrano, Philip Kingston to take NOH8 photos

photoTwo LGBT allies on the Dallas City Council will be among the hundreds of people to participate in the NOH8 Campaign’s Dallas photo shoot this evening.

Adam Medrano, chair for the city’s LGBT Task Force, and Philip Kingston, who both represent parts of Oak Lawn in two of Dallas’ most heavily LGBT districts, will pose in white shirts and duct tape.

Medrano’s spokeswoman Monica Huerta said he decided to take one of the iconic photos “because discrimination in any form is still inequality. Mr. Medrano agrees with the ideals of the N0H8 campaign and proudly supports the LGBT Dallas Community.”

NOH8 Campaign raises money for marriage equality and other LGBT issues like nondiscrimination.

After inquiring if Mayor Mike Rawlings plans to take a NOH8 photo, spokesman Samuel Merten said Rawlings is “out of town on personal business, so he is unable to participate.”

When asked if Rawlings would participate another time if he could, Merten said “I don’t know if he has ever thought about participating.”

Rawlings famously refused to sign a pledge for “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” in 2012 and even interfered in preventing a marriage equality resolution from going before the council because he disagreed with the city discussing the issue. But he has said he personally supports marriage equality.

Dallas City Council is still considering a marriage equality resolution, which is expected to come before the council in coming months, as well as a broader statement of the council’s support for LGBT issues.

The event is 5:30-8:30 p.m. tonight at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, located at 14115 Hillcrest Road.

—  Anna Waugh

NOH8 Campaign comes to Dallas for Wednesday photo shoot

 

VeaseyThe NOH8 Campaign is coming to Dallas on Wednesday to photograph the LGBT community and its allies.

The last photo shoot in Dallas in October 2011 holds the record for the largest NOH8 photo shoot to date with over 840 participants, NOH8 organizers state on the Facebook event page. So far, more than 1,000 people have indicated via the page that they plan to attend.

People planning on attending should wear white and come camera ready. Solo photos are $40, with couple and group shots costing $25 per person. Fees cover processing fees and one retouched digital print on NOH8Campaign.com, available about eight weeks after shoots.

Funds raised by the NOH8 Campaign are used to promote marriage equality and antidiscrimination efforts for the LGBT community.

Many famous people have had NOH8 photos taken, including those from Texas like Houston Mayor Annise Parker and U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, pictured, who both participated in NOH8 photo shoots last year.

The event is 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, located at 14115 Hillcrest Road.

People in line by the end of the photo shoot are expected to have their photo taken.

—  Anna Waugh

Dallas hate crime victim brutally beaten starts fund for medical bills

Hate-Crime

Editor’s note: The pictures below are graphic and may not be suitable for young readers.

Arron Keahey, the victim of a brutal beating over Labor Day weekend, has started a GoFundMe account to help cover his medical bills.

Keahey, who lived in Dallas a time, was in Springtown, a small town about 70 miles west of Dallas in Parker County, visiting family for the weekend. He went to a man’s house after meeting him on the social app MeetMe and was attacked when he arrived.

Keahey’s injuries included brain trauma, nerve damage and broken facial bones. He had to have facial reconstruction surgery and has a metal eye socket now. His goal on the site is to raise $10,000.

Brice Johnson, 19, was arrested for aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony, which Springtown police are investigating as a hate crime.

If prosecutors seek a hate crime enhancement under state law to a first-degree felony, he could face five years to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, according to the Texas Penal Code.

Keahey writes on the site:

“My name is Arron Keahey, and I was recently lured and ambushed, beaten to almost an inch of my life, after meeting someone on a social app, because I am gay. I had to have facial reconstructive surgery, had brain trauma as well as memory loss, and am having problems with anxiety and depression. I am having to start my life over, and I am needing help for medical bills, as well as everyday expenses and buying a car. Any donation to me will be truly appreciated, and I cannot thank you enough for your support.

“Even if you do not have the resources to donate, please at least share this article and spread the word of what happened. I truly believe that the more problems like this in this country are talked about, the less it will happen and the closer we will be to a solution.”

Photos of Keahey after the attack are below.

—  Anna Waugh

Dr. Austin Church: Bday party at the W

—  Steve Ramos

Dallas councilmembers call for equal treatment for gays in policies, services

Openly gay city of Dallas employees Theresa O'Donnell and John Rogers addressed the committee Monday about the benefits of marriage equality. (Steve Ramos/Dallas Voice)

Openly gay city of Dallas employees Theresa O’Donnell and John Rogers addressed the committee Monday about the benefits of marriage equality. (Steve Ramos/Dallas Voice)

Several Dallas councilmembers called for a list of internal issues to be addressed where LGBT city employees are not treated equality compared to their heterosexual co-workers.

The request came Monday after two presentations before the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee, one on the financial benefits of marriage equality and one on the city’s 2002 nondiscrimination ordinance.

Theresa O’Donnell, interim assistant city manager, touched on many of the 1,138 rights same-sex coupes are denied without marriage, including health, tax, estate planning and death benefits.

Some of those benefits, like military and veteran benefits, are granted to legally married same-sex couples regardless of where they live, including Texas, which has a constitutional marriage amendment. Others, like Social Security, are limited to the state where the couple lives.

Councilman Jerry Allen, who chairs the committee, asked how the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage complicated the issue by state.

John Rogers, assistant city attorney, said it complicates the matter greatly because for couples in different states “it’s going to be very, very confusing about what benefits and rights they can or can’t get” as the agencies over federal laws define what their policy will be.

“Marriage is a commitment but it’s a contract. It’s a commitment entering into a contract,” Allen said. “If you live in Texas, you don’t have the same rights that you would if you lived in Hawaii.”

—  Anna Waugh

VA may withhold home loan from Dallas gay couple over Texas marriage ban

department_of_veterans_affairs_round_stickers-rc853e2f1e5b943d88d67df4ae0b8863c_v9waf_8byvr_512Dallas couple former Army Sgt. Earl Rector and Alan Rodriguez were surprised Tuesday when they were told that the Veterans Affairs Department may not give them a home loan because the office won’t count the income of the non-veteran spouse in states where same-sex marriage isn’t recognized.

The couple sold their home in November and got married later that month in Seattle before signing a contract on a new home. But when they found out they might not get the veterans home loan, their plans of owning the new home became jeopardized.

“We found out yesterday that VA told our lender that they would not guarantee the loan,” Rector told the Marine Corps Times. The notice came eight days before closing, and “after we were pre-approved weeks ago,” he said.

The couple could not immediately be reached for comment.

While the lender is dealing with the VA to ensure the loan is issued to the couple, this isn’t the first instance where a non-marriage-equality state has denied a veterans home loan to a same-sex couple.

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee is currently considering legislation that would order the VA to recognize same-sex couples in every state instead of the state’s definition of marriage.

But in the meantime, the Rector and Rodriguez could face a breach of contract penalty if the loan doesn’t go through.

“The seller is an attorney, which could make our lives difficult,” Rector said.

“Our financing bank is doing everything they can, but the VA approval process has been ambiguous and now appears impossibly complex and arbitrary.”

—  Anna Waugh

Dallas drag queen turns herself in to police, charged with negligent injuring

1000559_469711939785909_640507436_n

Armani Nicole Davenport

Armani Nicole Davenport turned herself in to authorities in New Orleans Wednesday in a negligent injury case.

Davenport, 32, is a local drag queen who lives in Dallas but is from Louisiana. Police announced last week that they were searching for her in order to question her about a case involving negligent injuring of a person and accusations of practicing medicine without a license.

Davenport travels around Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, performing in pageants She recently participated in the Miss Gay Texas 2014 and the Miss Gay Dallas Metroplex contest in 2013.

Police believe she injected silicone into the hips and buttocks of two women late last month and also believe she may have injected people in other cities.

The two women were allegedly injected on Oct. 24. One of the women returned a few hours later and found the friend in “respiratory distress,” according to a police report. The police believe the woman’s body rejected the injections.

Davenport was booked on a count of negligent injuring with bail set at $50,000. A negligent injury conviction can carry a maximum fine of $5,000 and a six-month prison sentence.

—  Anna Waugh

New Orleans police looking for Dallas drag queen Armani Nicole Davenport

1000559_469711939785909_640507436_n

Armani Nicole Davenport

New Orleans police are trying to reach Armani Nicole Davenport as a person of interest in a case involving negligent injuring of a person and accusations of practicing medicine without a license.

Davenport, who is from Louisiana but lives in Dallas, according to Facebook, is “said to administer ‘silicone’ injections to clients as travel is undertaken throughout the southern United States,” police said in a statement.

She’s participated in the Miss Gay Texas 2014 and the Miss Gay Dallas Metroplex contest in 2013.

Anyone with information on Davenport’s location should call New Orleans police Detective Ed Johnson at 504-658-6060.

—  Anna Waugh