BREAKING: David Mack Henderson has died


Fairness Fort Worth President David Mack Henderson has died

The Rev. Carol West has announced the death of David Mack Henderson, longtime activist and president of Fairness Fort Worth.

Henderson, who helped found Fairness Fort Worth in 2009 in the wake of the raid on the Rainbow Lounge, and had been president since August 2013, was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. He announced the diagnosis publicly in October.

West said a memorial service will be held at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania St., Fort Worth, at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15.

Henderson’s career as an activist began in the late 1970s when, as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington, he was the school’s mascot. When school officials found out he was gay, they asked him to resign. But spurred on by the experience of friends who were harassed for being gay, Henderson refused. Instead of resigning, he founded the first LGBT student group on the UTA campus. He also served on the board of the Dallas Gay Alliance board before moving back to his hometown of Fort Worth. This past spring, Henderson led the effort to stave off right-wing forces, led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to interfere with Fort Worth Independent School District’s guidelines for interacting with transgender students.

Henderson is survived by his mother, Dr. Janet Henderson, and four young gay men for whom he was a mentor.


—  Tammye Nash

Star-Telegram to begin publishing same-sex marriage, other announcements

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 7.43.16 PM

David Mack Henderson

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 7.42.43 PMEffective Sunday, March 8, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram will be accepting same-sex marriage, engagement, anniversary and civil union announcements, Fairness Fort Worth President David Mack Henderson announced today (Saturday, March 7).

The first print issue of the Star-Telegram to include such announcements will be Sunday, March 15. The deadline to get such announcements in that issue is Monday, March 9. The announcements are considered paid advertising.

Henderson said the Star-Telegram has few restrictions on timelines for such announcements, and that the newspaper currently has “engagement announcements posted for more than a year out, or no timeline at all, and also a marriage announcement published seven months after the fact. We suggest that you include you were ‘legally married’ or that your engagement is to ‘wed legally’ in your narrative to expedite inclusion,” he said.

Henderson sad that Fairness Fort Worth representatives have held discussions over the last several weeks senior management at the Star-Telegram, “encouraging the paper to present a more realistic picture of our community throughout their coverage area.” He said those discussion have led to “increased coverage of timely legislative and court actions, the announcement by our Tarrant County Clerk’s office regarding issuing marriage licenses when courts clear the way and a superb article featuring two local same-sex families with children who represent the essence of what it means to be part of the integral fabric of our community.”

Henderson said that Star-Telegram Publisher Gary Wortel confirmed for him that the paper will carry announcements from LGBT couples. Henderson also noted that the newspaper’s criteria for marriage announcement specifically are based on the couple being legally married in a jurisdiction that legally recognizes same-sex marriage. Those who hold commitment ceremonies or holy unions that are not legally recognized can place their announcement in the Star-Telegram’s “celebrations” section.

Henderson also said that couples wanting to place an announcement in the Star-Telegram need to remember such announcements have to be paid for. Costs for marriage announcements are at three levels, starting at $75 and going up to $504.

The announces are “now available to all citizens, as they should be under the city of Fort Worth’s non-discrimination ordinance regarding public accommodations,” Henderson said. “Mr. Wortel shared that in the case of a large number of ads [being placed] immediately due to pent-up demand, they can always print more pages. The online announcements remain for months, while each ad is run on one specific Sunday in print.

“FFW will continue working with Star-Telegram management to iron out any issues that arise,” Henderson said. “For instance, if the web site still says bride/groom, overlook that for now, and still register.

“We encourage our community to actively promote their authentic, loving relationships, giving testimony to our lives truly lived and fostering an embracing environment for our youth in search of proactive role models and seeking their rightful place as they grow and develop into healthy adulthood,” Henderson said. “The time for our families is now.”

Here is the announcement that ran in the Sunday, March 8 issue of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Section D, Page 5, announcing the policy change:

“To Our Readers: The Star-Telegram accepts announcements for Weddings, Engagements, Anniversaries, and Civil Unions regardless of gender. To qualify for publication in our Sunday Life section, under the Wedding heading, same-sex wedding ceremonies must be performed in states where same-sex marriages are legally recognized. Ceremonies taking place in states where same-sex marriages are not legally recognized will be listed under Celebrations. The Star-Telegram reserves the right to reject, edit or revise any copy and photos for any reason deemed material by the publisher. In the event the advertiser has prepaid for advertising which is later rejected or canceled by the Star-Telegram, the sole liability for such action by the Star-Telegram shall be a refund of the unused portion of the prepayment for such canceled advertising. The advertiser will be contacted by the Star-Telegram Announcement Coordinator after the announcement has been edited. The announcement will not be published until final approval has been given by the advertiser. Please do not use any abbreviations in your announcement information. To place an announcement go to: www. or call 817-390-7178. Deadline: Monday noon prior to the Sunday publication.”

—  Tammye Nash

Fairness Fort Worth Legacy Project honors community leaders

Fairness Fort Worth honored five community leaders for their activism for the acceptance and rights of LGBT people in the community last night, Friday, Oct. 25 at a private home in Fort Worth.

Todd Camp, a founder of both Fairness Fort Worth and QCinema, was emcee.

The five honorees were: Kelly Smith, immediate past president of and long-time volunteer with the AIDS Outreach Center; Xavier Khan, a OD Wyatt High School sophomore who founded the school’s gay-straight alliance; DeeJay Johnannessen, executive director of HELP in Fort Worth; Jean Wallace, vice president for human relations at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; and Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead. Wallace and Halstead were unable to attend.

Rev. Carol West received the inaugural Tom Anable Recognition of Excellence Award.






—  James Russell

PHOTO: Vandals spray-paint anti-gay epithets on lesbian couple’s SUV in Arlington

Vandals spray-painted anti-gay epithets on a lesbian couple’s vehicle and on other vehicles in the same block in Arlington on Saturday in an apparent hate crime, according to David Mack Henderson of Fairness Fort Worth:

Many of you may have seen the enclosed photo circulating online today. Fairness Fort Worth would like to update our community on what actually occurred and also what steps have been taken since. Yesterday, a lesbian couple in Arlington, TX, discovered their car had been vandalized with large spray-painted anti-gay epithets. Sadly, they weren’t alone. Other cars of non-LGBT residents on the same block were also vandalized with sexually derogatory language.

The same-sex couple is grateful for community support and wants you to know that the Arlington Police Department responded in a timely and professional manner. Further, Acting Police Chief Will Johnson has indicated he is willing to engage in dialogue with FFW to assure continued cooperation. The APD also has at its disposal other law enforcement resources that may prove helpful regarding this particular crime.

If there is a silver lining for the same-sex couple – it’s that they are very encouraged by the support of their neighbors on the block who abhor what all of the victims are going through as much as the LGBT Community does. FFW will update you further as circumstances warrant.

Fairness Fort Worth President Thomas Anable added this in an email:

FFW is in contact with Arlington police and victims through local representatives. The victims were contacted by Arlington police at the initiation of the police department and were not the only victims on the street who received sexually oriented vandalism. The other victims were not members of the LGBT community.  The LGBT victims are currently satisfied with the timely and professional response of the police. The neighborhood has been extremely supportive of the victims.  FFW will reach out to Arlington police and put them in touch with the DOJ to assist in reviewing their hate crimes policies and procedures, but all is progressing in a very acceptable manner.

A spokeswoman for Arlington police couldn’t immediately be reached Monday morning. Stay tuned to Instant Tea for more.

—  John Wright

Rural AIDS agency to shut down

ARRT served people with HIV in 29 counties west of Fort Worth

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

WEATHERFORD — AIDS Resources of Rural Texas will close on Sept. 1.

The agency serves clients in 29 counties with clinics in Weatherford and Abilene. In addition to providing primary medical care, its programs include case management, HIV testing, a food pantry, transportation, prevention education and housing, utility and emergency financial assistance.

The closure is blamed on a cut in federal funding.

The closest AIDS service organizations will be in Fort Worth, but ARRT board members said that some clients have no transportation and many are indigent. And while Weatherford is just 30 miles west of Fort Worth in Parker County, Abilene is about 150 miles from Cowtown. AIDS services are also available in Midland, which is 150 miles west of Abilene.

Kristen Bradbury, who works at the Weatherford office, said, “We are very worried about our clients.”

She said that the Weatherford clients were better off than those served by the Abilene office.

Board members are not speaking publicly about the closing and will issue a statement next week.

About 150 people will be left without care in Abilene and 130 in Weatherford. Clients received a letter encouraging them to seek medical care elsewhere, but no suggestions were made.

Some infectious disease specialists can be found in the area, but most have little experience with HIV and some refuse to treat it.

ARRT began in the 1980s as an AIDS support group and incorporated as a nonprofit to provide services in 1993.

Rafael McDonnell, spokesman for Resource Center Dallas, said he doesn’t expect an influx of clients to Dallas HIV organizations. Distance is one reason, but also many grants that are awarded to AIDS agencies are geographically limited.

Fort Worth agencies and John Peter Smith Hospital may feel more of an impact.

AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth provides many of the same services as ARRT. Some clients who can get to Fort Worth will probably access that agency’s services.

David Mack Henderson is on the North Central Texas HIV Planning Council, which covers Tarrant County as well as the 29 counties serviced by ARRT.

He said that negotiations are under way with other service providers to make sure some services continue seamlessly.

“They provided an amazing product for the consumers who needed it,” Henderson said.

He said he’s grateful for the 60 days notice to prepare for the agency’s closing rather than finding that they had simply locked the doors.

Bryan King of North Texas Infectious Disease Consultants at Baylor had another suggestion for some clients of ARRT — looking for a drug study.

Clients are classified as either naïve or experienced. Naïve clients are those who have never been on medications before. In those studies, all drug costs, labs and doctors fees are covered. Experienced clients are those who have taken medication before. In those cases, only the trial drug would be covered.

However, he said patients are paid for their visits and often gas is covered.

“I have one who comes from Shreveport and he gets $100 for gas,” King said.

He suggested looking for trials at Under search, type “HIV AND Dallas.”

Some of the clients of ARRT have insurance and will find local doctors to treat them. If the regional HIV planning council can find other agencies and federally qualified health centers to pick up the services provided by ARRT, low-income clients without insurance may find care without traveling up to 150 miles.

ARRT was named a 2012 Black Tie Dinner recipient. Nan Arnold, co-chair of this year’s Black Tie Dinner, said this was the first time that she could remember losing a beneficiary because it closed before the event.

—  John Wright

Fort Worth school board adds gender identity and expression to anti-harassment policy

Carlos Vasquez

The Fort Worth school board passed a new student conduct policy Tuesday that includes gender identity/expression in anti-retaliation, nondiscrimination and anti-harassment language. Sexual orientation was already protected.

Gender identity/expression had previously been included in FWISD policies for faculty and staff. Tuesday’s change makes Fort Worth the first district in Texas to protect students, staff and faculty based on both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in conduct policy handbooks. Some districts, including Dallas, have added both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to their anti-bullying policies.

The new FWISD policy was on the consent agenda, which means it passed without discussion along with other non-controversial changes.

Openly gay FWISD board member Carlos Vasquez said he was delighted the new policy passed on June 28, the second anniversary of the Rainbow Lounge Raid and the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

He said the policy passed without public discussion but with some private discussions among board members.

“One didn’t know the terminology,” he said.

Vasquez said that before the policy passed for faculty and staff earlier this year, “We didn’t have a gay and lesbian teachers organization. Now we do.” While the policy doesn’t address bullying, he said it would affect bullying policy.

“If they violate the policy, they can be sanctioned and placed in an alternative school,” Vasquez said.

He said the district has a number of gay and lesbian principals and administrators. The only teacher he knew that would be covered by the new policy was a substitute who had some problems at one school where she worked.

“This settles that as far as policy is concerned,” he said. “This is a preventive policy to make sure people know we’re here to protect them.”

Fairness Fort Worth was instrumental in getting the policy passed, he said. He gave special credit to Tom Anable and David Mack Henderson for working with board members to get the policy passed.

—  David Taffet

Fort Worth City Council approves settlement with Rainbow Lounge patrons Gibson, Armstrong

Tom Anable
Tom Anable

The Fort Worth City Council voted without discussion this morning to award a settlement of $400,000 to Chad Gibson, the Rainbow Lounge patron who was injured during the Police Department’s raid of the gay bar in 2009.

Also approved was a settlement with Rainbow Lounge patron George Armstrong, who was also injured. Because that amount awarded to Armstrong is less than $50,000, it did not need to be approved by the council.

David Mack Henderson of Fairness Fort Worth was at the council meeting during the vote. He said no one signed up to speak at the end of the meeting. He said TV cameras were at City Hall, but no one from his group was giving interviews.

“We’re just part of the city — the way it should be,” Henderson said. “Moving on. Nothing to talk about.”

Officer Sara Straten, the Fort Worth Police Department’s liaison to the LGBT community, was scheduled to speak to TV news this afternoon about the improved relations between the city and the LGBT community, according to Henderson. Straten was appointed in the wake of the Rainbow Lounge raid.

Tom Anable, of Fairness Fort Worth, was in Austin for the anti-bullying hearings in the Senate Education Committee this morning but called Dallas Voice during the recess. Anable called the settlement unprecedented. He said this is the first time the city of Fort Worth has entered mediation without a federal lawsuit being filed. He also said it was the first time the city made a settlement with someone from the LGBT community.

Still pending is the settlement between Gibson and Armstrong and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which conducted the raid along with the FWPD. While there is an agreement in place, TABC still must review and sign it.

—  David Taffet

Fairness Fort Worth wants you (to fill out a survey on LGBT issues in Tarrant County)

Fairness Fort Worth, the group formed in the wake of last summer’s raid on the Rainbow Lounge, is asking LGBT people in Tarrant County to participate in a survey designed to “gather basic data on the makeup of our community.”

It will be kind of like “our own census,” said FFW’s David Mack Henderson. “This is essential information when we reach out to work with policy makers.”

The survey is also intended to get the perspective of LGBT Tarrant County residents on what they see as the “needs and goals of our community going forward.”

Participation is entirely anonymous, Henderson said, adding, “Please share three minutes with us to make Tarrant County a richer place for GLBT people who live, work and contribute to this corner we all call home.”

Fairness Fort Worth hopes to get at least 1,000 participants by mid-June and results will be available shortly afterward, Henderson said.

Go HERE to take the survey.стоимость рекламы в контактепрайсы на комплексную раскрутку сайта

—  admin

Report: Man found dead outside Rainbow Lounge had been mugged but refused help


We’re still awaiting a press release from the Fort Worth Police Department about a man who was found beaten to death outside the Rainbow Lounge last night. In the meantime here’s a report from David Mack Henderson of Fairness Fort Worth:

Several Fairness Fort Worth board members came to the scene as soon as we heard and had a brief opportunity to speak with police. Understandably, in the midst of an active investigation, they could only share so much at that point, but here’s what we know. Approximately 9:30 an “elderly gentleman” was walking in the vicinity of W. Cannon St. a half-block south of the Rainbow Lounge. He was mugged and beaten but remained conscious. The officer I spoke with shared that someone (whom they’ve interviewed) came upon this gentleman and offered to help by calling 911 or otherwise. The victim replied no, that he would drive himself to the hospital. Apparently, he didn’t get that chance as he was discovered deceased shortly afterward.

—  John Wright