Brian and David are getting hitched and we have the license to prove it

In 1991, activists celebrated National Coming Out Day by staging a “kiss-in” in the Dallas County Clerk’s office to protest for marriage equality.

1991 kiss-in

Gary Bellomy, left, and Bill Hunt were among the protesters. The accompanying article didn’t identify who else was there and I can’t make it our from the picture. Mary Franklin, John Thomas and others held a sit-in in the County Clerk’s office on Valentine’s Day sometime in the 1980s.

In 2012, it took four sheriff’s deputies to arrest Major when he and Beau applied for their marriage license and handcuffed themselves to the stanchion in the marriage bureau office when they were turned down.

Major arrested

And that was followed by protesters outside the county courthouse during their court appearances for trying to get a marriage license.

Protests

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriage equality law and this happened in Dallas County:

June 26

And today, Brian and I did this. No sheriff’s deputies were called. No arrests were made. No one had to handcuff themselves to anything. No offices were taken over.

The clerk smiled, said congratulations and handed us our license. Someone who works in the building downstairs saw us trying to take a selfie and asked if she could take it for us. That idiot clerk up in Kentucky keeps making news, but thank you Dallas County for making marriage equality so, well, routine.

David and Brian

And thank you Gary and Bill, Beau and Major and everyone else who protested for years to make marriage equality a reality.

And if you’d like to see our wedding in person, everyone’s welcome.

We’re getting married on stage during the second act of Heartstrings, the Turtle Creek Chorale concert on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Beth El Binah’s Rabbi Steve Fisch is officiating. Brian’s mother will walk him across the stage to the chuppa and my Aunt Rhoda is flying in from New York to walk me. And our flower girl? Well, let’s just say she’s a big girl.

After the Chorale performance, we’ll have a reception in the lobby with the biggest damn cake for everyone to share. (The main cake is sour cream champagne with blueberry and key lime layers all covered in a chocolate icing).

OK, so for our bizarre wedding, you need tickets, because it is in the middle of a Turtle Creek Chorale concert. Tickets are available here. And if you’ve never seen a Chorale concert or haven’t been to one in awhile, here’s a good excuse to do it. Cake comes with your ticket. And the bar will be open til midnight.

—  David Taffet

Stonewall turns 20

Founded to support one particular LGBT community hero’s reelection, Stonewall has grown into a political powerhouse

Birthday-Cake

DAVID TAFFET |  MSenior Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Michael Milliken, one of the four founders of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, credits Log Cabin Republicans for the founding of the group.

Log Cabin was supporting a candidate running against state Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt, who had been an icon in the LGBT community since her days as a Dallas Independent School District board member supporting gay and lesbian teachers that superintendent Linus Wright was determined to fire.

An organization called the Lesbian Gay Political Coalition had previously been interviewing and endorsing candidates. Milliken said that group was all-inclusive, and that worked until it came to someone like Ehrhardt.

“We needed to do something about this,” Milliken said, explaining how a group met in his living room to create Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, modeled after a similar group from Los Angeles. The organization has grown from that small group of four to one of the largest Democratic Party groups in the state.

Former Stonewall President Omar Narvaez said Stonewall has gone from being an organization that begged candidates to come screen with them to one candidates beg for its endorsement. That’s because a Stonewall endorsement brings money, volunteers and votes.

Being a member of Stonewall helps get candidates in Dallas elected. Gary Fitzsimmons, one of Stonewall’s founders, served two terms as Dallas County district clerk. Narvaez was elected to the board of Dallas County Schools. Judge Tanya Parker and Sheriff Lupe Valdez are members of Stonewall. A number of members have been elected precinct chairs.

Being a Stonewall member hasn’t just worked for LGBT candidates. A slew of elected officials are straight members of Stonewall. Judge Tina Yoo’s husband even served several years on Stonewall’s board.

Former Stonewall President Erin Moore said, “I saw Stonewall evolve from challenging elected officials about our rights to working with elected officials to ensure our rights.” She said Stonewall became a trusted political organization within the Democratic Party by being the “trusted boots on the ground.”

That included providing volunteers for everything from block walking for candidates, phone banking and holding voter registration drives to making donations to campaigns.

Moore credits former President Shannon Bailey for organizing at the state level. The State Democratic Executive Committee added two seats for Stonewall Democrats of Texas.

Narvaez credits former President Jesse Garcia with creating alliances with groups like LULAC. Not only did he bring many LGBT Latinos into Stonewall, but helped LULAC understand that LGBT issues were their issues and their issues were Stonewall issues.

LULAC’s condemnation of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, among the first by a national organization that didn’t represent LGBT interests, originated largely in Dallas and Narvaez credits Garcia with laying the groundwork.

Moore said that in her years with Stonewall, she saw support for LGBT issues in the Democratic Party go from silence, to a whisper to full support. In 2012, she sat on the state platform committee, which made marriage equality a plank.

A turning point for Stonewall came in 2006 where Democratic candidates swept Dallas County elections. For the first time, a Democrat was elected sheriff. Judges such as Dennise Garcia came into office. By 2008, Democrats swept judgeships in the county, and by 2012, Republicans only held one position on Commissioners Court.

Many elected officials credit the largest Democratic club in the area for those victories.

Jay Narey is Stonewall’s current president and has been a member for most of the organization’s 20 years. He said he learned about Stonewall at a state Democratic convention where he was a delegate.

“What intrigued me was people walking around with rainbow Texas stickers,” he said. “The lesbian and gay community was welcomed and supported in the party.”

In addition to growth from a core group of 10 people when he first joined to paid membership of up to 300 during election years, Narey said he has noticed the support from local officials and how comfortable they are working with Stonewall.

To celebrate its 20-year anniversary, Stonewall will be the first group to hold an event at the new LGBT Community Center, with an open house and fundraiser Monday, May 23, at the new building at 5750 Cedar Springs Road. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres would be served and members will reflect on where the organization has been and discuss plans for moving forward.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 20, 2016.

—  David Taffet

Moving on up

Resource Center moves to its new landmark building this weekend

Resource-Exterior

Cece Cox takes care of last minute details with a phone call before the big opening of the new Resource Center Saturday.

DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Cece Cox said this week she wishes Bill Nelson and John Thomas and Bill Hunt and others lost to HIV were here to see the new LGBT Community Center, that will welcome the public for an open house from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 21.

“The people who can’t be here …” she started, her words cut off by the tears she unsuccessfully tried to keep at bay. “John Thomas was in this office,” she said, referring to her tiny space in Resource Center’s old building on Reagan Street with a mixture of sadness and joy. “I worked so hard to get here and now I’m leaving it.”

Cox managed to keep from crying as she walked through the new building, pointing out some of its features:

There’s light, windows everywhere. The old building has few windows and little light.

And the art! But none of the $8.7 million from Resource Center’s capital campaign went into art. All of it was donated or is on long-term loan. Nancy Whitenack, owner of Conduit Gallery, and local artist Ted Kincaid saw to that.

Where the old community center had no place for people to just sit and visit, the new space offers comfortable seating around small tables. The new building also has boardrooms available for groups to meet. The triangular space above the entryway is a new open auditorium that can be configured a number of ways to accommodate large group functions or smaller group meetings.

The new community center’s prominent location on Cedar Springs Road is on property purchased from Cathedral of Hope, completing a circle that began in 1989, when Metropolitan Community Church Dallas outgrew the facilities on Reagan Street, selling them to Foundation for Human Understanding to build the new cathedral.

Cox said people could drive by Resource Center’s nondescript former home on Reagan Street every day and not have any idea what the place was. But this new building is an LGBT landmark. Anyone driving up Cedar Springs Road to Love Field will see it and know what it is.

And just to make sure that no one will miss it at night, Mark and Dante Reed-Walkup, whose WieDaMark lighting company on Harry Hines Boulevard may be best known for Reunion Tower’s nightly light show, made sure the new community center is properly lit.

“We’ll be seen by anyone flying into Love Field,” Mark Reed-Walkup said.

The Reed-Walkups installed lighting on the roof that will bathe the new center in rainbow colors for Pride. But it will also show the LGBT community’s patriotism with red-white-and-blue lighting on July 4, its Christmas spirit with red and green in December and the importance of Halloween with a flood of orange in October.

Reed-Walkup described the lighting as an LED flex neon product that’s weather protected that should be a “trouble-free installation.”

Now that community center activities are about to move into a new location, Cox exp

ected to be able to take a break. But that’s not going to happen; there’s too much is going on.

The capital campaign continues through the end of the year, Cox noted. Of the $8.7 million cost for building the Cedar Springs property and renovating the Reagan Street buildings, they have $344,000 left to raise. That’s just a small portion of the original total, but Cox pointed out it’s more than they paid for the Reagan Street property, which cost $260,000 in 1989 and is now valued at $2.1 million.

Cox said she is looking forward to welcoming the 40 community groups that meet at the community center into the new building, and she hopes to welcome and incubate new groups.

Gray Pride will finally have meeting space, she said. Youth First begins meeting in the new building next week. And the new food pantry, Resource Center’s most accessed service, have already opened in the Reagan Street building.

Both Youth First and the Food Pantry have been occupying other facilities. Now, not having to pay those leaves will save the organization about $100,000 a year, Cox said.

Having the food pantry at the same location as the hot meals program is more than just convenient, Cox said. It may also bring in more clients to access both programs. “Clients won’t have to travel to two places,” she said. “We’re planning for an uptick.”

Resource Center’s counseling program, operated in conjunction with Southern Methodist University’s School of Education, moves to the new building and gets more space.

On July 1, the center will launch its own behavioral health program to treat drug and alcohol abuse. Cox said the new program will work on a different model than the SMU program, requiring insurance or cash payment, and much of the work will be done in group sessions.
The Reagan street facilities will continue to be renovated. What is currently office space will be reconfigured for HIV client service programs, and the cafeteria, which hasn’t been renovated since it was used for fellowship by MCC, will get a refresh.

And, Cox said, she is itching to get back into more advocacy work, especially on ­­­the transgender issues that are popping up and as Texas lawmakers gear up for what promises to be a nasty legislative session next year.

How it began

Resource Center began as a program of Dallas Gay Alliance (now Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance) in 1983. While AIDS had already hit hard in other parts of the country, Dallas had only seen a few cases at that poin

Resource-Interior

The new community center is filled with art thanks to Conduit Gallery owner Nancy Whitenack and artist Ted Kincaid. Included is this installation by Gabriel Dawe. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

t. But Houston already had a number of deaths, and Dallas gay community leaders knew the epidemic was headed here.

They formed a new organization, known as the AIDS Resource Center but incorporated as the Foundation for Human Understanding. They chose the more innocuous name because organizers like Bill Nelson and John Thomas knew that the people with money in Dallas wouldn’t write the word “AIDS” on a check.

FHU shared rented space with DGA on Cedar Springs Road where TapeLenders now stands. The food pantry, which started as a shelf in Crossroads Market on the corner of Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street, moved to a vacant warehouse space behind the stores facing the parking lot. In 1988, FHU opened the Nels

on-Tebedo Community Clinic for AIDS Research in a Cedar Springs building that had been empty for at least a decade. The clinic remains in that space today.

In February 1989, a man named Dale Wesley Biddy set fire to the Resource Center offices, starting a blaze that also destroyed Union Jack and the Round-Up Saloon. The food pantry, unaffected by the fire thanks to double brick walls separating it from the retail stores on the street, continued to operate uninterrupted.

“Before the fire, we never considered a move out of the Crossroads,” Bruce Monroe, a former DGA president and FHU board member said. “Afterwards, we weren’t given a choice.”

After the fire, The Round-Up and Union Jack expanded and DGA wasn’t given the

option of returning to Cedar Springs Road. The Resource Center leased space where Thairrific is now, facing Throckmorton Street.

“We were on top of each other — even time sharing desks,” Monroe said. “So, George McDaniel and I began looking at available properties.”

They were offered free houses in East Dallas, but the organization wanted to stay in Oak Lawn.

“There were few properties available,” Monroe said. “We even looked at the old Braniff training center near the tollway. Then we were approached by Jack [Evans] and George [Harris],” who ran one of the large

st real estate agencies in Oak Lawn at the time.

They represented MCC, and “MCC wanted to sell and heard we had been looking,” Monroe said.

MCC had seen exponential growth through the 1980s and outgrew its home on Reagan at Brown streets. The church began building Cathedral of Hope. While construction progressed, it moved from its home o

n Reagan Street to an office building on Maple and Hudnall avenues, a building that was torn down earlier this year.

The purchase of the Reagan Street property came to the FHU board for a vote.

“George McDaniel was on both boards and voted against buying the building on the FHU board — after working so hard with me to find it,” Monroe said. When he asked why, he said, McDaniel “replied he was the only member with deep pockets and didn’t want to pay up should we default on the loan.”

Still, the board approved the sale and FHU bought the property for $265,000, taking out a loan with a large balloon payment at the end.
Joe Desmond, who served as secretary of both DGA from it’s inception and FHU, kept assuring the boards of both organizations not to worry, that the mortgage would be covered, Monroe said. Every time a board member fretted, Desmond reassured them.

Desmond died in 1994 and left his life insurance to FHU. The money paid off the mortgage with cash left over, a luxury the organization never had before.

In 1998, Foundation for Human Understanding was sued over its name by an organization called Foundation of Human Understanding, a Christian organization in Oregon. By this time, anti-HIV drugs w

ere keeping people alive and there was less stigma about using the term AIDS. Rather than countersuing, FHU changed its name to Resource Center Dallas and in 2013 simply Resource Center.

Today, Resource Center has about 50 people on staff, making it one of the largest centers of its kind in the U.S. About 1,200 people volunteer for Resource Center every year ,and 60,000 people a year use its services, programs and community center space.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 20, 2016.

—  David Taffet

No tie, please

The 11th annual No Tie Dinner benefiting ASD takes place at Frontiers of Flight Museum

No-Tie---David-Nelson,-Angel-and-Marie-Reyes,-Don-Neubauer

No Tie Dinner Chair David Nelson, from left, honorary chairs Angel and Marie Reyes and AIDS Services of Dallas Board Chair Don Beubauer are ready for the 2016 No Tie festivities. (Photo by Kim Grubbs)

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

The James Bond film You Only Live Twice provides the theme for this year’s No Tie Dinner.

No Tie raises money for AIDS Services Dallas, the agency that provides housing for people living with AIDS. Development Associate Alex Sanchez said ASD gives people a second chance — a chance to recover and get back on their feet — making this year’s theme so appropriate.

But the problem with the theme, especially from the early Bond films, is that look always included a tie. Sanchez said, “Oh, no! Don’t wear ties.” Casual remains the rule no matter the theme.

No Tie Dinner returns to the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Lemmon Avenue on Saturday, April 9 for the 11th annual ASD benefit. The name was created as a play on Black Tie Dinner, but organizers said it was never meant to poke fun at the formal fundraiser. In fact, ASD has been a beneficiary of Black Tie for years.

Instead, ASD CEO Don Maison said, the name simply implies the casual atmosphere of the evening that targets a wider audience than its formal fundraising cousin.

Over the past decade, the event has grown substantially. About 225 people attended the first No Tie held at Southside on Lamar. This weekend, Maison expects about 1,500 people at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Attendees at some 50 private parties and dinners will converge on the museum at 7 p.m. for a dessert party and live and silent auctions.

No Tie raises quite a bit of cash each year for ASD. Last year, Maison’s own private party was top contributor to No Tie’s total, but he said he’s already heard that the other dinner hosts have beaten the $27,000 he expects his efforts will raise this year.

Sanchez said the rules have even eased up since the original party. Most party hosts hold their pre-event just before the dessert party at the museum. Others have an after-party. A few are getting organized late and will attend with their friends and hold their private party at a later date.

It doesn’t matter, Sanchez said, because it all raises unrestricted funds for the agency.

Honorary chairs Angel and Marie Reyes are from the new reality show Real Housewives of Dallas premiering April 11 on Bravo TV network.

Vacation packages being auctioned off live include a stay in a five-bedroom, 13th-century villa ,in  Tournon d’Agenais in southwestern France, a visit to Belize Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, a West Hollywood package, a Steamboat Springs ski resort stay and a vacation at Hotel del Coronado Resort in San Diego.

Other featured live auction items include a Louis Vuitton chaise lounge valued at $8,500 and a Lady Gaga autographed book.

Sports tickets, spa packages, custom jewelry, furniture and home accessories are among the silent auction items. Silent auction items can be viewed and bid on before the event by visiting NoTieDinner.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 1, 2016.

—  David Taffet

Bunny hops

Drag queen DJ talks music and politics as she gets ready to head back to Dallas for Toast to Life

BUNNYpic24FULLRES

Lady Bunny knows how to keep ’em dancing.

DAVID TAFFET   | Senior Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

“In Texas, I’ve become the DJ for socialites.” That’s how it seems to Lady Bunny, who was the DJ on Halloween at Hotel Zaza and at the Fresh Arts benefit, both in Houston.

In Dallas, she’s DJ’d an event at the Rachofsky home known for its art collection and for a Dallas Theater Center fundraiser, as well as at a wedding held on marriage equality night at the W Hotel.

Bunny admits that she’s “not the greatest mixer,” and that she doesn’t have a lot in common politically with many of the people who attended those Texas fundraisers. “But I know music and I know what they’ll like,” she declares.

And after all, that’s what counts, right?

Bunny says she knows how to please a crowd and has a wide variety of experience as a DJ. “When you DJ from Pride to Fashion Week in Paris to gay weddings to bar mitzvahs, you find out what a crowd likes,” she says.

Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 3.17.44 PMAnd knowing what the crowd likes shouldn’t be too difficult for Bunny when she’s next in Dallas, because she’ll be spinning for a crowd that’s much closer to her on the political spectrum: She’ll be the star attraction at Resource Center’s 18th annual Toast to Life fundraiser on March 5 at The Empire Room.

Surprisingly, Bunny has also made a name for herself in the fashion world since a fashion publication called Visionaire hired her as their in-house DJ.

“That started my DJ career outside New York,” she says.

Her first party in Paris, on the Eiffel Tower, attracted fashion model Iman and designer Karl Lagerfeld as guests. From there, she’s done Toyko, Milan, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul and London.

“That gave me credibility as a DJ,” she says. “It became OK to hire this drag queen.”

Bunny says it was her years of working in clubs that helped her be successful as a DJ. “I remember what songs turned the party out,” she says. “In every decade.”

It also doesn’t hurt that she breaks the ice by getting into the music and cutting up. “You get a DJ and a clown for the price of one,” she says.

Currently, Bunny is on a DJ tour promoting the upcoming eighth season of Drag Race. Before coming to Dallas next week, she hits Phoenix and Kalamazoo. From here, she heads overseas to London, Manchester and Milan. But that doesn’t mean she’s carrying a lot of luggage around.

“I shock people how light I travel,” she says.

For this tour, Bunny needs seven dresses. So she just packs fewer men’s clothes. What about all of her wigs? They’re big, she says, not teased out. So they stack and she combs them out.

Bunny says even when she’s in men’s clothes with no make up, she gets called “ma’am,” especially when they hear her voice. It’s not rude, she adds; at least they’re calling her ma’am, not something derogatory.

But she’s had a number of funny experiences with that. “A men’s room attendant in Mexico told me I went into the wrong restroom,” she recalls. When she explained she was a man, he propositioned her.

As passionate as Bunny is with her music and entertaining, she’s equally as hot about her politics.

First, she rips fellow New Yorker Donald Trump.

“I was in L.A. and Walgreens had a life-sized cutout of Donald Trump,” she says of an experience that happened before Trump launched his presidential bid. “Do they know no one in New York even likes Donald Trump? He’s regarded as a joke.”

Bunny says she doesn’t think Trump is even seriously running. She’s still expecting him to drop out and turn his run into a reality show about how to prank the press. He is, she says, a “jerk spouting nonsense.”

But the anger Trump has tapped into is real, she adds: “People are angry. We’re told the recession is over but people are still working two jobs and are still on food stamps.”

After eight years of Bush and eight years of Obama, she says, most of the wealth is going to “the 1 percent.”

She criticizes Hillary Clinton for voting for the Iraq War, something Bunny believes was a disaster. “I’m a drag queen and she has access to secret dossiers,” Bunny said. “She has the foreign policy of a Republican.”

Bunny says she has a 75-year-old Republican aunt who lives in the south who’s voting for Bernie because “the Republicans are clowns and she doesn’t trust Hillary.” Bunny’s advice? Get involved.

Oh, and support Resource Center by coming to Toast to Life. Bunny promises it’ll be a blast.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 26, 2016.

—  Craig Tuggle

Outrageous Oral: The Buchmeyer decision

Last night marked another installment of Outrageous Oral. The oral history of the Dallas Way featured four speakers who talked about the historic Baker v. Wade decision in which Judge Jerry Buchmeyer overturned the Texas sodomy law in 1982. The decision was reversed by the 5th Circuit three years later.

Mike Anglin and Dick Peeples are attorneys who attended the trial. Pam Buchmeyer is the judge’s daughter who spoke about her father. Maggie Watt is plaintiff Don Baker’s sister. Baker was a Dallas teacher. He died in 2000.

—  David Taffet

Under the Covers of Gay History: A talk with journalists/authors/ activists Tracy Baim and Mark Segal

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Dallas Voice had the great privilege of partnering with Cathedral of Hope’s Sources bookstore and with The Dallas Way to host a book-signing and discussion with authors/journalists/activists Tracy Baim and Mark Segal.

Baim, co-founder, publisher and executive editor of Chicago’s LGBT newspaper Windy City News, has recently published  Barbara Gittings: Gay Pioneer, a biography — complete with more than 200 photos — of LGBT pioneer activist Barbara Gittings. Mark Segal, founder, owner and publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, whose life as a gay rights activist started on June 29, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn. He has recently published his memoir, And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality.

Below is a video, courtesy of David Story and Two Hats Publishing, of the two pioneers of LGBT journalism discussing their books, their work and their lives. The discussion was moderated by Dallas Voice senior news writer David Taffet, with Managing Editor Tammye Nash.

—  Tammye Nash

Resource Center arranges meeting between ICE and LGBT community leaders

ICEOn July 28, Resource Center organized a meeting between members of the LGBT community and the Dallas field office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Among those involved were Nell Gaither from Trans Pride Initiative and Juan Contreras and other members of Rainbow LULAC as well as Resource Center Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell.

Gaither called the meeting a good first step. She said one goal is to let people in custody with ICE know there are resources if they are victims of violence. She said a goal is to let more people know that if they are unsafe in their home country because of their sexual orientation or gender identity may be a reason to claim asylum or withholding of removal.

Last month, the federal government announced new policies on how the agency will treat LGBT detainees. ICE will also collect data on how many people flee their home countries because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Resource Center has a long history of working together with partner organizations and governmental agencies, and the meeting was the first step towards establishing an ongoing dialogue on LGBT issues at the local level with ICE.

—  David Taffet

Porn expo coming to the Kay Bailey Hutchison … and we’re shocked

ExxxoticaI rarely call it the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. But in this case I will. On Aug. 7-9, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center hosts eXXXotica.

That’s a porn expo.

Not gay porn. Straight porn actresses, mostly.

Mayor Mike Rawlings is “deeply concerned,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Of course he is. He has to say that.

I’m deeply concerned as well.

Dallas is a wholesome city where same-sex couples come to get married and raise our children. (Dallas Voice is even hosting its own Wedding Party and Expo this Sunday at the Anatole.) It’s not a city where we go with friends to  … gulp! … the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. So consider this a warning. We’re shocked — shocked, we tell you! — that something like this could take place in our fair city. Oh, and you can get tickets here.

—  David Taffet

Business Insider highlights Dallas efforts to become ‘hot new gay destination’

BIGBusiness Insider published an article this week calling Dallas “one of the most gay-friendly cities in the U.S.” and promoting LGBT travel to the city. The Dallas Visitors and Convention Bureau seems to be behind the campaign to promote Dallas as LGBT-friendly.

Dallas Voice and our upcoming Wedding Party & Expo are both mentioned in the article. The Expo is presented as evidence Dallas is open for business, especially as a wedding destination.

There’s a link to the LGBT Visitor’s Guide on the CVB website. The page links to several resources, with some glaring omissions. For example, under hotels, you can choose properties by location. There’s a Market Center/Love Field selection and Downtown/Uptown, but not one for Oak Lawn, even though on the CVB page, they promote “Oak Lawn” as the LGBT neighborhood. There should be a list for Oak Lawn hotels.

The page also lists nine LGBT events, two of which are no longer in existence, one which is on hiatus and one we’ve never heard of.

We love the enthusiasm of the head of the CVB who thinks people from states all over the country that have had marriage equality — some for years — are suddenly going to think it’s a great idea to come and get married in a state whose attorney general still hasn’t clearly instructed county clerks to follow the law.

—  David Taffet