Queer Denton church takes out ad in honor of Trans Day of Remembrance

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Members of The Abstract Church in Denton placed an ad today in the Denton Record-Chronicle in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The Rev. Jeff Hood, who leads the church, said the ad was motivated by the recent trans murder of Artegus Madden after reading the initial story in Dallas Voice, as well as one about how police have few leads. An anonymous donor helped pay for the ad.

“We were particularly burdened to act due to the murder of Artegus Madden in the Savannah community near Denton,” Hood said. “Our leadership decided to take action and issue a community appeal.”

The ad reads, “Gender is not a Dichotomy/Remember the Slain/ Stop the oppression.”

This is not the first ad the church has placed in the paper. Back in March, the church reached out with an Easter ad calling for inclusive churches to unite.

The church, which used to meet at Denton’s gay bar Mable Peabody’s Beauty Parlor, recently changed their name from The Church at Mable Peabody’s to The Abstract Church when they began meeting at anther location, 529 Malone St. in Denton.

—  Anna Waugh

Denton activist continues to push for city marriage equality resolution

Tyler Carlton

Tyler Carlton

Tyler Carlton has been working with Denton City Council members for three months to draft a resolution supporting marriage equality.

Carlton, a member of the Denton County Democratic Party, presented a citizen’s report before the council in support of a resolution in April, which received positive support from council members.

Members assigned the city secretary’s office to conduct research for a possible resolution. And Councilman Dalton Gregory asked the city manager’s office to research policies and benefits the city could offer its LGBT employees, including domestic partner benefits. The city currently prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in its Equal Employment Opportunity policy.

Gregory previously told Dallas Voice he thought the reports made before the council on marriage equality “were thoughtful and compelling,” but wasn’t sure how the council would proceed since they hadn’t discussed the issue.

Carlton started working on the resolution draft a week ago after meetings with council members were unproductive, and some had said they weren’t sure what the LGBT community wanted from the resolution.

“I decided to draft it myself, because after not having much of a bite on our offer, I met with Dalton Gregory and after hearing his opinion about how he was not yet convinced,” he said. “I decided if I write the resolution, then they would completely understand exactly what we are asking and it now puts them in a place where they directly would have to say ‘Yes, I support marriage equality’ or ‘No, I am against same-sex marriage.’”

Carlton plans to meet with council members to get feedback on the draft and hopes to get it on the council’s agenda by August, when he moves out of state. But he said that gives him time to gain support and tweak it after the U.S. Supreme Court issues rulings in two marriage equality cases next week.

Read the resolution draft below.

—  Anna Waugh

Queer Denton church launches book sharing members’ stories of healing

Pastor Jeff Hood delivers a sermon at Denton’s only gay bar, Mable Peabody’s Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair, on Easter Sunday.(Patrick Hoffman/Dallas Voice)

Pastor Jeff Hood delivers a sermon at Denton’s only gay bar, Mable Peabody’s Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair, on Easter Sunday. (Patrick Hoffman/Dallas Voice)

Members of the Church at Mable Peabody’s are launching a book written by more than 20 members about their experiences of being queer and having faith in God.

The book, “Stories from the Church at Mable Peabody’s: The Spiritual Experiences of a Queer Church,” focuses on the tales of “wounded healers,” the Rev. Jeff Hood said.

Hood said planning for the book started after the church started meeting at Denton’s only gay bar on Easter Sunday. It was recently self-published and will be released tonight with a cover unveiling and readings.

“We are a church that is full of persons who have been told that God hates them. The question for us has consistently been, ‘How do we use the wounds inflicted on us to shape a better and more equitable world?’” Hood said. “We have made a choice to love those who have persecuted us and to heal the hurting by sharing our stories. This is a proactive step meant to take the evil things that have been done to us and turn them into help for others. Our congregation refuses to live and not love.”

The book launch begins at 9 p.m. tonight at Banter Denton, 219 W. Oak St. in Denton. Books will be available for $20 and will begin being sold here next week.

—  Anna Waugh

Denton churches affirm inclusiveness of LGBT members in Easter ad

Dentonchurches

Eight Denton churches pledged to be inclusive of the LGBT community in an ad that ran in Sunday’s Denton Record-Chronicle.

The Rev. Jeff Hood took out the ad for Easter Sunday to show the number of churches who are supportive and welcoming after he sent about 60 churches letters asking them to be inclusive on Ash Wednesday. He said the letters started conversation with church leaders and led to the ad’s creation.

The ad entitled, “We Believe in the Universality of God’s Love,” states that the listed churches will “be open and celebrating of persons of diverse sexual orientation and identities” and encourages other churches to do so as well.

—  Anna Waugh

WATCH: Lesbian shares story behind ‘Keep Denton Queer’ group

Kat Ralph

Kat Ralph and her friends started a Facebook group a few weeks ago to combat an anti-gay experience at a local bar.

They launched “Keep Denton Queer” to share positive and negative experiences at local businesses. Ralph said she eventually wants to create ally stickers for LGBT-friendly businesses. In the meantime, she’s already created a starter website and is working with a local printer to make T-shirts.

Ralph recently spoke about her experience that led to the group’s creation on the CW33.

Watch the video below.

—  Anna Waugh

Friends start Facebook page to support gay-friendly businesses in Denton

Kat Ralph

After an anti-gay encounter at a local bar where Kat Ralph and her friends often hang out, she turned to Facebook for support and launched a page as an online forum.

Ralph and about 10 friends were at Abbey Underground bar in Denton Saturday, Dec. 29, when a group of about 15 middle-aged adults started giving her and friends dirty looks, making them feel uncomfortable.

The looks went on for about an hour until one woman walked up to Ralph after she kissed her girlfriend. The woman put her hand in her mouth, gesturing as though she was going to vomit, and told Ralph she made her sick.

“She got in our faces and called us sick individuals,” she said.

Ralph’s friends approached management about intervening because they felt uncomfortable and wanted to have fun in the bar. Management refused to talk to the woman or the group she was with because it was a “he said, she said” situation, Ralph said, but they did offer to pay two of their tabs. So Ralph and her friends left.

“They [management] didn’t do anything,” she said, adding that she’d never had a bad experience there. “It was super disappointing.”

—  Anna Waugh

Open house today at lesbian-run rescue with Denton mayor declaring it TX Siamese Rescue day

The Texas Siamese Rescue will celebrate the story of one of its rescues that is now a book at an open house today in Corinth after the mayor of Denton declares it Texas Siamese Rescue day.

“Little Orphan Oakley” was written by Linda McMurry Rollins about her journey to finding precious Oakley at the rescue after he was brought to the ranch from a kill-shelter in 2000.

After the rescue’s founder died last year and left the rescue with a debt of more than $200,000 to pay for the home that houses the cats and the lesbian couple that took over the rescue, McMurry thought Oakley’s adoption story could help benefit the rescue, director Alisa Lee said. All proceeds will go toward the debt, of which all except $40,000 has been forgiven by the lender.

“Our prayer is that after all those years ago when we saved Oakley, his story will now help save the rescue,” Lee said. “It explains what we do here better than any other medium. We have high hopes and dreams in true Texas style, and we know that animal lovers in the Metroplex have the kindness and potential to help save this amazing place.”

The open house is from 2-3 p.m. and will feature a proclamation order from Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs about the rescue’s involvement in the community, Lee said. He will declare today Texas Siamese Rescue day for the city of Denton.

The public is invited for light refreshments and the opportunity meet the roughly 70 cats and purchase the book, which is also available on Amazon for $10. Adoption applications will be received for the wide selection of available pets.

The rescue is located at 1123 N. Corinth St., Corinth, TX 76208. For more information, call 940-367-7367 or click here.

A video with art from the book is below.

—  Anna Waugh

WATCH: Perfume Genius at Dan’s Silverleaf on Monday night

OK, there may not be much to watch, but Tactics Productions’ Brad Ehney posted this video of gay singer Mike Hadreas AKA Perfume Genius performing “Dark Parts at Dan’s in Denton last night. Dark is right as the venue’s lighting didn’t quite work with Ehney’s camera, but Hadreas’ sound is spot on. So maybe just give it a listen.

I am sad to admit I didn’t make the show, but glad Ms. Schroeder gave us a taste of what it was like.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Atlas Sound at 35 Denton

From 35Denton.com.

While 35 Denton didn’t have a whole lot of queer going on this past weekend, it still managed to score a show by Atlas Sound. The queer frontman of Deerhunter was one of the bigger names during the four-day music fest in Denton. Graciela Razo of the 35 Denton blog wrote this assessment of the show that seemed to fit perfectly in with the drizzly rain.

Watch a clip of him performing “Te Amo” on the main stage at the festival after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Perfume Genius at Dan’s March 26

I recently posted Perfume Genius’ provocative video for “Hood,” which featured him being dolled up by a hunky porn star. It’s pretty hot, but also fascinating. Although I doubt adult film star Arpad Miklos will be joining, PG will bring his elegant indie pop to North Texas this spring. Perfume Genius (nee Mike Hadreas) is set to play in Denton at Dan’s Silverleaf March 26. Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the door. The show is presented by Spune.

In this video, he delivers a quiet performance of his 2010 song “Lookout, Lookout.” This should give you an idea of his live show.

—  Rich Lopez