Feet don’t fail

Recently all but dead, Lin Wang helped Frontrunners catch its second wind

DFW Frontrunners members Steven, left, and Kevin, right, set the pace with new members like Moe, center, to powerwalk for fitness with the group when they meet every Saturday morning to hit the Katy Trail.

DFW Frontrunners members Steven, left, and Kevin, right, set the pace with new members like Moe, center, to powerwalk for fitness with the group when they meet every Saturday morning to hit the Katy Trail.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

When Lin Wang came to Dallas and thought about joining the DFW Frontrunners, he encountered a fizzled-out band of running enthusiasts with an expired website.

“I found an email to an old contact, but no one answered,” Wang says. “Then I learned from someone that it died out a few years ago.”

But Wang’s enthusiasm is infectious, and his spirit has helped bring the group back to life.

Frontrunners isn’t just a Dallas thing — it’s an international affiliation of LGBT running and walking clubs that first began 28 years ago in San Francisco. Wang had been an active member of both the Pittsburgh and New York City chapters, so when he moved to Dallas in the summer of 2010, he was surprised to find that in a city of its size, the group basically didn’t exist.

“I don’t know why it went away,” he says. “With all the other sports groups, there is such a demand for athletics in this large LGBT community.”

So he started the rebuilding.

DFW Frontrunners had been so out-of-date that the international association told him to just register the group as “new.” With the help of Julio Chong, the group changed its meeting place from White Rock Lake on Saturday mornings to a more central spot in Lee Park. For the group to succeed, Wang felt it needed to be closer in the ‘hood.

“Julio and I did this together,” Wang says. “We started small, but the biggest group we’ve had is about 15 members and we now have close to 20 active members.”

Wang recalls the decisions to have the first group meeting last June.

“It was a horrible time to begin because of the summer,” he laughs, recalling the sweltering heat of 2011’s record-breaking season.“ But we had to prove this was not a dead organization. We welcome anyone who wants to join us.”

With a diverse group including some straight members, Frontrunners meets at the Robert E. Lee statue and then proceeds to the Katy Trail. Groups can then walk or run in their preferred direction, eventually meeting back at the statue. Then it’s off to breakfast.

Like any gay sports organization, Frontrunners also pushes the socializing aspect of a club. Fellowship is a booster among those working on their fitness levels. Local activist Latisha McDaniel has met some of her personal goals as a member along with broadening her circle of friends.

“[Frontrunners has] been a great experience and has really increased my love of running,” she says. “It has given me a new jump start and a good way to meet new people.”

McDaniel even improved her fitness level. She started with the walking group, but has graduated to running and even surprised herself with her abilities.

“I’ve participated in two races since joining and about to run in another one,” she says. “I did a few races in college but haven’t really done anything since moving to Dallas.”

“We’re not gonna scare people away who like walking,” Wang adds. “We always make sure one person walks so others feel fine to join in.”

Wang intends for Frontrunners to be much more than the weekly meetup. He’s used Facebook and Twitter to get the word out on the group and to entice online members to join them in person. He has had the group participate as volunteers for the White Rock Marathon as a water station team and expect to repeat that this year. He also wants to push the group into hosting Dallas’ first Pride race.

We’re focusing hard on doing the first-ever event,” he says. “St. Louis has one and we think that it could be an integral part of our Pride festival. It would be a different way to have and witness a different Pride involvement. And we’d like to tie it in to an organization and the race can be a viable fundraiser.”

Although Wang would like to accomplish all this in 2012, it’s more realistic to expect everything in place by Dallas Pride 2013. In the meantime, the group hopes to expand membership and enjoy the health and fellowship that accompanies it. And for now, you can join without paying membership dues.

“We’re in the process of becoming a nonprofit and so we may have to charge in the future,” he admits. “but we expect it would be very minimal. We don’t want to push anyone away.” The only running away he wants to see is on the trail.

For more information, visit Frontrunners Dallas.org or meet up with them Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. under the statue at Lee Park.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Local briefs • 09.02.11

H4PJ schedules workshops

Hope for Peace and Justice is sponsoring a series of three free evening workshops as part of its mission to provide peace practitioner training to the greater Dallas-Fort Worth community.

Raj Gill, the director of Prosperity Circles Coaching, International, in British Columbia, Canada, and a trainer certified by the International Center for Nonviolent Communication will lead the workshops Sept. 12–14, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Interfaith Peace Chapel, 5910 Cedar Springs Road.

To attend, RSVP by email to workshops@NVCDFW.org or by phone at 469-420-0682. For more information or to make a donation online, go to NVCDFW.org

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

 

 

—  Michael Stephens

Razzle dazzle ’em with cake

IMG_0379Gym rats may have to lighten up on their carb restrictions. Once they taste Virginia Tidwell’s offering of Razzle Dazzle cupcakes, they might just go into sugar shock.

“I’m happiest when I’m in the kitchen baking and I thought this would be a nice offering,” she says.
Her company, Mostly Cupcakes, has introduced a special edition cupcake to celebrate this year’s return of Razzle Dazzle.

Tidwell’s rainbow buttercream frosted cuppies come in flavors such as root beer float, banana split and cherry limeade along with the usual. Then they are topped with a white chocolate Pegasus wing.
The cupcakes can be ordered now for $36 a dozen standard size or two dozen minis.
— Rich Lopez

To order call 214-718-58714 or email
mostlycupcakes@aol.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 27, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

President Obama coming to Texas

President Barack Obama

According to an email I got today from the White House Press Secretary’s office, President Obama is headed to Texas next week.

The president will travel to El Paso next Tuesday, May 10, and then will stop in Austin before heading back to Washington, D.C.

Although the “official” email from the press secretary’s office said details on the visit would be released when they become available, an Associated Press report published today by the Houston Chronicle indicates that the president is visiting Chamizal National Memorial on the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso, and Julie Hillrichs with the Texas Border Coalition said her group, which represents mayors, county judges and economic development commissions in the border area, hopes the president will address border security issues during the trip.

According to the National Parks Service’s website, “The Chamizal Convention of 1963 was a milestone in diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States. Chamizal National Memorial was established to commemorate this treaty, which resulted in the peaceful settlement of a century-long boundary dispute. The Memorial provides visitors with an opportunity to better understand the culture of our borderland.”

The AP report also says President Obama will be stopping in Austin for a fundraiser while he is in the Lone Star State. He’s likely to get a relatively warm welcome in Austin, which is the most liberal city in Texas. But folks in other areas — and maybe even some Austinites — might not be too happy to see him, considering the Obama administration just turned down the state’s plea for a major disaster declaration in the wake of wildfires that have destroyed more than 400 homes and some 2.2 million acres since last November.

—  admin

Local Briefs

GAIN holding monthly meeting

GAIN, the GLBT aging interest network that is a program of Resource Center Dallas, will meet Thursday, April 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Resource Center, 2701 Reagan.
Educator, public speaker and writer Deneen Robinson, BSW, will present the program on Alzheimer’s and dementia in the aging LGBT community.
Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

Students seeks study participants

Cindy Chwalik, a clinical psychology student at Walden University who is interning with Youth First Texas, is looking for natal females (those who were born biologically female) who were born in the South and came out as lesbians while living in the South to participate in a research project she is conducting. She is particularly looking for women born in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.

Participation involves a 60-to-90-minute interview. Chwalik said there is no compensation for participating, but the information will help those who come out in the future.
Contact her via email at cindychwalik @aol.com.

TDWCC to hear from candidates

Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will hold their next general meeting Monday, April 25, at 6:45 p.m. at the Preston Ridge Campus of Collin College, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco, Founders Hall, Shawnee Room F148.

The program will feature a forum of candidates in the upcoming non-partisan municipal elections. Confirmed thus far from Plano are Judy Drotman, campaign manager for City Council Place 3 candidate Andre Davidson; City Council Place 5 candidate Matt Lagos; City Council Place 5 candidate Jim Duggan, and City Council Place 7 candidate Pat Gallagher.

Candidates in the Frisco elections who have confirmed so far are Mayor Maher Maso, City Council Place 5 candidate Bart Crowder, and Frisco ISD candidated Anne McCausland and Dody Brigadier.

—  John Wright

Natinsky opts not to screen for Stonewall

As John Wright reported earlier here on Instant Tea, Dallas mayoral candidate Ron Natinsky was scheduled to participate in the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ screening and endorsement process on Saturday, even though, as a Republican, he’s not eligible for the group’s endorsement.

Now, however, according to an email to Stonewall — and copied to Dallas Voice — from Natinsky supporter Craig Holcomb, Natinsky has decided not to participate in the Stonewall screening. Holcomb, of course, is an openly gay former Dallas city councilmember.

Gentlemen,

Councilman Natinsky had been looking forward to participating in Stonewall Democrats’ screening tomorrow. However, since your bylaws clearly state that someone who has voted in a Republican primary is not eligible for endorsement, he will not be submitting a questionnaire or taking part in Saturday’s screening process.

Councilman Natinsky is opposed to disccrimination based on sexual orientation. That will not change when he is elected Mayor.

I am grateful for your prompt responses to my questions today.

Sincerely,

Craig Holcomb

UPDATE: Natinsky sent over this email addressed to “The Readers of Dallas Voice,” further explaining his decision:

I respect the GLBT community and had looked forward to participating in the Stonewall Democrats screening process.

However, when I learned that their bylaws would prevent me from receiving their endorsement because I have voted in a Republican primary, I decided it was more important to communicate directly with the community through The Dallas Voice.

Accordingly I am releasing my answers to their questionnaire to The Voice.

Stonewall Democrats, according to the email they sent, will be shredding all the other candidates’ questionnaires.

Sincerely,
Ron Natinsky

We’ve posted the completed Stonewall endorsement questionnaire supplied by Natinsky after the jump.

—  admin

Can’t afford $1,500 to see Prince on Super Bowl weekend? There’s an app for that

Remember that Goss Michael Foundation event I blogged about? You know, that “all-inclusive soiree” Prince is headlining with Erykah Badu as part of the Super Bowl fesitivites? Yeah, so I kinda winced that the $1,500 price tag was the cheapest seat for theEvent (which is also the name of the, um, event). The show is a benefit for the foundation’s scholarship fund they award to area students pursuing an arts education.

Well, there might be a legit way around that. I received an email that the Calyp app is giving away tix to the show with a few simple requirements. Such as:

Participants are automatically entered to win this once in a lifetime experience by simply “liking” them at Facebook.com/CalypEndorsers and downloading the free Calyp app from the iTunes App Store or Android Market by Monday January 31, 2011. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced Tuesday February 1, 2011.

So, excuse me for a sec while I grab my iPhone.

—  Rich Lopez

NC: County Commissioner Bill James in email to colleagues – gays are ‘sexual predators’

There he goes again. Billanal probeJames, a notorious anti-gay Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner who likes to send out anti-gay screeds from his official email address, is trying to wrap up 2010 with a big finish.

Matt Comer of QNotes reports that James’s latest missive was sent to his colleagues after LGBT-ally County Commissioner Chair Jennifer Roberts requested that the commission send a letter of thanks to U.S. Reps. Larry Kissell (D) and Mel Watt (D) and U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (R) and Kay Hagan (D) for their votes to repeal DADT.

Homosexuals are sexual predators,” James wrote in one email from string of three between county board members, Roberts and County Manager Harry Jones, and provided by James to qnotes. “Allowing homosexuals to serve in the US military with the endorsement of the Mecklenburg County Commission ignores a host of serious problems related to maintaining US military readiness and effectiveness not the least of which is the current Democrat plan to allow homosexuals (male and female) to share showers with those they are attracted to.”

James added, “The US Government would not allow Hetero men and women to share showers and other personal facilities yet the leading homosexual in Congress (Barney Frank) thinks it is OK for homosexuals to do so allowing enlisted men and women to fall prey to higher ranking or more powerful homosexuals who ogle them (or worse).”

It should be noted that James has some harsh criticism for Burr, the conservative Republican who surprised almost everyone by voting for repeal. James in the email:

“I suspect Richard Burr will pay a high electoral price for his actions but whether it boots him from office next time is unknown. I know I won’t be supporting him even if he does have an R after his name.”

As far as NC is concerned, since the midterms has resulted in the first GOP-dominated state legislature since Reconstruction, James is hot to let the incoming Republicans he wants a social agenda pushed that includes a ban on adoptions by gay couples, prohibition on domestic partner benefits and raising from the dead again a marriage amendment.

We go way back with homobigot James, who is in a conservative district where he often ran unopposed. His long outrageous e-diatribes of homophobia are hard to top.

Below the fold, some classic Bill James for your entertainment.
Matt Comer brought up this racist, homophobic embarrassment that was caught on camera.

During debate last December on domestic partner benefits for county employees, James leaned over to his Democratic colleague, Vilma Leake, and called her son a “homo.” Leake’s son died from AIDS in the 1990s.


When Leake heard that, she replied: “Don’t make me hurt you. Don’t do that to me. Don’t talk to me about my son.”

He refused to apologize, saying “It is akin to someone whose son is an alcoholic and died from the disease, using his death from drinking as justification to have the taxpayers pay for more booze.”

But wait, there’s more. The following reveals a lot about what passes through the mind of Bill James. Again, this was sent to his fellow commissioners as an official communication.

From: Commissioner Bill James

To: =emails deleted=

Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 8:56 AM

Subject: Perversity is not diversity

You really think that a pool of people (homosexuals) where 45% of them eat feces from the rear end of another male is “normal”? If you do, you are frankly nuts.

A lifestyle where one of their past times is buying gerbils and hamsters from the pet store and cramming them up their rears in an activity called feltching? A group of people who like to urinate on their partners and call them “golden showers”? Where one of the honored members of the Gay Alliance is an organization called the “Man-Boy Love Association” that promotes sex with underage boys?

That behavior is worthy of protection? That behavior is worthy to be taught in our schools? to our children? You are one sick “Independent, white, married-heterosexual, presbyterian” if you do.

The stat’s below are unimpeachable. I intend on talking about each and every one of these “behaviors” if this sorted subject comes up. I am lining up speakers including Doctors and Nurses to talk about these in gruesome detail. And these are the behaviors that Parks Helms wants to “insure”?

Attached is a wav file with a Charlotte news account of one of those “feltching” accounts gone wrong. I will play it from the BOCC dais if this comes up.

BTW, he loves answering emails about his views if you want to drop him a line:

Contact Commissioner James:

Wjames@carolina.rr.com

The Best of Bill James:
* NC: Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James refuses to apologize for his ‘homo’ comments
* CharMeck homo-bigot will not STFU
* CharMeck County Board meets tonight; wingnuts are coming out
* NC’s precious homobigot Bill James rises again
* I wasn’t kidding when I said the NC wingnuts are sick
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Email Of The Day – Eugene Delguadio

I’ll be posting his financials as soon as I can get my conniving homosexual hands on them.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

LISTEN: Dallas singer Brandon Hilton shows his ‘serious side’ with new single ‘Adrenaline’

Brandon Hilton seems to be on a roll. Just a few weeks ago, I blogged about his new video. Now, the Dallas singer is releasing his new single, “Adrenaline,” from his upcoming album Nocturnal. Not too bad from a self-made ce-web-rity. According to his e-mail sent out last night, this album will show a whole new side to Hilton. “Adrenaline” is Hilton’s first ballad which he figures will show his more artistic side.

“People were complaining because all I usually create is fun dance music, well my new album isn’t like that, I’m showing my serious side as a serious artist,” his e-mail states.

Personally, I’m not really sure an “artist” would bow to pressures of people complaining. Hey Hilton, if you don’t wanna do ballads, don’t. “Adrenaline” is a decent effort with just enough going right and wrong to balance it out. Overall, the tune is simple but I have to say, it hooked me. I mean, it’s auto-tuned to hell and a little cliche in the lyrics department, but it works well enough.

And we’re all in agreement here that Hilton provided one of the best lines ever in his press release. According to the e-mail, when he was asked about Nocturnal, he said — get ready for it — “this is all I will say, this album is about my death as an Internet Celebrity, and my birth as an Artist!”

So priceless.

Listen to “Adrenaline” here

—  Rich Lopez