10 Twitter suggestions for Astros’ new name

During a press conference yesterday Houston Astros owner Jim Crane suggested he would be open to changing the teams name. Crane also announced cheaper beer ($5!) at Astros’ games, new rules permitting fans to bring their own food/water to games, and more affordable tickets, but to read Twitter you’d think the name change was all he talked about. Here’s 10 of Houstini’s favorite suggestions:


…and Houstini’s personal favorite:

Don’t forget you can follow Houstini on Twitter @Houstiniblog.

—  admin

Girl Scout cookie boycott may backfire, if Twitter is any indication

The Huffington Post reports on an effort to boycott girl scout cookies in response to the organization’s trans affirming positions. Last fall, after a Colorado troop leader initially refused to allow Bobby Montoya to participate because she was identified as male at birth, Girl Scout leaders in that state with the support of the national organization quickly responded by re-enforcing their policy of allowing all girls to participate. “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl,” said the GSC statement, “Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

That act of common decency inspired this video:

If the initial response on Twitter is any indication, however, the burgeoning boycott may backfire, begetting a bumper year for Tag-a-longs, Thinmints and Trefoils (those yummy shortbread cookies).

—  admin

Follow the yellow brick road at Rice Cinema

Wizard of OzThere’s Wicked and The Wiz, there’s the classic Frank L. Baum books and Tinman, but nothing can touch the 1939 Victor Fleming classic The Wizard of Oz, for pure transcendent delight. See it for free on the big screen as Rice Cinema (6100 Main room MS-549) presents the tale of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Dorothy (and her little dog too) Friday and Saturday, January 13 & 14, at 7 pm.

—  admin

25 ways to fight AIDS

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day.

Wait! Before you click the ‘next’ button or scroll down your news feed hear me out: The LGBT community has been living with AIDS for three decades now. For people of my generation the message to get tested and use condoms has been stated and restated so many times that it has faded into the background with the result that, all too often, people do not take the steps they need to to protect themselves. Harris County is responsible for 30% of the new HIV/AIDS diagnosis in Texas and men who have sex with men account for 64% of newly diagnosed men statewide. The threat is not over, the fight is not over, AIDS still endanger the LGBT community.

But I don’t want to just talk about just condoms and testing (as important as they are). Fighting HIV/AIDS is easier than you might think. I present to you 25 ways, in no particular order, to fight AIDS in Houston.

25. If you’re over a certain age talk to a young LGBT person about how your life has been affected by HIV/AIDS. You might be surprised how eager we are to hear your stories.

24. If you’re under a certain age listen to an older LGBT person tell you how HIV/AIDS has affected their lives. I know you aren’t eager to hear their stories, but listen anyway. You may find that learning the history of your community is more empowering than you’d expect.

23. If you are a sexually active gay man or transgender woman participate in the Baylor College of Medicine’s HIV Vaccine Study.

22. Ask your local public or school library to put books about HIV/AIDS on the shelf, not just in the back room where they have to be requested. Access to accurate information is crucial in fighting the spread of the disease.

21. Post HIV/AIDS stories to facebook.

20. Ask your clergy person what your community of faith is doing to fight the pandemic.

19. Sign up for action alerts from the Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition at texashiv.org

18. Actually follow through when the action alerts from the Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition arrive in your in-box.

17. Volunteer for organizations that deal with communities at high risk for infection: high school dropouts, victims of sexual assault, the poor, the homeless and sex workers. Fighting AIDS means fighting the injustice in our society that all too often contributes to new infections.

16. Say AIDS out loud.

15. Ask political candidates what they will do to continue funding to fight HIV/AIDS.

14. Once they’re elected, ask those candidates why they aren’t doing more to continue funding to fight HIV/AIDS.

13. Remind yourself that it’s OK to be tired of hearing about HIV/AIDS.

12. Thank a person who volunteers their time to the fight.

11. Take a moment to remember the people we’ve lost.

10. Take a moment to think of the people we may loose if this pandemic isn’t stopped.

9. Take a HIV/AIDS healthcare worker to dinner.

8. Wear a red ribbon.

7. Recognize that wearing a red ribbon isn’t enough.

6. Work with communities other than your own. HIV/AIDS effects us all.

5. Get angry.

4. Get over your anger.

3. Donate to an HIV/AIDS Charity.

2. When you pass a mobile HIV testing center, thank the workers.

1. Don’t pretend the fight is over, and don’t let other people pretend it’s over either.

—  admin

Applause: Stage pink

Queer highlights from the upcoming theater season

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

Anticipation should be strong for the upcoming theater season in general. Ambitious shows like Giant, The Tempest, West Side Story and Hairspray all dot the stage horizon.
But we also like to see some of our own up there. As we look over the upcoming offerings from local theater companies, we always ask, “Where’s the gay?”  In addition to Uptown Players’ first  Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival, here are some of the others.



Although the Dallas Opera canceled the opera she was set to star in, lesbian soprano Patricia Racette will still perform at a TDO gala. (Photo Devon Cass)

Singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik gave an indie music flair to the musical adaptation of the 1891 play Spring Awakening. Set in 19th century Germany, Awakening follows a group of youths as they discover more about themselves and their rapidly developing sexuality.

The original Frank Wedekind play was controversial in its day, depicting abortion, homosexuality, rape and suicide. Now the show just has an added rock ‘n’ roll score. Along with Sheik’s musical perspective, Steven Slater wrote the book and lyrics in this updated version which debuted in 2006 on Broadway and won the Tony for Best Musical. Terry Martin directs.

WaterTower Theater, 15650 Addison Road., Addison. Sept. 30–Oct. 23. WaterTowerTheatre.org.

It’s almost un-Texan if you’re gay and not familiar with Del Shores’ tales of Southern discomfort.  Southern Baptist Sissies and Sordid Lives are pretty much part of the queer vernacular in these parts, but Shores got his start way back in 1987.

How will those northern folks take to Shores work (And by north, we mean past Central Expressway past LBJ)? Jeni Helms directs Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will for McKinney Repertory Theatre this fall. As the family patriarch suffers a stroke, the Turnover family gathers as they wait for his death. This family may just put the fun in dysfunctional.

McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., McKinney. Sept. 30–Oct. 7. McKinneyRep.org.

WingSpan Theatre Co. will produce one of the greater comedies of theater-dom this fall: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, with Nancy Sherrard sparring over the gay wit’s price bon mots as Lady Bracknell.

Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Oct. 6–22. WingSpanTheatre.com.

Although A Catered Affair might sound a bit like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it has the added flair of Harvey Fierstein’s wit. That’s because he wrote the book for the show alongside John Bucchino’s music and lyrics. The play is based on the Gore Vidal-penned 1956 film The Catered Affair starring Bette Davis.

When Jane and Ralph decide to get married, Jane’s mom Agnes wants to put on an elaborate spectacle of a wedding. The truth is, she can’t afford it and Jane isn’t all too thrilled about a huge affair. As in most cases, the wedding planning is more about the mom than the daughter and Agnes soon realizes the fact. Jane’s Uncle Winston — the proverbial gay uncle — is left off the guest list and is rightfully pissed. But as most gay characters, he rallies to be the voice of reason and support.

Theatre Three, 2800 Routh Street, Ste.168. Oct. 13–Nov. 12. Theatre3Dallas.com.

Lesbian soprano Patricia Racette was going to be featured in the production of Katya Kabanová but unfortunately the show was canceled by the Dallas Opera. But fear not. Dallas will still get to bask in the greatness that is her voice as Racette will perform An Evening with Patricia Racette, a cabaret show with classics from the Great American Songbook for a patron recital.

Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Nov. 9. DallasOpera.org



Nancy Sherrard will star as Lady Bracknell in WIngSpan Theater Co.’s fall production of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ perhaps the greatest comedy ever written by theaterdom’s gayest wit.

Kevin Moriarty directs Next Fall for the Dallas Theater Center next spring. Written by Geoffrey Nauffts, the play centers on Luke and Adam, a couple with some unusual issues. What’s new about that in gay couplehood? Not much, but when Adam’s an absolute atheist and Luke’s a devout Christian, the two have been doing their best to make it work.
The comedy played on Broadway in 2010, garnering Tony and Drama Desk nominations. And now Dallas gets to see how, as DTC puts it, “relationships can be a beautiful mess.”
Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. April 13–May 6. DallasTheaterCenter.org.

Perhaps the most surprising queer offering this next season is Theatre Arlington’s production of The Laramie Project. The show usually creates quite a stir — at least it did in Tyler, thanks to Trinity Wheeler — so how will this suburban audience handle it? Doesn’t matter. Props to T.A. for taking Moises Kaufman’s play about the tragic bashing and death of Matthew Shepard to its community.

Theatre Arlington, 305 W. Main St., Arlington. May 18–June 3. TheatreArlington.org.

Usually the question with MBS Productions is “what’s not gay?” Founder Mark-Brian Sonna has consistently delivered tales of gay woe and love that are sometimes silly and sometimes sweet, but always a laugh.

This season is no different. Playwright Alejandro de la Costa brings back drag queen Lovely Uranus in The Importance of Being Lovely. The last time we saw Uranus, Sonna wore the stilettos and pink wig in last season’s Outrageous, Sexy, (nekkid) Romp.  This time around, Uranus graduates to leading lady status as the show is all about her as audiences follow her through the changes she makes in her make-up, wigs and men.

Stone Cottage Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. July 16–Aug. 11, 2012. MBSProductions.net.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Canada Forces Daniel Garcia To Follow Lesbian Sister Brenda To Their Violent Fates In Mexico

Daniel Garcia, the Mexican teen who arrived in Canada three years ago with his lesbian sister to escape anti-gay torment, was today deported back to Mexico, following his sister Brenda's removal on Monday. The Garcias arrived in 2007 and filed for refugee status, saying Brenda, now 30, had been attacked for being a lesbian and her partner shot to death; having filed an emergency request for a stay of his deportation, Daniel says his mother has already received threats that he too would be targeted, even killed, if he returned home. Daniel, now 18, has been held in a detention center since last week after he was arrested for supposedly not filing a change of address notice with immigration officials, and failing to appear at a hearing. With immigration officials believing neither Daniel or Brenda faced real danger, today she put him on a plane back to Mexico City.

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—  admin

Follow Election Results Live with HRC

First of all, if you haven’t voted yet, what are you waiting for?  Get out there and cast a ballot for pro-equality candidates!

After you’ve done that, settle in for the night along with HRC as we track pro-equality campaigns around the country.  There are a number of ways to plug in:

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

The ‘homosexual’ world of alleged sexual predator Bishop Eddie Long: ‘follow the master’

The Bishop Eddie Long story (posted by Alvin earlier) is getting major MSM coverage, as it should. The shocking allegations were outlined by the attorney for the plaintiffs, and the charges are specific and damning.

B.J. Bernstein, the plaintiff’s attorney: “He (Bishop Long) would use biblical stories to talk about how important it was to follow your leader, and your master.  And let him know that the acts he was engaged in were not necessarily meaning he was a homosexual or that either of them was, but rather the pastor, Bishop Long, was “releasing his passion” — and “his love” for Anthony.

There’s more before and after that snippet of transcript. I was too disgusted to do more. Watch the whole video. The whispers around Long has been there for years; the level of homophobia he expressed was way too telling and look at what we see above — he can commit sodomy on those young men and describe it in such disgusting terms and conflating it with religious leadership to assert the power differential with his victims. Those are the kind of acts of a true predator.

Rick’s List covered this story and there’s now a full transcript. I have a snippet below the fold.
From the CNN transcript (full version here):

SANCHEZ: It’s a story that is shocking many Americans on this night. One of the country’s most famous Christian pastors is being accused of having sex with members of his church. Not just any members. We’re talking about teenage boys he may have met when they were as young as 14, and then according to the allegations may have had relationships with them after they had turned 16 and above.

In a lawsuit, two men in their 20s now are saying the bishop, Eddie Long, took them on trips, gave them gifts, bought them a car, gave them cash, gave them jewelry, all as a ploy to have sex with them. And they say it was the church’s money that he was giving to them.

His lawyer is denying the allegations. But I want you to listen to some of the most graphic details in this lawsuit. Straight from the attorney who shocked many tonight when she stood before cameras and told this story of Eddie Long. Here she is.

B.J. BERNSTEIN, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING PLAINTIFFS: There, the pastor started to do what adult pedophiles do with younger, younger people, which is starting to spend time with them, casually watch TV with them and lay his legs on him, and then asked him to massage him. And then start explaining to him how special he was to him. And it was special for the bishop to be able to spend time with them. They did devotional readings together. He was over there on a regular basis at this house.

Eventually, it turned into such a relationship that the bishop had a ceremony with Anthony Flag called a covenant. Within that covenant, it was essentially a marriage ceremony where there were candles, exchange of jewelry and biblical quotes given, in order for Anthony to know and for the bishop to tell him, I will always have your back and you will always have mine. He would use biblical stories to talk about how important it was to follow your leader and your master and let him know that the acts he was engaged in were not necessarily meaning that he was a homosexual or that either of them was. But rather, the pastor, Bishop Long, was releasing his passion and his love for Anthony.

Meantime, we have Maurice Robinson. And while Anthony is living in this house, he’s bought a Mustang car. He’s given money. He is on the payroll of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church as reflected by the federal tax returns. And he starts to travel with the bishop. He goes to the “W” hotel in New York’s Times Square. He goes to the “W” hotel in Dallas where Anthony specifically remembers that he saw the zoo in town and that he wished he had gone to the zoo. But instead on that trip, he accompanied the bishop everywhere the bishop went, including sharing a bed in the same hotel room on that trip and many others.

They join this church, and the next thing he knows, he starts to immediately get to know the bishop. And the bishop — this is a very handsome young man. Very charismatic young man who wants nothing more to do what a lot of young African-American males want to do like their idols of being in the music business perhaps. And he introduces them to famous people. He meets T.I. He meets Chris Tucker. He meets all — Tyler Perry. He meets all kinds of famous people in the company of Bishop Long. And Bishop Long gives him a car. In fact, Bishop Long lets him drive his Bentley automobile. That’s right, Bishop Long has a Bentley. Or the church does, whoever owns it. And allows a young man at 17, 18 years ago old to drive it around.

The feeling of power. And he gives him money. And he puts him on the New Birth Missionary payroll which again will be reflected by the 1040 forms that he received. And in fact, Anthony has just in the accounting and the payroll, over ,000 of payments on the payroll from New Birth Baptist church as an employee of a 17 or 18-year-old young man. And that’s not counting the cash, the gifts and the trips.

He, too, went on a number of trips, but for Maurice, he was a little bit tougher because his mother and father were both in his life. And yet, his mother recounts how the bishop — she thought there was nothing better for her son in their entire life to be handpicked as a personal attendant around the bishop.

Crossing the line, in which you have sexual contact of any sort with your parishioners and particularly vulnerable young men that you’re supposed to protect, it’s our belief that these two are just two of the brave ones who are willing to come forward. And I’m going to tell you now, you all are going to be chasing them around for interviews, and I’m not putting them through that. For them to sit down and reach out and tell me what happened, and it is the gory details in this complaint of the sexual acts that occur is more than enough. And we did not hide their names. This is not a John Doe lawsuit. But at the same time, they don’t need to be in front of cameras. They will tell this in a deposition and they will tell it to a judge.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Video: ♫ You’re the grossest ban, I’ll follow you until you free me, D-A-, D-A-D-T ♫

Rachel’s feeling her inner Gaga. We’re surely only weeks away from Lady Pundit fashioning a hat out of the NBC peacock’s feathers:

Visit msnbc.com for
breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Good As You

—  John Wright

Media Matters: Beck’s views vs Dr. King’s; follow the rally w/Rude Pundit

I have to start out with this statement: Alveda King is a boil on the civil rights movement. What a joke; a CNN reporter just called her appearance “significant.” That this is the spin when this niece of Dr. King has a long history of anti-gay bigotry that does not mirror the beliefs of most of Dr. King’s immediate family is absurd. Given Alveda thinks genes trumps an acquired belief system regarding social justice, you’d think she’d be considered a whack job, but no.

Anyway, as Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, DC proceeds on the mall, Media Matters has a primer on the stain reality that this event places on Dr. King’s memory. Over to the right, I highly recommend following The Rude Pundit‘s @rudepundit) blow-by-blow coverage of the event.

King forcefully advocated for drastic action by the federal government to combat poverty; supported “social justice”; called for an “economic bill of rights” that would “guarantee a job to all people who want to work”; and stated that we must address whether we need to “restructure the whole of American society” — all ideas that Beck has vilified.

Beck accuses progressives of trying to rewrite history and implores his followers to read original sources, but a review of King’s own words clearly shows that Beck’s insistence that he and his followers are the custodians of King’s dream and legacy is nothing more than a lie.

Also see:

* NYT Weekend Opinionator: Pam Spaulding = Glenn Beck

* Glenn Beck: leave churches committed to social justice because it’s code for Nazism and socialism

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright