This video showing the aftermath of the Rainbow Lounge fire, 651 S. Jennings Ave., in Fort Worth, was shot shortly before 8:30 a.m. today (Thursday, June 1).
Police tape cordoned off the front and south sides of the building. On the north side the police tape blocked off that section of West Hattie Street, also, allowing onlookers no closer than the parking lot outside The Last Word bookstore on the other side of West Hattie. Fort Worth police officers sat in vehicles on Jennings and May Street, which runs parallel to Jennings on the east side.
As the video shows, the roof of the building is completely gone. The brick wall on the south side had already begun to collapse in some places, damaging a car that was left parked next to the building there. Amazingly, the car showed no obvious signs of fire damage. And from what was visible of the side and back patio areas through cracks in the fences and a hole broken in the back fence, those areas also showed little fire damage.
The brick wall on the north side appeared on the verge of collapse; huge cracks criss-crossed the wall, which had bowed outward significantly. Water streamed heavily from between the base of the brick walls and the concrete foundation in several places, and the smell of smoke permeated the air, as people drove by slowly, shooting photos and videos with their phones. Others parked to walk around what remained of the building, with a couple even picking up bricks that had fallen outside the confines of the police tape, souvenirs of what had become an iconic landmark in the history of the LGBT civil rights movement in Texas and the country.
Fort Worth police have arrested two men in connection with the Oct. 8 death of a teenager friends have identified as being gay.
James Murphy, top, and Lajerrian Morgan have both been charged with capital murder in connection with the death of Chaz Gilley
James Murphy, 37, was arrested Oct. 18, and Lajerrian Morgan, 24, was arrested Nov. 10, and both have been charged with capital murder in the death of 18-year-old Chaz Gilley.
Relatives told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Gilley had been living in Mansfield and had only recently moved to the East Berry Street area to live with his mother. He had gotten a job at a local Goodwill store and on Oct, 7 had ridden his bicycle to the Wal-Mart store on East Berry to cash his check.
According to reports, an informant told police that Murphy and “another Blood gang member” were selling drugs at the apartment complex where Gilley lived with his mother. The men “saw a ‘white boy’ looking at his check,” and then followed the teen to Wal-Mart to wait for him to cash the check.
Police said security video from inside the store shows the two men shadowing Gilley, watching him count the money before following him outside. Video from outside the store shows Gilley riding away on his bicycle, with the two men following in a black car.
According to the arrest affidavit, Morgan and Murphy followed Gilley as he rode his bicycle down Berry, then used the car to knock him off the bike, then chased after him on foot, shooting him several times as he tried to run away.
Gilley was able to flag down a passing car, which drove him to John Peter Smith Hospital, but the teen died of his injuries about 24 hours later while in surgery.
The informant told police that several days after the murder, Murphy and Morgan were “laughing and bragging” about what they had done.
There is no indication that Gilley’s sexual orientation played any role in his murder.
A standing-room-only crowd of 500-plus people packed into the sanctuary of Fort Worth’s Celebration Community Church Monday evening, June 13, for a vigil in memory of the victims killed and injured in the Sunday morning shooting at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.
After the church’s choir opened the evening with the song “Orphans of God” — There are no strangers; there are no outcasts, there are no orphans of God. So many fallen, but hallelujah, there are no orphans of God — city leaders and pastors and leaders from LGBT and mainstream churches around Fort Worth offered comfort, encouragement and hope.
Mayor Betsy Price spoke of overcoming the kind of evil that lies at the root of the Orlando massacre, and Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald pledged that his department would make every effort to keep similar attacks from happening here. The chief asked the community to always contact his department with any concerns, and he introduced a member of FWPD’s Code Blue Training program who then spoke of her nephew who was killed in the Orlando shooting.
One pastor spoke of gay bars as being sacred places of refuge for LGBT people when there were no churches or other places that offered shelter and comfort. Another recalled the 1973 arson fire at the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans in which 32 people were killed. Even as the community grieves for the victims of Orlando, he said, we must realize how far we have come since 1973, as the world grieves with us this time.
Another speaker described his anger, but pledged to put aside anger and instead respond with love. And one woman from a mainstream church apologized that she and many mainstream churches have not stepped up sooner to treat the LGBT community with love and respect.
Ministers read the names of the Orlando dead as a candle was lit for each one. Then Fort Worth District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh lit one candle in honor of all victims of violence, Fitzgerald lit one candle in honor of the first responders, and Price lit one candle in honor of the wounded in Orlando. The service ended with the “passing of the light,” as people moved through the building, using their candles to lit candles held by those standing near them.
The Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association on Sunday issued this announcement:
To all of our LGBT Community, Pride Members, Supporters & the Community At Large, we have been contacted by Sgt. Jones and asked to relay a message. Sgt. Jones is our Pride organizations’ supervising officer with the Fort Worth Police Department. She has been with our organization for over 15 Years.
The message: FWPD Intel is actively monitoring all activity especially online social media to prevent such acts as at Pulse Club in Florida and protect all of our Fort Worth Community from harm.
We at Fort Worth Tarrant County Pride will continue to do all we do and more so to provide “family friendly” safe environment Pride Events for our LGBT Community, its’ families, friends and supporters.
Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvannia Ave. in Fort Worth, will hold a vigil tonight (Monday, June 13), at 8 p.m., in memory of the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The event is open to the public, and organizers have stressed that all people of good will are welcome.
The Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats meeting, originally scheduled for tonight, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Tommy’s Hamburgers, 2455 Forest Park Blvd.
An out gay Latino Fort Worth native and Congressional candidate will be in Dallas tomorrow for a meet-and-greet.
Christian Cano is the Democratic nominee running against Rep. Robert Pittenger, a first term Republican in North Carolina.
In an announcement, the TCU alum said he felt compelled to run because he is tired of self-serving, ideological politicians.
“I have become fed up with politicians who are only interested in pushing through their own agendas, when they were elected to represent us–THE PEOPLE! I’m running for Congress to be able to speak for my neighbors in the 9th District,” he wrote on his campaign website.
He’s not only visiting the area because he’s a native Texan and has family here. He wants to promote better relations with North Carolina’s neighbors.
Neighbor Christian Cano will be promoting the benefits of better relations and of more exporting with Texas and Mexico from our Congressional District 09.
Promoting and increasing exports with our #BuyNC09 campaign is vital for our region’s continued growth and our need to increase Good Paying Jobs in #NC09.
Neighbor Christian Cano will also be listening to how our Lone Star State has been able to deal with our current political cycle of immigration rhetoric.
Responsible Immigration long term policy is needed so that we can ensure security for our neighbors and so that we can move our efforts onto other vital issues like our declining infrastructure with I-77 and are aging bridges.
The event takes place from 5-7 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 13 at Renfields Corner, 2603 Routh St. Ste. A. To RSVP or for more information contact Neighbors@CanoForCongress.com.
Have an event coming up? Email yourinformation to staff writer James Russell at email@example.com by Thursday at 10 a.m. for that week’s issue.
FEBRUARY • Weekly: Lambda Weekly every Sunday at 1 p.m. on 89.3 KNON-FM. Community counselor Candy Marcum is this week’s guest; United Black Ellument hosts discussion on HIV/AIDS in the black community at 7 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at 3116 Commerce St., Suite C; Fuse game night every Monday evening but the last of the month at 8 p.m. at the Fuse space in the ilume, 4123 Cedar Springs Road, Apt 2367; Fuse Connect every Wednesday from 7 p.m. at the Fuse Space.
For more information call or e-mail Ruben Ramirez at 214-540-4500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Feb. 5: Resource Center Toast to Life Sponsor Party
Sponsor appreciation party for Toast For Life – Mad Hatter’s Ball from 7-9 p.m. at 3525 Turtle Creek Blvd., Ste. 20BC. For more information to reserve tickets call 214-540-4458 or e-mail email@example.com.
• Feb. 6: Pride Adult Valentine Bingo
A game night for adults that benefits Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association. 5-8 p.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 4201 Trail Lake Dr., Fort Worth.
• Feb. 6: Lovebomb 2016 Benefit for Queerbomb Dallas
Benefit for Queerbomb Dallas’ annual event with entertainment and more at Zippers,
3333 N. Fitzhugh Ave. For more information visit On.fb.me/1Pf7ZQf.
• Feb. 6: Dash for the Beads
Mardi Gras festival with 5K fun run, one-mile walk, costume contest, beer garden with live music. 9:30 a.m. at Kidd Springs Park, 711 W. Canty St.
• Feb. 9: Ed-U-Care Building Bridge Network
Training group for caretakers of LGBT seniors hosts a dinner followed by screening of the movie Gen Silent for LGBT senior and caretaker needs 6-8:30 p.m. at The Senior Source, 3910 Harry Hines Blvd. For more information and to RSVP e-mail Sharyn Fein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Feb. 9: Terry Loftis: ‘Two for the Road’
Terry D. Loftis presents “Two For the Road,” an evening of romantic and love lost songs for Valentines. 7:30 p.m. at The Women’s Museum at Fair Park.
• Feb. 9: East Texas P-FLAG
Discussion on making P-FLAG’s presence better known in the community. 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Genecov Room, Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, 315 N. Broadway, Tyler.
• Feb. 11: Out & Equal DFW “Frame Your Love” Community Celebration
Receive a free picture frame to display a photo of your family in your workplace, enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar from 6-8 p.m. at Primo’s Tex Mex,
1400 Hi Line Dr.
• Feb. 11: LGBT Retirement Planning Workshop
GALA presents a free workshop by Prudential Financial for LGBT couples and individuals. 6:30-8:15 p.m. Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church, 1641 Hebron Parkway, Carrollton.
• Feb. 11: Young Professionals Advisory Council Mixer
Mix and mingle with young professionals making a difference in the community and learn how to get involved. 5:30-7 p.m. at Chino Chinatown at Trinity Groves, 3011 Gulden Ln., Suite 110.
• Feb. 12: High Tech Happy Hour
Texas Instruments Pride, the LGBT and ally diversity group, hosts its monthly High Tech Happy Hour to increase professional and social contacts between groups and individuals and to foster community. 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Primo’s Tex Mex, 1400 Hi Line Dr. For more information e-mail Paul von Wupperfeld at email@example.com.
• Feb. 12: Dallas Red Foundation takeover at Azure Addison
An opportunity to learn about Legacy Counseling and Dallas Red Foundation while drinking DRF Signature Cocktails, from 8-10:30 p.m. at Azure, 4080 Beltline Road, Addison.
• Feb. 12-14: HRC Time to Thrive Conference
Annual national conference promoting safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBT youth features speakers, workshops and more at Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine. For more information and to register visit Timetothrive.org.
• Feb. 13: LGBTQSaves Valentine’s Dance
LGBT-friendly youth and young adult dance includes free food, drink and entertainment from 7-10 p.m. at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave., Fort Worth.
• Feb. 13: Imperial Court de Fort Worth/Arlington’s Emperor’s Ball
Annual fundraiser benefits Cancer Care Services at 7 p.m. at Urban Cowboy Lounge, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth.
• Feb. 16: Young Adult Gender Identity Group
In partnership with SMU’s Center for Family Counseling, GEAR is launching a new support group for young trans adults ages 18-29. 6 p.m. at Resource Center, 2701 Reagan St.
• Feb. 20: Gaybingo: Queen of Hearts
Monthly fundraiser for Resource Center takes place 6-9 p.m. the third Saturday of the month at Rose Room at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Doors open at 5 p.m. For more information,
call 214-540-4458 or email Bscott@myresourcecenter.org.
• Feb. 20: AOC Benefit Concert at TCU
TCU’s School for Classical and Contemporary Dance’s Chi Tau Epsilon Honor Society presents the 2016 AIDS Outreach Center Benefit Concert featuring dance groups from across the region. 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre of Erma Lowe Hall, 3000 S. University Dr., Fort Worth. $20 for adults. $10 for
non-TCU students. For tickets and more information call 817-257-4255.
• Feb. 21: Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association meeting
Getting ready for fifth annual Easter and Pet Fest /Art Fest and general meeting. 3 p.m. at Barron House, 516 College Ave., Fort Worth.
• Feb. 21: DRF Quiz for a Cause
Dallas Red Foundation, Geeks Who Drink — D/FW, and Cedar Springs Tap House team up to create a Quiz for a Cause benefiting Dallas DRF and Legacy Counseling at 7 p.m. at Cedar Springs Tap House, 4123 Cedar Springs Road.
• March 5: Resource Center’s Toast to Life Mad Hatter’s Ball
Enjoy a night of food from top local chefs and entertainment by DJ Bunny at this annual benefit for Resource Center programs from 7-11 p.m. at the Empire Room, 1225 N. Riverfront Blvd. For tickets and more information visit Bit.ly/1VnT1vq.
• March 6: You’ll Never Walk Alone
Oak Lawn UMC presents “You’ll Never Walk Alone: A Community Gathering of Hope, Unity, and Support for the Oak Lawn Neighborhood.” The program expresses the community’s appreciation for the leadership displayed by Mayor Rawlings and the Dallas Police Department in the face of recent violent attacks in Oak Lawn. Performances by the Dallas Police Choir, the Oak Lawn Band and Oak Lawn UMC’s Chancel Choir. 6-7:30 p.m. at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, 3014 Oak Lawn Ave.
• March 9: Mother Micheal Community Service Awards
Awards presented by the Imperial Court de Fort Worth/Arlington with performances by category winners. 7 p.m. at Club Reflection, 604 S. Jennings St., Fort Worth.
• March 11-13: Imperial Court Coronation XXXVII
Punking the Palace — The Windsors Meet Steampunk: An Evening at Buckingham Palace. Coronation is at 5 p.m. on Saturday night in the main ballroom of the host hotel. Radisson North-Fossil Creek, 2540 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth.
• March 20: The Wedding Workshop: An LGBT Community Event
Three-hour, hands-on seminar featuring wedding industry experts guides couples through all the steps for planning a memorable wedding. 9:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel, 2222 N. Stemmons Freeway. For more information call 214-754-8710 ext. 126 or visitLGBTWeddingWorkshop.com. Admission and parking are free with registration.
• March 20: The Wedding Party and Expo: An LGBT Community Event
Presented by the Dallas Voice, the largest LGBT wedding expo in Texas includes exhibitors, a fashion show, food samples, a community marketplace and free cake. Donnie Brown serves as celebrity host.
1-5 p.m. at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel, 2222 N. Stemmons Freeway. Foe more information call 214-754-8710 ext. 126 or e-mail EXPO@dallasvoice.com. Register at TheWeddingPartyEXPO.com. Admission and parking are free with registration.
Terry Loftis: ‘Two for the Road’
Terry D. Loftis
The Denise Lee Free Cabaret Series presents special guest Terry D. Loftis. Lee and Loftis will perform “Two For the Road,” an evening of romantic and love lost songs for Valentines. 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at The Women’s Museum at Fair Park.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 5, 2016.
One Saturday evening we posted photos from the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week parade through downtown Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon. Now here’s a slide show from the festival after the parade in General Worth Square.
(And the Voice’s own David Taffet — one of the winners of the Raina Lee Community Service Award this year — will be posting photos from the Pride picnic on Sunday, as well as some photos from his vantage point of riding in the parade on Saturday.) Photos by Tammye Nash.