And the new Mr. Texas Leather is …

… Gabe Sims! It was a busy few days for the leather community as Texas Leather Weekend got under way, with the naming of Sims as the new Mr. Texas Leather. The Shreveport, La., native, who now resides in Irving, came into the competition with the title Mr. Hidden Door, and bested six other entrants from around the state to take the title. This automatically qualifies Sims to compete in International Mr. Leather in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend this spring.

Sims has some big jackboots to fill. Two of the past three Mr. Texas Leather winners — Jeffrey Payne and Jack Duke (who served as head judge this weekend) — have done well at IML, with Duke coming in third in 2010 and Payne winning the who schmere in 2009.

Check out our slideshow from the event here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: GLSEN student ambassadors, executive director on Great Day Houston

Dr. Eliza Byard

Dr. Eliza Byard

The Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) executive director Dr. Eliza Byard and GLSEN Student Ambassadors Tommy Surratt and Gabe Maffuz stopped by Great Day Houston last week to talk about the organiation’s efforts. Surratt, who is straight, was joined by his father Jim Surratt who talked briefly about the discrimination that the children of same-sex couples face in schools.

—  admin

Protest planned to support transgender student

From Queer LiberAction’s website.

Queer LiberAction is planning a protest to support North Dallas High School transgender student Andy Moreno.

According to QL organizer Gabe Coppinger, the action will be held Thursday, Oct. 14 beginning at 3:30 p.m. School lets out at 3:45 p.m.

Andy Moreno was denied a spot as a finalist for homecoming queen on Monday despite reports from members of the vote-counting committee that she received more votes than at least one of the other finalists. Coppinger said the group will be there to support Moreno and thank the students who voted for her as well as the faculty and staff that have treated her with respect. The group’s only criticism with the school is the bullying that they say has come from the principal.

Coppinger said more details will follow.

—  David Taffet