GALA releases Advocacy Day video

GALA, the Collin County-based LGBT organization, released a video they made on the bus that left Collin Creek Mall early on March 20 and headed for the state Capitol to join 1,000 other LGBT-rights supporters on Advocacy Day.

GALA remains busy in local politics as well as state.

On March 31, it held the first Meet the Candidate event before the May 6 election. About 100 Plano citizens met at a private residence to hear 15 candidates answer questions relevant to the LGBT community.

“Currently, there are still no state laws that protect LGBT individuals in the workplace and that includes legally married couples. And with the rapid influx of new companies moving to North Texas, we have to look to our city and state leaders to bring about change. Ultimately making it an imperative to be informed about who represents us and our families at the local level,” said GALA’s former president, Bob Shimmin.

GALA’s Meet the Candidate Events were first held in 2007, to give candidates an opportunity to interact with LGBT voters, their friends and their neighbors. “The purpose of the event is twofold — to introduce candidates to our community and encourage our community members to vote,” Shimmin said.

As an indication of the increased visibility and influence of GALA, for many years now, all candidates attend the Meet the Candidate events and a majority fill out the candidate questionnaire. This year, GALA is sending out revised questionnaires, developed by Shimmin and board member Dawna Hubert, to candidates from Plano, Carrollton, McKinney, Frisco, Little Elm, Richardson, Allen and for Collin College Board of Trustees.

“With the vitriol coming from Austin and D.C., our best game plan, as a community, is to focus on local elections and continue to work with the business community to lobby for the passage of Equal Rights Ordinances such as the one that was passed in Plano in 2014,” said Hubert.

A Frisco Meet the Candidate event is scheduled for Friday April 7, McKinney for April 15 and Carrollton for April 19. For more information, visit the GALA website or email

—  David Taffet

‘Hamilton’ actors will be featured artists at DTC gala

Harcourt in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at DTC.

The Dallas Theater Center’s Centerstage Gala, it annual fundraiser and frou-frou social event, will take place on May 6, but we already know who the featured entertainment will be.

Two actors from the Broadway production of Hamilton — ensemble member Elizabeth Judd, and Sydney James Harcourt, who played multiple roles including understudying Aaron Burr (and who previously performed in musicals at the DTC, pictured) — will be headlining the event.  Local DJ Spinderella will provide the after-party music.

Individual tickets are $1,000 and after-party tickets from $175. You can learn more here.


—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Celebration of Love Gala raises funds for Lesbian Health Initiative

The scooter's way cuter in pink, sorry Liz

The Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston is celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with their Celebration of Love Gala Saturday, Feb. 11. at the Double Tree Hotel downtown (400 Dallas Street). The 10th annual gala is the 20-year-old organization’s major fundraiser of the year.

This year the gala features comedienne Susanne Westenhoefer, who claims to be the “first openly-gay comedian to appear on television” (yep, she was out before Ellen).  Dorothy Weston, co-founder and CEO of The Rose (a breast cancer prevention and treatment organization) will be honored  for her years of service. In addition the evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and the raffling of a pink Vitacci 50cc Retro Scooter. LHI executive director Liz James is particularly excited about the raffle even if she didn’t quite get her way on the prize. “I wanted it to be a black scooter, as I’m a bit on the butch side,” said James, adding that more “femme” forces in the organization prevailed and a pink scooter was selected instead.

Regardless of the color of the scooter, the Celebration of Love Gala promises to be a fun filled night, not just for sapphic romantics, but for anyone looking for a valentine’s date night that supports a good cause. Tickets for the black tie affair start at $100 and can be purchased at Doors open at 6 pm.

—  admin

The HRC Gala In Four Minutes

JMG reader Mark S. King recaps last night’s HRC gala in DC in four snarktastic minutes.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright