WATCH: GayTravel.com guru recaps Dallas Purple Party

This past spring, I spent a few days hanging out with Bryan Kosarek, GayTravel.com’s 2013 “travel guru” as he checked out the Purple Party — and the rest of Dallas gay life, for that matter.

Well, Bryan has now posted his video detailing his experience here. It’s always interesting to see your city portrayed by an outsider.

If you miss the fun of the Purple Party — and weather below 100 degrees — watch and reminisce.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Your voice counts in the 2012 Readers Voice Awards — just get it in before Jan. 28

Can you tell we’re pushing for your votes? And so are lots of local businesses, venues and people. We all want to know what you see as the best gay Dallas has to offer and that only happens when you chime in. If you don’t vote, a kitten dies. See what you did?

Seriously folks, we’re getting down to the wire as the deadline is fast approaching for this year’s RVA’s. You know that one restaurant you go to every all the time? Give it some love by voting for it in our Dine category. Who do you see as your local LGBT role model? Put that name in under Metro. And where are all the fine silver foxes hanging out? Well, give us the details under Nightlife. And don’t forget to give us your choice on the top image for the My Gay Texas photo contest, either.

And with each category, you get entered into our drawing for two American Airlines tix which we told you about earlier this week. You got till Saturday so don’t forget to vote or you know what.

—  Rich Lopez

The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Trial set in gay man’s 2008 murder

After three years of delays, Seth Winder will be tried next week for  Richard Hernandez’s murder

hernandez.Richard

Richard Hernandez

JOHN WRIGHT  |  Senior Political Writer
wright@dallasvoice.com

DENTON — More than three years after gay Dallas resident Richard Hernandez disappeared, his accused killer is set to stand trial next week.

Authorities believe the 38-year-old Hernandez was murdered and dismembered inside his Far North Dallas apartment in early September 2008, but they never found his remains.

Seth Lawton Winder, 32, is charged with first-degree murder and faces up to life in prison.

Winder’s trial has been delayed numerous times, but Jamie Beck, first assistant district attorney for Denton County, said this week she’s confident it will go forward next week, with jury selection set for Monday, Nov. 14.

“Everybody wants a swifter and quicker justice, but you’ve got to do it right,” Beck said, referring to the delays. “Bottom line, we want justice, so if that means it takes a while, then so be it.”

Rudy Araiza, who was a close friend of Hernandez’s and is also gay, said he’s looking forward to Winder’s trial.

“I hope that we get justice finally after three years of waiting,” Araiza said. “For me it’ll be, I hope, closure.”

Araiza said he hopes Winder receives the maximum sentence of life in prison.

“Just as long as he’s away and out of the public view, and away where he won’t be able to hurt anyone else,” Araiza said.

Winder’s father, Rodney Winder, agreed, saying he wants “justice served and Seth away where he cannot hurt anyone.”

Rodney Winder and his wife, Karen Dilbeck, have said they repeatedly tried to get help for Seth, who suffers from schizophrenia, in the months prior to Hernandez’s murder. Dilbeck would later publish a book about the case, which was also the subject of an episode of A&E’s The First 48.

A judge initially found Seth Winder incompetent to stand trial, but he’s since been restored to competency.

It’s unclear what type of relationship existed between Hernandez and Winder. But police recovered a digital camera containing pornographic images of Winder that were taken inside Hernandez’s apartment.

When Hernandez failed to show up at his job at Wal-Mart, authorities went to the apartment on Rosemeade Parkway and discovered large amounts of blood on the floor, walls and couch — in addition to tissue from internal organs in the bathtub.

Police concluded that Winder placed the rest of Hernandez’s remains in a Dumpster, which had already been emptied and its contents buried in a landfill.

Purchases made on Hernandez’s debit card led police to Winder. They found blood-covered evidence including a sword at two campsites where Winder had been staying.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 11, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Scenes from the Halloween Block Party — Part II

Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice (MarceloMedia)

—  John Wright

Queering the occupation

LGBTs join movement in Dallas

OccupyDallas

Gay Dallas resident Dave May, who says he lost his ear to cancer because he didn’t have health insurance, marches with Occupy Dallas on Saturday, Oct. 15. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM LAST WEEKEND’S MARCH

JOHN WRIGHT  |  Senior Political Writer
wright@dallasvoice.com

Dave May was self-employed and uninsured when he first noticed a small growth resembling a cut on the inside of his right ear about five years ago.

May was paying out of pocket for annual check-ups, and because his trusted general practitioner repeatedly assured him the growth was eczema — a relatively harmless skin condition — he had no reason to shell out $500 to see a specialist.

But the growth in the bell of May’s ear only got worse, and when he finally went to a dermatologist in 2008, a biopsy determined it was skin cancer.

It turned out to be an aggressive form, and May has since undergone four surgeries at Parkland hospital, including removal of his ear, ear drum and ear canal.

May, now 53, said if the cancer had been caught sooner, his treatment would’ve cost a few thousand dollars — and his ear would be intact. Instead, he estimates the cost to taxpayers in the hundreds of thousands.

“Our national health care policy is just pennywise and pound-foolish,” said May, whose cancer is finally in remission. “Had there been
some type of universal health plan, I would have gone to a dermatologist much earlier.

“I’m not into self-pity,” May said, adding that he’s only broken down once during the entire three-year ordeal. “I don’t feel sorry for myself, but I’ve always strongly believed that health care is not a privilege, but rather a human right.”

May was one of several LGBT people who joined about 400 protesters from Occupy Dallas on Saturday, Oct. 15, for a march from the   group’s campsite at Pioneer Park to the The Crescent in Uptown, site of Goldman Sachs’ local offices.

In some cities, the Occupy movement has included a large and very visible queer presence — with rainbow flags flying high during protests and same-sex couples openly cohabitating inside encampments.

But so far at Occupy Dallas, which began Oct. 6, the LGBT presence has been far more subtle.

Local queer Occupiers and supporters are hoping this will change, however, and those who marched with the group last weekend said they see major parallels between the LGBT equality and Occupy movements.

“It’s all about civil rights,” transgender activist Pamela Curry said as she marched up McKinney Avenue toward The Crescent.

OccupyDallas1

STRUGGLING FOR VISIBILITY | Chaaz Quigley, shown during last weekend’s march, said it’s been a struggle to establish a visible LGBT presence at Occupy Dallas. ( John Wright/ Dallas Voice)

“It’s about the people, not corporate rights,” Curry added, repeating the popular refrain that she’ll believe GOP presidential candidate

Mitt Romney’s claim that “corporations are people” when Texas executes one.

Eric Folkerth, straight pastor of the heavily gay Northaven United Methodist Church in Preston Hollow, noted that the Occupy march came on the eve of Reconciling Sunday in his denomination — which calls for full LGBT inclusion in the UMC.

“They’re both movements about people who are marginalized and often unheard,” Folkerth said as he stood outside The Crescent, adding that he hopes more LGBT people will get involved in the Occupy movement.

Jay Narey, communications director for Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, said he didn’t plan to spend the night in Pioneer Park but wanted to show his support for the movement by marching with the group.

“I think they’re bringing much needed attention to the inequality,” said Narey, who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with “SOCIALIST” in large red letters and held a sign that read, “END the CORPORATOCRACY.”

Narey said he was disappointed there weren’t more LGBT people at the march. “They’d rather have a cocktail at JR.’s,” he said.

Bisexual activist Latisha McDaniel carried a sign containing one of the few LGBT references: “Union worker. State worker.

Independent Voter. Queer. Life-giver. Person of color. 99%!!!” it read.

“They’re screwing everybody equally,” McDaniel said. “Every minority in the country is being stepped on by these corporations, by corporate greed.”

Chaaz Quigley, a gay member of the International Socialist Organization, led the entire march for a brief period as it made its way up McKinney Avenue, carrying a sign that read “Socialist Queer!”

Quigley said he’s been the most vocal LGBT participant in Occupy Dallas, having been involved since the organizing stages and spending several nights at Pioneer Park.

But he said it’s been a struggle to establish a visible queer presence within the local movement, and he called on the community to help.

“If we can have people show up in drag, that’s what needs to happen,” Quigley said a few days later at Occupy Dallas’ new camp behind City Hall. “We need to have an incredibly visible presence. We’re not trying to co-opt anything. We’re trying to create real equality.”

For more on Occupy Dallas, visit the group’s website or Facebook page.

…………..

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

UPDATE: City still reviewing complaint of anti-gay discrimination against Baylor-owned gym

The city of Dallas is in “the final stages” of reviewing an allegation of anti-gay discrimination against the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center, a city official told Instant Tea this week.

Gay Dallas resident Alan Rodriguez filed a complaint in January against the Fitness Center, after the popular East Dallas gym refused to offer a family membership to Rodriguez and his longtime partner.

Rodriguez’s complaint was filed under a Dallas ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations. Rodriguez said he has declined an offer from the city’s Fair Housing Office, which handles discrimination complaints, to enter arbitration.

“I don’t know that there’s any room to compromise,” Rodriguez said. “There’s not middle ground to reach to.”

In a letter he penned to a Baylor executive before filing the complaint, Rodriguez accused the Fitness Center of “draconian and bigoted practices” that are “unthinkable in 2011.”

In response to Rodriguez’s email, the Baylor executive confirmed that the Fitness Center offers family memberships only “to a husband and wife pursuant to the Texas law definition of marriage.” Baylor’s attorneys reportedly are arguing that the Fitness Center is a private health club and not a public accommodation.

Jennifer Coleman, senior vice president of consumer affairs for the Baylor Health Care System, declined further comment this week.

Beverly Davis, director of the Fair Housing Office, said she is unsure when officials will decide whether to prosecute Rodriguez’s complaint.

“All I can tell you is that it’s in the final stages of review,” Davis said. “I wish I could give you a definite date, but right now I don’t have a definite date.”

Rodriguez’s complaint is one of more than 50 that have been filed under the nondiscrimination ordinance since it took effect in 2002. However, none of the complaints has ever been prosecuted by the city. Each violation of the ordinance punishable by a fine of up to $500.

—  John Wright

Drunken driver jumps curb on Cedar Springs and strikes hot dog vendor, breaking his leg

A Cedar Springs Road hot dog vendor suffered a broken leg early Saturday when he was struck by a drunken driver whose vehicle jumped a curb near Reagan Street, according to Dallas police.

The driver, 27-year-old Thomas David Morgan, was arrested and charged with intoxication assault, a third-degree felony.

Morgan, driving a silver 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, was eastbound on Reagan Street approaching Cedar Springs at about 12:30 a.m., according to a police report. He turned when it was unsafe, veered to the left and jumped the curb. His vehicle collided with a metal post, the hot dog stand and the vendor.

Morgan told police he fell asleep at the light before turning left into the hot dog vendor, but the report notes that there are no signal lights at the intersection. An officer at the scene determined that Morgan was under the influence of alcohol.

One witness heard the vehicle coming and jumped out of the way, while two others saw Morgan approaching and ran, the police report states.

The hot dog vendor was taken to Parkland to be treated for a broken left fibula.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Co-host Jenna Skyy gets undressed during Gaybingo Dallas’ 10th anniversary

Gaybingo Dallas marked its 10th anniversary in the Rose Room at Station 4 on Saturday, and as you can see, co-host Jenna Skyy gave a pretty special performance to mark the occasion. Check out DV contributor Brent Paxton’s video and photos below.

—  John Wright

David Kunkle talks up Dallas’ gay community in CNN piece about TNT’s new version of ‘Dallas’

David Kunkle

Following TNT’s announcement last week that it has picked up the new version of Dallas, CNN posted a long story about how the original Dallas has shaped the city’s image — and how modern Dallas is nothing like the stereotypes created by the show. (The entire article is worth a read when you have time, although perhaps it was only interesting to me because I’m not from Dallas and I’ve never seen an episode of the original series). Anyhow, the CNN story mentions early on that Dallas has a lesbian sheriff, and then former police chief turned mayoral candidate David Kunkle puts an exclamation on the gay angle near the end. “We have one of the largest gay populations and one of the strongest gay communities of any city in the country,” Kunkle tells CNN. Thanks, chief. Who knows, maybe the new “Dallas” will add a gay storyline.

 

—  John Wright