Taylor Dayne can’t stop the music

Taylor Dayne can’t stop the music

More than 20 years after she packed the gay bar dance floors with her debut hits, the songstress is still going strong, and says her performance at Black Tie is a ‘win-win’ for her and her fans

Dayne.TaylorRich Lopez  |  Staff Writer

lopez@dallasvoice.com

Helping out LGBT people is nothing new for singer Taylor Dayne.

She can’t quite recall when she knew she was a hit with the gay community: Over the course of her 23-year career in pop music, she’s played venues of all sizes, but she did notice early on how a certain fan base seemed to keep showing up.

“It’s kinda hard to remember, but I would perform very specific shows and then some gay clubs and it dawned on me,” she said.

With an explosive debut, thanks to her platinum selling 1988 debut Tell It To My Heart and the more sophisticated follow-up Can’t Fight Fate a year later, Dayne became a quick force to be reckoned with on the charts.

But her pop hits were just as big on the dance floor, and Dayne was resonating across the queer landscape.

“I’ve had wonderful relationship with gay and lesbian fans for years. I’m so glad to be doing Black Tie because I have a great core of fan base here,” she said. “It’ll be a good show with lots of fun and for a good cause. It’s a win-win.”

Dayne’s performed at gay bars and Pride events in Boston, Chicago and the Delaware Pride Festival. But appreciation of her work in the community was clearly evident in 2010 when she was asked to record “Facing a Miracle” as the anthem for the Gay Games.

“That was quite an honor and then they asked me to perform at the games,” she said. “It was very emotional for me. The roar of the crowd was great.”

Even after two decades, Dayne remains just as committed to music as she was in 1988. She’s embraces her sort of “elder” status in pop music and instead of seeing the likes of Nikki Minaj and Katy Perry as rivals, she enjoys what they are bringing to the landscape of music now.

“I love listening to all the new stuff going on. There is some great talent out there. It’s nice to know I was some inspiration to them, the way ladies like Debbie Harry and Pat Benatar were for me. The cycle goes on,” Dayne said.

But they still push her to keep in the game. She admitted, “I’m pretty competitive that way.”

This year, Dayne released the single, “Floor on Fire,” which made it to the Billboard Dance/Club Charts Top 10.

At 49, Dayne doesn’t show signs of slowing. Along with a rumored second greatest hits album, she recently wrapped up filming the indie movie Telling of the Shoes and she’s a single mother to 9-year-old twins. Juggling it all is a mix of emotions, but her confidence pushes her through.

“I can say I’m a great singer, so when it comes to decisions, I’m fine about recording and performing,” she said. “But I would say I work really hard at acting. It’s nerve-wracking but it’s also amazing. But I’m not a novice at any of this.”

With her children, she doesn’t make any pretenses about the difficulty of being both a musician and a mom — as long as she instills the proper principles in them.

“We don’t try to get wrapped up in small time crap,” she said. “At the end of day it’s about having a good heart and they have great heart.”

It’s likely she’ll show the same at Black Tie.

—  Rich Lopez

Let the Gay Games begin! Dallas sends 40 athletes

Dallas will field more than 40 athletes at the Gay Games in Cologne later this month. Here are some of those hoping to bring home gold

Athlete: Mark LeDoux (right)
Age: 31
Day job: Anesthesiologist and interventional pain management specialist
Sport: Track and Field
Events: 4×100 meter relay, 4×200 meter relay, 200 meters, 110 meter hurdles, 200 meters, 400 meter hurdles and 800 meters.
Gay Games experience: First Gay Games
Interesting fact: Father of twin 9-year-old girls
In his own words: “Ever since I came out, I’ve wanted to do this. Things ache a lot differently than they did 10 to 11 years ago, but I draw inspiration from previous attendees and other participants.”

Athlete: Sean Faulkner (right)
Age: 40
Day job: Emergency nurse
Sport: Soccer (plays center midfield)
Gay Games experience: Faulkner will be competing in his fourth Gay Games, following Amsterdam in 1998, Sydney in 2002 and Chicago in 2006.
Interesting fact: His diving header won a match during Team Dallas’ silver medal run at the 1998 Games in Amsterdam.
In his own words: “When we meet people on the street in Europe, they’re so accepting of us that they don’t understand why we have a separate games just for gay people. They don’t view being gay as anything wrong or different; being who you are is just way more accepted in Europe.”

……………………………………..

Looking for an excuse to take advantage of a weak Euro this summer? There’s always a trip to Amsterdam’s Red Light District or jumping aboard one of those floating bathhouses known as gay cruises.

And then there’s the quadrennial Gay Games.

Starting July 31, Cologne, Germany, will host the largest LGBT sports and cultural gathering in the world. Conceived by 1968 U.S. Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell, the Gay Games were first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Organizers this year had hoped to surpass the 11,500 registrations total from the 2006 Games in Chicago, but the lingering global economic recession has tempered their expectations. But with late registration still coming in, organizers are predicting 10,000 participants.

Unlike the Olympics, athletes in the Gay Games represent their cities rather than their countries. Jere Becker, organizer of Team Dallas, says 43 local athletes will march into the historic Rhein Energie Stadion for the opening ceremonies, joining others competing in 33 team and individual sports (among them basketball, cycling, diving, figure skating, track and field and volleyball). Some non-athletic competitions (better described as disciplines than sporting events, like chess and bridge) are also included.

Most events and disciplines are classified by age or ability, so both beginners and veterans will compete against their athletic equals. Holding true to the principle of inclusion, anyone can participate, regardless of ability, age, sexual orientation, race, gender, nationality or ethnicity, religion or HIV status.

But even those who just like to watch can enjoy the cultural events that are open to the public, including a cheerleading contest, band and choral festivals, visual and performing arts performances and social events for everyone from women to bears to the leather community.

Let the games begin!

— Ricky Bradley

Gay Games VIII, from Cologne, Germany. July 31-Aug. 7. GayGamesCologne.com.


This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 02, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

World champ powerlifter is (still) gay

gg2006closing_05lge
Chris Morgan at the 2006 Gay Games

The Gay Games in Cologne are three months away, but already there’s a frontrunner in at least one category. Earlier this week, out powerlifter Chris Morgan successfully defended his gold medal in powerlifting at Moscow’s World Drig-Free Powerlifting Championship Open. Morgan competed in the 82.5 kg class with lifts of 210 kg, 240 kg and 250 kg (about 550 lbs on the last one, all on a frame of about 180 lbs.). The British athlete first competed in powerlifting at the 1998 Gay Games, and medaled there and again in 2002 and 2006. He’s also a good will ambassador for the Gay Games.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay Games representatives from Cologne visit Dallas

Stephan Collet and Annete Wachter at Buli's
Stephan Collet and Annete Wachter at Buli’s

Representatives from the Gay Games spoke to potential participants on Monday night at Woody’s sports and video Bar and on Tuesday morning at Buli’s. The games will be help in Cologne, Germany on July 31­–August 7, 2010.

Annette Wachter and Stephan Collet are visiting nine cities in the United States to promote participation. They said that the event includes 34 team and individual sports as well as five cultural events.

Some of the events such as swimming, track & field or figure skating mirror Olympic competitions. Others include dancing and chess to include broader participation from the LGBT community. A few, such as bowling and physique have special appeal among the community.

Wachter said admission as a spectator to most events is free with the exception of the dance, bodybuilding and figure skating competitions.

Cultural events for the week are a band festival, choral festival cheerleading, visual arts and the International Rainbow Memorial Run.

—  Dallasvoice

Meet Gay Games organizers Monday at Woody's

Team Dallas organizer Jere Becker
Team Dallas organizer Jere Becker

In Friday’s paper, we ran a news brief about two Gay Games representatives from Cologne, Germany, site of the 2010 event, coming to Dallas to talk about the games and make a presentation.

CEO Annette Watcher and Stephen Collette will be at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar on Cedar Springs on Monday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Nov. 10, they will be at Buli on Cedar Springs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to talk to anyone not able to attend on Monday evening.

Here’s more information about the games:

Team Dallas organizer Jere Becker said the games are “open to anyone. You just need to register.” Becker has been involved with Team Dallas since 1990 and has participated in a variety of sports including flag football, swimming, bodybuilding and softball.

He said, “Age doesn’t matter. Phil Johnson has won a ton of medals in swimming.” Johnson began competing in Gay Games when he was in his 70s.

Competition in some sports, such as tennis and swimming, are grouped by age. Others, such as volleyball, have classes of ability, similar to the way DIVA, the local league, arranges players.

Swimming, softball, soccer, bowling and ice hockey are other sports that have sent teams or players in the past. Running, cycling, physique, track and field, billiards, sailing, golf and chess are other areas open for competitors.

In addition to competitors, Team Dallas would like to bring a contingent of spectators to cheer the athletes. Gay Games is also looking for dancers, cheerleaders, bands and singers to perform during the week.

Becker said he expects about 100 athletes from Dallas to attend the Gay Games in Cologne. The last games, held in Chicago, attracted about 150 people from this area. Distance and cost of travel are expected to lower attendance from Dallas.

Anyone who has participated in past Gay Games is encouraged to wear team shirts and any medals won to the Woody’s presentation. Becker said the evening would be a reunion for past attendees.

This will be the eighth time the games will be held and take place every four years. The first, in 1982, was in San Francisco.

In 1997 Dallas bid to host the 2002 Gay Games but lost to Sydney. The 2014 games move back to North America and will be in Cleveland.

Becker said that holding the competitions in August presents a problem for Dallas because of the heat. The 1997 bid proposed Memorial Day weekend in May, but organizers felt that would be a problem for Europeans to attend. Although August is winter in Sydney, that city’s climate is temperate year round.

More than 1,700 people from 32 countries have already registered to participate in the Cologne games. Two sports, golf and sailing, will close registration soon because they are nearing capacity.

— David Taffet

—  Dallasvoice

And the Gay Games will be held in…

Cleveland.

Yeah, that’s why I didn’t put it in the headline.

But I kid. Cleveland is great. I suppose. Still, it is part of Ohio, which was instrumental in swinging the 2004 election toward Bush with an anti-gay ballot initiative. But the mayor of the city says they are “prepared to roll out the welcome mat to the LGBT athletes their families and spectators from around the world.” That’s nice.

The Gay Games actually attract more participants than the Olympics (though the TV coverage is oddly less pervasive). Cleveland’s version takes places in 2014; the next ceremony will be in Cologne, Germany in July and August of 2010. Previous host cities include San Francisco (twice),  Vancouver, New York, Amsterdam, Sydney (the same year as the 2002 Olympics there) and the last one, 2006′s in Chicago.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones