My post-Pride lunch with Mike Rawlings

1186736_10201881308536307_1584127030_nI was at a luncheon today, celebrating the 95th anniversary of the original El Fenix restaurant, a staple of Tex-Mex here in Dallas. Also at the luncheon was Mayor Mike Rawlings, who sat at my table during lunch. One of my colleagues noted that the mayor appeared to have lost weight. A while later, the mayor and I got to chatting.

“How was the gay Pride parade yesterday?” he asked me with a smile. “I was out of town so I missed it.”

It was a lot of fun, I told him.

“When I came back, I saw there was some kind of controversy?”

“Yes, about a dress code; people didn’t react well to it.”

“Well, how were people dressed?” he asked. “Did anyone show up naked?”

“Not naked,” I said. “Though some were … well ….” I reached into my pocket, pulled out my iPhone and showed him one of the photos I took (pictured here). “That’s about as racy as it got.”

“Well, that’s nothing unusual,” Mayor Rawlings said. “And that’s just what I look like with my clothes off.”

He was joking. I think. But he has lost weight. Despite his failure to stand up for marriage equality, it’s always nice when a politician looks at pictures of men in Speedos and doesn’t recoil in horror.

Oh, and El Fenix — 95 frickin’ years. Pretty awesome.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Mayor Rawlings to miss Dallas Pride parade for 1st time in 3 years

Mike Rawlings breaks me off some beads during last year's gay Pride parade.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings throws beads from atop the Dallas Tavern Guild’s float during the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade in 2011. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will miss the gay Pride parade this year for the first time since he took office.

Adam McGough, a spokesman for the mayor, said Rawlings will be in New York City this weekend at a conference of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. Rawlings will also be visiting West Point, N.Y., as part of an initiative to bring a football game to Dallas.

McGough said Rawlings’ absence has nothing to do with the controversy involving a marriage equality resolution at City Council in June — which led some in the LGBT community to call for the mayor and certain other council members to be uninvited from the Pride parade.

“He is disappointed to miss it,” McGough said. “This has nothing to do with the controversy. This is just scheduling.”

Rawlings is only the third Dallas mayor to appear in the gay Pride parade, after Laura Miller and Tom Leppert.

Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, said this week that only eight of 15 city council members had RSVP’d to ride on the Tavern Guild’s float in this year’s parade — which marks the 30th anniversary of the event.

That number is lower than in recent years, but Patti Fink, president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, said she isn’t alarmed.

Fink noted that several council members were newly  elected in June, and the community hasn’t had a chance to build relationships with them. She also said she doesn’t put a lot of stock in RSVPs.

“We have to wait until Pride to see who’s on the float, because that’s really going to be where the proof is,” she said.

Doughman said council members who’ve RSVP’d are Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano, Rick Callahan, Monica Alonzo, Carolyn Davis, Tennell Atkins, Sheffie Kadane and Philip Kingston.

Only one sitting council member, Vonciel Hill, has publicly refused to appear in the parade because she is anti-LGBT.

—  John Wright

Voice of Pride under way; Tavern Guild accepting grand marshal nominations

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Dallas may not celebrate Pride in June — which some would apparently prefer — but we do have Voice of Pride, which is well under way and continues tonight at the Dallas Eagle. In addition, the Dallas Tavern Guild is now accepting nominations for grand marshals for September’s Pride parade. Submit your nomination by by going here.

—  John Wright

Anti-gay preacher arrested at Tarrant Pride awaits trial date, can’t leave area

A protester from Joey Faust’s Kingdom Baptist Church holds a sign near the Tarrant County Courthouse during gay Pride.

Christian News Network is reporting that Joey Faust, a preacher from the town of Venus south of Fort Worth who was arrested at the Tarrant County Pride Parade, is still awaiting a trial date. As a condition for his bail, Faust must report to his bondsman once a week to let him know he hasn’t skipped town.

Faust was arrested with a member of his church when he tried to enter the street during the parade. Police were watching for him because in 2011 he entered the street during the parade and reached into Mayor Betsy Price’s car. Price was grand marshal that year.

Faust, pastor of Kingdom Baptist Church, was charged with interfering with police duties and told Christian News he was held for 20 hours and released on $1,500 bail. He faces up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

“They did everything they could to make it as miserable and as difficult as possible,” Faust told Christian News Network. He said everyone else was being released faster than they were.

Faust’s defense seems to be that others were allowed to cross the street, while he and his small band of protesters were forced to stay on the sidewalk.

Faust told Christian News he asked police why only those opposed to homosexuality were restricted.

Police told him they were separating them for safety reasons.

—  David Taffet

T3 gives final extension to ‘Ave. Q’

It doesn’t suck to be Avenue Q. The show is almost certainly the second longest running Dallas production in history; it started in June for a planned four-week run; that was soon extended to 10 weeks and now, with a just-announced  extension to Dec. 9, will have run 23 weeks before closing — second only to another T3 show, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which ran more than two years after its initial opening.

Theatre 3 is promising that this extension of Avenue Q will be its last. And we believe them. Why? Because T3 has already announced another show in the downstairs Theatre Too’s 99-seat auditorium …. the latest revival of I Love You, You’re Perfect.

The very gay show — which included the 51-year-old theater’s first float in Dallas’ Pride Parade, a kind of wedding processional for its two gay characters  — won awards from the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum last month.

The first performance of the extension, on Nov. 2, will kick off with a sing-along version. Come on… you know the Internet is for porn.

Get tickets here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

This week’s takeaways: Pride Edition

Usually I wait until Friday to run down all that’s going on in gaydom this week that you need to catch up on, but since it’s Pride Weekend, I figured I’d get a jump-start on all the events.

First up: Tonight is the first night of Miss Coco Peru Is Present at the Rose Room. She’s hilarious. And if you order using the discount code VOICE, you get up to 40 percent off your tickets. Amanda Lepore and Cazwell also appear at It’ll Do Dancing Club tonight starting about 11 — so you can see Coco and still catch their show.

Today is also the kickoff for two very different weekend long events. First, the Southwest RV Supershow starts Thursday and runs through Sunday at Dallas Market Hall. If you like camping — and let’s face it, gays really do — you’ll find a phenomenal selection of recreational vehicles here. On the other side of the spectrum is the opening of the City Performance Hall. If you find yourself in the Arts District anyway, you might wanna stop by and see The Second City Does Dallas at the Wyly or War Horse at the Winspear. (Psst! The horse is gay.)

Friday night might require some hopping to catch all that’s going on, from the launch of the new Dick’s Night Out gay men’s party the Red Party (a big fundraiser for Legacy Counseling Center) to Suzanne Westenhoefer cracking wise in the Vixin Lounge at Sue Ellen’s.

There are also three more days to catch both Uptown Players‘ The Producers and shows in their Second Annual Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival. But there’s also tons of other good theater around the area, including Rent at Theatre Arlington and a few more performances of The Most Happy Fella at Lyric Stage in Irving. Also out in the Mid Cities this weekend: Gay Day at Six Flags will be in Arlington on Saturday. You can get half-off tickets courtesy of Dallas Voice here. And Patti LuPone teams with her old friend Mandy Patinkin for An Evening With at Richardson’s Eisemann Center for Performing Arts on Saturday night. (Read an interview with Mandy in Friday’s Voice.)

Of course, by now you know about the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade along Cedar Springs on Sunday, concurrent with the Festival at Lee Park, but there are lots of other Pride-related parties that day (and all weekend), including DJ Tony Moran spinning at BearDance at TMC on Sunday, Chi Chi LaRue at BJ’s NXS! on Sunday, DJ Michael Tank at the Brick (also Sunday).

And we haven’t even started on all the events from Monday on, whether it be Gary Lynn Floyd inaugurating the new Cabaret Series at the Sammons Arts Center or yours truly giving his regular Gay Broadway Series lecture at War Horse on Tuesday night. So if you can’t keep track of it all, trust us — we get it.

Still, that’s all the more reason to pick up the Voice on Friday. We have a rundown of many of the events, plus interviews with celebs, pictures of hot guys in underwear and our first “hetero life partners” edition of Dynamic Duo. Pick it up, you’ll love it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Razzle Dazzle Dallas booth space available

Razzle Dazzle Dallas 2011 main stage

Booth space is available for the day and night Razzle Dazzle Dallas events on Cedar Springs Road on June 9. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on May 30.

Businesses, sports teams, faith groups, jewelers, clothiers, nonprofits, corporate affinity organizations and community groups are welcome to market themselves to the more than 30,000 expected buyers and Razzle Dazzle attendees.

A vendor application is available online.

The festival hours on June 9 are from 10 a.m. to midnight.

DAYTIME:
One Nonprofit Booth Space — $100
One For-Profit Booth Space — $150

NIGHTIME:
One Nonprofit Booth Space — $150
One For-Profit Booth Space — $200

ALL DAY:
One Nonprofit Booth Space — $200
One For-Profit Booth Space — $275

RENTAL:
(1) Electrical Outlet — $25
(1) 10’x10’ Tent, (1) Table, (2) Chairs — $125

Contact Dave Berryman at Bravo Event Groups with any questions.

—  David Taffet

Razzle Dazzle Dallas releases 2012 schedule

Razzle Dazzle Dallas — the gay Pride Month celebration and fundraiser on Cedar Springs —  today announced its 2012 beneficiaries and preliminary event schedule. According to a press release, Razzle Dazzle Dallas runs June 6-9 and will include a Wine/Dog Walk on Wednesday, a Pub Crawl on Thursday, the 7th annual MetroBall on Friday, and a street party on Saturday night.

Singer Taylor Dayne, who appeared at Black Tie Dinner last year, will return to Dallas to headline MetroBall, which benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. Also this year, Saturday at Razzle Dazzle Dallas will include LifeWalk Waterpalooza, in addition to the sidewalk sale, street fair and antique car show. On Saturday night, according to the release, Cedar Springs will become “a big crazy dance club with LIVE ‘80s music and DJs on the Main Performance Stage!”

Razzle Dazzle Dallas, which distributed more than $60,500 in 2011, this year will benefit Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network, Turtle Creek Chorale, Legacy Counseling Center, Legal Hospice of Texas, AIDS Arms, GLBT Leadership Education & Advocacy Program (LEAP), Uptown Players and the Cedar Springs Road Beautification Fund.

Razzle Dazzle is also planning three events in April: a bus trip to the WinStar Casino, a Rising Star Show featuring D Alexander at the Rose Room, and a Razzle Dazzle-sponsored installment of GayBingo.

The full press release from Razzle Dazzle marketing director Kris Martin is below.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Razzle Dazzle Dallas set for June 6-9

It may be hard to believe, but Razzle Dazzle Dallas, the Gay Pride Month celebration and fundraiser on Cedar Springs that’s in the second year of its revival, is now just 105 short days away. And this week, marketing director Kris Martin sent along the below video promoting this year’s four-day event set for June 6-9 (with the Saturday night finale on the easy to remember date of 6-9-12). Martin says the Razzle Dazzle committee is making a big push for corporate sponsors, which can be had for as little as $500. You can also sign up to volunteer on the website, which provides the following additional details on this year’s installment:

2012 brings added excitement to Cedar Springs as Razzle Dazzle Dallas celebrates it’s second year of the June Pride event revival. In meeting our goal last year of the event being bigger and better than the original, we are adding even more ‘dazzle’ to the four-day schedule. It begins on on June 6 with a wine and dog walk sponsored by the Cedar Springs Merchants Association plus the finals of our new Best Bartender Contest. Thursday, June 7 participants will be entertained with a “Pub Crawl” that will move by shuttle bus transportation to participating Dallas area night clubs. Also on Thursday night, we will have the finals of Miss Razzle Dazzle Dallas. On Friday, June 8, MetroBall at Station 4 brings an evening of dancing, raffles and fund raising as well as headline entertainment to raise money for HIV/AIDS clients living in North Texas. During the day of Saturday, June 9 the Cedar Springs Merchants Association will host a street fair and sale. The main event, Razzle Dazzle Dallas, will fill Cedar Springs on the night of June 9. Come out for live music, djs’ and dancing, VIP areas, refreshments and much more. It will be a night to remember!

Watch the video produced by Jimmy Bartlett after the jump.

—  John Wright