GEAR awards go to members, allies

Marla Compton, left, receives an award from Henry Ramirez.

Resource Center Dallas held the fifth annual GEAR awards Saturday, May 14 at Pride Pharmacy. GEAR, a program of the Center, is dedicated to empowering transgender men and women within the community through educational and social opportunities, outreach and medical services. Here are the award winners:

• The Katherine Walton Award for outstanding work in the community by a transgender person: Marla Compton and Shouna Leaher. Compton is the longtime coordinator of the GEAR program. Leaher was on the steering committee for three years and was instrumental in coordinating the group’s events.

• The Henry Ramirez III Ally Award for outstanding work in the community by an ally of the transgender community: Latisha Nichole McDaniel and Jamila Davis.

McDaniel served on the Transgender Day of Remembrance steering committee for two years. She helped transform it into a large community-wide event.

Davis works at the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic and developed the intake for transgender clients. The program she helped develop is staffed by doctors once a month. They see clients, and prescribe hormones and other treatment. Ramirez, for whom the award was named, said Davis has worked hard to ensure the transgender community is treated with respect.

Attendees also heard from Charlie Burrows, manager of the Nelson-Tebedo Community Clinic; Rosemarie Odom, a member of the Center’s board of directors; Malcolm Roy of Pride Pharmacy; and the featured speaker, therapist Felesha Porter.

The event, sponsored by Pride Pharmacy, included a catered dinner. Pride Pharmacy has been a strong supporter of the Center and the programs and services it provides to the LGBT community. The pharmacy even re-painted several rooms in advance of the award ceremonies.

More pics below.

—  David Taffet

Razzle Dazzle needs 100 volunteers

STREET FAIR | John Coop-Lara and Jimmy Bartlett at Cedar Springs Arts Festival promoting Razzle Dazzle Dallas.

Return of annual event an opportunity for groups to participate

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer

The Razzle Dazzle Dallas committee needs 100 volunteers, organizers said this week.

“Planning and hosting [the] five-day festival for 35,000 people will take nearly 100 volunteers,” said John Cooper-Lara, co-chair for Razzle Dazzle Dallas.

The event — returning this year after an absence of several years — will be held June 1–5, beginning with a Wednesday evening wine walk on Cedar Springs Road. Thursday the event goes off the street with a party bus pub-crawl to clubs located off Cedar Springs Road.

Metro Ball at S4 on Friday night will raise money for AIDS agencies in North Texas.

Saturday’s events begin with a sidewalk sale and street fair on Cedar Springs Road. The evening is when the most volunteers will be needed. Three blocks will be fenced for a large street party.

Gate attendants, runners, stagehands, information booth workers and food service assistants are needed.

Volunteer co-coordinator Henry Ramirez said volunteers are also needed to help set up and tear down tents.

“They’ll be making sure people have ice where it’s needed, watching the entrances and making sure people aren’t walking out with alcohol,” Ramirez said. “Runners are needed from beer booths to the main booth.”

Ramirez said food will be catered for volunteers and he is scheduling extra people so there will be time for volunteers to take breaks and enjoy the event.

Setting up and tearing down the fence has been contracted out, as has trash clean up and garbage removal, he said. But volunteers will be needed for set-up and tear down of booths, stage and other equipment and displays along the street.

Ramirez said working at Razzle Dazzle that night would be a fun project for groups or organizations.

The beneficiaries of Razzle Dazzle Dallas are AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, Cedar Springs Merchants Association Beautification Fund, Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage, Legal Hospice of Texas, Lone Star Ride, Resource Center Dallas and Youth First Texas.

To volunteer, sign up on the website or email co-volunteer coordinators Ramirez or Travis Gasper at or

—  John Wright