Abounding Prosperity’s PJ Moton named one of 10 HIV 360 Fellows

PJ Moton_042116_webPJ Moton, the interim clinical programs manager for Dallas’ Abounding Prosperity, has been named an HIV 360 Fellow, one of 10 young nonprofit leaders recognized by the Human Rights Campaign and supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The nine-month program will help these advocates “elevate their work ending HIV in hard-hit U.S. communities,” according to a release. But as PJ told me, “It’s a much bigger deal than I anticipated. We have met all types of big-wigs.” How big are the wigs? I asked. “Traci Turnblad big,” PJ said.

Wow, that’s big.

Contrats to PJ and all the others! You can learn more about the program here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

McCrory and his lies about North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’

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N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in March signed into law a bill that not only rolls back an equal rights ordinance recently passed in Charlotte to protect LGBT from discrimination and prohibits such local ordinances from being passed in the future, but also prohibits transgender men and women from using the appropriate public restrooms. Since then, individuals, businesses and others — like Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz — have been standing up in droves to denounce McCrory and the legislation, and announce their intentions to boycott the state.

Last week, McCrory told the press that the bill doesn’t take anyone’s rights away and that all the hoopla was created by the media and political correctness run amok. I already called him out for being a Mr. Lying Liarpants on that. Now here’s a video offering some proof that he’s lying.

—  Tammye Nash

Parkland, V.A. receive HRC’s highest score, Methodist the lowest on HEI

Parkland

Parkland Hospital

The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Healthcare Equality Index, and Dallas hospitals fared far better than they have in the past.

Parkland Health & Hospital System received HRC’s top rating for the fourth year in a row. Rated separately, all of its facilities throughout the county — like Amelia Court and other clinics — fared well.

The four categories rated are patient non-discrimination, visitation, employment non-discrimination and training. The rating for each were “yes,” “no” or “not applicable.”

The Dallas V.A. hospital also received HRC’s top rating.

UT Southwestern, Medical City, Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake and Green Oaks Hospital received positive ratings in every category except training.

Who ranked worst across the board? Methodist Hospital received the lowest rating, with a “no” in every category.

Baylor has non-discrimination in patient visitation, but may still fire you if you’re LGBT or not give you equal patient care. One of the few cases filed and won under the Dallas non-discrimination was against Baylor.

Presbyterian doesn’t have a patient non-discrimination policy, but does have visitation and employment policies in place.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized by the HRC Foundation. Parkland is committed to providing a safe, respectful and caring environment for everyone,” said Ildemaro Gonzalez, Parkland’s vice president and chief inclusion and diversity officer.

In Fort Worth, no hospital received top rating.

Cook Children’s Medical Center and Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth have policies in place without training.

Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth has a policy allowing visitation.

John Peter Smith, Tarrant County’s counterpart to Parkland, allows visitation, but doesn’t have non-discrimination policies for patients or employees.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth allows patient discrimination but has a nondiscrimination policy for its employees and visitors.

In Arlington, Medical Center of Arlington has all categories covered except training.

Baylor Medical Center at Irving lacks the same protections as the other hospitals in the Baylor system.

Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving and Medical Center of Plano only lack training.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano has no patient protections in place.

Across Texas, 13 hospitals or hospital systems received the highest rating. None in Oklahoma received that score.

—  David Taffet

Black Tie Dinner: The Evening in Photos, Part 1

This is the first of two posts of photos from the 2015 Black Tie Dinner, held Saturday night, Nov. 14, at Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The fundraiser featured speeches by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Kuchling Award winner Melissa Grove, marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell, E! Entertainment Vice President Jim Olde, a representative of The Trevor Project, HRC President Chad Griffin and more.

Dana Goldberg emceed the evening, with entertainment by Well Strung, Ty Herndon and Betty Who.

First of two photo slideshow posts. Photos by Tammye Nash

—  Tammye Nash

Black Tie Dinner: The Evening in Photos, Part 2

This is the second of two posts of photos from the 2015 Black Tie Dinner, held Saturday night, Nov. 14, at Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The fundraiser featured speeches by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Kuchling Award winner Melissa Grove, marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell, E! Entertainment Vice President Jim Olde, a representative of The Trevor Project, HRC President Chad Griffin and more.

Dana Goldberg emceed the evening, with entertainment by Well Strung, Ty Herndon and Betty Who.

This is the second of two photo slideshow posts. See the first one here. Photos by Tammye Nash

—  Tammye Nash

This is what National Coming Out Day was meant for

WWIn case you missed it, Sunday, Oct. 11 was National Coming Out Day — the day designated for giving folks in the closet a kind of permission to tell people they care about that they are members of the LGBT community. It’s a great idea — after all, there’s strength in numbers, right, so why not come out on a day you can point to countless other folks being upfront about their sexuality?

Of course, for many of us, coming out happened long ago, and we can forget what it was like to become so self-possessed as to tell someone who we are. So what about telling thousands of people?

Our friend Israel Luna knows one such guy — Walker Williams. Walker is from Israel’s hometown of Wellington, Texas, and this weekend he wrote a piece for the Amarillo Globe-News, in which he explained the confusion, fear, concern and even depression associated with hiding in the closet. Especially when you’re a star athlete.

Here is Walker’s story (as told to reporter Terrence Hunley). It’s an inspiring piece, and one that may strike many as very familiar.

Congrats, Walker! We’re proud of you. You’re toaster oven will be shipped to you soon.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DFW Federal Club elects new co-chair

Steve Wiscaver

Steve Wiscaver

Steve Wiscaver has been elected as the new co-chair of the DFW Federal Club for 2016-2017. He will replace Chris Lindsey, who is completing his second year as co-chair, and joins Liz Rodriguez, who is starting her second year as co-chair, in heading up the organization.

Wiscaver has served on the DFW Federal Club Governing Committee for four years. He started out on the member services team setting up the monthly mixers, then became Member Services Committee co-chair. As co-chair of the committee, he began a number of new programs designed to reach out to new members, departing members and continuing members. He also led the Recruiting Committee for a while before returning to Member Services earlier this year.

Wiscaver was one of the Holiday Party chairs last year.

DFW Federal Club holds its October Mixer on Friday, Oct. 16, 6-8 p.m. at Renfield’s Corner, 2603 Routh St.

For more information about the organization visit the DFW Federal Club website.

—  Tammye Nash

JHud gives surprise private mini-concert at the W’s same-sex wedding

IMG_3173I teased readers this week that they might want to attend an event, sponsored by the W Victory Dallas Hotel and the HRC, where a same-sex couple would wed. I said Lady Bunny would be the DJ, and she was. But I didn’t say who the surprise musical guest would be … because, ya know, it was a surprise. So, following the beautiful ceremony on the 33rd floor of the W, promoting the #TurnItUpForChange movement HRC and W promote, the curtain behind the grooms dropped to reveal a gorgeous, soulful Jennifer Hudson, singing to the newlyweds (with a pair of hot backup dancers). It was an awesome moment for everyone.

We should all have weddings like this. Maybe the haters were right: Gays are ruining straight marriages … or at least weddings. Cuz we know how to bring it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jim Obergefell in Dallas

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Chad Griffin, left, and Jim Obergefell

Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the marriage equality case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26, was in Dallas on Monday, June 29, with Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.

At a press conference in downtown Dallas, Griffin said they had come to Texas to protest Attorney General Ken Paxton “encouraging obstruction and delay.”

Obergefell told his story of having to fly to Maryland from Ohio in order to marry his husband who was dying from ALS. After a ceremony in the plane, parked on the tarmac at a Baltimore airport, they were married for three months and 11 days. But they were together 20 years.

While Griffin thanked Obergefell for putting his life on hold for two years to fight the case that won marriage equality for the country, Obergefell said he was fighting to make sure his husband’s life was respected.

He repeated the story at a reception later that evening at the Round-Up Saloon.

“When John died, he deserved to have his last record say I was his surviving spouse,” Obergefell told a packed house at the Round-Up. “What better way to love him and respect him than to stand up to that bully attorney general.”

He was referring to Ohio’s attorney general but then called Paxton the same sort of bully.

“I didn’t put my life on hold for two years,” he said. “My life began as I fought for my husband and my community.”

He said that today his life is filled with family and friends from coast to coast and said his husband would be proud of him.

“Keep being pissed off and make your attorney general represent all of us,” he said.

 

 

—  David Taffet

Jim Obergefell and HRC President Chad Griffin at Round-Up tonight for celebration

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HRC President Chad Griffin

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin and Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision, will be at the Round-Up Inn, 3912 Cedar Springs, tonight at 6 p.m. to celebrate Friday’s historic ruling.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information check out the Facebook event here.

—  James Russell