LSR Journal:Pedalling — and padding — his way to Zen

Chef Kerry Chace says cycling is a great way to burn off calories and relax, as long as you’ve got the proper gear

Kerry-Chace.LSR-cutout
Kerry Chace

M.M. Adjarian  |  Contributing Writer
editor@dallasvoice.com

If you had told Kerry Chace a few years ago that cycling would one day become akin to a spiritual practice, he would’ve thought you were joking. But now, the joke’s on him.

This second-year Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS cyclist can’t imagine not spending his spare time pedalling for his body and mind as well as his community.

“I’m a corporate chef so I consume a lot of calories during the week, and I have to burn them off,” Chace grins. “So every weekend I’ve got to get on my bike and burn off as many doughnuts as possible.”

Chace came to LSRFA last year after he saw a Twitter post about it. When he signed up to participate, though, he had no time to do any of the fundraising required of each cyclist: It was already mid-September — just two weeks before the event.

But that didn’t stop him.

“I just wrote the check myself at registration,” Chace recalls. “And all of a sudden, I was in the Ride.”

The Calgary native was no stranger to charity cycling events and had participated in the 1998 Texas Tanqueray AIDS Ride. But once the TTAR was over, he didn’t saddle up for another 12 years.

On a whim, Chace finally rolled out his bicycle again in the spring of 2010 and decided to go around White Rock Lake.

“[One day], some guy came up beside me and said, ‘Dude, you need to get a better bike.’ [I suddenly became aware that] I was pushing big fat tires and an old bicycle.”

And, Chace said, that wasn’t his only sudden realization.

“What you see on a bike [is not what] you would see if you were in the car,” he says. “If you’re up by White Rock Lake, you can see the sailboats. It’s amazing what you become aware of and smell and see.”

To hear Chace talk, you would almost think that he is describing a spiritual experience. And in fact, he is: His lakeside outings helped him find inner tranquility and balance.

“I’ve told others that maybe [the feeling comes] because I’m moving faster than my brain is working,” he explains. “It’s a very calm feeling I get when I’m riding, even though it could be 110 degrees and I’m going uphill.

“I just kind of lose myself, so I say that it’s yoga on wheels.”

He chuckles: “Some people think I’m absolutely crazy. But while I’m riding, my mind is clear; it’s really Zen.”

His cycling experiences have only been enhanced by participating in the LSRFA. Not only has the Dallas chef been able to indulge his newfound passion for “yoga on wheels,” he’s also been able to make many new friends while celebrating the lives of those he’s lost to the AIDS epidemic.

Chace says he has also gotten to know a lot about himself and the proper way to enjoy cycling.

“I remember when I first got my jersey and bike shorts. I didn’t think [the shorts] were very flattering; it was vanity, I guess. I’m like, ‘Wow, this doesn’t make my butt look very good.’ So I got some really cheap ones with very thin padding,” he recalls.

Chace now understands that to achieve a state of Zen bliss, he must be mindful of the choices he makes on the physical plane.

“You really want as much padding as you can back there,” he grins. “Get yourself a good pair of shorts or you will be looking for a pillow.”

Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS will be held Sept. 24-25. To donate to an individual rider, to a team or to the Ride itself, go online to LoneStarRide.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

LSR Journal: New friends and a new commitment

Ana-Maria Baker started out last year as a LSRFA cyclist because she saw it as another way to get fit. Then she made friends with riders who were HIV-positive, and her view of the ride changed

Ana-Maria Baker

M.M. ADJARIAN  |  Contributing Writer
editor@dallasvoice.com

The Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS may have been born in the Dallas-Fort Worth LGBT community. But as second-year cyclist Ana-Maria Baker well knows, the HIV/AIDS epidemic affects everyone — and you don’t have to be gay to care.

Baker, a revenue management professional for Hilton Hotels, came to participate in LSRFA the same way that so many other people do: through the suggestion of a friend who happened to have been affiliated with the ride.

“He [the friend] knew that I was into fitness,” Baker says. “And I thought it would be a good challenge for me, so I signed up.”

Although Baker was a runner and a regular at her local gym, she was totally new to cycling. But once in the saddle, she became happily addicted to the two-wheeled experience.

“It’s awesome!” she raves. “With working out, you can get bored because your body gets used to it. But every time [I go cycling], it’s something new.”

The fact that she was doing something she adored in service of a good cause made it that much easier for her to keep up with her newfound hobby. But it was the relationships she established along the way that made her want to commit to LSRFA long term.

“I made a particularly good set of friends last year,” recalls Baker. “On the morning before the ride, I noticed they all had the same jerseys on. And I said, ‘Hey, how come I didn’t get the message about the matching jerseys?’

“One of them made a joke and said, ‘Honey, you don’t want to wear this jersey,’” she continues. “[Then I found out] that the jersey stood for the Positive Pedaler team — my [new] friends were all HIV-positive.”

In the blink of an eye, what for Baker had just been a fitness event suddenly became much more personal.

“These were people I had gotten to know really well,” she says. “[But] I had [had] no idea that they were impacted by the disease. It stopped me in my tracks and made me realize what I was riding for.”

The event has now become a family affair. This year, Baker’s husband, a paramedic, will be serving on the LSRFA medical team.

“He’s gotten to know some of the friends I made last year, so he really wants to be part of it, too,” Baker says. “He wants to help out because he thinks the LSRFA is such a neat thing.”

As straight supporters of the ride, the Bakers know they are in the minority. But this fact doesn’t faze either one of them.

“Nobody makes you feel any different because [ultimately] you aren’t,” says the sophomore cyclist.

Her participation in LSRFA has also given Baker insights that have deepened her understanding of the friends and community on whose behalf she — and now her husband — volunteer.

“I feel that the gay community is a lot more accepting than the straight community,” Baker remarks. “And for them to be so accepting of me — well, it just makes me sad for the straight community and how we treat [LGBT people].”

Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS will be held Sept. 24-25. To donate to an individual rider, to a team or to the Ride itself, go online to LoneStarRide.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Break out the circumcision jokes

As the Life+Style editor here, I get a lot of pitches for stories. Lately, people have been really hawking the Bible (“Who was Moses?,” “How can we get kids to read the Bible more?”), but easily the oddest one today was this from the Jewish Community Center of Dallas, which is hosting a one-night-only performance of a comedy — yes, comedy — called Circumcise Me. OK, now the flier itself describes the show as “on the cutting edge” so they at least get the joke, but really? I mean, where can we go with this?

So I throw it out there to you: What are your favorite zingers to describe this kind of show? I’ll get us started: “Might as well bring your friends — after all, the mohel, the merrier”… or how about, “Four stars? I give it foreskins!” … or maybe, “A slice of life story.”

Let’s hear yours.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

OFA’s ‘Petition to Nowhere’ on DADT is a joke, and the joke’s on you

And some people wonder why we’ve called on the gay community, and our allies, to stop donating to this increasingly worthless organization.

Organizing for America – formerly Obama for America, but now an arm of the DNC and the White House – just sent out an email to (some of?) their members about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Did the email call on OFA’s twelve million or so members to bombard wavering Senators with phone calls in support of repealing DADT?

No.

So what did OFA’s email provide as an action on DADT? They ask you to sign a public declaration that you stand with the president for the repeal of DADT.

Ooh, that should scare wavering Senators. Not an action alert targeting individual Senators, not an effort to raise money for ads targeting those Senators, but rather, a petition to nobody.

Now, how, you might ask, does a petition to nobody help us pass the DADT compromise? It doesn’t. But OFA’s efforts on DADT aren’t about actually getting DADT repealed. We’ve written about their fake support for our civil rights before. They”re about raising more gay money for the DNC. (Note that after you sign the Petition to Nowhere, you’re sent to a DNC fundraising page.)

The second reason OFA is doing this, they’re scared. Of you. But not nearly scared enough. Rather than actually doing something to help repeal DADT, the president’s henchmen at OFA and the DNC are sending out fake action alerts, that accomplish nothing, in the hopes that you’ll be duped into thinking they’re doing something to help the gays. When they’re really not.

And you could almost forgive OFA for trying to collect more names and email addresses of gay supporters – or even raise money from gay supporters – if OFA had any plans to actually do something, anything, pro-gay, for real, at any time in the future.

Joe and I, for example, are asking folks to sign a public letter to President Obama, that we will deliver to the White House, calling on him to start making some phone calls to wavering Senators about DADT repeal. Note the concrete message, and the concrete action we want. Note the very public way in which we’re trying to pressure the president to act. That’s what effective advocacy is about – doing something that has a concrete, effective goal, and doing it in a way that has a chance at influencing the person you’re going after. OFA’s “alert” doesn’t target anyone. It’s quite literally “the petition to nowhere.”

The Democratic party isn’t interested in helping you get your civil rights. They’re not building this list, and this war chest, in order to help you finally share in the American dream. They’re treating you like an ATM. And a rather mindless ATM at that.

Well this GayTM is closed.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

If Westboro seems like a joke, here’s the kicker(s)

How the rest of us kick off the Christmas season:

How two members of Westboro Baptist Church’s aggressively anti-gay Phelps family do it:

Hmm..the form’s not terrible, especially in the case of Jael (on the left). But I don’t know — the costumes and setting leave me kind of cold, and not in that good, nippy, holiday way. The wrapped package that the other one (Sarah, I believe) is holding isn’t wrapped in anything resembling tinsel. Plus call me a sucker for nostalgia if you must, but there’s just something about the Radio City stage that seems far more festive as a dance floor than does our nation’s treasured flag.

So yea: Santa’s little helpers for the win! Better luck next year, those rehearsing for Satan’s choreographed arrival!




Good As You

—  admin

Jenny McCarthy and Betty White in a lesbian calendar: Should they or shouldn’t they?

Jenny McCarthy, left, and Betty White: Calendar girls?

I adore Betty White. One of my all-time favorite movies is Lake Placid, and it is her character in the movie that makes it great. And then there is her hysterical TV commercial for Snickers candy bars. And so much more.

And Jenny McCarthy — the 1994 Playboy Playmate of the Year — is undeniably hot. And funny.

But what about the idea of Betty and Jenny appearing together in a lesbian calendar?

McCarthy brought up the idea in a post on Twitter on Tuesday, probably just as a joke. But apparently, the idea is getting a lot of positive response. At first, I was a little leery. I mean, what is a “lesbian calendar” anyway? Are we talking about nude or semi-nude poses of Jenny and Betty in romantic poses together? Are we talking about photos of the two of them with other women?

At first, I wasn’t too sure about the idea. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. And a poll on SodaAhead.com agrees with me (although just barely): 42 percent said yes; 37 percent said no, and 21 percent were undecided. (Of course, the actual importance of the poll is questionable, since there were only 19 votes total when I posted this.)

So what do you think? Should they do it? Would you buy the calendar?

—  admin

Ron Howard defends the fag joke

By now you may have heard that Ron Howard has a new movie coming out that includes a line where a character says about an electric car, “it’s gay.” Universal pulled the joke from the movie’s trailer since, you know, scores of gay kids just happened to be killing themselves after being bullied.

But Ron Howard says the joke is staying in the film. And his reasons are as warm and all-American as embracing a n-word joke.

Let me share a little bit of what Howard had to say about gay jokes.

So why was the joke in the movie? Our lead character of Ronny Valentine has a mouth that sometimes gets him into trouble and he definitely flirts with the line of what’s okay to say. He tries to do what’s right but sometimes falls short. Who can’t relate to that? I am drawn to films that have a variety of characters with different points of view who clash, conflict and learn to live with each other. THE DILEMMA is a story full of flawed characters whose lives are complicated by the things they say to and hide from each other. Ronny is far from perfect and he does and says some outrageous things along the way.

Good try.

You see, you can really only get away with using fag jokes to show how bad a character is when you actually show how bad a character is for demeaning gay people. For example, when Finn in Glee used the word “faggy,” he was ripped to shreds by an adult in the popular TV series, thus sending the message that it’s not okay. Is the lead character in Howard’s film going to be ripped to shreds for calling something “gay”? Somehow I doubt it.

Now, note how Howard referred to the recent spate of gay suicides:

It’s true that the moment took on extra significance in light of some events that surrounded the release of the trailer…

Did you catch that? The recent tragic suicides of young gay kids are “some events.” Nice.

More from Howard:

I believe in sensitivity but not censorship.

Do you tell n-word jokes, Mr. Howard? I’m going to guess that you don’t. And if you don’t, is that “censorship” or simply being a decent human being?

It is a slight moment in THE DILEMMA meant to demonstrate an aspect of our lead character’s personality

I cry BS on that one. Does Howard really want us to believe that the audience is going to recoil in horror at what a bigot the lead character is for saying “it’s gay”? Seriously? The audience is going to laugh. It’s not going to be a teaching moment, it’s not going to show anything about the character’s personality other than he’s funny and cool because he mocks fags.

Did you think it wasn’t offensive? I don’t strip my films of everything that I might personally find inappropriate. Comedy or drama, I’m always trying to make choices that stir the audience in all kinds of ways.

Right. We’re to believe that Ron Howard put the “gay” joke in to help stir the audience. Or was the joke put in because Hollywood is notoriously more than a tad homophobic and Howard thought it might be funny to put a fag joke in, since that’s what regular funny guys do, they tell fag jokes?

But if storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought.

Again, you only get strong-armed when you think it’s okay to throw bigoted jokes in your movies. If you got it, if you didn’t find bigotry funny, you wouldn’t put it in in the first place. And when notified of it, you’d take it out because it would offend YOU. Again, would Ron Howard have a character tell a black joke simply because he knew the audience would find it funny? I somehow doubt it. He’s using a free speech smokescreen to keep a fag joke in his movie because he thinks it’s funny and not a big deal.

You can read the rest of the interview for yourself.

Look, I can handle the fact that Howard doesn’t want to be censored. But if Howard understood the problem, he wouldn’t have put the joke in the script to start with – or he’d have another well-liked character tell the bigot that it’s really not right to use that kind of language. But I’m gonna bet that no such teaching moment happens in Ron Howard’s film. It’s Howard’s own intolerance that’s forcing others to be intolerant with him. And at some point, artists, and everyone else in society, have to stop using free speech to justify bigotry. Yes, you have the right to be a bigot, and we have the right to call you on it.

Oh, and next time you get interviewed about the topic, Mr. Howard, show a little respect for all the kids who have killed themselves by referring to their deaths as something other than “some events.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Ron Howard Refuses to Remove Antigay Joke

VINCE VAUGHN THE DILEMMA X390 (GRAB) | ADVOCATE.COMDirector Ron Howard and Universal Studios have refused to remove the
controversial antigay joke from the upcoming Vince Vaughn comedy The Dilemma, which is scheduled for release in January 2011.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

This is SO messed up…please tell me this is a joke.

Does this give you the creeps or what?

“I just got done welcoming Sarah Palin to our County. Had a nice chat and gave her a pair of pink underwear.” — Sheriff Joe Arpaio http://twitpic.com/2zw5gn

I just got done welcoming Sarah Palin to our County. Had a ni... on Twitpic
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Vince Vaughn Defends Anti-Gay Joke in ‘The Dilemma’

Dilemma

In late September, I posted the trailer to the Vince Vaughn/Kevin James film The Dilemma, which opened with an off-putting "electric cars are gay" joke, and after a reference from CNN's Anderson Cooper (and an up-till-then ignored request from GLAAD) the trailer was edited. GLAAD requested the joke be edited out of the film as well.

Now, Vince Vaughn is defending the joke:

"Let me add my voice of support to the people outraged by the bullying and persecution of people for their differences, whatever those differences may be. Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together. Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?"

The problem is that Vaughn can't join the outrage over anti-gay bullying while contributing to (and collecting a paycheck for) the derogatory dialogue which to some makes that bullying permissible.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright