Dan Savage to appear at UNT in February 2012

The North Texas Daily posted today that the University of North Texas will bring in Dan Savage as the as the keynote speaker for the 12th Annual Equity and Diversity Conference. The one-day conference is set for Feb. 7 at the campus and will also feature Grammy-winner John Legend. Along with his morning appearance, there will also be a book signing with Savage later that day. From NTDaily.com:

The theme of this year’s event is “The power of peace is the harmony of inclusion,” chosen to address current issues faced by many students, said Uyen Tran, director of organization development for equity and diversity.

“Dan Savage came up a lot when we were deciding who to pick,” Tran said. “He’s really at the forefront of things and how to deal with the problems in society.”

During his speech, Savage will address the bullying epidemic of the past year, as well as his personal clash with cultural conservatives because of his homosexuality, according to the event’s website.

“The Multicultural Center believes no matter what your beliefs are, everyone does need to be treated with dignity,” Tran said. “There have been so many suicides because of a lack of this.”

Savage appeared in Dallas this March at The Kessler but mixed heavier topics of coming out and bullying and his It Gets Better project  with relationship advice made famous from his syndicated column and show Savage Love. For more information on the conference, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Putting the final touches on Black Tie

Co-chairs hoping for banner year as fundraiser marks its 30th year

TAMMYE NASH  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com
With two weeks left to go before the annual Black Tie Dinner, organizers are busy putting the finishing touches on what BTD Co-chairs Nan Arnold and Chris Kouvelis said this week will be one of the most outstanding events in the dinner’s 30-year history.

“We have a particularly good line up for the dinner this year,” Arnold said. “We are absolutely thrilled to have Marlee Matlin as our keynote speaker this year. And we have an emcee — Caroline Rhea — this year for the first time. I am sure our patrons will be glad they don’t have to listen to me and Chris all night!”

Award-winning actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson of television’s Modern Family will be on hand to accept the 2011 Media Award, and singer Taylor Dayne will provide entertainment.

Gay Marine veteran Eric Alva, the first U.S. serviceman injured in the war in Iraq, will receive the Elizabeth Birch Equality Award, and partners Chet Flake and the late Bud Knight will receive the Kuchling Humanitarian Award.

Arnold noted that tables at the dinner sold out in August, “before we even announced that Marlee Matlin would be our guest speaker. We were just ecstatic when we sold out that early. I think that is the earliest date we’ve ever sold out,” Arnold said.

But the co-chairs also pointed out that there is a waiting list available for regular and VIP individual tickets that might become available at the last minute. “Anyone who still wants to buy a ticket can go online to our website, BlackTie.org, and get on the waiting list. Or if you want to talk to someone directly, email Mitzi Lemons at mlemons@blacktie.org,” Kouvelis said.

Arnold added, “We will also accept cash donations from folks who want to support the organization but can’t attend the dinner.”

“Thirty years is a huge milestone, no doubt. But we had a huge retrospective for our 25th anniversary, bringing in past board members and honorees from out of town and looking back at the history of Black Tie, and that wasn’t that long ago,” Arnold said. “So we chose to focus on having a celebration, on looking ahead to 30 more great years. That’s why we chose ‘Shine’ as our theme this year, because we want to shine a light into the future.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 28, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pride 2011 • Black Pride: Much more than just a party

DFW Pride Movement has scheduled a full weekend of programs on HIV, relationship issues, trans issues and more, but they didn’t forget the party

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

For many people, when they think of “Pride,” they think of parades and parties. But for DFW Pride Movement/Dallas Black Pride, “Pride” means going beyond the parties to offer a slate of programs and events intended to “move the community forward and empower the people,” DFW Pride Movement Executive Director Derek Spillman said.

“There’s nothing wrong with parties, we just wanted to offer more,” Spillman said of DFW Pride Movement, the local affiliate of the International Federation of Black Prides. “We are not a party promoter. There are party promoters who have chosen to work with us and to hold parties in conjunction with our Black Pride events,” Spillman said. “Our purpose, though, is to have a weekend of programs that focus on the cultural aspects of Black Pride, that focus on social justice and advocacy.”

Spillman said that the theme for this year’s Dallas Black Pride, set for Sept. 39-Oct. 2, is “HisSTORY and HerSTORY,” and events will focus, in part, on combating the spread of HIV/AIDS in the black community.

The host hotel is the Marriott City Center in downtown Dallas, and most of the programs take place there.

This year, Spillman said, Dallas Black Pride organizers wanted to tie in some of its programs with an HIV vaccine trial underway at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and has done so by bringing in a number of speakers who will focus on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS among African-Americans.

In fact, the first major program of the weekend will be the Black LGBT Community Summit on Friday, Sept. 30, featuring keynote speaker Christopher Bates, senior public health advisor to the deputy assistant secretary for health, infectious diseases, and executive director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

The program takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the host hotel.

The programs continue Saturday, Oct. 1, with the Empowerment Series starting with Session 1, from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. It offers attendees a choice between a panel on Lambda

Legal, presented by Lambda’s Southwest Regional Director Omar Narvaez; “TRANScending All Obstacles,” presented by Carter Brown with Black Trans Men; “Financial FREEdom,” presented by Treach Wilson; and “If It’s So Wrong, Why Does It Feel So Right?” presented by Alex Byrd.

Options in Session 2, from 11 a.m. to noon, are “Stonewall Democrats,” presented by Omar Narvaez; “Erotic Play for Men: Serious Business,” presented by Dr. Herukhuit; and “Make

It Last Forever,” presented by the DFW Senators.

The noon special session will be “HisStory/HerStory: Telling Our Story — An Intergenerational Discussion.”

Session 3 will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and will include “Lying and Dying in Denial,” presented by author and poet Uriah Bell; “Sex and HIV Prevention Behind Prison Walls,” presented by Mychael Patterson; “Project Vogue,” presented by Stephaun Blahnik; and “The Ex-Factor: No More Drama — For Real,” presented by Q-Roc TV.

The final session of the day runs from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., and includes panels on “TRANSformation,” presented by Valerie Spencer and Kennedy Davenport; “HIV Through the

Looking Glass,” presented by Deneen Robinson; and “That’s Not Love, That’s Stupid!” presented by Angela Harvey.

The day’s programs wind up with “The Official Dallas Social Affair: Tweet & Greet, Part 2” from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a live taping of GLO TV’s “UNCUT: Sex and the Modern Man” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There will also be a “Greater Than AIDS” photo shoot from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and “The Movement: Full Throttle Fashion Explosion” from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., and parties hosted by a variety of community organizations beginning at 11 p.m.

The weekend concludes Sunday with worship services at noon at Living Faith Covenant Church and Black Pride Dinner at Catfish Blues from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Spillman noted that organizers designed the weekend’s schedule with the intention of reaching out to as many different aspects and interests of the community as possible. He said organizers were especially glad to have adult film stars Deneen Robinson, Ty Lattimore and Rock Rockafella attending to talk about HIV from the perspective of the adult entertainment industry.

“These men will be appearing at some of the parties throughout the weekend also, but their main reason for being here is to talk to people about HIV and AIDS, and how everyone should protect themselves and how everyone should get tested,” Spillman said.

In another effort to encourage people to get tested, he added, everyone who gets tested can get their names entered into a raffle, with the prize being the opportunity to be a VIP guest of the celebrity of their choice at that evening’s parties.

“We want people to have a good time, and we want people to celebrate Pride,” Spillman said. “But we also want people to celebrate our culture and our community, and to learn and expand their thinking. These are the kinds of things we’ve been charged with doing by the International Federation of Black Prides, and these are the things that are important for our future.”

A full schedule and more information on special guests and parties can be found online at DFWPrideMovement.org.

……………………

The ‘Circus’ Circuit Party

Dallas Southern Pride, the Black Gay Pride circuit party held each year on the first weekend in October, returns this year with “Cirque, Cirque! Life is a Circus & We Are Your Ring Masters!” Sept. 29-Oct. 2, with Park Inn by Radisson as the host hotel.

Dallas Southern Pride kicks off Thursday, Sept. 29 with Hip Hop for Pride at Station 4, and continues Friday, Sept. 30 with the All-Star Pride Pre-Ball Party at Elm & Pearl and Cirque du Freak Ball at The Brick.

Saturday’s line-up includes a Grambling vs. Prairie View tailgate party at Level, Elm & Pearl’s Seductive Saturday’s Femme Figure, Cirque du Femme: Strawberries and Chocolate at Level, and Cirque du Male: Party Under the Big Top at The New J. Pepes.

The weekend concludes Sunday with The Official After Party/Lip Stick Ball, presented at the host hotel by Elm & Pearl and Dallas Southern Pride; The Family Affair Carnival at Elm & Pearl; and The “Whip My Hair” Hair Show and After Party at The Brick.

For complete details for all events, go online to DallasSouthernPride.com.
— Tammye Nash

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

—  Kevin Thomas

BIG SUCCESS

CELEBRATING PROGRESS  | Trial lawyer Lisa Blue Baron, center, was the keynote speaker at the recent Landmark Dinner, benefiting Lambda Legal and marking the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas declaring the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional. The event, held at the W Hotel Dallas, raised more than $120,000, a record for Lambda Legal’s Southwest Regional Office in Dallas. Also during the dinner, American Airlines was presented with the Corporate Equality Award, Jackson Walker was presented with the Law Firm Equality Award and Dr. Mark Parker and Eric Johnson were presented with the Persons of Style Award. Pictured with Baron are Lambda Legal Leadership Committee member Brian Bleeker and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Black Tie Dinner sells out

Individual tickets may still be available from beneficiaries

Last year’s Black Tie Dinner chairs Nan Faith Arnold and Ron Guillard

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

All tables for the 30th Black Tie Dinner — scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12 — have been sold, Black Tie officials announced this week.

A wait list has started should any tables become available, and some tickets may still be available through individuals and beneficiary organizations that have paid for tables but not sold all of the seats.

“We are really thrilled to be more than two months out and already at capacity,” Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair Nan Arnold said this week. “It appears that all of the sponsors, supporters and volunteers — and the [members of the ] board of directors — are more excited than ever. We have an incredible line-up for the evening.”

Stand-up comedian and actress Caroline Rhea will be the emcee for the evening. Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin is the keynote speaker, and Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson will accept the Media Award.

Eric Alva, a gay man who was the first American soldier to be injured in Iraq, will receive the Elizabeth Birch Equality Award. Local activists Chet Flake and his partner, the late Bud Knight, will receive the Ray Kuchling Humanitarian Award.

This year, 18 local organizations and the Human Rights Campaign will benefit from the dinner. Each local beneficiary must have a minimum of five affiliated tables, sell at least 25 raffle tickets and provide at least 50 volunteer hours.

The raffle is for a 2012 Mercedes Benz C300 Sport Coupe.

Since it was founded in 1982, Black Tie Dinner has grown into the largest annual seated dinner in the Southwest and is the largest LGBT fundraiser in the United States.

Black Tie Dinner takes place at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Dallas on Nov. 12. Tickets are $300 per seat. Anyone interested in individual tickets should contact Mitzi Lemons at mlemons@blacktie.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

LANDMARK EVENT

SUCCESS | Lisa Blue Baron, center, keynote speaker for the Landmark Dinner held Aug. 13 at the W Hotel is pictured with Lambda Legal Leadership Committee member Brian Bleeker and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. The event raised more than $120,000 for Lambda Legal. (Photo courtesy Debra Gloria)

—  John Wright

Texas Stonewall announces 2011 awards

DANIEL GRANEY  |  TEXAS STONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS

The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus (TSDC) announced that it will present three awards at its Second Biennial Statewide Conference in Austin on March 6. The awards will recognize a TSDC member for outstanding leadership, a local Stonewall Democrats chapter for its political achievements and a politician for her advocacy of LGBT equality in the Texas Legislature.

The awards will be presented during a Sunday brunch featuring keynote speaker Mara Keisling, a nationally known transgender activist and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

And the honorees are …

—  John Wright

Gov. Rick Perry won’t join anti-gay boycott of CPAC — in fact, he’ll be a keynote speaker

Gov. Rick Perry

As we’ve mentioned before, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has apparently opted not to join the growing anti-gay boycott of this year’s “Republican Woodstock” — the annual Conservative Political Action Conference next week.

In fact, according to the Dallas Morning News, Perry has landed a keynote speaking slot at CPAC, where he may be rubbing elbows with people like Lt. Dan Choi. (Note that the first and only comment below the DMN post is this: “Why no mention of the speakers not coming to CPAC this year because of the presence of Gay Republicans?”)

Lawmakers boycotting CPAC this year over the inclusion of the gay Republican group GOProud include Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. And the boycott is being led by some of Perry’s favorite groups — such as the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation.

Alas, it appears politics and ego will always trump conviction and loyalty for Perry, who may have his sights set on the White House in 2012. But again, why no backlash from the right-wingers in Texas who’ve been so supportive of Perry?

Anyhow, we’re hoping Perry seeks the Republican presidential nomination next year. If nothing else, a national campaign will undoubtedly mean a much closer look at those pesky gay rumors.

UPDATE: Perry will make it to CPAC, but he won’t make it to the Super Bowl in his own state. Plus, he wasn’t around for Texas’ cold weather emergency this week. He’s in Southern California. What a douche.

—  John Wright

Looking for the gays at the Veterans Day Parade

Adm. Patrick Walsh

Parades are always a good place to take a great front-page photo. But since we are the Dallas Voice we’re looking for great LGBT subjects to be front and center in those photos. I made some calls this morning, but found no one going to the Veterans Day Parade.

I got downtown just in time for the 11 a.m. festivities.

Adm. Patrick Walsh was the keynote speaker. Walsh, who is from Dallas, is commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Also speaking were Gov. Rick Perry and Mayor Tom Leppert. City councilmembers and U.S. Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Jeb Hensarling were also on the podium in front of City Hall.

Nice reception by the crowd for Leppert. Wild reception for Perry. Didn’t he lose here in Dallas? Guess it was just the crowd.

So in my quest to find gay vets, I did what I always do. I asked.

The Marines had a tent. I asked.

“Hi. I’m from Dallas Voice,” I said with my press pass dangling and my largest telephoto lens attached to my camera to make myself seem more pressy. “I’m looking for any gay or lesbian vets. Any with your group?”

Gov. Rick Perry

I might as well have been speaking to them in Russian.

Oh well. Army tent nearby. “Hey. Dallas Voice here. You guys know if any of the gay vets groups are marching?”

A slow shake of the head indicated, at least to me, that I actually was speaking in English.

One last chance. The Navy. My father was in the Navy during World War II and today’s parade was in honor of World War II vets. Actually, my father did everything he could to stay out of the Navy. He and his brother, Milt, volunteered to work through most of the war in Washington. They were engineers and worked on a project that created the first radar system.That did a good job of keeping him out, until 1944 when he was drafted.

So I approached the Navy with more confidence, being from a Navy family.

“Hi. Dallas Voice. I’m looking for some gay or lesbian vets. You see any you know here?” I asked.

They laughed. I laughed. They were thinking and trying to be helpful.

“It’s OK. I got some great pics. We’ll find something colorful to use,” I said.

And we did.

Happy Veterans Day to all the LGBT as well as straight vets.

Classic Corvette Club honored WW II veterans

—  David Taffet

2010 Black Tie Dinner

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

The 2010 Black Tie Dinner will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

The theme for the annual fundraising event this year is “Stand Strong.”

Keynote speaker for the evening will be openly-lesbianof Wisconsin. The Rev. Carol West will received the KuchlingHumanitarian Award, and American Airlines will receive the Elizabeth Birch Equality Award. Activist and businessman Mitch Gold will be on hand to present the Media Award to out lesbian and country/western star Chely Wright.

Special entertainment will be provided by Broadway star Gavin Creel and the Turtle Creek Chorale.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 5, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens