Local Briefs • 09.10.10

Young Democrats group holding barbecue to honor first responders

Dallas County Young Democrats and Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats are holding a cookout Saturday, Sept. 10, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kidd Spring Park, 711 W. Canty St. in Dallas, in honor of the country’s first responders.

The second annual event is called “Serving Those Who Serve Us,” and all firefighters, police officers, military personnel and reservists and their

families get free admission. Others are asked to give a $5 donation. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Dallas Fire-Rescue.

For more information, contact Joseph Amyson at communityservice@dallasyoungdemocrats.org.

RCD marking LGBT Center Awareness Day with exhibit

Resource Center Dallas is joining with CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, to mark the second annual LGBT Center Awareness Day on Wednesday, Sept. 15, with a special display of items from the Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Research Library from noon to 6 p.m.

The items on special display will include a sign from the 1993 March on Washington signed by Dallas participants; a yard sign from the Proposition 2 election in 2005; a kissing booth from Queer Liberaction; a megaphone from Cheer Dallas; photographs from pioneering Dallas activist William Waybourn and photographs from Phil Johnson of Dallas’ Pride parade in 1984.

The theme of this year’s LGBT Center Awareness Day is “Building Our Community from the Center,” showcasing the integral role that community centers play in the development, unification, and empowerment of all LGBT communities. Events are also taking place at other local centers in celebration of the day.

Terry Stone, CenterLink’s executive director, said that each week, more than 40,000 people visit community centers in 46 states and the District of Columbia, accessing “programs and services that literally build community from the center.”

Cece Cox, executive director of Resosurce Center Dallas, said this community awareness day “is the perfect opportunity for people who are familiar with the center to learn about  what we are doing here, and for people new to the North Texas area this can be their first opportunity to learn about us.”

Last year, the Resource Center Dallas provided services to more than 50,000 people through activities such as GayBingo Dallas, diversity education, the Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Research library, an information hotline, community health programs, STD testing and other LGBT and HIV/AIDS programs, Cox said.

For more information about LGBT Center Awareness Day, go online to MyCenterLink.org. For more information about Resource Center Dallas, go online to RCDallas.org.

GAIN group for LGBT seniors holds potluck with drawings for prizes

Resource Center Dallas’ GAIN (GLBT+Aging Interest Network) will hold a potluck supper on Thursday, Sept. 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Resource Center Dallas, 2701 Reagan St.

GAIN committee members will furnish the meat dishes, including smoked brisket. They will also supply plates, utensils, wine and other beverages. Others who attend are asked to bring their favorite side dishes.

There will be several prize drawings during the event, including a drawing for a $50 gift card to Dish Restaurant.
Although the group is primarily for those 50 and older, everyone is welcome to attend the potluck.

Rainbow Garden Club offers garden tour in North Dallas

The Rainbow Garden Club North Texas will hold its third annual tour of members’ and friends’ gardens on Sunday Oct. 3, from noon to 6 p.m.
Gardens on this year’s tour are in Richardson and Northeast Dallas, and include a working farm, a secret garden, a tropical paradise, a garden for entertaining, a garden that is a tropical retreat and a garden with an Austin vibe.

Ticket are $10 and are available at Brumley Gardens, 10540 Church Road, North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northhaven Road, Redenta’s Garden, 2001 Skillman St., Shambala Body Gallery, 415 N. Bishop Ave. and Under the Sun Garden Center, 7124 Campbell Road.

Resource Center Dallas hires Neal as new director of development

Officials with Resource Center Dallas announced this week that the center has hired Sharon Neal as its new capital campaign director, effective Sept. 13. She will be responsible for planning, implementing, conceptualizing and evaluating the center’s capital campaign for a new building, and her job will include resource development, grant seeking and individual fundraising.

Cece Cox, RCD’s executive director, said Neal “brings a wealth of personal experience and a considerable background in capital campaign projects. The  center is committed to meeting the increasing demand for services and programs in a new home on Cedar Springs Road, just north of Inwood, and Sharon will help us make that dream come true.”

Neal most recently worked at KIPP TRUTH Academy in Dallas, where she served as the school’s director of development and led a $1.5 million dollar capital campaign. She previously served as managing director for the PaCRS group, where her non-profit and corporate clients included the Center for Nonprofit Management, the Verizon Foundation, Education is Freedom, Texans Care for Children, Cornerstone Assistance Network, Capital One and the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS.

Neal is also the former director of development for the Women’s Museum at Fair Park and held community outreach positions at both 7-Eleven Inc. and TXU Corporation.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University and a certificate of corporate citizenship from Boston University’s Carroll School of Management. She is an alumna of Leadership Texas.

Artists Against AIDS auction set for October at Community Arts Center

AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County’s annual Artists Against AIDS Silent Art Auction is set for Oct. 23, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

Artwork will be on display from Oct. 1 to Oct. 23.

The event will feature food, entertainment, an open bar with wine and beer and a silent auction including a selection of high-quality fine art from local and regional artists. Tickets for the auction and party are $75.

This year’s honorary co-chairs are state Sen. Wendy Davis, and Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns. Event co-chairs are Cynthia Hodgkins and Sarah Garrett.

Featured artists for the evening are Henrietta Milan and Eric Stevens.

ACLU executive director to speakat Oak Cliff Unitarian

Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, will will speak Sept. 15 on recent decisions by the Texas State Board of Education that some people believe were an abuse of authority by board members who forced their own personal ideologies into Texas public schools’ curricula.

The meeting will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff, 3839 W. Kiest Blvd. in Dallas. The event is co-sponsored by the ACLU of Texas and the Unitarian Church of Oak Cliff. Admission is free and open to the public.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 10, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

LGBT archives grow with artifacts and pics

Archives gives glimpse into the history and development of Dallas’ vibrant LGBT community

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

Morgan Fairchild, left, Faye Dunaway, right, present William Waybourn with a check for $50,000
MOMMIE DEAREST | Morgan Fairchild, left, Faye Dunaway, right, present William Waybourn with a check for $50,000 to help found the AIDS Resource Center. (Courtesy Phil Johnson Library)

Resource Center Dallas has been archiving the history of the LGBT community of Dallas since Phil Johnson donated his own collection to them in the 1990s.

Johnson had saved every issue of the Advocate, This Week in Texas and Dallas Voice since the magazines were founded. He also had clipped articles about the LGBT community from the Dallas Morning News and the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald since the 1940s.

The center recently received several new donations to add to the collection Johnson began.

Blake Wilkinson and Rick Vanderslice donated items from Queer LiberAction that will make one of the most stunning visual displays when the center has more space to display them, officials said. QL’s kissing booth, Milk box, megaphone, signs and fliers document a resurgence in activism that included a response to the Rainbow Lounge Raid.

When Cece Cox became executive director of the Resource Center, she found a bill the city sent to Gay Urban Truth Squad, a direct action protest group from the early 1980s that was Dallas’ version of ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power). The bill was for clean up after a protest on a plaza outside the convention center near City Hall.

Hundreds had gathered outside a political fundraiser where President George H.W. Bush was speaking for the largest AIDS protest that had been held in Dallas. Protesters chalked outlines of bodies on the sidewalk and wrote the name of someone they knew who had died of AIDS.

Those attending the fundraiser had to walk over those “bodies” as they left their event.

The bill listed charges of $81 for an electrician and $100 to powerwash the sidewalk. A note to pay with DGA funds is initialed by John Thomas, executive director of Resource Center Dallas at the time.

Cox has the bill framed in her office.

William Waybourn, who was one of the founders of Dallas Gay Alliance and the foundation that became Resource Center Dallas, also recently donated a number of pictures to the center from its early days.

Resource Center spokesperson Rafael McDonnell told the story — told to him by Waybourn — of how the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic received its initial funding after Waybourn spoke to Dr. Mathilde Krim, founder of the American Foundation For AIDS Research, about the lack of medical services for persons with AIDS in Dallas.

“The best thing we can do for someone with AIDS is get someone a bus ticket out of here,” Waybourn told her.

Together with the AmFAR’s founding chair Elizabeth Taylor, the organization donated $100,000 to start the clinic.

Paul von Wupperfeld recently donated a letter that he sent to George W. Bush’s campaign advisor, Karl Rove. In it, he asked Rove to help secure a meeting to encourage Bush to support hate crime legislation.

Other archive acquisitions include a Cheer Dallas megaphone and uniform. That group performed through the 1990s and were featured in a scene in the 1995 film “Jeffrey.”

Because of the enormous amount of documents and artifacts, much of the archives are kept off premises. To arrange to see or to use any of the collection, contact librarian Sandy Swann at Resource Center Dallas.

She said researchers working on master’s theses have contacted her about using documents.

“We had an English grad student studying drag performance in the DFW area,” she said. “He went back looking at old ads in the Voice, Texas Triangle and TWT.”

She said when Cathedral of Hope recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, she helped by providing material from the original Circle of Friends, the church’s founding group.

The archive also proved helpful to groups in the recent battle with DART over nondiscrimination based on gender identity, Swann said.

The Phil Johnson Library, Resource Center Dallas, 2701 Reagan Street. Mon., Wed. and Thurs. 10 a.m. –6 p.m.; Tues. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.;  Fri. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., and Sat. noon–4 p.m. Contact Swann for more information.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

New gay Dallas artifacts: A letter from Log Cabin to Karl Rove, QL’s kissing booth and these pics

Resource Center’s Rafael McDonnell informs us that RCD has made some notable acquisitions of late for its Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Library. For example, McDonnell said activists Blake Wilkinson and Rick Vanderslice recently dropped off some Queer LiberAction memorabilia, including a megaphone and the group’s patented kissing booth. Also, some recovering ex-Log Cabin Republicans provided a copy of a letter they wrote in the 1990s to Karl Rove, then an advisor to Gov. George W. Bush (we’re dying to read this). And finally, McDonnell sent over the below photos he took of photos that came in from William Waybourn, a pioneering Dallas gay-rights activist who now lives outside of Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, many of these items will have to be placed in storage for the time being due to space concerns. But McDonnell says Waybourn’s pics are slated for display at the Center. After the jump, we’ve posted a few a more of them along with Waybourn’s descriptions.

This is a photograph I took of John Thomas in the mid-1990s. He loved it, saying it captured the essence of who he was. Later, when AIDS began to take its toll on him, John wanted it used as his “official” photo because he was concerned that people wouldn’t remember how he looked before AIDS, and not as someone ravaged by the disease. On a side note, I asked John, Bill Nelson, Mike Richards or others appearing in the media on behalf of lesbian and gay issues to look presentable, e.g. wear coats and ties, etc. John and Charlotte Taft, then Dallas’ most “out” lesbian, were always media outstanding role models, skewing people’s impression of what they thought “activists” looked and sounded like.

—  John Wright