GDMAF fundraiser brings Sweet Savage back to Dallas

fundraiser

David Hearn doesn’t come off like your usual party promoter. He has a little bit of Texas twang mixed with some quiet reserve. You might never believe Hearn is the guy behind the annual Metro Ball and Friday’s Gaga-a-Gogo party at the Brick.

“Well, I hosted what had always been known as the Virgo Party and that started 22 years ago,” he says. “It got too big for my small Plano house so I moved it to Dallas.”

But Hearn isn’t just a guy throwing parties — at least not anymore. Now, both annual events are for a reason and that’s the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, named after his partner, whom he lost to the disease in 1994. Two years later, the fund was created and over time, the fund has helped those with unique needs.

“We step in and help with issues that are a bit different,” he explains. “We helped replace one person’s tires so he could travel to his doctor. We worked to get one man a refrigerator because he had medicine that needed to kept cool. Where agencies can’t quite help, we can.”

But with funding cutbacks and a troubled economy, GDMAF works to keep up through  special events. Friday’s Gaga-A-Gogo party fulfills that, but also brings back the iconic Dallas drag queen Sweet Savage as Lady Gaga, pictured.

“We’re glad she’s coming to do this,”  Hearn says. “I know many of the people will remember her from days before.”

Dressing up in costume was a big part of Hearn’s old parties and with a nod to that, he encourages those to partake in the Gaga “hat and hair” contest. While Savage goes all out with her look, guests can get their own bad romance on with a Gaga-esque hat or ’do.

“We tried to make this event a little smaller, but with plenty of fun things to do,” he says. “We know its hard to continue to give, but we just hope to up the level of donations and continue to help relieve some of the stress people inevitably face.”

— Rich Lopez

The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave.
7 p.m. $20.
GDMAF.org.

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

—  Kevin Thomas

What’s Brewing: Anti-gay lawmaker resigns amid Grindr scandal; Santorum accuses gays of ‘jihad’

Sen. Roberto Arango on Grindr

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. An anti-gay Puerto Rico lawmaker has resigned after he was caught posting nude pics on Grindr. In what has to be one of the worst defenses ever, Republican Sen. Roberto Arango initially tried to claim that he took the photos — which included one taken from behind with him on all fours — to document his recent weight loss. Not surprisingly, Arango has opposed both same-sex marriage and civil unions in Puerto Rico, and he once mocked a political opponent with an anti-gay epithet.

2. Not to be outdone by Texas Gov. Rick Perry — who signed an anti-gay marriage pledge on Friday and has raised eyebrows for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism in one of his books — GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is accusing the gays of conducting a “jihad” against him.

3. Lady Gaga performed as drag persona/male alter ego Jo Calderone to open MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday night. Gaga also took home the Best Video With A Message Award for “Born This Way.” Gaga even tried to kiss Britney Spears, who wasn’t having it. Watch Gaga perform “You and I” as Calderone below.

 

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music, Lady Gaga

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Gov. Perry silent so far on LGBT issues; Pink Noise moves to Rational Radio

Gov. Rick Perry strikes an, umm, rather unfortunate pose on the campaign trail this week.

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has already jumped into first place in the Republican presidential race, according to the latest Rasmussen Results poll.  Of course, the poll was conducted before it was widely reported that Perry had accused Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke of being a traitor. Meanwhile, it’s worth nothing that, as far as we can tell, the rabidly anti-gay Perry hasn’t said a word about LGBT issues since entering the presidential race four days ago. And even fellow bigot Michele Bachmann is toning down her anti-gay rhetoric. That’s because it’s no longer terribly effective as a wedge issue, even in a Republican primary. Still, these candidates can’t hide from their records, and we fully expect Perry to sign that anti-gay marriage pledge from the National Organization for Marriage any day now.

2. Pink Noise: The Dallas Voice Radio Show, which was previously a podcast done from our offices, is moving to Rational Radio beginning this week. The show will air from 4 to 5 p.m. each Friday. Follow Pink Noise on Facebook and Twitter, and tune in to RationalRadio.org to watch our first episode live. We’ll also post recordings of Pink Noise right here on Instant Tea.

3.Lady Gaga released the video for “You and I” — the latest single from Born This Way — on Tuesday. Watch it below.

—  John Wright

‘Glee’ fully

Concert film of the gay-inclusive sitcom is as empowering as Bieber, but far more relevant

glee-the-3d-concert-movie-GLEE_Live_Day_2-SHOW_0833_R_rgb
DON’T STOP | Lovable losers of the New Directions choir take to the stage as rock gods in the hybrid music celebration ‘Glee The 3D Concert Movie.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

You know that cliché that life’s not about the destination, but the journey? Well, that’s kinda true of Glee, too — specifically, the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

That anthem, which was performed at the conclusion the pilot episode of the series about Midwestern high school students coming to terms with their loser-hood, set the stage for what has become a cultural touchstone: A series that celebrated outcasts in the same way Lady Gaga has. Little Monsters, Gleeks … they’re all nerds with iPods and a sense of humor. (New Directions even performs “Born this Way,” speaking to its timeliness.)

“Don’t Stop Believin’” also kicks off the new theatrical release Glee The 3D Concert Movie, and is played during the closing credits. Hey, when you have a formula that works, why introduce New Coke?

But this concert film is a strange hybrid — neither fully part of the series nor outside of it. The cast of Glee perform their hits songs, but all in character as their teen counterparts; in backstage interviews (and for the fans out front), they maintain the façade that 29-year-old actor Cory Monteith is really 17-year-old virginal jock Finn Hudson. That creates a convolution, if not a paradox: The Glee kids are lovable because they are nobodies, so why has all of New Jersey showed up to the Meadowlands to watch them perform an arena-rock concert with enough special effects to start a James Cameron film? When gay kid Kurt (Chris Colfer) looks at the camera to say, “Thank you for loving me” to his adoring fans, is he still Kurt?

Once you can get beyond this peculiarity, you begin to enjoy the film for what it is — that is, if you allow yourself to enjoy it. Watching the Glee movie is probably a lot like calling the DEA and reporting your ex as a Colombian drug mule: All In good fun, until someone finds out.

Yes, it’s a kind of coming out experience to admit you enjoyed a movie aimed at a teen audience (although middle-aged gay men are clearly the secondary target demo). The enthusiasm surrounding Glee isn’t appreciably different than that showered upon teenybopper acts like Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers: Rabid fan-fed joy fueling a giddy sense of teen empowerment.

But the greatest hoots from the audience aren’t for new songs (there aren’t any original compositions) or even on fresh covers — it’s for the songs that have already been on the show. All of which makes a Glee concert something unique: A nostalgia tour for a TV series about to start only its third season. It seems appropriate, in the Twitter era, that such instant gratification has made us wistful about things we saw on TV just last spring.

But Glee is more important that Bieber or the Jonases for one reason: Its message of inclusiveness, tolerance and understanding. The TV show portrays the most sensitive discussion of gay life, especially among teens, that has been seen just about anywhere, and the movie is no different: In addition to the live concert performances, the film tells three stories of true Gleeks, one being Trenton, a teen outed in eighth grade who sees the Kurt character as a role model. (The other profiles are equally sweet and profound, including a dwarf who becomes her school’s most popular deb and a girl with Asberger’s who overcomes her shyness by bonding with others over Glee.)

The movie has almost as many cutaways to the audience as shots of the performers. That’s because, more so than most TV shows, Glee reflects its audience as much as it directs them. You occasionally forget the concert film isn’t a sing-along and are tempted to join in (and maybe do, during the closing credits) because it has a infectious energy.

Glee’s appeal, for me, has often been difficult to pin down. It takes an ironic approach to its rangy topics — American culture, high school popularity, current music, teen politics — but goes so far with its irony that it doubles back on itself. That pushes it into the realm of actual entertainment — it’s meta-irony.

As filmmaking, it’s more than serviceable, with the 3D effect magnifying the crotches of sexy back-up dancers and charming even non-fans with its love for an Asian toddler who mimics, eerily well, the choreography of “rival” glee club the Warblers… before throwing a 3D Slushee in your face (a common punishment at the Glee high school). Nothing like making your audience feel like part of the outsider clique.

The Help hit theaters on Wednesday, and it will likely still be eclipsed at the box office by Glee, but don’t let it slip by: It is the best film of the summer. Some may dismiss is as overly sentimental hokum, but it is really an expertly crafted comedic tearjerker along the lines of Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes and The Blind Side with bits of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil thrown it. But it is more touching than all of those put together, and for me the top Oscar frontrunner of the year to date.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 12, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Gaga gunning for Tim after he disses Hillary’s pantsuits

Ok, I am a Tim Gunn fan. He and Heidi Klum are the only reasons I watch Project Runway. But I have to admit I am a little, well, flabbergasted I guess, if not downright insulted by comments he made last week on George Lopez’s late-night talk show (Lopez Tonight) about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her penchant for pantsuits.

Tim told George, “She’s the secretary of state…why must she dress that way? I think she’s confused about her gender, all these big, baggy, menswear, tailored pantsuit.” Then, as the crowd groaned audibly, Tim added, “No, I’m really serious. She wears pantsuits that are unflattering.”

Wait a minute there Tim. It’s one thing to question Hillary’s fashion sense. But the “confused about her gender” remark was way off base, in my opinion.

Apparently, according to this E! Online report, Lady Gaga wasn’t too thrilled with Tim either. Gaga cohosted The View today, and when the View women started questioning Gunn’s comment, Gaga made it clear what she thinks about it: “”He’s being a bully. I think Hillary Clinton has more important things to think about than her hemline.”

I think that about sums it up. Tim, buddy, rethink your comments, come up with something better and make it work.

You can watch video clips of Gunn’s comment and Gaga’s response below.

—  admin

Reality TV roundup: Dallas playas and the gaying of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

Two gay North Texans on original summer programming reality shows are continuing to thrive.

Lewisville’s Ben Starr and  Dallas’ Leslie Ezelle have been standouts on their respective series — Starr on Fox’s MasterChef and Ezelle on HGTV’s Design Star.  Starr was a top-three finisher in this week’s episode on Tuesday, while Ezelle made a strong impression Week 1 of Design Star and has never been in the bottom of the pack since. (Another Dallasite, local chef Carrie, has been most known as the object of hatred among her team on Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen.)

The rest of the summer’s reality life will continue to gay it up: Local pastry chef  Lina Biancamano, who works in the kitchen at Stephan Pyles, is a contestant on Top Chef: Just Desserts starting next month, and the series Most Eligible: Dallas debuts in three weeks on Bravo. And tonight on Lifetime, the new season of Project Runway premieres.

But what has really interested me this summer on reality TV has been the rotating guest judges on So You Think You Can Dance. A few seasons back, senior judge and exec producer Nigel Lythgoe took it on the chin for making comments perceived as homophobic — an odd claim, considering that SYTYCD has among the gayest (though least out) cast of contestants on reality TV (as well as many gays behind the scenes.)

Maybe that controversy led to Lythgoe intentionally gaying up the lineup this season. Starting with the mass auditions, guest judges this season have been gay choreographers Adam Shankman and Jason Gilkison. Then during the live elimination weeks, the first round of judges included gay faves Megan Mullally, Kristin Chenoweth and Debbie Reynolds, then in the past three weeks the 1-2-3-4 punch of Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Neil Patrick Harris (pictured), Rob Marshall and Lady Gaga. All have made pretty out-there comments for the family-friendly show. “Do you have a boyfriend?” Ferguson asked one of the female dancers. “So do I,” he said. Harris joked that one girl was so good even he was attracted to her, and last night Gaga joked that she “loves a queen” … and she wasn’t talking about Elizabeth II.  Can’t wait to see who’s up next to judge.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Beyoncé: ‘4’ the gays

Below is Q Syndicate writer and Dallas Voice contributor Chris Azzopardi’s piece on his exclusive talk with the Queen Bey: About gay fans, loving Lady Gaga and remaking A Star Is Born.

If there’s any girl who runs the world, it’s Beyoncé. The reigning diva — she’s called Queen Bey for a reason, people — is one of the biggest and best voices behind a long run of hits dating back to the late ‘90s, when she was part of supreme girl-group Destiny’s Child.

Now, years later, Beyoncé still demonstrates just how irreplaceable she is as a solo artist, having released four albums (the latest called, appropriately, 4 — reviewed here) with some of the most memorable and gay-celebrated singles in pop music history. Not every artist can say they’ve had a gay boy lead a football team to glory by performing “Single Ladies,” as seen on Glee. And not every artist can say they have 16 Grammy Awards, making her one of the most honored artists in Grammy history.

But that’s Queen Bey, who has also assembled a gaggle of gay fans who are crazy in love with her.

Here’s our exclusive chat with the singer/actress/glamour-girl, her first gay press interview since 2006.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Nuclear gay bomb alert: Cher & Lady Gaga to duet

It’s not breaking news that Cher has recorded a song for her new album that was written by Lady Gaga. Towleroad posted Cher’s tweets about recording “The Greatest Thing” last week. Now, Out’s Popnography has posted Cher’s tweet today that leads us to believe Gaga herself will be on the song.

Talk about a glitter-bomb!

But is the effort already being undermined? The below demo recorded by Gaga is already all over the interwebs, so there goes the initial surprise for what the song sounds like. Still, it’ll likely be a big hit for Cher and just another day at work for Gaga.

Earlier this year, Jennifer Lopez released a Gaga-penned song on her album Love? “Hypnotico” was actually one of the better songs on the entire album, but has yet to be released as a single.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: X-Men ‘Born This Way’ parody

“X-Men, baby, we were born this way!”

As Arnold Wayne Jones noted in his review earlier this year of X-Men: First Class, filmmakers for the X-Men series of movies have never shied away from very obviously drawing parallels between the movies’ mutants and LGBT people in real life. Apparently the non-gay X-men fans have made the connection, too.

This morning my 14-year-old son came into the living room with a big grin on his face, telling me that he had just found a video on YouTube in which a bunch of X-Men fans had made a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”

“It’s hysterical!” he told me.

This is the same son who, when I took him to his first Comic Con here in Dallas when he was 12, heard angels sing and saw the celestial light. I will never forget the look on his face when he turned to me and said, “My people! I have found my people at last!” He also, by the way, happens to be a big Gaga fan, too, and he is quite smart. So when he told me the video was funny, I decided it was worth looking up.

So I found it and watched it, and you know what — he was right. It’s funny and quite clever. So I decided to share it here with you so you can judge for yourself.

—  admin

Lady Gaga: The gay interview

Lady Gaga doesn’t give too many interviews — lord knows we’ve tried to get them.

But contributor Chris Azzopardi snagged a rare sit-down with the music (and gay!) icon, who talked a lot about her gay fans. Read the entire interview after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones