Pulse killer’s wife arrested

Noor Salman

CNN has reported that federal authorities have arrested the widow of the man who killed 49 people and injured than 50 others at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last June 12 before being killed himself by officers responding to the scene.

In a story posted just before 8 p.m. EST today (Monday, Jan. 16), CNN reports that Noor Salman faces federal charges including obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting her husband’s material support to ISIS, according to a law enforcement official. The law enforcement official said that despite Salman’s claim that she was coerced by her husband’s abusive behavior, authorities believe she acted of her own free will and knowingly obstructed the investigation into what was the worst mass shooting by a single gunman in modern U.S. history.

The arrest of Salman, widow of Omar Mateen, was first reported by The New York Times.

Authorities believe Salman acted of her own free will and knowingly took steps to obstruct the investigation into the massacre, according to a law enforcement official.

The official said Salman’s claims that she was coerced through her husband’s abusive behavior did not stand up. Another official says the evidence will show that she was complicit and knew her husband was going to do something bad.

Neither Salman’s attorney nor her family in California have commented on the arrest.

Orlando police Chief John Mina said he is glad Salman was arrested and that “we are grateful that they have seen to it that some measure of justice will be served in this act of terror that has affected our community so deeply.”

—  Tammye Nash

Gay man attacked outside Target on Haskell

Derek Whitener

Theater director/actor Derek Whitener remains hospitalized in Dallas after being attacked by two masked men outside the Target store on Haskell on Saturday night, Jan. 14.

Friends confirmed to Dallas Voice that Whitener is a member of the LGBT and that he was not robbed in the attack. Some of his friends are calling the attack an anti-gay hate crime.

Dallas Morning News reports that Whitener, 33, stopped at the Target on his way home after performing as Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Firehouse Theatre in Farmer’s Branch, where is he is artistic and education director.

Reports say that one of the men was wearing a ski mask and the other was wearing a monkey mask. One of them hit Whitener on the head with a pipe, fracturing his skull. Friends said he has undergone brain surgery

—  Tammye Nash

Thank you, Mr. President



Jesse GarciaOn Jan. 20, we’ll say goodbye to a transformative leader who tied his legacy to advancing LGBTQ civil rights, along with increasing health care access, saving the nation from economic depression, ending two wars, brokering a nuclear deal with Iran and normalizing relations with Cuba.

The Obama administration will be seen as a milestone for the LGBTQ community. The landmark achievements for which he will be remembered include signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in 2010, and ending the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011, which ultimately led to marriage equality in 2015 via a Supreme Court ruling.

But hope and change for the LGBTQ community didn’t end with these accomplishments.

Each year, President Obama and his cabinet made sure we continued to become part of the American fabric. Here are some highlights* (from a very long list of LGBTQ advancements):

2009: President Obama ended a 22-year ban on travel to the United States by HIV-positive people and ended mandatory HIV tests for residency applications.

2010: He developed the first comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy for the United States and continued to update and fund it.

2011: The President supported the Department of Health and Human Services’ StopBullying.gov, which provides resources to youth, parents, and community members to build a safe environment for all kids, including LGBTQ youth.

2012: The Obama Administration issued a final rule to ensure that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s core housing programs are open to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

2013: Following the Windsor decision, the president directed federal agencies to extend federal benefits to same-sex married couples. The Human Rights Campaign called it “the largest granting of rights in history.”

2014: He signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

2015: The Obama administration supported efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.

2016: The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education sent a directive to school districts advising them that transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, rather than their gender assigned at birth.
From ensuring hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients and their loved ones to expanding access to health care coverage and preventing LGBT discrimination by insurers, this president made society more tolerable.

President Obama worked hard to protect our future, while also recognizing the importance of preserving our past. He called on the Interior Department to identify significant LGBTQ historic sites. In 2016, the department selected the Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, as the first national monument honored for its role in the LGBTQ rights movement.

On a personal note, President Obama is the reason I came to Washington, D.C. In July 2011, I was politically appointed to HHS. I became one of 250-plus openly LGBTQ professionals who would serve in his administration — this total is more than all the known LGBTQ appointments of other presidential administrations combined, according to the Victory Fund.

It was important that President Obama not only discussed and acted on our issues, but he allowed us to become part of those conversations and placed us in positions of power to act on them. Thank you, Mr. President. I’m forever grateful.


Jesse Garcia is the former president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and LULAC Dallas Rainbow Council. He now resides in Washington, D.C., and volunteers for his local LGBT Democratic group and the LULAC Lambda DC council he cofounded.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017


—  Dallasvoice

Back of the line

Is there hope for Dallas queer people of color in 2017?

Sammi NesbitMany of us brought in the New Year with resolutions that we hoped to maintain past January, and tried our best to forget the disasters of 2016. But Nov. 8 still haunts some of us beyond cruelty — and for a good reason.

No, Bernie Sanders didn’t make it past the primary, and people are still holding on to the notion that if he were the Democratic nominee that he would have won the general election. I hate to crush your fairy tale, but the outcome would have probably been the same.

Bernie had a hard time connecting to older, lower-income black and Latino communities that serve as a 46 percent voting bloc in the

Democratic party and a 27 percent voting bloc in the general election. In the southern states, this problem was so apparent you could put the icing on it, and reality wouldn’t taste any sweeter.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, didn’t have this problem to deal with; she had the luxury of being from a southern state, with a husband many black people adopted as “black” during his time in office. As far as the numerous scandals are concerned, black and

Latino people were not really fazed, because those were considered “white collar” problems.

We can go on and on about the “should’ve/could’ve/would’ve” of candidates that supported our community, but unfortunately,

America has chosen to buy a cruise ship ticket on a voyage into the orange abyss. The only people that will possibly enjoy this journey are those of privilege, and I’m not just referring to the white straight middle-class community.

I am talking about the people who don’t have to think twice about things in life, who can go to brunch with friends on Sunday, or take a weekend vacation just to flood everyone’s timeline with photos.

But many people over the next four years won’t come remotely close to that luxury.

If you are HIV-positive and signed up for the Affordable Care Act, you may go to bed tonight wondering if you must relive the traumatic experience of answering hours of questions at some community-based organization about your personal finances to qualify for Ryan White, just to pay for your HIV drugs.

If you’re an undocumented immigrant busting your butt in school to maintain high grades with hopes of going to graduate, law or medical school, now that dream has been put into a holding pattern mid-flight.

For some of us in the gay community, the impact won’t be as brutal. We may occasionally find ourselves outraged by some insensitive tweet or remark, or we may rally to boycott some restaurant, store or product because they insulted one of our peers in the LGBT spectrum. But the outrage will be grandiose, without any real thought as to what our movement/voice looks like to the people that have pissed us off.

Honestly, if we were to take a look from the outside looking in, our storm of resentment would look like a group of young/middle-aged white men with a few friends of color fighting for change.

A large group of LGBT people of color won’t see these struggles the same way, nor will they have the inclination to join the fight — not because we don’t care, but because only a few of us share a thread with the greater LGBT community, a thread called “privilege.”

Some black and Latino queer people may have the privilege of attending a fundraiser for an LGBT charity or a ritzy mixer in Uptown to raise awareness about an issue. Though these strides for inclusiveness are noteworthy, it’s only a small incremental success toward our dream of the ideal LGBT community.

If we were to look at the top three non-profits or organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that champion the beliefs of the LGBT community, how many of them have board members who are black or Latino queer people with experiences of not having privilege?

We must also ask ourselves, although black and Latino queer men account for majority of the new cases of HIV in Dallas County, why do we continue to come up short for a reasonable solution. Dallas remains one of the top three cities in the United States with the highest rate of HIV infections every year, but many leaders in our health community are perplexed. Many state- and federally-funded AIDS service organizations see black and Latino queer men only as a number, without any resolution to bring change.

One person can’t solve our problem overnight, and sprinkling pixie dust won’t make it any better. But the answer is simple: We don’t have a seat at the table.

If we do have a seat, it usually remains empty. And if we are present, our voice is dismissed. This new year, 2017, should be the year that queer people of color start to demand a voice and speak up about problems that we face in our community.

Queer people of color face a myriad of hurdles to access HIV preventive tools, such as PrEP. In the dark of the night, queer men of color are fetishized as a sexual accessory in several bars in the gayborhood but treated like damaged goods during the day.
But now, we have the unique opportunity to stand as one community to embrace each other’s cultural differences as unique. To be effective at change, we must reach beyond our social country clubs and embrace the discomfort of simply not knowing but still being open to understanding.

Just because we have achieved marriage equality, doesn’t mean the fight is over. Our black queer brothers who have fewer sex partners is still three times more likely to contract HIV. Some of our undocumented Latina lesbian sisters who want to live better lives by being a first-generation college students now have to worry now about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) being revoked. And our transgender brothers and sisters are still being siloed into sex work because they don’t have the privilege of being cisgender.

As a community, we can be a mighty fist of change that knocks out every obstacle threatening equality, or we can remain divided, thinking that our fight is won when queer people of color must fight an unseen battle every day, even in our our community.                            
Sammi Nesbit is the chief science officer of the Center for Minority Community Health and is currently a doctoral candidate at University of North Texas. He currently researches adolescent black and Latino HIV seroprevelence behaviors in large urban communities.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017


—  Dallasvoice

Pet of the week • 01-13-17



Meet Fender, a guy who is ready to rock your world. He is a 1-year-old, brown tabby domestic shorthair mix with gorgeous golden eyes. He came to the SPCA of Texas on Dec. 16 when he was rescued from inhumane conditions. Despite his rough past, Fender is a fun-loving, goofy guy who can’t wait to meet his new family. He loves to play with toys, adores petting and making new friends. He gets along with the other kitties in his condo and likes lounging in the sun. He has been neutered, tested negative for FIV/FeLV, microchipped and has received all age-appropriate vaccinations. #151176

Fender is waiting for you at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas, 2400 Lone Star Drive, near I-30 and Hampton Road. Hours are noon-6 p.m., seven days a week. Regular adoption fees are $250 for puppies, $125 for adult dogs 6 months or older and kittens 0-6 months, $75 for adult cats 6 months or older and $50 for senior dogs or cats 7 years or older and VIP dogs and cats (available for adoption for 30 days or more.) Fee includes spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, a heartworm test for dogs six months and older and an FIV/FeLV test for cats 4 months and older, initial flea/tick preventative and heartworm preventative, a microchip, 30 days of PetHealth Insurance provided by PetPlan, a free 14-day wellness exam with VCA Animal Hospitals, a rabies tag and a free leash. Call 214-742-SPCA (7722) or visit today.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017

—  Dallasvoice

Obituary • 01-13-17



Charles Aaron Grimes-Winchester, aka Angela Aaron-Winchester, former monarch of the Imperial Court de Fort Worth/Arlington known throughout North Texas for his charity work with a variety of organizations, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The Rev. Carol West will officiate at a memorial service and celebration of life set for 5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave. in Fort Worth. The celebration will then continue at The Queen Mothers Review Show, starting at 7 p.m. at Urban Cowboy Saloon, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave., also in Fort Worth.

Court members attending the memorial service are asked to wear their state attire if possible.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017


—  Dallasvoice

The Gay Agenda • 01-13-17


­­­Have an event coming up? Email your information to Managing Editor Tammye Nash at nash@dallasvoice.com or Senior Staff Writer David Taffet at taffet@dallasvoice.com by Wednesday at 5 p.m. for that week’s issue.

• Weekly: Lambda Weekly every Sunday at 1 p.m. on 89.3 KNON-FM. This week’s guest is state Re. Victoria Neave talking about the new legislative session; United Black Ellument hosts discussion on HIV/AIDS in the black community (UBE Connected) at 7 p.m. every fourth Tuesday of the month at 3116 Commerce St., Suite C; Core Group Meeting every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.; Fuse game night every Monday evening except the last of the month at 8 p.m. at the Fuse space in the Treymore Building, 4038 Lemmon Ave, Suite 101; FuseConnect every Wednesday from 7 p.m. For more information call or e-mail Jalenzski at 214-760-9718 ext 3 or Jalenski@myresourcecenter.org.

• Jan. 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

• Jan. 16: 12th Annual MLK Symposium
The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture holds the 12th Annual MLK Symposium from 7-9 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. The theme for this year’s event is “MLK’s Legacy: Issues of Social Justice in the 21st Century,” and it will focus on ensuring equality under the law and civil rights for all citizens. Keynote speakers will be Jelani Cobb and Alicia Garza. To register or for more information call 214-871-2440 or visit DallasInstitute.org.

• Jan. 17: Stonewall elections
Stonewall officer elections at 7 p.m. at Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St.

• Jan. 17: Fort Worth
Trans/SOFFA meetingGroup meeting at 7 p.m. at First Jefferson Unitarian Church, 959 Sandy Lane, Fort Worth.

• Jan. 17: Outlast Youth
LGBT Youth Homelessness Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road.

• Jan. 18: Dallas Frontrunners
Walk or run on the Katy Trail. Meet at 7:15 p.m. at the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park, 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd.

• Jan. 18: Mayor’s LGBT Task Force
Mayor’s advisory board chaired by Councilman Adam Medrano meets at 6:30 p.m. on the lower level of Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St.

• Jan 20: Protest at the Inauguration
Protest on Inauguration Day Against War, Racism and Inequality from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. at Freedom Plaza, 14th St NW & Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

• Jan. 21: Women’s March on Austin
The Women’s March on Austin, a sister event to the Women’s March on Washington, is taking place in D.C. from noon-6 p.m. at the Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave., Austin.

• Jan. 21: Dallas Frontrunners
Walk or run on the Katy Trail. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park, 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd.

• Jan. 21: Gaybingo

• Jan. 23: Denton Trans/SOFFA meeting
Group meeting at 7 p.m. at Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1111 Cordell St, Denton.

• Jan. 24: The Refugee Camp Experience
The Dallas Holocaust Museum in conjunction with the International Rescue Committee presents a panel on life in modern-day refugee camps with panelists from Rwanda, Sudan and Syria from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Dallas Holocaust Museum, 211 N. Record St.

• Jan. 24: Dallas Trans/SOFFA meeting
Group meeting at 7 p.m. at Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church, 1641 W Hebron Pkwy, Carrollton.

• Jan 24: Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats
Meet at 7 p.m. at Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St.

• Jan 27: Bloomin’ Ball kickoff
Complimentary cocktails, gourmet coffee, desserts, DJ Tony Dean, live performances and a raffle. Happy hour at 5 p.m., hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. and comments by Steven Pace at 7 p.m. at Spaces, 1919 McKinney Ave.

• Jan 28: Gay for Good
DFW G4G volunteers with Dallas Animal Services Lend a Hand Program walking dogs, making treats and toys and assisting where needed at 11 a.m. at Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N Westmoreland Road. Contact Duncan Smith at

• Jan. 29: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
On the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Dallas Holocaust Museum has a gathering of hope and remembrance at 2 p.m. at 211 N. Record St.

• Jan. 30: After Orlando
An international theater action in response to the Pulse nightclub massacre is an evening of short plays followed by a reception in conjunction with Cara Mia Theatre Co. and Jubilee Theatre at 7 p.m. at Stage West, 821 W. Vickery Blvd, Fort Worth. Free but donations benefit LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S.

• Feb. 2: George Takei
Dallas Holocaust Museum and SMU Embrey Human Rights Program present George Takei speaks about his childhood experiences during World War II in a U.S. internment camp at 6:30 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane.

• Feb. 7: Classic Chassis Car Club
Monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Ojeda’s, 4617 Maple Ave.

• Feb. 7: From Selma to Stonewall:  Are We There Yet?
Screening at Galerstein Women’s Center at UT Dallas. Free.

• Feb. 8: From Selma to Stonewall:  Are We There Yet?
Screening at 6:30 p.m. St. Luke Community UMC, 5710 E. R.L. Thornton. Free.

• Feb. 8: From Selma to Stonewall:  Are We There Yet?
Screening at 7 p.m. at Roper Hall, Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Hillcrest at Spring Valley roads. Free.

• Feb. 12: From Selma to Stonewall:  Are We There Yet?
Screening at 5 p.m. at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. $10.

• Feb. 18: Gaybingo

• Feb. 24: Spring Fling
Mr. and Miss Charity America present Spring Fling benefiting the Texas Red Ribbon Wish Network, Rhonda Mae’s Wall of Food and Tucker’s Gift at 7:30 p.m. at Urban Cowboy, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth.

• Feb. 25: Dash for the Beads
5K and 10K run, 1K walk and festival at Kidd Springs Park, 711 W. Canty St.

• March 4: Toast to Life
From 7-11 p.m. at Empire Room, 1225 N Riverfront Blvd.

• March 18: Gaybingo



Mulan is one of the many pets available for adoption at SPCA. And take advantage of
SPCA’s many spay/neuter and wellness clinics.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017


—  Dallasvoice

Ask Howard

How to do the wrong thing right

_howard-russell-logoAt last, a brand new, glistening year is here! We all must hope, and pray to whichever mythical being comforts us most, that 2017 bodes a far cry better, for us all, than the year in our rearview mirror, because if 2016 produced anything, it was plenty of fat, sloppy tears to go around for everyone. Let’s get right to it.

Dear Howard,

I’m 33, 5-foot-9, brunet/brown, 205 lbs.; still, I’m not what skinnier queens would label as “morbidly flabby.” For my New Year’s resolution, I joined Gold’s Gym, and am working out harder now (five times a week!) than I’ve ever perspired in my entire life. But Howard, I’ve shed a whopping total of precisely 12 ounces in two solid, back-breaking, sweaty weeks! Maybe it’s a thyroid condition? Since late December, I’ve barely eaten anything fattening at all: I’ve cut out all dairy (Haagen-Dazs, Go-Gurt, Yoo-hoos), all wheat products (Sara Lee, Dolly Madison, Kraft); also, I’ve quit the drive-thru at all my fave restaurants (Carl’s Jr., Wendy’s, Mickey D’s, the DQ); so, what’s the real reason why am I’m still no more attractive to dudes now, in 2017, than I was way back last year?

Tyson D. I.

Dear Ty,

To paraphrase Amy Schumer’s whimsically brutal self-analysis of her own weight struggles: “I’m never fat; I’m just always… disappointing.” Still, Schumer has no problems attracting scads of lustful suitors; thus, do not pull this Miss Sausage-Gravy-and-Blue-Hydrangeas’ “I’ve-tried-every-diet-but-nothin’-evah-works” thyroid crap on me: The sole reason, Tie-Dye, for why you’re not even more fuckable now than you ever were previously is because no men are ever attracted to indolent, narcissistic whiners. Dear Howard here’s own mother (divorced from my father when I was 12, and who was never thin for even a single day in her post-childbearing/post-divorced life) always laughingly balked, “I may be fat and 55, but put me in a room with 100 beauty queens and one man, and I alone will walk out of the room with that man.” Desirability, Ty, is all in one’s attitude: If you presume men desire you, then men will naturally trip over their feet to be yours, regardless of how often you repeatedly purchase yet another New Year’s resolution gym membership. (P.S. If your goal is truly weight loss, it takes more than two weeks of hard work to see appreciable results — keep at it, and improve your attitude!)

Dear Howard,

My older half-sister gleefully informs me that the reason I’m always so lonely, and can’t ever keep a man, is because I’ve never once crossed a bridge in my life that I didn’t immediately torch behind me: WTF? — Reggie

Dear Reginald,

Have you never heard that most all bridges burned will have to be crossed back over, again, at some date down the road? Within one’s entire lifespan — even if one lives to be 100 — there will never be more than but a handful of “bridges” that necessitate total conflagration; mathematically, in fact, the number of “friends” anyone’s compelled to ultimately eliminate forever from their lives equate reversely to the exact opposite same number one may count on being there alongside you forever: five people. True, many friends you’ll have for years, only to discover, on some distantly horrible day, that they were never your “true” friends at all; conversely, there will be another five whom, through no extensive effort on your own part, you’ll discover to be lifelong, gleaming gems of the rarest friendship finds. Your job, Regina, is to remain open to the possibilities on each side.

Dear Howard,

I caught wind, via the Vaseline Valley grapevine, that my dearest, lifelong friend’s newest boy-toy was spotted (shall we say) enjoying the company of other men at a bathhouses while Ace was out of town on business. I’ve known Ace since way back when we were snotty kids sitting behind one another in elementary school, and for as long as I’ve known this fool horndawg, Ace has always possessed sexual antennae of stone. So, do I tell him that his latest flavor-of-the-month is just giving it away to total strangers, or do I not get involved and let these private-life issues follow their own natural course, between just Ace and Little Pretty Britches, minus my interference—despite my being privy to this bombshell information about L.P.B. that Ace doesn’t know about? — Eli

Dear Elvira,

Nosy is as vapid does: I take it there will be no love lost between you and Ace (your longest, dearest BFF) once you primly expose his latest infatuation to be nothing less than a cheating ‘ho, as confirmed by Vaseline Valley’s vixens that Ace’s “Little Pretty Britches” no doubt, indeed, is. Regardless, Eliza, at least just hear out Dear Howard: Short of Ace possessing the I.Q. of, say, a triple-A battery-powered latex butt plug, he is certainly well aware of his newest boy-toy’s wild side; you’ve no need to spread gossipy “bombshells;” trust me, their shrapnel projectiles will only land a thudding dud on you. Stay out of this, Lizzy, do you hear me? Not only is Ace’s bedroom-business none of yours, but you’ll also potentially lose your longest, dearest friend in the bargain. Believe me, Ace’s secretly cheating “L.P.B. boy-toy” will trip-up soon enough on his own… sans any sympathetic “assistance” from you. Broken toys always do.

— Howard Lewis Russell

Do you have a question — about etiquette, love, life or work — that needs an answer?
Send your problem to AskHoward@DallasVoice.com and he may answer it.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

Work it out

Gyms and yoga studios


Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center — Offers a 25-meter indoor pool with underwater treadmill, Pilates, steam, sauna and whirlpool. 411 N. Washington Ave. 214-820-7870. BaylorTomLandryFitnessCenter.com.

Club Dallas — Exclusively serving gay men for more than 40 years, this institution has a popular gym open 24 hours, 365 days a year. 2616 Swiss Ave. 214-821-1990.


Dallas Yoga Center — Located in the heart of the gayborhood. 4525 Lemmon Ave., ste. 305. 214-443-9642. DallasYogaCenter.com 

Deadman Center for Lifetime Sports — Located on the SMU campus, it offers wall climbing, weight room, 1/7-mile indoor track, swimming, racquetball courts and aerobic dance rooms. 6000 Bush Ave.

Diesel Fitness — This West Village gym has a reputation for affordable memberships and solid service. 2901 Cityplace West Blvd., Suite 100.

Equinox — This national gym offers a full range of fitness services. 4023 Oak Lawn Ave. Equinox.com.

Gold’s Gym— Locations are throughout the city, but the one in Uptown serves a fit, very gay customer base. 2425 McKinney Ave. 214-306-9000. GoldsGym.com.

King Spa & Sauna — Open 24/7, clients can partake in detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, depuration and skin rejuvenation saunas. 2154 Royal Lane. KingSpa.com.

LA Fitness — The ones on Mockingbird and a Signature on Haskell are popular with gay clientele. 4540 W. Mockingbird Lane and 2690 N. Haskell Ave. LAFitness.com.

Private Workout — Four locations in the Metroplex, each offering an efficient 25-minute audience-free workout designed by the Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainers. 214-865-6153. PrivateWorkout.com.

Sunstone Yoga — With 13 locations locally, the Uptown one remains very popular with eight different types of yoga practices. 2907 Routh St. SunstoneYoga.com.

Title Boxing Club — Two locations in Dallas, where you can work out and train. 4140 Lemmon Ave., ste. 275. 214-520-2964. TitleBoxingClub.com

Trophy Fitness Club — Among the five locations are one in the Downtown Mosaic and in one Uptown. 300 N. Akard St. and 2812 Vine St., Suite 300.

24 Hour Fitness — Popular locations include Downtown and at Mockingbird and Greenville. 700 N. Harwood St. and 5706 E. Mockingbird Lane. 24HourFitness.com.

V12 Yoga — Build energy and light through the power of flow. V12 offers a unique yoga practice that builds energy, powerful strength, flexibility and open mindfulness with motivating music.  600 S. Harwood St. 214-741-9642. V12Yoga.com

YMCA Downtown — In the heart of Downtown, this location offers amenities from groups workouts to personal trainers, handball, basketball, swimming pool and more. 601 N. Akard St., 214-954-0500. YMCADallas.org.

Yoga & Sync Wellbeing — This yoga fitness studio in Bishop Arts offers a variety of classes and workshops, as well as massage. 611 N. Bishop Ave.



BellyIt probably comes as a surprise to nobody that “lose weight” is the most commonly abandoned New Year’s resolution out there. (Be honest: You’ve already considered giving up on it.)

And if you’re in Dallas, you kinda have an excuse… or maybe you’re part of the problem. According to a study done by the personal finance website WalletHub, Dallas is the fourth worst city in the U.S. for living an active lifestyle, out of 100 studied.

The study looked at facts such as “average monthly fitness club/gym membership fee” (39th), percentage of physically inactive residents (a whopping 71st), swimming pools per capita (73rd) and “walk score” (38th). Only North Las Vegas, Laredo and Memphis scored lower. Arlington (No. 91), Fort Worth (No. 89), San Antonio (No. 84), Houston (No. 81), Garland (No. 80) and Corpus Christi (No. 79) fared better… but not much. The highest-ranked Texas city was, of course, those freaks in Austin (No. 39), who bike everywhere and eat well.

The top city for active lifestyle was Madison, Wisc., followed by Boise, Scottsdale and Portland, Ore.

Look, we live in a place that hotter’n blazes in the summer and where people panic when it dips below 30. Of course we’re gonna be schizophrenic when it comes to exertion. But that’s just the city in general. The gay community has always been more gymcentric. Still, not a bad idea to hunker down and try to keep that promise to get fit in 2017.



PelotonSpin classes are one of the most popular ways for modern urbanites to get in shape, but maybe you still haven’t tried it out. Well, Snap Kitchen has a solution.

The healthy-foods retailer — which offers dietician-balanced take-away meals for paleo, gluten-free, low fat and other lifestyles — is partnering up with Peloton Cycle to introduce its customers to the benefits of biking through a program called Power Lunch.

Throughout January, a Peloton rep will be in select Snap Kitchen locations each Monday from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. to give guests a free demo… or their own quick workout.

Check out the Snap Kitchens in Oak Lawn (Jan. 16), on Fitzhugh (Jan. 23) and or Skillman (Jan. 30) for your lunch with the fitness regimen worked in.



GlycemicMaybe you already work out five times a week and try to watch your carbs and alcohol content. But man cannot live on protein powder alone. So Dallas-based personal trainer Marcus Washington has developed a cookbook specifically for those with active lifestyles who want to eat right but with a minimum of fuss. Best of all, he’s developed recipes to sustain healthy glucose levels throughout the day to avoid, and manage, diabetes.

My Glycemic Way, which came out in August, promotes a low-glycemic diet that keeps you at a healthy weight. In addition, each mean takes less than 45 minutes to prepare.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Bathroom (not so) humor(ous)

As the 85th session of the Texas Legislature convenes some lawmakers seem consumed with where transgender people pee, but others intend to deal with actual issues


House Speaker Joe Strauss, right, surrounded by his wife and family, would rather talk about serious issues. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)


DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer

When the Texas House of Representatives was sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 10, a very different Texas government convened than the one that had reared its ugly face the week before.

Days before the House and Senate sessions began, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, along with Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R–Brenham, unveiled Senate Bill 6 (referred to as SB6) that has quickly come to be known as the Texas Bathroom Bill. If passed, it would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on their “biological sex” rather than the bathrooms appropriate for their gender identity.

The problematic bill doesn’t address whether someone’s birth certificate would be proof of “biological sex” or whether a corrected birth certificate issued by the state of Texas would be accepted as proof of someone’s sex. Nor does it say whether strip searches would be performed and addresses only trans women using ladies rooms, and it isn’t clear whether it intends for trans men to use the women’s restroom.


Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, is focusing on bathroom business this session.

Because it will only take a few Republican votes in the Senate to kill the bill, Republicans who may have been wavering, thinking Patrick would challenge Sen. Ted Cruz in two years and would be gone from the Legislature, were put on notice when he announced his intention to run for a second term.

When the Texas House opened, no one referenced who should pee where and Republicans, who lead the House with a 95-55 majority, even took some subtle jabs at the incoming president.

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos, recently appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, welcomed immigrants: “We welcomed more Californians to their new home than any other state.” And he referenced Mexico as Texas’ largest trading partner.

While acknowledging different House members had different ways of getting there, the major concern of all Representatives is “to stand on behalf of the powerless.”

In the nomination speech for Speaker Joe Straus and three seconding speeches — by a tea party member who voted against Straus in the previous session, moderate Dallas Republican Linda Koop and a Democrat — all the lawmakers talked about similar qualities.

They all said Straus welcomes differing views, respects all members and keeps the House focused on important issues.

Then Straus, who was re-elected unanimously, spoke about his plan for the upcoming session. He said he will focus on solutions to education finance, the gridlocked transportation system, water issues, Child Protective Services and mental health issues.

In what some Dan Patrick supporters might have thought was a reference to their beloved bathroom bill, Straus cleverly began that portion of his address by saying, “Protecting children is one of the state’s most basic functions.”  But he wasn’t referring to the supposed threat of where a transgender teen pees in school.

“Children should never live in fear of their own parents,” Straus said before calling for fixing the mess at CPS. “This is Texas, and Texas should be better than that.”

Speaker of the House is a powerful position. The Speaker sets the tone and the agenda of that chamber of the Legislature. And anti-LGBT legislation apparently is not on his agenda, while including Democrats in the process definitely is.

“Compromise is a good word in this House,” Straus said. “It’s how we find common ground.”

He called on lawmakers to show that they know how to solve problems. And if he wants, Straus can bury anti-LGBT legislation in committees that will let those bills die.

Bathroom politics did make an appearance in the House on Wednesday the second day of the session. But right-wing efforts to restrict restroom access failed.

Tyler Republican Matt Schaefer proposed a rule that basically would impost SB6’s restrictions on people in the Capitol during debate over a standard housekeeping resolution to set rules for people with access to the House chamber among other things. But Republican Charlie Green of Fort Worth raised a point of order noting Schaefer’s resolution wasn’t relevant because the State Preservation Board, not the House, decides on policies for the Capitol. Schaefer withdrew his proposal.

The conservative Texas Association of Business, which has condemned SB6, estimates Texas will lose as much as $8.5 billion — claim Patrick denied during a Wednesday press conference.

“Every report out of North Carolina shows they have the second-strongest economy in the country or the second-best place to do business, the second-best place where executives want to move their companies to. It’s having no effect,” Patrick said.

In fact, HB2 has had significant effect on the state financially, and in terms of reputation. In September, an article by Business

Insider estimated that North Carolina had at that time lost nearly $400 million in revenue because of the law, and that the NCAA and the ACA had both moved all of their championship games out of the state.

In late October, North Carolina’s then-Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla said at a press conference that HB2 fallout had not “moved the needle one iota” in terms of negatively affecting the state’s economy. But an analysis by Politifact North Carolina labeled that claim “mostly false,” and noted the state is likely to lose millions more in the years to come just as a result of actions already taken, such as the college sports organizations moving their championships.

Back in Texas, Rep. Rafael Anchia, D–Dallas, condemned SB6 as being vicious and said it would contribute to the already high suicide rate among transgender people.

Openly-lesbian Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, serves on the transportation committee and said she would rather spend her time working on the state’s actual problems. She said she sees some of the state’s worst traffic problems every day.

Likewise, Democratic Rep. Mary Gonzalez, who is pansexual and represents El Paso, is looking to Equality Texas to take the lead in killing the bad legislation that has been filed. She said she’d also like to work on the real issues affecting her constituents, like bringing running water to portions of her district where residents live without.

Other anti-LGBT legislation

Several anti-LGBT bills have already been filed in the Texas Senate, but only one that Equality Texas is tracking has been filed in the House. That House bill, filed by Weatherford Republican Phil King, would exempt religious student organizations from school nondiscrimination policies. Of course, the bill stipulates that discrimination has to be one of the organization’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Looking ahead to this new session, Equality Texas Communications Coordinator DeAnne Cuellar said, “I believe we have more allies than ever.”

In addition to SB6, which she called “unnecessary, unenforceable and damaging,” her biggest concern is SB242 introduced by Konnie Burton, R–Fort Worth. Burton’s bill would require school employees to “disclose any personal, direct, or incidental knowledge regarding a child.” Opponents fear the legislation, if passed, could allow teachers and other school personal to out students to family and others.

Cueller called the bill tricky, because it gets into the parent-child relationship. “But,” she added, “we’re opposed. We’re always against outing.”

She explained that the only time the bill allows a counselor or other professional to opt out of divulging even something said in confidence is if the parent is being investigated for abuse. If a child speaks to a counselor or teacher, that school employee would have to let the parent know, even if the child fears being thrown out of the house if the information was revealed.

While the Texas Association of Business and the state’s many local visitor and convention bureaus have come out strongly against the bathroom bill, cities will be lobbying against bills that prevent local governments from enacting local ordinances that protect LGBT people. Cities worry about local control being taken by the state.

“Historically, that party has advocated for local control,” Cuellar said, referring to Republican attempts to take away local control in ensuring equal rights.

Pre-empting local nondiscrimination ordinances is lumped in with bathroom restrictions in North Carolina’s HB2, but Texas politicians have separated the two issues into two different bills, possibly in hopes people would find the discrimination easier to swallow if it’s fed to them in smaller bites.

While the expected deluge of anti-LGBT bills has not yet hit, a number of representatives have filed pro-LGBT legislation.

Four senators — Rodriguez, Garcia, Hinojosa and Whitmire — filed SB 165  to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and state contracting in Texas.

In the House, bills have been filed to remove unconstitutional anti-LGBT wording from the penal code, to extend the “Romeo & Juliet defense” defense against statutory rape charges to gay and lesbian youth, to prohibit discrimination in each of the categories listed in the Senate bill, to prohibit travel to states that repeal nondiscrimination ordinances or proscribe discrimination, and more.

What about Abbott?

While the House Speaker intends to steer his chamber toward important issues of mental health, water, transportation, education funding and CPS, the lieutenant governor intends the Senate’s session to revolve around bathrooms. But where does the governor stand?

At the swearing-in session, Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the House. During his 10-minute speech, he didn’t mention a single issue facing the state. He didn’t refer to his lieutenant governor’s grandstanding attempt to save the state by regulating where kids pee in school. And he made no mention of the issues addressed by the House speaker.

Instead, he spoke in platitudes: “This is Texas and Texas is exceptional,” he said in various versions over and over again.

But should anti-LGBT legislation pass both houses, he’d be expected to sign that bill into law.

Equality Texas sponsors LGBT Advocacy Day at the Capitol on March 20 and encourages anyone who can come to Austin to participate in teams, visiting legislators’ offices to tell personal stories and let them meet LGBT people in their districts.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2017

—  David Taffet