Putting hate on stage

‘Murder music’ star Sizzla to bring his homophobia to Lower Greenville

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DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer

Reggae star Sizzla Kalonji and the Firehouse Band are scheduled to appear at Heroes Lounge on Greenville Avenue on Oct. 7. Sizzla is known for anti-gay “murder music.”

According to the website 18 Karat Reggae, based in Kingston, Jamaica, Sizzla has been denied a visa to enter the U.S. to perform for about 10 years. Earlier this year, the site reported “Sizzla triumphs over the homosexual community.”

The website complains, “While the church and Christianity overall have been extremely anti-homosexual and unapologetic about it, the gay community has never boycotted the church.”

Sizzla is known not only for his anti-LGBT lyrics, but also for making homophobic remarks during his concerts. In 2014, he was banned from performing at the Sting Festival, one of Jamaica’s biggest music festivals, after he defied organizers by including the following lyrics in his performance at the December 2013 Sting Festival, after having been warned by organizers against including anti-LGBT lyrics in his performance:
“I don’t care who want vex, Jamaica no support no same sex.
“I don’t care who want vex, Africa no support no same sex.
“Them say, “Sizzla, you sing too much anti-gay lyrics.”
“Me just read the bible and get away with lyrics.
“Burn out the lesbian, burn out the gays with the lyrics.
“I don’t care who want vex, rastaman no support no same sex.
“Dem a tell me bout “free speech,”
“So me tell de raper man dem fe leave de beach.
“And me tell the pedophile dem flee the creech.
“Tell de lesbian dem flee de street and the battyman.”

“Battyman” is Jamaican slang equivalent to the English insult “faggot,” and Sizzla screamed the word while jumping up and down at the Sting Festival.

It was not the first time Sizzla had been banned from performing over his anti-LGBT lyrics and his brand of Jamaican dancehall music that has come to be called “murder music.”

Sizzla was barred from entering the United Kingdom in 2004, where he had several concerts scheduled, after OutRage!, a British LGBT rights group, criticized his songs including lyrics advocating anti-LGBT violence. He recorded his song “Nah Apologize,” an anthem declaring that “Rastaman don’t apologize to no batty-boy,” and saying gays and lesbians should be/will be shot and burned.

Sizzla signed the Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007 renouncing hate and pledging to uphold love, respect and understanding, written in reaction to a campaign to stop murder music initiated by several groups that included J-FLAG, Jamaica’s LGBT rights organization. But it wasn’t long before the anti-LGBT lyrics started up again.

Sizzla concerts in Toronto and Montreal were cancelled in 2007 after protests by the Stop Murder Music Canada coalition. He was denied entry to Germany in 2008 after his visa was cancelled. Several concerts scheduled in Germany in 2009 and 2010, after public protests, as were concerts in Madrid, Ghent, Belgium, Stockholm, Sweden and Lisbon in 2012. But concerts in 16 other cities on that tour were sold out.

Murder music protests in Dallas
In 2009, House of Blues in Dallas canceled an appearance by singer Buju Banton, another Jamaican singer whose songs encouraged violence against the LGBT community. Banton’s concert was then moved to a now-closed club on Main Street in Deep Ellum.

LGBT rights advocates staged a rally outside the venue. Protesters were cordoned off to a space across the street ,but few people attended the concert.

Soon after his Dallas appearance, Banton was arrested on drug and firearms charges, then in 2011 convicted and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Dallas Voice has heard no word yet if any protests of Sizzla’s concert are planned at Heroes Lounge.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2016.

 

—  David Taffet

Idina, letting go

‘Rent.’ ‘Wicked.’ ‘Frozen.’ And now a remake of ‘Beaches.’ We track the making of a queer icon with Idina Menzel

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Though it arrives nearly 20 years after her debut album, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for a self-titled Idina Menzel release. Menzel’s latest is a declaration of self — of her real self, that is.

“It’s how you pronounce my name,” the Broadway star says during our recent interview about the eponymous title, idina., a not-so-subtle allusion to that infamous name botch at the 2014 Academy Awards.

idina20163You remember: John Travolta called her “Adele Dazeem” just before she hit the stage to perform her career-changing song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen, during which the Tony winner voices cold-thwarting snow queen Elsa. Frozen fame took Menzel to Elphaba heights, but it was Wicked and Rent that forever made her a gay fave.

Imagine, then, what a new Beaches might do for Menzel. The Lifetime remake of the 1988 classic has the 45-year-old portraying Bette Midler’s CC Bloom, a career choice the singer-actress admits has ruffled the feathers of her loyal queer following. Menzel talked about one gay fan’s tweet that led to her almost backing out of the film altogether, how LGBT support solidified her success and why she’s “excited” that Frozen fans are pulling for a lesbian Elsa.

— Chris Azzopardi

Dallas Voice: What’s a trip to the grocery like now, after Frozen made you a household name?  Idina Menzel: It depends on how many little kids or gay men are there. And they certainly have been complimentary, and yeah, we take some pictures and I’ve put myself on a video for several people’s birthday wishes and bar mitzvahs.

But the gay guys aren’t just singing “Let It Go” to you, I’m sure.  Exactly. And you know what, I’m leaving out the ladies, too! Because, of course, I was Maureen in Rent, so it’s not all the gay male community. There are a lot of beautiful women that have been very supportive of me.

What does your long and loyal history with the LGBT community mean to you?  Honestly, you said the word “loyal” — it means everything to me. All the women that I’ve revered in my life have been beloved by the gay community. So, when I was younger it was like, if I’m not in with that club, then I haven’t made it. So, as soon as I felt like I was being included and appreciated and supported [by the LGBT community], it just really meant everything to me. Not to mention, the accolades and all the compliments don’t come easy. There can be harsh critics; it’s not an easy crowd to win over, so it feels good when you feel like you’ve made friends and they are so loyal and so supportive.

When were you first aware of your gay following?  The first moment was probably when I’d go to the Nederlander Theatre when I was in Rent, and I’d get all these amazing letters from young kids struggling with their sexual orientation and who they were and how they wanted to come out. I’d get a lot of letters about that and how I was helping them be honest with themselves and be brave about coming out, so it started then and that was even… that was stronger than I had even anticipated or ever really had dreamed. Just on a much deeper, much more important level than singing a high note with a lot of bravado and people clapping. And it’s continued to be like that, really, with Wicked and Frozen, with Elsa. There are always these characters who are literally trying to come out of the closet – they’re hiding something within them that they’re afraid to let people see, and then finally they embrace it and change the world around them.

You seem to gravitate toward empowered female characters and tropes. Is there a particular reason why?  I have no idea! I swear, I don’t know if I find them, or they find me. I went into the studio (for this album) — I was going through a divorce [she broke from Taye Diggs in late 2014 after 10 years of marriage], and I can’t tell you how many times I’d sit with these amazing writers and want to write some really upsetting, sad, dark song and it would turn out to be some uplifting, empowering song about trying to find my strength as a woman. I’d be like, “Aaack, why did we write that?! I hate that! I’m just so sick of it! I wanna be miserable! And I want people to let me be miserable!”

But no, I’m half joking. I just want to make sure that people know that I’m not always feeling that empowered and that confident in what I’m doing. Just like anyone else, I gotta work on all that stuff.

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Menzel’s new eponymous studio album dropped this week. (Photo courtesy Max Vadukul)

Are you saying you’re a real person?  I think so! I think I am!

There’s a lot of pressure on you and Disney to make Elsa gay. Are you surprised by the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend movement?  Am I surprised? [Sighs] Maybe at first I was a little surprised because it’s Disney, but I can say that I’m excited that the conversation is happening. I can’t promise anybody that that’s what’s gonna happen. I’m just a servant at a big company called Disney and I’m happy to have a role and a job. But deep down am I really happy that it’s causing people to talk about it and have these kinds of conversations? Yeah, I am.

Do you think the world is ready for a lesbian Disney princess?  I don’t know about that, considering we’re having a hard time even getting Donald Trump out of the way. Sometimes it’s a little discouraging. But you never know. We keep making all these strides. We’ve made a lot of strides in the last couple of years, and then all of a sudden the hate and the vitriol within our country is exposed and you’re like, “What happened? We’re in the ancient times again.”

What does it mean to you to know that so many LGBT people interpreted “Let It Go” as a coming out anthem? And did you when you first read the lyrics?  Yeah, probably not right at first because I’m an actor first, and so I’m thinking, what is it for this character and this young girl? Having had the Wicked experience, I bring those themes to it as well. But then I quickly saw all of the parallels and the universality of the song and how it could speak to so many people in so many different ways.

We must talk about the Patti LaBelle-inspired note you slay during “Queen of Swords,” from your new album.  I have to say that sometimes my best moments, artistically speaking, have come from really emulating someone I love and playing around, because then I get out of my own space. I was literally just having fun. We had already recorded the end of that song a million times and I sang a million different runs of ad-libs at the end, and I was trying to make my producer and engineer laugh. And I didn’t know I could do that one! So then, of course, they put it in.

I’ve had other moments in my life where I’m on stage and if I’m having a hard time — if I feel insecure about a beat or how I’m interpreting something — I’ve done something like, how would Glenn Close approach this moment? Then, all of a sudden, I’m like, “Oh, look at this,” and I’m holding for applause and taking an extra two seconds just to own the stage, not feeling like I have to get out of there because I’m undeserving. It’s interesting if you put yourself in their footsteps once in a while how it can open that up for you and you realize, “Oh, I’ve been selling myself short. I can sell this moment.”

I’m not saying anybody should copy anybody. I don’t think anybody should mimic anyone, but I’m always an advocate of emulating and soaking in all of the greats, because then once it comes out of you, it’ll never be a clone — it will be you inspired by these people.

You’ve had three other studio albums — why self-title this one, and what’s the significance of the period?  It’s very personal. I went through the hardest time in my life while writing this album — a beautiful, successful time, and also a very tumultuous, complicated time in my personal life, and so it’s very intimate. It’s my way of saying, “Hey, this is me and my barebones.” And the period is… what’s the word?… just a little nudge, like, “This is me,” with a little attitude in there, whether it’s how you pronounce my name or [directed toward] anybody who has tried to keep me down.

We refer to our most beloved icons by one name —  Cher, Madonna, Mariah, Bette – so maybe this is also your initiation into gay iconography. Hey, if I can get into that realm or that class, I would be very happy. It would be a huge compliment. But I’m still working toward that. Those women have done a lot more than I have!

Why was it important to you to be a part of the “Fight Song” for Hillary Clinton during the Democratic National Convention?  Elizabeth Banks asked me to do it. You know, I’m just … I believe in Hillary and I’m a Democrat, and I’m not trying to put off or judge anyone who isn’t, but I felt it was important to be a part of it.

Now that you’re obviously tight with Elizabeth Banks, could that mean we’ll see you in Pitch Perfect 3?  That would be awesome.

“Wind Beneath My Wings” is a song that’s so iconic and so owned by Bette Midler. What was it like taking it on for your upcoming Beaches remake?  It was almost reason to say “no.” I mean, I did say no a couple of times at first to the whole thing because to walk in her footsteps, I mean, you can’t. I needed to find what the reasons were to be a part of this when the [original] movie is so beautiful as is. I found that there’s a whole young generation of women who hadn’t seen Beaches. Because of the time we’re in now, as women, there’s a new perspective we have within that story, and there’s a new conversation that can go on as far as us living out our passions and our work and our home life. It’s a little different when you watch the movie now, in this context of life. There’s more that we can bring to it to update it. But as far as the song — the song terrified me. I brought it to my producer, Greg Wells, who did “Queen of Swords” and half of the album, and I said, “How can we make this contemporary?” We sat at the piano and stripped it down, and he just found this way that brings in all these modern sounds. We stayed pretty strict to the melody and I don’t know — I’m just really happy about it. I think it came off really beautifully. It’s an homage to what was already there, but also just a new incarnation of it.

Gay men are very devoted to Beaches. Have you consulted any of them for the role?  By accident I went on my Twitter feed and saw somebody who wrote, “Idina, I love you, but it’s sacrilege that you’re doing this!” I called my agent and I was like, “Tell them I can’t do it. All these gay men are mad at me and they’re gonna hate me!” But it’s just such a great role for me and the experience of being on set and working every day on this beautiful woman that is funny and talented and she gets to do drama and comedy — it was such a great experience for me and it was just hard to turn down. So I hope they’ll forgive me! I understand if they cannot. But you know, come on, Judy Garland redid A Star is Born and then Barbra redid Judy Garland! So sometimes these things happen. I’m not saying I’m any of those women, but you know, sometimes we redo these movies.

Earlier this year, you reunited with your Wicked co-star Kristin Chenoweth and sang “For Good” with her for the first time in 12 years. What was it like to revisit that song a decade-plus later with Kristin and can we expect you to work on anything else with her?  Ah, maybe! Yeah, I would never say never to that. That experience that day was very powerful for both of us, and very moving. We both sung that song a lot through the years in our own concerts, but we hadn’t gotten back and sung it together. And you know, that show changed our lives and the trajectory of our careers. It bonded us — it bonded lots of people — and it’s a song that people connect to in so many ways. They use it at their weddings and their dances with their mothers and they play it at funerals. It’s this incredible song, and for us to have sort of originated that — and together — it’s something we’ll always share. We felt such a pride about it.

Are you going to be OK if Wicked gets made into a film with actresses other than you and Kristin?  No, I’m gonna — no! I’m gonna have a hard time with that. Let’s be honest… you want me to be honest? Or do you want me to say, “Oh, sure, can’t wait for whoever looks 20 years younger than me but can’t sing as good as me gets the role?”

They better not fuck it up, right?  They better not fuck it up! I’m lobbying to do it like Benjamin Button. A little CGI on a beautiful, green face. I could look gorgeous! Like, who cares — just take out a couple wrinkles. Green and exotic. I still have a girly innocence about me. And here I am trying to audition for this role…

I’m sorry, Idina; believe it or not, I have no say in this. No, it’s all good. It’s not gonna happen for a while anyway. I’ll be 70 by the time it comes out and still be trying to get this role.

The special effects will be even better in 30 years.  I hope I’m just not in Vegas in some bad lounge singing it, that’s all I hope.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Chord progression

How acceptance and support at a Deep Ellum club spurred a second coming out for trans musician Ivan Dillard

ivan

Ivan Dillard gave up on music, until a queer music showcase opened his eyes to his love of song … and his gender identity. (Tammye Nash/Dallas Voice)

 

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Executive Editor

Ivan Dillard remembers a key moment in his coming out process — actually, his second coming out.

Ivan — born Aleah — had “tried to be a lesbian for 10 years! Oh, how I tried and tried!” he sighs. Then last year, he finally decided to present as a trans man, and a major step toward that was the decision to use the men’s room at the Deep Ellum club RBC (Rhythm Beats Culture).

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-6-38-43-pm“The first time I started to use the men’s bathroom, I was a little scared about it,” he says. “But as I approached [the restrooms], a six-foot-tall trans woman cam out of the women’s bathroom and I was like, ‘This will be OK.’”

That club has ended up being a sanctuary for Dillard … and a second chance personally as well as professionally in his fascinating journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

It wasn’t an accident that the revelation occurred within Dallas’ thriving live-music scene. Dillard — a classically-trained cellist who attended the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU — came from a family that valued music and education. (His aunt was even a gospel singer/songwriter.) But while the East Texas native has always loved listening to symphonic music, playing it was another matter. And at Meadows, that set him apart.

“I was kind of a black sheep; my senior recital was of all living composers — no Bach or Brahms on my program,” he says. “I was always wanting to play contemporary music and use my instrument outside [concert halls]. That’s still what I want to do.”

While still in school, Dillard played with a few bands, and tried to find his groove in Deep Ellum. It didn’t work out, though.

“I started playing Deep Ellum in like ’09, but I didn’t feel that much energy at that point. It was harder to get people to come out there,” Dillard says. And so he gave up music entirely. Cold turkey. Nada.

“I had quit for a while because I was really depressed. I just didn’t have fun,” he says. “I didn’t write, I didn’t play, I didn’t go out, I didn’t listen to anything except what was on my iPod.” Instead, Dillard — then still presenting as female — pursued another interest: Boxing.

“I did it really hardcore — I got [ranked] all they way up to no. 9 in the country [in the lightweight class],” Dillard says. For years, he took a break from music altogether. “Then one day it just all came back.”

Part of the impetus was attending shows at RBC, especially the recurring Monday night Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions, a hodgepodge of experimental and left-of-center musical and performance-art acts that in many ways removed Dillard’s blinders — about Deep Ellum, about his love of music and about his sexual identity.

“Gender dysmorphia is the worst — you don’t feel human because you’ve become disconnected from yourself,” he explains. “Going there was part of my coming out. There are so many different kinds of people. Everyone is ‘queer’ in their own, different way — it’s very avant garde.”

On Monday nights, he says, “you can hear everything from an ambient ensemble with light projections to like a hardcore metal band to someone having a nervous breakdown onstage through effects pedals … I’m not even joking. Everyone who shows up there is just open-minded and there to experience whatever you put in front of them. The energy you feel is life energy.”

Audiences at this Monday’s event will get a chance to experience that energy as Dillard and his trio The Mystiks make their Outward Bound debut.

The experience just as a patron affected Dillard’s own musical style, preparing him to share his own aesthetic. “It made me go further in how I perform. The performer after me goes by [the pronoun] ‘they.’ My music has been influenced by the energy I felt. I write songs I wanna hear — music that doesn’t have a chord progression I’ve heard 500 fucking times.”

Dillard attributes his courage to come out as trans to “Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox and also to little 16-year-old kids at Booker T., who are changing their pronouns from he to they. I thought, it’s time to step up — the kids are over it. I’m almost 31. Time to be me.”

It’s an exciting evolution for the trans artist.

“Since coming out, the music I wrote a year ago is not the same as what I write now. I feel young, I feel light — like there’s a weight off of me. Oh man! I just … like… ya know, it feels like when I was in my first band and we were just loud for the hell of it.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2016.

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Galveston Plezzure

Austin’s ‘Wolf Pack’ hosts Texas’ first-ever lesbian resort takeover

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WHAT WOULD THAT BITCH JUDY DO? | Plezzure Island co-founders Michelle Daly and Gabby Ayala … along with their inflatable mascot Judy. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

 

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-6-45-08-pmOnce upon a time, four women joined together to form a pack. Their mission: To the change the landscape of how lesbians meet and play.

Michelle Solórzano Daly and Kelly West, along with their best friends Gabby Ayala and Ashley Marshall, joined together to form a company, Wolf Pack Productions. But everyone knows them as the Wolf Pack.

They’ve crafted happy hours and Pride events. They host regular, massive ladies’ nights at Austin’s new LGBTQ club, Highland Lounge.

They’ve proven that they know how to bring the girls and they know what the girls want. And now their biggest event is about to unfold — Plezzure Island, the first-ever all-female Texas resort takeover, coming to Galveston at the end of the month. The lesbian/woman centered (trans inclusive) event is a weekend of pool parties, a beach party, nighttime entertainment, DJs and a slew of lesbian celebs, including DJs, writers and TV stars.

The weekend opens with a VIP cocktail party and “speed dating” session. Friday includes a ton of daytime events, followed that night by a pajama party called The Sleepover, followed Saturday by a performance by Hunter Valentine and more activities.
We tapped the ’Pack to find out why they created this event and what they hope it will deliver.

— Jenny Block

Dallas Voice: Lesbians have a bad rep for not wanting to go out. Do you think that stereotype is true?  Ayala: This has been a stereotype of the lesbian community for a long time. There is the belief that we go out when we are single and then stay home knitting and drinking tea and raising our cats when we couple up.

Our community is so diverse that it is tough to make a blanket statement and say we are all one thing or one way. What we found out from the success of Lesbutante and The Boss events is that maybe the once a month and occasional happy hour is the right cadence.

There is something so incredibly exciting about seeing 400 to 500 women gather, so our goal is to create a space where that happens. We have done that in Austin with L&B and now we are taking the show on the road to bring that party to a greater audience. Us lesbians are a fun people. We like to go out. We like to socialize and we know how to party. You can’t put us in a box… unless we want to be.

What made you think there was a need/desire for an event like this?  Daly: There’s the Dinah Shore in Palm Springs; Aqua Girl in Miami; and Girls in Wonderland in Orlando. So what do we have left? Middle America and the great state of Texas.

They say everything is bigger and better in Texas, and that’s what we are about to show the world with a touch of good old southern hospitality. The expenses pile up when you have to book flights, rent cars, purchase weekend passes, budget for alcohol/food etc. Texas is such a large state that we expect 80 percent of our attendees to come just from all of the different cities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston and Laredo; although we have women coming from the D.C. area, Denver, New Orleans, and Florida.

By hosting a four-day event like this in Texas, it will allow those who haven’t been able to afford going elsewhere the opportunity to experience a space where they can be themselves; make long lasting friendships; find love; and meet others just like themselves.

Other than having a great time, what do you hope attendees will get out of this weekend?  Ayala: This event is about so much! A great time will be the baseline for this experience. We are also bringing a sense of community to this event. Whether you roll in with a whole crew or by yourself, we want you to leave with new friends. You will have at least four after meeting us.

We are taking it back to summer camp where you meet a whole bunch of cool kids and you cannot wait to see them the next year. Last but not least is the southern hospitality our guests will experience. I remember when I moved to Austin from California the biggest thing that stood out was how nice everyone here is! We want to give that to our guests who are visiting from all over the country.

Is this more of a couples event, a singles event, or both?  Marshall: Definitely an event for both — we’re focused on providing a space for attendees to enjoy with old friends, make new friends, and maybe even find a special someone… even if it’s only for the weekend. Our speed-dating event straddles both aspects — not only focused on hooking people up but also introducing attendees to the women with whom they’ll be sharing the experience.

What are you most excited about the weekend?  Ayala: I am so excited for the moment that I can step back and look at the crowd. I just want to watch the crowd enjoy the experience we have created. Enjoy each other and the vibe. I can already see it. Goosebumps.

Marshall: I can’t wait to see all of the events come to fruition but I’m most excited about our Friday night event, The Sleepover — we’ve got such an exciting evening planned with a live performance by BedPost Confessions (one of my favorite Austin performance groups) and our favorite DJ, DJ Citizen Jane, who has flown in from Miami for the weekend. The vibe is going to be very sexy and vibrant — although I still need to pick out my pajamas.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

MARCELO MEDIA PHOTOS: 2016 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade (#4)

Parade photos by Chuck Marcelo of Marcelo Media, #4 (watch for more photos as the week goes on).

—  Tammye Nash

MARCELO MEDIA PHOTOS: 2016 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade (#5)

Parade photos by Chuck Marcelo of Marcelo Media, #5.

—  Tammye Nash

DVtv: Pride on parade in Dallas

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Brad Pritchett and the DVtv crew hit the streets of Oak Lawn Sunday, Sept. 18, to see, participate in and talk about the 2016 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and the Festival in Reverchon Park.

Watch all the fun here:

—  Tammye Nash

MARCELO MEDIA PHOTOS: 2016 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade (#3)

Parade photos by Chuck Marcelo of Marcelo Media, #3 (watch for more photos as the week goes on).

—  Tammye Nash

MARCELO MEDIA PHOTOS: Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade 2016 (#1)

What’s that you say? You want to see MORE photos from the 2016 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade? Well, we don’t want to disappoint our readers! So here you go: Parade photos by Chuck Marcelo of Marcelo Media, #1 (watch for more photos as the week goes on).

—  Tammye Nash

UPDATE: Protester pepper-sprays gay man outside bar, group returns Saturday to protest Teen Pride

 

tyler

Tyler’s eyes were swollen and sore after an anti-gay protester pepper-sprayed him outside a gay nightclub Friday night.

A protester believed to be with a group called Dallas For God Christian Outreach assaulted a Dallas man with pepper spray outside BJ’s NXS on Friday night, Sept. 16, and the same group — including the woman who allegedly committed the Friday night assault — rallied outside Oak Lawn United Methodist Church Saturday afternoon, Sept. 17, against the Teen Pride event.

The man who was assaulted, who identified himself as Tyler, said he and a friend were leaving the bar at 3215 Fitzhugh Ave., when they were confronted by the protesters. “We started conversing with them, and while the shorter black guy was in my face, [a woman] pepper-sprayed me.”

Tyler said that he called police, who issued a citation to the woman. He also said that he was able to easily identify the woman in photos provided by Jeremy Liebbe, head of security for Dallas Pride.

Liebbe said the same group, including the pepper-spray incident suspect, was outside the Teen Pride event Saturday, and identified them as being part of the Dallas For God Christian Outreach.

According to a Facebook page for Dallas For God, the minister of the group is Clarence Davis II, and says that Davis is minister of Full Gospel Holy Temple in Dallas.

protester-busted

The protester on right was ticketed for a pepper spray attack in front of BJs. Hate crime charges are being investigated.

dallas-for-god

Dallas Pride security chief Jeremy Liebbe said that a woman who allegedly assaulted a man outside a gay bar on Friday night is part of the Dallas For God Christian Outreach group, which also showed up Saturday afternoon at Oak Lawn UMC to protest outside the Teen Pride event. The group is led by Clarence Davis II.

 

—  Tammye Nash