Gender clinic opens in Austin

THA puts together services and offers them at no charge

BrinsonPrEP

Dr. Cynthia Brinson said PrEP is “extremely important” in fighting HIV.

DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer

Texas Health Action, an Austin non-profit that promotes sexual wellness, opened its doors to its gender clinic a little more than a week ago with an appointment for one client. By the next day, they were booked through June.

THA was founded in May 2015, when “Folks were expressing a need for PrEP,” said Executive Director Joe McAdams.

Staffed by volunteers, THA built in testing for sexually transmitted diseases as part of the examination needed before starting PrEP, a method of preventing HIV infection by taking Truvada as prevention medication for people who are HIV-negative. But, “We quickly moved to become a sexual health and wellness clinic,” McAdams said.

THA qualified for 340B pharmacy status so that a portion of the money spent on Truvada or other prescribed medications that were dispensed at certain outlets would be returned to THA. That allows all services provided by THA to be otherwise free to the client.

Since opening, THA has become the fastest-growing PrEP clinic in the country.

Although Austin has a county hospital, it’s not set up with the same levels of care as Parkland Hospital in Dallas, McAdams explained. THA has been getting referrals from the victims unit to offer PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis. Treating someone with Truvada who may have been exposed to HIV seems to prevent infection also.

Joe-McAdams-

Joe McAdams

Many of the people THA was seeing were transgender. So, “It made sense for the next step to be a gender clinic,” McAdams said.

This seemed to be the right time, McAdams said, with the rise of hate crimes around the country and the debate over SB6, the bathroom bill, in the Texas Legislature. What better time to help more people transition safely than the week SB6 passed the state Senate?

“We’re the antithesis to what’s going on politically,” McAdams said.

The new gender clinic takes a different approach to trans folks than many clinics do. Instead of challenging who people say they are, “We’re going to trust who they say they are,” McAdams said.

THA partnered with Dr. Cynthia Brinson, who has been treating trans people in her practice for more than 25 years. As part of Brinson’s practice, she takes care of people at the Travis County jail who have what she called specialty needs — those with HIV, Hepatitis C and people receiving hormones.

Brinson said she’s noticed over the years more patients are interested in being more open and want more acceptance. “As a result, people are struggling more with identity,” she said. “People want to live who they are and not pretend.”

Brinson said she’s dealt with a lot of suicide in her practice. She blames that on people not being accepted for who they are.

“SB6 is affecting people badly,” the doctor said. “A lot of people went to the Capitol to object.” Despite that, the bill passed the Senate this week 21-10.

Brinson said she hoped the new gender clinic makes a difference in the lives of a lot of people.

“People can begin feeling the external persona matches the internal and feel more complete,” she said. “They can become who they always knew they should be and have a worthiness they didn’t feel they had before.”

Brinson said before the clinic opened, she knew there was a tremendous need. But, “I didn’t realize they’d trust us so quickly,” she added.

Brinson said she’s continuing to encourage PrEP, which she called her passion. “It’s extremely important to me,” she said.

Her goal is stopping the virus in Austin with no new cases by 2020. In the last reporting year, more than 500 new cases were reported in Austin. That’s more new cases than San Francisco reported, largely because of that city’s Getting to Zero campaign that involves getting people likely to be infected on PrEP.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 17, 2017.

—  David Taffet

Easter in the Park celebrates its 50th year

The Pooch Parade is always one of the most popular parts of the Easter in the Park celebration. (Photo by Chuck Marcelo)

Easter-in-the-Park

DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer

Easter in the Park, which first took place at Lee Park in 1967, celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 16.

LeeAnne Locken from Real Housewives of Dallas and Lifestyle Guru Steve Kemble will emcee the afternoon.

The Pooch Parade takes place at 2 p.m. along Turtle Creek Boulevard. All pets must be on a leash. Prizes will be awarded by “celebrity judges” for Best in Show, Best Group, Most Creative and Best Easter-Inspired Outfit. Entry fee is $10.

Rescue organizations will be on site and will have pets available for adoption.

An Easter egg hunt will take place on the lawn and photos with the Easter Bunny will be available. Live music will be provided by The Gypsy Playboys and DJ Jen Miller.

Those attending are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic basket or purchase lunch from food trucks that will be parked along Turtle Creek Boulevard.

For years, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performed. In the 1980s and 1990s, they were joined by the Turtle Creek Chorale. However, costs kept rising — the concert that cost just a couple of thousand dollars to stage in the 1960s was going to cost more than $75,000 a decade ago — so the orchestra no longer participates.           

Easter in the Park is now staged by the Lee Park Conservancy, which runs the park, and everyone is welcome. Easter in the Park runs from 1-4 p.m. on April 16.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 17, 2017.

—  David Taffet

Pet of the week • 03-17-17

Molly-Ann

Meet Molly Ann, an 8-year-old domestic shorthair mix with gorgeous Torbie-colored fur and striking green eyes. She can be a little timid when meeting new people, but once you spend some time with her, she’s a total love. She adores being scratched on her head and neck, and is happy to lie idly while you give her all the attention. Once she gets to know you, you’ll find her in your lap purring up a storm; she’ll even follow you around to ask for more affection. If you’re looking for a lap cat to enjoy quiet time with, she’s your girl! Molly Ann has been spayed, microchipped, tested negative for FIV/FeLV and has received all age-appropriate vaccinations. #21319

Molly Ann is waiting for you at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas at 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 a  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 March 17, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

Gay Agenda • 03-17-17

Gay-Agenda-image-02-24-17-B

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.; 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 Jalenzski@myresourcecenter.org LGBT square dancing group Pegasus Squares meets every Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at Dallas School of Burlesque, 2924 Main St #103; Dallas Frontrunners meet for a walk or run on the Katy trail at the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee park every Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. and every Saturday at 9 a.m.

MARCH

March 18: Lee Park AIDS Memorial Anniversary
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the tree planting and plaque dedication in Lee Park to honor those lost to HIV/AIDS. A gathering at 11 a.m. will honor Alan Ross, who created the memorial and worked to have it installed in Lee Park. There will be testimonials and remembrances.

March 18: Rep. Pete Sessions Town Hall
U.S. Rep Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, will hold a town hall at 12:30 p.m. at Richardson High School, 1250 Beltline Road. Anyone with concerns over protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits, health care or LGBT rights is encouraged to attend.

March 18: Pot O’ Gold Gaybingo
Monthly fundraiser for Resource Center takes place from 6-9 p.m. at the Rose Room at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 214-540-4458. MyResourceCenter.org/gaybingo.

March 18: QCinema
Suzanne Westenhoefer live at 7:30 p.m. at Amphibian Stage Productions, 120 S. Main St., Fort Worth. $25-75. Qcinema.org.

March 18: HRC Spring Luncheon
Mary Beth Maxwell, senior vice president for programs, research and training speaks. From 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at The Tower Club, Thanksgiving Tower, 48th floor, 1601 Elm St. Federal club members free. Federal club guests $35. Others $50. SpringLuncheon2017.eventbrite.com

March 19: ‘Freedom to Marry’
Local premiere of the film Freedom to Marry by Eddie Rosenstein at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.

March 20: Advocacy Day in Austin
Speak to your legislators. GALA North Texas will sponsor buses to Austin. Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave., Austin. GALA is chartering buses leaving from Collin Creek Mall and Cathedral of Hope. $15.

March 22: Resource Center Presents
Resource Center kicks off a new program, Resource Center Presents, with “2017 Texas Legislature: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. RC Advocacy and Communications Manager Rafael McDonnell will lead a discussion on the bills affecting the LGBT community that have been introduced in this session of the Texas Legislature, how to lobby lawmakers on those bills and the process of moving a bill through the legislature. The event is free, but those planning to attend are asked to register so that organizers can plan appropriately. For information visit MyResourceCenter.org or call 866-657-2437.

March 23: HRC Volunteer Mixer
Human Rights Campaign hosts a mixer for current and prospective HRC volunteers from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the second floor at JR.’s Bar & Grill, 3923 Cedar Springs Road.

March 23-25: Topsy Turvy
The Turtle Creek Chorale presents Topsy Turvy: Songs You Thought You Knew at 7:30 p.m. at City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. $25-65. TurtleCreekChorale.com.

March 23: They Were Expendable
Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance hosts a screening of They Were Expendable, starring John Wayne and Robert Montgomery as two PT boat skippers sent to help defend the Philippines from the Japanese, 7 p.m. at Studio Movie Grill, 13933 N. Central Expressway. Call 214-741-7500.

March 25: AIDS Walk South Dallas
From 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, 2922 MLK Jr. Blvd.

March 25: Different Strokes Golf Association
New Members Invitational starts at 11 a.m. at Cedar Crest Golf Course, 1800 Southerland Ave. Cost is $55. DSGADallas.org for information and to sign up.

March 25: Cocktails & Conversation with Gregory Barker
Artist and designer Gregory Barker holds a Spring Soiree celebrating the grand opening of his new studio, Patina Bleu, 833 W. 7th St. in North Oak Cliff. Free valet parking available. RSVP at Facebook.com/events/1351588388235765,

March 26: Holi celebration
Enjoy Indian culture as Radha Krishna Temple celebrates Holi from noon-5 p.m. at South Fork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Drive, Parker.

March 26: Stephen Daingerfield Dunn
Stephen Daingerfield Dunn reads from his newly published book, A Piece Of My Heart, with live music by Neil Mowles, Bob Goodwin and others, from 5-7 p.m. at Unity of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane. Tickets are $20 per person, or $35 per couple, available through Eventbrite.com.

March 27: UNT Outlaw
Dallas LGBT Bar Association hosts a meeting from 5-6 p.m. at UNT Dallas, 1901 Main St. in Dallas, for networking and to share information on opportunities available for students and on the Lavender Law Conference. Free, but RSVP to  contact@ DallasLGBTBar.LGBT for planning purposers.

March 28: Family Night at Durkin’s Pizza
GALA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance) North Texas holds Family Night at Durkin’s Pizza, 8930 S.H. 121 at Custer Road in McKinney. Owner Michael Durkin donates 10 percent of sales that night to GALA Youth. For information email info@galanorthtexas.org.

March 30: Black Tie Dinner Kickoff
Kickoff party from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Concrete Cowboy, 2512 Cedar Springs Road.

March 30: FashionCITED Rhythm and Hues Show
This fashion show fundraiser benefits Legal Hospice of Texas from 7-10 p.m. at Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave. $60.

March 30: Path2Parenthood
An evening on lesbian pregnancy with information on sperm donors, medical procedures and legal safeguards. Dinner is included from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Space limited so RSVP to corey@path2parenthood.org.

March 31: GALA Meet the Candidates
GALA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance) North Texas hosts a Meet the Candidate event featuring candidates for city council, school board and the Collin College board of trustees, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at 4568 Southgate Drive in Plano. For information email info@galanorthtexas.org.

March 31-April 2: Texas Traditions Rodeo
Texas Gay Rodeo Association presents Texas Traditions Rodeo. Gates open at 11 a.m. at Diamond T Arena, 6900 E. Sherman Drive, Denton.

APRIL

April 8: No Tie Dinner
This year’s theme is An Artful Life, inspired by the pop artists. From 7-10 p.m. at Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave. $75. Tickets at NoTieDinner.org

April 9: HER HRC — Sue Ellen’s Throwback Party
HRC brings back the old Sue’s with DJ, silent auctions, door prizes and games from 2-6 p.m. at TMC: The Mining Company, 3903 Cedar Springs Road. Includes the presentation of the DFW HRC Community Impact Award to Kathy Jack. General admission tickets are $10 in advance at TinyURL.com/HerHRC2017; $15 at the door. VIP tickets start at $40.

April 9: Mega March
March calling for immigration reform and an end to aggressive deportation efforts from 2-4 p.m. Line up on Ross Avenue at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe and march to Dallas City Hall.

April 15: Purple Gaybingo
Monthly fundraiser for Resource Center takes place from 6-9 p.m. at the Rose Room at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 214-540-4458. MyResourceCenter.org/gaybingo.

April 15: GALA Meet the CandidatesGALA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance) North Texas hosts a Meet the Candidate event featuring candidates for city council, school board and the Collin College board of trustees, from 3-5:30 p.m. at 601 Rouen Drive in McKinney. For information email info@galanorthtexas.org.

April 16: Easter in the Park
The pooch parade in Oak Lawn’s Lee Park is an Easter tradition. Bring picnic basket and lawn chairs. 1 p.m.

April 19: Evening with the Judges
Dallas LGBT Bar Association  hosts an Evening with the Judges, from 5:30-7 p.m. in Belo Hall at Belo Mansion, 2101 Ross Ave. Features Judges Roberto Canas Jr., Dennise Garcia, Maricela Moore, Tonya Parker and Ingrid Warren. Offers attending lawyers  one-and-a-half hours of free continuing legal education credits. For information visit DGLBA.org.

April 21: Compassion Fatigue Symposium
Ed-U-Care presents its sixth annual symposium from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 9200 Inwood Road.EdUCareDallas.com.

……………….

TCC-Topsy-Turvy

The Turtle Creek Chorale presents the concert “Topsy Turvy: Songs You Thought You Knew,” Thursday through Sunday, March 23-25, at City Performance Hall in Dallas. See listings for details.

……………….

Pete-Sessions

U.S. Rep Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, will hold a town hall Saturday, March 18 at Richardson High School. See listings for details.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 17, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

Trails and tribulations

Jeep’s Wrangler Unlimited Sahara is built for city to desert

Jeep

Casey Williams | Auto Reviewer

autocasey@aol.com

Jeep would like you to think Wranglers spend all of their miles crawling over rocks, shimmying up steep trails,
    and fording deep creeks. Some do, but most while away their days in fashion mall parking garages, commuting to work, lurching through coffee shop drive-thrus and hauling jet skis. No matter how you use your Jeep, the Firecracker Red Sahara edition has your back.

Neither Jeep nor its customers like radical design changes, so the iconic off-roader retains its tall seven-slot “grater” grille, hood with external latches, big round projector headlamps, beefy bumper and two-box shape that never cozied a wind tunnel. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t recognize today’s design trends, flashing a body color grille and fender extensions, LED floglamps and red hardtop. Remove two panels over the front seats for targa-style air freshening. Sahara editions also come with a soft top for summer months. A rear defroster and wiper/washer keep views clear.

Once you grapple yourself up and inside, the views are excellent and amenities are plentiful. Heated leather bucket seats up front face a simple dashboard with round gauges, large knobs for the automatic climate control system and a notched gear selector. The Uconnect infotainment system is generations behind with a tiny touchscreen, but features navigation, USB input, voice control and Bluetooth. You can still remove the doors to splash through streams, but they contain one-touch down power windows and power mirrors. Five people and their luggage find space.

Jeep-interiorBetween the old-fashioned fenders is a 3.6-liter V6 engine delivering 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. It routes to the wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. That would normally be ridiculous power in a mid-size SUV, but this one rides on a full frame and smashes every molecule of air it passes by. It takes a firm foot up its throttle to get it moving, but once underway, it can tow 3,500 lbs. Fuel economy ratings of 16/20-MPG city/hwy reflect its weight and shape. I’d put a Jerry can on the back just in case.

If you use all of the Wrangler’s capabilities, you’ll go far from a gas station. This is a serious beast, fortified with Command-Trac shift on the fly part-time four-wheel-drive, Dana 44 heavy duty rear axle and Dana 30 solid front axle. Skid plates protect the transfer case and fuel tank. Dirt-clawing off-road tires work with best-in-class approach angle of 42.2 degrees, breakover angle of 25.8 degrees and departure angle of 32.3 degrees to usher the big Jeep through and over almost anything.

A tight turning radius works just as well maneuvering through tight downtown garages as weaving through trees on-trail. Yet anybody pondering a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited needs to keep a few things in mind. No matter what you do to civilize this brute, and stretching the wheelbase does make it ride and handle better, a Jeep is still a very serious off-road machine that kinda bumps over bumps whether potholes, expansion joints or small critters. Steering is numb and the throttle is soft – perfect for finesse on difficult trails, but annoying in everyday traffic. A Jeep Grand Cherokee or Compass may be better choices for those wanting the Jeep vibe with modern dynamics.

Jeeps cross all demographics — all summed up nicely in the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. It is stylish, maneuverable, comfortable and innately capable no matter where life travels. A base price of $27,895 ($45,045 as-tested) puts it against the Land Rover LR4, Toyota 4Runner and Chevy Tahoe.           

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition MARCH 17, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice

The ‘Butterfly’ effect

How do you reconcile a cliché-filled, anti-progressive plot with one of the most famous operas  of all time?

Madame-Butterfly

Despite its enduring popularity in the contemporary canon, Madame Butterfly has never been one of my favorite operas. In fact, I tend to dislike it with a fair degree of brio. Giacomo Puccini composed some lovely music that endures and even inspires (listen carefully, and you can detect passages that hint at Les Miserables, as well as some that crib from his own La Boheme). But too often — and especially here — those passages are weighed down with cumbersome libretti that seem to stretch out interminably.

That’s definitely true of Butterfly.

The plot is simple, but also reprehensible. Pinkerton (tenor Gianluca Terranova), an American sailor station in Nagasaki in 1904, agrees to “marry” a local girl, a 15-year-old geisha named Cio-Cio San (soprano Hui He), with full knowledge that while the marriage is technically legal, he can divorce her at any time without consequence by simply abandoning her. His friend, the U.S. consul Sharpless (baritone Lucas Meachem), warns him not to play with an ingénue’s emotions, which, of course, he ignores. And because this is opera, she steadfastly refuses to believe what a scoundrel Pinkerton is even after he dumps her and the infant child she bore in his absence, moves back to America and finds a pretty, white, blonde wife. The Pinkertons take the child back to the U.S. Cio-Cio San kills herself in sacrifice.

This has never seemed like grand, heightened emotions but the story of a dick who gets away with ruining someone’s life without suffering any consequences. And perhaps worst of all, it sets up the “shy lotus blossom subservient to men of the West” cliché that has plagued cultural identity politics for generations.

Usually with opera, it’s easy to compartmentalize the actions onstage from our own lives — the pieces were written centuries ago, or are set in mythic, far-away lands or highly fanciful settings. But Butterfly is so modern, so familiar, its plot always leaves a bitter after-taste, like seeing actors perform minstrel acts wearing blackface. A teenager seduced by a sleazy sailor (who never gets a real comeuppance) and ruined emotionally, financially, fatally? You feel complicit in its outdated attitudes and casual colonialist superiority. And it takes nearly three hours to get there.

Indeed, the pacing of Butterfly has perpetually irked me; there’s more pomp in reading a simple letter than most of us would commit to writing an entire novel, and long, gooey romantic passages neither advance the plot nor dazzle us with spectacle. The love ballad that ends Act 1 goes on an on long after the lovers have run out of words to sing. The interlude between scenes in Act 2 lasts a full five minutes, and when the curtain finally rises again, the setting hasn’t changed an iota.

You endure all this, of course, for masterful performances from singers who know how to milk Puccini’s lush melodies for all they’re worth. But while Hui He’s voice is powerful and pitch-perfect, her phrasings are unexpectedly anti-climactic (notably her showpiece aria, the legendary “Un bel di,” seems abbreviated in the last note). Terranova’s performance is ham-fisted and callow. Only Meachem’s Sharpless carries the necessary dramatic weight and also provides the few moments of levity.

Madame Butterfly is an opera where you are either already a fan or you struggle to become one. I’m the latter. And the struggle is real… and not one that ends victoriously.        

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition MARCH 17, 2017.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

GET SCREWED

Benjamin Britten makes a return to the Dallas Opera after 20 years with the company debut of ‘The Turn of the Screw’

_Ashley-Emerson-(Flora)-and-Oliver-Nathanielsz-(Miles)Madame Butterfly is one of the world’s most-performed operas; the same can’t be said of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, though the Dallas Opera’s next production sets out to remedy that.

Britten is perhaps the most famous British composer of opera, though still less widely-known than his Italian, French and Russian counterparts. The DO has staged only four productions of his works in its history (Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Billy Budd and now this) — that’s about one-third of the number of productions of Butterfly alone. And Turn of the Screw — based on Henry James’ novella, one of the iconic psychological ghost stories in literature — is making its company debut.

A chamber opera (only six actors are required), it tells the story of a young governess (soprano Emma Bell) hired by the absent guardian of two children — nephew Miles (Oliver Nathanielsz) and niece Flora (Ashley Emerson) — to live in their remote house and look over her mysterious charges. The governess grows uneasy with the children, hearing stories about their behavior she can’t believe, but unable to ask their uncle for advice. Then she begins seeing a shadowy figure on the grounds … someone whom she’s told is dead. Can she trust what she sees? And what is the power that Bly House has over her psychological well-being?

Britten culls his musical inspiration from both traditional nursery rhymes as well as his own modernist 12-tone themes that inject dissonance and surprise that crawls under your skin. But don’t worry if that’s not your style — next up from the DO will be Bellini’s Norma, one of the great bel canto operas of all time.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St.
Performances March 17, 22 and 25 at
7:30 p.m., March 19 matinee at 2 p.m.
DallasOpera.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition MARCH 17, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PETS

Joey-2

Remembrance: Joey

For anyone who has never had a pet — and that includes the current Commander-in-Cheeto — they insinuate themselves into your lives in ways the limbic brain cannot fathom. How can a speechless, furry, four-legged mammal win over our hearts just by being them? It’s no wonder people — gay people especially — often refer to their dogs, cats, snakes, birds and ferrets as “children.” We certainly felt that way about Joey, the languidly adorable Chihuahua who, for more than five years, was the de facto mascot of Dallas Voice. With his mommy, Voice Distribution Manager Linda Depriter, he delivered newspapers across the Metroplex, winning over everybody who came in touch with him. And “touch” you did — he was meant to be held, cuddled and dressed in outfits pricier than most of his work colleagues. So when Joey was suddenly attacked and killed more than a month ago, our hearts were broken like glass. He was the embodiment of why we care about our pets — not as property, but as members of the family.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones

BEST VET

Metro Paws Animal Hospital

1021 Fort Worth Ave. and 1910 Skillman St.

DallasMetroPaws.com.

BEST ANIMAL ADOPTION

SPCA of Texas

2400 Lone Star Drive. Open daily at noon.

214-742-SPCA (7722).

SPCA.org.

BEST PET SUPPLY

BEST PET GROOMING

Hollywood Feed

3425 Knight St. (and other locations).

214-774-9488.

HollywoodFeed.com.

BEST PET SITTER/DOG WALKER

Park Cities Pet Sitter

214-828-0192.

PCPSI.com.

BEST BOARDING/KENNELING

The Pooch Patio

3811 Fairmont St.

214-525-1550.

ThePoochPatio.com.

BEST DOG PARK

White Rock Lake Dog Park

800 E. Mockingbird Lane.

214-670-4100.

WhiteRockDogPark.org

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition MARCH 17, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DINE

Zephyr-Bakery-Cafe

Best New Restaurant
Zephyr Bakery Cafe

It’s an exciting time to be in the Oak Lawn gayborhood, especially if you’re a foodie. In recent years, we’ve witnessed an explosion of development and growth that has diversified the area culturally and culinarily. And one of the high points for Dallas Voice readers has been the emergence of Zephyr along The Strip. Authentically Parisian in concept and execution, it’s a cozy boite, with charming decor, a popular brunch, lush baked goods prepared daily (bacon belongs on cupcakes!), rich coffee and a pet-friendly patio. You can imagine yourself dining along the 18th arrondissement, overlooking the city from Montmartre… well, you will have to imagine that. But close your eyes and let the food take you there. Bon voyage, y’all!

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones

Pizza

Italian/Pizza
Campisi’s

The shape is unmistakable: Oblong, with slices cut not into triangles, but more bite-sized rectangles across the longest meridian. It is a pizza like none other… and that’s no doubt why readers voted Campisi’s their favorite pizzeria and spot for Italian cuisine. The storied eatery — its main location has been on Mockingbird Lane, beneath an even older sign identifying it as “The Egyptian,” since the 1940s, but there are satellites, including heat-at-home options in grocery stores — is old-school Italian at its kitschiest: iceberg salads drenched in garlicy oil, dimly-lit dining rooms illuminated by red-glassed candles, veal pounded thinner than Lara Flynn Boyle. We love it all. But it’s that pizza that shouts something unique and special. We love it. Always will.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones

Mexican-food

Tex-Mex
Uncle Julio’s

Without question, one of the great benefits of living in Dallas is access to tons of great Tex-Mex cuisine. In fact, there’s so much good food out there, we weren’t surprised that Dallas Voice readers voted for a tie in the category, with both Gloria’s and Uncle Julio’s coming out on top. And while Gloria’s offers the bonus of fusion cuisine — you can also enjoy Mexican, Salvadoran and “SalvaTex” delights — Uncle Julio’s is straight-up Tex-Mex with its sizzling fajitas, fancy frozen margaritas (including a few brand new recipes), tableside guacamole and of course combination platters of enchiladas, tamales and tacos. And for a little flamboyance, don’t forget the chocolate piñata for dessert … and who doesn’t enjoy a little flamboyance?

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones

BEST DINING EXPERIENCE

18th and Vine

4100 Maple Ave.

214-443-8335.

18thAndVineBBQ.com.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Zephyr Bakery Café

4001 Cedar Springs Road.

214-377-6023.

Zephyr.cafe,

BEST LOCAL CHEF

Blythe Beck, Pink Magnolia

ChefBlytheBeck.com.

BEST BRUNCH

Bread Winners Café

3301 McKinney Ave.

(and other area locations).

BreadWinnersCafe.com.

BEST BURGER

BEST LUNCH SPOT

Hunky’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers

3930 Cedar Springs Road and

321 N. Bishop Ave.

Hunkys.com.

BEST BARBECUE

Pecan Lodge

2702 Main St.

214-748-8900.

PecanLodge.com.

BEST STEAK

Bob’s Steak & Chop House

4300 Lemmon Ave. (and additional location).

Bobs-SteakAndChop.com.

BEST ASIAN/SUSHI

Oishii

2525 Wycliffe Ave.

DallasOishii.com.

BEST ITALIAN/PIZZA

Campisi’s

5610 E. Mockingbird Lane.

Campisis.us.

BEST TEX-MEX (TIE)

Gloria’s Latin Cuisine

3223 Lemmon Ave. (and other locations).

GloriasCuisine.com.

Uncle Julio’s

4125 Lemmon Ave. (and other locations).

214-520-6620.

Uncle Julios.com.

BEST TAQUERIA

Velvet Taco

3012 N. Henderson Ave.

214-823-8358.

VelvetTaco.com.

BEST VEGETARIAN SPOT

Cosmic Cafe

2912 Oak Lawn Ave.

214-521-6157.

CosmicCafeDallas.com.

BEST DINER

Norma’s Café

1123 W. Davis St. (and other locations).

NormasCafe.com.

BEST PATIO

Cedar Springs Tap House

4123 Cedar Springs Road, Ste. 100.

214-377-7446.

CedarSpringsTapHouse.com.

BEST COCKTAIL MENU

Pink Magnolia

642 W. Davis St.

469-320-9220.

PinkMagnoliaDallas.com

BEST VODKA

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition MARCH 17, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

SHOW

Alvaro

BEST LOCAL SINGER

Alvaro Ramalho

If you’ve ever heard Alvaro Ramalho sing, you’d know how he ended up as our readers’ favorite vocalist. It’s not just his work with the Turtle Creek Chorale, but his other performances — especially the series of appearances that led him to being named the 2016 Voice of Pride, and performing at the post-parade Pride festival in Lee Park last fall. He’s an expressive and powerful singer, someone who really captures what we love about live music.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Angels-Denson

BEST LOCAL PRODUCTION (PLAY)
Angels in America

BEST LOCAL STAGE DIRECTOR
Cheryl Denson

Here’s a statistic you probably didn’t know: More Americans attend live theatrical performances every year than attend live sporting events. Theater has the ability to transform us, and nowhere was that more apparent last year than in Uptown Players’ production of Tony Kushner’s landmark play Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches. Directed by Cheryl Denson, it captured the humor, sadness, mystery, anger and frustrating political machinations that led to the AIDS epidemic, but that also empowered a movement. UP is planning to stage Part Two later this year, so if you missed the first one, be prepared to see why theater is more important now than ever before.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

BESTLOCAL PRODUCTION (MUSICAL)

Dreamgirls (Dallas Theater Center)

Performed June 10–July 24, 2016,

at the Wyly Theatre.

DallasTheaterCenter.org.

BEST LOCAL PRODUCTION (PLAY)

Angels in America (Uptown Players)

Performed Nov. 4–20, 2016, the Kalita Humphreys Theater.

UptownPlayers.org.

BEST LOCAL STAGE DIRECTOR

Cheryl Denson

Directing credits in 2016 include
Angels in America and End of the Rainbow

(both Uptown Players).

BEST LOCAL DRAMATIC ACTOR/ACTRESS

B.J. Cleveland

Performing credits in 2016 include It’s Only a Play (Uptown Players), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Theatre Arlington), A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play and I Love You’ You’re Perfect, Now Change (Theatre 3).

BEST LOCAL MUSICAL ACTOR/ACTRESS

M. Denise Lee

Recent performing credits include The Empress and the Pearl (Theatre Three); Bella: An American Tale (Dallas Theater Center); also, founder of the Dallas Cabaret Festival.

BEST LOCAL SINGER

Alvaro Ramalho

BEST LOCAL ARTS ORGANIZATION

BEST LOCAL BAND, GROUP OR  MUSICIAN

Turtle Creek Chorale

3630 Harry Hines Blvd., Ste. 360

214-526-3214.

TurtleCreek.org.

BEST DANCE EVENT OR TROUPE

Bruce Wood Dance Project

BruceWoodDance.org.

BEST THEATRICAL PRESENTER

AT&T Performing Arts Center

ATTPAC.org.

BEST BURLESQUE PERFORMER
(TIE)

Vivienne Vermouth

Lillian Grey

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition MARCH 17, 2017.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TRAVEL

San-Francisco

Best GLBT Destination
San Francisco

Gay travelers all know about The Castro, but California’s “City by the Bay” is known as one of the most scenic and recreational cities of the West Coast year-round. The weather is famously mild — chilly even — but one of the main attractions is Baker Beach. Located at the northwest corner of the San Francisco, this is the one of the most interesting beaches in the U.S., known for its openness to the population, boasting a direct view of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the full coastline of the city. Part of the beach is clothing optional, there’s a food truck party on weekends as well as great hiking, beach soccer, Frisbee and wine tastings. A city like this is more than just one neighborhood — it’s the vastness of opportunity that makes San Francisco the total package.  

— Nicholas Clements-Lindsey

Photo by Nicholas Clements-Lindsey

BEST LGBT DESTINATION

San Francisco, Calif.

BEST ROMANTIC GETAWAY

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY

Rainbow Ranch, Groesbeck, Texas

RainbowRanch.net.

BEST LGBT CRUISE EXPERIENCE

RSVP

310-432-2300.

RSVPVacations.com.

BEST AIRLINE

Southwest Airlines

Southwest.com.

BEST LOCAL TRAVEL/CRUISE AGENCY

The Pauer Group

972-241-2000.

ThePauerGroup.com.

BEST LOCAL HOTEL

Warwick Melrose Hotel Dallas

3015 Oak Lawn Ave.

214-521-5151.

WarwickHotels.com.

BEST ONLINE TRAVEL SITE OR APP

Expedia.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition MARCH 17, 2017.

—  Dallasvoice