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 or Senior Staff Writer David Taffet at 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

• 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

• 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 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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Batter up!

PSSA recruiting competitive, recreational players for 2017 season



Tammye Nash  |  Managing Editor

Registration is now open for Pegasus Slowpitch Softball Association’s spring league, and PSSA leaders are encouraging everyone with an interest to attend introductory events and sign up to play,

“We are recruiting right now for the spring season, which starts March 5 at Kiest Park in Oak Cliff,” league President Mark  Fiorello said in a recent interview. “All our teams form on their own, and coaches are actively looking for players.”

But, he added, someone who wants to play but doesn’t yet have a team should register anyway. “If you want to play, we’ll find you a team,” he pledged.

PSSA is open to men and women, and although it is known as the “gay” softball league and is affiliated with the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, it’s also open to non-LGBT athletes. “Straight people are welcome to play in PSSA,” said Recruitment

Coordinator Mark Keerbs. “In fact, we already have a number of straight players who participate. That [sexual orientation] doesn’t matter to us.”

PSSA offers players competition in six different categories: Divisions A, B, Upper C, Lower C, D and Recreational. The lettered divisions are all competitive divisions in which teams play to qualify for NAGAAA’s annual Softball World Series, set this year for Sept. 4-10 in Portland, Ore.

The 2016 Gay World Series was held in Austin, and Dallas Texas Force, “Powered by Woody’s,” won the Division A Championship.

The Gay Softball World Series was first played in 1977, in San Francisco. It’s been held in Dallas three times — 2014, 2004 and 1988 — and Dallas teams have won championships or placed in the tournament’s divisional play several times.

While PSSA officials still want to see their league fielding quality competitive teams that can bring those World Series trophies back home, Fiorello and Keerbs said they want the recreational players to know they are welcome, too.

“The rec division just started last year,” Fiorello said. “A lot of our former players didn’t like the rating system the competitive division players have to go through. They didn’t like the time commitment the competitive divisions required.

“In the recreational division, there are no ratings. Players don’t have to participate in so many fundraisers to get the money to go to the World Series. They are only competing for standing in the league, nothing beyond that.”

Keerbs added, “The recreational division gives people an outlet to come out and play without having to take so seriously as you do in the competitive divisions. In the past, it was really hard for some people to find their own place in the league. With the rec division, that’s not a problem any more.”

Last year, the recreational division included six teams; Keerbs and Fiorello said they expect it to grow this year.

Leading up to the start of the season, PSSA is staging two series of events to introduce people to the league and bring in new players.

The first is a series of PSSA Happy Hours, with board members, players and coaches attending to meet with new and prospective players, to talk with them about the league and answer whatever questions they have.

The next Recruiting Happy Hour will be held Friday, Jan. 20, 6-9 p.m. at JR.’s Bar & Grill, 3923 Cedar Springs Rd. A week later,

Woody’s Sports & Video Bar, 4011 Cedar Springs Rd., hosts the next Recruiting Happy Hour, also starting at 6 p.m. The final happy hour event begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, this time at Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave.

PSSA will also being hosting two Field Days at Kiest Park Softball Complex, 2179 W. Kiest Blvd., before the spring season starts. The field days, Keerbs said, will give prospective players a chance to get out on the field and participate in drills, including pitching, hitting, running, throwing and fielding, and it gives coaches looking for players to fill out their teams the chance to see who’s out there and interested in playing.

“This gives people a chance to see if they really want to pursue playing in PSSA,” Keerbs said. “It’s a great way to get your feet wet if you’re thinking about playing, but you aren’t sure yet.”

The first field day begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. The second begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4.

“We’ll have a lot of other events throughout the season,” Fiorello said. “There will be tournaments and fundraisers and events just for fun. We hope anyone interested in softball will come and check us out.”

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


—  Tammye Nash

Trump’s first 100 days: How bad could it get?



Lisa Keen  |  Keen News Service

The “most pro-gay Republican presidential candidate in history” will take office as president of the United States on Jan. 20, and yet the LGBT community has much to be anxious about as the administrations change.

In fact, the country as a whole may have reason to be more than a little anxious, given information made public some 10 days before his inauguration that Russian intelligence agencies have videos of Donald Trump in a Russian hotel room with prostitutes engaging in “golden showers” sex play and information documenting his financial indebtedness to Russia mobsters, leaving him vulnerable to blackmail.

But the LGBT community must deal with those possibilities as well as the fear of anti-LGBT efforts by a federal government under Republican control.

No matter what Trump might do as president to signal his unique level of comfort with LGBT people compared to his Republican conservative base, the departure of President Obama, indisputably the most pro-gay president in history regardless of party affiliation, will stand in stark contrast to what many LGBT people fear will become an inevitable string of disappointing inactions (at best) and hostile attacks (at worst).

While Trump used his campaign pulpit to urge the American people to stand in “solidarity” with the LGBT community following the Orlando nightclub massacre, his picks for key administration roles have been people with a history of standing solidly against that community.

And the hopes for a better tomorrow for LGBT people — hopes that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made abundantly clear she supported — are replaced now with the uneasy feeling that anti-LGBT legislation will breeze through a Republican-dominated Congress and be signed as part of some “deal” Trump might feel compelled to make to demonstrate his solidarity with his rabid right base and a certain admired foreign leader.
So, what exactly should the LGBT community be braced to see? Here’s a look at the most likely events in Trump’s first 100 days:

The Executive Branch:
• Contractor discrimination: President Obama signed an executive order in July 2014 that prohibits contractors doing business with the federal government from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It also added gender identity to a previously existing Executive Order 13087 that prohibits discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation. Trump could rescind both executive orders or, alternatively, amend the existing order to grant a request — that Obama rejected — from a group of religious leaders who urged that the non-discrimination policy include a “robust religious exemption.”

• Hospital Memorandum: President Obama issued a memorandum April 15, 2010, calling for an end to discrimination against LGBT people by hospital visitation policies that limit visitors to immediate family members. The directive applies to hospitals receiving federal funds through Medicare and Medicaid. Many same-sex couples now have the benefit of marriage to protect those visitation rights, but not all same-sex couples with close, long-term relationships do.

• Education discrimination: In May 2016, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice issued a “Dear Colleague” letter advising schools that discrimination against transgender students violates a federal law against sex discrimination. The Trump administration could issue a new letter with its own interpretation of the reach of Title IX. In addition, Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, was a leading supporter of a 2004 ballot campaign against marriage equality in Michigan, and her family has given millions to anti-LGBT causes and groups.

• Health discrimination: In May last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations stating that the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination in health coverage and care includes a prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity. The Trump HHS could issue its own interpretation of the ACA’s sex discrimination. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of HHS, Tom Price, has a long history of hostility toward the LGBT community. Plus efforts to repeal ACA — something Trump has made clear he supports — are already underway.

The Republican-led Congress:
• Nullifying executive orders: Even if Trump chooses not to rescind any of President Obama’s executive orders or memoranda, Congress could pass legislation to nullify any or all of them, and one Trump ally, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, predicted last month that Trump would rescind 70 percent of President Obama’s executive orders. So a Trump veto on such action by Congress seems unlikely.

• First Amendment Defense Act: This bill was introduced to Congress shortly before the Supreme Court’s ruling that said state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional. The FADA is part of the effort to circumvent laws that prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples. It would allow a person or business discriminating against LGBT people to defend themselves by claiming the discrimination is an exercise of the person or business’ religious beliefs. It seeks to prohibit the federal government from taking any adverse action against a person who “acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said last month he thinks the prospects are “bright” for passing the bill now, and if the Republican-led Congress passes it, Trump will likely sign it.

• Johnson Amendment repeal: The Johnson Amendment is a law that ensures taxpayer money is not used to subsidize partisan political activity. Trump has said he wants the Johnson Amendment repealed because it prevents clergy from speaking about politics from the pulpit. A bill to repeal the Johnson Amendment was introduced Jan. 3.

In the courts:
• Supreme Court nominees: The most long-standing influence Trump could have on the LGBT community is through his choice or choices to fill U.S. Supreme Court seats. He released lists of potential nominees last year, and they all look decidedly conservative and some have a history of hostility toward equal rights for LGBT people. He will almost certainly make his first choice within the first 100 days, to fill the seat vacated by the death of right-wing Justice Antonin Scalia last February. Replacing one right-wing justice with another right-wing justice may not tip the court’s balance, but it will re-establishes a necessary foursome that can accept conservative appeals for review. And a second Trump opportunity to nominate a justice would almost certainly bend the arc of the moral universe at the high court away from justice for the LGBT community.

• The North Carolina challenge: Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law HB2. Trump has said such matters should be left to the states. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, has a long and consistent history of acting against the best interest of LGBT citizens. If confirmed by the Senate, it seems likely Sessions, with the support of Trump, will withdraw the U.S.’s lawsuit against the North Carolina law. It also seems likely the Trump DOJ will weigh in on the side of North Carolina should the Supreme Court eventually review the constitutionality of HB2 as other lawsuits against it continue. And a similar law is now proceeding through the Texas Legislature.

• The Title IX showdown: In the spring, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case, Gloucester v. Grimm, to decide whether Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination in schools should be read to include a prohibition on gender identity discrimination. Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice supported the transgender student’s claim that Title IX protects his right to use a bathroom of the gender with which he identifies. Under the Trump administration, a DOJ led by Sessions will almost certainly take sides with the Gloucester school district. The good news is that it seems most unlikely Trump can nominate and have confirmed a new right-wing Supreme Court justice in time to join in whatever ruling the court makes in the case this year. A tie vote will leave the federal appeals court ruling in favor of the transgender student intact.

© 2017 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

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


—  Dallasvoice

A new you

WiL Turner has a plan for getting you into shape   … and doing good in the world


By Scott Huffman | Contributing Writer

It’s the time of year when people start making resolutions — chief among them, to get fit. According to personal trainer and coach WiL Turner, fitness goals should be much broader than a simple desire to drop a few post-holiday pounds or to tone up quickly for a new Grindr photo. “Fitness” is an unbridled commitment to all-around healthy living. While Turner’s philosophy focuses on exercise (naturally), it also encompasses healthy eating, regular downtime… and community involvement.

“I want to teach people to have happy lives whether it be exercising, eating well, sleeping or just being kind and nice to each other,” Turner says. “Most of the time when clients come to me, their primary goal is to look great. That’s a superficial goal. I don’t really care what you look like — I care about your health.”

For those who have resolved to improve their fitness in 2017 — and not just their looks — Turner offers the following tips on healthier and happier living.


As a motivational tool, Turner suggests keeping a tangible, written record of one’s daily fitness journey. Begin by logging your current vital statistics including weight, measurements, BMI and heart rate. Next, clearly commit both short and long term goals to writing. Then add and review information daily by recording things like food intake, exercise details, calories burned and even general feelings or inspirational thoughts.

“Having a journal is essentially important,” Turner says. “This is something that was important to me before I became a trainer. It chronicles what you do from day to day and sets the habit of being consistent in following a routine. Writing [things] down is a part of the process to help achieve the goal.”

Exercise with someone

Whether work outs are at home or a gym, Turner suggests recruiting a friend to join you. Many find teamwork motivating. In addition, workout partners help keep each other honest and on the right track.

“I typically try to encourage my clients to work out in groups, because you are holding each other accountable to be where you are supposed to be,” Turner says. “You are going to work out, and you are going to have positive interaction with someone.”


Forget going on a strict diet plan. Instead, Turner advocates a gradual transition to long-term healthier eating habits. Begin by modifying the quantity and quality of your daily food intake. If you love breads and pastas, for example, continue eating them. However, begin reducing the portions consumed and try using healthier versions of the carbohydrates.

“Diet is a four-letter word that I don’t use,” Turner says. “It implies that people have to restrict themselves from food. I call it healthier eating habits. I try to steer clear of recommending a diet per se.”

For snacking, Turner suggests alternatives like apples with peanut butter or a handful of almonds. Not only are these alternatives healthier, but they also can mimic the taste of the cookies or donuts one might normally eat. This trick can make transitioning to healthier options easier on the palate.


Fitness programs are never a one-size-fits-all solution. For maximum effectiveness, programs should always be tailored to meet individual needs. Turner, who works frequently with the LGBT community, often encounters clients with very specific wellness concerns. Transgender people, for example, may have elevated hormone levels which, in turn, may have an impact on metabolism. HIV-positive people taking daily medications can also have special physiological considerations. Turner recommends tailoring fitness programs accordingly.

“The types of medication dictate the types of exercise in terms of heart rate,” Turner says. “I am mindful of the types of medication that my clients are taking at the time. It has changed my perspective of what I do as a fitness professional to provide a service and a support to these particular clients.”

Safeguard against injury

Turner cautions that leaping into physical training too quickly can increase the risk of injury. He suggests first working on one’s flexibility and mobility prior to lifting weights or hitting the machines. Afterwards, as an additional measure to avoid injury, he recommends adequate daily rest to give the body time to recover from stress and fatigue.

“My clients never touch weights for the first two or three weeks of their training,” Turner says. “I teach them to use their own bodies as a tool for them to achieve their goal. If they are not aware of the movements or how their muscles contract, [injury can be] something as simple as picking up a dumbbell, and I’ve seen it happen.”


Wellness is a lifelong investment that offers not only improved appearance, but other significant rewards as well. Commitment to a fitness program can change one’s outlook and improve one’s self-esteem. Reaping the full benefit, however, requires steadfast dedication.

“We get out of our lives what we put into it and that includes how we take care of ourselves,” Turner says. “I am very much holistic in that sense. I think it’s more than what I look like. I have goals and ambitions. I care for my community. Fitness is an opportunity to engage with people in an in-depth way. It allows me to help people on a broader scale.”             

Turner commits a portion of proceeds to benefit those impacted by HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit        

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

—  Dallasvoice

The Mizer effect

The photographer who established the gay sensibility for masculinity


Ever wonder where your ideal of the male physique came from? Chances are, it’s Bob Mizer.

Oh, sure, you like to think you arrived at your concept of male beauty by natural selection, but Bob Mizer — who died in 1992, at age 70 — probably shaped your understanding of sex appeal before you were even born.

Mizer-EffectStarting in the 1940s, Mizer’s black-and-white and color photographs appeared in his underground quasi-gay rag Physique Pictorial. In 1954, he was convicted of unlawful distribution of obscene materials through the mails for a series of photos of men in posing straps — basically, what you can see at any Pride parade nowadays, but which were scandalous at the time.

His photos, though, influenced the likes of Gore Vidal, David Hockney and Robert Mapplethorpe. Among his astonishing catalogue are one million photos of such icons as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Dallesandro.                

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Collections of Mizer’s work are available through the art book company Taschen (which has a storefront in the Joule Hotel as well as online). You can learn more about Mizer via the Bob Mizer Foundation,                                  

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

—  Dallasvoice