Drawing Dallas • 02.10.12

JaQuanFNL_2Lanky dreamboat LaQuan Brown is the ideal Valentine

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: LaQuan Brown, 18

Occupation: Student

Spotted at: Target Cityplace

At 6-feet-5, slender, romantic dreamboat LaQuan catches eyes everywhere he goes. A creamy blend of two cultures — his mother is of Dutch descent, his father is African-American — LaQuan certainly stands out in any crowd. His exotic and handsome look recently captured the attention of a modeling scout for Krave magazine, a fashion, lifestyle and entertainment publication for men of color; he was recently selected to model for an upcoming issue.

This intelligent and contemplative Scorpio was born in Oak Cliff and raised throughout Dallas. He enjoys outdoor sports of all kinds, including (predictably) basketball, but also running and taking contemplative walks. He’s also talented at freestyling, and can rap about any subject on the spur of the moment.

LaQuan’s career goal is to obtain a doctorate in psychology, and eventually become a therapist/counselor for at-risk teens.

—  Kevin Thomas

Abounding Prosperity receives $1.7 million grant

South Dallas prevention organization targets population hardest hit by new HIV infections

FUTURE MOVE? | Kirk Myers, CEO of Abounding Prosperity, says that his agency, now located in South Dallas across the street from the Peabody Health Center, will have to move to a bigger space to adequately house the extra staff he needs to operate the grant the agency just received from the CDC. (David Taffet/DallasVoice.

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

Abounding Prosperity, a South Dallas-based AIDS education organization, has been awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control, and is the only agency in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to be included in this round of CDC funding.

The money will be used to expand HIV prevention services for young gay and bisexual men of color, transgender youth of color and their partners, according to Kirk Myers, CEO of Abounding Prosperity.

Myers said that his organization was one of the few nationally that got fully funded. The five-year grant totals $1.7 million.

The CDC awarded prevention grants to 34 agencies around the country. This expands on an earlier program to reach the targeted populations with an increase of $10 million to $55 million nationally over five years, funding a larger number of community organizations.

“We will be trying to identify those people who are positive and unaware,” Myers said,“and help those people who are positive and know their status to become responsible for not reinfecting themselves or anyone else.

“We see ourselves as a prevention organization rather than a care organization,” he added.

Although three Dallas AIDS organizations applied for the grant money, Myers said he believes Abounding Prosperity was chosen because it targets African-American men who have sex with men (MSM) between the ages of 17 and 29, the group hardest hit with new infections in Dallas.

That includes many who are unemployed and underemployed.

To encourage testing and behavioral intervention, Myers suggested using incentives such as gift cards that might cover gas costs.

“Even though testing should be done routinely, you’re not worried about testing when you’re worried about your next meal,” Myers said.

In addition to testing, the focus will be on using evidence-based interventions designed to create behavior changes using techniques that have proven successful with gay men.

Myers said he will need to triple the size of his staff to nine and add more office space to operate the grant. He has already looked at two properties on MLK Boulevard near Abounding Prosperity’s current office.

Myers said that he would like to collaborate with Dallas County and other AIDS organizations’ programs to reach the most underserved populations.

He specifically mentioned Resource Center Dallas’ syphilis elimination program as an obvious partner.

“Syphilis is off the charts in Dallas,” Myers said. “And if you’re putting yourself at risk for syphilis, you’re putting yourself at risk for HIV.”

But, Myers said, his ultimate goal is to do the job of education and prevention so well that he can put Abounding Propserity out of business.

“I want to eradicate AIDS,” he said.

Ryan White funds

In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $1.89 billion in grants to states for HIV/AIDS care and medications. Texas was awarded $85,856,474 in Ryan White money designated “supplemental part B.”

The state also received $786,424 in AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Emergency Relief Awards.

ADAP funding matches money spent by the state. Texas cut its ADAP funding, which may be a reason smaller states are receiving more money. Georgia and Louisiana each were awarded $3 million and Florida almost $7 million in emergency drug assistance money.

Dallas will receive $14,625,082 and Fort Worth $3,864,274 in Ryan White Part A funding. Dallas awards are administered for the region by the county. Other cities in Texas receiving these grants are Houston ($19.7 million), San Antonio and Austin ($4.4 million each).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Lawrence Galloway says he is blessed to be the new ED for Legacy of Success Foundation

Lawrence Galloway

TAMMYE NASH | Senior Editor

Legacy of Success Foundation is getting fired up for a new year, under the leadership of a new executive director.

Lawrence M. Galloway has been tapped as the organization’s fourth executive director in its 10-year history. He replaces Paul Lyons, who resigned last September.

Galloway, originally from Baton Rouge, La., has a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a finance minor in management, from Southern University and A&M College. He currently works as an online instructor supervisor for Learn-It Systems, based in Maryland, but previously worked as a math teacher in the DeSoto Independent School District’s Amber Terrace Elementary School and at Hampton Preparatory School in Dallas. He also taught math at Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge.

Galloway said he started attending LOSF’s regular discussion forums for gay men of color after he moved to Dallas. That led to getting involved in the organization’s other activities, he said.

“I was really impressed with Legacy of Success Foundation and all the work the organization does in the community — things like the Hazel Hatcher Scholarship and the fundraisers,” Galloway said. “So when [board chair] Chris Davis told me they were looking for a new executive director, I knew I wanted to apply.

“I believe I am truly blessed to have been chosen as the new executive director for this organization,” he said.

Galloway said that as ED, he will focus on working with the LOSF board of directors “to ensure that we are moving in the direction of fulfilling our mission statement.”

The organization began as a business and cultural organization focused on bringing together North Texas’ LGBT community of color, creating “an environment that will aide the LGBT and affirming community of color to be proud of who they are by empowering them to action through social activism and economic growth,” according to the LOSF website.

The organization also works to eliminate homophobia and racism in the overall African-American community to break “the chains that bind our minds” and to promote social awareness and social justice.

“We want to focus on awareness, on bridging the gap between the homosexual and the heterosexual communities,” Galloway said. “We want to collaborate with other organizations to bring our whole community together.”

The board members Galloway will be working with include chairman Chris Davis, along with Kim Abernathy, Lamond Ayers, Willie Hall and Delbert Johnson. And LOSF’s next event will be a membership round-up Saturday, April 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak St.

The organization’s next big event will be the annual Juneteenth Celebration, on June 18, featuring a barbecue picnic at a location to be announced later, followed in August by the annual Heritage Celebration Honors Awards.

LOSF also sponsors a free community mixer on the third Wednesday of each month, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Catfish Blues, 1011 S. Corinth St.
And on the third Sunday of each month, LOSF holds The Set, a discussion forum for “mature-minded” African-American men, and House of Glamour, a discussion forum for African-American lesbians.

The Set is held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh St., and admission is free. For more information, email Nelson Eason at nelson.losf@yahoo.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

John Travolta likes well-hung Middle Eastern types. Join the club

It’s one of the best-kept, worst-kept secrets in Hollywood that John Travolta is gay (Scientology allegedly promises to “cure” you of your homosexuality) — a fact that, despite evidence (remember the candid lip-lock photographed on him kissing his late son’s male, umm, “nanny”?) that has been respectfully ignored most of the time by the mainstream press.

This is nothing new. I was at the Samar party last week, jawing with some straight male media friends, and all of them were shocked by my “secret” list of commonly accepted gay celebs … including Travolta. People believe what they wanna believe. It’s how Lindsey Graham is still in a leadership position with the GOP.

Anyway, the most salacious of rumors about Travolta have been published on Gawker, and the language used is surprising. Well, not to me, but most hausfraus out there will probably be astonished to find that the man who gained fame in musicals and had his last hit as a cross-dressing woman (in a musical!) likes to go to bathhouses and apparently has a penchant for Middle Easterns (guilty as charged, I admit it).

Some of the allegations made include that Travolta abused himself in a steam room and came onto the author; that he has both given and received oral sex from other men in public; and that he uses his celebrity to attract his type (which usually means well-endowed men of color).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones