The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Miami Man Held in Murder of Two Men He Perceived Were Gay

A Miami man is in custody, accused of killing two men because he perceived they were gay, WPLG reports:

Guzman "A suspect has been arrested in the fatal shooting of the owner of a South Florida auto shop, and police said the gunman killed the man because he thought the man was gay. Matthew Guzman, 21 (pictured), was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Paul Barrow, 46. Barrow was shot in the head on the morning of Dec. 16 at his business, Devonaire Service, at 122nd Avenue and 112th Street. He later died…Guzman was arrested Sunday in connection with another crime. Police said he then confessed to killing Barrow as well as another man, Harry Ray, on Nov. 18."

WSVN notes that Guzman shot and killed Ray because he perceived Ray was making "homosexual advances" towards him.

Watch an early NBC report on the shooting of Barrow, whom they mistakenly refer to as Morrow, AFTER THE JUMP

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcmiami.com/video.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

GetEqual Protests President From Land, Air And Sea In Miami

Getequalobamamiami

President Obama’s fundraising trip to Miami was overshadowed this evening by GetEqual activists who took launched an air, sea and land mission to protest the dinner, put on for Rep. Ron Klein.

Hoping to press the President on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, GetEqual activists first greeted Obama’s motorcade with signs reading “Stop the Discharges Now” and “We’ll Give When We’re GetEqual.” The President rolled down the window a bit and waved to the crowd, said participiants.

Once Obama arrived to the event, his ocean view, courtesy of his host, Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning, was obscured by a weather balloon bearing the organization’s website address.

GetEqual’s ultimate action, however, was on the water, where they unfurled a 40-foot banner on a boat, blew air horns and demanded Obama end the discriminatory military policy.

According to the White House pool report, inside the event, where the President hammered the GOP “Pledge to America” and praised Klein, some attendees looked to toward to noise, but overall the protest went down unnoticed. Via AMERICAblog:

As he is speaking, air horns can be heard across the bay, and pool is told by a GetEQUAL spokesman that they are activists protesting the administration on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Appear to have several small boats, at one point pool can hear some yelling. Some members of the audience look over but noise is not loud enough to disrupt and POTUS continues uninterrupted.

Meanwhile, Kerry Eleveld reports that Anthony Woods, a soldier discharged under DADT, and an activist named Itzel Diaz  attempted to by ,000 tickets, but the Democratic National Congressional Committee denied them access.

Robin McGhee, one of GetEqual’s cofounders, insists they will continue to protest until the President makes good on his campaign promise: “If the president is going to travel around the country asking for our dollars and our votes, then we are going to travel with him and insist that he first give us some of the hope and change he promised.”


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

BREAKING: GetEqual protesting Obama DADT inaction at high-$ fundraiser in Miami by air, land and sea; sending weather balloons over NBA star’s home; three boats of protesters and press underway

UPDATE: 6:30PM – GetEqual protest makes the White House pool report – this is big, because it means the story will now go nationwide – the pool report also confirms that the guests at the dinner can hear GetEqual’s bull horns:

At the reception in a “small” white tent around the back of the house, Rep. Chris Van Hollen was touting Democrats’ accomplishments before a small crowd when pool got there. Compared it with New Deal, Great Society. Covered health-care bill, student loan overhaul. Says things have gotten better on economy.

“The president needs a Congress that is going to work with him…it is now halftime in the first time of Barack Obama’s administration…dos the Miami Heat quit at halftime?” Crowd cheers.

POTUS takes the stage to applause. Mistakenly refers to Ron Klein as Ron Klain and apologizes. Ron Klein is inside the home.

As he is speaking, air horns can be heard across the bay, and pool is told by a GetEQUAL spokesman that they are activists protesting the administration on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Appear to have several small boats, at one point pool can hear some yelling. Some members of the audience look over but noise is not loud enough to disrupt and POTUS continues uninterrupted.

POTUS says economy is begining to recover because lawmakers were willing to take tough votes. Says: “The question in this election is not whether or not things are where we want them” but who will take us there.

They said no each and every time…they don’t have new ideas.”

Hits GOP Pledge to America. “They’re selling the same snake oil they were before.” says the 700B to pay for the wealthy tax cuts would be borrowed from China and Saudi Arabia.

Uses the ditch analogy yet again. It’s muddy, R’s tell Dems they aren’t pushing hard enough — you know the drill. “We’ve got to tell them in this election you can’t have the keys back. You don’t know how to drive!”

Says he and Democrats won in 2008 because of voters who want the American dream.

“That wasn’t the end of the dream. That was only the beginning of the dream.” Implores people to help get out the vote. POTUS spoke for about 12 minutes.

Pool is told the Miami Dade police have circled the GetEQUAL activists’ boats and sirens can be heard.

Now at main dinner tent awaiting a second set of remarks.

UPDATE: They’re in a tent. The fundraiser is a dinner, taking place in a tent, by the water, 500 feet away from GetEqual’s 3 boats that are going crazy with bullhorns and loudspeakers. There is no way the dinner guests aren’t listening to this.

This is the 40 foot banner on boat number two:

UPDATE: 6:10PM the three boats of protesters and media are now 500 feet from the shore at Alonzo Mourning’s home, and are shouting on bullhorns with an extra strong speaker system, and are also broadcasting the President’s own words promising gay rights advances that he has refused to deliver.

Obama’s limo driving by protesters. This is when he cracked the window and waved.

One of the weather balloons released near the Obama fundraiser.

UPDATE: 5:42PM – Robin McGehee of GetEqual, who is on one of the boats heading for Mourning’s house, has just texted “Mission Accomplished.” We assume this means she has reached the position in the water off of the house, and the action is underway, including bull horns, weather balloons with signs, 40ft signs saying “stop the discharges now,” and an extra large/loud sound system booming quotes of the President himself making gay rights promises. All of this underway under the watchful guise of two boats full of media, including the Miami Herald and all the local Miami TV affiliates, and two Spanish stations.

UPDATE 5:37PM: The three boats of protesters and media have just rounded by the bend and are within 5 minutes of reaching Mourning’s house.

UPDATE: President cracked limo and waved to GetEqual protesters, so he definitely saw the signs and protesters.

GetEqual’s press release explains what they’re up to today – the press release reads in the past tense, when in fact the actions are ongoing:

“DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL” ACTIVISTS CONFRONT PRESIDENT OBAMA BY AIR, LAND, AND SEA AT NBA STAR’S FUNDRAISER IN MIAMI
GetEQUAL, along with a group of Florida and national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activists, surround Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning’s house demanding President sign Executive Order Stopping Discharges

MIAMI, FL (October 11th, 2010)– Earlier Monday evening from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm (ET), GetEQUAL, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and other Floridian activists, unleashed a barrage of protests by air, land, and sea targeting President Obama for his failure to sign an executive order barring gay and lesbian servicemembers from being discharged under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.

President Obama attended a star-studded Democratic Party fundraiser at NBA star Alonzo Mourning’s bayfront estate. During the hour and a half President Obama was at Alonzo’s home for this big-money, Democratic Party fundraiser, LGBT activists confronted him at every turn, demanding he finally show some leadership and stop the discharges of openly gay and lesbian servicemembers by signing an executive order. Video and photos from today’s action will be released shortly and will be available at: www.getequal.org and www.youtube.com/getequal.

BY LAND

As the Presidential motorcade drove into the private estate located in Coconut Grove, activists held four 10 ft. signs demanding President Obama “End the Discharges Now,” and reminding him that “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL”. The LGBT activists were stationed on the motorcade route directly outside of the private estate and at a park roughly a quarter of a mile down the road.

Inside the event, Democratic congressional candidate and Army veteran, Anthony Woods, who was discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, approached President Obama to inform him what the protests were about, and to remind him of his campaign promises. [NOTE FROM JOHN: This didn't happen because the White House refused to let Woods attend the even.]

BY SEA

While the President was inside the private fundraiser, another round of protests were unleashed from the bay just outside the event. From the bay abutting Mourning’s home, a second swarm of LGBT activists arrived by boats with two 40 ft. signs and shouted via bullhorns “End the Discharges Now” and “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL”.

BY AIR

During the second swarm by boat, LGBT activists also launched two, large 8 ft weather balloons carrying 10 ft. long banners reading “GetEQUAL.org”. Those weather balloons were anchored in the water directly in front of the tent hosting the dinner reception and highly visible to guests.

The Advocate reveals that the White House turned away an African-American former congressional candidate, Anthony Woods, from the fundraiser. He thinks it was because he had been discharged under DADT. More from Kerry Eleveld:

A group of LGBT equality activists working to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” launched an elaborate protest early Monday evening as President Barack Obama attended a private Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fund-raiser in Miami, FL, at the home of NBA star Alonzo Mourning.

As the president headed toward Mourning’s Coconut Grove residence where donors had paid as much as ,000 and ,000 per person to see him, members of GetEqual, a national LGBT rights organization, along with local activists intended to line the street holding four, 10-foot signs that read “End the Discharges Now,” and “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL” – a reference to the group’s recent campaign encouraging people not to donate money to either the Democratic or Republican parties or their campaign committees until the president signs an executive order immediately stopping the discharges.Video of GetEqual and media – one of three boats just launched – heading towards Mourning’s home and Obama fundraiser.

Three full boat-loads of press and protesters have now launched, and are heading towards Mourning’s house by sea….

UPDATE FROM JOHN: Obama has just driven into the estate, and according to witnesses on the ground, the President absolutely saw the protesters.

NOTE FROM JOHN: I’ve just been informed that GetEqual is in the process of protesting the President’s high-dollar fundraiser at the home of Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning. GetEqual members, and local Florida allies, are at this moment lining the streets, protesting the President’s inaction on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and GetEqual has just launched a weather balloon with a GetEqual banner hanging from it – the balloon is drifting in the direction of the Mourning bayside mansion where the fundraiser is being held, and where Obama is currently heading.

Below is GetEqual’s Robin McGehee speaking with reporters near Mourning’s home.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright