In NYC, gay groups are fighting Wal-Mart

A while back we told you how the anti-gay Wal-Mart plans to take over Dallas by building 12 new stores here. Little did we know at the time that the man who’s taking “credit” for bringing the new Wal-Mart stores to Dallas, former Mayor Tom Leppert, would show his stripes as a back-stabbing homophobe only days later. Anyhow, we just wanted to note that in New York City, LGBT groups are taking stands against allowing Wal-Mart to come into the city — due to the group’s anti-gay employment practices. Change.org reports:

Last week, Change.org writer Lauren Kelley noted that the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City issued a statement opposing the construction of a WalMart in the Big Apple. Their reasons for opposing WalMart? Pretty straightforward, really: the company receives a dismal grade when it comes to workplace equality, the company’s CEO supported efforts in Arkansas to ban LGBT people from adopting children, and last year, more than 100 WalMart stores announced that they would carry a book championing ex-gay therapy.

Yuck, indeed. Now this week comes word that another heavyweight organization is lending their voice in the effort to keep WalMart out of New York City. That group? The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which issued a statement this week knocking WalMart’s record on LGBT equality.

“With the expansion of Wal-Mart stores comes the expansion of antiquated employment policies that provide little to no protections for, and at times even hostility toward, their LGBT employees,” the Task Force said in a statement.

—  John Wright

WATCH: ‘One on One,’ a gay short film written and produced at the University of Texas at Dallas

Although this is the first I’ve heard of it, One on One was originally posted to YouTube (where it has more than 7,000 views) in May 2010 and has reportedly been making the rounds on Facebook ever since. One on One was written and directed by UTD student Luis Fernando Midence, and according to YouTube, it’s been screened at numerous LGBT film festivals. “A story about compromise, One On One follows Alex and Trevor as they work out their relationship on and off the basketball court, after one of them asks the other one to join a waltz class together.”

—  John Wright

Need a condom? There’s an app for that

Just in time for World AIDS Day, iCondom has been released in two U.S. cities, with more slated to come on line soon. The app will be available free for 48 hours from the iTunes Store.

First launched in France — in Paris and Marseilles — on Oct. 18, the iCondom app lets users find condom dispensers and free condom sources closest to their location, 24/7. The U.S. launch takes place jointly with the release of an improved version 1.1,  with better mapping functionalities, the app’s creators say. The U.S. version now available only covers New York City and Washington, D.C., “but should grow rapidly based on the users’ contributions,” according to a press release.

iCondom geolocates 200-plus locations in New York City where free condoms, lubricants and female condoms can be found, including bars, restaurants, barber shops, hospitals, clubs, medical centers, associations and beauty salons. In D.C., the app geolocates 140-plus places to get covered. iCondom users can add locations, rate the locations and comment on dispensers or places so other users have up-to-date information.

Creators called the app “an innovative tool to reinforce safe-sex messages and speak more directly to the youth by using their favorite communications tool: smart phones.”

—  admin

DJ Joe Gauthreaux spins the tunes at The Brick’s one-year anniversary party

They just grow so fast

It’s hard to believe that in such a short time, the Brick closed, reopened and now is celebrating its first year in the new location. In a short time, the club has made its mark on the dance scene moving away from its initial leather/Levi environment to a club destination for national and local DJs. For the party, they bring in DJ Joe Gauthreaux from New York City. And don’t forget Joe’s Place next door. The smaller bar side of the club still maintains a cool vibe but gets in on the action as well.

DEETS: The Brick/Joe’s Place, 2525 Wycliff Ave., #120. Doors at 9 p.m. 18+. BrickDallas.com

—  Rich Lopez

The month of living romantically

Kevin Richberg turned his quest for a mate into a countrywide husband search

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor jones@dallasvoice.com

RIDE ’EM COWBOY (HUNTER)  |  Richberg allowed himself the full Texas experience — going horseback riding on a date.
RIDE ’EM COWBOY (HUNTER) | Richberg allowed himself the full Texas experience — going horseback riding on a date.

Kevin Richberg is looking for a man. And he’s giving himself a month — and most of America — to find him.

Richberg started his project — 30 Dates, 30 Days, 30 Cities — with a simple premise: Meet a month’s worth of men online, set up dates with one in each of 30 cities, and hit the road. For the month of October, he’s been driving around, starting from his home base of New York City and proceeding south, then west, then north, west again and back to the northeast. And each night, a new man in every port.

Initially the experiment may sound easy — a road trip with a date a day — until you realize it is unrelenting. Traveling and getting ready for a date and making a first impression 30 times in a row. But Richberg says it really was easy.

Earlier this year, “I spent 30 days going from city to city in India, sightseeing but not dating. That [experience] makes this seem like a birthday party,” he says.

The experience hasn’t been what he expected — it’s been much better.

“I went into this with the expectation that unintended consequences — glitches, unforeseen weather or being stood up — would be a part of this. Or that I might have completely misread who I had chosen to go out with and one of the dates would be a monumental disaster. It’s been the opposite of all those things.”

For the first half of the trip, he had near-perfect weather and “met the most amazing people with whom I have gotten along famously. There’s no one I didn’t laugh with or wouldn’t stay in touch with.”

He set a lot of ground rules: He wanted every date planned before he began the trip, using a variety of sites, from Manhunt.net to Gay.com and Craigslist, to find applicants (He didn’t allow photographs or ages to keep the selection process as fair as possible.) Throughout the summer, 1,000 people filled out “proposals” detailing the date they had planned. Then in September, he weeded through them to begin his quest for Mr. Right.

“I asked people in different cities if they would be my date in that particular city,” he says. Some said no for logistic reasons, such as being out of town the day he’d be in their city. At least one other has an even better excuse.

“My [planned] date in Salt Lake City told me right after he sent in the application, he met someone and now they’re getting married,” he says. He found replacement dates each time. (He had only one post-trip cancellation, in Chicago, just days before the project ended.)

Richberg spent two days in Texas a few weeks ago — Houston, then Fort Worth — with interesting results.

“In Houston, I went horseback riding and to the aquarium but the man I dated was very shy. He very politely tried to eat barbecue while I’m stuffing my face,” he says. North Texas was more complicated: His date had three kids and his babysitter cancelled. Richberg ended up going to the State Fair (“which was awesome!”) with the man he had originally asked out; then all three of them, plus the kids, went to a family-friendly restaurant together.

That wasn’t the only “threesome.”

“I did several dates outside my comfort zone,” he says. “I went out with a couple; I went out with an HIV-positive man in Montana, I went out with someone who’s blind, again in Montana — Montana’s got some great gays-with-a-twist.”

Richberg insists it isn’t just a gimmick: He really is on the prowl for a boyfriend.

“I got out of a relationship I was intense about in December 2009,” he says. “When I conceived this in March, it was being newly single and thinking about finding ‘the one’ — I’m 32 years old and wanna have a family. I thought, if I don’t take some radical chances… .”
So he left room for the possibility of actual romance?

“Absolutely. One thing I keyed in on [in the application process] was the feeling that the person [applying] was taking this seriously, the same way I was. Hopefully I will meet someone I will like and we’ll be friends. If all goes really well, we’ll hang out and see if this goes anywhere.”

So how will it all end?

“On Halloween there’s a twist,” he says. “You have to wait to find out what.”

To follow his romantic escapades, visit 30Dates30Days30Cities.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 29, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas

Eccentric classical music lover John Cobb never leaves home without his trusty radio

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator mark@markdrawsfunny.com

John Cobb

Easy listener

Name: John Cobb

Occupation: Telemarketer

Spotted at: Half Price Books on Northwest Highway

Have radio, will travel: While shopping, Cobb was listening to WRR on  his portable radio. Originally from New York City, John sings classical music (loves Verdi operas) and is also a landscape photographer. He’s a voracious reader of biographies and history books.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 3, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas

Artist and entrepreneur Tabrechai Washington gets her pride on

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Independent lady

Name: Tabrechai Washington
Spotted at: The patio of the New Amsterdam Bar in Deep Ellum
Occupation: Professional dancer, choreographer and teacher Out, proud … and patriotic: This Big Apple transplant is a co-founder of Kinetic Exhibit, a bi-monthly art party seeking to transform the community through art. This free-spirited dancer spent her formative career in New York City. She has an affinity for Roseau, Dominica, the capital and largest city of the Caribbean island of Dominica. She has spent a lot of time there and is a frequent contributor to the Caribbean Living Lifestyle blog.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 02, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

More on 'Ticked Off Tra**ies With Knives'

Transgender advocate and writer Ashley Love issues a scathing indictment of Dallas filmmaker Israel Luna’s “Ticked Off Tra**ies With Knives” in a piece published by The Huffington Post yesterday. As Arnold Wayne Jones noted below, the film opened Friday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Also, The Advocate has a story about Luna’s decision to blur out some of the letters in the controversial title, a decision that was arrived at with input from “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. And OUT has a review of the film from activist and author Kate Bornstein.

—  John Wright

In NYC study, straight women more likely than gay men to have unprotected anal sex

A new report by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says that women have unprotected anal sex at a higher rate than men.

According to the study, “more than 100,000 New York City women engage in anal intercourse each year.”

The study also found that women who use a condom go for HIV tests more frequently than women who have unprotected sex. Also, doctors are less likely to offer these women HIV testing.

Unprotected anal sex is more common among women with multiple sex partners and younger women.

Women 18 to 24 are six times more likely to have unprotected anal sex than women 45 to 64 and 15 percent of women with three or more sex partners reported having anal sex.

The report, of course, recommends always using a condom when engaging in anal sex and that health providers should offer HIV and STD testing to all patients regardless of their sexual orientation.

—  David Taffet