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

The lost art of cruising

‘Electro-tricks’ may be quicker and easier, but half the fun of the hook-up was working at it

Hardy Haberman | Flagging Left

I don’t get out much — at least to the bars. First of all I don’t drink anymore, and second, I am not really looking to hook up with anyone since I am in a very nice relationship.

I do, however, occasionally meet friends out for the evening or for a special event.

When I do go out, it is most often to our local leather bar, the Dallas Eagle, and I often indulge in a little people watching. I like to watch the crowd, the way people interact with one another, the ebb and flow of what was once a favorite past time of gay men: cruising.

What surprised me was the lack of that particular gay art going on.

First, let me say this is not a reflection on the Eagle; it’s a fine, first-class leather bar. What I noticed is something I have seen in other cities as well, and it bothers me a bit.

Now for those who might not know, cruising is a delicate dance men used to perform when looking for a partner, playmate or just trick du jour. It usually began with some long, slow looks, occasional subtle signals like a nod, the touch of the brim of a cap, a purposeful second glance or even just a slight change in body language.

If two people read the signals, and actually respond, it might proceed to sending over a drink — or a more direct approach. Often before actually making contact, you would ask a few friends if they knew the man in question, and for the leather scene that would also entail asking if anyone knew more intimate details: Was he a safe player? What was he into?

Of course, we also had the hanky code. It was a more direct and cut to the chase way to let folks know what you were seeking.

I won’t go into the details here, but the basics were: Hanky in the left pocket meant you were a top, and hanky in the right pocket meant you were a bottom.

Still, even with outward signs, there was an art to the whole endeavor. If done correctly, it had an element of seduction in it and all the sexual energy that went with it.

Sadly, I don’t see much of that going on anymore.

What I do see is guys checking their smart phones. Looking a little closer, I see them using Grindr, checking Recon and texting.

That’s when I realized what happened to cruising: It has gone the way of the dodo.

What was once a face-to-face encounter that actually took some time and energy is now a fast, down-and-dirty, “check a few profiles and text enough contacts until you pull a winning number” routine.

The whole cruising experience has become an electronic booty call with no mystery, no romance and no effort.

Oh yes, it is much more efficient. You can select from the variety of “neck-down pictures” and body statistics, like you were choosing a download on Amazon.

Find Mr. Right or at least Mr. Right Enough for Now, text a few lines, set a time and bingo! Insta-trick!

All very high tech and painless. No face-to-face rejections, no appallingly awkward moments. Just on-line chat and, essentially, “booking.”

It would seem to me that applications like Grindr and sites like Recon and CraigsList have replaced the whole cruising experience, and though it might be much more efficient, it really changes to atmosphere in the bars.

The heady sexual tension that used to permeate gay bars has given way to guys and gals on their smart phones texting or cruising — the web. One bar in Florida even has a screen where patrons can text directly to the screen, sort of a visual “shout out” for all to see.

Inevitably, the whole electro-trick phenomenon has spawned something totally unexpected. My partner commented on the subject of this column and suggested there should be an Angie’s List for Grindr.

I was surprised this morning when, while researching this piece, I found something very much like that.

Douchebagsofgrindr.com may just be a parody, but if not it offers some insight into the whole process. Personally, I find it kind of crass, but then I find the whole “electro-trick-speed-dating-booty-call” app thing crass.

It makes me long for the days of actually having to spend a little time to pursue and attract and seduce someone you were interested in. Try that now and I suspect you’d just get accused of being a stalker.

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.Blogspot.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

The Onion goes live tonight at the Winspear

Fake news the way you like it

When the real news gets to be too much, The Onion is a nice reprieve. But how will the writers and editors pull it off live? The staff comes to talk about its satire and place in today’s media.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. . $25­–$45. ATTPAC.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Master of HIS domain

Ben Starr, the recently out Dallas cheftestant on Fox’s ‘MasterChef,’ camps it up on Gordon Ramsay’s cooking competition series

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

…………………….

MASTERCHEF
Airs Tuesdays on Fox (Ch. 4) at 8 p.m.

…………………….

When Lewisville-based travel writer Ben Starr auditioned for Fox’s MasterChef, he doubted they’d be interested in his style of home cooking. But not only did he make the cut, he’s been one of the more memorable cheftestants — just this week, he had the judge’s favorite dish.

The series is only halfway through, but for Starr, it’s already made a huge difference in his life: It forced him to come out to his parents just last month. We talked to him about the experience and his favorite meals.

…………………….

You’ve been struggling since you wowed the judges at your audition. The audition kinda set me up to expect that I would do well in the competition, but we spun pretty quickly into an emphasis on gourmet cuisine, which is not my thing at all. My street tacos were a little bit spiffy, and I am extremely well traveled, but I tend to eat peasant food even when I travel. I was seeing all these people around me making restaurant quality cuisine and trying to compete on their level. Nice to make a good ol’ catfish in a skillet.

What was the hardest challenge for you? The biggest challenge has definitely been psychological. I’m competitive by nature and I want to feel like I’m competition, but I was surrounded by chefs that were a little more connected to the Food Network that I am. They’d use words like umami [a Japanese word for a savory flavor] and I had to go look it up. There was a common lexicon among the contestants about what these famous chefs I’ve never heard of are doing in their restaurants. I felt like an idiot stumbling around in the dark. That started to leak into my cooking and I began to question, “Is this sophisticated enough? Is this even sophisticated?” The episode this week was a turning point. I felt like for the first time I’m back in my own element.

You certainly have made an impression with your outfits. I don’t wear those hats at home, though I do wear an apron, just for practicality. But [the show] has started this storytelling legacy — people expect me to wear them when they come over. My mom made me the pumpkin hat and apron. Actually, she made me five or six pairs to wear. That’s why you always see a different one on me each episode. I was going through them.

Was wearing them part of a conscious effort to stand during the auditions? I am fairly myself, though I had to set myself apart that wasn’t just about food. I needed to be someone [the judges] remember when they go home at night. That’s why I talked about my rural upbringing, because I thought it would generate a memory.

Had you watched the show before? Did you know what to expect? I don’t watch much TV, but this is not my first time being on TV, which is ironic because I abhor reality television —it brings out the worst in our culture. But I did Rachael Ray’s So You Think You Can Cook in 2007. The audience there was much more caring and nurturing than the machine on MasterChef, but I was a little bit prepared for the frank judgment.

I did not watch the first season of MasterChef, but my friend Karen Rutherford said, “I’ll never speak to you again if you don’t audition [for season 2].” So I watched them all on Hulu. I just sweated my way through them. I knew how intense and stressful it is to cook on TV, and saw how brutal Joe Bastianich and Gordon Ramsay were with the contestants. I thought: Screw this. Then a few weeks passed and the terror faded [and I went through the lengthy audition process]. It was a lot of work — the most difficult full-time job I’ve ever had that doesn’t pay.

What’s your favorite kind of cuisine? While my DNA wants to say Mexican food — I had it in the womb six times a week — I am most intrigued by Thai food. It is so complex, yet so much of it is cooked on the street in a tiny little cart. From the richest to the poorest, everybody eats on the street.

How about a favorite meal? One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had was in Egypt on New Year’s Eve in 2001. I spent it on Mount Sinai and hiked eight miles back down to the car for the drive back to our resort. [The driver] fell asleep at the wheel and we plummeted into a canyon. Eventually a camel train of Bedouins came by the bottom of this canyon. They took us onto the camels and rode four or five miles to their camp. All the women came out, killed a goat and started cooking while the men tried to pull our car out of the canyon.

It was a humble meal — just a goat stew and some flat bread — but the flavors were really intense and felt they came right out of the desert. I could not even communicate with these people who live in abject poverty, but still they were willing to kill one of their last goats and throw a big feast for us because it’s in their nature to be hospitable. I realized it was important to me to use food to nurture people in my life — I could never be a chef and be in the back. I need to be with the people. My partner is one of the main reasons I cook — we’ve been together eight years and I want to marry him one day.

Did you plan to be “the gay guy” on the show? When I was on [Rachael Ray] it was not addressed and I didn’t talk about it openly. At that point my family didn’t know I was gay — in fact, I didn’t come out to my parents until about five weeks ago. They were totally shell-shocked — they didn’t have a clue.

Maybe mom should have guessed since she made you all those hats. Ha! Maybe.

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

—  Michael Stephens

Letting it REGISTER • Pride Weddings & Celebrations 2011

Gift registries can be intimidating. Dean Driver makes them easy

FASHION. PLATE. | Dean Driver knows how to make a tabletop pop — and how to make it easy on you to choose your gifts. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

BY RICH LOPEZ

Perhaps the one wedding tradition same-sex couples might waffle on is signing up for that beg-a-thon, the gift registry. Forget whether to do so (you should); the real question is, where can you find that particular china pattern you once saw in a magazine?

The answer to that question is probably Dean Driver. With his new company, Consilium Lifestyle Collections, Driver makes what could be a daunting (even intimidating) task for same-sex couples possibly the easiest  job out of all the wedding planning.

“I don’t know if the average gay couple feels comfortable going into stores,” Driver says. “They may, but many retailers just aren’t reaching out to gay couples.”

Teaming up with Consilium Creative Marketing, Driver created what may be the first by-appointment source of its kind in Dallas to provide a wedding gift registry for same-sex couples. While the services are for everyone, Driver believes that this personal touch can bring comfort to any gay newlyweds hesitant about how to sign up for gifts. It also gives them a home field advantage when looking for fine tabletop products and more.

“The way we do business is changing, and this has afforded me the ability to do in-home consultations and also wedding registries,” Driver says. “I come to the client with samples to get an idea of their lifestyle and suggest products and can see what will work with what’s already in the home.”

The affable Driver knows his stuff. After working with tabletop industries for years in large markets like New York, he has access to many luxury brands and even unique home products. The usual china and crystal items are no problem, but items like linens and household accessories are more easily available through him.

Driver’s first piece of advice on getting started with a registry: Don’t be intimidated.

“I demystify all that for you,” he says. “That’s what I’m here for. I’ll make it easier for you. And people shouldn’t think that everything offered in a registry costs so much. We do have some unique options that are moderately priced.”

Consilium has only been around for a few months, but it has burst out of the gate with a selection of up to 50 brands, some exclusive to them. And with Driver’s knowledge and background, he can pretty much get anybody anything they want.

“I’m a sort of an expert in tabletops, and I have my finger on the pulse of the industry,” he says. “I go to Paris, to Milan and see all the new patterns. And if you saw a plate in a magazine and brought it to me,  I could pinpoint what it is. When I say anything, I mean anything — and you may be only person in the country to have it.”

Something his company can guarantee is the death of that most dreaded wedding tradition: The return. Once items are selected for the registry, gift givers don’t have to worry about buying an item that’s already been purchased. Instead, the company does gift cards only, which are beautifully packaged for the giver to present.

“This prevents exchanges or duplicates,” he says. “Plus, clients may change their minds and gift cards give them an opportunity to get something else. And it’s a little more green without all that wrapping paper and shipping to worry about.”

Driver and company seems to have gotten rid of all the excuses couples can make to partake in registering for gifts. Being that a wedding is a life-changing event, Driver mostly wonders why not go all out?

“Couples shouldn’t shy away from getting nice things,” he says. “This is the one time to get the nice stuff, so why not? Anything you want, I can get.”

The only caveat — Driver encourages people to use the nice stuff everyday.

“Yeah, don’t pack it away in a cabinet like our parents did,” he says.

Of course, if there’s one thing gays know how to do it’s merchandise.

For more information, visit ConsiliumLifestyleCollections.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 6, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

‘Nice’

Screen Shot 2011-01-10 At 1.14.50 PmIn response to something I’ve written about an anti-LGBT group or personality’s words or deeds, I often get defenders who attempt to counter my points by saying that I’m wrong because said group or person is really quite “nice.” Or charitable. Or some other descriptor meant to convey decent, Christian values.

My primary reaction to this is two fold: “Perhaps and so what?

“Perhaps,” because there really is much validity to the claim. From my experience, many members of the professional religious right are, on a personal level, quite amiable. I’ve said so many times in multiple publications. And I mean it: I’ve experienced much genuine courtesy from some of my strongest political adversaries. Because remember: Almost nobody who makes a career out of anti-gay advocacy admits that they are discriminating (or even anti-gay, for that matter). Why embrace anger, when you’re merely working for “pro-family” values™?

Another related element: Not everyone who votes against us is even anti-gay, much less “mean” Some folks are duped into their resistance. Some people cast votes out of misinformation, lack of awareness, or a false belief that they must do so in order to keep the gays off of their faith. So in these cases, aggression might not even cross the mind. Or if it does, it may be unrelated to actual anti-LGBT animus.

Plus the very notion of “mean/nice” is subjective. And fluctuating. And dependent on many factors, sometimes even provoked by the other party’s own deeds. This situation reality is the argument for doing what this site does every day: Focus on issues, arguments, campaigns, etc., and not so much on the characteristics of the individuals who back the same.

Which brings us to the “so what.”

“So what” if the president of the National Organization For Marriage has me over for coffee? Even if freshly ground and perfectly French pressed, does that change the fact that he wants to legally divorce me under the civil law that governs our shared nation?

“So what” if the socially conservative member of Congress welcomes me into his or her office with a warm smile? Even if we share a nice laugh, does that alter the text of the bill wherein he or she called for my banning?

“So what” if Focus on the Family’s outreach person engages in genuine, off-the-record conversations about the ups and downs of this “culture war”? Even if we share both respect and confidences, does that free the mental anguish from the kids who are daily subjected to FoTF’s “ex-gay” teachings?

“So what” if that company that’s financing the anti-equality movement was good to your stepbrother’s uncle’s roommate who worked for them in college? Not me. In terms of your stepbrother’s uncle’s roommate collegiate work history, sure — but not in terms of this fight. What I care about here on G-A-Y is the empirical work. The policies. The legislation. The lobbying. The junk science. The lives that are needlessly, shamelessly turned into a fight. The quickest way I can invalidate the very need for a site like this.

So for all future emailers and commenters who are planning to “get me” with testaments to one’s pleasant nature: Please know that I’m going to find it completely anti-intellectual when you anecdotally call someone “nice,” thinking that will cause me to alter my perceptions. Because while that very well may be true, it is not even a question I’ve put up for debate. My goal is to end this contrived “culture war”, not psychoanalyze its individual foot soldiers. My focus is on the rights-depriving con, not the geniality of its proponents.




Good As You

—  admin

Nude Maid Thomas Cordero Killed Client John Conley For Attacking Him And His ‘Nice Ass’

Thomas Cordero, a 41-year-old from the Bronx who is paid to clean houses in the nude, and finds clients via Rentboy.com, confessed to killing client John Conley way back in October 2001, prosecutors revealed today in a case hat has the killer facing a 25-year prison sentence. Conley, a 50-year-old paralegal, "got too rough" in bed after he "wanted to get down to business" and grabbed a knife — which has Codero claiming the slaying was in self-defense. Condero says in a videotaped confession that he "grabbed the knife from him and hit him in the back of the head." Then he left Conley's apartment but not before grabbing from his wallet, "per our agreement. So why did Cordero, who was tied to the murder in 2007 through surveillance video, send his client into such a frenzy? "It's because I have a nice ass."


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Queerty

—  admin

Nice, NOM Rhode Island did our grunt work! Don’t let it go to waste…

In their quest to stop basic, benign civil equality from coming to the Ocean State, the National Organization For Marriage’s Rhode Island chapter has actually done us all a great service. The anti-parity organization has rounded up all of the 2011 Senators who will be deciding whether or not to grant the decent and fair to the state’s same-sex couples, providing pertinent contact information for all 38.

Use it. Share it. Rock it:

(click for full size)

District Title RI001 Sen. RI002 Sen. RI003 Sen. RI004 Sen. RI005 Sen. RI006 Sen. RI007 Sen. RI008 Sen. RI009 Sen. RI010 Sen. RI011 Sen. RI012 Sen. RI013 Sen. RI014 Sen. RI015 Sen. RI016 Sen. RI017 Sen. RI018 Sen. RI019 Sen. RI020 Sen. RI021 Sen. RI022 Sen. RI023 Sen. RI024 Sen. RI025 Sen. RI026 Sen. RI027 Sen. RI028 Sen. RI029 Sen. RI030 Sen. RI031 Sen. RI032 Sen. RI033 Sen. RI034 Sen. RI035 Sen. RI036 Sen. RI037 Sen. RI038 Sen. First Maryellen Juan Rhoda Dominick Paul Harold Frank James Michael Walter Christopher Louis Teresa Daniel Donna Elizabeth Edward Frank Bethany Roger Nicholas John Paul Marc Frank Beatrice Hanna Joshua Michael William Erin David Glenford Francis Dawson James V. Susan Dennis Last Goodwin Pichardo Perry Ruggerio Jabour Metts Ciccone, III Doyle II Pinga Felag, Jr. Ottiano DiPalma Paiva-Weed Da Ponte Nesselbush Crowley O'Neill Devall Moura Picard Kettle Tassoni, Jr. Fogarty Cote Lombardo, III Lanzi Gallo Miller McCaffrey Walaska Lynch Bates Shibley Maher, Jr. Hodgson Sheehan Sosnowski Algiere Address1 325 Smith Street 229 Atlantic Avenue 27 Top Street 42 Countryside Drive 529 Broadway 31 Tanner Street 15 Mercy Street 8 Massasoit Avenue 42 Newell Street 51 Overhill Road 10 Kaitlin Place 24 Sail Court 48 Admiral Kalbfus Road 52 Vine Street 181 Raleigh Avenue 135 Perry Street 2 Lladnar Drive 27 Monmouth Drive 4 Rhode Island Avenue 764 Mendon Road 5 Autumn Ridge Road 33 B Waterview Drive 112 Saw Mill Road 144 Woodland Road 68 Rollingwood Drive 70 Scituate Farms Drive 285 Meshanticut Valley Pkwy. 41 Talbot Manor 115 Twin Oak Drive 140 Aldrich Avenue 28 Goodwin Street 65 Primrose Hill Road 31 Wesleyan Avenue 195 Glen Rock Road 761 Indian Corner Road 40 Blueberry Lane 680 Glen Rock Road 6 Elm Street City Providence Providence Providence North Providence Providence Providence Providence Pawtucket West Warwick Warren Portsmouth Middletown Newport East Providence Pawtucket Centrall Falls Lincoln East Providence Cumberland Woonsocket Coventry Smithfield Glocester Woonsocket Johnston Cranston Cranston Cranston Warwick Warwick Warwick Barrington Coventry Exeter North Kingstown North Kingstown South Kingstown Westerly Zip Telephone Email sen-Goodwin@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Pichardo@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Perry@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Ruggerio@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Jabour@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Metts@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Ciccone@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Doyle@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Pinga@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Felag@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Ottiano@rilin.state.ri.us sen-DiPalma@rilin.state.ri.us sen-PaivaWeed@rilin.state.ri.us sen-DaPonte@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Nesselbush@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Crowley@rilin.state.ri.us sen-ONeill@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Devall@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Moura@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Picard@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Kettle@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Tassoni@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Fogarty@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Cote@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Lombardo@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Lanzi@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Gallo@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Miller@rilin.state.ri.us sen-McCaffrey@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Walaska@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Lynch@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Bates@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Shibley@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Maher@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Hodgson@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Sheehan@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Sosnowski@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Algiere@rilin.state.ri.us 02908 02907 02906 02904 02909 02907 02909 02861 02893 02885 02871 02842 02840 02914 02860 02863 02865 02915 02864 02895 02816 02917 02814 02895 02919 02921 02920 02905 02889 02889 02818 02806 02816 02822 02877 02852 02892 02891 (401)272-3102 (401)461-2389 (401)751-7165 (401)353-1311 (401)751-3301 (401)272-0112 (401)275-0949 (401)729-9988 (401)615-5645 (401)245-7521 (401)682-2831 (401)847-8540 (401)846-9984 (401)864-4234 (401)728-3244 (401)725-8526 (401)728-3295 (401)433-4353 (401)996-3008 (401)769-4902 (401)397-7638 (401)233-2602 (401)949-0895 (401)765-3360 (401)270-1379 (401)946-7125 (401)942-8566 (401)461-8689 (401)739-7576 (401)737-1065 (401)741-5458 (401)246-1379 (401)826-1611 401-222-2708 (401)363-2400 (401)885-1988 (401)783-7704 (401)596-2215




Good As You

—  admin

Nice try, Thomas Peters. But you’re only highlighting Sullivan’s point

Catholic blogger Thomas Peters is accusing Andrew Sullivan of being disingenuous. But in truth, it’s Peters who’s far more clearly bending toward the side of deliberate deception in order to provide cover for crude Catholic condemnations.

Let’s begin here: The following is how Peters quotes an exchange had by Sullivan and Maggie Gallagher at Wednesday night’s debate on same-sex marriage:

Sullivan: In a 1986 letter the current pope wrote [as Cardinal Ratzinger] he said that we should not be surprised – I’m paraphrasing – we should not be surprised that violence is waged against homosexuals given their desire to change society to conform to what they believe, one of the consequences – unfortunate consequences nonetheless of the push for gay equality will be violence against gay people. Which I felt and I think most normal readers of that sentence would agree was a kind of warning that if we do start standing up for ourselves we deserve violence.

Maggie Gallagher: I’m sure that wasn’t what was meant. I don’t know the sentence so we’ll have to go and get the quote if we want to debate that.

Andrew Sullivan: Well, you can find it but it was definitely at the time very disturbing to hear.

One of Sullivan’s lies about the pope [Catholic Vote]

Okay, so Sullivan’s paraphrase charges the current Pope of once claiming that an increase of gay rights will lead to an increase in violence. Sullivan also admits that the Pope saw these supposed consequences as unfortunate, but saw them as consequences nonetheless. So that’s what Andrew, from his admittedly incomplete memory, put on the table. That’s exactly what a paraphrase is: A summation with a built-in caveat that there is more “there” there.

But Peters is all kinds of fed up, saying that Sullivan trafficked in “deliberate misrepresentation of the Church’s position,” and was bent on “maligning the Church” of which Andrew is a part. And to “prove” Sullivan wrong, Peters hauls out the 1986 letter (titled “On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons“) and presents a verbatim transcript of the claims in question:

RATZINGER WROTE: 10. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.

But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.

One of Sullivan’s lies about the pope [Catholic Vote]

Peters then goes on to further accuse Sullivan of lies and misrepresentations and oversights, even going so far as to say that Andrew “owes Catholics and everyone an apology”:

Notice, especially, the fact that Sullivan completely avoids any mention of Cardinal Ratzinger’s strong and unequivocal condemnation of all violence against homosexual persons. There cannot be any doubt about the fact that Ratzinger is a model of respect, someone who upholds the dignity and rights of all persons, regardless of their orientation.

Sullivan read what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote and now goes around claiming that the cardinal said, “gays deserve violence.” Nothing, nothing, could be farther from the truth.

Sullivan owes Catholics and everyone an apology. Why?

Because he wasn’t paraphrasing, he was deliberately misrepresenting the Church.

One of Sullivan’s lies about the pope [Catholic Vote]

Peters’ outrage is certainly novel. But now go back and read what Andrew claimed versus what the Pope actually said when he was but a Cardinal. Yes, Ratzinger deplored the violence, Popeand Andrew, in his paraphrase, hinted to as much when he alluded to the Pope’s belief that the supposed consequences would be unfortunate. But Ratzinger absolutely did say that violence would increase, and the then-Cardinal directly laid that violence at the feet of gay activists rather than those who might actually bring the brutality to bear!

And actually, it’s not just motivated gay activists who the Pope blamed, but rather anyone who makes a “claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered,” condones their homosexual neighbor, or drafts/passes/supports legislation granting basic civil rights to LGBT people (what with their “distorted notions and practices” and all). Translation: Standing up for gay people’s worth as part of human principle will lead to a natural flow of violent behavior. If anything, Ratzinger’s actual words went even further than Andrew remembered! Because while he didn’t explicitly say that the violence was deserved (and this writer personally wouldn’t use the word “deserved” in describing it), it’s plain to see that Ratzinger did paint extreme aggression as the earned effect of the inclusive human rights cause!

Then if one goes the next step and pulls out some other pertinent passages from this same Pope John Paul era document, he or she will see even more offense. “Intrinsic moral evil.” “Objective disorder.” A “condition” that’s not a “morally acceptable option.” “Contrary to the creative wisdom of God.” An “evil” that should be converted or abandoned with the help of “God’s liberating grace.” Those are just some of the notions that Ratzinger circa 1986 wanted (and presumably still wants) people to support, so as to stave off “irrational and violent reactions“:



Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.



As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God. The Church, in rejecting erroneous opinions regarding homosexuality, does not limit but rather defends personal freedom and dignity realistically and authentically understood.



It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.

But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.



It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.

Here, the Church’s wise moral tradition is necessary since it warns against generalizations in judging individual cases. In fact, circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance; or other circumstances may increase it. What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well. As in every conversion from evil, the abandonment of homosexual activity will require a profound collaboration of the individual with God’s liberating grace.

LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS [Vatican]

So yeah, okay: Thomas Peters can support this 1986 document all he wants. The National Organization can support Peters with however many links they want to offer. But it is simply undeniable that this document was hellbent on painting self-accepting gays as completely outside of God’s purview, and laying more responsibility for potential violence at the feet of those same gay people who are being shunned by this document, not those who might see the document’s crude language as giving them a godly pass to turn hostile words into hostile action.

They can support it — they just need to own it! Just like Andrew has had to own it and look past it in order to reconcile his faith commitment with his church’s faithful commitment to driving him away.




Good As You

—  admin

Old Spice Guy Wants To Do More Than Just Smell Nice

Cage
You know Isaiah Mustafa as the Old Spice Guy. But he wants you to know him as Marvel Comics strongman Luke Cage. Mustafa has made no secret of his desire to portray the superhero on the big screen. He's gone so far as to create a Facebook page devoted to a campaign that serves to get Hollywood's attention as well as have a professional photo taken of him in action as Cage. That's the pic above. He's got me sold.

See Mustafa transform into his dream role, AFTER THE JUMP.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright