A few people we think of when we think 2014

BWDP_Bruce profile-1

Bruce Wood

Tomorrow’s edition of Dallas Voice reveals our annual choice for LGBT Texan of the Year. I won’t spoil who we chose, but in going over the year in my mind, some names stuck out — they were on my mind during 2014 a lot, for a variety of reasons. For instance, Bruce Wood — a friend and also one of the most frighteningly talented artists Texas has ever seen (I swear that’s not an exaggeration) — passed away, far too soon, at age 53 this past May. We did a cover story about Bruce the following week, cause he touched so many lives.

The community also reacted strongly to the passing of Chris Miklos, a muscleman popular in the bear community, but also a medical researcher who did a lot of good for people. Just a few weeks ago, I was stunned and saddened by the death, at age 31, of Brandon James Singleton, an actor, dancer and funny, skilled writer (he contributed a terrific series to Dallas Voice in 2012 about turning 30). Just as recently, two community leaders — Paul Lewis, a former executive with Caven and Steve Bratka, a huge fundraiser for the Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats — passed away.

Wed Steve Dan

Noviello and Bedner

Not everyone who resonated died, of course. Mark Pharris and Victor Holmes of Plano won a marriage equality against the state of Texas — bully for them! And bully, too, for Jack Evans and George Harris, who finally tied the knot last March after more than decades as a couple (though not legally binding, their retired pastor wanted to make a statement to the Methodist Church). TV personality Steve Noviello did enter wedded bliss — legally — to his partner Doug Bedner in New York. Matt Miller brought the Gay World Series of Softball back to Dallas, and we were all glad to see thousands of athletes out at the clubs. And Stephan Pyles got more recognition for his cuisine for his new restaurant, San Salvaje. We were also pleased as punch when our favorite radio commentator, Rawlins Gilliland, did his first live spoken word show … and it was such a hit, he did several more.

There were some important allies who we cheered on, as well, from failed gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and lieutenant governor hopeful Leticia Van de Putte. Local chef John Tesar caused such a stir in the foodie community, we were happy he was on our side as a gay-friendly restaurateur. And Dale Hansen raised the bar high early on with his full-throated advocacy for gays in sports.

Think we left off someone important? Possibly — feel free to weigh in with comments. Then again, maybe they are in tomorrow’s paper — or even on the cover! Check it out Friday!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Advocate names Putin its Person of the Year

December 2014 - Vladimir Putin LOIt’s just the first week in November, but The Advocate magazine — the long-standing publication about gay issues — has just released its December/January edition, in which it picks its Person of the Year, and this time out, it’s Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Not exactly a powerhouse in favor of gay rights, but that’s not the point.

Like Time magazine, The Advocate selects its winner based on his or her influence in gay life and newsworthiness … for good or bad. Time famously selected Adolf Hitler its Man of the Year in 1938, to great controversy. This fact isn’t lost on The Advocate, which placed its title over Putin’s face … in a way intentionally reminiscent of a Hitler moustache. (You can read the story here.)

While I respect the boldness of the choice, Dallas Voice tends to be more positive (and more local). We will select our LGBT Texan of the Year based on the out Texan who has made a positive impact on gay issues. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 12.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Edie Windsor loses to the Pope

Time coverGay rights hero Edie Windsor placed third in Time magazine’s Person of the Year ranking. Pope Francis was given the honor. Edward Snowden was listed as No. 2.

During the past year, the new pope has tried to dial down the anti-gay rhetoric.

He said the church has become “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception. He has tried to shift the church’s focus to the poor and oppressed.

“If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge,” the Pope said.

His position on same-sex marriage, however, didn’t change the church’s stance.

“The teaching of the church … is clear,” he said.

In it’s announcement, Time called Windsor “the unlikely activist.”

“In her ninth decade, she started a judicial odyssey, fighting a battle she never expected to wage — let alone win,” Time wrote. “Now she’s the matriarch of the gay-rights movement.”

For many in the LGBT community, however, Windsor has had a more immediate and personal affect.

Anti-gay Sen. Ted Cruz came in at No. 5 as “the barn burner.”

—  David Taffet

Edie Windsor is Time Person of the Year finalist

Windsor.Edith

Edie Windsor, right

Edie Windsor is among the 10 finalists for Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

Windsor is the New York widow who was required to pay $265,000 in estate taxes because she was married to a woman rather than a man. She filed suit, challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. The U.S. Supreme Court found in her favor in June.

That decision has had dramatic effect on the lives of gays and lesbians. Couples may now file joint tax returns and receive from Social Security as a surviving spouse. The military is granting equal benefits to same-sex couples. A number of corporations, such as ExxonMobil, finally offered partner benefits as a result of the ruling.

She would be the first woman named Person of the Year in 30 years and the only openly LGBT person ever named. The Person of the Year will be announced tomorrow.

According to GLAAD, the other finalists on the list are:

• Bashar Assad — President of Syria
• Jeff Bezos — founder of Amazon
• Sen. Ted Cruz
• Miley Cyrus
• Pope Francis
• President Obama
• Hassan Rouhani — President of Iran
• Kathleen Sebelius — Secretary of Health and Human Services
• Edward Snowden — NSA leaker

—  David Taffet

Our most read stories of 2010

Zach Harrington

In this week’s print edition (which, by the way, is now on the streets) we told you how our LGBT Person of the Year, Joel Burns, was inspired to deliver his “It Gets Better” speech after reading about the death of Zach Harrington, a gay teen who committed suicide after attending a City Council meeting in Norman, Okla. Well, our post about Harrington’s suicide also happens to be the single most read post on this website since we launched it in June, with nearly 15,000 page views. Here are the top 10 most viewed posts:

1. Gay Oklahoma teen commits suicide following ‘toxic’ city debate over GLBT history month

2. Trans fit: Chris Bruce proudly and bravely went from 230-lb. male bodybuilder to 180-lb. female fitness guru Chris Tina Foxx

3. 11 arrested in raid at Club Dallas

4. Record 106 gay candidates elected in 2010

5. DeLay, who warned U.S. would ‘go down’ because of gay marriage, is brought down by a lesbian

6. Gay Dallas couple legally weds in Texas, aims to bring ‘e-marriage’ to the same-sex masses

7. Joel Burns responds to Arkansas school board member who encouraged gays to kill themselves

8. Gay porn star Mason Wyler says he has HIV

9. Local chef, reality TV celeb dies

10. Exploring spirituality, Radical Faerie style

—  John Wright