A note on gay Pride — in and out of the community

I had an annoying conversation this morning.

A publicist for a troupe we (let’s put it this way) “recently profiled” called to ask for a change online to the story: Seems like we referred in the headline to the person we interviewed as “gay.” She wanted it removed.

“I’m sorry — is that not true?” I asked.

“No, it’s true. He’s gay.  He would just prefer you not mention it.”

The conversation continued like this for a long time.

Now, I’m happy to correct errors, especially ones caused by us. But this person was pitched to me as the “gay head of this troupe,” and I assigned the story accordingly. If he had not been gay … well, let’s just say the troupe was not on my radar enough such that I would have been all that interested in the story without a hook, an angle. That was his.

Part of the mission of this newspaper is to draw our readers (many of whom are straight) to what’s going on in and by the gay community. Sometimes it’s homophobes attacking us and our rights. Sometimes it’s our allies who embrace us for who we are and treat up as equals. Sometimes it’s just celebrities who have an interesting perspective on their gay fans. Sometimes it’s openly gay people who are victimized by bigots, or leaders who step up to improve the lot of the community.

But a lot of the time, it’s just ordinary gay folks doing something out in the world we think people might want to know about. A trans woman who continues to be a personal trainer. A musician who wants to save the Great American Songbook. An auto mechanic who runs a garage and offers his gay clientele a friendly environment. An actor who steals the show in a national tour of a terrible musical. A museum curator who brings his unique perspective to a major art museum. Maybe being gay doesn’t directly affect what they do too much. But maybe it does. And it’s good to have a sense of pride knowing the vast landscape of opportunities out there — and that being openly gay, bi or trans is not a hindrance to success.

So when someone who is gay — and claims to be out — asks me to hide that fact … well, it angers me. You don’t need to do an interview with me. You don’t need to discuss your sexuality if you do agree to the interview. You don’t even need to be gay for me to write about you. But don’t come to me with the pitch that our readers might be interested in reading about you and then leap back in the closet. Because there are a lot of people out there proud to be called gay. I’m one of them.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Riding for fitness, riding to make a difference

TARA DANNEHL Team Dallas Voice

TARA DANNEHL Team Dallas Voice
TARA DANNEHL Team Dallas Voice

Look out 150 miles, here I come!

My name is Tara Dannehl, and I am very proud to be apart of the 10-year anniversary Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS!

Life for me revolves around health and fitness. So when I was asked to participate in this year’s ride, there was no reason in my mind to say no.

My friend and SPIN professional, Arlen Miller, is the man that got me on a road bike. I know Arlen from The Texas Club located indowntown Dallas, where I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor.

I have been working as a trainer and instructor for seven years. I get fulfillment in aiding and watching the changes people make in their lives for the better.

Many of my clients have come to me for assistance in reaching personal goals of completing a half or full marathon, a triathlon and other distance events of running or biking. I’ve also had some friends starting running for the first time in their lives to raise money for charities dear to them.

And finally, it is my time. I decided that if all these individuals of different ages and abilities can achieve such incredible goals that I needed to make one for myself.

I’ve always enjoyed bike riding and the outdoors. I have spent my time on a hybrid mountain bike, so at the beginning, I didn’t really think there would be much difference in a road bike — wrong! I’ll share that experience with all of you hardcore road bikers in just a second.

Next, I am going to brag about the wonderful bike loaner program.

I was so eager for the ride and this new experience, but I didn’t have a road bike. So Arlen put me in touch with David Minehart and the Loan Star Locker.

And I was set! I now have a wonderful, royal blue Marin to put my miles on.

I took it to the shop and after a little touch up and some new clip shoes, I was almost ready to begin putting miles on the odometer.

While the bike was in the shop, I took my clips and began regularly attending a spin class at the gym. I also would hop on the spin bike in my spare time. I wanted to get comfortable with the clips and felt this would be good practice.

Once I picked up my bike, I must admit that it spent a few days in the garage as I dealt with some small anxiety about this new experience, clips and all, that was looming in the back of my mind.

Then one beautiful Saturday morning, my husband and I finally geared up and headed out. Wow! It was such a completely different experience than what I was used to from a mountain bike!

That first ride was great. What made it even better was that I hit the one stop light between our house and the lake while it was green, both ways, and didn’t have to unclip.

Yes, I told you I was anxious!

But not to worry fellow LSR bikers, as I have been practicing with my clips. I will be a pleasant and respectful rider with you on this amazing 150 mile ride.

Yes, 150 miles — I can’t wait!

The icing on the cake for me is that this experience is an opportunity to raise money for organizations fighting AIDS and supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Lone Star Organization reaches out to so many and continuous support is needed to make significant progress in research and education. It is an incentive to be backed by family, friends and acquaintances to raise money for an organization such as this one.

I am ready to hit the road and be apart of the 10-year anniversary ride this September. It is going to be an experience of a lifetime, and it will be so wonderful to share it with so many other supportive riders and crew.

Thank you to the organization and those that have gotten me this far. I especially appreciate my husband for going on practice rides with me and my parents for believing in me.

See you on the road! Go LSR 2010!

Tara Dannehl is a member of Team Dallas Voice. Donate to her by going online to LoneStarRide.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

We’ll let you jump to the conclusions after seeing these Queen Latifah pics

Over on DimeWars, the site posted these pics of Queen Latifah hanging out with The Secret Life of Bees costar Alicia Keys on a yacht apparently celebrating Keys’ honeymoon. But the money shot was of Latifah getting pretty cozy with her personal trainer Jeanette Jenkins.

Latifah has been mum about her sexual identity over the years and has sidestepped questions about her personal love life, but we can’t help but speculate with this sweet shot of her and Jenkins — even if we happen to be taking it out of context.

Queen Latifah, Jeanette Jenkins
Dimewars.com




—  Rich Lopez