Starvoice • 06.17.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Meredith Baxter turns 64 on Tuesday. For most of the ’80s, Baxter played Elyse Keaton on Family Ties. She’s mostly been seen in TV films and guest-starring roles. In an interview with Matt Lauer on Today back in 2009, she came out of the closet as lesbian. Her memoir Untied was released this past March.

THIS WEEK

For the next few months we get a taste of the Uranus-Pluto square that will dominate the next five years. Recent political turmoil has just been the set-up for major crises and changes ahead. Astrologically it looks a lot like 1848, 1939 and the ‘60s. Buckle your seatbelts; it’s gonna get bumpy.

………………….

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
As dystopian as the future looks, you’ll find a way to thrive. Trust your instincts and reconsider the most important lessons you learned from your mother. Talking with siblings can clarify that.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Frustrations in love and career are too big to solve by yourself. Fortunately you have some very wise and resourceful friends. As odd as their ideas may seem, they will likely help.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
It’s easy to worry yourself sick. Arguments make it worse. Focus on your career. Working through sexual issues is healing. Quiet time alone gives you space to think about what you need to do.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Sharing your innermost thoughts will open up ideas for creative fun. On the way, you open up some difficult childhood memories. Resolving an ugly past can clear the way for a better future.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Your home and partnership are heading for big changes. Be generous and comforting in bed. Family commitments need to change. Be clear on what those are. Be adaptive at work.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Obsessing on details leads to accidents and misunderstandings. Don’t neglect the important details; just keep it all in perspective. Your partner’s advice and practical support will prove helpful.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Now’s the time to find a job you enjoy. Channeling your sexual charisma into the job search is helpful, but if you already like your work that charisma can go back to what it does best.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Trying to manage your family or community will backfire. Focus on having fun. If you’re looking for love, play at being moody, broody and intense; but remember, you’re playing.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Conversations open up deep psychological insights. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your family, no matter how odd. Releasing old tensions could have surprising health benefits.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Reality is challenging your values and your plans, but that’s life. Adaptability and a sense of humor will help you stay true to your core while everything else goes crazy.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Be very sure that your career is in line with your ambitions. Being unhappy on your job track will get you derailed. Contempt for authority is well-deserved but pick your battles strategically.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
“Bad religion” is a subjective experience. Focus on your own personal beliefs; know where you find clarity, support and reassurance. Respect others’ paths while finding your own.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Hear Lovers tonight at Andy’s in Denton

Lovers’ finds zero limits as an out musicians

Lovers has five albums under its belt, and through rotating members, the touchstone has always been Berk. But this current incarnation of the band seems to find Lovers at its best self. Berk, Kerby Ferris and Emily Kingan have produced a confident album with Dark Light, and after a decade of doing this, Berk feels this is the band at its strongest.

“When we came together, it felt very egalitarian and feminist and comfortable,” she says. “I hadn’t experienced that level of confidence and there are a lot of benefits to having our kind of connection. I felt like this was a really great place to be creatively.”

This confidence has taken Berk to new levels, as an artist and a person. All three members identify as queer, and for Berk, that offers a comfort in writing her music. Although she starts the song on her acoustic guitar, the others chime in for a group dynamic.

At 32, her personal growth over these 10 years has manifested differently in Dark Light than it has on any of the previous releases. She’s out of the closet, but this album shows Berk coming out of her shell.

“I feel like I sort of went from being an artist who was working mostly to exorcise personal demons to someone who, with time, is able to looking more outward,” she says. “This is the most extroverted album Lovers has ever had.”

Read the entire article here.

DEETS: With Sextape and One Red Martian. Andy’s Bar, 122 N. Locust Road, Denton. May 13. 9 p.m. $6–$8. LoversAreLovers.com.

—  Rich Lopez

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

FEEDBACK: Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Thank you for the in-depth expose on the three major mayoral candidates (“Decision in Dallas,” Dallas Voice, April 8).

While there are different opinions regarding the candidates, David Kunkle is my personal choice. I have watched him closely over the last several years and was so impressed with his style of leadership and soft-spoken manner when he was police chief. He went all over this city, listening and getting feedback from not only the GLBT community, but everywhere.

Additionally, he is effective. He may not be the flashiest or most dynamic of the candidates, but he’s a keen thinker and avid reader focused on real world solutions on what works and what doesn’t.

He also appreciates the eclectic aspects of Dallas. That’s an important place to be in my mind, so that we can attract not only Fortune 500 companies but also the small businessman/woman and the budding creative entrepreneurs who want to live in our city.

I don’t know that I necessarily want another CEO as mayor. We hear all the time that government should be run like a business. I think it should not be. Contrary to popular belief today, government is not a business.

Municipal government needs an experienced and competent administrator. In addition to serving as Dallas police chief, David Kunkle also has experience serving as the assistant city manager of Arlington, which will provide him with a skill set from day one that will no doubt serve him well as mayor.

Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings both are pleasant gentlemen and they each bring their own “skill set” to the table and there are good people supporting them. But I’m going to be casting my ballot for David Kunkle.

Jay Narey
Dallas

—  John Wright

Rick Perry boasts personal experience to claim success of Texas abstinence-only sex ed programs

In what has to be one of the most moronic answers to a basic and serious question about the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex ed in a state that ranks #3 in the number of teen pregnancies and No. 1 in repeat teen pregnancies, Governor Rick Perry cites his personal experience, not statistics, to claim these ridiculous programs are working.

Texas is doing as little as possible to help women – especially young women – avoid unwanted pregnancy. For one thing, it’s extremely tough for teenagers to get contraceptives in Texas. “If you are a kid, even in college, if it’s state-funded you have to have parental consent,” said Susan Tortolero, director of the Prevention Research Center at the University of Texas in Houston.

“Abstinence works,” said Governor Perry during a televised interview with Evan Smith of The Texas Tribune.

“But we have the third highest teen pregnancy rate among all states in the country,” Smith responded.

“It works,” insisted Perry.

“Can you give me a statistic suggesting it works?” asked Smith.

“I’m just going to tell you from my own personal life. Abstinence works,” said Perry, doggedly.

Do we now have to ask Governor Good Hair about the details of his personal experience in order to analyze why abstinence-only is effective for the entire Lone Star State as the babies continue to be popped out by teens?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Christine O’Donnell Confesses To Using Campaign Money For Personal Expenses

Teabagger loon, “ex-gay” advocate, and not-a-witch Christine O’Donnell has admitted that she’s been illegally using campaign donations to pay her rent.

[O'Donnell] acknowledges using campaign money to pay part of the rent on her current town house. Her attorney maintains someone with the Federal Election Commission approved the arrangement, although the commission’s rules say candidates can’t use campaign money for their mortgage or rent “even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign.”

The watchdog group Citizens For Ethics in Washington responds: “Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate.”

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Video: Iowa For [Partisan Fervor Based on Personal Whims Rather than Constitutional Fairness]

The seven justices of the Iowa Supreme Court, after years of education and training which provided the sort of legal expertise that qualified each member for his or her esteemed position on the state’s high court, listened to arguments and then wrote a unanimous decision that removed gender discrimination from the state’s marriage laws. But don’t listen to them or actually see the reasoning of the ruling even if you personally don’t like it. No, no — instead, listen to the following six attendees at the state GOP’s Ronald Reagan Dinner who the Sandra Day O’Connor-misrepresenting group “Iowa For Mob Rule” “Iowa For Freedom” found to speak out against the “run amok” “oligarchy” that is one of our three co-equal branches of government:





An independent judiciary controlled by citizens’ partisan talking points? [::sigh::] Come back to us, civics — all is forgiven!

***

**Oh, and for a continuing glimpse into just how partisan and far-reaching this “Iowa For Freedom” group really is, check out this other Reagan Dinner void that they uploaded along with the above six clips. It has nothing to do with their one supposed cause, instead featuring far-right congressman Steve King talking all about “Obamacare”:




Good As You

—  John Wright

Ohio Lesbian Festival – Where the Personal is Still Political

There are not many places these days where lesbians can go to enjoy one another’s company and culture in the exclusive presence of other women and lesbians. The Ohio Lesbian Festival, that convenes every summer just outside of Columbus, is one such venue. Now in its 21st year, this festival celebrates music made by and for women, and offers a range of workshops from religion to hula hooping to politics to sex. There are numerous vendors too and one can purchase women’s art and get informed about a range of issues.

I attended the festival to build support for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, getting petitions signed that we’re delivering now to Ohio Senators in advance of the vote the Senate will soon take, we anticipate. One of the first women I asked to sign the petition is one of my heroes — Alix Dobkin — the legendary lesbian singer who was performing at the festival. I loved her quip before signing the petition:

Alix Dobkin (R) adds her name to the petition

“Wasn’t one of the good things about being gay in the past the fact that we didn’t have to get married or join the military?”

But of course she recognized that everyone should have the choice and readily signed the petition. So did scores of other women at the festival, many of whom were veterans themselves and thanked me and HRC for doing this work.

I also had the pleasure of spending time at the festival with Sue Doerfer, the Executive Director of Equality Ohio, the statewide organization that is fighting every day for equality legislation. Sue had a table at the Festival and she invited me to join her in her workshop on LGBT Equality in Ohio.

I can’t think of any more enjoyable way to spend a weekend—in the Ohio woods with music, politics and my sisters. If at all possible, I’ll be back next year!

Visiting the Equality Ohio tent


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Kern’s People Get Personal

Brittany Novotny X390 (OUTPROFESSIONALS) | ADVOCATE.COMSupporters of Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern have launched personal
attacks against her Democratic opponent, transgender
lawyer Brittany Novotny.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Video: Paper, personal objections, and fear = non-binding anti-equality

It turns out that we shouldn’t marry, fellow gays. Ya know, because one Judge Executive in Whitley County, KY, has “moral objections” that he wishes to codify into law, starting with a completely time-wasting, wholly non-binding resolution:



Whitley County Fiscal Court passes resolution aimed at banning same-sex marriage [WYMT]

Okay, kids, we have a project for you:

STEP1: Get a piece of paper. It can be a sticky note. Or a scrap piece. Or a gum wrapper. Anything, really.

STEP2: Write a personal whim on said paper. One than bans some group from doing something. It can be faith-based, like if you have some dietary commandment you follow. Or it can be about whatever you personally dislike. For me, it’s ketchup. For you, who knows?

STEP3: Smugly look at what you wrote. Even pat yourself on the back, if you feel so inclined. Go ahead. Superiority = America.

STEP4: Call local TV crews. Talk about how you’d like to take your ideas national. Bonus points if you can find some sort of public opinion polling that helps make your whim sound like a majority consensus, independent from constitutionality.

STEP5: Congratulate yourself once more. For you have just created a personally-motivated document and news story with as much legal power as the Whitley Court, KY, Fiscal Court.

STEP6: Count up the minutes that you could have instead been dedicating to actual problems. Continue to ignore them in favor of baseless discrimination.

Repeat whenever some other group you don’t support gets “radical” and/or “uppity” enough to seek basic peace and fairness.

***

*SEE ALSO: Meet the panel who gave unanimous approval to this resolution: Elected officials [Whitley County]




Good As You

—  John Wright