3 months later, Donnie Pangburn’s encounter with ‘A-List Dallas’ cast member goes national

Dallas resident Donnie Pangburn has written an op-ed piece for The Advocate — the national LGBT mag — about his infamous encounter with A-List Dallas cast member Phillip Willis during a fundraiser for the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS at Jack’s Backyard back in June. If you’ll recall, Pangburn’s story began as a letter to the editor of Dallas Voice, in which he alleged that Willis, who was selling raffle tickets at the event, referred to people with HIV as “those poor, sad, old people.” In his op-ed for The Advocate — which, interestingly, doesn’t identify Willis or the show by name  — Pangburn fills us in on some of his activiities since the controversy broke:

For my part, I’ve created a Facebook page called “How Would You Know?” to help stomp out the stigma of HIV and AIDS and provide education on where to get tested. It’s not going to solve the world’s problems on its own, but my intention is to offer a one-stop shop (if you will) full of facts, stories of encouragement, breaking news, and the list of needs that goes on and on.

I’ve also developed a Youth Community Forum where education will come directly from physicians and vaccine researchers, or others who just want to tell their stories — like I have. I now understand what it means to be “called.” No one chooses their calling: it chooses you. I am just a small-town Kentucky-bred man who is, let’s face it, a nobody. But like any of us can, I come with a voice of passion, a desire for hope, and a fire burning inside me to change the world.

If my one little voice can do all this in less than three months, imagine if everyone spoke up and said “Enough.” What would be the state of the world in reference to HIV and AIDS? Would there be any stigma at all?

Sadly, Pangburn’s new Facebook page, “How Would You Know?,” has far fewer fans (117) than his old one, “Boycott LOGO’s A-List Dallas” (639). But in case you’re wondering, his next Youth Community Forum is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Resource Center Dallas.

—  John Wright