Travel Diary • 01.13.12

IMG_3636Gay Days, which for years has organized circuit-party- like festivities during the week-long “Gay Day” in Orlando — covering DisneyWorld, the Universal Parks and more — is expanding west for what they are calling their first “bi-coastal” celebration.

Only the new city isn’t really on the coast, or anywhere near it. Their bad.

Still, Gay Days Las Vegas does bring the signature event style to the Pacific time zone.

From Sept. 4–10 this year, the Tropicana Casino in Vegas will be host to the Pride party, which will include a travel-retail expo (free and open to the public), daily pool parties and other events around town (pictured).

That follows the annual Orlando blow-out, which takes place as always the first weekend in June. You can book reservations and learn more about both at GayDays.com.

Asian markets are organizing to embrace their LGBT travelers more openly.

Following a symposium late last year in New Delhi, sponsored by San Francisco-based Community Marketing, countries across the region discussed reaching out to gay travelers. The New York office of the Thailand tourism bureau even announced a pilot campaign, scheduled to launch during the first quarter of 2012, called “Go Thai, Be Free,” targeting LGBT travelers on the East Coast of the U.S.

Olivia, the lesbian-focused travel company, will celebrate its upcoming 40th anniversary with two special cruises — the largest lesbian cruises yet to set sail.

The cruises — departing from Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 27 and again on Feb. 3 on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam liner, for a tour of the Caribbean, including Aruba, the Bahamas and Curacao — will hold 2,100 guests. To book a room or for further information, visit Olivia.com.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

—  Kevin Thomas

That pool party invite you’ve been waiting for

If you find yourself this deep into summer without any pool party invites to schedule, not to fear, this may be the one to accept. Tom Doan has turned his annual Summer Pool Party into an event that not only offers a break from the heat, but even gives back a bit. A great idea considering last year’s party had over 800 people. (Who has this kind of space?)

The event is now  fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas and with the help of Don Maison, corporate sponsors have even jumped on board. Having Miller Lite as backup kinda trumps most other pool parties going on. The poster boasts free booze and alcohol and a live DJ.

And you’re invited. For more information or to RSVP, email here.

—  Rich Lopez

Dallas Southern Pride organizers predict crowd of 10,000-plus

‘Drag Race’ star JuJu Bee, dance parties, pool parties to highlight city’s annual black Pride weekend

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

Angela Amos
Angela Amos

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend Dallas Southern Pride, the premier annual black Pride event in North Texas, on Sept. 23-26.

Promoter Kirk Myers said that the event is moving from a regional event to a nationally recognized circuit party.

JuJu Bee from “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” will be one of the performers featured over the weekend. She will be at the Brick on Friday night, Sept. 24.

Myers traveled to Cleveland to see JuJu Bee perform.

“She’s very personable,” he said. “She gets out and meets everyone and is overwhelmed by the response.”

He said she didn’t realize she had such a large African-American fan base.

“A lot of people thought she should have won,” he said.

Myers said GloTV will be in town filming the Masquerade Ball on Saturday, Sept. 25, as part of a new reality series about the emerging ballroom scene in the black LGBT community.

Dallas Southern Pride has always been scheduled to coincide with the Grambling/Prairie View Classic football game generally held the first weekend in October at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park. This year, the game was moved back a week, so Pride moved, too.

Myers said he hopes the move encourages more people of all backgrounds from Dallas to participate in some of the events. With Dallas Southern Pride coming the week after the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, Myers said he believes people will still be in the mood for more Pride celebrations.

“That party is really an opportunity for the mainstream LGBT community to party with us,” he said.

Myers said several things indicate this year’s event will be larger than ever. He said the Convention and Visitors Bureau has been very supportive. More sponsors have signed on this year as well.

To close the weekend, the Signature Black Party will be held at the host hotel on Sunday night. SizzleMiami, the largest black circuit party that attracts more than 100,000 each Memorial Day, is sponsoring the event.

Myers said that the various promoters represent the diversity of the community. To attract women, they added Her 4 Her last year.

T.D. Davis, a Her 4 Her organizer, said that the theme for Dallas Southern Pride is “Taste of Dallas — Best of Both Worlds.” She said the women’s events “bring different flavors to Dallas.”

The women’s parties begin with Bourbon Street at Victory Tavern near the American Airlines Center on Thursday, Sept. 23, presented by Sophisticated Fridays.

DeMarco Major from Logo’s “Shirts & Skins” will host “New York — A Taste of the Big Apple” at the Radisson Love Field, the host hotel, on Friday evening.

The Saturday afternoon pool party has a South Beach theme and “A Night in Paris,” the Saturday night party at Wendy Krispin’s in the Design District, has a French flair.

Sunday’s brunch with Church of the Solid Rock features New Orleans soul food.

“We’re continuing to build the Her 4 Her brand,” said organizer Angela Amos.

Amos said all of the most recognized women’s organizations in the Metroplex participated in organizing the weekend’s events.

“I’d like to keep building the alliances and reaching out on an individual level,” she said.

On Saturday, several workshops presented by Glamour Girls and Alpha Lambda Zeta, a nationally recognized gay fraternity, will be held at the hotel.

“Then Sunday is a concoction of everyone,” Davis said.

After Sunday brunch and worship, both the men and the women head to Bachman Lake Park for a picnic. Myers said the food is being provided by Buffalo Wild Wings.
That event is free.

The organizers all said additional highlights and entertainment are still being booked for next week’s events.

A full schedule of events is available at DallasSouthernPride.com and Her4Her.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens