Friday is Pride Night at Echo Theatre

Brides---Crew-of-FourWe wrote a few weeks ago about Echo Theatre‘s Pride Month play Brides of the Moon, from the writing collective known as The Five Lesbian Brothers, which runs through this weekend. Well, to celebrate the gay in June, Friday’s performance is officially designated Pride Night at Echo. And if you’re a virgin (i.e., first-time Echo patron) you get $10 off your tickets. Just use the promo code PRIDE when you check out here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Southwest Airlines honors Pride month with video featuring gay trans man employee

Ethan Avanzino is a gay trans man working for Southwest Airlines. This month, the Dallas-based airline honored National LGBT Pride month with this video featuring Ethan. “Southwest celebrates me and all my uniqueness,” Ethan says.

A post on the Southwest Airlines Facebook page notes, “Southwest Airlines University is a place where Employees come to learn and grow. One Southwest Employee shares his passion for his work, and the love and respect shared between him and his Southwest Family.” And in a comment, “We are dedicated to providing our Southwest Family a work environment where they can be themselves and be recognized for the unique perspectives they each bring forward.”

Thanks Southwest, for celebrating Pride with us.

—  Tammye Nash

Help fund QueerBomb through donation match offer

QueerBomb march in 2016. Photo courtesy of QueerBomb

QueerBomb, the organization that stages events each June to help North Texas celebrate national LGBT Pride Month, has a chance to double its donation dollars right now, and is urging everyone to help fill the group’s coffers.

According to the QueerBomb Facebook page, “A very generous donor has offered to match every donation we receive up to $500 before Friday [June 9]. So if you give $1, it’s like giving $2; $5 becomes $10, etc. Help keep this celebration FREE and FABULOUS! Now’s the time to chip in to make this year’s QueerBomb the best yet!”

Donate now through QueerBomb’s GoFundMe page and maximize your charitable dollars, thanks to this gracious donor. As of 11:30 a.m. today (Tuesday, June 6), the GofFundMe effort was just about halfway to its $3,000 goal.

QueerBomb has been holding Pride Month events each June since 2014. The events are free to the public and organized completely by volunteers. This year’s QueerBomb Pride party is set for Saturday, June 24, beginning at 5 p.m. at RBC Deep Ellum, 2617 Commerce St.

Check out the QueerBomb Facebook Page for details.

—  Tammye Nash

Wings, WNBA celebrating Pride Month

Dallas Wings’ Allisha Gray, No. 15, faces off against Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus as Courtney Paris looks on, during the Wings’ recent win over the Lynx. Gray was named WNBA’s Rookie of the Month for May.

The WNBA — Women’s National Basketball Association, just in case some of you don’t know — is celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month in June, for the fourth year in a row. And that includes our very own Dallas Wings (watch for special Wings/Pride Month coverage coming soon to Dallas Voice, online and in print).

WNBA President Lisa Borders said the league is “honored and privileged to celebrate the diversity of our fan base,” and that the WNBA “embraces the principles of equality and mutual respect and is always working to ensure an inclusive environment at our games and events.”

WNBA Pride Month includes four nationally televised games on ESPN2: Washington Mystics at the Dallas Wings on June 6 (7 p.m. CST), and Dallas Wings at the Los Angeles Sparks on June 13 (9 p.m. CST). On June 23 Minnesota Lynx host the Mystics (7 p.m. CST), and on June 29, the Connecticut Sun hosts the Seattle Storm (7 p.m., CST).

WNBA has also announced a collaboration with GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and Fanatics, in which fans can choose from an exclusive line of Fanatics-designed Pride T-shirts featuring WNBA or NBA team logos. A portion of the proceeds will benefit GLSEN, and the league will donate $10,000 to help support GLSEN’s efforts to create safer and more inclusive school environments for all students.

Throughout June, teams will offer special ticket packages and in-arena experiences for Pride-themed games. There will also be community outreach and activation with local Pide groups, festivals and parades, with team activities will be showcased on WNBA and NBA Cares social media channels with the hashtag #wnbapride.

That includes, for the second year in a row, the WNBA, NBA and NBA Development League marching together and having a float in the New York City Pride March on June 25.

(Dallas and Fort Worth both stage their LGBT Pride parades and events in the fall — September in Dallas and October in Fort Worth. Dallas Wings representatives have said the team plans to participate in the local Pride celebrations then.)

Dallas Wings stand at 3-2 going into tonight’s game against The New York Liberty, at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty are 2-3 on the season. Wings play the Indiana Fever (2-4) on Tuesday in Indianapolis, and are back home in College Park Center in Arlington to host the Washington Mystics (4-2). Next Friday, the Los Angeles Sparks (3-2) come to College Park Center.

For a complete Dallas Wings schedule, go here. For tickets, go here.

Additional information on team events and celebrations can be found at WNBA.com/pride. The 2017 WNBA regular season runs through Sept. 3. For more information on the WNBA, game tickets and the full 2017 Twitter live stream schedule, visit wnba.com.

 

—  Tammye Nash

Dallas County Commission proclaims June Pride Month

Dallas County Pride

Members of the LGBT Community (and ally Judge Ken Molberg) gather in the lobby outside the Dallas County Commissioners Court to celebrate Pride Month in Dallas County (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

County Commissioner Mike Cantrell has made it a routine to skip the Dallas County Commission’s proclamation of June as LGBT Pride Month. But the court continues to issue the proclamation. And today (Tuesday, June 21), in addition to issuing the proclamation, the commissioners spent time remembering the victims of the Orlando massacre and the one year anniversary of the mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. (Cantrell couldn’t be bothered with that either.)

County Judge Clay Jenkins noted this was the first meeting of the commissioners since the Orlando shooting. He called for a moment of silence for those who died in the attacks.

But Commissioner Theresa Daniel, who presented the Pride Month proclamation, was clearly tired of moments of silence that get nothing done: “Instead of a moment of silence, let’s have a moment of action,” Daniel said. “At this table, we have a responsibility for public safety.”

She said when someone comes to a county facility for a flu shot, to serve jury duty, to pay taxes or interact with the county for any other reason, citizens have an expectation of safety. The best way to achieve that is to create an environment where all are welcome.

“Diversity in our society is our strength,” she said.

Commissioner Elba Garcia expressed horror that last night (June 20) the Senate voted to allow people on the terrorist watch list to buy assault weapons.

Commissioner John Wiley Price commented on Mother Emanuel and the history of bombings against the black community.

In her proclamation, Daniel noted the Stonewall riots and the one-year anniversary of marriage equality. She called Dallas County a beacon of light, where same-sex couples are welcomed. Harassment and job discrimination are still problems, Daniel’s proclamation points out, and must be ended.

Once the proclamation passed unanimously (minus the absent Cantrell), Lambda Legal’s Omar Narvaez spoke for the group of LGBT community members and allies who attended the meeting. He talked about the gut-wrenching week the community has endured since the Orlando massacre, but thanked the commission for being allies.

—  David Taffet

City of Dallas celebrates Pride; Cuban donates to DPD

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The DFW Sisters received an award for community service at Pride at City Hall

Mayor Mike Rawlings read a proclamation at noon today (Wednesday, June 15) declaring June to be LGBT Pride Month in Dallas. He also announced that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has pledged $1 million toward Oak Lawn safety.

The proclamation recognizes the strides that have been made in the LGBT community, mentioning the Lawrence v. Texas decision that declared the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional in 2003, and the marriage equality ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. But it also acknowledged that more work needs to be done in light of the June 12 Orlando massacre. Jalinzski Brown from United Black Ellument accepted the proclamation on behalf of the community.

“This was supposed to be an up celebration,” Rawlings said before describing how the Orlando massacre affected him personally, calling Orlando a neighbor and saying he wakes up in fear something similar could happen here.

“We’ve got to do better,” he said.

Rawlings announced that Cuban called him on Sunday and pledged $1 million that will be used toward overtime pay for police officers. That will pay for about 16,000 hours of overtime pay that DPD will devote to counter-terrorism efforts in Oak Lawn. He said Cuban asked him to relay the message that he’s proud to help.

Cuban didn’t attend the City Hall event because he is in Los Angeles filming Shark Tank.

The Pride at City Hall event was planned several months ago by the Mayor’s LGBT Task Force. Councilman Adam Medrano, who heads the task force, recognized a number of people for their contributions to the city.

Omar Narvaez, Sr. Cpl. Brittani Pilcik and Jesse Vallejo read the names of the Orlando massacre victims.

The Task Force awarded Special Recognition to Dallas Black Pride for its June Pride event that takes place this weekend. Kirk Myers of Abounding Prosperity accepted the award from Councilwoman Tiffanni Young.

The Ally Award went to the city council and mayor. All were in attendance to accept the recognition for voting 15-0 to clarify wording in city ordinances.

The Community Award went to the DFW Sisters. Medrano mentioned their work to distribute whistles throughout the community as a way of calling for help if attacked or in a dangerous situation. The group works diligently to raise money to distribute through the community whenever it’s needed.

The Leadership Award went to Take Back Oak Lawn. Burke Burnett and Michael Dominguez, two of the founders of the group, also created SOS, the survivors support group. John Anderson has been reporting street lights that are out. Alexandre’s owner Lee Daugherty has been at the forefront of boosting security at the bars. Daniel Cates organized the rally and march for Orlando this weekend and other rallies in support of attack survivors. Medrano called him the group’s loudmouth. Organizer Cannon Brown and Resource Center’s Rafael McDonnell were also recognized for their work with Take Back Oak Lawn.

—  David Taffet

U.S. Navy celebrates Pride Month

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Members of the U.S. Navy celebrate Pride Month (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy joins the nation in recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride month during the month of June.

Established by Presidential Proclamation in 2000, LGBT Pride Month is held annually and recognizes the importance of diversity within our society as well as the many achievements of LGBT individuals. This year’s theme is celebration, and calls Americans to eliminate prejudice and celebrate our diversity.

“Americans have always worked to fulfill that exceptional promise made at our founding,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “We have continually broken down artificial barriers to equal opportunity … Our military forces have followed that same history and made themselves stronger and better and more effective because of it.”

This June, the Navy recognizes LGBT service members and civilians for their dedicated service to our country.

“Diversity is a source of strength for the Navy, and is [a] key component to maintaining our highest state of readiness,” said a Navy spokesperson. “Diversity encompasses more than race and gender — we seek to include diversity of thought, background, language, culture and skills as well. Our force comes from a diverse populous, and we are simply better at what we do when we are more diverse. We want individuals to serve who are right for the job regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and creed. Our goal is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the best-qualified and the most capable service members.”

For service members, repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2011 allowed gays, lesbians and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces.

President Barack Obama issued a Pride Month declaration earlier this week.

—  David Taffet

Obama issues LGBT Pride Month declaration

 THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 31, 2016

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2016

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

President Barack ObamaSince our founding, America has advanced on an unending path toward becoming a more perfect Union. This journey, led by forward-thinking individuals who have set their sights on reaching for a brighter tomorrow, has never been easy or smooth. The fight for dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive society. They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment — under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics. This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward justice.

Last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 States was a historic victory for LGBT Americans, ensuring dignity for same-sex couples and greater equality across State lines. For every partnership that was not previously recognized under the law and for every American who was denied their basic civil rights, this monumental ruling instilled newfound hope, affirming the belief that we are all more free when we are treated as equals.

LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them. That is why my Administration is striving to better understand the needs of LGBT adults and to provide affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing to aging LGBT Americans. It is also why we oppose subjecting minors to the harmful practice of conversion therapy, and why we are continuing to promote equality and foster safe and supportive learning environments for all students. We remain committed to addressing health disparities in the LGBT community — gay and bisexual men and transgender women of color are at a particularly high risk for HIV, and we have worked to strengthen our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new infections, increase access to care, and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV.

Despite the extraordinary progress of the past few years, LGBT Americans still face discrimination simply for being who they are. I signed an Executive Order in 2014 that prohibits discrimination against Federal employees and contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I urge the Congress to enact legislation that builds upon the progress we have made, because no one should live in fear of losing their job simply because of who they are or who they love. And our commitment to combatting discrimination against the LGBT community does not stop at our borders: Advancing the fair

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treatment of all people has long been a cornerstone of American diplomacy, and we have made defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT individuals a priority in our engagement across the globe. In line with America’s commitment to the notion that all people should be treated fairly and with respect, champions of this cause at home and abroad are upholding the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights.

There remains much work to do to extend the promise of our country to every American, but because of the acts of courage of the millions who came out and spoke out to demand justice and of those who quietly toiled and pushed for progress, our Nation has made great strides in recognizing what these brave individuals long knew to be true in their hearts — that love is love and that no person should be judged by anything but the content of their character. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, as Americans wave their flags of pride high and march boldly forward in parades and demonstrations, let us celebrate how far we have come and reaffirm our steadfast belief in the equal dignity of all Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this

thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

# # #

—  David Taffet

Petition urges Wichita Falls to declare June Pride Month

Wichita Falls

The (man-made) Wichita Falls

A change.org petition urges the Wichita Falls City Council to declare June Pride Diversity month.

And diversity means everyone. Here are the points the petition makes:

  • Wichita Falls is home to people of all faiths who offered prayers for rain in the midst of drought.
  • Wichita Falls is home to people of all political persuasions who seek to better our city, county, state, and country.
  • Wichita Falls is home to families of all kinds – two-parent households, single-parent households, gay and straight and transgender, extended family supporting, young and not-so-young – bringing a strong and educated generation of leaders to the forefront of world leadership.
  • Wichita Falls is home to people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds who support the success of our economy and who work hard to better our community.

The next city council meeting is June 14. At the time of this writing, there were less than 100 signatures. If the number of signatures grows, we’ll see if the council responds to the petitioners.

 

—  David Taffet

Southwest Airlines brings in Jason Collins for Pride Month event

Collins at Southwest

Jason Collins

Former NBA player Jason Collins is headlining Southwest Airlines’ LGBT Pride Month Celebration today (Wednesday, June 24), at the airline’s Dallas Love Field headquarters.

Collins will will “share his personal journey as an openly gay player in the NBA,” according to a statement released this week by Southwest. The statement noted that the airline’s 2015 Pride event focuses on “Pride in Your Authentic Self,” and will include discussion on being an effective ally for the LGBT community. The event is open to employees of Southwest Airlines and Accenture.

Ellen Torbert, Southwest Airlines’ vice president of diversity and inclusion, said the airline is “proud of our commitment to the communities we serve. We have been a longtime supporter of the LGBT community and are pleased to champion their work to promote inclusive environments, and we are proud of the relationships we have with our local, regional and national community partners. These nonprofit organizations work hard to make a positive difference in the LGBT community.”

Southwest Airlines, now in its 44th year, has more than 47,000 employees and

—  Tammye Nash