LGBT groups join forces for school supplies drive

imageRainbow LULAC has teamed up with Resource Center, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, DIVA, Texas Latino Gay Pride and Congregation Beth El Binah for a school supplies drive for DISD students at 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21 at Havana, 4006 Cedar Springs Road.

Dallas City Councilmen Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston and Dallas County Schools Trustee Omar Narvaez will be on hand to collect the supplies. Crayons, 3-ring binders, back packs, 5-subject notebooks, pens, pencils and writing tablets are among the supplies needed.

Supplies can be dropped off that night at Havana or during the business day at Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis, Third Floor through Aug. 22.

—  David Taffet

Member put on DART board by LGBT allies won’t take stance on DP benefits

July DART meeting

LGBT advocates at the DART board meeting.

Four LGBT advocates spoke at a DART board meeting on Tuesday evening to encourage the agency to offer domestic partner benefits, but discussion of the topic was delayed until August. And a new DART board member refused to say whether she supported DP benefits.

Amanda Moreno Cross was nominated for the DART board by Councilwomen Monica Alonzo, Pauline Medrano and Delia Jasso. After the meeting, Cross said it was her first meeting and declined to comment on whether she supports equal benefits for the transit authority’s employees.

Transgender activist Pam Curry addressed the board wearing a sign that read: “I was born gay. Were you born hateful?”

“Once again, you have put off DP benefits,” she told the board. “Even our federal employees and military get benefits.”

—  David Taffet

Gay, undocumented Harvard student to speak at Rainbow LULAC holiday party

Pierre R. Berastaín

Pierre R. Berastaín, an openly gay, undocumented Peruvian student who was recently featured in a front page article in The Dallas Morning News, will be the featured guest at tonight’s Rainbow LULAC holiday party.

Berastaín came to this country from Peru in 1998 to escape President Alberto Fujimori’s military dictatorship and the family overstayed their visa. Despite college degrees, his father has worked odd jobs and is homeless and his mother returned to Peru this summer. Meanwhile, Berastaín, who graduated from R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, is working on a second degree from Harvard and is applying for a two-year visa under President Obama’s recent order.

Although he received scholarships and was able to obtain a driver’s license in Maryland and a bank account in Massachusetts, Berastain has been assaulted twice and didn’t report the incidents because of fear of disclosure of his immigration status and deportation.

Berastaín is working on his master of divinity degree, concentrating on Christianity and the practices of restorative and transformative justice. He is the restorative justice advocate at Renewal House, a gender-inclusive domestic violence shelter in Roxbury, Mass., and serves as the co-chair of the Massachusetts GLBT Domestic Violence Coalition. Additionally, he acts as the director of media relations for the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, and is a founding member of the MA Restorative Justice Task Force.

Havana Lounge, 4006 Cedar Springs Road. Dec. 18 at 6:30–9 p.m. Info at 469-867-0613 or lulac4871@gma

—  David Taffet

The gays go to the Mega March

Staff writer David Taffet shot these photos Saturday featuring some of the LGBT folks who participated in the Mega March for Immigration Reform in downtown Dallas. He’ll have a full story on gays and immigration in Friday’s Voice.

The LGBT groups that participated in the Mega March that are in the video include Rainbow LULAC, Equality March Texas and Queer Liberaction Denton.

The video begins at the Meyerson Symphony Center where the LGBT marchers gathered. They joined the main march from Cathedral Guadalupe on Ross Avenue to Dallas City Hall.The march ended with speakers and the playing of “America the Beautiful” by lesbian writer Katharine Lee Bates.

Si se puede!

—  John Wright

Mega March includes LGBT groups

The Mega March for immigration reform attracted tens of thousands of people to downtown Dallas today.

LGBT groups met at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center, one block from the main staging area on Ross Avenue. The march was scheduled for 1 p.m. but didn’t step off until 1:30.

In this short video, a gay contingent led by the LGBT LULAC Council is followed by a mass of people that filled at least 10 city blocks, curb to curb.

Also marching with Rainbow LULAC were members of QueerLiberAction Denton, Equality March Texas, GetEQUAL and Congregation Beth El Binah.

—  David Taffet

LGBT Mega Marchers to meet at Meyerson

2006 march
2006 Dallas immigration march

The Mega March is Saturday, May 1 in downtown Dallas.

The march supports immigration reform and had been planned long before Arizona passed its recent law, which is seen by most Hispanics as singling them out.

Jesse Garcia, president of Dallas’ LGBT chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said those who’d like to march with the group should meet at the Meyerson Symphony Center at 12:30 p.m. The march begins at 1 p.m. and proceeds from the Guadalupe Cathedral on Ross Avenue to City Hall.

The march route will follow Pearl Street to Cesar Chavez Boulevard and then turn right on Young Street to City Hall. The march is expected to draw 100,000.

Right-wing KLIF talk show host Chris Krok is staging a counterprotest. That protest will meet at Akard and Young Streets and also starts at 1 p.m.

“We love you as a human being … but,” Krok said.

Where have we heard that before?

This week, five senators introduced comprehensive federal immigration reform legislation. The Uniting American Families Act is included. UAFA would allow same-sex partners of American citizens to remain in the country and gain citizenship just as heterosexual partners can.

To avoid massive traffic jams that are expected, take any DART rail line to the Pearl Street station.

—  David Taffet