Get your Pride on!

DANCING DOWN MARKET | A dancer performs for the crowds along Market Street during the annual gay Pride parade in June 2010 in San Francisco. (Tony Avelar/Associated Press)

North Texas’ largest Pride events don’t happen until September and October, but there are plenty of Pride festivities happening now, from Houston to New York to San Francisco

DRACONIS VON TRAPP  |  Intern
intern@dallasvoice.com

Break out your rainbow flags and spray-on glitter for the month of June, the official national Gay Pride Month. All over the United States folks are setting up their parade floats and getting ready for a month-long Pride celebration.

If you’re in Dallas then you’ll have to wait until September to ride along in the parade, but other major cities from coast to coast — including plenty in Texas — have already started their club parties and street festivals.

The Pride parade and celebration in Dallas was moved to September in the early 1980s to commemorate Judge Jerry Buchmeyer’s ruling that overturned Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, also known as the state’s sodomy law.

Even though Buchmeyer’s decision was overturned on appeal by the Fifth Circuit Court, Dallasites decided to keep the Pride celebration in September in part to take advantage of cooler temperatures.

Dallas’ annual parade is called The Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, named in honor of the former Dallas Tavern Guild executive parade who was a longtime activist and primary organizer of the parade from the time the Tavern Guild took it over in 1983 until his death in 1995.

This year’s parade is set for Sunday, Sept. 18, and other events on the September Pride schedule include Gay Day at Six Flags and more.

For more information, go online to DallasTavernGuild.org.

Earlier this month, Dallas’ one-time traditional June Pride party, Razzle Dazzle Dallas, was resurrected after several years, coming back as a five-day slate of events culminating with a street party Saturday, June 4, on Cedar Springs. Proceeds benefit several community organizations, and will be distributed Monday, June 20.

Tarrant County Pride Week events were moved to early October several years ago, but following the June 2009 raid on the Rainbow Lounge, enthusiasm for the celebration regenerated, making the 2011 events — including the parade, the always-popular Pride Picnic and the newly added street fair — the largest in years.

This year the parade, set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, is being moved downtown, and the Pride Picnic will be held Sunday, Oct 2, from noon to 6 p.m. at Trinity Park.

Tarrant County Gay Pride Week 2011 begins Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 9, with the International Gay Rodeo Association bringing its international finals rodeo to Cowtown for the final weekend of Pride week.

For more information, go online to TCGPWA.org.

The Dallas Black Pride celebration — this year presented by DFW Pride Movement and called “HIS-Story and HER-Story” — is scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Author Uriah Bell and adult film star and CEO Rock Rockafella are already confirmed as special guests.

For more information, go online to DFWPrideMovement.org.

June Pride in Texas

But if you are looking for a June Pride celebration close to home, don’t despair.

Collin County has become quickly burgeoning into a gay hotspot in the DFW area and they’re holding their first-ever Pride event this year with the “Come as you are Pride Party” at Aparicio’s Restaurante Mexicano and Sports Bar, 216 E. Virginia St. in McKinney, on Saturday, June 25, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.

The party is a fundraiser for C.U.R.E., an organization committed to raising funds for and awareness of HIV/AIDS programs and organizations. C.U.R.E.’s next project is to bring to Dallas the largest display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt since the Quilt was displayed in Washington, D.C., in 1997.

For more information go online to CureNTx.org or look for event information on Facebook.

Texas’ largest June Pride celebration happens in Houston, and it all kicks off this weekend with Opening Ceremonies beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Jones Plaza, followed by the Gay Men’s Chorus’ “Anything Goes” Concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Jones Hall. The opening night of Pride winds up with Matt Alber Live at the Hard Rock Café, beginning at 10 p.m.

‘“Divas of Diversity,” the opening of a nationwide comedy show tour, begins at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at The Houston Club.

Midweek, on Wednesday, June 22, you can “Dine With Pride” all day at The Chelsea Grill to help support the Houston LGBT Pride Celebration. Thursday night, June 23, beginning at 10 a.m., head to Meteor Lounge to watch the finals of Pride SuperStar, and on Friday, June 24, you can “Rock the Runway,” beginning at 8 p.m. at South Beach Night Club.

But the biggest of the big Pride events in Houston start Saturday, June 25, with the Houston Pride Festival, a multi-block party in the heart of Houston’s Montrose gayborhood, taking place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and featuring a wide variety of performers on different stages.

And just as the festival is winding down, the Pride Parade will be gearing up. The parade through Montrose — Texas’ first night-time gay Pride parade, steps off at 8:15 p.m. and the parties carry on through to Sunday.

For all the details, go online to PrideHouston.org.

There’s not a lot of information available yet on Pride in Amarillo, which has been hosting a Pridefest for 20 years. But we do know that another, much smaller group — Repent Amarillo — has its Jesus Fest on the same day every year for the sole purpose of preaching loudly to the Pridefest participants.

El Paso has already held their Pride events for 2011 and have scheduled next year’s events for June 8-12. Galveston and Austin are holding their Pride events later in the year. Galveston’s

Pride is in October with a celebratory block party while Austin’s is in September, kicking off Sept. 10 from noon to 6 p.m. with a Festival in Fiesta Gardens in East Austin.

Pride around the U.S.

The majority of the U.S. still celebrates Pride in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, where LGBT New Yorkers retaliated against an unjust police raid on a gay hangout in Greenwich Village. After that, resistance efforts took place all over to fight discrimination.

New York

Of course, one of the largest Pride celebrations is in New York itself, and it starts this year with the Rally Pride kickoff at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park on Saturday, June 18, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Well-known performers, such as cast members from Broadway’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and motivational speakers from the LGBT community will be featured.

Ross “The Intern” Matthews and comedian Christine O’Leary will be M.C.s for the rally, and headline performer is singer Oh Land.

The women-only Rapture on the River event, with DJs Susan Levine and Mary Mac, is being held on Pier 54, 13th St. at the West Side Highway, on Saturday, June 25, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

New York’s 2011 Pride March is Sunday, June 26, beginning at noon. The parade steps off at the intersection of 36th and 5th streets, and ends at the intersection of Christopher and Greenwich streets.

Grand marshals for the NYC Pride March this year are Dan Savage and his partner, Terry Miller, creators of the It Gets Better Project, the Rev. Pat Bumgardner of MCC New York and The Imperial Court of New York.

The Pride Festival begins at 11 a.m. that day and runs through 7 p.m. It takes place on Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street.

The party winds up with Dance of the Pier, from 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., at Pier 54 in Hudson River Park, 13th Street at the West Side Highway. Wynter Gordon will be on hand for a special early performance, and DJs Lina and Vito Fun back up headliner DJ Ana Paula.

For complete details on NYC Pride, go online to NYCPride.org.

San Francisco

Another of the largest celebrations San Francisco Pride, where they have an astonishingly large number of events.

The prade along Market Street kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on June 26 at Market and Beale streets and ends at Market and 8th in Downtown.

Among the Grand Marshals this year are Chaz Bono and Olympia Dukakis.

The Trevor Project is being honored as National Organizational Grand Marshal. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black will appear with the Trevor Project.

A large percentage of Pride events have been always 18- or 21-plus, due to their venues, but in San Francisco they’ve got a few youth-appropriate events, including Kidspace Chef, where LGBT families and their kids get to cook together, held at 10:30 a.m. on June 18 at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center (and it’s free).

San Francisco held a Youth Prom on June 10, for youths aged 13 to 20, which was not unlike Dallas’ Gayla Prom that happened in May.

For complete details on SF Pride, go online to SFPride.org.

International Pride

Mexico City

If you are looking to head south for the summer, the Mexico City Pride parade is on Saturday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to noon. The parade is known as Marcha del Orgullo Lésbico, Gay, Bisexual, Transgénero, Travesti, Transexual e intersexual, and this year binational activist Jesus Chairez of Dallas and Mexico City will be on hand for the celebration and will report on it for Dallas Voice.

The parade route begins at the Ángel de la independencia and proceeds to the Zocalo.

For complete details on Mexico City Pride, go online to Orgullo.com.mx

Toronto

Canada’s Pride Toronto holds its official Pride Launch Party on Thursday, June 23, at 8 p.m., with performances by bands The Clicks and Creature.

The Toronto street festival begins on Friday, July 1, with a Trans March in the evening and a Trans Verse stage amongst others, and runs through to 11 p.m. Sunday night, July 3, with entertainment on eight stages.

For complete details on Toronto Pride, go online to PrideToronto.com

So whether you’re getting your Pride on with gay happy hour or marching in a parade, there’s a Pride event somewhere in the U.S. suited just for you, beginning in June and lasting all the way through October.

—  John Wright

PHOTOS OF THE DAY: Hot Oil Wrestling at BJ’s NXS! during Razzle Dazzle Dallas

Last week we posted a ton of photos from the “home run” that was Razzle Dazzle Dallas, but one of the events to which we didn’t make it was Hot Oil Wrestling at BJ’s NXS on Sunday night (can you say “walk-off grand slam”???). But ultimately this may have been a good thing, given that our innocent slideshows have already led to criticism that Razzle Dazzle “was all about the hairless twinks in Undergear underwear.” (To which as non-spokespeople we’d reply, “And?”)

Anyhow, the fact is it’s not every day you get to see live, gay Hot Oil Wrestling (at least outside of your own bedroom). So, being gluttons for punishment, we figured we’d go ahead and post a few pics from the event courtesy of Damon Frazier at 4513 Photography via Facebook. After all, like it says on the one wrestler’s back, “ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE.” More pics below.

—  John Wright

Razzle Dazzle Dallas called ‘a home run’

Organizers thrilled with attendance, expect big sums for beneficiaries

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

More than 10,000 people filled Cedar Springs Road for the Razzle Dazzle Dallas Main Event on June 4, according to organizers who said they had no way of knowing how well people would respond to the revival of the party that was last held in 2003.

“You just never know when you’re throwing a party,” said Razzle Dazzle Dallas President John Cooper-Lara.

Cooper-Lara said despite all the planning for the event, the board wasn’t sure whether people would show up. Cooper-Lara also serves president of the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, the beneficiary of Friday night’s MetroBall at Station 4. Although he didn’t have final figures he said the night set a record for the event.

“Deborah Cox was over the top,” he said. “And we were up in every category — ticket sales, silent auction, pre-event sales.”

He said GDMAF should be able to provide more assistance than ever as a result.

The fund steps in to help financially when other AIDS agencies can’t, meeting needs such as rent, medical co-payments and emergency utility assistance for low-income people living with AIDS.

Before final returns were counted, Cedar Springs Merchants Association President Scott Whittall said he was delighted with attendance. He said since all costs were covered in advance by sponsors, any money taken at the door in donations, at the booths and in beer sales goes to the beneficiaries.

Normally Dallas police estimate crowd size, but LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin said they didn’t get an estimate on Saturday night, June 4.

Although the street was blocked, admission was free and no one was counting the number who came through the gates.

The five-day event ended with a final party at the Brick, where Mr. and Miss Razzle Dazzle Dallas were chosen.

Gerald Alexander Paige and Weezie Davis were the winners and will end their year’s reign by performing at next year’s event.

The first runners-up were Kenny Bramlett and Vanessa Styles.

Lara-Cooper said the week’s events were more successful than the board expected.

“I think we hit a home run,” said Lara-Cooper.

—  John Wright

Scenes from Razzle Dazzle Dallas — Part II

Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice (MarceloMedia)

PLEASE NOTE: Images will take a few moments to load.

GO TO PART I

 

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Early voting begins today in runoffs for mayor in Dallas and Fort Worth

Mike Rawlings, left, and David Kunkle, are in runoff for Dallas mayor.

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Early voting begins today in runoffs for mayor in Dallas and Fort Worth. For a complete list of voting locations and times in Dallas, go here, and for Fort Worth, go here.

2. Lisa Stone’s friends held a vigil Sunday in Mesquite to mark one year since the gay Dallas woman vanished. Watch a report on the vigil from NBC 5 below.

3. Check out our photo slideshow from Razzle Dazzle Dallas.

View more videos at: http://nbcdfw.com.

—  John Wright

Scenes from Razzle Dazzle Dallas

Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice (MarceloMedia)

 

—  John Wright

Razzle Dazzle Dallas gets off to a busy start

Razzle Dazzle Dallas kicked off with a Wine Walk on Wednesday and continues through the weekend.

A 25-year tradition returns to Cedar Springs with the Main Event on Saturday

DAVID TAFFET | StaffWriter
taffet@dallasvoice.com

The five-day Razzle Dazzle Dallas revival began Wednesday, June 1, with a wine walk on Cedar Springs Road.

“I think last night went really well,” Chet Whisenant, owner of Subway at the Crossroads, said Thursday. “Foot traffic was way up. It was a great kickoff for Razzle Dazzle Dallas.”

Thom Dance, owner of the UPS Store on the other end of the strip said: “We had more people in our store than on any similar event. The street was alive.”

Skivvies owner David Richardson said: “Last night was great. For us, I haven’t seen that large a crowd for a wine walk event.”

Richardson, the former owner of TapeLenders and OutLines, has been a Cedar Springs merchant since the early 1980s. Several retailers said that although they stocked double the amount of wine they pour for other wine walks, they still ran out early.

Many people brought their dogs, and most retailers were allowing dogs into their stores throughout the evening.

Party express buses were scheduled to run Thursday night until 1 a.m. Friday, shuttling patrons to four clubs located off the main strip.

Metroball begins at 7 p.m. at Station 4 on Friday, June 3. Raffles and a silent auction as well as admission tickets benefit the Greg Dollinger Memorial AIDS Fund. Deborah Cox performs. VIP ticket holders are invited to a catered reception after the show to meet Cox.

On Saturday, the Cedar Springs Merchants Association will stage a sidewalk sale and classic car show during the day. More than 50 members of Classic Chassis Car Club plan to display their antique and classic cars along Cedar Springs Road.

Sale tents, food booths, an artist pavilion and activities will be set up along the sidewalk. The street will remain open to car traffic during the day.

The Main Event begins Saturday at 7 p.m. Cedar Springs Road will close to traffic at 4 p.m. to set up the stages and booths.

Sales from The Midway, community booths, art vendors and food and beer vendors all benefit Razzle Dazzle’s eight beneficiaries.

Jenna Skyy and Michael Doughman will host the live entertainment stage. Performers include Cazwell, Chaz Marie, Dallas Pride Cheer, Billy Halliday, The Bright, Uptown Players, the Gary Floyd Trio, Anton Shaw and Something Fabulous!!! On the dance stage near Cedar Springs Road and Knight Street, Dallas DJ Mickey Briggs will trade off with DJ Tim Pfleuger from Oz in New Orleans. BJ’s NXS will provide the go-go boys and girls.

For VIP ticket holders there will be two VIP-only areas. At the north area, Axiom and Dish will serve samplings. At the south area, Al Biernat and Doug Boster Catering will host a food tasting.

Free valet parking at ilume will be provided to VIP ticket holders on Saturday night.

Admission to the street party is free.

On Sunday, closing parties begin at TMC: The Mining Company with an afternoon tea dance.

The Mr. and Miss Razzle Dazzle Dallas contest takes pace at the Brick at 10 p.m.

Richardson said he was looking forward to the rest of the Razzle Dazzle weekend.

“It looks like we’re going to see a lot of new faces,” he said, “and a lot of people we haven’t seen around for awhile.”

He offered special recognition to Jimmy Bartlett, the Razzle Dazzle board member who first pulled the idea to revive the event together.

“I greatly appreciate Jimmy and all of his efforts to bring Razzle back,” Richardson said. “I think this is going to be a bigger and more exciting Razzle than any I remember.”

—  John Wright

Razzle Dazzle Days continues with pub crawl

Years in the (re)making

What’s better than a night of drinking? Well, a night of drinking with a designated driver. Razzle Dazzle continues tonight with the Jagermeister Oak Lawn Pub Crawl. Yeah, we know. You could argue the pub vs. bar thing all night, but skip the semantics and partake. Although a nice beer and bar food spot in these parts wouldn’t be a bad thing. Great, now we’re thirsty and hungry.

A party bus will shuttle partygoers to participating nightclubs off of Cedar Springs. Participants can travel from club to club in their own cars or park in one place and ride the party bus.

Four Oak Lawn bars will offer a variety of entertainment, contests, dancers and more. The party runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and participating clubs include BJ’s NXS, Zippers, the Brick/Joe’s and Kaliente.

DEETS: At participating bars. 8 p.m. RazzleDazzleDallas.org.

—  Rich Lopez

What’s Brewing: Obama issues gay Pride proclamation; civil unions begin in Illinois

Janean Watkins and Lakeesha Harris, who camped overnight, were the first couple to obtain their civil union license in Illinois.

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. President Barack Obama on Tuesday proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2011. Unlike in 2009 and 2010, however, Obama’s LGBT Pride proclamation makes no reference to relationship recognition. Was this intentional or just an oversight? And if it was intentional, why? Perhaps because Obama is still thinking about whether he supports same-sex marriage. Read the full proclamation here.

2. Back in Obama’s home state, Illinois’ new civil unions law takes effect today, and more than 100 couples lined up this morning outside the Cook County Clerk’s Office in Chicago. Although couples can obtain their licenses today, they must wait 24 hours before holding a ceremony. Illinois is the sixth state to allow civil unions or the equivalent.

3. Razzle Dazzle Dallas officially gets under way today with the Cedar Springs Wine Walk & Dog Walk. You mean you haven’t already purchased your sound-activated LED T-shirt?

—  John Wright

Razzle Dazzle Dallas returns to Cedar Springs

 

Revived event will span 5 days with a variety of new features

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

When organizers decided to revive Razzle Dazzle Dallas, they made the event bigger than it had ever been. And Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association said that the five-day event just keeps growing.

For example, after rain forced the postponement last weekend of a sidewalk sale and antique car show scheduled for Cedar Springs, the events were added to the Razzle Dazzle schedule.

Razzle Dazzle begins on Wednesday, June 1, with the Cedar Springs Wine Walk and Dog Walk. Participating merchants will serve free wine to anyone who has purchased a $5 wine glass. The Humane Society will set up pet stations along the street to make the event dog friendly.

Thursday, June 2, is the Jagermeister Oak Lawn Pub Crawl. A party bus will shuttle partygoers to participating nightclubs off of Cedar Springs. Participants can travel from club to club in their own cars or park in one place and ride the party bus.

Four Oak Lawn bars will offer a variety of entertainment, contests, dancers and more. The party runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and participating clubs include BJ’s NXS, Zippers, the Brick/Joe’s and Kaliente.

Metro Ball begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 3, and is the weekend’s major AIDS fundraiser.

The party will be held at Station 4 until midnight and includes dancing, raffles, a silent auction and entertainment by Deborah Cox. Tickets are $25 in advance and available at GDMAF.org or at Skivvies or $30 at the door.

The event benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, which provides financial assistance to people with HIV and AIDS for critical needs when resources are exhausted through other local organizations.

Two additional events have been scheduled for VIP ticket holders. The Melrose Hotel will host a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring Pinnacle flavored vodkas.

The original founders of Razzle Dazzle Dallas will be honored at that reception.

The Round-Up Saloon will hold a late-night private party with hors d’ouevres on the upstairs deck for VIP ticket holders.

VIP tickets are $100 and include five days of free reserved parking at ilume, a $100 merchant coupon book for the Wednesday Wine Walk and more.

Each VIP ticket holder will be entered into a drawing to win dinner, a one-night stay at the Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth and tickets to the musical Chicago at Bass Hall.

Whittall said producers of the show contacted CSMA to offer the giveaway as a promotion for the tour coming because one of the songs in the musical is called Razzle Dazzle.

About 50 autos from Classic Chassis Car Club will be parked along Cedar Springs Road on Saturday until 4 p.m. for an antique and classic car show. Many of the street’s merchants will be offering discounts during the day at a sidewalk sale.

The street closes to vehicular traffic at 4 p.m. for the main event that begins at 7 p.m.

Cazwell will appear on the main stage with Cheer Dallas, Billy Halliday, The Bright, Uptown Players, Chaz Marie, the Gary Floyd Trio, Anton Shaw and the drag-based performance group Something Fabulous!!!

A female impersonator stage will be set up on the deck at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar beginning at 10 p.m.

DJ/VJ Mickey Briggs of Dallas and the dance sounds of DJ Tim Pfleuger from OZ in New Orleans will alternate on a dance stage at Cedar Springs Road at Knight Street.

About 40 community groups will have booths with information and activities. A late addition to the Razzle Dazzle line up is a Midway with carnival games, dunking booths, a mechanical bull and an obstacle course.

Admission to the street is free but Whittall said that this is a fundraiser. Beer sales from booths will go toward the donation to charities. Midway sales and collections from participating vendors and organizations will benefit agencies.

A closing party and tea dance will be held at TMC: The Mining Company on Sunday, June 5. Miss and Mr. Razzle Dazzle Dallas will be crowned at the Brick on Sunday, with the contest beginning at 10 p.m.

Whittall said they are hoping to attract 20,000 to 30,000 people for the street party. He said the last time Razzle Dazzle was staged in 2003, an estimated 35,000 people attended.

The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau has been promoting the week nationally.

Veronica Torres of the DCVB said, “We’re marketing Razzle Dazzle Dallas as a destination event.”

She said that they’ve been promoting weekend stays in Dallas through Facebook and Twitter and on their GLBT Dallas site. The DCVB featured the event at trade shows nationally including at a recent International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association convention.

Whittall said the event has been entirely underwritten so all proceeds will go to the beneficiaries — Youth First Texas, Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network, Cedar Springs Merchants Association Beautification Fund, AIDS Arms, Legacy Counseling/Founders Cottage, Lone Star Ride and Legal Hospice

—  John Wright