Razzle Dazzle Dallas artifacts help piece together event’s history

In last Friday’s paper, I wrote about the history of Razzle Dazzle Dallas and how this year’s party returns to its roots. While I was researching some of the history, longtime Dallas activist Jack Evans brought some old RDD ads and programs to the office. Below is a 1992 ad for Razzle. Nothing extraordinary about it until I noticed buried in the middle of the text who the entertainment was that year.

RDD 1

The Dixie Chicks were a local band that performed at Sue Ellen’s every once in awhile. I wonder what ever happened to them. Nice group of women from what I remember. They appeared on my radio show, Lambda Weekly, once, too. Hope they’re doing OK.

—  David Taffet

Jenna Skyy retires as Gaybingo host after more than 7 years

Jenna skyy

Jenna Skyy (Photo courtesy of Musico Roots)

Joe Hoselton, known on stage as Jenna Skyy, announced at GayBingo that Saturday’s show was her last. Skyy has hosted GayBingo for more than seven years.

Johnny Humphrey, event manager at Resource Center Dallas, said he knew Skyy planned to take some time off, but didn’t know ahead of time it would be her last show.

“She will be missed,” Humphrey said. “We’re proud of the productions she’s done.”

Hoselton called the change good for everyone. He said he spoke to the GayBingo performance group, Something Fabulous, ahead of time.

He said he’ll miss doing the show but made the decision because of the time commitment.

“I discovered Jenna through that show,” he said.

—  David Taffet

Author Keith Boykin to appear at United Black Ellument on Wednesday

Boykin.Keith

Keith Boykin

Keith Boykin, author of Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America, will speak at United Black Ellument on Wednesday. He is touring in support of his latest book, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home.

Boykin is a CNBC contributor, a BET columnist and a New York Times best-selling author of four books.

Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, Boykin attended law school with President Barack Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton. In 1997, Clinton appointed him, along with Coretta Scott King and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to the U.S. presidential trade delegation to Zimbabwe.

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: Resource Center Dallas to take over Youth First Texas on June 1

yftResource Center Dallas will assume all programming from Youth First Texas on June 1 as a result of an agreement reached between the two organizations, according to a release from RCD this afternoon. 

This will ensure a continuation of programming for LGBTQ youth, which was in doubt earlier this year after the previous YFT board had dwindled and remaining members either resigned or were removed.

After RCD assumes YFT programming, YFT will become a program of RCD. Programming will continue with YFT’s current staff and volunteers at its present location at 3918 Harry Hines Blvd.

Our strategic vision is to expand programs for seniors, families and youth,” RCD CEO Cece Cox said in the release. “As Resource Center Dallas nears its 30th anniversary, we are eager to take on the new challenges of serving our community’s youth and plan to work with the youth to develop additional programs and services. We will build upon the significant foundation and broad community support established by Youth First Texas over their 13 years of service.”

Richard Gordon was one of YFT’s first board members. He returned to the board in January to become interim chair after all previous board member resigned.

I am confident that the LGBTQ youth of North Texas will greatly benefit by the Center taking on the programming offered by Youth First,” Gordon said. “After extensive review and discussion, it was decided that this move to the Center will provide the much-needed stability and support that our LGTBQ youth deserve.”

—  David Taffet

GayBingo steps in with West and Boston disaster relief donations

gaybingo-dallas-2013After a week filled with disasters, GayBingo announced that $1 from every ticket sold and 10 percent of all donations made will go to help people in Boston and our neighbors in West.

GayBingo takes place in the Rose Room at S4 tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. This month’s theme is Priscilla Queen of the GayBingo in honor of the show that will be coming to the Fair Park Music Hall in May.

Speaking of disaster relief, West City Councilman (and former KNON DJ) Al Vanek sent word that cash donations may be made online by credit card or a check may be sent to either of the town’s banks:

POINTWEST Bank
200 W. Oak St.
West, Texas 76691

State National Bank
100 N. Main St.
West, Texas 76691

—  David Taffet

Gray Pride announces its 1st programs

Kindley.Gary

Dr. Gary Kindley

Gray Pride, Resource Center Dallas’ program for people over 50 that was the subject of our cover story last week, holds its first event this Friday.

Gray Pride Café kicks off with Dr. Gary Kindley, author of Growing Older Without Fear, who speaks at 6 p.m. He is a licensed professional counselor, pastor, spiritual director and conflict mediator.

People are invited to stop by from 4–6 p.m.

Gray Pride Café will take place every first and third Friday of the month. The first Friday will be educational in nature and the third Friday will be social and entertainment.

Beginning April 14, Gray Pride hosts Sunday Matinees from 3–7 p.m. The movies will be LGBT-themed, and coffee, cake and conversation will follow the movie.

Gray Pride expands RCD’s educational and support services to include health and wellness activities, enrichment classes, monthly meals and social networking, support groups, special events, and women’s-only and men’s-only activities.

The first programs are designed for interaction because isolation and loneliness are serious problems among LGBT seniors.

Anyone interested in volunteering or participating in any of these activities may contact Gray Pride program director Shelley Hamilton at shamilton@rcdallas.org or 214-540-4418.

—  David Taffet

Vandals throw rocks through windows at Resource Center Dallas

RCDRafael McDonnell, Resource Center Dallas’ communications and advocacy manager, said rocks have been thrown through four windows at the center on Reagan Street in the last two weeks. Three of the last four windows were broken since Thursday.

“Any money spent on repairing is less money available for programs and services,” McDonnell said.

The windows were broken along the alley behind the center. He said it was probably nothing more than vandalism although there was no way to know if the center was targeted because it serves LGBT people or people with HIV/AIDS. No one got into the building.

Police reports taken on March 7 and March 9 list damage totaling $225.

LGBT police liaison Laura Martin said she would arrange to add patrols around the building.

Anyone with information should call police at 877-373-8477.

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: DART committee approves DP benefits plan

Michael Muhammad, DART’s vice president of diversity and innovative services, presents three DP benefits plans for DART employees at an administrative committee meeting on Tuesday. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Members of DART’s administrative committee approved a plan today to offer domestic partner benefits to the regional transit agency’s gay and lesbian employees.

The committee discussed three plans but approved one in a 5-2 vote that would offer healthcare to an employee’s same- or opposite-sex partner and their children. According to previously released documents, the plan could cost anywhere from $76,860 $929,758, depending on how many people enroll.

The plan is now set to go before the entire DART Board of Directors on Feb. 26.

Resource Center Dallas’ Rafael McDonnell and lesbian activist Cd Kirven attended the meeting and were glad the committee approved the plan.

“I’m happy that we’re seeing forward movement,” McDonnell said.

They stressed the importance of the LGBT community reaching out to DART board members so they understand the need to vote in favor of the change.

“We need their help,” Kirven said. “I’m excited.”

Michael Muhammad, DART’s vice president of diversity and innovative services, explained the three proposed plans to committee members, including one that would allow both a partner and another dependent to be covered. Muhammad said that would guard against any legal challenges and would require an employee to have a guardianship for the relative to be eligible for DP benefits. But that plan was the most expensive at $355,236 $1,625,697.

After 20 minutes in executive session, committee vice chair Claude Williams made a motion to vote on the most expensive plan, which would cover partners and another dependent. But the motion failed to get a second.

It seemed that the committee would hold off on a vote until next month, but then committee member Pamela Dunlop Gates made a motion to vote on the plan that would cover either a same- or opposite-sex partner, which received a motion and ultimately passed by two votes.

Gates, Williams, Jerry Christian, William Tsao and Richard Carrizale voted in favor of the plan. Randall Chrisman and Gary Slagel voted against it.

To be eligible, employees would have to have lived together for at least one year and sign a domestic partnership affidavit. They would also have to provide two other documents proving their shared residency.

If approved by the full board, the plan would take effect in January 2014.

Contact info for board members is available here.

—  Anna Waugh

GayBingo returns Saturday, with changes

On Saturday, Resource Center Dallas returns with another year of GayBingo, but it won’t be the same old game.

For tomorrow’s Fifty Shades of Gay theme, RCD will debut a new bingo machine, offering both a new look and making it easier to follow the game. And there will be new games, bigger pay-outs and more surprise guests.

Also on-deck this year: Two new offshoots of GayBingo. “GayBingo Presents” will be a series featuring music, fashion, dance and more; and Paul J. Williams has signed on (on behalf of his alter ego, Sister Helen Holy, pictured) to host “GayBingo North Dallas.”

It all starts tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Rose Room inside Station 4. Get reservations and learn more here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Black Tie distribution party

Members of Northaven United Methodist Church accept their distribution check. The church also received a special award for selling more than 100 raffle tickets, a Black Tie record.

Black Tie Dinner distributed proceeds from the November dinner on Thursday night. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL STORY)

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin flew into town to receive a check for more than half a million dollars. Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox and other staff picked up a check for more than $75,000 — a Black Tie Dinner record for a local organization. Erik Folkerth received a special award on behalf of Northaven United Methodist Church for selling more than 100 raffle tickets, another BTD record.

The distribution celebration was held at the Dallas Contemporary, a gallery of Riverfront (Industrial) Boulevard near Oak Lawn Avenue. Photos below.

—  David Taffet