Lady Bunny keeps Toast to Life hopping

Lady Bunny kept Toast to Life, the annual fundraiser for Resource Center, lively and fun. The dance, food tasting and silent auction event took place at The Empire Room on Riverfront Boulevard on Saturday, March 6. Total amount raised will be announced at a later time.

—  David Taffet

UBE raises HIV awareness through fashion show tonight

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Jalenzski Brown

A few tickets are still available for United Black Ellument’s “Black Love & Unity Fashion Show and Community Appreciation Dinner” tonight from 7-11 p.m. at Quixotic World Theater, 2824 Main St. in Deep Ellum.

This evening showcases Dallas’ community of young Black same-gender-loving men in a positive light while creating space for attendees to receive social support in the fight against HIV/AIDS. UBE will recognize individuals and organizations in the community who have contributed to ending the HIV epidemic among young black same-gender-loving men in Dallas County.

The “Black Love and Unity Fashion Show” will explore life as a young black same-gender-loving man navigating the HIV landscape. Scenes from the show include: “Pre-Diagnosis,” “Sex and Intimacy,” “Diagnosis,” and “Living in Your Truth.”

“The ability of a community to move itself progressively forward is contingent upon it’s ability to cultivate loving spaces and act in a unified manner,” said Jalenzski Brown, team leader of UBE. “With the disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic in the Black community, more specifically among Black same-gender-loving men, the to time to act is now.”

UBE, a program of Resource Center, enables young black same-gender-loving men to fulfill their greatest potential for good and creates new ways for young men to come together, meet, socialize and support each other.

Although tickets are free, seating is limited so RSVP to ubedallas.org/blacklove.

—  David Taffet

Resource Center food pantry service to continue at current location through March 11

Renovations are under way at the future location of Resource Center’s food pantry

Resource Center is extending service at the current food pantry, currently located at 5450 Denton Drive Cutoff, through March 11.

“We will have a further update on the relocation of the pantry next week,” Rafael McDonnell, communications and advocacy manager for Resource Center, said in a message.

The food pantry’s move is part of the center’s capital campaign, which includes a new facility across from Cathedral of Hope and consolidation of numerous services at the current Reagan and Brown location. You can read about the plans for the new facility here and the food pantry and other services here.

—  James Russell

Bunny hops

Drag queen DJ talks music and politics as she gets ready to head back to Dallas for Toast to Life

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Lady Bunny knows how to keep ’em dancing.

DAVID TAFFET   | Senior Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

“In Texas, I’ve become the DJ for socialites.” That’s how it seems to Lady Bunny, who was the DJ on Halloween at Hotel Zaza and at the Fresh Arts benefit, both in Houston.

In Dallas, she’s DJ’d an event at the Rachofsky home known for its art collection and for a Dallas Theater Center fundraiser, as well as at a wedding held on marriage equality night at the W Hotel.

Bunny admits that she’s “not the greatest mixer,” and that she doesn’t have a lot in common politically with many of the people who attended those Texas fundraisers. “But I know music and I know what they’ll like,” she declares.

And after all, that’s what counts, right?

Bunny says she knows how to please a crowd and has a wide variety of experience as a DJ. “When you DJ from Pride to Fashion Week in Paris to gay weddings to bar mitzvahs, you find out what a crowd likes,” she says.

Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 3.17.44 PMAnd knowing what the crowd likes shouldn’t be too difficult for Bunny when she’s next in Dallas, because she’ll be spinning for a crowd that’s much closer to her on the political spectrum: She’ll be the star attraction at Resource Center’s 18th annual Toast to Life fundraiser on March 5 at The Empire Room.

Surprisingly, Bunny has also made a name for herself in the fashion world since a fashion publication called Visionaire hired her as their in-house DJ.

“That started my DJ career outside New York,” she says.

Her first party in Paris, on the Eiffel Tower, attracted fashion model Iman and designer Karl Lagerfeld as guests. From there, she’s done Toyko, Milan, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul and London.

“That gave me credibility as a DJ,” she says. “It became OK to hire this drag queen.”

Bunny says it was her years of working in clubs that helped her be successful as a DJ. “I remember what songs turned the party out,” she says. “In every decade.”

It also doesn’t hurt that she breaks the ice by getting into the music and cutting up. “You get a DJ and a clown for the price of one,” she says.

Currently, Bunny is on a DJ tour promoting the upcoming eighth season of Drag Race. Before coming to Dallas next week, she hits Phoenix and Kalamazoo. From here, she heads overseas to London, Manchester and Milan. But that doesn’t mean she’s carrying a lot of luggage around.

“I shock people how light I travel,” she says.

For this tour, Bunny needs seven dresses. So she just packs fewer men’s clothes. What about all of her wigs? They’re big, she says, not teased out. So they stack and she combs them out.

Bunny says even when she’s in men’s clothes with no make up, she gets called “ma’am,” especially when they hear her voice. It’s not rude, she adds; at least they’re calling her ma’am, not something derogatory.

But she’s had a number of funny experiences with that. “A men’s room attendant in Mexico told me I went into the wrong restroom,” she recalls. When she explained she was a man, he propositioned her.

As passionate as Bunny is with her music and entertaining, she’s equally as hot about her politics.

First, she rips fellow New Yorker Donald Trump.

“I was in L.A. and Walgreens had a life-sized cutout of Donald Trump,” she says of an experience that happened before Trump launched his presidential bid. “Do they know no one in New York even likes Donald Trump? He’s regarded as a joke.”

Bunny says she doesn’t think Trump is even seriously running. She’s still expecting him to drop out and turn his run into a reality show about how to prank the press. He is, she says, a “jerk spouting nonsense.”

But the anger Trump has tapped into is real, she adds: “People are angry. We’re told the recession is over but people are still working two jobs and are still on food stamps.”

After eight years of Bush and eight years of Obama, she says, most of the wealth is going to “the 1 percent.”

She criticizes Hillary Clinton for voting for the Iraq War, something Bunny believes was a disaster. “I’m a drag queen and she has access to secret dossiers,” Bunny said. “She has the foreign policy of a Republican.”

Bunny says she has a 75-year-old Republican aunt who lives in the south who’s voting for Bernie because “the Republicans are clowns and she doesn’t trust Hillary.” Bunny’s advice? Get involved.

Oh, and support Resource Center by coming to Toast to Life. Bunny promises it’ll be a blast.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 26, 2016.

—  Craig Tuggle

Resource Center food pantry move temporarily delayed

Resource-Center

Renovations are under way at the future location of Resource Center’s food pantry

Resource Center is delaying the planned relocation of its food pantry from its current location due to an unexpected construction delay at the Reagan and Brown building.

The pantry, currently located at 5450 Denton Drive Cutoff, was scheduled to relocate on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Thanks to the generosity of the current pantry landlord, operations will continue at the Denton Drive location through the week of Feb. 29.

Center staff and volunteers are working diligently to ensure that client needs are met during this transition phase.  The center expects to have additional updated information in the coming days, and will share details once they are available.

—  James Russell

DA Hawk visits Resource Center

Cox and Hawk

District Attorney, left, and Resource Center CEO Cece Cox.

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk toured Resource Center with CEO Cece Cox, today, Wednesday, Feb. 10.

It was the Republican’s first visit to the center since taking office last year.

Rafael McDonnell, Resource Center’s communications and advocacy manager, said he approached Hawk about touring after December’s meeting addressing the uptick of violence along Cedar Springs.

Hawk was familiar with the Resource Center from her time as judge, but the tour offered an opportunity to see how the center operates.

Hawk’s tour included stops in the food pantry, which is currently under construction, and a chance to meet center staff.

McDonnell said the center is interested in developing a relationship with Hawk and her staff. The tour hopefully established that relationship.

—  James Russell

Resource Center fast tracks pantry renovation

Services continue without disruption, despite unexpected lease cancellation

Resource-Center

Workers strip what was the Red, Blue and Yellow rooms to the bare walls to build the new food pantry. (James Russell/Dallas Voice)


JAMES RUSSELL  |  Staff Writer

The food pantry is one of Resource Center’s most popular programs. Currently located on the Denton Drive Cutoff, just off Maple Avenue near Inwood Road, the pantry serves more than 800 people a week. So when center officials learned that the landlord at that space was unexpectedly cancelling the pantry’s lease, they knew that halting the popular service, even temporarily, was out of the question.

But it wasn’t just center staffers worried the pantry’s clientele would be inconvenienced. It also meant making significant changes to the center’s ongoing capital campaign timeline.

Resource Center is in the midst of an $8.7 million capital campaign intended to help the center meet the needs of an ever-growing community. Originally, the idea was to first move staff and social services into the new 20,000-square-foot facility under construction on Cedar Springs Road at Inwood when that facility was finished. That move would free space at the current Reagan-and-Brown location to move into phase two: consolidating HIV services, nutrition services and the food pantry.

Now, both the construction and renovation are happening at the same time. On the revised timeline, the pantry should be ready by mid-February, the new facility in March, and the Reagan-and-Brown renovations by the summer.

“This timeline was not ideal, but we are committed to clients,” Resource Center CEO Cece Cox noted. “We will not miss one day of service at the pantry. Staff is working to accommodate clients to ensure that their needs are being met during this transitional phase.”

In order to continue to meet the high demand for service, it will take $600,000 to renovate the Reagan-and-Brown building, including the construction and relocation of the food pantry.

The food pantry began in 1985 out of a cardboard box at Crossroads Market, then located at the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton. As need grew, so did the pantry. It moved to a larger space in the 3900 block of Cedar Springs, and eventually to its current location at Denton Drive Cutoff.

Now, through a partnership with the North Texas Food Bank, the center is able to readily restock its pantry with fresh produce, dairy, meats and frozen meals for the 1,900 clients who use it every month.

Cox said the total square footage of the Reagan-and-Brown facility will be about 12,000 square feet. The pantry space will be smaller than the current one. But the new one will be “more efficient in terms of client use,” said Cox.

It will also benefit clients who use public transit.

“When you use public transportation, you’re subject to longer wait times,” Cox said. Clients may be using already limited resources just to access the pantry and services, she added.

Doris Carrillo, Resource Center’s client services manager, said, “The new food pantry means a friendlier and more centralized location for clients.” She called the Denton Cut Off location “isolated.”

“The new food pantry location offers a one-stop shop for all of our clients’ nutritional and supportive needs.

With the move of the pantry to Reagan-and-Brown, clients won’t have to sacrifice stocking up on groceries over a daily hot meal. Now they can have both, due to convenient access to all programs,” Carrillo added.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 5, 2016.

—  James Russell

The Gay Agenda • 01.29.16

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Have an event coming up? Email your information to staff writer James Russell at russell@dallasvoice.com by Thursday at 10 a.m.  for that week’s issue.

JANUARY
• Weekly: Lambda Weekly every Sunday at 1 p.m. on 89.3 KNON-FM. Texas marriage equality plaintiffs Cleo De Leon and Nicole Dimetman; United Black Ellument hosts discussion on HIV/AIDS in the black community at 7 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at 3116 Commerce St., Suite C; Fuse game night every Monday evening but the last of the month at 8 p.m. at the Fuse space in the ilume, 4123 Cedar Springs Road, Apt 2367; Fuse Connect every Wednesday from 7 p.m. at the Fuse Space. For more information call or e-mail Ruben Ramirez at 214-540-4500 or rramirez@myresourcecenter.org.

• Jan. 29: Marketing Your Faith Community to the LGBT Audience
We’ll roll out the Dallas Voice welcome mat to provide an overview of news coverage and editorial; advertising; social media; community event calendars; the Dallas Voice website; eBlasts; and promotions for faith communities. RSVP to Kris Martin, 214-754-8710 ext. 115. 9:30 a.m.-noon. Dallas Voice, 1825 Market Center Blvd., Suite 240.

• Jan. 30: Tyler Area Gays Board Game Night
In the Genecov Room at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, 315 N. Broadway, Tyler, 6-9 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring soda, snacks and games. Free parking on Line Street. For more information call 903-312-2081 or visit Tylerareagays.com.

• Jan. 30: New Texas Symphony Orchestra
An afternoon of dance music from favorite ballets by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Strauss and more performed with the Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra. 5 p.m. Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St.

• Jan. 30: Texas Leather Annual Chili Cook Off
Benefits the 2016 Mr. & Ms. Texas Leather Travel Fund from 3-5 p.m. at Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave.

• Jan. 30: Sable Alexander Presents Miss Gay Dallas State & State at Large
Benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund and C.U.R.E. Male interview at 1 p.m. Competition at 6:30 p.m. the BRICK Dallas, 2525 Wycliff Ave. $5 cover at the door. For more information visit MissGayTexasStatePageant.com

• Jan. 30-31: Travel and Adventure Show
Meet directly with hundreds of travel experts, try global cuisine and get exclusive deals at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St. To register visit Travelshows.com/Dallas. Use the code VOICE to receive $8 off.

• Jan. 31: HRC DFW CarniBowl
Support Human Rights Campaign’s’ DFW chapter and win prizes. from 1:30-4 p.m. at USA Bowl, 10920 Composite Dr.$25 per person or $100 for a team of five. For tickets and more information visit Bit.ly/1Z8J8YT.

• Jan. 31: We Make Peace BBQ
Dallas LGBT presents barbecue with free food, games, bounce house, talent shows with DJ Klassik. Children welcome. 3-5 p.m. at Lakeside Park, 4601 Lakeside Dr., Highland Park.

FEBRUARY
• Feb. 3: First Wednesday Wine Walk
Money raised will support increased security in the neighborhood. Purchase wine glass in front of the Round-Up Saloon for $10 and enjoy wine at 19 area merchants. 6-9 p.m. on Cedar Springs Road.

• Feb. 4: Bloomin Ball kickoff
Gary Floyd and Denise Lee entertain. Light bites served. From 6-8 p.m. at Craighead Green Gallery, 1011 Dragon Street. $10 suggested donation benefits AIDS Interfaith Network.

• Feb. 4: Chick Happy Hour    
6-10 p.m. at Cedar Springs Tap House, 4123 Cedar Springs Rd, Ste. 100. No cover, cash bar.

• Feb. 4: Fort Worth PFLAG Meeting
Special guest this week is David Adcock, chairman of AOC’s Evening of Hope. 6:45 p.m. at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1959 Sandy Lane, Fort Worth. For more information, call 817-428-2329 or visit PflagFortWorth.org.

• Feb. 5: Resource Center Toast to Life Sponsor Party
Sponsor appreciation party for Toast For Life – Mad Hatter’s Ball from 7-9 p.m. at 3525 Turtle Creek Blvd., Ste. 20BC. For more information to reserve tickets call 214-540-4458 or e-mail bscott@myresourcecenter.org.

• Feb. 6: Pride Adult Valentine Bingo
A game night for adults that benefits Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association. 5-8 p.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 4201 Trail Lake Dr., Fort Worth.

• Feb. 6: Lovebomb 2016 Benefit for Queerbomb Dallas
Benefit for Queerbomb Dallas’ annual event with entertainment and more at Zippers, 3333 N. Fitzhugh Ave. For more information visit On.fb.me/1Pf7ZQf.

• Feb. 6: Dash for the Beads
Mardi Gras festival with 5K fun run, one-mile walk, costume contest, beer garden with live music. 9:30 a.m. at Kidd Springs Park, 711 W. Canty St.

• Feb. 9: Ed-U-Care Building Bridge Network
Training group for caretakers of LGBT seniors hosts a dinner followed by screening of the movie Gen Silent for LGBT senior and caretaker needs 6-8:30 p.m. at The Senior Source, 3910 Harry Hines Blvd. For more information and to RSVP e-mail Sharyn Fein at educaredallas@gmail.com.

• Feb. 9: Terry Loftis: ‘Two for the Road’
Terry D. Loftis presents “Two For the Road,” an evening of romantic and love lost songs for Valentines.  7:30 p.m. at The Women’s Museum at Fair Park.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Agenda-Wine-Walk-Group

First Wednesday Wine Walk

Purchase a wine glass in front of the Round-Up Saloon for $10 and enjoy wine at 19 area merchants along Cedar Springs Road. Funds raised support efforts to increase security in the gayborhood.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 29, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Resource Center’s Gaybingo lineup for 2016

EP7_IA_79842_RThe Resource Center’s monthly Gaybingo fundraiser is a tradition, arriving the third Saturday of every month (except December). It kicks off this Saturday with the theme Star Wars: Gaybingo Awakens. But the entire lineup of theme nights has already been decided, and here it is if you wanna start planning your costume early.

All games at the Rose Room inside S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Doors at 5 p.m., games start at 6 p.m. $25–$45. MyResourceCenter.org.

Feb 20: Queen of Hearts.

March 19: March Madness.

April 16: Wig in a Box.

May 21: Orange is the New Bingo.

June 18: Beach Blanket Gaybingo.

July 16: Quinceanera Gaybingo (the event’s 15th anniversary).

Aug. 20: Flame Games.

Sept. 17: Pride and Fabulous.

Oct. 15: Bewitched.

Nov. 19: Nutcracker.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Resource Center’s Cox calls Huffines on anti-trans statements, invites him to visit center

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Cece Cox

Cece Cox, chief executive officer of Resource Center, today sent an open letter to Texas Sen. Don Huffines, taking the Republican to task for Tweets he sent out Tuesday, Nov. 10, condemning Dallas City Council’s vote to clarify language in the city’s equal rights ordinance regarding protections based on gender identity and gender expression.

The ordinance, first approved by the council in 2002, originally included gender identity and gender expression under the protected class of “sexual orientation,” although sexual orientation is not generally considered to include gender identity and expression. Tuesday’s vote was intended to clear up any confusion.

Huffines, however, pointed to a Nov. 3 referendum in which Houston voters defeated that city’s equal rights ordinance following a vitriolic campaign in which opponents mislabeled the ordinance as a “bathroom bill” and focused on scare tactics claiming it would allow sexually predatory men to dress in women’s clothing to harass and attack women and girls in public restrooms. He called the Dallas council’s vote a “sneak attack” taken without giving the public a chance to comment on the change, although the amendment has been in discussion and open to public comment for a year or more.

Huffines called for the ordinance to be repealed, telling Dallas Voice in a written statement that “Civic participation and public scrutiny have been lacking in this process.”

Huffines represents Senate District 16, which includes parts of Oak Lawn, Cox points out. Although Huffines’ district includes parts of Dallas, the senator himself actually lives in Highland Park, according to records Dallas Voice reporter James Russell found online.

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Sen. Don Huffines

Here is Cox’s letter in its entirety:

Dear Senator Huffines:

I am Cece Cox, the chief executive officer of Resource Center. For over 32 years, the Center has served the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as well as all people affected by HIV/AIDS. Parts of the Senator’s district include the Oak Lawn neighborhood, the historic home of Dallas’ LGBT community.

I am writing your office regarding your recent comments about the revision of the city of Dallas’ nondiscrimination ordinance, which was slightly modified this week by the Dallas City Council. The Center is a member of Mayor Rawlings’ LGBT Task Force, and several Center employees serve on that body.

Many of your comments lack a factual basis, which is disturbing given that you are making them in public to a large audience.

Here are some statistics about the transgender community you may not be aware of, according to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Study, conducted by the National LGBTQ Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality:

1. 90% of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job.

2. 47% said they had experienced an adverse job outcome, such as being fired, not hired or denied a promotion because of being transgender or gender non-conforming.

3. 26% reported that they had lost a job due to being transgender or gender non-conforming; and,

4. A staggering 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.

With that in mind, I would like to invite you to come to the Center and visit with me, as well as members of the transgender community. Words have meaning, and I think it is important that you have a chance to speak with community members affected by discrimination, and positively impacted by Tuesday’s City Council vote. I look forward to your reply.

Best regards
Cece Cox, JD
Chief Executive Officer, Resource Center

—  Tammye Nash