What’s Shakin’ – People Empowering People happy hour, Chaz Bono takes on the National Enquirer

1. People Empowering People is a collaboration between The Men’s Group, a social group for African-American gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men, and TMG One Voice, The Men’s Group’s co-ed counterpart.  PEP’s monthly happy hour tonight at F Bar (202 Tuam) provides a casual social setting open to all regardless of ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression and an opportunity to mix and mingle with the fabulous men and women of both organizations.  The festivities kick off at 6 pm.

2. Joe My God has a copy of the Cease and Desist letter sent by lawyers for Chaz Bono to the National Enquirer. Seems the tabloid ran a story in this week’s issue claiming that Bono’s gender transition has shortened his life expectancy to 4 years.  The Enquirer article quotes the opinion of Dr. Patrick Wanis, identified as a medical doctor specializing in transgender health issues.  The problem?  According to Bono’s lawyers not only is Wanis not an expert on trans health issues, he’s not a medical doctor.

3. Today is the last day to early vote in the Houston Municipal election, but if you miss this opportunity you can still cast your ballot at your precinct voting location on Nov 8. A list of all early voting locations and sample ballots  are available at harrisvotes.org.

—  admin

Gay Saudi diplomat in Los Angeles fears execution after being fired, ordered home

Man seeks asylum, goes into hiding

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A gay Saudi diplomat seeking political asylum said his position was terminated and he was ordered to return to his home country where he fears he will be killed.

In an e-mail to news organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, Saudi consulate official Ali Ahmad Asseri said his passport wasn’t renewed and his position in the Los Angeles office was eliminated after Saudi officials learned that he is gay and he befriended a Jewish woman.

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia.

“My life is in a great danger here, and if I go back to Saudi Arabia they will kill me openly in broad daylight,” Asseri wrote in the message.

Asseri, who has been in the U.S. for five years, is in hiding, according to supporters.

His lawyer, Ally Bolour, told NBC News — which first reported the story last weekend — that his client applied for asylum because he was a member of a particular social group that would subject him to persecution if he went back to Saudi Arabia.

Asseri was questioned Aug. 30 by a Department of Homeland Security official in Los Angeles, said Bolour, who declined further comment until the case has been decided.

In July, Asseri posted an appeal to King Abdullah on a popular Arabic website in which he railed against the “backwardness” of Saudi officials and “militant Imams who defaced the tolerance of Islam.”

—  John Wright

Dallas’ leather community goes A.W.O.L. this weekend

As a Leather Knight, Rick Gilles was tuned in to the local leather community, but now he’s busy with moving trucks and packing tape, he can’t partake in A.W.O.L.: A Weekend of Leather. But these guys will step in to fill his shoes — or, rather, boots.

Discipline Corps — Dallas’ BDSM play group is comprised of “biologically born males who wish to experience safe, sane and consensual play with other men from the novice level to the experienced.” DisciplineCorps.com.

Cowtown Leathermen — Formed in 1983, this organization provides services to the Tarrant County LGBT community and beyond. CowtownLeathermen.com.

United Court of the Lone Star Empire (UCLSE) — Ruled by an emperor and empress, this is part of the Imperial Court System that stretches across North America. UCLSE is one of six sovereign courts in Texas. Some serious stuff. DallasCourt.org.

DFW Leatherboys — This “bio-boy social group” focuses on BDSM and a leather lifestyle. The group encourages leather education, community service and, of course, being a leatherboy. DFWLeatherboys.com.

These groups will host their own cocktail parties on Saturday at the Crowne Plaza host hotel.

— R.L.

A.W.O.L. 2, Aug. 6­–8. For a complete schedule, visit AWOLDallas.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 6, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens