DRAG you

Comedian/drag queen P.T. may look like Wendy Williams, but his message to queer youth is no gimmick

Drag-You
HOW YOU DOIN’? | P.T.’s spot-on impersonation of talk show host Wendy Williams got producers’ attention and could be a step toward the comedian’s dreams.

 

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Dallas drag queen P.T. has his sights set on one thing: The Wendy Williams Show. He has a good reason: His spot-on take on the talk show celeb was so successful, Williams’ own TV show took notice, asking him to produce a video of his work as her doing celebrity news. Now, he’s vying to be the first female impersonator on her show.

“That is my goal,” he says. “She’s had gay people on her show, but no drag.

I would love to be the first to sit with her for ‘Hot Topics.’”

P.T. just turned 50, but that doesn’t hold him back from big ambitions.

He’s worked the talk show circuit before, appearing on Maury Povich. His video made it to Williams’ producers, though was not selected. Still, he hopes to use this exposure as a springboard to get his message out.

“I’d love to do radio one day and report celebrity news,” he says. “I could still do it here in Dallas, but if the money and time are right, I’d move as well. I’d love to, even.”

People can see P.T. in action Thursday and Sunday nights at Havana. He’s been the headlining entertainment there for seven years with his sass intact. He threatens to read a queen if they get out of line during his show, but mostly, his act is sort of the Oprah of drag: When people walk out that door, he wants them to feel better inside and leave a bit more educated.

“My job is not to put someone down, but to make them feel good,” he says.

“I use my comedy for that as well as to encourage people to do unto others. I believe in that. And I will try to teach where I can. Every chance I get. So many younger folks just don’t know what gay Pride is about.”

If P.T. has one thing to say, it’s to know your history. And when it comes to Pride, he finds that much is getting lost as younger generations develop into the community. He won’t separate gay Pride from black Pride — which kicks off this weekend in Dallas — because to him it’s all the same: A struggle to be better.

“To see where we come from is to see how our rights developed,” he says.

“Kids don’t know where this Pride came from. Just because we have parties and parades, there’s a reason why I can be a drag queen or why [same-sex couples] can hold hands in public. There’s something to be grateful for.”

He knows Pride will always have the parties to go with it, but the spectacle of celebration, in his eyes, can’t overshadow the mere reason for Pride.

There’s history there, and P.T. wants to talk about it.

“I think it’s sad that some don’t know what Stonewall is,” he bemoans.

“When I went to New York, the first place I wanted to go was the Stonewall Inn — I needed to see that for myself. You only get what you fight for and you only fight for what you know about. We’re all in it for the same thing and we know it’s not gonna come to us easily.”

P.T. expounds on the history of black Pride in Dallas, crediting Ray Dyer as starting the celebration at the old club The Metro, now Club Elm and Pearl Street. This is also where the then-Lady P.T. started his work in Dallas, coming from Austin.

Initially, The Metro wasn’t a hotspot for drag, so he performed more as a host and entertainer, starting in 1994. That changed as Dyer saw the importance of it as well as the revenue it could bring. Lady P.T. was back on track, but it wasn’t until 2001 that he officially incorporated stand-up into his act — in and out of drag. He put in time at the Improv to hone his new skill, but it was also a sort of therapy.

“I had a tragic incident that made me look at life different,” he admits.

He doesn’t go into details over what changed his life so much. But that incident redefined his outlook on life. For P.T., he knows tomorrow doesn’t show up for everyone.

“If I did not have that wake up call, I wouldn’t be reaching for myself,” he says. “I see some gray hairs but life doesn’t feel different. This is the only time I get to do what I wanna do.”

He’s living proof of that. Fifty is a milestone birthday, but P.T. proves that no age is too old to still aim high. Only now, he has the wisdom to be patient.

“It took me about four years trying to get Wendy’s attention and she finally acknowledged me,” he says. “That told me not to give up.  Everybody deserves a chance.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 06.24.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY18.haggard.gi.afp

Ted Haggard turns 55 on Monday. Haggard was prominent in anti-gay conservative religious groups such as the National Association of Evangelicals until his gay sex and crystal meth scandal in 2006. He has since tried ex-gay therapy, but earlier this year, he came out to GQ magazine identifying as bisexual.

THIS WEEK

With the sun making a T-square to Uranus and Pluto, big scary changes can lead us to take ourselves too seriously. Venus is in Gemini to remind you that playful flirtations can open up creativity and solutions.

……………………………

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Your best inspirations are the most challenging and rebellious ones. Huge changes are necessary. If your bosses can’t see you offering the key to their survival you may need to relocate.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Work more behind-the-scenes and in committee with others. Your personality and accomplishments will shine through stronger. An open mind gets you further than an open mouth.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Don’t worry about getting the notice you deserve. Count on your friends to support you. Trying to be clever and creative will ruin everything. Trust your partner’s advice.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Your partner’s ideas to help you get ahead create more troubles than solutions. Those notions are a springboard to helpful strategies. A colleague helps put that fertilizer to good use.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Sudden outspokenness gets you into big trouble. Having a safe, playful outlet could open up some useful, constructive ideas. Just remember: There’s a time and a place for everything.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Retail is not therapy. Examining your roots is. You are feeling the crisis of values and can offer a lot of insight. Get creative. Your best resource is your connectedness, not your money.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
If you need to choose between your partner and your family you need to reevaluate some thngs. A sibling or close friend has helpful insight. Work also helps to lend perspective.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Think and speak carefully to open up secrets. A creative telling may be more effective than a literal exposure. The most important consideration: What’s most important and effective?

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
Too many friends? It’s about quality, not quantity.  Some are just a drag on your resources. Spend time with the few who are beneficial to your spirit. Ask who you really enjoy playing with.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
Stress at home makes you explode on all fronts. A neighbor helps alleviate the problem. At least have someone you can talk with. Take time out as you need it.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Friends’ efforts to assuage your financial worries backfire, but provoke you to think constructively. New ideas are helpful but need careful consideration. Don’t do anything impulsively.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Charm and beauty are your strong cards to highlight your assets. A little self-promotion goes a long way. Overplaying it just makes you look slutty. Not the right time for that now.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 12.24.10

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYCruz1

Wilson Cruz turns 37 on Monday. He gained fame as the fey high school pal to Claire Daines in My So-Called Life, but the actor seems to thrive on more independent fare. His next three movies are all low-budget flicks with him in supporting roles. But we love that he always seems to find gay characters to play that don’t end up with tragic finales.

……………….

THIS WEEK

Mars and Eros in a square provoke war and strife, but Mercury turning direct in Sagittarius opens new ways to negotiate through troubles. Mars is in Capricorn, better placed than Mercury and Eris, so hard work and long-range
strategies are the key.

……………….

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Nagging worries are actually clues to solutions. Straightforward, logical approaches to those problems could make things worse. Check out those odd instincts even if they seem a bit loopy.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Inside your head is a dangerous place. Don’t let yourself be caught there alone. Have laughs with friends to avoid nerves and dithering. Their perspective and some fresh air will help.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
You’ll get ahead step by step, not fussing over the next decade. Focus on the job in front of you. Well-intended advice is probably ill-considered but could be a springboard to a better idea.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Stay focused on your goals. A straight-ahead attack is likely to trip you up. Consider different approaches. Get your ego out of the way and try new ways of working with others.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Sex relieves tension and ends arguments. It doesn’t solve the problems. Even if the problem isn’t with your partner, a good romp can put you in a more constructive frame of mind.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
The craziness of the times is working everybody’s nerves, so share whatever problems you’re feeling. Talking with your partner or a close friend, even if it’s just to let off steam, is a huge relief.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Integrating partnership and career is a common challenge. Too bad there’s no common solution. Discussing it with colleagues helps you get new perspectives. Partnership is a full-time job.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Master your art, brush up on your sport and hone your skill at your hobbies. New ideas may seem too contradictory, but consider them at least. Play with crazy notions.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Healing rifts in your family takes creative efforts, but you can do it. Your efforts to persuade people to work together are over-emphatic. A nudge is more effective than a shove.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Your efforts at domestic peacemaking go awry. Drawing out the arguments from either side helps you understand the situation better and it gets others to hear each other more clearly.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Impatience and rushing gets you into awful accidents. Look ahead, think strategically and only act once you have a good plan in place and a plan B for anything simple.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Finally you clear up misunderstandings and screw-ups. Financial obstacles are circumvented with creativity, but think ahead to make sure those strategies are sound. Do not go out on a limb.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

More info on Saturday’s Prop 8 protest in Dallas

If you’re interested in helping out with Saturday’s Prop 8 protest in Dallas but couldn’t make last night’s organizational meeting, there’s plenty of contact info and volunteer opportunities after the jump.

—  John Wright