TGRA’s King and Queen of the Rodeo tonight

Crowning achievements

Find out tonight who’s talents and style will push them to the top as contestants vie for top honors by the Texas Gay Rodeo Association. Bedazzled gowns and tight wranglers are in store when tonight’s event gets us ready for the TGRA Rodeo in March. Yeehaw!

DEETS: Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. RoundUpSaloon.com.

—  Rich Lopez

What’s Shakin’ – Siriano at Galleria, Voter turnout continues to lag

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

1. As previously reported by Houstini, Project Runway Season 5 winner Christian Siriano’s coming to the Houston Galleria Payless Shoe store today to show off his expanded Payless collection, including an assortment of shoes and handbags. Siriano will be available for photos with his “fierce” -ly loyal fans. The posing and pouting kick off at 5 pm at the Galleria, 5061 Westheimer Road.

2. Voter turnout continues to be paltry. So far 40,189 people have voted, only 71% of the 55,152 who had voted by this point during the 2009 municipal elections.  Early voting continues through November 4.  Election day is Nov 8. A list of all early voting locations and sample ballots  are available at harrisvotes.org.

3. Yesterday Rep. Todd Akin, R – MO, who successfully introduced an amendment to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this year which would prohibit same-sex marriages from being performed on U.S. military bases, delivered a letter to the Senate calling on them to pass similar legislation.  The letter was signed by 86 members of the 435 member House, including 7 Texans, all Republicans: Mike Conaway, Francisco Canseco, Louie Gohmert, Ralph Hall, Sam Johnson, Michael McCaul and Randy Nuegebauer.

—  admin

Fierce photo-op, Christian Siriano at the Galleria

Christian SirianoReality TV is full of shows promising to produce the next top model, hot new designer, or big deal arborist (OK, I made that one up), but rare is the reality show winner who actually sticks around to have a high profile career once the cameras power down. Project runway season 5 winner, Christian Siriano, is that rare talent that makes for good TV and real world success.

Siriano’s coming to the Galleria Payless Shoe store this Thursday, Nov 3,  to show off his expanded Payless collection, including an assortment of shoes and handbags.  Siriano will be available for photos with his “fierce” -ly loyal fans. The posing and pouting kick off at 5 pm at the Galleria, 5061 Westheimer Road.

—  admin

Wine walk on Cedar Springs kicks off Pride

The September Cedar Springs Wine Walk takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The theme is Pride.

“We’re expecting a large crowd to kick off Pride at this week’s First Wednesday Wine Walk,” said Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association.

Purchase a wine glass for $10 and then visit any of the participating stores and businesses from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Glasses can be purchased by Buli Cafe and Hunky’s.

Many of the stores are running specials. Everything is 30 percent off all day at Skivvies. At Nuvo, all purchases over $20 are 20 percent off. OutLines is offering 25 percent off all shorts, tank tops and swimwear. Union Jack is awarding double UJ points all day and sales in various store departments.

Restaurants and bars are also offering drink and food specials, including half-price appetizers at Black Eyed Pea.

Have your wine card stamped at any six participating locations and become eligible for a Scavenger Hunt special. Prizes have been donated by many of the street’s merchants.

TABC rules do not allow anyone to carry wine between locations. Remember to finish your glass before going back out on the sidewalk.

Whittall said to check the Cedar Springs Facebook page throughout the day as more merchants add specials.

—  David Taffet

Drawing Dallas • Rick Phillips

With the holiday upon us, floral designing is a labor of love for Dallas’ Rick Phillips

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name: Rick Phillips

Occupation: Floral designer

Spotted at: Dog park on Swiss Avenue

Tanned, fit Aquarian Rick Phillips was born in Dallas but raised in neighboring Grand Prairie. He sprouts from a small but creative family: His mother sings opera, his brother is a drummer in a rock band, and his grandmother was also a gifted artist.

Labor of Love: Rick has been creating beautiful floral arrangements for more than 17 years. His first job interview in the business was to create a funeral arrangement. “I almost cut my thumb off,” says Rick, “I think they felt sorry for me. I got the job!”

Studying photography in college led to a natural progression into painting and finally into floral design. The instant gratification he gets from the process satisfies his art muse. Rick says he makes up his arrangements as he goes along. “I have a concept about color and shape when I start, but after that I free-wheel it.” He has been the exclusive florist for a high-profile jewelry store for eight years.

When he’s not handcrafting floral masterpieces, Rick enjoys cooking and shopping vintage and junk shops for awesome shirts and cool coats (and he can’t wait to for the weather to get cooler so he can wear them!) He loves all kinds of music from classical to techno/dance.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Couple Closes Bakery After Home, Car, Store Attacked By Anti-Gay Vandals

While Indianapolis bakery Just Cookies faced taunts for refusing to serve a gay-themed product to gay customers, Dave Zelton and his partner Kym say they were forced to close their bakery in Christchurch, New Zealand, because of something else: anti-gay torment. The couple says they saw their shop, home, and car vandalized and were subject to taunts like "all faggots need to be burnt and destroyed" shouted at them in their store. (The couple say police have told them nothing can be done unless someone gets hurt.) The stress, which has Kym on the verge of a breakdown, comes after they relocated their store after September's earthquake. Says Zelton: "We've had too many broken windows, and it's costing us money. We just have to let it go. We've got no choice."


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—  admin

If your security guard is out having a smoke while your store is getting robbed, do you only blame the burglar?

So you pay a lot of money for a security guard. He’s the best in the business, and promises to be loads better than the drunk you had before. Somehow, however, your home ends up getting burgled anyway. It seems the guard was busy doing other things when he said he’d be watching your home.

So you’re pretty much screwed, and you’re angry. Who do you blame?

1. Just the burglar; or

2. The burglar and the lazy security guard?

Some in the gay community, and the administration, would like you to believe that the Republicans are the sole ones responsible for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” going down in flames this week. And to some extent they’re right – clearly it was the GOP that led the filibuster of the Defense Bill.

But is that really the whole story? That the Republicans did it?

Isn’t it true that the Senate leadership is supposed to rally its own caucus for important legislation? And just as importantly, doesn’t the President of the United States have his bully pulpit, in addition to other mechanisms for pressuring members of Congress on votes?

This past week, the Republicans led the charge to be sure. But it’s also true that Senator Reid was unable to keep his caucus in line – two defected and joined the GOP filibuster, giving them enough votes to kill the bill.

And then there’s the President. He was simply AWOL. While DADT repeal supporters were frantically trying to scrounge up the votes to block the filibuster, the President didn’t lift a finger to keep Democrats in line, or to try to embarrass Republicans for the “un-American” act of voting against a defense bill (something the GOP routinely accused Democrats of during their years in the majority). Instead of calling members of the Senate about the DOD bill, the President was busy calling the WNBA champions. And instead of punishing Democratic Senators who strayed and sided with the GOP in an effort to kill one of the President’s top campaign promises, VP Biden actually did a fundraiser for one of those Democrats the day after the ignominious vote.

We’ve been robbed. And you’d better believe I’m pissed at the thief. But I’m also pissed at the security guard who I gave a lot of money to in exchange for his promise to be my fierce advocate. When the going got tough, he chickened out. And the funny thing is, now he wants me to hire his buddies for another two years.

I get that the bad guys are still out there. But I’m thinking it’s time to look for a new bodyguard.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Afternoon View – Fifth Avenue Apple Store

Just the entrance, actually, since the store itself is underground. I’m not an Apple customer, but I walked in just to see the store and found about 200 people snaked around around store’s aisles in a line to buy the iPhone 4. Still. Months after it came out. Craziness.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright