Tony Award wrap-up: Totally gay (again)

It was an untenable situation for the gay Dallasite: Watch the Tony Awards or game 6 of the Mavs? Thank god I had two DVRs. Best of both worlds.

Of course, the Tony Awards are always the gayest of award shows, and they did nothing to disguise that Sunday night starting with the opening number by the telecast’s gay host, Neil Patrick Harris, “‘[Theater] is not Just for Gays Anymore.” He then did a medley duet with Hugh Jackman that was damn funny. (It got even gayer when Martha Wash performed “It’s Raining Men” with cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.)

Then the first award of the evening went to Ellen Barkin for her Broadway debut in Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, giving a shout out to the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. She was immediately followed by gay actor and Plano native John Benjamin Hickey for his role in The Normal Heart. (He even chastised his family: “You’d better not be watching the Mavericks game.” Sorry, John, I for one kept flipping between them.) The play also won the award for best revival — a controversial choice, since The Normal Heart never opened on Broadway until this year, usually a requirement for a revival nominations (some thought it should be eligible for best play). Kramer accepted the award. “To gay people everywhere whom I love so, The Normal Heart is our history. I could not have written it had not so many of us so needlessly died. Learn from it and carry on the fight.”

The very gay-friendly Book of Mormon from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone won several off-camera awards, including score of a musical (the composers thanking gay producer Scott Rudin), orchestrations, scenic design, lighting design and sound design, before taking their first onscreen trophy for best direction of a musical to Parker and gay director Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone), on its way to winning nine total awards, including best musical, best featured actress (newcomer Nikki M. James, defeating prior winners Laura Benanti, Patti LuPone and Victoria Clark and prior nominee Tammy Blanchard) and book of a musical.

“This is such a waste of time — it’s like taking a hooker to dinner,” said best musical presenter Chris Rock before announcing The Book of Mormon for the night’s last prize, best musical.

Other winners in the musical category include John Larroquette for best featured actor (How to Succeed…, apparently the only straight nominee in his category), choreographer Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes, which also beat How to Succeed for best revival of a musical and won best actress for Sutton Foster. Norbert Leo Butz was the surprise winner for best actor in a musical for Catch Me If You Can. One more really gay winner: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert took best costumes, natch.

The big winner in the play category (other than The Normal Heart) was the brilliant War Horse, which won 5: best play, direction, lighting design, sound design, scenic design, as well as a special Tony for the puppet designs of the horses.

Other play winners include The Importance of Being Earnest (costumes), Good People (best actress Frances McDormand) and Jerusalem, a surprise winner for best actor Mark Rylance.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Local Briefs

CCGLA surveys candidates, sets meet-and-greet events

As municipal elections approach, the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance has sent an online survey to city council, school board and mayoral candidates in Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, and “meet-and-greet” sessions for candidates are planned in Frisco, Plano and McKinney in April.

The organization will also create and distribute a voters’ guide.

The Plano “meet-and-greet” will be held on Friday, April 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at a private residence. For more information, go online to CCGLA.org.

Results of CCGLA’s candidate surveys will be posted on the CCGLA website prior to each event. The events are informal, non-partisan, and all candidates are invited.

Oak Cliff Earth Day to feature vendors, info booths and more

Oak Cliff Earth Day, which has become the largest all-volunteer-run Earth Day since it started five years ago, will be held on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Cliff Park, located at the intersection of Colorado Street and Zang Boulevard in Oak Cliff.

There is no charge to attend the event, which will include art, food, plants and other environmentally-friendly products available for purchase.

There will also be educational booths on topics such as how to save energy and clean up the environment, along with locally-grown honey, animals to adopt and native plants for gardens.

Parking at the park is limited, however, free parking is available at Methodist Hospital, in Lot 10 only, located at 1400 S. Beckley Ave. across from the hospital entrance on Beckley Ave. Methodist Hospital is providing a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the event.

Participants are also encouraged to take DART to the event or walk or ride a bicycle. There are a number of bike racks, funded by Oak Cliff Earth Day, at the park.

Mayoral candidates to speak Sunday on animal issues in Dallas

Dallas’ mayoral candidates will participate in a forum on animal issues in the city of Dallas on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Central Dallas Library, 1515 Young St., in downtown Dallas. The Metroplex Animal Coalition is sponsoring the forum, with is free and open to the public. Journalist Larry Powell with Urban Animal magazine will moderate.

The mayoral candidates are former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, Councilman Ron Natinsky, real estate consultant Edward Okpa and Mike Rawlings, former Pizza Hut CEO and Dallas homeless czar.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Serving up Sunday Blend this and that

Yes, I’ve been delinquent in posting this weekend; still recovering from my whirlwind fangirl trip to see Journey in concert as the band kicked off its 2011-2012 tour (review, pics). Back to pouring fresh Blend this week before I travel to the Gill Foundation’s OutGiving conference in Miami to serve on its first panel on social media and blogs.

* It’s Oscar night. Who’s watching? If you all want a chat room open for gabbing, let me know in the comments. In the meantime, absorb a little wisdom from 40 films in 7 minutes…

* The G.O.P.’s Abandoned Babies – NY Times Op-Ed by Charles Blow. Womb controllers, pls give reality-based response to this. BTW, Peter LaBarbera Tweeted: “Pam havent read this yet, but shouldn’t 1st concern B w/ babies surviving, then qual of life? #Abortion ends the life!

Republicans need to figure out where they stand on children’s welfare. They can’t be “pro-life” when the “child” is in the womb but indifferent when it’s in the world…It is savagely immoral and profoundly inconsistent to insist that women endure unwanted – and in some cases dangerous – pregnancies for the sake of “unborn children,” then eliminate financing designed to prevent those children from being delivered prematurely, rendering them the most fragile and vulnerable of newborns. How is this humane?

* MetroWeekly’s Chris Geidner makes history at the White House Feb 25, 2011

* Outserve posts DADT repeal implementation Army Training Materials.

* Trans rights under attack in Maine: Bangor Daily Herald – Bill would overturn ruling on transgender use of bathrooms.

The bill would add a paragraph to the Maine Human Rights Act that would make it legal to designate a bathroom or shower facility “to the use of members of the designated physiological sex, regardless of sexual orientation,” according to a draft provided by [Rep. Kenneth] Fredette.

* Boy stuck 2 years in Ukraine arrives in Belgium. Legally married Belgian men end legal battle to bring their son home.

* Teabaggers trying to foist an anti-evolution bill onto Tennessee.

Senate Bill 893 (PDF), filed in the Tennessee Senate on February 16, 2011, is the seventh antievolution bill introduced in a state legislature in 2011, and the second introduced in Tennessee. The bill would, if enacted, would require state and local educational authorities to “assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.”

Rod 2.0: “Eddie Long Begins “Late Night Men’s Prayer Meetings“. http://goo.gl/MBRz5 Rod: “How many inches, er, “men” RU seeking, bishop?”

* Film Screening and Panel Discussion to address needs and challenges facing LGBT elders. On April 2, UNC’s School of Social Work will host Breaking Generation Silent: Facing the needs and challenges of LGBT elders. This FREE event, which is being held at UNC’s William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill, kicks off at 1 p.m. with a viewing of “Gen Silent.” This 1-hour documentary highlights the realities that many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors are facing: the need to go back into the closet to avoid discrimination from aging providers and bullying from fellow seniors in long-term care settings. A panel discussion will follow the film screening to further explore the social, medical and financial needs of LGBT elders. Among the panelists will be:


?        Mandy Carter, a co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization for black LGBT individuals and their allies dedicated to fostering equality by fighting racism and homophobia. Carter is on the Advisory Board of SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest advocacy group for LGBT elders, and has helped support training for North Carolina’s Area Agencies on Aging via the North Carolina chapter of the AARP.

?        Debi Lee,  the lead regional ombudsman for the Centralina Area Agency on Aging. Lee hosts the “Gay and Gray” program for Charlotte’s Lesbian & Gay Community Center.

?        Dee Leahman, director for Community Partnership for End of Life Care, a program of Hospice & Palliative CareCenter in Winston-Salem. Leahman has worked closely with LGBT families on end-of-life issues.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

The Blend Sunday Open Thread + updates on Arizona tragedy

There has been a lot of news out there for a weekend, particularly with the tragic Arizona shooting. First, this update on the condition of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition Sunday as investigators attempted to understand what motivated a gunman’s shooting rampage that killed six and as investigators asked for the public’s help in finding a possible accomplice who was still at large.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten told The Associated Press that Giffords remained sedated after undergoing a two-hour surgery Saturday and has not been conscious since the shooting. She said more information will be released at a news conference in which one of the doctors who operated on Giffords plans to speak.

Some other new information since last night (MSNBC).

Right: Investigators said they were looking for an accomplice, believed to be in his 50s, who may have assisted in the attack.

The Pima County Sheriff’s office listed the dead as
  • John M. Roll, 63, a federal district court judge.
  • Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.
  • Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ.
  • Christina-Taylor Green, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.
  • Dorthy Morris, 76.
  • Phyllis Schneck, 79.

A 9mm Glock handgun that had what police described as “an extended clip” with 30 bullets was recovered at the scene, The Washington Post reported. Officials told The Associated Press the gun used in the attack was purchased legally. The Post said it was bought Nov. 30 from the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson.

…Law enforcement officials said members of Congress reported 42 cases of threats or violence in the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Nearly all dealt with the health care bill, and Giffords was among the targets.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There is a discussion board at MSNBC where you can leave condolences for the families of those affected by the shootings.

* NYT: Bloodshed puts new focus on vitriol in politics.

***

* As horrible as the domestic terrorism news in Arizona was to take, look at what is going on south of the border related to narco-terrorism in a city known for tourism – 27 deaths, including 14 decapitated, rock Acapulco.

Feel free to post links to stories out there that may have been missed.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

A Sunday DADT Roundtable Worth Watching

AMANPOUR CLARK X390 | ADVOCATE.COM Christiane Amanpour’s panel of guests debating “don’t ask, don’t tell” on This Week included
Gen. Wesley Clark, longtime antirepeal talking head Elaine Donnelly,
and Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

PODCAST: Same Sex Sunday

Same Sex Sunday is a weekly LGBT news podcast hosted by activists Phil Reese and Joe Mirabella. This week’s topic is the status of the marriage equality movement after the midterm elections. This week’s panel:

Morgan Menesses-Sheets – Equality Maryland
Kara Suffredini – MassEquality
Andy Szekeres – 3PG Consulting
Sarah Warbelow – Human Rights Campaign


Subscribe to Same Sex Sunday on iTunes.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

PODCAST: Same Sex Sunday

Same Sex Sunday is a weekly LGBT news and activism podcast hosted by Phil Reese and Joe Mirabella. This week’s guests:

Christian Berle: Deputy Director, Log Cabin Republicans
Christopher Massicotte: Treasurer, Stonewall Democrats
Shawn Werner: Director of Campaign Services, Victory Fund
Michael J Wilson: Director, Americans for Democratic Action

Today’s topics: “After Tuesday’s election, the political landscape clearly changed for the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender communities. But how did it change? What does a Republican majority mean? What role do Log Cabin Republicans play in moving us forward? How did state races move us closer to marriage equality? Will Obama face a Democratic primary challenge?”

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

PODCAST: Same Sex Sunday

Same Sex Sunday is a weekly LGBT news podcast hosted by activists Phil Reese and Joe Mirabella, the latter of whom is being subbed for this week by Metro Weekly reporter Chris Geidner.

This week’s guests:

Rea Carey, Executive Director of the NGLTF
Michael Cole, Press Secretary for the HRC
R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the LCR
Paul Crist, Board Member for Americans for Democratic Action
Diego Sanchez, Senior Legislative adviser for Rep. Barney Frank
Shawn Werner, Dir. of Campaign Services for the Victory Fund

Topics discussed this week:

*White House DADT meeting that took place early last week
*What to expect in the lame duck session
*What the fate of the LGBT agenda may be next Congress


Subscribe via iTunes.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

PODCAST: Same Sex Sunday

Same Sex Sunday is a weekly LGBT news podcast hosted by activists Phil Reese and Joe Mirabella. This week’s guest panelists::

Field Director at the Courage Campaign, Arisha Hatch; Programs Director for Log Cabin Republicans, Casey Pick; Managing Partner Renna Communication—an LGBT-focused Communications Firm, Cathy Renna; Co-Director of active duty servicemembers network, OutServe, JD Smith; Executive Director of Equality Florida, Nadine Smith; Founding partner in 3PG Consulting, Andy Szekeres.

Topics covered below include:

The DADT roller coaster; the end of the Floria ban on gay adoption; the President’s “It Gets Better: video; NOM’S legal troubles; the coming election, Ken Buck thinks being gay is like being an alcoholic; a European court struck down the Moscow Pride ban; majority of Americans blame churches for gay suicides.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Chicago Looks Fun This Sunday

Oh, wait. That’s not a football joke, is it? Bother.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright