Don’t miss this El Paso Times profile on pioneering gay luchador Cassandro

Today, Texas Monthly’s Jason Cohen pointed us to this piece from the El Paso Times about the out, cross-dressing wrestler Cassandro. The profile, by Paul Imison, came out earlier this week.

Imison takes a look into Cassandro’s legacy as the first openly gay luchador as well as gives fascinating insight to the world of lucha libre.

This got me curious to see if Cassandro had ever wrestled here in Dallas. There is a slight lucha libre scene here that takes place in area bazaars and malls. While researching local appearances (any help would be most welcome), I did come across one wrestler with flair in a video taken from a match at the Irving Bazaar. Watch him in action with his opponent and the men in the crowd after the jump, as well as video of Cassandro in action.

—  Rich Lopez

In midst of gay teen suicide crisis, Houston’s Kinkaid School removes Safe Space stickers

Texas Monthly‘s March issue features an interesting piece (already available online to subscribers) about the ideological battle that’s gripped Houston’s prestigious Kinkaid School since a parent — who also happened to be one of the highest-paid bankers on Wall Street — wrote an e-mail that went viral in 2009 complaining that the school had become too liberal.

Texas Monthly‘s John Spong concludes that in the aftermath of the e-mail, conservatives appear to have won the day at George W. Bush’s alma mater: At least three openly gay Kinkaid staffers have resigned their posts, sexual orientation is excluded from a new diversity policy at the school, and GLSEN Safe Space stickers were removed from classrooms and offices:

With gay suicides and bullying in national headlines, that move struck many as beyond tone-deaf. For them, the school’s reasoning—that the stickers implied that one group was more protected than others—showed greater concern for some people’s political views than for the welfare of vulnerable students. The same objection was raised when the board clarified its edict on “student exposure to issues relating to sexual orientation.” Faculty had pointed out that kids trying to understand their sexual identity often reach out to them; a gay Kinkaid alum I talked to credited one such teacher with saving his life. Could that conversation now get a teacher fired? The board stressed that the proper place for these sorts of conversations was at home or in a counselor’s office, adding that teachers were not to initiate those discussions. As one current faculty member put it, “We’re allowed to have those conversations; we’re just not allowed to tell the kids we’re allowed to have those conversations. That’s the thing that’s confusing.”

—  John Wright

SREC member wants to oust Speaker Joe Straus because he’s Jewish, doesn’t hate gays enough

Speaker Joe Straus

We’ve already told you about the anti-gay forces that have undoubtedly been working behind the scenes in the race for speaker of the Texas House, but now it looks like they may be starting to emerge publicly. The Texas Observer posted a story Friday in which John Cook, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, explained his opposition to Speaker Joe Straus. Cook’s biggest problem with Straus, apparently, is that he’s Jewish: “I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office,” Cook says. But Cook also accuses Straus of being pro-choice and pro-gay rights:

His opposition to Straus, he said, was rooted largely in his belief that the current Speaker is both pro-choice and pro-gay rights. “He’s a pro choice person basically,” Cook said. (Earlier in his career, Straus did vote against banning gay couples from serving as foster parents and against a ban on late-term abortions, but Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life, has been one of his biggest supporters.) Cook called the Republicans who worked with Democrats to elect Straus “turncoat RINOs.” (Republicans in Name Only.)

As the legislative session draws closer, it’ll be interesting to see whether the so-called tea party folks who oppose Straus start to escalate their attacks based on his 2005 vote against the gay foster parenting ban. Particularly since Straus has said he voted against the ban because it would have cost the state a lot of money and gone against his libertarian principles. From a January 2009 interview in which Texas Monthly asked Straus about the vote:

STRAUS: …  I’m not supportive of adoption by homosexual couples, but the whole issue of government with a fiscal note attached and government employees investigating people’s private lives caused me a great deal of heartburn. I remember looking at the expenditure of taxpayer money for that and it was a lot. And it required what? Going into people’s homes? Watching the way people dress or the way they talk? I have some pretty strong libertarian leanings, and sometimes that causes a conflict. What gave me confidence to hit the button I hit was that I was very certain that Barry Goldwater would have done the same thing.

—  John Wright

Texas Monthly ponders 'social politics' of Annise Parker's election

Kathy Hubbard, left, and Annise Parker
Kathy Hubbard, left, and Annise Parker

Texas Monthly‘s Mimi Swartz discusses the new dynamic of having a same-sex couple govern a major city. We know all about new Houston mayor Annise Parker, but here Swartz gives some insight into H-town’s “first lady,” Kathy Hubbard.

Here’s a snippet:

Parker had a contingent of loyal supporters who believed she couldn’t win without an extreme makeover. All women who run, not just gay ones, experience this, but anxiety over Parker’s fashion sense sometimes sounded like anxiety over her homosexuality. Parker is pretty, but she would never be confused with a Best Dressed List contender. Suddenly, people wanted her to wear more-feminine suits. They wanted her to wear more makeup. They wanted her to ditch her sturdy, sensible shoes. (“Not gonna happen,” one of her campaign aides told a friend of mine who had proffered that advice.) Even when Parker did get dolled up, there was talk: Lesbians generally have an easier time flying under the radar than gay men, but the fact that both Parker and Hubbard wore pantsuits to the inauguration was seen as a way to deflect curiosity about who was the boss in the relationship.

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—  Rich Lopez