Mark Reed of Dallas among 6 activists arrested for chaining themselves to White House fence

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Mark Reed of Dallas was among six people arrested today for chaining themselves to the White House fence during a “don’t ask, don’t tell” protest organized by GetEQUAL, Queer Rising and Talk About Equality. Reed is on the far right in the above photo, which was just posted on GetEQUAL’s Facebook page. Reed and the other five activists have been taken to the Anacosita Park police station, according to reports, and they likely will have to spend the night in jail. Whoever has Reed’s phone, presumably partner Dante Walkup, sent me a text message a few minutes ago saying, “He was proud when they took him away! Even happier when they let him keep his cigarettes.” Below is video of former DNC Chairman Howard Dean addressing the rally. For additional coverage, see The Advocate.

UPDATE: GetEQUAL confirms via Twitter that Reed and others will spend the night in jail. They’ll appear in municipal court Monday morning.

—  John Wright

Atlanta's new LGBT newspaper disappears

The Atlanta Free Press replaced the defunct Southern Voice on Dec. 10. Issue No. 6 was available online, but the print edition was never issued and the newspaper hasn’t been seen online or off for the past few weeks, according to Atlanta Progressive News. Bad news for Atlanta’s LGBT community and further proof that the Advocate’s list of top 15 gay cities, which listed Atlanta as No. 1, was a ridiculous list.

—  David Taffet

The 15 gayest cities in America (sort of)

Dallas gets snubbed in the latest unscientific ranking of America’s gayest cities, a top-15 list from The Advocate. Austin at No. 9 was the only city in Texas to make the list, which isn’t surprising given that cities lost points for not being in states that recognize same-sex relationships. Another factor that apparently cost Dallas points was not having any openly LGBT elected city officials (it doesn’t look like county officials counted). It’s unclear how Dallas fared when it came to “cruising spots per capita” and “gay dating and hookup profiles per single male population,” but if we made up any ground it wasn’t enough. That’s OK, though, the gayest city in the world, San Francisco, didn’t make the list, either, and neither did New York or L.A. Instead, Atlanta came out on top, and the list is packed with mid-majors like Iowa City, Iowa, and Asheville, N.C., which obviously is the whole point:

Long ago, gay people settled in our nation’s largest cities. There they spruced up all the property, created every art and fashion movement, and taught entire populations how to dance. They created gayborhoods like WeHo, Chelsea, South Beach—and pretty much queered all of San Francisco until even Laundromats had rainbow flag decals in their windows. About 10 years ago everyone else moved back into these nicely gentrified metropolises, and the lavender diaspora began. Now a slew of secondary cities are becoming gay epicenters.

This admittedly subjective search reveals spots that are much more pink than you might think. Determined by a completely unscientific but accurate statistical equation, these gayest cities may surprise you. Iowa City, Austin, and Asheville have more gays per capita than the biggies. These cities where everyday gays live—towns and boroughs with a mix of baby carriages, gay bars, and B&Bs—signal the continuing movement of gay people into mainstream American life, which in turn also signals an eventual end to lists like this. In 10 years or so every Main Street USA will probably be too gay to measure. Won’t that be nice?

—  John Wright

Group profiled in Dallas Voice makes national news for its efforts to clean up East Texas

Advocate.com
Advocate.com

Several months ago I wrote about Tyler Area Gays, or The TAG Project, the thriving new LGBT group in East Texas. Now comes this similar piece from The Advocate, with one remarkable twist: The group has signed up for the “Adopt-A-Highway” program, cleaning up litter on a 2-mile stretch of U.S. 69.

“We’re a very backwards community,” TAG founder Troy Carlyle told The Advocate. “So it was clear to us that we needed to get the word ‘gay’ out there so that people can see it and we can start to desensitize people. And what better way to do that than to get an Adopt-A-Highway sign. We may be one of the last places in America to allow gays to live relatively free of hatred, but we were the first to insist that our roads be free of litter.”

—  John Wright