Outrageous Oral at S4

Outrageous Oral 11 took place at S4 on Jun 26.

Alpha Thomas spoke about working with child protective services to adopt her daughter in 1991 and now being a grandmother.

Sister Polly von Acocker spoke about the history of the Sisters and finished by reading a letter from someone thanking him for taking the time to speak to him, saving his life.

Master Z spoke about getting into the sm lifestyle, being in a power exchange relationship, losing a partner, becoming a Buddhist and lots more.

Pam Curry told stories about her life as a trans activist that began with defending a Muppet.

—  David Taffet

Outrageous Oral features four outrageous speakers

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Vivienne Armstrong (left) and Louise Young

The Dallas Way presents its 9th edition of Outrageous Oral on Thursday with speakers Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong, Terry Loftis and, um, me.

I’ll be talking about my experiences writing for Dallas Voice and broadcasting Lambda
Weekly for the past 20 years.

Armstrong and Young were at the University of Colorado’s Gay Liberation Front in 1971 where Young was completing her Ph.D. Since then, their lives and relationship have been interwoven with the movement for LGBT rights.

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Terry Loftis

They moved to Dallas in 1976. In 1977 they joined the newly formed Dallas Gay Political Caucus (now the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance) and soon assumed leadership roles. They were the architects of the political arm of DGLA that established strong ties between the Dallas LGBT community and mainstream political parties.

In 1993, they represented LGBT Americans in President Clinton’s Inaugural Parade on the “Family of America” float. They are recipients of numerous awards, including the Black Tie Dinner’s Kuchling Humanitarian Award. Both have been featured in media throughout their relationship of over 42 years and have put a public face on long-term same-sex relationships. They were featured in the books, Uncommon Heroes: A Celebration of Heroes and Role Models for Gay and Lesbian Americans and Creating Civil Union: Opening Hearts and Minds and many articles on long-term relationships and domestic partner benefits.

Young has been especially active in the workplace equality movement. She retired after a 33-year career with Raytheon Company where she was instrumental in Raytheon becoming the first aerospace and defense company to score 100 percent on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. Armstrong retired after a distinguished career of more than 30 years with the Visiting Nurse Association, including leadership in HIV services.

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David Taffet

Terry Loftis is a brand strategist and was president of Verve Communications Group, a full service marketing communications firm, from 1997 until 2013.

A Dallas native, Terry’s life began in the North Dallas projects until his family moved into their first home in Oak Cliff where he grew up. He graduated from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and moved on to Eastfield College as a jazz studies major.

His community work began when he joined the board of directors for the Resource Center, where he served for eight years and ultimately became board president. During his tenure at the Resource Center, Loftis was instrumental in the restructuring of Toast to Life, and he assisted in the creation of the Lone Star Ride and GayBingo.

His company donated over $100,000 in creative services to Resource Center that helped increase revenue across all programs and services. For his efforts, he was awarded the Lambda Legal Civil Rights Award for Leadership.

Loftis returned to Resource Center in 2012 as a member of the Capital Campaign Committee. Terry has served on the boards of Legacy Counseling Center, Friends of the Katy Trail and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In addition to his career and work in the community, he is a jazz vocalist and ordained minister.

The Rose Room inside S4, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. Free.

—  David Taffet

Outrageous Oral shares stories on Turtle Creek Chorale, Black Tie Dinner

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Kay Wilkinson

Outrageous Oral, the oral history project of The Dallas Way, featured four speakers who told stories about the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Black Tie Dinner and the recent Supreme Court decisions last night at the Rose Room.

Bruce Jaster kicked off the evening talking about the early days of the Turtle Creek Chorale. Because of financial problems that almost bankrupted the organization, the previous director left. Payroll taxes remained unpaid. When Tim Seelig was hired, the chorale could afford to pay him just $12,500, but within a year the group broke even and the budget quickly grew to a million dollars a year.

Dallas Way President Kay Wilkinson raised money to pay off the deficit by announcing, “I have a huge hole to fill,” a line that still haunts her. But she filled the hole and today the chorale is the most recorded men’s chorus in the country and the only one with an Emmy Award under its belt.

Mike Grossman talked about who inspired him and some of the groups he helped found. He talked about a group he was trying to help form. The party at his house was a dud until his 16-year-old son suggested bringing out a few joints. The party picked up, the group formed and is now a synagogue that is a member of the Union of Reform Judaism and a Black Tie Dinner recipient.

Mike Anglin is an attorney who has helped incorporate a number of organizations including Razzle Dazzle Dallas and Black Tie Dinner. He told the story of the founding of the Black Tie Dinner and why the Dallas dinner is the most successful in the country — local groups are invested in making it successful by sharing in the funds raised. He also described the awards at early dinners. Originally the announcement of the Kuchling Award was made at the dinner and the recipient’s speech was “thank you.” I really like that.

The next Outrageous Oral takes place at University of North Texas in the Willis Library on Oct. 17 with a reception to dedicate the Resource Center Archives at 5 p.m. and Outrageous Oral at 7 p.m.

More photos below.

—  David Taffet

PHOTOS: Six Dallas LGBT leaders tell their stories at Outrageous Oral 5

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Six LGBT community members told their stories as part of The Dallas Way’s Outrageous Oral 5 on Thursday.

Candy Marcum began the evening with the story of how Oak Lawn Community Services came into being. She partnered with counselor Howie Daire to begin a counseling service for gay people. Without the Internet, they promoted their business by talking to bartenders who made many referrals.

Marcum said she ended up with many male clients because it would have been unethical for Daire to work with anyone professionally whom he had sex with.

Darryl Baker spoke about being prevented from entering the gay clubs without four forms of identification and Nell Gaither’s piece was about her work for the transgender community today.

Steve Atkinson mostly talked about his work to pass local and state legislation. But he told about death threats he got while doing that work and said it was the first time he told the story in public. The police took those threats seriously but were not able to trace the call in an era before caller ID.

Hardy Haberman told about how he became part of the leather community and Cordell Adams wrapped all of the stories together before telling his own story of growing up in East Texas and moving “across the tracks.”

The Dallas Way taped the presentation, which will be available on its YouTube channel. The organization is working with University of North Texas to preserve Dallas LGBT history.

More photos below.

—  David Taffet

2 ways to come out in Denton on National Coming Out Day

Two LGBT events are planned in Denton on National Coming Out Day — Thursday, Oct. 11. A concert with Justin Roth benefits OUTreach Denton, a support and advocacy group for LGBTQA teens, and The Dallas Way — the GLBT History Project presents its third Outrageous Oral storytelling program, the first outside of Oak Lawn.

Outrageous Oral takes place at the Willis Library on the University of North Texas campus in Denton. The school has begun a project archiving the North Texas LGBT community and opened a repository for papers and artifacts. The Phil Johnson Library has moved from Resource Center Dallas to UNT.

The first two Outrageous Oral events took place in the Vixin Lounge at Sue Ellen’s on Cedar Springs Road.

Each edition of Outrageous Oral includes a number of LGBT community members telling their stories. The program in Denton includes pieces by Monica Greene, Bruce Monroe, Penny Krispin, Buddy Molino, Arturo Ortega and Don Maison.

Restaurateur Green tells her story of transitioning in the ’90s. Her story, as she told it at the first Outrageous Oral evening at Sue Ellen’s, is posted below.

Krispin, a nurse, will recount how she offered Pentamidine Mist treatments to prevent a fatal pneumonia at a time when Parkland Hospital was refusing to administer it. Her work was the beginning of what became the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic.

Maison, President and CEO of AIDS Services Dallas, was an attorney and will recount two cases he handled in the ’80s. He represented Dallas Gay Alliance, which sued in 1988 Parkland to eliminate a waiting list for medication and limit the number of beds for persons with AIDS. In another case he litigated, Southwest Airlines was forced to hire men as flight attendants.

Justin Roth concert: Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1111 Cordell St., Denton at 7 p.m. $10.

Outrageous Oral: Willis Library, 1506 Highland Avenue, Denton. Oct. 11. 7–9 p.m. Free and open to the public.

—  David Taffet

Outrageous Oral returns to Sue Ellen’s

Jack Evans, left, and George Harris

The Dallas Way, the LGBT history project, presents its second Outrageous Oral program in the Vixin Lounge at Sue Ellen’s on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. The event is free.

Six storytellers for this week’s program are Pat Stone, Jack Evans and George Harris, the Rev. Carol West, Jesús Chairez and Linda Mitchell.

Stone is one of the founders of Dallas’ PFLAG chapter and served both regionally and nationally as a board member. Her personal journey includes coming out late in life after 35 years of marriage.

Harris and Evans are the co-founders of The Dallas Way and will relate stories of coming out in the 1960s in a very conservative Dallas, how they met, and how they have made their 50-plus year relationship work.

West has been a minister in the LGBT community for the last 22 years. Prior to ministry, she taught high school English. She currently pastors at Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth, where she is beginning her 15th year. During the AIDS crisis, West ministered at Cathedral of Hope, serving during that time as an AIDS chaplain.

Jesús Chairez was the producer and host of USA’s first LGBT bilingual Latino radio show, Sin Fronteras. Linda Mitchell is an original “Friend of Bill.”  She will relate personal stories of Dallas icon Bill Nelson and his partner, Terry Tebedo.

The first Outrageous Oral event was recorded. Watch Monica Greene’s story after the jump. More videos can be found on The Dallas Way YouTube channel.

—  David Taffet