PHOTO: Storm damage in Oak Lawn

This SUV on Haskell Avenue at Travis Street was damaged in the storm on Tuesday night, which reportedly took one life in Oak Lawn. Tornadoes that were sighted at Love Field traveled to Highland Park. Straight-line winds caused power outages downtown, in West Dallas and parts of Oak Lawn.

—  David Taffet

EXCLUSIVE: Joplin’s LGBT community comes together in aftermath of Sunday’s deadly tornado

Lee McDaniel

Some members of the LGBT community in Joplin, Mo. are still unaccounted for in the wake of Sunday’s deadly tornado, according to Lee McDaniel, founder and president of the Joplin Pride Center.

McDaniel said no members of the community have been confirmed to be among the 117 people killed Sunday when the deadliest U.S. tornado of the last 60 years struck Joplin. However, many in the town’s small but tight-knit LGBT community have lost their homes, vehicles and workplaces, and some undoubtedly have lost family members, McDaniel said.

McDaniel said the local MCC congregation, the Spirit of Christ MCC, was holding services when Sunday’s twister struck. Everyone made it to the basement and no one was seriously injured, but the building where the church met was leveled, and members’ vehicles were destroyed.

McDaniel was in Rhode Island on business when the tornado struck, and he said reliable Internet access and cell phone service have allowed him to serve as an information broker for the LGBT community in Joplin, where’s he’s lived for most of his life.

“There are still a few people unaccounted for, and people are still up on Facebook desperately trying to find this person or that person,” McDaniel told Instant Tea from Rhode Island this morning. “The community is waiting with bated breath on the other people, and on our friends and neighbors and co-workers. People are coming together. They’re not asking what color you are or who you sleep with; they’re asking, ‘Are you OK? Do you need anything?'”

—  John Wright

Double Rainbow in Bronx Tornado?

I watched this popular YouTube video of an EF-1 (86–110 mph) tornado in the Bronx two days ago after photographer Jo Ann Santangelo mentioned to me her partner had just come up from the subway to discover the aftermath. Jo Ann had traveled through Picher, OK on her way to my mother’s ranch to do a photo shoot so that I might be included in her project featuring gay and lesbian servicemen and women who were discharged for being gay. We had begun chatting and she said, “Hey, I traveled through Picher, Oklahoma and what the heck happened to that town?” I explained the double disasters that befell Picher, and that it had been flattened by an Oklahoma EF-4 (166–200 mph) tornado, and because it was a superfund clean up site poisoned by lead and zinc mining, the authorities thought it was finally time to make Picher a ghost town. Believe me, that town with its chat piles and demolished buildings is an eerie sight to behold.

Back to why I thought this video of the tornado was interesting was that I scanned some of the comments on this tornado video and found it amazing how many people were commenting on the photographer’s perceived sexual orientation as possibly being gay. I watched the video again and I think I detected one of them exclaim, “Get inside, girl!” at 0:36 but not exactly sure. By reading the comments I was interested to note there was just as much commentary and controversy on the potential of them being gay as the amazing footage from a high rise building of an actual tornado in Brooklyn, NY, where tornadoes rarely form!

Two gay guys in Brooklyn, NY? Uh, not so uncommon. A tornado in Brooklyn, NY? Extremely uncommon! I’m not naive about the fact the comments on YouTube videos are not known for their serious nature and valued more for their comedic potential and less for their sensitivity. I just don’t know if I would bother debating whether or not the two guys in the sprawling metropolis of NYC who filmed the tornado were gay?


—  John Wright

Watch: Intense Videos from the Brooklyn ‘Tornado”


Those of you in NYC know what an incredible storm passed through here this evening.

Check out this video from a surveillance camera in Brooklyn, which was hit the hardest.


Gothamist and the NYT both have good reports on the storm, with photos. Blabbeando has some shots of tree destruction.

Here's another of the storm, as it approached Brooklyn.

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright