DADT activist Dan Choi to speak at UNT Feb. 6

0000004401216004555101740Former Army Lt. Dan Choi, an officer-turned-activist after he was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” is coming to Texas to speak at the University of North Texas on Feb. 6 for its Distinguished Lecture Series.

In 2009, Choi announced that he is gay on The Rachel Maddow Show and he was later discharged. Afterward, he became one of the most well-known faces of the fight to repeal DADT.

Choi will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 6 in UNT’s Auditorium Building, located at 1401 W. Hickory St. The event will include remarks from Choi, as well as a question and answer session.

Tickets for the public are $10 and can be purchased online or in person at the Stovall Temporary Union Building Information Desk or by calling 940-565-3805.

—  Dallasvoice

UNT hosts reception for LGBT exhibit

13_Resource_Center_Exhibit_Dallas_670x300The University of North Texas LGBT archives hosts its first event this evening with an opening reception at 5 p.m.

The Dallas Way will present an edition of Outrageous Oral at 7 p.m. at the Willis Library.

An exhibit drawn from the former Phil Johnson Library that was housed at Resource Center and are now archived at UNT will be on display. The collection includes about 100,000 items.

As part of the archiving project, copies of Dallas Voice from issue No. 1 published in 1983 have been transferred to UNT along with other Dallas Voice publications including Q Texas, TXT and Texas Triangle. The school applied for a grant to digitize the entire run.

Already online in searchable PDF format are 388 issues of Dallas Voice from 2004 through 2013.

The speakers for Outrageous Oral are trans activist Nell Gaither, UNT Vice President for Equity and Diversity Gilda Garcia, UNT Regents Professor-Kinesiology, Health Promotion & Recreational Studies Chwee-Lye Chng and The Dallas Way co-founder Bruce Monroe. Chng also served on the board of Resource Center in the 1990s.

Willis Library is at 1506 Highland Ave., Denton. The exhibit will remain on display through January.

—  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

Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy meets with college leaders about LGBT issues

Chick-Fil-A-Hates-Fags

With Chick-fil-A fights breaking out on campuses across the country, including several in North Texas, company CEO Dan Cathy reportedly met with college leaders to discuss LGBT issues in Atlanta on Thursday.

It was Cathy whose anti-gay comments earlier this summer sparked the protest. The details of Thursday’s meeting were brief and given by an unnamed source, but centered around “diversity, hospitality, and the opportunity to find common ground,” according to the source.

Cathy is trying to repair relationships with colleges in an effort to further expansion plans for more on-campus locations across the country, many at large schools.

The University of North Texas was the first of five area colleges to start a petition calling for the university to remove the restaurant from its student union. UTA later followed and members of UTA’s GSA are preparing to present the petition and a resolution to school officials.

SMU officials have already said they would not remove the restaurant from its campus. Kim Schroder, UNT’s associate director of retail dining services, told its student newspaper that the on-campus location wasn’t going anywhere soon.

Schroder said the petitions from a UNT student and a separate one created by an alumnus have not affected business, and the university’s five-year contract with the company would make removing it soon impossible.

—  Dallasvoice

Dan Savage: It’s ‘never been worse’ for LGBT youth

Founder of It Gets Better Project says higher visibility combined with anti-gay forces can make growing up gay as hard as ever

SAVAGE  LOVE | Dan Savage, shown here at an appearance at the Kessler Theater last year, will appear at UNT on Feb. 7. (Rich Lopez/Dallas Voice)

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Sex-advice columnist Dan Savage, known for his It Gets Better Project, will keynote the University of North Texas Equity and Diversity Conference next week.

“I’ll talk about how it’s gotten worse in some ways,” Savage said.

He said that kids can’t fly under the radar anymore like when he came out in 1981.

“Everyone is hyper-aware in a way they weren’t before,” he said.

He called that a result of the Reagan Revolution, when anti-gay rhetoric became organized.

“Mom and Dad beat up on gay people at the ballot box so it became OK for kids to beat up on gay kids at school,” he said.

This week, Savage said he received a letter from a father whose 13-year-old son recently came out.

“How do I know I’m parenting him correctly?” the dad wanted to know.

As a father with a 13-year-old son himself, Savage gets aggressively protective. He tells parents to make sure there’s a Gay Straight Alliance in school. If the school has anti-bullying policies in place, make sure they’re being enforced and let the principal know you’re watching and “you’ll create holy hell.” And make sure the child has gay role models and friends.

GETTING  BETTER AND BETTER | Dan Savage, right, and his husband Terry Miller started the It Gets Better Project to help LGBT youth. Their original goal was 100 videos but they have more than 50,000 that have gotten 50 million views. (Photo courtesy of Dan Savage)

He advises that when the young teen’s straight friends start dating and they have no other out friends in school, reassure them that their time will come. And don’t be afraid to give an LGBT child the same advice you’d give a straight child. That’s not homophobia, he said. It’s parenting.

But Savage called this “the best of times and the worst of times” for LGBT youth to grow up.

“If you grow up in a rural area, go to a Christian school, are bullied from the pulpit and there’s no GSA, it’s never been worse,” he said.

Savage said that when he began the It Gets Better Project, he and husband Terry Miller hoped for 100 videos. A day after posting that first one, he had topped that number and within a few days had 100 more. He said that at last count there were more than 50,000 It Gets Better videos that have been viewed more than 50 million times. That includes one of the most popular — the City Council speech made by Joel Burns that has been seen more than 2.7 million times.

Two of Savage’s favorite pieces that were included in the book It Gets Better, which will be released in paperback in March, were contributed by A.Y. Daring and Gabrielle Rivera. Daring, who identifies herself as black and queer, grew up in rural Canada. Her simple story tells of moving to a bigger city and entering a university with the oldest LGBT support group in the country. Rivera, a gay Latina from the Bronx, tells youth that, “It doesn’t get better.” But she says that you get stronger.

It Gets Better has been incorporated as a nonprofit organization. Savage said as soon as the videos took off, they trademarked and copyrighted the slogan and “people started throwing money at us.”

“We created a brand,” he said.

He said they’ve had to protect that brand and were able to shut down an anti-gay group that tried to co-opt the phrase.

That money raised has been redirected to GLSEN, the Trevor Project and the ACLU LGBT project. And he would like to see It Gets Better merged into another organization rather than continue as a standalone. Talks with other groups are ongoing.

Savage commented on the presidential campaign and the image of one of the candidates he helped create.

In 2003, in response to an interview in which Sen. Rick Santorum’s called gay sex a deviant behavior, Savage wrote, “There’s no better way to memorialize the Santorum scandal than by attaching his name to a sex act that would make his big, white teeth fall out of his big, empty head.”

As a result, the definition of Santorum that pops up first in an online search of the name has been dubbed the candidate’s “Google problem.”

Savage dismisses Santorum’s campaign, however.

“He’s not running for president,” he said. “He’s running for a Fox News contract just like [Mike] Huckabee.”

On Rick Perry, he wonders how Texans feel about the general impression that Perry’s not smart enough to be president.

“He’s just dumb enough to be governor?” Savage wonders. “I love that Barack Obama is now more popular in Texas than Rick Perry.”

After the George “Rentboy” Rekers scandal, Savage helped popularize the term “lift the luggage” to mean supplying your partner with sexual pleasure. He said studies have shown that homophobic men are turned on by gay pornography.

“Every time a [Ted] Haggard or Rekers comes along, it makes homophobia look gay,” he said. “So we celebrate when they come tumbling out of the closet.”

……………………….

Savage at UNT

The Equity & Diversity Conference at University of North Texas University Union, 1155 Union Circle, Denton. Feb. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 940-565-2711. Dan Savage will speak at 10 a.m. in the Silver Eagle Suit.

Registration is free for UNT students, $100 for UNT faculty, staff and alumni, $150 for non-UNT students and $275 for others. Onsite registration, available the day of the conference is $350.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 3, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Dan Savage to appear at UNT in February 2012

The North Texas Daily posted today that the University of North Texas will bring in Dan Savage as the as the keynote speaker for the 12th Annual Equity and Diversity Conference. The one-day conference is set for Feb. 7 at the campus and will also feature Grammy-winner John Legend. Along with his morning appearance, there will also be a book signing with Savage later that day. From NTDaily.com:

The theme of this year’s event is “The power of peace is the harmony of inclusion,” chosen to address current issues faced by many students, said Uyen Tran, director of organization development for equity and diversity.

“Dan Savage came up a lot when we were deciding who to pick,” Tran said. “He’s really at the forefront of things and how to deal with the problems in society.”

During his speech, Savage will address the bullying epidemic of the past year, as well as his personal clash with cultural conservatives because of his homosexuality, according to the event’s website.

“The Multicultural Center believes no matter what your beliefs are, everyone does need to be treated with dignity,” Tran said. “There have been so many suicides because of a lack of this.”

Savage appeared in Dallas this March at The Kessler but mixed heavier topics of coming out and bullying and his It Gets Better project  with relationship advice made famous from his syndicated column and show Savage Love. For more information on the conference, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Good news for those who really, really like adult film star Mason Wyler

Mason Wyler may have quit doing adult films full time, but he still knows how to give a good tease. And for just $50 a month, he’ll back it up. Wyler tweeted today that if you’d like to talk to him on the phone or even hang out, that now you can! On his website, he’s posted all the information you need to get started to make him your new BFF, but with a price tag. It’s a pretty innovative way to make some extra cash and we only figure it’s to help pay his tuition as he heads back to school at UNT per our conversation this past June.

When you join his Members Club for $49.99 a month, you’ll be privy to all of his new services, which are shown after the jump. And although there are no pic after the jump, I’d play it safe as NSFW.

—  Rich Lopez

UNT scientists working to ID Gacy’s victims

More than 30 years after serial killer John Wayne Gacy was arrested, convicted of murdering 33 young men and boys and sentenced to death, scientists at the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification are working, at the request of Cook County, Ill.,  to identify the remains of eight of those victims who have remained anonymous all these years.

John Wayne Gacy

Arthur Eisenberg, co-director of the identification center at the UNT Health Science Center, located in Fort Worth, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that scientists at the have been successful in extracting DNA from the bones of the eight victims but that testing will continue for at least another month. But even after the DNA profiles are complete, Eisenberg noted, they won’t be useful in identifying the unknown victims unless the scientists have something to compare them with.

Family members of young men and boys who are believed to have fallen victim to Gacy but whose remains were not among those already identified are being asked to contribute DNA samples for comparison, and the DNA profiles from the unidentified remains will also be compared to a database of DNA profiles from family members of young men and boys who went missing during Gacy’s six-year killing spree.

Gacy first began molesting young boys in the late 1960s when he lived with his first wife and their two children in Waterloo, Iowa. Eventually, two of the boys reported him to police and in December 1968 he was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to 10 years in prison. His wife divorced him and he never saw her or their children again. He was paroled two years later and moved back to his hometown of Chicago. He killed his first victim in 1972.

Of the 33 young men and boys he is known to have killed, 26 were buried in the crawlspace under his home. Three more were buried elsewhere on his property, and the final four victims were dumped in a nearby river.

Gacy eventually became known as “The Killer Clown,” in reference to the fact that he had joined an organization that dressed as clowns to perform at charitable events and for hospitalized children. Gacy’s clown character was called Pogo The Clown.

John Wayne Gacy was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994, at the age of 52.

—  admin

UNT student group GLAD looking to build LGBT family panel for Mar. 3 meeting


UNT student Jake Richert contacted me for a little help with his student group. The Gay and Lesbian Association of Denton is in search of finding LGBT families to come and talk to their group at their Mar. 3 meeting at 7 p.m. They are hoping to have a panel put together by Feb. 28 but wanted to get the word out ASAP. Here is Richert’s message.

glad: The North Texas Queer Alliance at UNT in Denton, TX is looking for panelists for our Wednesday, March 3, 2010 meeting on campus at 7PM. The panel topic is about the joys, struggles, and overall experience of being an LGBT family in America and in Texas today.

For our panel, we’re looking for representation from everyone in the LGBT community – specifically LGBT parents – with diverse structure, background, and experience. Those who started out LGBT and those with LGBT parents as a new facet are both welcome. Children (young adult age +, please) are also welcome to come and share. We want to hear about adoption, parenting, legal struggles, schools, coming out to children, church life, family support, constructs of motherhood/fatherhood, etc. – how ever many avenues we can explore, the better.

Also, we do not necessarily need the entire family. One parent can come speak on behalf of their entire family, for example.

For more information on glad, visit our blog here.

Peace, love, & rainbows.

Jake

—  Rich Lopez