UNT looking for 100 BLTs for aging study


Bart Poche

University of North Texas’ Center for Psychosocial Health Research needs 100 more lesbian, bisexual and transgender participants.

Researcher Barton Poche said the research study, which examines quality of life in LGBT folks 50+ years old, reached the number of gay male participants they need, but they’re still looking for lesbians, bisexuals and trans folks. The study is intended to advance research on health, social support, and emotional happiness of the aging LGBT community (50+ years), an under-represented group in current research.

“We hope to identify needs for the community in the areas of mental health, healthcare, social services, and legislation,” Poche said in an email. “All information we collect is kept strictly confidential, and the results of our study are only published/presented in aggregate.”

Participants in the study meet with research assistants from UNT’s Center for Psychosocial Health Research and will meet team members in public places appropriate for the task that are geographically convenient to participants.

You don’t have to go up to Denton to participate. Resource Center is providing use of their meeting rooms to conduct surveys. Surveys are conducted in person on a laptop (provided), which usually takes about an hour and a half to complete. All participants receive a $25 cash incentive for their participation.

If you would like to help advance this important research, please contact:

Center for Psychosocial Health Research, University of North Texas. ProjectGrayPride@gmail.com, 214-699-7146.

—  David Taffet

32 years of Dallas Voice now available online

University of North Texas digitized and put online 32 years of Dallas Voice from Volume 1, Issue 1 as part of its North Texas LGBT history archives. UNT also has been working on the project in conjunction with The Dallas Way and Resource Center, which donated its Phil Johnson Archives.

Thousands of pages of Dallas Voice articles and ads are searchable. The UNT library began the project with Dallas Voice about three years ago. Money for digitizing was finally raised last summer and the school has been working on the project since then.

So when we were looking for Senior Editor Tammye Nash’s first story, we came up with this beauty:

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Here’s the link to search Dallas Voice in the UNT archives.

This was our first front page:

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And one more. Judge Jerry Buchmeyer overturned 21.06, the Texas sodomy law but this is how we showed outrage at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstating the now-unconstitutional law:

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These are screen shots, but the originals are very readable. Take a walk through the past 32 years by searching beginning here.

—  David Taffet

UNT names fashion program after Dallas designer Michael Faircloth

DIFFADallas fashion designer Michael Faircloth — a long-time supporter of DIFFA and famous for designing Laura Bush’s inaugural ball gown — has been honored by the University of North Texas with a fashion program named in his honor.

Lisa Troutt, a former fashion designer, and her husband Kenny donated $500,000 to launch the Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program in honor of the UNT alumnus. The goal is to raise a total of $2.5 million to support the program.

“I am humbled and overjoyed that my friend [Lisa Troutt] and my alma mater desire to recognize my achievements by name the [program] after me,” Faircloth said in a statement.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Abbott to deliver UNT commencement address

Texas AG Greg Abbott

Gov, Greg Abbott

University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk has announced that Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will deliver the keynote address during UNT’s inaugural university-wide commencement ceremony on May 16.

“I can think of no one better to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and kick off our yearlong 125th anniversary celebration,” Smatresk  said in a letter to students.

This will be UNT’s first university-wide graduation, and Smatresk said about 25,000 people are expected to attend.

Saying that school officials are looking forward “with great enthusiasm” to welcoming Abbott and Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott to the UNT campus, adding that he expects the governor’s “message of hope and inspiration will resonate with all of us and leave a lasting impression on the Class of 2015.”

—  Tammye Nash

Tickets to see Laverne Cox at UNT go on sale tomorrow

Laverne-CoxLaverne Cox, the first transgender person to be nominated for an acting Emmy Award and a vocal advocate for LGBT issues, will present her talk “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood,” at the University of North Texas Super Pit coliseum in Denton on Feb. 24. A Time magazine cover model, Cox is a co-star on the Netflix hit series Orange is the New Black, and will discuss the racism, classism and gender bias she have dealt with. She’s being presented through the Mary Jo and V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series of UNT.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday: $10 for the general public, $5 for UNT staff, and free for UNT students. Go here to get yours.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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


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

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