Couple marries in Central Park on Valentine’s Day

Valentino Felipe

Valentino Torres and Felipe Alvarez

Valentino Torres and Felipe Alvarez celebrated their 10th anniversary in November skiing in Telluride.

They met on Cedar Springs 10 years ago. For their sixth anniversary, Torres purchased promise rings at Tiffany’s and proposed on a horse and carriage ride in New York’s Central Park.

When the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act decision unconstitutional, the couple began thinking of turning the promise into reality. On the ski trip, they set the date. Valentine’s Day, they decided, was the perfect day to get married.

Last week, friends threw the couple a bachelor party. Since the party was for both of them, it was more a pre-wedding celebration, Torres said.

“There were no strippers,” he said, laughing.

Friends hired a limo, and the party was filmed for a reality show Torres is working on about gay Dallas Latino hairstylists.

On Wednesday, they left for New York City. That afternoon, they had a cake tasting in the city. On Thursday night, they had a rehearsal dinner in the West Village.

They were joined in New York by 14 friends from Dallas and a few others from the East Coast.

The wedding is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day in Central Park — exact site to be determined.

“We have a few spots in mind,” Torres said.

An officiant they spoke to on the phone will preside and they’ve arranged for a violinist.

They’ll arrive at the ceremony in a horse and carriage to remind them of their fifth anniversary exchange of rings and during the ceremony replace the promise rings with wedding bands.

The violinist and officiant may be accustomed to New York’s cold and damp Februarys, but the Texans flying up to participate in the wedding are not. So in case of extremely cold weather, Torres said, their back-up plan is to marry at the Empire Hotel where they’re staying.

After the ceremony, they’re having a reception at Tao Uptown, a restaurant just south of Central Park on 58th Street.

“I never thought this would happen,” Torres said.

He said friends are always asking him how they’ve maintained a relationship for so long. He said he and Alvarez work at making their relationship succeed.

“Just take it day by day,” he advised.

 

—  David Taffet

Drawing Dallas • 02.10.12

JaQuanFNL_2Lanky dreamboat LaQuan Brown is the ideal Valentine

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: LaQuan Brown, 18

Occupation: Student

Spotted at: Target Cityplace

At 6-feet-5, slender, romantic dreamboat LaQuan catches eyes everywhere he goes. A creamy blend of two cultures — his mother is of Dutch descent, his father is African-American — LaQuan certainly stands out in any crowd. His exotic and handsome look recently captured the attention of a modeling scout for Krave magazine, a fashion, lifestyle and entertainment publication for men of color; he was recently selected to model for an upcoming issue.

This intelligent and contemplative Scorpio was born in Oak Cliff and raised throughout Dallas. He enjoys outdoor sports of all kinds, including (predictably) basketball, but also running and taking contemplative walks. He’s also talented at freestyling, and can rap about any subject on the spur of the moment.

LaQuan’s career goal is to obtain a doctorate in psychology, and eventually become a therapist/counselor for at-risk teens.

—  Kevin Thomas

Washington state legislators send a Valentine to gay and lesbian families

What better day to unveil a marriage equality bill (SB 5793) than Valentine’s Day?

OLYMPIA – Lawmakers have chosen today – the day that millions across the country celebrate the bonds of affection shared between two people in love – as the day to introduce major legislation that would no longer restrict gays and lesbians from their right to marry.

Today is not the first time the issue of marriage equality for gays and lesbians and the Valentine’s Day holiday have crossed paths.

In early February of 1998, in what has proven to be the darkest of Valentine’s for gay and lesbian families in our state, the Legislature enshrined discrimination as the law of the land in Washington by overriding the veto of then-Gov. Gary Locke to approve the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.”

This Valentine’s Day, Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, and Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, said the night is darkest just before the dawn.

“Over the past several years, the Legislature and the public together have been steadily building a bridge to equality for gay and lesbian families,” said Moeller. He noted the passage of civil rights legislation in 2006 protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing, and financial transactions, and then three successive years of securing broader and broader domestic partnership rights — which included successfully withstanding a hostile referendum challenge at the ballot in 2009.

“We’ve made tremendous progress since 1998,” Murray said. “Gay and lesbian families in Washington now enjoy the same state spousal rights that their married straight friends enjoy – except for the name ‘marriage’. The recognition that their loving, lifelong commitment is no different from the loving, lifelong commitment of straight couples is the final step to achieving full equality. I believe the Legislature and the public are both ready to take that final step.”

Please sign the Marriage Equality petition today and ask friends to do the same.
The pro-equality vote in Washington state has been rising steadily for the past five years.  With a concerted effort, we can put the numbers over the top in 2012.  Recall that in 2009 the Washington electorate was the first in the nation to ratify a same-sex relationship recognition law at the polls, 52.6% to 27.4%.

As Equal Rights Washington reminds us, “The most important thing you can do in support of marriage equality is to talk to your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers about why marriage equality matters to you and people you love. Nothing is more powerful than personal stories.  So let’s keep the conversation going.”

Another way to “get engaged” and help make marriage equality a reality in Washington state by participating in the Equality Day 2011 in Olympia on March 22, 2011.

Equality Day 2011 is your opportunity to engage with your legislators in person. On March 22 you can educate your legislators about your lives. Tell them how the decisions they make help you contribute fully as a member of the community, promote your freedom to love who you love, and live healthy productive lives.  We have many opportunities this year to support our families by creating protections for children and parents in the Uniform Parentage Act, creating a safe and supportive educational environment for our students, promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS and good public health, and making progress toward marriage equality.

Your legislators have their hands on the levers of power, but they need your help to know which way to pull them.

Help Spread the Word! Print and Post an Equality Day 2011 flyer on bulletin boards inside LGBT friendly establishments in your community.

Click here for more information on Equality Day 2011.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 02.11

She works hard for the money
How Kander and Ebb combined fashion, Communism, the Depression and relationships set to music in Lyric’s Flora the Red Menace is beyond us, but we’re curious. Kristin Dausch plays Flora, who juggles her career as an artist against the temptations of her new love Harry. All while trying to earn a buck. You go girl.

DEETS: Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. Through Feb. 26. $18–$29. LyricStage.org.

Saturday 02.12

This Vanity project is worth it
Not to take away from their pop rock brand of music, but if there’s one reason to check out Vanity Theft, it’s because of the one-name bassist Lalaine. She’s says of the band, “We may have vaginas, but we’re not pussies.” Well, said. Now we hope that means they will kill it live, because their rock is pretty major.

DEETS: With Hunter Valentine. Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. Caven.com.

Thursday 02.17

Drums along the Winspear
TITAS brings in the famous Kodo drummers for a life-changing experience. The 24 drum masters take the instrument beyond its percussive musicality into a “heart-pounding, earth-shaking experience.” And it’s one night only — meaning don’t miss out.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Feb. 17. 8 p.m. $19–$75. ATTPAC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 11, 2011.

—  John Wright

RICH’S MIXTAPE: Valentine’s edition

Not a big Valentine’s person? Love got you down? Just broke up? Hey, no worries. Single people aren’t forgotten here on the Mixtape. Just turn it up and drink away.

“Skin” — Sade: The sultry singer pretty much drop-kicks that bastard right out of your life. And she does it in the sexiest way possible.

“Wish You’d Just Hate Me Like Everyone Else” — Patrick Boothe: Face it, sometimes you want people to leave you alone but they just don’t get it.

“Sex Robot” — Fritz Helder and the Phantoms, pictured: Perhaps it’s encouraging bad behavior, but yes, go out and have all kinds of sex. Hayyyyy!

“Goodbye Earl” — Dixie Chicks: OK, so you don’t wanna tuck that ex into the back of your trunk and dump the body, but you can pretend. Venting’s good.

“Sweet Tooth” — Otep. Heavy metal. Chocolate. Sure she sounds like Hades opened up and released a wrath, but sometimes that’s what you need.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 11, 2011.

—  John Wright

100 gay bachelors stick to the wall and qualify for Out Magazine’s ‘Most Eligible’ list

Over on Out Magazine‘s website, they posted a contest where readers can vote on the top 10 from their 100 Most Eligible Gay Bachelors slideshow. I’m glad to see they didn’t just stick with cardboard hotties ages 21-25, but their selection is a bit baffling. The list is heavy on L.A. and N.Y. players, which makes it somewhat two-dimensional and bugs me the most. But after scrolling through the pics, it just felt like Out started throwing names and whatever stuck was included.

I appreciated selections like Precious director Lee Daniels and Woodpigeon’s hottie frontman Mark Hamilton, pictured, but I hardly expected to see the likes of this guy or this person on the list. I get the impression that if you live in New York or Los Angeles, are gay, single, famous and have a fabulous job and/or a publicist, you made the list. If you look really close, they even included Out staff members.

OK, so they are doing this for Valentine’s Day, when the top 10 will be revealed, and thus the more everyman types weren’t going to be included. Still, I figure there are men from the flyover states who more than qualify for the list — not to mention from all over the world, and some of them aren’t designers or actors. Clearly I’m a cynic, but whatever.

But I am curious who the local most eligible bachelors (and bachelorettes are). If Out were looking at Dallas folk, who would you include in the list?

—  Rich Lopez

Movies: Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole, Pixar Goes Postal and Andrew Tears Up

Bluevalentine_dance
  "You Always Hurt the Ones You Love" -Gosling serenades/warns Williams

NATHANIEL ROGERS

Guestblogger

…lives for the the tail end of each year. That's when Oscar buzz wags the film dog. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.


NOW PLAYING

You have your pick of Oscar hopefuls this holiday weekend. Black Swan (previously discussed), True Grit and The King's Speech have all recently gone wide. If you're on one of the coasts, you must check out Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in BLUE VALENTINE now in limited release. The drama has a fully earned reputation for being brutally depressing but there's so much electricity in their duet that it's not remotely a tough sit. The film juxtaposes Ryan and Michelle's initial courtship with their breakup, allowing you an insightful look at all the seeds that will grow into marital weeds. It's vaguely reminiscent of the great stage musical The Last Five Years albeit without all the singing. That said, former boyband hopeful Ryan Gosling does do a mean rendition of "You Always Hurt the Ones You Love" with a ukelele in hand.

Picture 36 A less depressing option is – surprise! – the grief drama RABBIT HOLE. It's based on the award-winning Broadway play with Nicole Kidman taking over Cynthia Nixon's role for the screen. Though it's a story of a couple who recently lost their only child, it's much more about healing than wallowing in grief. Out director John Cameron Mitchell, having already proven himself a thrilling filmmaker (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus), does an artistic about face and let's the actors shine while he works invisibly this time. Kidman gives her best performance since Birth, which, come to think of it, was also suffused with the mysteries of grief. She has a real gift for it, never playing just one note.

Both films will be expanding further in January. How widely they do so will probably depend on Oscar nominations.

BONUS SCENES

 road If Andrew Garfield gets Oscar nominated for his sympathetic turn as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, you know he'll be bombarded by Spider-Man questions on every red carpet. He'll be forced into giving a million superhumanly vague answers to protect blockbuster secrets. He's already quite an expert at being charming and articulate without actually saying anything, like in this new BBC interview.

MORE, AFTER THE JUMP

Andrew_bbc

In eight minutes we learn only that he loved Spider-Man as a 5 year-old and that Tobey Maguire gave his blessing for him to take over (though they've never met). He also didn't write an acceptance speech for the upcoming Golden Globes. But that's okay because he's not going to win (see the next bullet point).

Andrew is a little more effusive in this interview with Capital FM where he talks about wearing the Spider-Man suit.

"I shed a tear when I first wore the spandex. I didn't think that the spandex would make me so emotional, but it did."

 road Christian Bale will be hogging all the gold statues for his totally brilliant performance as a retired boxer/crack addict. Have you seen The Fighter yet?

Pixar_stamps  road This coming summer Pixar gets postage stamps celebrating their beloved characters from WALL•E, Cars, Ratatouille, Up and Toy Story. I thought you had to be more aged to receive your own stamps? Perhaps that only applies to flesh and blood characters and not pixellated ones.

 road Clint Eastwood has cast more stars for his upcoming J Edgar Hoover biopic including, probably, Charlize Theron and Dame Judi Dench. (I almost typed Dame Edna. What's wrong with me? One doesn't suspect Clint would go for Dame Edna even though Hoover was a rumored crossdresser.) There's no word yet on which role Dench would play but the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the famously closeted FBI director and Armie Hammer (The Social Network's Winklevoss twins) as his lover and star employee. It's now retitled J. Edgar.

 roadPicture 32 Here's an amusing bit about Oscar hopeful The King's Speech: Is it really just another Karate Kid remake?

  road Do you ever listen to soundtracks? The Academy has already declared a few major Oscar hopefuls like True Grit and Black Swan ineligible for their Original Score honor and now we know that Toy Story 3 won't be nominated either. The full list of 77 eligible scores is a thinner field than usual which might prepare the way for Oscar to get a little more experimental in what they choose; Could rock god Trent Reznor actually become an Oscar nominee for his thumping Social Network score? Or Perhaps it'll just clear the way for an Alexandre Desplat win? He's a likely nominee for The King's Speech (though his work on The Ghost Writer is even better) so if he can get around Hans Zimmer's big Edith Piaf flavored Inception score, he may be golden. Desplat is the movie's busiest composer now but I recently had a chat with him and he even let me know how he picks which scores go on his Oscar ballot.

 


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin