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

ANNIVERSARIES: Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong, George Amerson and Mike Grossman

ARMSTRONG-YOUNG  | Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong celebrated their 40th anniversary Monday, April 18. The couple met on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1971 through the Gay Liberation Front organization there. They had a civil union in Vermont in 2000 and were legally married in California in August 2008.

 

GROSSMAN-AMERSON  | George Amerson and Mike Grossman marked their 40th anniversary Wednesday, April 20, after celebrating the event with a gathering of family and friends the previous weekend. Grossman is a Minneapolis native who had lived in Dallas a year when he met Amerson, a native of west Texas who had already lived in Dallas several years when they met. The couple say they are most proud of their children, Laura and Devon Cloud and Barney and Stephanie Grossman, and their grandchildren, Miles and Rachel. The two work in residential real estate, Grossman for 50 years and Amerson for more than 35 years.

—  John Wright

Six local youth headed to National Equality March, thanks to chamber dinner attendees

Youth

Last night during the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce’s Pride Dinner at the Warwick Melrose Hotel, keynote speaker Cleve Jones issued a challenge: If you can’t make it to the National Equality March in October, send someone in your place.

Shortly after Jones concluded his remarks, six chamber members and/or Pride dinner attendees responded, with each agreeing to pay for one of the local LGBT youth on hand to go to Washington. The six beneficiaries from Youth First Texas, shown after the dinner, are Will Mason, Chris Lopez, Victor Rodriguez, Steven Richmond, John McKnight and Hai Duong. They are pictured along with chamber member Jay Forte, far right.

Sending the youth to D.C. reportedly was the idea of longtime lesbian activists Louise Young and Vivienne Armstrong, who conceived it during the dinner and will be sponsoring one of the youth. Afterward, Young noted that many of Dallas’ pioneering activists, including Bill Nelson and Don Baker, attended the first gay-rights march on Washington in 1979.

“I think it’s so important for the next generation of activists to have some of the experiences that have sustained us,” Young said. “These things [marches] are very energizing.”

UPDATE: According to Chamber President and CEO Tony Vedda, the others who agreed to send a youth to D.C. were Cordey Lash, Derrick Brown, Mark Reed (2) and Jonathan Palant.

—  John Wright