Deaths • 02.24.12

Larry Summers

Larry Wayne Summers, 44, passed away Feb. 12, at Medical City Hospital in North Dallas. Summers was an avid reader, largely of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. He enjoyed playing softball in leagues both in Seattle and more recently here in Dallas. In his spare time he enjoyed watching movies, playing video games, playing with computers, boating with friends, grilling and collecting books — but above all just enjoying time spent with friends.

One of his longtime interests was sitting for hours watching cartoons from his childhood. In recent months he picked up knitting again, a hobby he shared with his mother.

Summers was an easygoing man with uncomplicated demands. He was a loyal friend to many, and will be remembered as a soft-spoken, sweet man. Although a man of few words, he had an understated charm, sweet smile and an infectious laugh. He was always in a good mood regardless of the stresses in his life, which is a testament to the genuine good soul and the good person that he was.
Services were held in his hometown of Mart, Texas. He is survived by his parents, Leo and Frances Summer; his younger brother, Michael; his grandparents, Roy and Virgie Summers and Annie and William Beck; and his cherished cat, Alex.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Show vs Show Alterna-divas face off

From lez to Leslie, female musicians bring both the eccentric and the sophisticated to North Texas

Lead

The fates have convened once again to bring a healthy dose of live music to the area. From big to small, the concert calendar fills up with a spectrum of aural pleasures. Former New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight (not the gay one) headlines the Lakewood while alt-rock legends Radiohead make their American Airlines Center show an event next week. But we’re stuck on a couple of ladies who speak to queers in vastly different ways.

CLICK TO ENLARGE:

For more than 20 years, Mary Gauthier has brought her lesbian sensibilities to her smart brand of Americana music. Touring in support of her seventh album, The Foundling and 2011’s The Foundling Alone (a companion of acoustic demos), Gauthier continues to amass an impressive discography with graduating brilliance.

Cult singer Leslie Hall, with her band the Lys, let forth a trip of dance-ish tunes on 2011’s Destination Friendship, with her signature rapping on cheeky songs like “Blame the Booty” and “No Pants Policy.” But Hall is no joke. She veers toward the eccentric but she doesn’t disappoint live, sweating up a storm with rambunctious
energy and funky dance moves.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Measure would ban anti-LGBT discrimination in Houston

Charter amendment could also allow DP benefits for city workers

DANIEL WILLIAMS  |  Contributing Writer

HOUSTON — Long-brewing plans to place a city-wide non-discrimination policy before Houston voters became public this week.

Since December a coalition of organizations and leaders have been working to draft a city charter amendment that would make it illegal to discriminate in housing, employment or public accommodations on the basis of  “age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or physical characteristic.”

The amendment would also remove anti-LGBT language added to the Houston city charter in 1985 and 2001 — which could allow the City Council to vote to offer health benefits to the domestic partners of municipal employees.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who famously became the only out LGBT person elected mayor of a major American city in 2009, has declined to comment on the proposed charter amendment until the language is finalized. She told the Houston Chronicle: “I believe it’s important for the city of Houston to send a signal to the world that we welcome everybody and that we treat everybody equally, and depending on the elements of what was actually in it, I might or might not support it,”

According to Equality Texas Executive Director Dennis Coleman, the prospect of Houston voters approving the non-discrimination amendment has ramifications for efforts to pass similar measures in the state Legislature.

“Nondiscrimination in Houston builds a better case for us when we go for nondiscrimination in Austin,” said Coleman. “To be able to tell representatives that they represent areas that already support these efforts is very helpful.”

The cities of Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth all already have similar nondiscrimination ordinances and offer DP benefits to employees.

But Houston’s form of governance makes this effort unique. While the City Council is empowered to pass city ordinances covering issues of discrimination, they can be overturned by popular vote if those opposing the ordinance collect 20,000 signatures to place the issue on the ballot.

That was the case in 1985 after Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire pushed through the council the city’s first protections for gay and lesbian Houstonians (no protections were provided for the bisexual or transgender communities).

A coalition of right-wing voters led by Louie Welch, then president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, was able to place the issue on a city-wide ballot, claiming the policy “promoted the homosexual lifestyle.” The group also recruited a “straight slate” of candidates to run against City Council members who had favored the protections, with Welch running against Whitmire.

The public vote on nondiscrimination was held in June 1985 and Welch’s forces prevailed, but the city’s temperament had changed by the time of the City Council and mayoral races in November. A comment of Welch’s that the solution to the AIDS crisis was to “shoot the queers” was aired on local TV and few in Houston wished to be associated with him after that. The “straight slate” failed to capture a single City Council seat and Whitmire remained mayor, but the defeat of the city’s nondiscrimination policy remained.

By 1998 Houston had changed: Annise Parker was serving as the city’s first out lesbian city council member and Houston boasted the state’s first out gay judge, John Paul Barnich. Mayor Lee Brown, sensing the change, issued an executive order protecting LGBT city employees from employment discrimination. But the city had not changed that much. Councilman Rob Todd led efforts to fight the order in court, arguing that since voters rejected city-wide protections from discrimination in 1985, it was inappropriate for the mayor to institute them without voter approval. The city spent the next three years defending the policy in court, finally emerging victorious.

The joy of that 2001 victory would be shortlived, however. That year Houston’s voters approved another amendment to the city charter, this time prohibiting the city from providing domestic partner benefits for city employees. In a narrow defeat, just over 51 percent of voters decided that the city should not offer competitive benefits.

The current proposed non-discrimination amendment would remove the language added in 1985 and 2001. While it would provide non-discrimination protections it would not require the city to offer benefits of any kind to the spouses of LGBT city employees, leaving that question back in the hands of the City Council.

The organizers of the current effort are confident that this year is the year for victory.

Noel Freeman, the president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, which is spearheading the effort, explains that the previous votes occurred in “non-presidential years,”when voter turnout in general is low, and conservative voters make up a larger percentage of the electorate.

Additionally, polling by Equality Texas in 2010 showed that 80 percent of Houstonians support employment protections for gay and lesbian people.

In order to place the non-discrimination amendment on the November ballot the coalition supporting it will need to collect 20,000 signatures of registered Houston voters and submit them to the city clerk. Freeman says that the final charter amendment language is still under consideration and that once it is finalized the group will begin collecting signatures.

Even former Councilman Todd, who once fought the city’s policy of non-discrimination for LGBT employees, supports the current effort.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Go with the flow

Trying yoga for the first time can be an intimidating experience. But that misses the point of this ancient practice that combines stretching, breath … and peace

Yoga instructor Petri Brill strikes a pose at her studio YogaSport, which provides beginners’ classes for the uninitiated. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Yoga instructor Petri Brill strikes a pose at her studio YogaSport, which provides beginners’ classes for the uninitiated. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

JEF TINGLEY  | Contributing Writer

Some do it for their mind, some do it for their body, some do it for both. But all yoga students have one thing in common: Making the first step and taking up the practice. And while this age-old combination of stretching and breathing is meant to calm the mind and strengthen the muscles, a maiden voyage into a posterior-lifting position like downward-facing dog in a room full of strangers can send one’s heart racing. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

“People new to yoga should remember that everyone in class was a beginner at one point,” says Petri Brill, manager of YogaSport Dallas on Lemmon Avenue. “Yoga is a journey, not a destination. There is no perfect practice or perfect yogi or perfect yoga body. I think people worry about they’ll look [or] feel foolish in their first down-dog [and] that they’ll be judged. Our [yoga] community is diverse, encouraging and accepting: no judgment here!”

Mary Pierce Armstrong, who teaches at MarYoga, agrees that you should always look inward. “Yoga will come to meet you no matter where you are starting from. As long as you take the breath and the breaks you need, you will be doing awesome.”

For Wendy Moore, a 44-year-old yoga newbie, has taken these words of wisdom to the mat — literally. Moore recently completed her second MarYoga class as part of her new year regime. Any inhibitions she had about the experience were dispelled during her first visit.

“[I was] concerned about my general lack of bendy-ness, and not knowing where to put what arm and leg,” she says, “but if you look around you will figure out where your limbs are supposed to be by what others are doing.” Moore has continued to work on poses between classes with some slight variations mimicked by “what her cats are able to do.”

Keith Murray, a 37-year-old registered nurse, tried yoga for the first time more than eight years ago and was immediately hooked. He was taking classes three times a week before long. “I was a little intimidated about the whole thing at first,” he says, “but after my first couple of sessions my intimidation grew into excitement.”

A busy work schedule has kept Murray from his regular routine over the years, but he is trying to change that. “I still maintain a crazy life and work routine, but building yoga back into my life has really helped me to find balance again.”

According to yoga teacher Jennifer Lawson of SYNC Yoga & Wellbeing, it’s not just busy schedules and bundled nerves that keep people from the practice of yoga; it’s also our cultural fixation on success. “There tends to be so much emphasis on achievement and perfection that many of us are becoming accustomed to playing it safe in order to avoid the possibility of shame.”

Lawson recommends coming together as a group in a class with experienced and inexperienced yogis to create an environment that emphasizes the experience and process of yoga and not the destination or end result.

For Anisha Mandol, a 42-year-old business development manager who has been practicing yoga for about two years, these words ring true. “Once you understand your expectation from practicing, no one else’s matters. The benefits of yoga are fluid and dynamic, and each person has their own unique experience. Own yours,” she says.

And so it would seem that just as the journey of a million miles begins with one step, the journey toward a yoga-filled life begins with a single stretch on the matt (and maybe a little Namaste for good measure).

………………………………………………….

SAY NAMASTE: WHERE TO GET YOUR YOGA FIX

Options are plentiful for the budding yogi looking for a class. Get your stretch on at these studios in and around the gayborhood. You can also find information on their class offerings and schedules on their websites.

Yoga Sport Dallas
4140 Lemmon Ave, Suite 280
214-520-YOGA
YogaSportDallas.com

SYNC Yoga & Wellbeing
611 N. Bishop Ave.
214-843-3372
SyncDallas.com

MarYoga at Chi Studio
807 Fletcher St.
ChiDallas.com

Sunstone Yoga
2907 Routh St. (and other locations)
214-764-2119
SunstoneYoga.com

Gaia Flow Yoga Uptown
3000 Blackburn St., Suite 140B
214-235-1153
GaiaFlowYoga.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

If the shoe fits

The innovations in these shoes strike the right balance for walkers and runners of all types.  They sound like cars with multi-systems interplayed in their designs, but the results can be a dynamic fit providing the most comfort. And they look cool too.  All are available at major sports apparel retailers.

ASICS Gel-Tech Walker Neo 2

With an improved cushioning system and heel plug, ASICS walking shoe standard just upped its game.  Memory foam molds to the heel for a personalized fit and the Trusstic System keeps the weight of the shoe low, without any structural breakdown. ASICS even configured the lacing to be anatomically correct to deter from any irritation. The Impact Guidance System helps maintain a natural gait. They even threw in reflective detailing for low-light or nighttime walking.

Retails for $100.

Nike Air Pegasus+ 28

Runners can find notable support in this Nike revamped running show. The shoe’s structure and cushion works for those slight under- and over-pronation strides. The Zoom heel unit offers responsive cushioning and a crash pad absorbs shock for a smoother run.  An inner sleeve bootie covers the foot complementing the hugging heel wrap. The Flywire panel supports the midfoot as does the stabilizing arch.

Retails from $90–$125.

Adidas AdiPure Trainer Shoes

Adidas jumps into the five-toe shoe fray with its AdiPure line that keeps this shoe to simple mechanics. The stretch upper gives a flexible fit while the sole’s durable rubber gives extra protection on rougher terrains and traction for all surfaces. The toe sleeves allow the foot to move in its natural motion putting all toes to work.

Retails for $90.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Getting raw – with your face

What could be better than playing safe and going raw? And you don’t even need to be in a relationship to do it.

Dallas-based cosmetics company Raw for Men produces a skin care line targeted at those among the population with tougher hides that still require a little pampering. And that has gay men written all over it.

The variety of products are designed to work together in a five-pronged treatment method: Cleanse, exfoliate, tone, restore/rebuild and protect. You can do all of those or just the ones that your personal derma calls out for.

The Blue Agave Wash is an excellent start, a eucalyptus-y, aromatic scrub that energizes and even helps wake you up, while using the healing strength of agave (it’s nice when tequila makes you feel better, not worse) to tingle the skin. ($10/1 oz.; $26/4 oz.)

Follow that up with a Stone Power toning rinse ($8/$24) which hydrates without being astringent. Cap your routine with the Daytime Cream ($15/one-half oz.; $32/1.7 oz.), which protects from sunline and fortifies.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Part(y)ing shot

A little needle work can turn a dull soiree into a face-saving event

 

Dermatologist John Proffitt, above, has begun offering Xeomin treatments in a more festive fashion. Injections are less stressful in a comfortable, fun atmosphere — and he even brings munchies.

Dermatologist John Proffitt, above, has begun offering Xeomin treatments in a more festive fashion. Injections are less stressful in a comfortable, fun atmosphere — and he even brings munchies.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

How’s this for a Saturday evening: You head to a friend’s soiree, pick through the nibblies, grab a cocktail and then have someone stab a needle into your face.

That may not sound like your typical fun weekend get-together, but if there can be parties that peddle jewelry or give away swag bags, why not one that leaves you looking a little refreshed — even if it is with a shot?

Dr. John Proffitt and his team at Oak Lawn Dermatology have begun offering this new service, mixing a little bit of pain with a lot of pleasure.

As a glorified house call, it’s a chance to both do shots and get shots. Proffitt will come to your home with units of Xeomin (similar to Botox) and gladly inject those interested with a little touch-up around the eyes. He’s found the domestic setting, while fun like any party, also has therapeutic advantages.

“The atmosphere is very relaxed and people can get to know me better,” Proffitt says. “They can get comfortable if they are hesitant, and can see their friends do it. The procedure is simple and my syringes are tiny. Usually people have had it done before at these parties.”

The idea for in-home transformations came to Proffitt when a patient was impressed with his results and thought his friends would be interested in getting the procedure. Instead of convincing them one at a time to make appointments, his client had a party with Xeomin on the menu.

“It was like any typical party. I brought food,” Proffitt says. “Usually I’ll give a talk before to explain everything and people get interested and watch others before them.”

So you want to have your own party? There’s nothing to it other than giving his office a call. Well that and shopping for liquor and hors d’oeuvres.

“All anyone has to do is just call our office. We’ll talk about it and make the arrangements,” he says. “We talk about prices for the injection units and even a reduction for groups.”

His parties are also smart P.R. He’s won new clients from home parties and the firm hosts get-togethers at the office. For a firm that has only been present in the community for just over eight months, Proffitt knows how to make an impression — even if it is putting a needle in your face.

For more information, call 214-526-8100 or visit OakLawnDermatology.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Work it!

Dallas is awash in places for fitness-conscious gay men to build muscles … and show off a little

There’s not a loss for gyms around the Oak Lawn neighborhood. Several fitness centers dot the healthy landscape from Uptown to Downtown and several in between. This is a list of health clubs that are among the favorites for the LGBT community.

— Rich Lopez

…………………………………

Club Dallas
Exclusively serving gay men for more than 30 years, this institution actually has one of the largest gyms in the city, and is open 24 hours, 365 days a year.
2616 Swiss Ave
214-821-1990
TheClubs.com

Diesel Fitness
Located on the third floor of the Centrum, it’s right in the heart of the gayborhood.
3102 Oak Lawn #300
214-219-6400
DieselFitness214.com

Energy Fitness joins an already bustling roster of gyms in the Uptown area. Located in the West Village, this gym has garnered praise for its no-nonsense approach and competitive membership fees.

Energy Fitness
This recent gym has gained a reputation for affordable memberships and solid service right in the West Village.
2901 Cityplace West Blvd.
214-219-1900
UptownEnergyFitness.com

Equinox
Located in the old Park Place Motorcars location, it offers a full range of fitness services
4023 Oak Lawn Ave.
214-443-9009
Equinox.com

Gold’s Gym
Locations are throughout the city, but the one in Uptown serves a fit, very gay customer base.
2425 McKinney Avenue
214-306-9000
GoldsGym.com

The LA Fitness by Love Field has been a favorite for the community with its convenience to the Oak Lawn area and an impressive list of amenities and classes. (Rich Lopez/Dallas Voice)

The LA Fitness by Love Field has been a favorite for the community with its convenience to the Oak Lawn area and an impressive list of amenities and classes. (Rich Lopez/Dallas Voice)

LA Fitness
Has multiple locations, but the one at Lemmon and Mockingbird by Love Field is popular with gay clientele.
4540 W. Mockingbird Lane
214-453-4899
LAFitness.com

Trophy Fitness Club
With four total locations, one can be found in the downtown Mosaic (formerly Pulse) and in one Uptown.
2812 Vine St. Suite 300
214-999-2826
TrophyFitnessClub.com

24 Hour Fitness
Popular locations include the one Downtown and one at Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Avenue.
700 North Harwood St.
214-220-2423
24HourFitness.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Pet of the Week • 02.03.12

Godzilla is a staff and volunteer favorite because of his huge personality. He loves to play with toys and even responds to his name. He is infamous for sneaking out of the adult cat room so that he can be in the lobby where all the action is. If you are looking for a truly social cat that will make you smile, Godzilla is the one for you!

Godzilla and many other great dogs and cats are available for adoption from Operation Kindness, situated at 3201 Earhart Drive, one street south of Keller Springs and two blocks west of Midway Road, in Carrollton. The no-kill shelter is open six days a week: Monday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday; Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The cost is $110 for cats, $135 for kittens, $150 for dogs over 1 year, and $175 for puppies. The adoption cost includes the spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, vaccinations, heartworm test for dogs, leukemia and FIV test for cats, and more. Those who adopt two pets at the same time receive a $20 discount. For more information, call 972-418-PAWS,  or visit OperationKindness.org.

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

—  Michael Stephens

Death • 02.03.12

Philip Wayne, 84, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Medical City Dallas Hospital.  His heart gave out after a bout with pneumonia.

Wayne was born in Canada on March 16, 1927. He came to the U.S. as a young man. He worked and lived in New York City for a time. He served in the Army during the Korean War.

Wayne earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in theater from Columbia University. He was a very successful Department of the Army entertainment director, with positions in Germany, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., South Korea and Fort Bliss. His productions were all of Broadway quality. He truly was a gifted, talented director/producer.

Wayne is survived by his niece, Louise Parnes; and nephews, Mark Spiegle and Lloyd Pollock, all of Toronto.

He is also survived by a number of great-nieces and -nephews and a host of friends in Dallas and elsewhere. Wayne will be interred at the National Cemetery in Dallas.

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

—  Michael Stephens