TGRA’s King and Queen of the Rodeo tonight

Crowning achievements

Find out tonight who’s talents and style will push them to the top as contestants vie for top honors by the Texas Gay Rodeo Association. Bedazzled gowns and tight wranglers are in store when tonight’s event gets us ready for the TGRA Rodeo in March. Yeehaw!

DEETS: Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. RoundUpSaloon.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Party for a good cause with “Snow Bunnies,” this weekend at Vue

“Bunnies on the Bayou,” the annual Easter weekend fundraiser that draws hundreds to the Wortham Center’s bayou adjacent patios, is still months away, but it’s younger brother “Snow Bunnies” is this Sunday, January 15, at Vue Nightclub (526 Waugh). Doors open at 5 pm.

“Snow Bunnies is not really like the big Bunny event, because it’s indoors,” says Bunnies board president Jack Berger, “although we’ve got some really kind of neat special activities that are going to happen.” Those neat special activities include an ice sculpture donated by Skye Vodka, tracks from DJ Joe Gauthreaux, “and maybe”, says Berger, “even some real snow.”

Bunnies on the Bayou started in 1979 as a joint birthday party. During the height of the AIDS crisis in the ’80′s it became one of the major fundraisers for Houston’s LGBT charities. Last year the various Bunnies events raised over half a million dollars distributed to ten area organizations.

Tickets for “Snow Bunnies” are $10, all proceeds benefit Bunnies 2012 beneficiaries, which have yet to be announced.

—  admin

“Country Gravy” dishes out relationship advice at Theater LaB Houston

Julia Laskowski and Patti Rabaza play the fiesty southern ladies with an opinion on everything

Anyone who’s lived in the south long enough knows this woman. She may be found at the local beauty salon, or in the canned foods aisle at the Piggly Wiggly, and her attendance at church potlucks is mandatory. Wherever you find her she knows exactly what you’re doing wrong in your relationship and how to fix it. From January 13 through 29 you can see her and her friends in all their glory in Country Gravy and Other Obsessions at Theater LaB Houston (1706 Alamo), produced by Magic Butterfly Productions. Co-writers and stars Julia Kay Laskowski and Patti Rabaza play two Texas women who decide that their myriad opinions on matters of the heart qualify them to lead a relationship seminar. When their antiquated attitudes meet real-world relationships musical hilarity ensues.

The original production features Aaron Ellisor on the piano and is directed and choreographed by Michael Tapley. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling the theater Box Office at 713-868-7516

—  admin

Iconic LGBT activist Ray Hill files for Texas House seat

Ray Hill

Ray Hill

Long time Houston LGBT activist Ray Hill filed paperwork this week to run for the 147th Texas House seat against incumbent Garnet Coleman, D – Houston. The iconic (and iconoclastic) Hill said that he and Coleman agree on many issues but that he had “some issues  that aren’t on the table in Austin.”

Specifically Hill has concerns with the legislature’s approach to criminal justice issues. “The Texas legislature is a serial world class red-necking competition,” says Hill. “What they are doing on criminal justice is wrong and it doesn’t work… we need a serious rethink.”

Coleman has a strong history of supporting LGBT legislation. For the last three sessions he has attempted to pass anti-bullying legislation that would require school districts to report instances of bullying using an enumerated list of motivating characteristics that include both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, he has also filed legislation to remove the the crime of “homosexual conduct” from the Texas penal code (a law that has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court), to equalize age of consent laws in Texas and to add gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crime law. In the 82nd legislature earlier this year Coleman authored seven pieces of legislation designed to create greater equality for LGBT people, including the first ever filing of legislation to standardize change of gender marker procedures for the transgender community and the first effort to repeal the state’s constitutional prohibition against marriage equality.

Hill recognizes Coleman’s historic contributions, “The incumbent and I agree on a lot of issues,” says Hill, “but we don’t tell young gay people ‘if you work real hard and go to school and do your best you can grow up to have straight friends in Austin who like you.’ No, we tell them ‘if you work hard they can grow up to be Mayor of Houston, or City Supervisor of San Francisco.’”

When asked why the community would be better served by him than Coleman, a 20 year legislative veteran, Hill replies “I understand how government works. A freshman legislator can’t do anything more than irritate, but that’s about all any member of the minority party can do. On that level the incumbent and I are on the same level… I think we need somebody obnoxious [in the legislature] who’s going to purposefully rub the cat hair the wrong direction.”

Since being elected to the legislature for the first time in 1992 Coleman has been unopposed in 5 of his 9 primary reelection bids. No primary challenger to Coleman has pulled more than 21% of the vote.

—  admin

Get the blues with Bill Longhorse at Free Man

Blue Monday

The blues on a holiday? Don’t worry. It’s a good thing when it’s Bill Longhorse as your guide. The jazz guitarist who’s played with both Tripping Daisy and the Polyphonic Spree offers a healthy and eclectic dose of both blues and jazz tonight to wind down your three-day weekend. And likely, you can get some nosh to go with the tunes.

DEETS: The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626 Commerce St. 7 p.m. FreemanDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Steve Crowston’s Navy Commander Dubbed Him ‘Fagmeister’ + ‘Romo’s Bitch.’ Now Who’s The Bitch?

Ensign Steve Crowston, a junior Navy officer, didn't appreciate being nicknamed "gay boy" and "fagmeister" by comrades and senior officers, so he filed a harassment complaint last February — and saw his case dismissed in May. Bullshit, thought Crowston, who filed an appeal two months later, and added to his complaint that he was since subject to retaliation over his initial complaint. Things just came down in his favor. Finally.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  David Taffet

Who’s The Gay Senator Larry Flynt Is Going To Out?

Who needs old Jack Kemp rumors when you can have present day mudslinging courtesy Larry Flynt? The Hustler publisher, who's had a long-standing million dollar offer for anyone who can prove they had sex with hooker lover Sen. David Vitter, says the coming months might see him reveal a closeted senator.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Who’s HRC Giving $150,000? (Surprise: This Time It’s Not The DNC!)

Making good on an earlier promise, the Human Rights Campaign is giving away 0,000 — to match Target's cash and in-kind services donation to MN Forward — to Tom Emmer-attack PAC WIN Minnesota (0,000); OutFront Minnesota (,000); and to pro-LGBT candidates including Mark Dayton (,000). It should be quite the scene in Minnesota this weekend, as HRC chief Joe Somonese addresses the HRC Twin Cities fundraising dinner, where Dayton will appear. I guess this is the definition of a non-knee jerk reaction?


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Dacus right about it all being a game, wrong about who’s offside

This is the Pacific Justice Institute’s Brad Dacus, responding to his organization’s defeated attempt to force Attorney General Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to defend Prop 8:

People on the left and right should both be mourning the fact that the attorney general and the governor are reneging on their oaths of office

“That’s like having a football team and saying it’s your strategy to not show up for the game. That’s not strategy, that’s surrender” [SOURCE]

Only problem for Dacus? His “team” is playing a game that fundamentally breaks the rules! There already was a match: Team Bias fouled, Team Equality calledlucy-charlie-football them out on it, and Referee Walker sided with the rules that were provided to the game by our nation’s governing documents. Now they who wish to keep all gay people on the sidelines are trying to save face, requesting another chance on the playing field to try to adjust the playbook ever so slightly, in hopes that the same basic runs and passes and kicks and goals will for some reason deliver a winning score. But Coaches Brown and Schwarzenegger are simply saying, “Nuh uh, sorry — you don’t get to schedule a scrimmage here, there, and anywhere simply because you’re obsessed with a game that you were never qualified to play! Not if you expect us to show up, you don’t.

Surrender? No, no, Bradley. Try: Refusing to surrender to your side, which has been playing political and cultural football with LGBT lives and loves for longer than any of us care to remember!




Good As You

—  John Wright

Dan Savage: Why should we care who’s in charge if Dems never really do what they promise?

Dan makes a rather interesting argument. While on smaller issues, it matters greatly if the Democrats are in charge instead of the Republicans, on the big issues, the GOP rarely rolls anything back, and the Democrats rarely roll anything forward. And he’s right.

Here’s what happens to the gays and our issues when Republicans win the White House or control Congress: not a whole hell of a lot. There’s no progress on our issues under Republicans—all forward momentum ceases—but things don’t get appreciably worse.* We have to endure small outrages and insults, put up with slights, and be vigilant about legislative malice, but we don’t see a big rollback of previously secured rights. The Bush administration got everything it wanted out of Congress but it didn’t get the FMA or a ban on same-sex couples adopting. Eight years of Bush meant no progress at the federal level on our issues—lots of bullshit at the state level in the form of anti-gay marriage amendments (most of them orchestrated by some straight guy named Ken Mehlman)—but no ground lost.

When we open our wallets for Democrats—and vote for them—the hope is that electing a Democratic president and Congress will result in significant progress on our issues. That’s not just our delusional hope; that was an explicit promise made to us by Democrats. Once the Democrats were in power, everyone from Obama on down promised us, we would see real and significant progress on our issues: an end to DADT and DOMA, action on ENDA, a president willing to use the bully pulpit to aggressively defend our rights. But if, as we’ve seen, working to elect a Democratic president and give Democrats control of Congress results in no progress on our issues—no action on DADT, ENDA, or DOMA—then why the fuck should we bother?

If we get no progress under Democrats (just empty promises meant to excite their base), but no regress under Republicans (just empty threats meant to excite their base), why should we waste our time—and our money—worrying about who’s in charge




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright