Time to watch the fur fly

TBRU turns 21 with a Mardi Gras party, and gay Dallas is getting in on the act


OTTERS AND GRIZZLIES AND CHASERS, OH MY! | TBRU weekend includes Aussie hottie DJ Matt Effect spinning at Fur Ball.

There’s something magical about turning 21. You can drink legally, just eight years after you first started. You’re considered an adult for all purposes except car rental and paying back your student loans. You feel mature, but are still young enough to turn heads.

It must be the same for the Texas Bear Round Up, the annual post-hibernation gathering of fleshy and hirsute gay men (and their followers), which the Dallas Bears has been putting on now for two decades. For the 21st annual event — which takes place this weekend at two host hotels, as well as various venues throughout the gayborhood — organizers have chosen a Mardi Gras theme. And why not? Mardi Gras is the epitome of reckless abandon, a carnival atmosphere where the pleasures of the flesh in this world outrank better judgment. Which is exactly what turning 21 feels like.

There are a variety of formal events scheduled for the weekend. In addition to games at Love Field Hotel and Suites and pool parties and the vendors market at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, plus Saturday night’s Mr. TBRU contest, there will be excursions across Dallas: Friday night’s BearDance at Station 4 features a guest appearance from Willam Belli of RuPaul’s Drag Race; the Dallas Eagle, Round-Up Saloon and Cedar Springs Tap House will each host events; and Club Dallas and Midtowne Spa will serve as day trips for attendees.

There are non-official events as well, with New York promoter Joe Fiore bringing his FurBall to Marty’s Live on Saturday, with Sydney’s DJ Matt Effect headlining and Dallas’ DJ Prince P opening. And the Hidden Door is once again home of the traditional “church” outing for Sunday.

Below is a schedule of major planned events. You can also find more at TBRU.org.

 — Arnold Wayne Jones



Willam Belli performs at BearDance on Saturday, March 12.

Friday, March 11

• At the host hotels
Noon — Pool Party (indoor pool!) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Noon — Cards Against Humanity; Bear-aoke at Love Field Hotel.
2:30 p.m. — Bear Family Feud at Love Field Hotel.
4:30 p.m. — Bear Bingo with Sister Helen Holy at Love Field Hotel.

• Excursions (all buses leave from Crowne Plaza)
11 a.m. — Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
11 a.m. — Bishop Arts Food Tour.
2 p.m. — Spa trip to Club Dallas.
5:30 p.m. — Cigar trip to Blue Smoke.
8 p.m. — BearDance at Station 4 with DJ Roke Cabrera and DJ Chris Spear, plus a performance from Drag Racer Willam Belli in the Rose Room, with Rick and Joe from Where the Bears Are taking photos and doing a meet-and-greet.

Saturday, March 12

• At the host hotels

Noon — Pool party at Crowne Plaza.
Noon — Bear Trivia at Love Field Hotel.
2:30 p.m. — Naughty Bear Bingo at Love Field Hotel.
8:30 p.m. — Mr. TBRU Contest at the Crowne Plaza.
11 p.m. — Underwear auction at the Crowne Plaza.

• Excursions
11 a.m. — Noble Rey Brewery tour.
11:30 a.m. — Spa trip to Midtowne Spa.
5:30 p.m. — Family Dinner at The Ranch.

• Also featured
9 p.m. — FurBall at Marty’s Live with DJ Matt Effect.
Sunday, March 13

• Excursions
11:40 a.m. — Shuttles begin to leave for TBRU Texas Barbecue at the Round-Up Saloon.
3 p.m. — “Church” at the Hidden Door.
4 p.m. Spa trip to Club Dallas.
5 p.m. — Official TBRU After-Party: Trash Disco at Dallas Eagle with DJ Blaine Soileau.
6 p.m. — Cigar Party at Cedar Springs Tap House.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Magnum ice cream urges: Be True To Your Pleasure

I think I need some ice cream. Some Magnum ice cream.

(And P.S.: Looking good, Willam Belli.)

—  Tammye Nash

The wit and wisdom of Leslie Jordan

IMG_3157In this week’s cover story, I interviewed Leslie Jordan, Del Shores and Emerson Collins about their upcoming appearances in Dallas at both a fundraiser for Al McAffrey and screenings of their film Southern Baptist Sissies. As with most interviews, your subjects say a lot more than you can use in the final story. Most of the time, you just let it go. But when Leslie Jordan is talkin’, there are just too many gems to let them be lost forever.

Here, then, are some of the great comments Leslie made during our talk that I didn’t have room for in the story. Enjoy!

On the scope of his fame: I was performing at the Leicester Square Playhouse in London — you know what’s really popular over there? Sordid Lives! Who knew? Anyway, I was walking down the street at Piccadilly Circus and this cab slows down and the cabbie shouts, “Can you see my pussy now?” Then he took off, laughing! But I got misty eyed. People are screaming my lines at me out of taxicabs — I’m an international star!

On interacting with his co-stars: I was doing a show with an actress who plays one of the maids on Downton Abbey, her name is Siobhan Finneran and she tells me, “Just call be Shiv.” “Shiv?!” I said. “In American, ‘Shiv’ is what they stab people with in prison!”

On his rent-boy obsession: I spent three weeks in Puerto Vallarta [recently]. The best part of being there are the beautiful brown boys who hang out in the square. They’re all married straight boys with children, and all you have to say is, “Do you need a little diaper money?”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Willam Belli’s makeup lesson

18Drag Racer and Ticked Off Trannies actor Willam Belli — last seen in Del Shores’ Southern Baptist Sissies and soon to be featured in the North Texas-shot Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus — made this video last year in which he gives a tutorial in applying makeup. But not any ol’ style of makeup — drag queen makeup. Grrls work it!

Anyway, it’s a cool behind-the-scenes look at the drag process with a lot of shade thrown in among the eye shadow. Watch it after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: “Southern Baptist Sissies’ trailer, at Q Cinema Thursday

This week, I reviewed Southern Baptist Sissies, Del Shores’ filmed version of his play, which opens the 15th Q Cinema tomorrow night. To help prime the pump for the event, then, I offer you the film’s trailer, after the break.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus’ to start filming in Texas next month

Israel lunaIt’s official: Filmmaker (and Dallas Voice video contributor) Israel Luna has gotten the financing (and even international distribution) in place for his new film, Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus. The unofficial second installment in a proposed trilogy of satires that send-up traditional exploitation films but add a gay/transgender element, it concerns drag queens standing up against the zombie apocalypse armed only with their pumps and pump-action shotguns and a badass attitude.

The film will begin shooting on Oct. 7 and continue through most of the month in small towns around the state, including Graham, Eliasville, Olney and Mergerel. Luna describes it as “pro-Christian, pro-spirituality and pro-equality.” It will — as did his transpoitational grindhouse film Ticked-Off Trannies with Knivesfeature a cast of drag divas, including RuPaul’s Drag Racer Willam Belli.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas drag diva Erica Andrews dies

Erica ANdrews

Erica Andrews, a nationally known trans woman and drag diva who headlined the Dallas-filmed indie flick Ticked Off Trannies with Knives, died last night in Chicago from a lung infection, according to reports.

Andrews, who was in her 40s, was the “drag mother” of RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Roxxxy Andrews. She appeared with former Drag Racer and Ticked Off co-star Willam Belli at his show at the Rose Room in December. “A Goddess just met God,” Belli tweeted last night when word broke of her passing last night — ironically, as the latest episode of Drag Race aired on Logo. “I love you Erica Andrews,” Belli added.

“I’m sad. It came as such a shock,” said Ronald Radwanski, a local painter and director of the ilume Gallerie on Cedar Springs. “I didn’t even know she was sick. The last time we talked was when my nephew moved to Chicago. She was loving living in Chicago with her boyfriend, Juan.”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: ‘This Boy is a Bottom’

From the queens who brought you the Chick-fil-A video to the tune of Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” — including Ticked Off Trannies with Knives star (and Drag Race contestant) Willam Belli — comes the latest video, inappropriate for most workplaces. At least, if you play it with the volume up. But go ahead, put on your headphones and enjoy.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Luna launches Kickstarter campaign “For Jesus”

I imagine that Israel Luna’s resume lists three skills: (1) make movies; (2) throw parties; (3) stir up controversy. It’s not enough that he pissed off a few members of the trans community with his campy blaxploitation-esque grindhouse Ticked Off Trannies with Knives (even though the movie was all about empowerment); now he’s doing his best to anger the Christian right with his latest. The title? Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus. (We imagine the zombie libby won’t be too happy, either.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

In defense of Chik-Fil-A (sort of)

Drag Racer and my former roommate Willam Belli was kicked off by RuPaul this week for still mysterious reasons related to a rule violation (Adderall addiction? Improper phone use?) but he turned lemons into lemonade by releasing at the same time this hysterical music video parody that asks: Is it still an endorsement if drag queens like your product? Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones