Woman pleads guilty in case of videotaped beating of trans woman at McDonald’s

Teona Brown, 19, has pled guilty Thursday, Aug. 4, to first degree assault charges and a hate crime charge in connection with the beating of transgender woman Chrissy Polis last April in Towson,

Chrissy Polis

Md. The attack was captured on video by a McDonald’s employee — who filmed the assault rather than step in and try to stop it — last April. The video went viral online and was used, along with new footage from a surveillance camera, in court hearings this week. CBS Baltimore has this report on the plea.

Conviction on a first degree assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, and a hate crime conviction could add another 10 years. Because Brown pled guilty to the attack, prosecutors are recommending that the judge sentence her to five years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been set for next month.

Polis was present in court on Thursday, but told reporters she was nervous about being there and had no comment. “I just want to lay low and keep my life as normal as possible,” she said.

A second person charged in the attack was 14 at the time and has been charged with assault as a juvenile. Because she is a minor, her identity has not been released.

Below is a video of a news report aired on the Washington, D.C., Fox news program when the attack happened. It includes video of the attack and, as State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said this week, “The severity of the beating is much easier to understand when you see a video. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, a video’s worth a million.”

—  admin

Starvoice • 05.27.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Heidi Klum turns 38 on Wednesday. The model turned TV host and producer changed the way we look at the fashion world with her very popular Project Runway. Because of the show, some gay designers have gone to be stars of their own like Austin Scarlett, Santino Rice and season four winner Christian Siriano. A Runway all-stars is apparently in the works.

…………………….

THIS WEEK

Mercury squaring Neptune in Pisces while entering Gemini inflates wonderfully imaginative notions. Jupiter entering Taurus could ground them and find profitable applications. Jupiter in Taurus for the next year should_ be good for the economy. It will be good for bankers at least.

…………………….

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Get creative. You have big challenges in the next year. Your intuition is now unusually sharp to see how you can turn those into opportunities. Spiritual guidance can be especially helpful now.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Dreams lure you too easily into never-never-lands of fantasy and escape. Sharing some of those phantasmagorical reveries with friends can help you find some practical outlet for them.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Remember the difference between dreams and goals. Friends encouraging you to chase after your dreams offer helpful inspiration, but don’t let them distract you from practical aims.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Your brain is buzzing with schemes for success. Your partner encourages all your wildest ideas. Not. You need a leveler head with a bit of critical distance to give you pragmatic advice.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Expansive, fortunate Jupiter is starting a year in your house of sex. The deeper you go the greater the rewards. Don’t be shy. Neither is without risks, but Jupiter is good to have on your side.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
You and your sweetie are due for some frolic. That could open up some questions and confusion. Keeping communications clear is a small challenge. The rewards are well worth it.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Job opportunities open up for you. Have faith in yourself. If familial encouragement is unrealistic, don’t worry about letting them down for what’s in the real world. If you’re happy, they are too.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
You’re way too open to distractions and thus, accidents. Mediation, poetry, music or art will get you back in balance. Take classes in any of those . You need new ways of seeing the world.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Struggle between your deepest desires and economic necessity feels brutal. A light, playful conversation with your partner  can help you find a way to afford your dreams, or find reconciliation.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
Whatever you have to offer, make it heard and known. Your family will back you up in your endeavors, but you really need to be very clear on who you are and what it is you’ve got.
ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Your recent lucky spree will focus more on financial fortune. Mad dreams and inspirations offer some clues. Talk out your crazy notions with friends and find a way to bring them to the bank.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Recent hard times turn around. Cash in on your good fortune. Turn your friends’ suggestions into practical ideas. Inspirations now point the way to future fulfillment of your dreams.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 27, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Light a Fire tonight at The Mac

Time to light a fire under people

When a group of friends came together to take a stance against bullying, Light a Fire was born. Now they hope to encourage many others to continue to raise awareness and educate on the issue. Fort Worth councilman Joel Burns guest speaks along with Dottie Griffith, Mike Rawlings and more at the Light a Fire inaugural event, with donations given to Youth First Texas.

DEETS: The MAC, 3120 McKinney Ave. 6:30 p.m. $25. The-Mac.org. Search “light a fire” on Facebook.

—  Rich Lopez

A Poll Worth Freeping

Public Policy Polling is asking folks to weigh in on where they should poll next? The choices? Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Washington. 

The Poll is here.

I'm recommending you surf over and click “Rhode Island.” Here's why:

It's a very easy way for our community to put good (free) data into the hands of the advocates in that state to make their case to the legislators. It's been seven months near as I can see since we've had reliable polling in Rhode Island on the issue of marriage equality. In June 2009, National Organization for Marriage was up to their usual dirty tricks. They commissioned a poll that allegedly showed 43% opposed and 36% support.

Of course, this is NOM's usual nonsense and lies. The sample pool was probably culled from a Tea Party Convention. The last poll I can find was commissioned by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in July, 2010. A survey of 502 likely voters showed very, very different results:

“Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally?”

Favor: 59%
Oppose: 31%

As the vote heats up in Rhode Island, surely NOM will be quoting their fake poll left and right. Unlike, National Organization for Marriage, however, Public Policy Polling is a well-respected pollster with creditability. If they were to release similar results at this time, it could well resonate with lawmakers who are on the fence about this issue. Fresh headlines of support can only help move that vote in our favor and marginalize the opposition.

Now, there's no guarantee that Public Policy Polling will actually ask anything about marriage equality. But with the battle looming large in that state, they'd very remiss if they didn't include a question. 

I've been assured that last time they conducted such a survey, they did indeed go with the popular vote winner. 

The Poll is here. It take just a moment to click on it. It ends Monday.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Why Electronic Arts’ It Gets Better Video Is Worth Watching

I know what you're thinking: Not another It Gets Better video. But wait! This one if from Electronic Arts, the video game producer behind Medal Of Honor and The Sims. And it stars its LGBT employees. Why is this significant? Because inside the video gaming industry, a deep secret lurks: homophobia is rampant. And it's not just what you see displayed publicly by gaming companies. As we saw with Heroes of Newerth, the institutional homophobia of the industry can leak out into game play, so just imagine what's going on inside these companies. (We've heard our fair share of stories about an unwritten Don't Ask Don't Tell rule that permeates the industry's top firms.) So this video from EA, posted on the company's official YouTube channel, is a small step to change the conversation. Yes, we've seen some positive developments, and who doesn't like the idea of developers creating a hot gay sex scene? But if we're ever going to get closer to, say, a leading gay gaming character, then we're going to have to stamp out the industry's phobia problem. And it starts with efforts like this one. Thanks, EA, for reminding us gays don't just play video games. They create them, too.


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Queerty

—  admin

A Sunday DADT Roundtable Worth Watching

AMANPOUR CLARK X390 | ADVOCATE.COM Christiane Amanpour’s panel of guests debating “don’t ask, don’t tell” on This Week included
Gen. Wesley Clark, longtime antirepeal talking head Elaine Donnelly,
and Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Sarah Palin’s endorsement worth squat in Washington. How about in your state?

Map last updated Nov. 3rd. I re-colored the WA figures to reflect outcomes as of Nov. 12th.

Sarah Palin really bombed in Washington state.  Palin endorsed Clint Didier for Senate and John Koster and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for House, according to Washington Post‘s Palin endorsement tracker (pictured right).  Didier lost in the primaries, Koster lost in the general and McMorris Rodgers was a shoe-in regardless.

There’s no doubt that some of the Republicans newly-elected to the House of Representatives were endorsed by Sarah Palin.  But in how many races was her endorsement actually meaningful?  I wonder how many times Palin stacked her “success” deck by endorsing sure-winners like Washington’s Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  

From what I can tell, the candidates that Palin endorsed in Washington all won or lost independent of her endorsement.  Below the fold are some details on the three of them.

What about in your state?  Did Palin wave a magic tea bag and influence the outcome, or was she a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing?
Clint Didier (U.S. Senate challenger)

Washington Redskins tight end turned eastern Washington alfalfa farmer and tea party darling, Clint Didier was the first candidate in Washington to be endorsed by Sarah Palin.  In a publicity stunt, Palin summoned Didier away from potential supporters at the Washington State Republican conference back across the state to Richland for a meeting.  ”All geared up for the convention. Then I got the call from Sarah,” he tweeted.

Palin’s endorsement probably didn’t hurt Didier’s tea party credibility, but it couldn’t counterbalance serious credibility flaws in the candidate like this:

Despite his fierce anti-government rhetoric, Didier’s 1000-acre Pasco farm has benefited from direct federal crop subsidies, as well as government-subsidized irrigation water. See my article on that from earlier this week.

Other embarrassments included Didier’s participation one week before the primary in a smear campaign aimed at Dino Rossi, Didier’s major Republican opponent.  A proxy war, the smear campaign was conducted by fixtures of Washington’s radical-right, Sen. Val Stevens and Pastor Joe Fuiten.  Stevens endorsed Didier, Fuiten endorsed Rossi.  Beginning with an open letter from Stevens, the Didier camp alleged that Rossi wasn’t anti-choice enough.  The unseemly sight of “pro-life” advocates turning the fetus into a political football earned the Didier campaign criticism from other conservatives.

Didier came in 3rd in the primary with only 12.8% of the vote.  Dino Rossi would go on to challenge Senator Patty Murray in the general election.

After getting routed in the primary, Didier held hostage his own endorsement of Dino Rossi, conditioning it on Rossi agreeing to pledge.

Didier said he wants Rossi to sign a pledge that he won’t raise taxes, to promise to vote against any plan to increase federal spending, and to personally sponsor the Sanctity of Life Act, a measure that would attempt to ban the U.S. Supreme Court from ruling state abortion restrictions unconstitutional.

Didier quickly became a laughingstock.

[Former state Republican Party Chairman Chris] Vance said Didier, as a political newcomer, didn’t realize how politics should be played. For example, he noted that once Didier made his demands public, Rossi would only seem weak if he agreed to them.

“I would not be so arrogant to give Clint Didier advice on how to block an outside linebacker, but he’s brand new to politics and he doesn’t know how things work,” Vance said.

John Koster (WA-2 House Challenger)

Arch-conservative” is the term that usually comes to mind when describing John Koster.  After the 2010 election, perhaps “law-breaker” and “debate-ducker” will be used as well.  Late in October Publicola reported

…Koster has been accepting illegal corporate campaign contributions. The Federal Election Commission wrote Koster an angry letter back in September, demanding he return all the campaign contributions he received from corporations during the July expenditure reporting period. (Corporations are prohibited from giving money directly to federal political campaigns). …

This quarter’s reports have just been filed, and we checked them today to see if he’d returned the money. Nope. In fact, it looks to us as if Koster is still taking contributions from corporations. Silvergate Farms LLC, Quantum Construction Inc, and Boyden Robinett Association all sound like contributors that are sure to raise flags with the FEC.

On the matter of ducking debates, by the time Koster had backed out last minute of an October 21st televised debate, he’d already ducked three previous public fora.  The press was particularly mystified over Koster’s October 21 cancellation since the reason given by his campaign was that Koster didn’t “like one of the proposed debate panelists, a reporter who works for a newspaper that endorsed him.”.  Poor performance in public debates and interviews was widely recognized to be an Achilles heel for Koster’s big endorser, Sarah Palin.  Indeed, The Stranger‘s Eli Sanders postulated that Koster was avoiding televised debates because his campaign realized that he came across as angry and extreme on television.  The best bet was to just stay out of the spotlight and try to ride the anti-incumbent wave.

Although the 2010 election result wont be officially certified until November 22nd, as of Nov. 12th Koster was trailing Rep. Rick Larsen 48.9% to 51.1% and has conceded.  A few days previously, as Koster’s election-night lead began slipping away, Koster’s campaign manager Larry Stickney “implied Democrats might try to steal the election.”

Though John Koster remains in a position to win, we are keenly aware that there are those who will do everything they can to keep this seat out of the hands of the new House majority,” Koster’s campaign manager Larry Stickney said in a statement.

Larry Stickney also managed Koster’s 2000 bid for the same seat which he also lost to Rick Larsen.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5, WA)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a 3-term Republican incumbent in a heavily Republican district covering half of eastern Washington.  Running for re-election against a little-known Democrat, McMorris Rodgers was heavily favored to win re-election before Palin’s endorsement, and did so easily.  Palin’s endorsement was entirely superfluous.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Watch: Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns and Husband J.D. Angle on ‘The Last Word’

Angle_burns

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns and his husband J.D. Angle appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell to talk about Burns' viral speech about bullying. Angle says he didn't know that Joel had even written the speech till just before he delivered it. Angle also says that he hadn't heard Joel's bullying story in 17 years of marriage.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Thomas Roberts Interviews Openly Gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Readers Voice Awards – Travel


RIGHT AT HOME: Owner Wayne Falcone polished a gem of Oak Lawn history by rescuing and reinventing the Daisy Polk House. – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST BED AND BREAKFAST


Daisy Polk Inn
2917 Reagan St., Dallas.
214-522-4692
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Daisy Suite and Reagan Suite: $150 a night.
Dickason Suite: $129 a night.
DaisyPolkInn.com

The Daisy Polk Inn is every bit the grand dame that its namesake was. Built in 1904 and fully restored by 2002, the home was first owned by, who else, Daisy Polk — an “up and coming” star (according to the Dallas Press) of the Dallas opera scene who also taught at Hockaday School for Girls and passed away in 1980.

She lived at the Reagan Street address for 60 years. The gorgeous arts and crafts home now belongs to local pharmacist Wayne Falcone, who purchased the property in 1996. He lovingly restored it to its natural and historically correct beauty with the help of Dallas antiques expert and interior designer Gerald Tomlin.

Once the home was granted historical status and licensure to become a bed and breakfast, Falcone decided to open its doors to the public.

Guests can rent any one of the three rooms or the whole place if they prefer. Unlike typical B&Bs. Falcone turns over the keys to his guests, and they have the place to themselves until morning, when breakfast is served. And breakfast at the Daisy Polk Inn is no simple affair. From the china to the home-baked goodies, it is a lavish meal that guests won’t soon forget.

— Jenny Block

 



BEST ROMANTIC GETAWAY
New Orleans, La.
Convention and Visitor’s Bureau:
NewOrleansCVB.com
Visitor’s bureau LGBT focus:
NewOrleansOnline GLBT

 

A little more than two years ago, most of America seemed to have written off New Orleans — it was destined to become a modern-day Atlantis, swallowed up by the sea and passed away into legend.

But the residents of the Crescent City would have none of that. They persevered, rehabilitating the city as quickly as possible and welcoming back tourists — especially gay tourists — with enthusiasm. (It helps that the French Quarter, the center of gay life, is above sea-level and was largely spared when the levees broke.)

Certainly bachelor revelers into great partying and easy hookups don’t have to find a reason to frequent the Big Easy other than Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence, but the city’s old antebellum charm makes it a romantic getaway for couples, too.

For exploring together, there’s the fabulous architecture, much of it spared from the hurricane: elaborate wrought iron, ethereal churches, sprawling plantations on the outskirts (including one, Houmas House, where “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte” was filmed).

Then there’s the food, an essential component whenever lovers get together. Creole and Cajun cuisine, from rich cream sauces to spices that can shoot steam from your ears, dominate, but the French influences extend all the way to the café au lait and beignets. And is there anything more romantic than a boat ride along the Mighty Mississip?

So yes, New Orleans is a great party town for solos, but we love to go there as pairs. After all, even couples know how to party.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

 


BEST AIRLINE
American Airlines
Corporate headquarters: 4333 Amon Carter Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas.
817-963-1234, 800-321-2121
Mon.-Sat. 24 hrs.
aa.com or American Airlines Rainbow

 


BEST NATIONAL ONLINE TRAVEL SITE
Travelocity
Corporate headquarters: 3150 Sabre Drive, Southlake, Texas.
888-872-8356
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Travelocity.com

BEST LOCAL ONLINE TRAVEL SITE
Best Gay Cruises
P.O. Box 59994, Dallas.
972-241-2000
Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
BestGayCruises.com


BEST BUDGET HOTEL CHAIN
La Quinta
Corporate headquarters: 909 Hidden Ridge, Suite 600, Irving, Texas.
800-642-4271
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
LQ.com


BEST LUXURY HOTEL CHAIN
Hilton Hotels
Eight hotels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
800-774-1500
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
Hilton.com


BEST DALLAS HOTEL
W Dallas-Victory
2440 Victory Park Lane, Dallas.
888-625-5144
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
WHotels.com/Dallas


BEST AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE
SuperShuttle
SuperShuttle local office: 3010 N. Airfield Drive, Suite 100, DFW Airport, Texas.
With service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Love Field and Fort Worth Meacham International Airport.
800-258-3826
Sun.-Sat. 24 hrs.
SuperShuttle.com

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY
Rainbow Ranch
1662 Limestone County Road 800, Groesbeck, Texas.
888-875-7596
Sun.-Thu. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
RainbowRanch.net

BEST LOCAL TOURIST DESTINATION
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
411 Elm St., Suite 120.
214-747-6660
Tue.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon. noon-6 p.m.
JFK.org

BEST LOCAL TOURIST TRAP
West End Historical District
214-741-7180
DallasWestEnd.org

BEST VACATION SPOT TO GET LAID
Palm Springs, Calif.
Palm Springs tourism bureau:
Palm-Springs.org


BEST EXOTIC DESTINATION
Hawaii
Official tourism site: GoHawaii.com

‘GET ME OUT OF HERE!’ DESTINATION
Jamaica
Visitor Web site: ComeToJamaica.com

These articles appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 21, 2008

—  admin