“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

Lots to do this Halloween night

This Halloween is full of treats

So many treats tonight, and so little time. Saturday is all about decisions and it’s like you can’t make a wrong one. If you’re handy and have a couple of 5-Hour energy drinks, you could fit in a haunted house, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas masquerade ball and of course, what’s Halloween without the block party? The best part is, this is just a sampling of all that’s going on tonight. Keep your eyes open for more Halloween events and parties. Or just pick up this week’s issue. Happy trick-or-treating.

DEETS: Oak Lawn Halloween 2011, 3900 Cedar Springs Road. 7 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.

Masquerade 2011. Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd. 7 p.m. $25. TWCD.org.

Screams Theme Park, 2511 FM 66, Waxahachie. 7:30 p.m. $25. ScreamsParks.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Starvoice • 09.16.11

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Twiggy turns 62 on Monday. Known mostly for her mod, androgynous look of the ’60s, the style icon was one of fashion’s first supermodels. She returned to fashion somewhat as a judge on America’s Next Top Model, but left in 2007. Also a singer, she is working on a new album of ballad covers due in November.

…………………

THIS WEEK

Mars entering Leo inflates energy and egos, and trine to Uranus in Aries, will lead to unexpected results. Stubborn assertion will lead to wacky disasters. Be bold, but adaptive and humble for best results.

…………………

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Self-consciousness leads you to fashion disasters. Play with a new look where nobody except a trusted friend can to see it, just so you can be satisfied that it is indeed wrong for you.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Domestic victories make you cocky.  Better to offer an olive branch and build reconciliation. Don’t dread the cake with all those candles. Focus on accomplishments and goals.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Count on your friends to help you get ahead. Keep your eyes open to colleagues who might double-cross you. Don’t worry: A rude surprise can prove a blessing in disguise.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Teamwork gets anything accomplished, so be attentive to those who can make or break your efforts. They’re inclined to support you, but they want credit and generally deserve it.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Focus on your career and getting ahead. You can focus on your goals with little interference. The boss is about to take notice and is likely to be very supportive. Just let your work speak for itself.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Connect with older, well-educated people. You can learn a lot and get a clearer idea of your direction in life. You can’t help but say the wrong thing to your partner, but you’ll be fine.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Even sweet, affable chatter can get annoying. Staying between the extremes is your biggest challenge. Lean to the quiet side. Letting them wonder will arouse more interest in you.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
You want to have fun, but work demands time and energy. Getting boisterous upsets things and exposes resentments. It doesn’t matter if they’re jealous. Focus your energies productively.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Be as productive as possible while your discipline and drive are especially sharp. Worries about the future are distractions. Just stay the course; keep putting one foot in front of the other.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
The coming social season puts you in greater demand. Fix up your home now to be ready for company then. Friends’ one-upmanship will throw you off your game. Ignore it.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Social opportunities abound. You’re happier at home with your dearest and nearest, and some of your favorite recipes, but get out and develop connections. They’ll serve you well.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Your state of mind changes more than your finances, but you can relax. Your energy is cranking up and leads you into interesting adventures. Look for new ideas, not arguments!

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

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

PHOTOS: Response to ‘The Response’ begins

Riki Miller, Zombie McZee and Britney Miranda.

The responses to “The Response” are under way in Houston. First out of the gate was Friday night’s LGBT Texans Against Hate Rally.  Despite temperatures that had barely come down from the triple digits, Houstonians thronged to Tranquility Park in downtown. Beyond commenting on the temperature, the common theme of most of the speakers was that the American Family Association and Gov. Perry’s rally is not representative of Houston and is not welcomed.

Robert Shipman, president of the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats, said: “I kinda think Rick Perry chose the wrong city!”

He continued “They are the bigots, we are not … we are Houston.”

“I guess we should take comfort in the fact that, except for some of his staffers, [Gov. Perry] couldn’t find enough homegrown bigotry in the state of Texas to put on the event himself,” said Mike Craig, co-chair of Out & Equal Houston. “He had to bus them in from Tupulo, Miss., and Colorado Springs, Colo.” Craig was referring to American Family Association (based in Tupulo) and Focus on the Family (based in Colorado Springs), both co-sponsors of “The Response.”

State Rep.  Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, provided the closing address. He criticized Gov. Perry for using divisive religious rhetoric for political gain. “Being here today I’m proud that we are fighting back against a narrow, theocratic view of the world that we live in and of our country that says that people are not welcomed — that says that people are bad because of who they are. That is not America,” said Coleman. “That is what is dividing our city, our state and our country.”

Stay tuned to Instant Tea for more coverage of the LGBT community’s response to “The Response.” More photos from the LGBT Texans Against Hate Rally below (click to enlarge):

—  admin

Perfect match

Bob Nunn and Tom Harrover have been a couple for 4 decades. But it wasn’t until a near tragedy that they realized they were truly meant for each other

LIFE GOES ON | Nunn, right, and Harrover stand before a project commissioned for the convention center hotel. Four years ago, Nunn was near death because of kidney disease. (Rich Lopez/Dallas Voice)

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Bob Nunn agrees with the adage that the longer a couple lives together, the more they begin to look alike. Nunn and his partner Tom Harrover might not look that similar on the outside, but they match in a way that few couples do.

Let’s start with some history.

The two have that classic meet-cute that began on the wrong note. As Nunn tells it, Harrover was the dullest person he’d ever met —the two just didn’t like each other. Then, following a spontaneous invitation to a midnight movie, they ended up hitting it off. That movie led to conversation and then dating.

Forty-two years later, they still watch movies — as Nunn puts it, “I couldn’t get rid of him.”

A job in Houston took Nunn away from Harrover for three months, but old-fashioned letter writing kept the newbie relationship afloat.

“Tom had been writing me letters. He’s a very good writer,” Bob boasts. “He basically proposed to me by letter.”

They committed to each other, moving in and pursuing their careers: Harrover in architecture and Nunn teaching art. For 37 years, they lived in “a fabulous house” in Hollywood Heights. Life was good.

Then their life took a sharp turn.

“When we got together, Tom knew I had a kidney disease,” Nunn says. “Nothing was really a problem until about 30 years after we met — my kidneys began to fail and I had to start dialysis.”

Nunn registered with Baylor for the national organ donor list, but the experience was frustrating:  They received little response or encouragement from the hospital.

“Bob was on a downhill slide and the frustration with Baylor seemed like they were stonewalling us,” Harrover says. “We talked about going to Asia even. It felt like they didn’t want to deal with a senior-age gay couple.”

A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YOU | Bob Nunn is officially retired from teaching art, but continues to paint.

Then Harrover suggested something novel: He could donate his kidney to the organ list, with the idea that Nunn could get a healthy one.  Sort of a kidney exchange.

In desperation, they went back to their physician, who enrolled them in St. Paul Hospital’s then-new program for kidney transplant. The experience was a complete turnaround. Nunn was tested and processed immediately while Harrover prepped for his organ donation to an anonymous recipient.

Kidney transplants require a seven-point match system; a minimum of three matches is necessary for the recipient to be able to accept the organ into the body.

The tests revealed that Harrover’s kidney matched Nunn’s on all seven points.

“We assumed I would donate mine for use elsewhere,” Harrover says. “It never occurred to me that we’d be a match. The odds for that are off the charts.”

“See what happens when you live together for so long?” he chuckles.

Just six months after entering St. Paul’s program in 2007, they were on the operating table. They were the first direct living donor pair in the program. “It was all fairly miraculous,” Nunn understates.

Four years later, both men are doing well. Although officially retired, they both continue to work: Harrover does the occasional contract job while Nunn is currently on commission for an art project at the new convention center hotel. Outside of any official work, each interjects their quips about home, life be it cooking together or working on the lawn.

The obvious question for them might be “What’s the secret?” But they don’t see it just that way. Their relationship boils down to the obvious virtues of trust, respect and compromise.

“Selfishness doesn’t rear its ugly head in this relationship,” Harrover says. “You just have to be willing to accommodate, support and encourage what the other is interested in.”

Nunn agrees. “I would not be doing what I’m doing without his support.”

Nunn says if there is a secret, it’s akin to the dynamic on a playground: Like each other and share. If you don’t share your whole life, there isn’t a relationship, he says. At this point, Harrover says it would be impossible to separate. On paper, they are so intertwined with their house and financials, he jokes they are “Siamese twins.”

They’ve witnessed a lot in their decades together, including something they never expected to come to pass in their lifetimes: Same-sex marriage. Coming from a time when just being gay conflicted with moral codes set by their jobs, they wonder over the progress made in recent years. (They were officially married in Boston in October 2009.)

“I’m confident that it will happen for everyone,” Harrover says. “I’m sorry that it’s moving at a glacial pace, but it has that same inevitability as a glacier. We’ll get there.”

But nothing compares to the bond Harrover and Nunn already have, a shared intimacy few couples could imagine. Same-sex marriage was merely unlikely; what they have experienced is miraculous.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Sue Ellen’s Date Our Gay tonight

Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places

Gay men don’t expect much to find a date at a lesbian club, but tonight that changes. The crew of Sue Ellen’s is auctioning off their one gay member for a date and a good cause. Don’t let the rain get you down, you might end up with a date.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Peter LaBarbera freely admits to using Paul Cameron’s discredited work, sees nothing wrong with it

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

If you want the quintessential fact why the Southern Poverty Law Center is correct in calling out certain religious right organizations for their anti-gay bias, check out this portion of an interview between members of two of these groups -  Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth and Martha Kleder of the Concerned Women for America:
 

Transcript:

Kleder: One of the things I've also noticed is that the SPLC seems to be riled by the  fact . . . uh . . . if they don't particularly like your source that you document then you must be a hate group.

LaBarbera: Paul Cameron

Kleder:  Yeah.

LaBarbera: They say if you cite Paul Cameron, then you are a hater. I mean that's ridiculous. You know there is a researcher who just came out and found that Paul Cameron's work on the greater likelihood of homosexual adoptive parents to have . . . for the child to emerge as a homosexual. He confirmed Cameron's thesis. You don't have to agree with everything Paul Cameron ever did but how proposterous to say that citing a researcher . . Paul Cameron's work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. What they've done, Martha is set up these criteria and then you violate them,  they call you a hate group, and then they have their little echo chamber on the left which reports their charge. And of course the media, which really doesn't like us anyway. The media is very pro-gay, they cite us and so it begins to take a life of its own.

One of the main reasons why religious right groups (i.e. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, The Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, etc.) have been profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-gay hate groups is because of their repeated citings of the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. They use his work to spread propaganda about lgbts.

As all of us, if the not the vast majority of us, knows, Cameron is a researcher who has made a name for himself by creating studies designed to demonize the lgbt community.  These studies for the most part have been published in “vanity” or “pay-for-publish” journals and they are not “peer-reviewed” in the normal sense. No “peer” who objects to Cameron's work has the right to remove it from the journal.

He has also been discredited and censured by many group and individuals on the left, the right, and in the middle due to his bad research techniques. Several of his studies have been criticized for such errors as having small sample sizes, showing an anti-gay bias in interviews, and not having enough responses to establish a suitable analysis.

Let's take a quick look at his history:

“Right now, here in Lincoln, there is a 4-year-old boy who has had his genitals almost severed from his body at Gateway in the rest room with a homosexual act… It’s really awkward. I could see where Gateway would want to suppress this. I could see where the parents would want to suppress it. It could be just a rumor. But enough things have happened recently so that such a thing doesn’t have to be invented.” – Paul Cameron told this story to a group in 1982 in Lincoln, NB in an attempt to kill a human rights ordinance,  Lincoln Star May 8, 1982

The story was discovered to be a hoax and Cameron was called out in the local newspaper-  “A leading opponent of the proposed Lincoln Human Rights Amendment spreads rumors of an alleged vicious incident calculated to damage the proposal’s chances at the polls. When asked about it, he admits the rumor was without foundation. He refused to say from whom he heard the rumor. Nonetheless, he still insists it ‘could be true’, even though responsible authorities in the city say there was not a shred of evidence such an incident ever took place. The seed is planted, to the contrary.” – Editorial. Lincoln Star (May 10, 1982), as quoted by Brown, Robert D.; Cole, James K. Letter to the Editor, Nebraska Medical Journal 70, no. 11 (November 1985)

. Cameron has also had numerous condemnations rained down on him by the medical community:

“(Cameron) misrepresents my findings and distorts them to advance his homophobic views. I make a very clear distinction in my writing between pedophilia and homosexuality, noting that adult males who sexually victimize young boys are either pedophilic or heterosexual, and that in my research I have not found homosexual men turning away from adult partners to children . . . I consider this totally unprofessional behavior on the part of Dr. Cameron and I want to bring this to your attention. He disgraces his profession.” – Dr. A. Nicholas Groth in letter written to the Nebraska Board of Examiners of Psychologists on August 21, 1984
 
“Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – American Psychological Association, 1983

 
The science and profession of psychology in Nebraska as represented by the Nebraska Psychological Association, formally dissociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality. Further, the Nebraska Psychological Association would like it known that Dr. Cameron is not a member of the Association. Dr. Cameron was recently dropped from membership in the American Psychological Association for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – Nebraska Psychological Association, 1984

 
Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” – American Sociological Association, 1985

The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality. – Canadian Psychological Association, 1996

And while we are at it, let's not forget those on the right who dismiss Cameron's work:

“Given what I now know, I believe there are flaws with Paul Cameron's study. One cannot extrapolate from his methodology and say that the average male homosexual life span is 43 years.” – former Ronald Regan Cabinet member William Bennett criticizing Cameron's “gay lifespan study.” – New Republic (1998, February 23, page 4)

This article has been removed due to the inaccuracies surrounding the research of Paul Cameron. – A posting on the webpage of Ex-gay group Exodus International

And if that's not enough to convince you of Cameron's lack of credibility, check out various comments he has made regarding the lgbt community:

“What homosexuals do is so incredibly stupid, so patently absurd and antibiological, that only a foolish society would take their whimpering about ‘equal rights with heterosexuality’ seriously . . . Are we supposed to feel so sorry for them that we join them in the march to the cemetery?” – Paul Cameron, The Advocate, October 29, 1985

“At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, ‘Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.’ According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.” – Mark E. Pietrzyk, New Republic, October 3, 1994

“If you isolate sexuality as something solely for one’s own personal amusement, and all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get – and that is what homosexuality seems to be — then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men, and women on women if all you are looking for is an orgasm.” - Paul Cameron, Rolling Stone, March, 18, 1999

Cameron is the religious right's dirty little secret. Many of the organizations named as anti-gay hate groups by the SPLC  have used Cameron's studies even though they are aware of his dubious history of condemnations.

However, many of them won't admit to this fact.That is except for Peter LaBarbera. And what makes it worse is that LaBarbera is trying to justify work he knows has credibility problems.

And by the way, LaBarbera's claim that another researcher proved Cameron's thesis about children in same-sex households is also incorrect. LaBarbera failed to mention that the researcher, Walter Schumm, used the same bad methodology Cameron used to come to his original thesis:

Schumm’s “meta-analysis” (and Cameron’s before him) doesn’t even have the benefit of being built off of random convenience samples. There were no convenience samples in any of the ten prior works that Schumm used for his meta-analysis. In fact, they weren’t even professional studies. They were popular books! That’s right, each of the ten sources that Schumm used to construct his “meta-analysis” were from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on Amazon.com. Schumm read the books, took notes on each parent and child described in the book, examined their histories, and counted up who was gay and who was straight among the kids.

But here is the important thing – with Cameron's credibility problem, if he were “publishing studies” about the African-American community, Jewish community, or women, then he and those who freely cite his work would be thought of as either racist, anti-Semitic, or gender biased.

So what's the difference between Cameron's work impugning any of these groups and what he is doing to the lgbt community? Why shouldn't be he and those who use his work be thought of as “haters” in spite of the fact that they can hide their lies behind the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality?

At any rate, the usage of Cameron's work certainly does put a monkeywrench into religious rights claims that they are being “targeted” by the SPLC because of their “Judeo-Christian” beliefs.

I never knew that freely citing research known to be sloppy and inaccurate was a tenet of  “Judeo-Christian” beliefs.

Related posts:

Homophobic 'researcher' Paul Cameron in all of his repulsive glory

More homophobic lies from the Paul Cameron Poland tour

Hat tip to Kyle Mantyla of People for the American Way's Right  Wing Watch , Box Turtle Bulletin, and Dr. Gregory Herek.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Watch: John McCain Wants Another ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Study, Says This One Took the Wrong Approach

McShame

John McCain discussed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on Meet the Press, and seems to be unhappy that the results of the Pentagon's DADT study were leaked, cause now he's saying he won't listen to those results:

"I will listen to our military leaders, and not a study that is leaked."

McCain also criticizes the study itself, and says it took the wrong approach:

"All four service chiefs are saying we need a thorough and complete study of the effects, not how to implement the repeal, but the effects on morale and battle effectiveness. That's what I want, and once we get this study, we need to have hearings and we need to examine it and look at whether it's the kind of study that we wanted. It isn't in my view."

I have to believe that McCain was apprised of the questions in the study before it went out, but now that it's not going his way all of a sudden the study is bad.

It appears McCain won't be happy until he has a study that categorically keeps gays out of the military.

David Gregory also asked what he thought of Cindy McCain's recent statements on DADT.

Said McCain: "I respect the first amendment rights of every member of my family."

(Would love to know what went on behind-the-scenes that caused Cindy's swift turnabout.)

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP


HRC released a statement reacting to McCain's remarks:

“Obviously the senator doesn’t like the preliminary findings of the Pentagon’s DADT survey, which found a clear majority of U.S. service members are okay serving with their gay and lesbian comrades. The senator has known all along the study developed by the Pentagon Working Group was looking at how to repeal DADT—not whether to do so.

“McCain has said he wanted to hear from the senior military leadership. He heard loud and clear from Secretary Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, last February when both were firmly in support of repeal.

“McCain has said he wanted to hear from rank-and-file troops. He has just heard loud and clear from them through the survey. But he doesn’t like their answer– and is stonewalling, trying to run out the clock on repeal by calling for congressional hearings.

“The truth is McCain is increasingly alone in his irrational opposition to open service. Sixty-four percent of Republicans disagree with McCain and favor lifting the ban. No matter the evidence, McCain will use whatever tactics at his disposal to not only stop repeal from moving forward, but will hold hostage the most critical military defense bill to do so.”


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin