The third annual Dallas Voice Readers Voice Awards — where readers decide what’s what — is like a journey into the Metroplex’s gay urban jungle. It’s a dense forest of goods and services, people and organizations, places and even gayborhoods.

And not all of it is butt-smooching praise.

There were plenty of categories for readers to show disrespect: Local Government Dunce; I’ll Never Eat There Again (a three-way tie); and Get Me Out of Here travel destinations (page 92).

But the Readers Voice is also a look back at what gay Dallas was like in 2007-08. And there’s an avalanche of stuff to be proud of, with our lesbian sheriff, and how Big D almost elected a gay mayor.

The cover concept, illustrated by Mark Stokes, was inspired by transgender restaurateur Monica Greene. In Dallas Voice’s 20th anniversary edition, Green recalled the first time she saw the Dallas skyline: How the shimmering green-blues of Bank of America Plaza, Renaissance Tower and Fountain Place rose from the horizon and resembled the Emerald City. And how

I-35 became her Yellow Brick Road.

Just flipping through these pages, you can see where we spend our time and our money, how we stay in shape, what we find entertaining, who are our friends and how strong our community is. Enjoy. And make sure you vote next year.

— Daniel A. Kusner

This year, Lady Luck kissed Aaron Wische, pictured. – TERRY THOMPSON/Dallas Voice

Aaron Wische’s Readers Voice online ballot was picked at random. He won two round-trip tickets on American Airlines.

Where’s Aaron going? Who’s going with him? He answered some questions about his upcoming travel plans.

Occupation: Executive producer, special projects KTVT-TV Channel 11.

Where did you grow up? Houston.

How long have you lived in Dallas? Nine months.

When did you fill out your Readers Choice on-line ballot? I don’t remember when. But I do know I was at home, while eating and watching TV. I’m the king of multi-tasking.

In the past, how has your luck paid off when it comes to winning jackpots and prizes? Haven’t won a thing in my life. I had to investigate to make sure this wasn’t a scam.

Have you planned where you might go with the winning tickets? Somewhere warm, sunny and expensive.

Do you know whom you might take with you? The love of my life, Derek.

Most exotic destination you’ve ever traveled to: Machu Picchu, Peru.

Favorite thing about leaving town: Taking a break from routine.

What do you dread having to do in order to prepare for travel? Finding a pet-sitter for our dogs, Moses and Grover.

See the world before you leave it — name three destinations you want to
visit before you croak:
Would love to go to Australia, China and Thailand.

1. Grocery Store
2. Airline
3. Shopping Center/Mall
4. Bank
5. All-Around Bar
6. Movie Theater
7. Mexican Restaurant
8. Breakfast Spot  
9. Hardware/Home Improvement Store
10.Online Travel Site

Item that received the least number of votes: Fertility Clinic.

— Terry Thompson

Filling out the ballot for the Dallas Voice Reader’s Choice Awards can be exhausting — especially if voters dared to cast their write-in selections in all 107 items. For 2008, we reduced the ballot from 13 categories in 2007 to nine categories: travel, nightlife, services, metro, shop, health, entertainment, dine and pets.

Y’all could vote as many times as you wanted. So it’s impossible to calculate how many individuals voted — especially since Cassie Nova (Best Drag Queen!) stuffed the ballot box.

Online voting started: Dec. 28, 2007 and ended on Jan. 31, 2008. During that time, 2,056 ballots were cast, and 12,112 items had to be calculated.

Editors: Daniel A. Kusner, Tammye Nash
Writers: Daniel A. Kusner, Arnold Wayne Jones, Tammye Nash, John Wright, Jenny Block, Truitt Ray
Proofreading: Tammye Nash, Daniel A. Kusner
Ballot tallying: Terry Thompson
Research: Lacey Brutschy, Daniel McGlory

Sales: Leo Cusimano, Gary Karwacki, Chris Edwards, Tony Martinez, Tyler Johns
Promotions manager: Kris Martin

Illustration: Mark Stokes
Photography: Daniel A. Kusner, Bryan Amann, Terry Thompson
Production designer: Michael Stephens
Graphic artists: Michael Stephens, Kristina Walton

Publisher: Robert Moore
Controller: Terry Thompson
Circulation: Maryann Ramirez

Click the category links below to see the winners!

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 21, 2008

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