January: Nigel Garrett, 21, of Frisco is sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for assaulting a gay man he and three other men, ages 18-21, targeted using Grindr … Donald Trump ends 2017 by firing the remaining 10 members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS … Auntjuan Wiley is announced as the new president and CEO of Community Unity Respect Education Inc. (C.U.R.E.) when Roseann Rosetti resigns and becomes president emeritus of the organization she cofounded … Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth celebrates its 25th anniversary … Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Dallas Eagle owner Jeffrey Payne launch their campaigns for governor … Dallas County GOP files suit to have 128 candidates thrown off the Dallas County Democratic Primary ballot. The suit is later thrown out by the judge … Dallas entertainer Kennedy Davenport appears on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3, eventually making it to the top three.
February: Jessica Gonzalez launches her campaign for the Texas House District 104 seat challenging incumbent Roberto Alonzo … Equality Texas’ Dallas steering committee hosts the Love Equality fundraiser, the first of what they hope will be an annual event … Popular local entertainer Chanel Champagne is critically injured in a car accident outside Denton. The DFW community steps up to raise funds to help pay her medical bills … The Human Rights Campaign honors Dr. Ximena Lopez, the pediatric endocrinologist who founded the clinic for trans youth at Children’s Health hospital in Dallas … AIDS Interfaith Network changes its name to Access and Information Network, but continued to use the acronym AIN … Cathedral of Hope breaks ground on a new entryway onto the church’s campus … Lambda Legal files suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on behalf of Fort Worth couple Bryn Esplin and Fatma Marouf, after the couple were denied the opportunity to adopt through a Catholic agency … John Wright Martin, formerly of Dallas, faces four felony charges in connection with funds embezzled from his former employers, Randy and Kristy Pitchford of Frisco … LGBT advocates and Pentagon officials confirm on Feb. 26 that the first openly-transgender person to enlist in the military has signed a contract to serve. The enlistment came after a judge in 2017 stopped Trump’s efforts to rescind an Obama administration policy allowing transgender people to enlist effective Jan. 1, 2018.
March: Dallas entertainer and Rose Room cast member Asia O’Hara is announced as one of the contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10. Asia makes it to the top four at the end of the season … Resource Center’s Toast to Life fundraiser marks its 20th year … Lupe Valdez ends the Democratic Primary in a runoff with Andrew White of Houston, son of former Texas Gov. Mark White. Numerous other LGBT candidates around the state make it into runoffs or win their primaries outright. Jessica Gonzales defeats Robert Alonzo to win a state House seat … Texas Pride Impact Fund begins accepting applications for grants … SMU honors Resource Center with a Luminary Award … Sophia Conde, an openly-lesbian teen from Frisco, helps organize the successful March for Our Lives student march against gun violence … St. Stephen United Methodist Church and Oak Lawn United Methodist Church both vote to begin performing same-sex weddings … Parkland Memorial Hospital earns a perfect score on HRC’s Hospital Equality Index.
April: Grindr changes its policies to stop sharing information on users’ HIV status with third parties … Noor Salman, wife of the man who killed 49 people and left more than 50 others injured in the Pulse Nightclub shooting, is found not guilty of aiding in a terrorist act and lying to the FBI … TGRA stages its 35th annual Texas Tradition Rodeo at the Resistol Arena, home to the Mesquite Pro Rodeo … Dallas Police Department announces that Officer Amber Roman had been named the department’s new LGBT liaison … A site visit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds 32 “areas of concern” regarding distribution of Ryan White CARE Act funds in Dallas County … The Texas State Republican Party once again, to the surprise of no one, refuses to allow Log Cabin Republicans to participate in the state convention … New Orleans gay bar Oz is damaged in a fire that appears to have been caused by a malfunctioning sound system … Police investigate the death of Joe DeLane, who died of a head injury in a Fort Worth hospital on April 12 after an altercation April 9 with a bartender at 515 Bar. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner eventually rules DeLane’s death to be a homicide.
May: Harvey Meissner, president and general manager of Hidden Door Inc., announces donations totaling more than $250,000 to Resource Center, Legacy Counseling Center and AIN, from the estates of the late Jim Roberts and Tony Bobrow, the first and second owners of the Hidden Door … MCC of Greater Dallas pastor the Rev. Colleen Darraugh announces the church is ceasing operations after about 15 years in existence … Mansfield ISD teacher Stacy Bailey files a federal discrimination lawsuit against the school district after they first suspended her and later reassigned her to a high school rather than an elementary school because some parents complained that she talked about her wife in front of students … Prism Health wins an American Marketing Association award for its ad campaign unveiling its name change from AIDS Arms … Dallas Red Foundation honors Dr. Mark Parker and Eric Johnson with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award … AIDS Outreach Center names the Rev. Carol West as its 2018 Individual Service Award recipient. Samaritan House receives the Community Service Award … Michael Doughman announces he is retiring as executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild and moving to Puerto Vallarta … Dallas Silver Pride moves its Senior Pride Prom to the J. Erik Jonsson Library downtown, and invites Tyler teen lesbian couple Merary Melchoir and Sydney Aparicio to attend after they are denied tickets to their own high school prom … Lupe Valdez becomes the first openly-LGBT person to win a major party’s nomination for a statewide office (governor) by defeating Andrew White in a runoff, and Lorie Burch wins a runoff to claim the Democratic nomination for U.S. House District 3 … Irving Police Department names Sgt. Jerry Sanderford as its first LGBT liaison officer.
June: Allen High School transgender senior Jay Alfie wins his months-long battle to be identified as male and called by his chosen name, instead of being dead-named, during his graduation ceremony … ABC quickly cancels the rebooted hit sitcom Roseanne after its star, Roseanne Bar, posts racist tweets. Barr’s agent also drops her within hours of the tweets … About 1,500 men attend Texas Bear Round-Up 23, which features BearDance, Lady Bunny, a barbecue and more … CrossFit fires its chief knowledge officer, Russell Berger, within hours of Berger posting homophobic tweets online … The Bermuda Supreme Court issues a ruling re-instating marriage equality after lawmakers had rescinded it within a year of its initial passage … Dallas Independent School District adds immigration status to the list of protected classes in its anti-bullying policy … The city of Dallas presents AIN CEO Steven Pace with a Lifetime Achievement Award … Lost Souls Rugby from Dallas becomes the first team to win its division a second time in the Mark Bingham Cup world championship tournament … Texas Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to allow a group protesting gun violence into his district office in Dallas. The protestors then stage a die-in outside the office building on Hall Street in Oak Lawn … Resource Center adds Patrick Hanley to its advocacy staff … Dallas Southern Pride celebrates Juneteenth with a concert and a festival featuring R&B star Tank and Grammy nominee and rap legend Trina … Fort Worth’s HELP Center, which offers PrEP regardless of insurance status, opens a second office in Arlington … Atheists protest outside First Baptist Church of Dallas over the Rev. Robert Jeffress’ planned sermon, “America is a Christian Nation” … The Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund stages its 13th annual MetroBall fundraiser featuring Asia O’Hara, Exposé and Shannon … Former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem John Loza dies suddenly at his home … The Rev. Eric Folkerth is transferred to a Grand Prairie church after 17 years as the popular pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church … Following the third murder of a trans woman since February in Jacksonville, Fla., advocates there warn of a possible serial killer targeting that community … Despite some last-minute changes, QueerBomb 2018 hosts a successful event at the Main Street Garden Park in downtown Dallas … Former Dallasite Jesus Chairez reports on Mexico City’s huge LGBT Pride celebration.
July: Fort Worth Police Officer Sara Straten, who was the department’s first LGBT liaison officer following the raid on the Rainbow Lounge in 2009, announces her return to that position … The Rev. Carol West announces her retirement after 20 years as pastor of Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth, effective at the end of the year, and the church begins the search for a new pastor … A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns damages a jury had awarded to two Dallas lesbians who sued an apartment complex management company after faulty repairs allowed a rapist to break in and rape the two women. It’s later learned that the three judges who overturned the jury’s ruling had accepted campaign donations from the Texas Apartment Association PAC earlier in 2018 … A federal judge in Philadelphia rules that foster care agencies that contract with the city must comply with the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance … The Episcopal Church votes to allow individual churches to decide whether they will conduct same-sex weddings … Kay Wilkinson is announced as the Black Tie Dinner’s 2018 Kuchling Award winner … Yevin Rushing pleads guilty to the 2017 murder of Lee Covington and is later sentenced to life in prison … The murder trial of Christian Colbert, accused of killing his Oak Cliff landlord, is delayed yet again.
August: Beth Ford becomes the first out lesbian in corporate history named as CEO of a Fortune 500 company when she is made president and CEO of Land O’Lakes … U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces the creation of a “religious liberty task force” ostensibly to find ways to allow anti-LGBT bigots to discriminate … Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Carraway pleads guilty to charges of conspiracy and tax evasion … Rachel Tivens resigns as CEO of Lambda Legal after only two years on the job … Married Dallas couple Cannon and RafiQ Salleh-Flowers finally have their 22-year relationship recognized as legally valid by the federal government … The Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas of Cathedral of Hope and Dallas Bears President Wayne Davis are voted grand marshals of the 2018 Pride parade … Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau announces its co-sponsorship of Gay Day at Six Flags … Trans woman Christine Hallquist wins the Democratic nomination for governor of Vermont … Cathedral of Hope creates a nonprofit wing called Dallas Hope Charities and launches plans for a shelter for homeless LGBT young adults … Mansfield ISD art teacher Stacy Bailey starts the new school year as a high school teacher but continues her battle to return to the elementary school classroom … Alyssa Edwards’ docu-series Dancing Queen premieres on Netflix … A GoFundMe account is started to help the family of a middle school transgender girl move out of the small Oklahoma town where she had been bullied … Cathedral of Hope presents the Hero of Hope Award to sportscaster and ally Dale Hansen … A Collin County judge issues warrants for John Wright Martin when he fails to appear in court for his trial for embezzling funds from his former employers, Randy and Kristy Pitchford of Frisco … A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the federal Fair Housing Act protects LGBT people against discrimination.
September: The Texas Instruments Foundation donates $25,000 to the Turtle Creek Chorale … Ada Vox performs in the Rose Room for Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund’s Night of Stars event … The largest crowd ever attends the Miller Lite Music Festival in Reverchon Park, and the 35th annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade the next day on Cedar Springs Road … Former Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey, a “family values” Republican, is sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for soliciting sex online with a 17-year-old boy … The Dallas Observer names Omar Narvaez “best Dallas City Council member” … Dallas Southern Pride celebrates Black Gay Pride with a full weekend of events, including the Ball/House Pageant Communities Conference on Health Disparities and Leadership.
October: The Trump administration announces plans to deny visas to same-sex partners of United Nations diplomats … Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces that the anti-trans “bathroom bill” is not part of his agenda for 2019 … Barack Obama endorses Julie Johnson for the Texas Legislature … Feedspot.com names Lambda Weekly one of the top 20 LGBT podcasts … The 37th annual Tarrant County Pride celebration includes the annual parade, picnic and more … The fifth annual Texas Latino Pride, Texas’ largest Latinx Pride festival, is held in Reverchon Park … The country marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard … The first Texas Historical Marker honoring the LGBT community is unveiled at the corner of Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street … Black Tie Dinner announces its 2018 lineup, including Erich Bergen, Dana Goldberg, Jessi Cruickshank and Kay Wilkinson … Three people are injured in a shooting outside a San Antonio gay bar … Irving increases its score on the HRC Municipal Equality Index from 6 in 2017 to 32 in 2018 … The International Gay Rodeo Association holds its 2018 Finals Rodeo at the Resistol Arena, home of the Mesquite Pro Rodeo … Reports that Dallas restauranteur Mark Karns donated the legal limit to the Trump campaign in 2017 spark calls for a boycott against his restaurants, including Taqueria La Ventana on Cedar Springs … Beto O’Rourke, Kim Petras and Matt Bomer are added to the Black Tie Dinner lineup … Police identify a man shot to death in his car in far South Dallas as Traylon Brown, a gay man who sometimes dressed in women’s clothing … Alyssa Edwards and TAZO Tea announce Camp TAZO, a three-day “sleepover” camp with Alyssa … The first day of early voting sets records in Texas … Organizers hold the first statewide lesbian conference in Texas in 13 years — Lez Talk: A Women’s Empowerment Conference — at Resource Center in Dallas … Memorial triangles and a panel of the AIDS Quilt are moved from the former Resource Center location on Reagan Street to the center’s new facilities on Cedar Springs Road.
November: Dallas Police LGBT Liaison Officer Amber Roman is named Community Outreach Officer of the Year … The 37th annual Black Tie Dinner takes place at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, featuring a surprise appearance by Alyssa Edwards and more … Dallas trans woman Valerie Jackson files suit against Dallas County, former Sheriff Lupe Valdez and current Sheriff Marian Brown over the way she was treated by staff at the Dallas County Jail in 2016 … LifeWalk brings in more than $400,000 … The 2018 midterm elections bring a Rainbow Wave to Texas and the country … Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman, brings her Red Rock N’ Blues show to Dallas … Groups at SMU hold two events focused on transgender issues in the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance … John Wright Martin, wanted on warrants out of Collin County for failure to appear for trial, is arrested in Austin and held in Travis County on new charges out of Austin … Lambda Legal names Avery Belyeu as direction of the South Central Regional Office … Former Dallas Cowboys player Jeff Rohrer announces his plans to marry his boyfriend, Joshua Ross … Gay man Scott Prescher is sworn in as a member of the Watauga City Council … Memorial services around North Texas honor the memories of the at least 22 transgender people who have died violent deaths in 2018 … Texans commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Nicholas West in Tyler … The LGBT Victory Fund announced that of the 432 LGBT candidates on ballots across the country on Nov. 6, 244 won their races … Lambda Legal files suit against the U.S. Social Security Administration on behalf of a 65-year-old gay man seeking spousal survivor’s benefits after his partner of 43 years — and husband of seven months — died … Dallas Independent School District appoints an LGBT liaison officer, Mahoganie Gaston, who is dedicated to making sure each high school in the district has a gay-straight alliance … Irving resident John Contreras is arrested and jailed for the murder of Tristan Banks, his former roommate … Abounding Prosperity announces new grants, new programs and new staff member Kenneth Johnson … North Texas agencies mark World AIDS Day 2018.
December: Don Maison announces he is retiring as president and CEO of AIDS Services of Dallas, effective Feb. 1, after 29 years at the helm of the agency providing housing for people affected by HIV/AIDS. Current COO Traswell Livingston III will be interim CEO … Dallas Voice names Lupe Valdez as LGBT Texan of the Year, sharing the honor with other LGBT candidates for public office in 2018 … Black Tie Dinner distributes a total of $1.18 million to 19 beneficiaries at the 2018 Wrap Party and announces Nathan Robbins and Jeremy Hawpe as 2019 co-chairs, with Brad Pritchett as co-chair-elect … Hidden Door Inc. President and General Manager Harvey Meissner announces a $100,000 donation from the Anthony Bobrow Trust to Dallas Hope Charities … The Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas receives the Dallas Peace and Justice Center’s Justice Seeker of the Year Award … Julian Castro sets up a presidential exploratory committee … The Coalition for Aging LGBT releases a report grading 17 senior living facilities on how well they serve LGBT clients … Equality Texas announces that longtime CEO Chuck Smith has stepped down from his position, and that Samantha Smoot has been tapped as interim CEO … Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Jaron Turnbow announces that the 2019 Miller Lite Music Festival will be held June 1, 2019 at Fair Park, and the 2019 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade will be held Sunday, June 2, also at Fair Park. However, Turnbow says, the location of the parade may be revisited for 2020 and beyond … Attorney Chad West launches his campaign for the Dallas City Council.
LGBT liaisons around DFW
• Amber Roman, Dallas Police Department, becomes the department’s third liaison to the LGBT community while former liaison Laura Martin
remains in charge of hate crime statistics as well as protecting visiting dignitaries.
• Sara Straten, Fort Worth Police Department, returned this year to the position she inaugurated after the raid on the Rainbow Lounge in 2009.
• Jerry Sanderford, Irving Police Department, became the first LGBT liaison officer in a suburban city when he appointed last spring.
• Mahoganie Gaston, Dallas ISD, is working to open a gay-straight alliance in every DISD secondary school.
• Isaac Vasquez, LGBTQ liaison for city of Irving staff, assists the city in achieving its commitment to providing an open and welcoming
working environment for every city employee.
Notable deaths in 2018
• Mathilde Krim, 91, founded amfAR to promote HIV research, died on Jan. 15.
• George Schill, 83, owner of An Occasional Piece on Cedar Springs, died on March 2.
• Tony Bobrow, longtime owner of the Hidden Door whose trust has donated $350,000 to local LGBT non-profits since his death, died on March 16.
• Donna Red Wing, 67, a legendary activist for LGBT rights, died of cancer on April 16.
• Campbell Read, 87, longtime activist and SMU professor who founded the school’s first LGBT organization, died on April 25.
• John Loza, 54, former Dallas mayor pro tem and community activist, died on June 19.
• Michael Milliken, 71, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas co-founder and Oak Lawn Committeemember who raised the money to build the Legacy of Love Monument, died on Sept. 23.
• Paul Rodgers, 70, former Equality Texas board member and Lesbian and Gay Political Caucus president, died on Oct. 19.
• Jan Mock, 58, former Black Tie Dinner and Resource Center board member, died on Oct. 26.