By Mark Stokes – Illustrator

What do you get when you cross a straight soprano with a lesbian church-goer? Best friends

Let’s give ’em something to talk about

Who: Mary McMeans and Celina Garcia
Spotted: At the Cathedral of Hope

Mary (who’s straight) and Celina (a card-carrying lesbian) met in the Cathedral of Hope choir and became good friends in no time. Mary loves men, Celina loves women. So they figured they’d have no conflicts of interest.

Mary is a soprano opera singer and voice teacher, and full-time mom to a beautiful Boston terrier named Winston Daylen. Her motto: "The truth is nonetheless The Truth!" (So says her mother.) Celina is a certified public accountant: "I count beans, then I eat them!"

Favorite hangouts: The Cathedral of Hope… followed closely by the mall — any mall! Mary: "Celina can out-shop me hands down!"

Living history: Local activist recalls her brush with the Stonewall rebellion 40 years ago

Eternal Pride

Who: Phyllis Guest

Occupation: Commercial writer/editor, activist

Spotted: Saturday, June 13, 4:30 p.m., at a Stonewall Democrats reception at Sue Ellen’s

Stumbled into Stonewall: Phyllis was serendipitously involved with the events at the Ground Zero of gay Pride when she tagged along for a drink with some of her Circle in the Square actor friends to the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969.

"I left a bad marriage and moved to New York with a promotions company, met an older friend who worked for a photography studio and her gay theater friends sort of adopted me. We would normally go to the more upscale Joe Allen’s restaurant/bar on 45th Street, where gays were a bit more socially accepted. The Stonewall was kind of a down and dirty place, mostly younger street kids, drag queens — a more flamboyant, open crowd."

She and her friends shared a drink in the bar and left earlier in the evening, missing all the riotous activities that occurred later that night. They returned a few weeks later to find a much more subdued Christopher Street.

Politically minded, Phyllis is involved with the Stonewall Democrats, and has worked with the ACLU, PFLAG and N.O.W. When Phyllis is not volunteering for one of numerous organizations, this feisty septuagenarian reads and works out.

Her motto: Stay calm. Keep moving forward. "I’ve survived a difficult childhood, a bad marriage and Stonewall, and I’m still here!"

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 19, 2009.
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