By Daniel A. Kusner – Life+Style Editor

Gear up for this weekend’s queer demonstrations

BINGO BABE: Patriotic drag empress Jenna Skyy flaunts protest protection gear. On Saturday, Skyy hosts "Secret Agent" GayBingo at S4.

As Dallas Baptists vent their election frustrations on gays and lesbians, our brothers and sisters in California protest being stripped of their rights. It’s now time to re-ignite our ACT-UP activism.

This weekend, there are two demonstrations in Dallas. We should expect both to be peaceful protests. But if for some reason, the riot squads start tear gassing agitators, I know I’d want to be right next to the gas-masked drag queen who’s administering eyewash solution.

Just because you’re wearing combat boots and camouflage fatigues, don’t take any bait to engage in violence. That’s exactly what anti-gay conservatives want us to do — so they can gloat about it on In this battle, we must engage tactfully but forcefully. And as Jesus said, we have to, "be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

Protest protection

Things probably won’t get so rowdy that police will start deploying tear gas, but just in case, you can pick up a rubber gas mask with anti-scratch coated polycarbonate lenses, $19.99

Available at The Army Store, 10606 Garland Rd. 214-328-1341.

If your rally buddies do get hit with pepper spray, you can help rinse away chemical exposure with Soothing Eye Wash, $4.99, available at Walgreens.

Combat Barbie

Did you think your closet stuffed with military drag was for just for posing at nightclubs? There’s no better time to visit S&M boutiques and flex your punk and anarchy fashion muscles.

Carolina black leather waterproof plain-toe logger boots, $119.95.
Nasty Pig camouflage jeans, $62.37 (on clearance, with 35% discount).
Leather Masters, 3000 Main St. 214-528-3865.

Techno tools


On your cell phone, text message everyone in your address book about the "who, what, when, where and why" protest info. And in case of an arrest, you’ll want the number of the Dallas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union: 214-939-8089.
Every anti-Scientology crusader knows that all demonstrations need to be documented. Capturing YouTube moments doesn’t have to be expensive. Best Buy has lots of flip-cameras under $150 — like this pink DXG high-def digital camcorder, above, $129.99.

Equal = Rights, ONE LOVE, SHAME ON BIGOTS, God Loves Gays,
Prop 8 Discriminates

Letter-perfect picketing

When crafting protest signs, the simpler, the better — easily read by someone driving by in a car. Six words is the limit. When protesting, there are people all around you, even behind you. So if your sign is one-sided, half your audience is lost.

Supplies are easy to find. Elliott’s Hardware has a rainbow Sharpie eight-pack, $7.48. For serious typography queens, there are stencils and vinyl letter stickers in Helvetica, $3.99. Wooden sticks should be about 4 feet long: A good portion of the stick is in the poster board, $1.48 per sheet, 28"x22". Elliot’s sells wooden stakes for 69¢

Elliot’s Hardware, 4901 Maple Ave. 214-634-9900.

Smart satchel 

Nina Simone always kept a brick in her purse. But large bags make the police nervous and tend to get confiscated at the first excuse. Backpacks are nearly impossible to get past security checkpoints. A small satchel works perfectly, like this red Mondo Jeans bag, $63 with lots of pockets.

Other than your cell phone and wallet, everything must fit into this bag. You lose fewer items when everything is in one place instead of spread across five different pockets. Inside your bag, you should have: lip balm, a small bottle of water, a handkerchief (for pepper spray or other chemical attacks), earplugs and a sandwich (democracy tends to work up an appetite).

Mondo Jeans bag, available at Skivvies, 4001 Cedar Springs Rd #C. 214-559-4955.Î’

National gay rights protest.
Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Drive
Saturday, Nov. 15, at 12:30 p.m.

Protest rally about First Baptist Church of Dallas’ publicly displayed anti-gay messages. First Baptist Church of Dallas,
1707 San Jacinto.Sunday,
Nov. 16, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 14, 2008.

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