Lewisville high schooler wins ‘Freedom of Speech’ nite

WORD UP: Jacqueline Garrison, 17, basically told the fallen New Life Church minister to go to hell. DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

The first "Freedom of Speech" salon at the BuzzBrews Kitchen on Lemmon Avenue delivered surprises. About 30 or so attendees turned out to either get on a soapbox or just listen.

While the forum was open to any form of expression (I was hoping for some dangerously twisted performance art or hearing a Log Cabin Republican doing a show-and-tell about his Rush Limbaugh shrine), everyone stuck to public speaking.

Hosted by fiery radio jock Jack E. Jett, the event lured five participants who signed up for their three-minute slots. Queer activist Blake Wilkinson got worked into a lather over gay hate-crime murders. Michael Robinson recalled witnessing Jimmy Lee Dean’s bashing last summer near the Crossroads, and how heartbroken he felt that Dallas’ gay community barely responded. Retiree Tom Barry promoted the College of Complexes, a discussion group that regularly meets in the Casa Linda Shopping Center. And young dude Joe Garrison shared "Ritual," a poem that wove graphic images about keg tapping, crashing buildings and head banging.

Coincidentally, Garrison’s sister Jacqueline was the unanimous standout with her "Dear Ted Haggard" letter. Jacqueline is a 17-year-old student who’s the president of a Lewisville High School public speaking group. Jacqueline used to live in Colorado and attended services at New Life Church — where she experienced the Rev. Haggard at the pulpit.

The entire letter is posted on the Instant Tea blog, but here’s a sample of Jacqueline’s searing prose: "Worse than doing meth, worse than male prostitution, you brought everyone who listened into your own spiritual confusion every time you preached."

Even after the "official" participants were finished, the event inspired others: A young man named Gabe read a text message from his cell phone — addressed to his mother that jokingly suggested that the soy-milk formula she fed him turned him gay. And blogger Trey Cruz, who was serving as a judge, recalled telling his parents that he was bisexual. To which his dad responded, "You want me to buy you what?"

— Daniel A. Kusner


On Wednesday, Lady Bunny delighted the near-capacity crowd at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar. With her Texas-sized wig, the New York-based drag legend performed a sidesplitting Bunny-crafted medley — altering lyrics to include flatulence, douching and cunnilingus while mixing Cher hits, the "Chicago" soundtrack and a brilliantly stinky version of "And I am Telling You," which was changed to "And I Am Smelling You."

She also told the appreciative crowd how thrilled she was to be back in Houston. Then she pummeled mustached Woody’s hostess Wanda with blistering insults. Someone asked her to name her favorite drink. Bunny said, "Geritol with a hit of GHB. It’s killer. And it includes a free ride — to the hospital."

— Daniel A. Kusner

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 3, 2009.
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