Cirque du Soleil's 'Alegria'
is stunning entertainment
not to be missed.
ISSUE 1171____________ WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COIW All THE NEWS FOR YOUR LIFE. AND YOUR STYLE._________ APRIL 4, 2003
Members of the Montrose
Softball League start the
new season with opening
ceremonies and an afternoon
full of games.
At a meeting in Houston this
month, Coca-Cola shareholders
will consider an anti-gay proposal
by stockholder Hou-Yin
Everything from the cast to
the wardrobes shine in the
Mae West-powered 'Dirty
TX gay divorce reversed
By PENNY WEAVER
A spokeswoman in Mulvaney’s office
said Thursday that the judge granted
Smith’s notice of non-suit, or withdrawal
of the case, the same day it was filed.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott intervened last
week after a judge granted two Beaumont men
their petition for dissolution of a civil union they
obtained in Vermont last year.
BEAUMONT — A Texas district court
judge has reversed his ruling on a gay
divorce request after the state’s attorney
general intervened in the case.
Judge Tom Mulvaney, who presides over
the 279th District Court in Beaumont, the
seat of Jefferson County, last month granted
a divorce decree to two men: Russell
Smith, 36, and John Anthony, 34. The two
obtained a civil union in Vermont last year
and attempted to have it dissolved in Texas.
Last week, Mulvaney set aside his earlier
order granting divorce and ordered a
new hearing on the case. On Monday, the
judge dismissed the divorce filing after
Smith requested his petition for dissolution
be discharged or withdrawn.
Judge dismisses filing by two
Beaumont men after state
attorney general intervenes
“There are no matters before the court
on this issue,” the spokeswoman said. “It’s
similar to a dismissal. On their own,
they’re withdrawing their suit.”
After Mulvaney initially granted the
decree last month, Texas Attorney General
Greg Abbott intervened and said the court
could not grant a divorce where a marriage
never legally was present.
On March 27, Abbott filed a petition
asking that Mulvaney set aside his March
3 ruling granting a divorce for Anthony
“Texas law does not provide for a dissolution
of a civil union, and a divorce cannot
be granted where a marriage never
existed,” Abbott said.
“Texas law does not provide for civil
unions, nor does it recognize civil unions
established in other jurisdictions,” the
attorney general wrote in his petition to
the court. “Likewise, Texas law does not
provide for the dissolution of civil unions
established in other jurisdictions.”
Please see DIVORCE on Page 5
Gays face difficult decisions at tax time
Unable to file as 'married,'
partners must decide who
claims what on IRS form
By LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN
Like many Americans, Mitchell Ratine
pays a professional to prepare his federal
tax return each year.
“My taxes are too complicatedJor me to
do them properly,” says Ratine, an attorney
who lives in Houston with his partner of
three and 1/2 years and their two children.
Still, Ratine’s return may be simpler than
many other gay and lesbian couples, at least
in terms of how to reflect his relationship.
“I’m the only one working, so I am the
only one that files a tax return at this time,”
Ratine’s partner is a stay-at-home dad, so
he doesn’t have to file an income tax return.
That means the couple doesn’t have to
decide who would claim as dependents the
two children both fathers legally adopted —
Despite relationships that are just as financially intertwined as those of many heterosexual spouses, gay couples
have no way to reflect their reality on tax returns, where they have to file as 'single.' (Photo illustration by John Nail)
they go on Ratine’s return.
But gay couples in which only one partner
works still face complicated tax questions,
like whether the working partner can
claim the other as a dependent.
And as the annual April 15 tax deadline
looms, dual-income gay couples fmd themselves
faced with difficult decisions about
which partner should claim the assets and
responsibilities that in actuality they share.
Please see GAY TAXES on Page 4
2 APRIL 4, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Entire run of 'Big Voice'
“The Big Voice: God or Merman?,” a new
production by a gay couple, is now playing
in Houston. A portion of all proceeds from
the play’s entire April 4-19 run will benefit
PFLAG-Houston (Parents, Families &
Friends of Lesbians & Gays) and the
PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship
Foundation. The opening night of the production,
which is Friday, April 4, is a special
event dubbed PFLAG Night. Since its
inception in 1999, the PFLAG/HATCH
scholarship organization has awarded
more than $200,000 to college-bound gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens.
PFLAG-Houston works with families, educators,
community and religious groups
and others to broaden the understanding
and acceptance of gays. In “The Big
Voice,” creators Jim Brochu and Steve
Schalchlin tell the story of an encounter
with a woman named Annette, who cancelled
her own suicide after seeing their
musical, “The Last Session.” Also part of
the storyline, a young boy’s first transcendent
spiritual experience happens at a
matinee of “Gypsy” starring Ethel
Merman. Not a musical about Merman per
se, the “musical solo for two” is a profile of
two lives: those of Schalchlin and Brochu.
Media reviews of this performance have
been glowing. Praising Schalchlin and
Brochu, the LA Times said, “The lingering
afterglow suggests that the biggest voice in
question belongs to neither God nor
Merman, but to both performers and their
witty, inspiring confessional.”
o MORE INFO
"The Big Voice: God or Merman?"
7:30 p.m. Tues., Wed., Thurs. and Sunday
8 p.m. Fri. and Sat.
4 p.m. Sat. and Sun. matinees, April 6 and 19
Stages Repertory Theatre
3201 Allen Parkway
Spring Fling benefits
Houston gay youth
The annual PFLAG/HATCH Youth
Scholarship Foundation (PHYSF) dinner,
the group’s major annual fund-raiser, is set
for next week. PFLAG Houston and
H.A.T.C.H. (Houston Area Teen Coalition of
Homosexuals) jointly created PHYSF,
which offers a scholarship program to
assist worthy youth in the Houston area in
pursuing a college education. The scholarship
program is for lesbian, gay bisexual or
transgendered students who have demonstrated
outstanding achievement while in
high school or college. In addition to helping
provide for higher education, PFLAG
and H.A.T.C.H. leaders hope that scholarship
recipients will provide positive role
models for other youth who cannot be open
about their orientation. The program was
originated in 1994 by PFLAG-Houston,
which was able to grant one four-year
scholarship with a total value of $4,000,
according to the group’s Web site. The number
and total value of the grants have
increased each year. In 1998, H.A.T.C.H.
combined its new program with PFLAG’s
ongoing effort and PHYSF was formed. In
July 2002, a total of $73,500 was awarded in
college scholarships. The 2002 scholarships
ranged in amount from $10,000 over four
years to $2,000 over two years. The application
deadline for the PHYSF program this
year is May 1. An application form is available
on the PFLAG-Houston Web site.
O MORE INFO
PHYSF Spring Fling Dinner
6:30 p.m. Friday, April 11
Warwick Hotel • 5701 Main St.
Tickets: $100 per person, or $150 for VIP tickets
PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Fund (PHYSF)
R0. Box 667010 • Houston, TX 77266
713-467-3524 • www.pflaghouston.org
Night In Black Leather
raises nearly $13,000
The annual Night In Black Leather, presented
by Don Gill Productions, this year'raised
about $13,000 for its beneficiary, the Houston
Buyers Club. The annual fund-raiser this
year was held on March 22 in memory of the
late Carolyn “Cuervolyn” Roberts and the
late Creath Robinson, both longtime support-
This year's NIBL kick-off party held on Friday,
March 21, at Keys West featured Dr. Tony Mills
(right) as the special guest speaker. Montrose fund-raising
leader Don Gill (left) emceed the annual
event. (Photo by Dalton DeHart)
ers of the event. According to Don Gill, emcee
for the night, this ninth annual NIBL raises
the total amount of money garnered for charity
to more than $82,000 over the years. The
last NIBL that benefited HBC raised about
$14,000, Gill said. “It would have been nice to
do that again, but with the economy the way
it is, I was happy to get to $13,000,” Gill said. “I
have been told that this was the best production
that NIBL has ever had. Held at Rich’s
club, the event featured a wide range of entertainment,
a silent auction and plus a special
guest, International Mr. Leather 2003 Stephen
Weber. Gill noted that Weber’s IML sash was
misplaced after the event, and asked that anyone
who might find the sash call Gill at 713-
521-0911. Entertainers who donated their time
and talent to NIBL 2003 included Jules, Andy
Clements, Whorehouse Girls, Johnny
Montgomery and Regina Dane.
METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH
2025 W. 1 1th St. @ T.C.Jester • 713-861-9149
Holy Week Services
Palm Sunday Service
April 13 - 9am 8. 11am
Maundy Thursday Service
April 17 ~ 7pm
Good Friday Service
Easter Sunrise Service
April 20 - 6:30am
Easter Sunday Service
April 20 - 9am & 11am
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com___________________________ _________ ______________________________________________________________
I local news
Montrose Softball League opens new season
With blue skies and sunshine conducive
for outdoor sports, members of the
Montrose Softball League held opening ceremonies
for the 2003 season on Sunday,
March 30, at PJ’s Park in Spring. Local
entertainer Marsha Carlton sang the
National Anthem to open the event.
Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch was
Houston gay political activist Clarence
Burton Bagby, who also is president of the
board of directors for the Houston GLBT
Community Center. Softball players and
fans of all ages participated in the opening
ceremonies, which were followed by an
afternoon of games. This year, 21 teams are
participating in the MSL spring season. The
regular season ends on June 8, followed by
playoffs. Formed in 1979 as part of the
Montrose Sports Association, MSL became
an independent organization and renamed
itself in 1983, according to the group’s Web
site, www.montrosesoftballleague.com. This
is the league’s 23rd year serving the gay
male and lesbian adult softball community
of greater Houston. The league operates as
a non-profit organization with league funding
generated via player and sponsorship
dues. MSL is a member of the North
American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance,
and teams winning their respective divisions
(B, C, and D) earn the right to represent
both MSL and the City of Houston at
the Gay Softball World Series each year in
August. (All photos by Dalton DeHart)
APRIL 4, 2003 3
NATIONAL NEWS.................................................. 6
OUT ON THE BAYOU............................................15
COMMUNITY CALENDAR.................................. 21
APRIL 16 DECISION: Coca-Cola shareholder
Hou-Yin Chang of South Carolina has proposed
an anti-gay measure that Coke stockholders will
consider during a meeting in Houston this
month. Page 6.
EDITORIAL: The anticipated U.S. Supreme Court
decision in the Texas sodomy law challenge, a
case that started with Houstonians Tyrone
Gamer and John Lawrence, should be about
equality, not sex. Page 12.
GAY TRAPEZE ARTIST: Among the cast of.
Cirque du Soleil's entertaining 'Alegria' is Gaston
Elie, who has realized a lifetime dream with the
troupe. Page 15.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd.,
Suite 200, Houston, TX 77006.
Houston Voice is published weekly, on Friday,
by Window Media LLC. Subscriptions
are $92/year for 52 issues (only $1.77 per issue).
4 APRIL 4, 2003_____________________________________
| national news
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Domestic partner benefits create 'tax hit' for couples
GAY TAXES, continued from Page 1
Gay couples not 'married'
Gay single people don’t face any different
issues when filing their income taxes than
other singles, according to Marta Shen, a
CPA and senior financial advisor with the
Atlanta-based firm of Shen, Clarke &
Associates, a financial advisory branch of
American Express Financial Advisors, Inc.
“They are equivalent to straight single tax
filers — there’s no difference there,” said Shen,
whose client-base is more than 50 percent gay
But gay couples must confront a variety of questions
that their married counterparts don’t face.
Couples who receive domestic partner benefits
will find themselves paying more taxes
than if they were married, and must decide if
the benefits outweigh the costs. Couples who
own a home together must decide who gets to
deduct the interest paid on their mortgage.
Couples who share a savings account have to
determine who claims the interest income. Couples
who are both legal parents to their children must
figure out who should claim the kids as their dependents,
and there are myriad other issues.
“The negative impact is that a gay couple has
to do a lot more tax planning in advance,” said
Harold Lustig, president of San Francisco-based
Lustig Financial Services and author of “4 Steps
to Financial Security for Lesbian & Gay Couples.”
The 2000 Census documented 594,391 households
led by same-sex “unmarried partners,”
and gay activists claim the number is a vast
undercount of gay couples in the country
But despite clear evidence that gays are
forming families, the federal government still
offers no legal recognition for the relationships.
Gays are not allowed to marry anywhere in
the U.S. And while gay partners can be just as
financially intertwined as many heterosexual
spouses, the Internal Revenue Service uses mar-riage
to determine your tax filing status, the basis
on which the income tax you owe is calculated.
“In general, your filing status depends on
whether you are considered unmarried or
married,” the IRS explains in Publication
501, “Exemptions, Standard Deduction and
“A marriage means only a legal union
between a man and a woman as husband and
Financial advisors Marta Shen and Harold Lustig
said gay couples could benefit by not filing joint tax
returns if they plan carefully.
wife,” the publication warns.
Even if gay couples consider themselves
married, they shouldn’t try to submit a married
tax return, according to Eric Erickson,
spokesperson for the IRS field office in Atlanta.
Tax returns include your Social Security number
and Social Security information includes your
sex. “Basically, we do a check with your Social
Security number; and it’s going to come up [that
both filers are the same sex],” Erickson said. “We
would catch it and your return would be rejected.”
The Internal Revenue Service can’t independently
make changes to tax filing status,
“Every piece of the tax law has been written by
Congress,” he said. “We are only here to enforce it”
Tax disadvantages for gay couples
Being unable to acknowledge relationships on
tax forms is just one of the many types of dis*
crimination gay couples face because they can’t
marry according to Evan Wolfson, executive
director of the Freedom to Marry Collaborative, a
national group lobbyingfor equal marriage rights.
“Marriage is the gateway to a vast array
of legal and economic privileges that cuts
across virtually every area of life,” he said.
One major way that the tax code clearly
discriminates against gay couples lies with
the taxation of domestic partner benefits,
according to the Human Rights Campaign,
the nation’s largest gay political group.
‘As a growing number of employers offer
domestic partner benefits, gays and lesbians
are discovering a hitch — domestic partner
benefits, unlike health benefits provided to
married heterosexual couples, are taxed as
income,” HRC notes on its FamilyNet Web site.
With most health benefits, the employee
pays part of the cost and the employer pays
part of the cost. Unlike with spouse benefits,
the employer’s contribution towards DP benefits
is taxable income for the employee.
For example, if a company contributes
$3,000 per year towards spouse benefits for a
straight employee who earns $30,000 a year,
the employee is still taxed on $30,000.
But if the company contributes the same
$3,000 to domestic partner benefits for a gay
employee who earns the same salary, that
employee will be taxed on $33,000.
“The tax hit is significant enough that
many people who are eligible for domestic
partner benefits don’t take advantage of
them,” said Lara Schwartz, senior counsel
for HRC. “It’s a very real disadvantage.”
HRC is lobbying for federal legislation to
solve the problem, said Barbara Menard,
deputy political director for the Washingtonbased
Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.),
H.R. 935 would change tax laws to treat
domestic partner benefits like spouse benefits.
It currentiy has 30 co-sponsors and is pending
before the House Ways & Means Committee.
Meanwhile, gay couples also need to be aware
of other ways they can be hurt by the tax code
because their relationships aren’t treated as marriages,
such as estate taxes, real estate transfer
taxes and capital gains taxes, Schwartz said.
Older gay couples may be particularly hard hit
“For example, on the sale of a home, under
federal tax code a single person is entitled to up
to $250,000 in gains on the sale tax-free, but a
married couple gets twice that,” Schwartz said.
“For a gay couple that has lived in a home for a
very long time and is planning on using [the income
from the sale] as retirement savings, that lower
threshold can absolutely create a tax hit,” she said.
Possible perks for partners
Despite tax disadvantages on issues like
domestic partner benefits, not filing as a married
couple actually offers some significant possibilities
for gay partners to reduce the amount they owe,
according to financial advisors Shen and Lustig.
“On the tax side, I think it is better to be gay
— if you know what you are doing,” Shen said.
As an “overall strategy” for gay couples, “the
person who is making the most should deduct
the most, and whoever is making less should
claim as much of income as possible,” she said.
The key to saving money is to look at the
couple’s taxes as a whole, so that the total
paid by both partners is less, Lustig agreed.
“You have to look at the pool of money as our
money and the tax paid as our taxes paid,” he said.
Lustig advocates a strategy called “bunching”
— where the person with the higher
income itemizes deductions, taking all of
them, and the person with the lower income
takes the IRS’ standard deduction.
But making such a strategy work requires
planning. For example, the partner who plans
to claim the mortgage interest deduction has to
be named on the mortgage, and if both partners
are named, the one who plans to claim the
deduction should write the checks, Lustig said.
And if couples are making charitable donations,
those checks should also be written by the
partner who will itemize deductions, he said.
Gays can also find ways to lower their
taxes when it comes to claiming dependents,
Shen and Lustig said.
In gay families in which only one partner is
legal parent to their children — because second-
parent adoption or joint gay adoption isn’t
allowed in their area — there is no choice in
who can claim the child as a dependent.
But if both partners are legal parents to the
child, “the person with the bigger tax problem
should take the child as a dependent if they meet
the rules of dependent deductions,” Lustig said.
The rules for claiming someone as a dependent
can also provide opportunities for gay couples
in which only one partner works, although
Lustig strongly recommended seeking professional
tax help before trying to claim your partner
as a dependent, due to the complexity of the law.
The IRS lists five tests to determine if someone
can be claimed as your dependent, including
that you must have provided more than 50
percent of their support and they must not have
a gross income of $3,000 or more during the year.
One particular part of the tax code raised
issues for gays, Shen said — a clause mandating
that “a person does not meet the member
of household test if at any time during your
tax year the relationship between you and
that person violates local law.”
Common tax questions facing gay Note: These answers are a general guide. Every However, tlftre is a taxpayer ID where the mort- Again, there is a "prirfiSy per^Bn who tftTIR^
gay couple's individual circumstances are different.
To see how these issues will impact your individual
situation, consult a tax advisor.
My partner and I are both legal parents of our
child. I’m the birth mother and she adopted our child
through second-parent adoption. Which one of us can
claim the child as a dependent? Or can we both?
Unfortunately, there can only be one exemption
made on one child, therefore you're going to have to
decide who that will be. Both of you have the ability
to claim the child as long as the other five
requirements of dependency (provide more than 50
percent of the support, less than $3,0db in income,
citizenship, relationship/member of household, not
filing jointly) are met It would make sense for the
one in the higher bracket to claim the child.
connects the interest to who gets the 1099-INT.
Usually, it's best to have the partner earning less to
report since it'll be in a lower tax bracket
_______ taxpayer __
gage interest is reported on form 1098 and that
person is the "primary" person on the mortgage and
person the IRS "connects" with the mortgage. If
the person that is not the primary takes it, it's best
to have an attachment to both returns explaining it
Oftentimes, certified public accountants
will look at it both ways, i.e. what the ramification
would be if one partner (usually
the one that makes more) takes it or if
they split it and what
percent each should
take to make it the
My partner and I own our home
jointly. Who can deduct the mortgage
interest? Do we have to split it, or can —■ --1
one of us take the whole deduction? My partner and I have a joint savings
I receive health insurance through my partner's
domestic partner benefits. Do I have to pay
taxes on the benefits, or does my partner?
Your partner will have to pay taxes
on imputed income for the DP bene- /
fits that her company provides.
If the mortgage is held jointly, technically the account that earns taxable interest. Who claims
person who pays is the person who gets to deduct, the interest as income on our taxes?
couples I work outsfde of the home, and my partner is
a stay-at-home parent. Can I claim my partner as
a dependent on my taxes?
Most accquntants will agree with this as long
as the five dependency tests above are met.
I work outside of the home, and my partner,
who has HIV, receives disability checks. Can I
claim him as my dependent?
It depends. If the five tests above are met, then
usually you can claim him as a dependent. The big
question is if it will jeopardize any benefits, like
Medicare, Medicaid and or SSI. That's a question that
is best left to an attorney specializing in this field.
based Unn of Shen, Me & Associates, a financial advisory
branch of American Express Financial Advisors, Inc
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
| local news
APRIL 4, 2003 5
Men reportedly will not pursue divorce further
DIVORCE, continued from Page 1
initial order and
Lee Taft, regional
director of the Dallasbased
office, said Thursday
that although Lambda
is not involved in the
Beaumont case, he
was told that the two
men have decided not
to pursue the issue
declined to comment. Smith’s attorney,
Cohee, was in court Thursday and did not
immediate!^ return a telephone message.
The spokeswoman for Mulvaney said the
judge could not comment further on the
case, other than to confirm that it has been
dismissed as per the petitioner’s request.
Smith, who petitioned for the divorce,
said getting the divorce in Texas was expensive
and strenuous. But getting the union
dissolved in Vermont would have required
Smith or Anthony to live in that state for at
least a year before a final divorce hearing.
Smith said he had to get a legal divorce
for financial reasons. The couple did not
file joint income tax returns, but they did
have joint auto and life insurance. The two
also ran several businesses together and
the division of their assets and properties
was done by agreement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Under Vermont law, a civil union is
legal between two members of the same
sex, but a full-fledged marriage must be
between a woman and a man.
“Because these two men were never
married under either Vermont or Texas
law, they cannot legally petition for divorce
under the Texas Family Code,” Abbott
said. “The court’s final decree of divorce is
void as a matter of law.”
Angela Hale, a spokeswoman in
Abbott’s office, said part of the reason for
the attorney general’s involvement is: “We
ordered a new trial.
Reached at his home Tuesday, Anthony
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund
South Central Regional Office
3500 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75219-6722
214-219-8585 • www.lambdalegal.org
don’t want to see a precedent set.”
Beaumont attorney Ronnie Cohee, who
^represents Smith, said that even though
rTexas law refers to a husband and wife when
talking about marriage, state law refers to
“parties” when addressing dissolution.
Lee Taft, director of the South Central
Regional Office for Lambda Legal Defense &
Education Fund, which works for equal civil
rights for gays, said any comment he would
have on the case would be speculative.
Lambda is not involved in the proceeding.
“At this point, it’s my understanding
that the clients have made a decision not to
pursue this,” Taft said. “There isn’t really
a substantive issue to discuss.
“I don’t know how the attorney general
was procedurally invited into the issue,”
he added. “This is not a Lambda case. I’m
not familiar with the details of it.”
According to a press release from
Abbott’s office, Mulvaney reconsidered his
decision and concluded that the attorney
general “intervened and presented a legal
argument opposing the granting of a
divorce, arguing that this court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction. It is this court’s
opinion that this case should be re-litigated,
particularly with respect to the legal
issues of subject matter jurisdiction and
the Full Faith and Credit Clause.”
I So, two days after Abbott intervened,
Judge Tom Mulvaney, who presides over the 279th
District Court in Beaumont, last month granted a
divorce request from two men. He set aside that
ruling last week.
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6 APRIL 4, 2003____________________________________
J national news
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Coke urged to drop gay-friendly employee policies
Atlanta soft drink giant asks
shareholders to reject
proposal from S.C. man
By JENNIFER J. SMITH
A South Carolina man wants Atlantabased
Coca-Cola to change its gay-friendly
policies for its 55,000-person workforce
and end its support for the “homosexual
Hou-Yin Chang, a resident of
Orangeburg, S.C., who owns 49 shares of
Coca-Cola stock, proposed a shareholder resolution
to be voted on at the company’s April
16 annual meeting in Houston. The measure
is one of eight put before shareholders.
Chang’s resolution “recommend[s] the
shareholders request the Board of
Directors to amend the company’s corporate,
diversity and equal employment policies
to exclude reference to sexual orientation,
and cease support of homosexual
lifestyle and other deviant lifestyle behaviors
opposed by the majority of people.”
Chang said the company’s performance
has been hurt by its gay-friendly policies.
“What we have seen for the past couple
of years of Coca-Cola performance is the
way they have insulted shareholders, most
of whom belong to middle America — people
who fear and understand God and
believe in the traditional family,” he said.
“We are concerned that companies are
putting the lifestyle of Sodom and
Gomorrah on their agendas.”
Coke recommends that shareholders
reject Chang’s proposal, according to
Ben Deutsch, director of marketing
“The Coca-Cola Company is committed
to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce
to benefit and grow our business,
and to ensure that our company is the best
place possible to work,” Deutsch said. “We
do not discriminate on the basis of sexual
Chang, like any shareholder owning
more than $2,000 worth of stock for more
than a year, may submit a resolution to be
voted on during the company’s annual meeting.
If a majority of shareholders agree,
Coke’s board of directors will take it under
advisement, according to the company
If Chang’s proposal fails to garner a
majority vote, but does gain three percent of
the total votes, it can be resubmitted for the
company’s 2004 annual meeting, according to
Racquell White, a Coca-Cola media manager.
Chang said he also wants Coke, which
employees 5,000 people in Atlanta, to discontinue
its corporate sponsorship of the
Atlanta Pride Festival. Instead, the company
should sponsor AtlantaFest, a gospel festival,
and more NASCAR events, “because people
at those events share our values,” he said.
Coke should also discontinue offering
Hou-Yin Chang, a South Carolina resident who
owns 49 shares of Coca-Cola stock, proposed a
shareholder resolution asking the company to
rescind policies that 'support [the] homosexual
lifestyle.' (Photo courtesy Chang's Web site.)
domestic partner benefits, which the company
initiated in 2001, Chang said.
Since submitting the resolution in
February, Chang has received 10 letters,
evenly split between supporting the proposal
and criticizing him, he said.
Chang’s approach is similar to that
used by gays shareholders, who use their
stock in companies to advocate for gayfriendly
policies, according to Shelley
Alpern, vice chair for the Equality Project,
a non-profit organization lobbying for gay
equality in the workplace.
“There has been a tiny handful of resolutions
like this over the past three years,
and they never do well,” Alpern said.
“They have never lead any company to
rescind their non-discrimination policy.”
Kim Mills, education director for the
Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights
Campaign, called the resolution “wrong-headed.”
“We don’t think it will pass and it’s not
binding,” she said.
Coke fates a 71 out of a possible 100 from
HRC on its approach to gay issues, Mills said.
The company offers domestic partner benefits,
a non-discrimination policy and a gay
employee group, but still has “a ways to go
because they don’t have a non-discrimination
policy that covers gender identity and they
don’t offer diversity training that covers sexual
orientation or gender identity,” she said.
Coke offers general diversity training^P
that “does not specifically mention any
single group,” White said.
In 2001, the company fought off a shareholder
proposal to dilute the company’s
domestic partner benefits by excluding an
anti-gay resolution from proxy materials
sent to shareholders.
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P.O. Box 1734 • One Coca Cola Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30301 • 404-676-2121
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HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 4, 2003 7
Nashville council defeats bias measure for gay city workers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Metro Council defeated a
measure that would have extended non-discrimination
(protections to gay city workers, according to the
Tennessean. With the council vote tied 18-18, Howard
Gentry, the city’s vice mayor, broke the deadlock and
voted against the bill. ‘Tn my research I have not determined
that there have been adequate number of complaints
on Metro government on behalf of employees
of Metro government to justify passing a law against
discrimination when discrimination hasn’t been
proven in Metro government,” Gentry said, according
to the newspaper. The bill was a more limited version
of a measure that would have extended citywide housing
and employment protections to gays in public or
private sectors. That measure was withdrawn in
February after two months of debate. “I don’t think
government should enter the bedroom,” said Council
member Bettye Balthrop, who voted against the bill,
according to Tennessean. The measure needed 21 votes
on the 40-member council to get to a required third
vote. It passed its first reading March 18 on a 17-16 vote.
Nashville Vice Mayor Howard
Gentry, in a rare vote, broke a deadlock
on Tuesday when he voted
against a bill prohibiting anti-gay
bias among city workers.
House panel in Minn, considers
complaint against lawmaker
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The state House
Ethics Committee formally accepted
charges Monday alleging Rep. Arion
Lindner (R-Corcoran) brought disrepute to
the House when he made remarks later
called anti-gay and racist by Democrats.
The panel set a hearing for April 7 in which
its four members will determine whether
to dismiss the complaint or send it to a full
hearing. The announcement came as
Lindner’s attorney, James Anderson, made
clear his plans to use the hearing to draw
more attention to the bill Lindner was promoting
when he offended colleagues.
Lindner’s bill would remove state civil
rights protections for gays. Anderson said
Democrats filed the ethics complaint to
frighten conservative lawmakers away
from Lindner’s bill. Lindner recently questioned
whether gays were persecuted by
the Nazis. “We think denying the
Holocaust is so outrageous and so ahistori-cal
that we’ll have no difficulty showing he
^brought the House into disrepute,” said
House Minority Leader Rep. Matt Entenza.
Colo, bill would strip medical
bias protections from gays
DENVER (AP) — State representatives
have removed a provision protecting gays
from discrimination by health care workers.
Rep. Don Lee (R-Jeffefson County)
itook a routine measure dealing with
agency regulations and amended it to
remove protection for gays under rules
set by the Medical Services Board. It was
approved by the House last week. Lee
argued that gays don’t have legal claims
against discrimination now and the rules
would create a special protection for
them. Senate Bill 88 passed on a 34-29
■party-line vote, with a lone Republican,
Rep. Gregg Rippy of Glenwood Springs,
siding with Democrats. An angry House
Minority Leader, Rep. Jennifer Veiga (D-Denver),
said Lee’s approach also would
allow for discrimination against people
who are older, believe in a certain religion,
belong to an ethnic group or have a
Gay-inclusive hate crime
legislation gains support Ark.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Proponents of
hate crime legislation pending before a
House committee say the measure would
help track the crimes in the state, one of
only five states with no hate crime laws on
their books. The state also ranks near the
bottom in reported hate crimes. Sen. Tracy
Steele (D-North Little Rock) has proposed a
bill that would impose “restorative measures”
on defendants found guilty of a hate
crime. The bill would apply in the cases of a
defendant who is convicted, or who pleads
guilty or no contest, to crimes that deprive a
victim of major life functions in crimes
motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry,
national origin, sexual orientation, gender
or disability Under the bill, a judge could
include “restorative measures” in the sentence,
including counseling and educational
classes. The bill passed the Senate earher in
March and a House committee is expected to
take it up soon. In Arkansas, only three law
enforcement agencies representing 81,000
residents participated in the FBI’s voluntary
hate crime reporting program in 2001, the
most recent year for which data is available.
The state reported three hate crimes in 2001.
Lawmaker seeks support for
gay marriage ban in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sen. Lynn R.
Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) is seeking support
for legislation that would outlaw same-sex
marriage in the state, similar to one passed
in the House last year, according to the Gay
People’s Chronicle. That measure was later
defeated in the Senate. Wachtmann is
recruiting co-sponsors while seeking to fast-track
the measure. The previous bill would
have blocked all domestic partner benefits
and voided custody and visitation orders and
financial benefits granted outside the state. If
Wachtmann’s bill is assigned a number, it
stands a good chance of being passed in the
legislature this year, as the House is more
conservative this time around and the
Senate leadership is more sympathetic to the
measure, according to the Chronicle.
From staff and wire reports
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Palm Beach schools ban bias against gay students
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Palm
Beach County School Board voted 5-2 on
March 24 in favor of adding sexual orientation
to the school system’s non-discrimination
policy for students, the South
Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. “It took a
long time, but the school Board made the
right decision, and we are ecstatic,” said
Jamie Foreman, president of the Palm
Beach County Human Rights Council,
which lobbied for the policy. The school
board rejected similar policies in 1991 and
1999, saying that gay students were proTom
Beach County School
Board Chair, was one
of two board members
against a gay-inclusive
bias policy covering
the measure passed
5-2. He said existing
policies would cover
tected under general anti-bias rules. During a public comment session before last week’s
vote, speakers favoring the pro-gay policy outranked opponents three-to-one. Those who
argued against the measure said it would encourage homosexuality. “If you really care
about the gay students, you would warn them about the disease and destructiveness that
come with this lifestyle,” said Chris Nick, a Lake Worth resident.
Fla. lesbians file lawsuit
over retirement community
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A university
English teacher and middle school librarian
complained March 31 to Leon County
officials that their efforts to obtain housing
at the Westminster Oaks Retirement
Community was denied because they are
lesbians. “They said, ‘if you say that
you’re cousins or if you say that you are
sisters’... well we’re not cousins and we’re
not sisters,” Joy Lewis said. “We haven’t
lived our lives with tiny lies or big lies.”
The San Francisco-based National Center
for Lesbian Rights filed the complaint
claiming Westminster officials violated
the Leon County Fair Housing Code when
it denied housing to the couple, who are
otherwise qualified to live there. Lewis,
62, and Sheila Ortiz-Taylor, a 63-year-old
English professor at Florida State
University, have lived together for 13
years. Their original application was
rejected in 1999. They were placed on a
waiting list on their second try while the
company’s board of directors reviews a
policy that excludes non-related people
from living in their facility.
Calif. Supreme Court gets
Berkeley Boy Scout case
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California
Supreme Court said it will review the city
of Berkeley’s decision to discontinue free
berthing at a public marina for a group
affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America.
The justices agreed during their private
conference March 26 to hear the Sea Scouts’
challenge. The scouts are fighting a 1998
city decision that made their nonprofit
group ineligible for free docking because of
its membership and leadership policies
against gays. The Sea Scouts stopped
receiving free marina access after Berkeley
City Council members passed a 1997 ordinance
prohibiting the city from subsidizing
groups that discriminate. In their appeal,
the scouts maintain that if Berkeley is
gding to provide free berthing to nonprofits,
it cannot deny free access to nonprofits
whose views run counter to those of City
Hall. But a lower appeals court dismissed
that argument, holding that “Berkeley’s
actions have not required appellants to stop
discriminating” against gays.
Mo. court ruling may
help gay families
COLUMBIA, Mo. — A recent court ruling
involving a heterosexual couple could set an
important precedent for gay famihes, according
to attorneys and activists. Last month, St.
Louis County Circuit Judge John R. Essner
allowed Steven Gain visitation rights with the
child he parented for nine years as his own.
The child was born in 1989, 10 years after
Steven and Terry Gain married. When the
couple split up in 2001, Terry Gain attempted
to deny her husband visitation rights, revealing
that the daughter was not biologically his.
But preventing the daughter from visiting the
man she thinks of as her father would be too
painful, the judge ruled. “It’s just not fair to
the girl to have to suffer this additional grief,”
Essner said. The case marks the first time that
a Missouri court has recognized the rights of
a non-biological parent without declaring the
biological parent unfit, according to the
Columbia Missourian newspaper. “This gives
the opportunity for people in nontraditional
relationships, such as gays and lesbians, to
make legitimate requests for visitation,” said
Ken Jones, editor of Missouri Law Weekly
Border Patrol employee sues
over alleged transgender bias
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Border Patrol
specialist who underwent sex-change surgery
has sued the government, alleging discrimination.
Tracy Nichole Sturchio, formerly
known as Ronald Sturchio, claims in an U.S.
District Court civil rights lawsuit she was
harassed and discriminated against because
she is a “transgender citizen.” Her lawsuit
says that she can’t wear a dress to work or use
the women’s restroom, and has been subjected
to sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
The lawsuit seeks $500,000 for
compensatory and punitive damages, along
with an unspecified amount for mental
anguish and emotional distress. Sturchio has
been employed by the Border Patrol since
1991, and has worked at the Spokane office
since July 1998. The defendants are Attorney
General John Ashcroft, Border Patrol Chief
Gustavo De LaVina and Michael J. Garcia,
commissioner of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. Both sides dedfined to
comment on the case.
From staff and wire reports
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Gay, bisexual men continue using spermicide despite risks
ATLANTA — Up to one-third of gay and bisexual men
continue to use nonoxynol-9 during anal sex, despite
repeated warnings that the spermicide doesn’t prevent
the spread of sexually transmitted diseases-and may
boost the risk of HIV infection, according to a new study
by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. It’s clear
that the facts about the risks of nonoxynol-9 “had not
reached or impacted many men,” study co-author Gordon
Mansergh, a behavioral scientist at the CDC’s Division of
HIV/AIDS Prevention, told Gaycom UK. Last September,
more than 80 medical professionals and health advocacy
organizations spoke out against the popular spermicide
citing evidence that the thin layers of the rectum are
more susceptible to toxic damage from the spermicide.
Nonoxynol-9 is often used in sexual lubricants, gels and
condoms. In the CDC study 573 gay and bisexual men
from San Francisco were interviewed in the fall of 2001.
Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said they heard of
nonoxynol-9. Of those men, 83 percent said they’d used
nonoxynol-9 products during their lives, and 67 percent
— or one-third of all men surveyed — did so during anal
intercourse within the past year. The findings of the
study appear in the April 2003 issue of the journal AIDS.
Christopher Harris, fomier president of the
Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, warned
that gay men should stop using products
that contain nonoxynol-9 because it can
cause harm to the rectum, increasing the
chance for HIV transmission.
Advertising campaign by Calif,
gay center targets smokers
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The city’s Billy
DeFrank Center launched a print ad campaign
featuring local people in an attempt
to curtail smoking among gays, according
to the San Jose Mercury News. A $260,000
grant from the American Legacy
Foundation paid for the campaign, dubbed
“Cigarettes are My Greatest Enemy,”
“Some people are outraged — they view
the campaign as too negative because it
doesn’t try to encourage smoking cessation
from a more positive perspective,”
Patrick Soricone, DeFrank’s executive
director, told the newspaper. “They’re pretty
hard-hitting ads, and they are getting
people’s attention, so that’s a good thing.”
Tobacco use among gays is nearly three
times greater than the general population,
in part because gays are heavily targeted
through advertising, said David Martinez,
tobacco education specialist at DeFrank.
The ads feature people describing a personal
obstacle they overcame, along with
their commitment to quitting smoking.
Older brothers increase likelihood
siblings will be gay, study says
SYDNEY — Boys with a statistical average
of 3.5 older brothers are twice as likely to
be gay as boys with no older brother,
according to a study by Ray Blanchard, a
psychologist at the Centre for Addiction &
Mental Health in Toronto. The study, first
published in a specialist journal, Archives
of Sexual Behavior, and later in New
Scientist, was reported by Agence France-
Presse. A boy with four older brothers was
three times as likely to be gay as boys with
no older brother, according to the study.
Blanchard, in the past, found a strong link
between homosexuality and older brothers
in a group of 302 gay white men. Later studies
took the idea further, according to New
Scientist, suggesting that the link is present
across cultures. “If Blanchard is right,
then clearly, as average family size decreases,
so will the incidence of male homosexuality,”
according to New Scientist.
HIV counselors go online in new
Mich, prevention campaign
FERNDALE, Mich. — The Midwest AIDS
Prevention Project launched a new program
— SexEd4U — in which trained
HIV counselors join America Online
chat rooms to reach men seeking other
men for sex, according to the Detroit
News. “This creates a safe haven for dialogue
for people who want to remain
anonymous,” Michael Odom, the program’s
creator and director, who also
serves as one of a handful of monitors
for the chat rooms, told the newspaper.
“Chat rooms are becoming the meeting
places for gay men that bathhouses and
bathrooms used to be.” The project is the
first in Michigan and is modeled after
others in Boston and Miami, he said.
Odom said he talked with some 72 people
Microbicide research receives
boost from Gates Foundation
SEATTLE (AP) - The Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation gave $60 million
Monday to help scientists develop a
cream or gel that prevents sexual transmission
of the AIDS virus among
women in developing countries. The
foundation made the donation to the
International Partnership for
Microbicides in Silver Spring, Md. It is
one of the largest the foundations made
for global health initiatives and is a massive
investment in the field of microbicides,
which the foundation and IPM
said is largely ignored by major pharmaceutical
companies. Microbicides are
gels, films, sponges and other products
applied topically to help prevent ,sexual
transmission of HIV. There are more
than 50 microbial substances under
development, said Zeda Rosenberg,
IPM’s chief executive officer. Although
years of testing remain, it’s possible
that a microbicide could be available by
the end of the decade, she said.
From staff and wire reports
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvotce.com__________
|D police beat
APRIL 4,2003 U
Top gay cop in Los Angeles suspended after molestation allegation
LOS ANGELES — Gay deputy LAPD Police Chief
David Kalish was relieved of duty following a five-month
internal investigation into allegations he
molested a male youth in the 1970s, according to the
Los Angeles Times. In a civil claim filed Oct. 7, a
man alleged that Kalish “harassed, sexually molested
and assaulted” him. Kalish was assigned to paid
leave pending a decision expected in a few weeks by
prosecutors on whether to file charges. Kalish was a
police officer at the time of the alleged abuse, when
he participated in a program for people ages 14 to
21 aimed at at-risk youths. Prior to the selection of
William Bratton as LAPD chief last year, Kalish
was considered to be one of the leading candidates
for the job. Gay groups charged that Bratton
improperly handled Kalish’s suspension, but
Bratton said anyone under similar allegations
would be treated the same.
David Kalish, a Los Angeles Police
Department deputy chief, is on paid
leave as prosecutors decide whether
to file charges against him in a 20-
year-old incident of alleged molestation.
(Photo by AP)
Trial opens for confessed
killer of gay Dutch politician
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — The
man who confessed to killing gay Dutch
politician Pirn Fortuyn told a panel of
judges March 27 that he acted out of concern
for the country’s Muslim minority.
Volkert van der Graaf, 33, appeared in court
for the first time since he was charged with
the assassination. He repeated his confession
and pleaded guilty to illegally possessing
firearms and sending Fortuyn threats
before the attack. Van der Graaf was arrested
minutes after Fortuyn was gunned down
in a parking lot outside a radio studio May
6, just days before general elections.
Fortuyn was running for prime minister on
an anti-immigration platform. Van der
Graaf said he followed Fortuyn’s career
and was concerned he was using “the weak
parts of society to score points” and gain
political power. Van der Graaf is charged
with premeditated murder and faces up to
life in prison if convicted.
Three sentenced in separate cases
for knowingly transmitting HIV
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two men and one
woman charged with violating their states’
laws against knowingly transmitting HIV
were sentenced last week. Aaron Dahlberg,
who faced 25 years in prison for felony
transmission of HIV in Iowa, was sentenced
March 28 to three years probation after
pleading to a lesser charge of willful injury.
He was accused of lying to another man
about being HTV positive before they had
consensual sex. In South Dakota, one man
and one woman were sentenced March 25 to
serve jail time for intentionally exposing
others to HTV William K. Jenigen, was sentenced
to 45 days in jail and five years probation.
Nichole White Bear Claws was sentenced
to three months in jail and five years
probation. The cases are the second and
third prosecutions under the law since it
was enacted in 2000. “Now having our third
case, I would expect that future cases would
be more scrutinized by our judges and that
harsher sentences would be imposed,” said
Mark McNeary, Brown County State’s
Attorney Jenigen and his then-partner, Jay
L. Woods, were both charged last May.
Woods’ trial date is not set.
Killer of Calif, gay couple
gets 29 years to life
REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A white
supremacist who admitted killing a gay
couple was sentenced March 27 to 29
years to life in prison. James Tyler
Williams, 32, will serve the sentence
after he completes a 21-year federal sentence
for fire bombing three synagogues
and an abortion clinic. Williams was
sentenced after pleading guilty in the
July 1999 shotgun slaying of gay couple
Gary Matson, 50, and Winfield Mowder,
40, as they slept in their home.
Williams’ brother Matthew committed
suicide in jail while awaiting trial in
the same killings. The two were arrested
six days after the killings while
attempting to pick up a package they
ordered with one of the victim’s credit
cards. A month before, the brothers set
fire to the synagogues and an abortion
clinic in suburban Sacramento. Both
entered guilty pleas in that case and
were sentenced to federal prison in
Fla. man pleads guilty to bias
crime in beatings of gay men
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A man pleaded
guilty March 31 to beating three men
out of anti-gay bias as they left a Gay
Pride party last year and now faces up
to 30 years in prison. Devin Scott
Angus, 21, is set for sentencing April 21.
“I hope he gets some prison time, plus
counseling,” said Stephen Hair, one of
Angus’ three victims. Hair and two
friends were leaving the party when
Angus confronted them, yelling an anti-gay
slur before punching and kicking
them, police said. One victim suffered
blows to the back of the head that
opened his scalp. Hair suffered a'skull
fracture, a cracked sinus and a broken
front tooth. Authorities have not identified
another man who participated in
the attack, said Pam Bondi, spokesperson
for the Hillsborough County state
attorney. Angus is currently free on
From staff and wire reports
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APRIL 4, 2003
Sodomy fight is
Those who see the Texas sodomy case as a
vehicle for sexual liberation should look elsewhere.
Our movement should advance equality, not sex.
By CHRIS CRAIN
HE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
I about last week’s oral argument in
I the landmark lawsuit challenging
I the Texas “homosexual conduct"
I law is that a majority of the
■HUI Supreme Court will vote to strike
down the statute.
Three of the nine justices (Stephen Breyer,
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter)
aggressively challenged the constitutionality of
the law, which criminalizes sodomy for same-sex
partners only, and another (John Paul
Stevens) voted more than a decade ago to strike
down the sodomy law in Georgia.
Only one more vote would amount to a majority,
and even neutral observers like longtime New
York Times correspondent Linda Greenhouse
reported that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor —
who unlike Stevens voted to uphold Georgia’s
sodomy law in the infamous 5-4 Bowers vs.
Hardwick decision — seemed to be looking for
some way to strike down the Texas statute.
But if O’Connor has her way the court will
likely be taking “the easy way out,” striking down
the Texas law for violating the Constitution’s guarantee
of “equal protection under the law.” The
laws of only three other states, which also criminalize
homosexual sodomy without any similar
prohibition against heterosexual oral and anal sex,
would also be unenforceable under such a ruling.
But relying on “equal protection” to strike
down the Texas law would leave on the books
the sodomy laws in another nine states,
because they ban oral and anal sex for gay and
straight sex partners alike.
To knock out all 13 laws, the court would
have to conclude that the Texas law violates the
“fundamental right to privacy” that unmarried
adults have to decide, in the privacy of their
own bedrooms, to engage in consensual sex.
That would mean overturning the 1986 holding
in Bowers vs. Hardwick.
Justice O’Connor is famous for frustrating
advocates of all stripes by deciding cases on as
narrow a basis as possible, ostensibly to preserve
for the court the ability to consider new
facts and circumstances down the road. That
bodes poorly for a vote from her on an expanded
“fundamental right” that covers private sexual
choices, including sodomy.
She is also no fan of Roe vs. Wade, the controversial
ruling that the decision to terminate
a pregnancy was protected by that “fundamental
privacy right,” though she begrudgingly
upheld the precedent several years ago as a settled
issue that shouldn’t be reopened.
If Justice O’Connor won’t avail herself of the
prerogative to change her mind (and her vote) in
the Bowers case, then Justice Anthony Kennedy is
the only likely candidate to create a majority on
this “broader” ruling on the Texas sodomy law.
He gave no particular indication in the oral
argument last week that he is prepared to do
so, and the historic opinion he authored seven
years ago in Romer vs. Evans, which struck
down an anti-gay amendment to the Colorado
Constitution, was based on equal protection,
not the “right to privacy.”
BUT ARE WE REALLY WORSE OFF IF THE
Supreme Court won’t go so far as to declare
that there is a fundamental right to make private
As appealing as such a ruling might be to gay
and lesbian Americans, who are regularly subjected
to grief and discrimination for our private
sexual choices, there isn’t a strong anchor for
such a ruling in the text of the U.S. Constitution.
In fact, that document says nothing at all about a
right to privacy, except against having our homes
searched without justification.
That’s why Roe vs. Wade, which snatched
the-issue of abortion from consideration by the
elected branches of government, remains so
controversial today There may come a happy
day when homosexuality has reached such
broad acceptance that a judicially imposed right
to make private sexual choices will be accepted
by the public and will not galvanize the opposition,
but that day surely has not arrived.
It is the case, as noted, that only an expanded
“right to privacy” will strike down the sodomy
laws in those nine states that criminalize oral and
anal sex for gays and straights alike. Also left
intact would be laws against “fornication” (extramarital
sex of any type), which are still on the
books in a surprising number of states, although
they have not been used as widely as sodomy laws
to stigmatize gays in custody battles and the like.
But on the other hand, a ruling by the
Supreme Court that the “fundamental right to
privacy” extends to all private sexual choices may
not be nearly as useful to the broader movement
for full equality and gay civil rights.
IN THIS RESPECT, IT WAS THE LAWYER
for the state of Texas, Harris County District
Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, who really got it
right. At the very end of his folksy but otherwise
abysmal performance before the Supreme
Court last week, Rosenthal warned the justices
that striking down the state’s sodomy law
might result in a parade of horribles that
includes the legalization of gay marriage.
The state of Texas and its advocates on the
Supreme Court, most vocally Chief Justice
William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia,
searched high and low last week for any rational
justification for treating homosexuals and
heterosexuals differently under the state’s
The best they came up with is the proposition
that a majority of citizens, acting through
their government, is entitled to impose “moral
judgments” through laws. “You can make it
sound puritanical,” Scalia acknowledged from
the bench, but that doesn’t make it unconstitutional,
Pressed to come up with other justifications,
Rosenthal could offer only the preservation
of families and procreation, but those
claims withered under the scrutiny of Justice
Ginsburg, who pointed out that the same year
(1973) that Texas criminalized homosexual
sodomy, it decriminalized adultery and fornication.
For the knockout punch, she noted that
Texas places no sexual restrictions on heterosexuals
who cannot have children or on gays
who wish to serve as foster parents.
If the majority of the court sides with
Justice Ginsburg, and concludes that “morality”
and “family values” aren’t justifications for
treating gay couples differently from straight
couples, then you can waive goodbye to the only
serious justifications ever given for marriage
laws that discriminate against same-sex couples.
And don’t look to tradition to support such
“morality laws,” though Justice Scalia offered it
up last week. Justice Stevens shot back that
there was a long history of laws against interracial
marriage before the Supreme Court’s landmark
case of Loving vs. Virginia, which struck
them down on equal protection grounds in 1967.
Paul Smith, the top-notch advocate for the
two Houston gay men challenging the Texas
sodomy law, also noted that a history of official
discrimination didn’t save laws criminalizing
interracial cohabitation, which the court has
also struck down.
The Lambda Legal Defense & Education
Fund, which has done a generally excellent job
in the Texas case, has been too shy about
acknowledging the implications for gay marriage
in an equal protection victory in the
Texas sodomy case. If we believe in our own
equality, we shouldn’t play cute and disingenuous,
suggesting even out of court that sodomy
laws and marriage laws aren’t related.
All in all, a strong ruling that vindicates
our right to equal treatment from our government,
grounded in the actual text of the
Constitution, is worth far more than an extension
in the court’s troubled jurisprudence on
the “right to privacy,” however good such a
victory might feel today.
Chris Crain is
executive editor of
Houston Voice and
can be reached at
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 4, 2003 13
at a Black Party
point ELLEN FELDMAN
If we are going to wear chains, let them be
harnesses of the leather and metal variety,
not psychic boundaries from our true selves.
AM SITTING ON THE BACK OF THE
padded banquet at the Roseland
Ballroom, scene of the annual Black
Party in New York. I am propped up
against the wall. My husband is sitting
between my legs rubbing my feet while I
rub his forehead.
We are both pretty much blissed-out,
and we are watching the “bees” — our
word for the rhythmic swarm of humanity
that is trooping before us. My husband
moved in with me after I took him to his
first Black Party (did I find the right man
for me or what?), and we have declared it
to be our anniversary.
I’m considering visiting my friend
Kenny (“Ooooh, I just love straight people!”)
down in the ladies room, which is
filled with many gents and only a few
ladies tonight. But my thoughts have
caught a wave, so to speak, and my mind
is surfing through an idea.
I’m meditating on being happy with
one’s self and the teachings of Quentin
Crisp. Yes, I have a little chemical wax on
my board, but the thoughts are my own.
Suddenly, sitting next to us are two
matching mustachioed muscle men trying
to get into two matching metal harnesses.
The harnesses are very complicated. My
mind is still hanging 10, but we try to
help. This is a not-uncommon good-
Samaritan action at the Black Party
I used to have a little joke with myself:
There are two rules to happiness. One,
never do anything with your life that
would make a good opera; and two, never
put food in your gym bag. Both are
recipes for disaster.
I’m beginning to believe that Rule No. 3
should be to keep your costuming simple.
(“Sweetie, I don’t think that goes over
MR. CRISP WOULD BE VERY PROUD OF
me. His philosophy, which I embrace,
states: Find out who and what exactly you
are and be it completely. He always
thought it was a good thing to gef famous
for being what you are.
He would approve of my writing a fag
hag column. “Do you like my gardenias?”
I ask of the men on the dance floor.
“They’re my signature.” Nearly everyone
stops and takes a whiff.
Mr. Crisp is one of my heroes and mentors.
I say “is” rather than “was” even
though the marvelous gentleman has
passed away, because I keep him with me
like many other ghosts. I believe that his
philosophy transcends lifestyle choice,
and is a universal.
He tells us that the limits we know to
be our own are comfortable, not imprisoning.
He spoke of the chains we forged for
ourselves as being light; as opposed to the
heavy chains society hangs on us.
Meanwhile, our friends are getting
nowhere with the chains forged by
leatherman. “No! I’m positive that absolutely
no part of this thing goes around
your knee. Now let me undo it so you can
IT TAKES A HUGE AMOUNT OF
discipline to stay in your “forgery.” The
person you have created holds your personality
and represents yourself to the world.
As every drag queen knows, there is no
affectation without effort. You have to be
completely committed to the idea of being
yourself and throw all your resources
toward that goal.
“These are really gorgeous, guys, they
must have cost a fortune.”
It can be painful when others don’t
understand your quest. “Hey, watch out
for that spike there.” It can mean sacrifice;
there will be no easy way out.
“You know, Love, you’re not going to be
able to go the bathroom without taking
this all off.” But in the end, it is how you
bring your true self to the people who can
appreciate you. “Oh man, did that guy
seriously cruise you or what!”
No matter how difficult it is to reinvent
yourself to suit your own design, the truth
is, there is just no joy without it. No one
can ever be happy living someone else’s
life. “Oh, no thank you for offering, Love,
but it’s just a waste of good drugs on me.”
Our new, beautifully armored friends
have kissed us goodbye and danced off
into the swarm. I’m beaming at them
with auntie-like pride. They wanted to
present themselves as something special
to the people they care about, and they
I helped, which is, after all, a representation
of my persona. And now, I think it’s
time my man and I start dancing again.
i Ellen Feldman lives in New York City
’ and can be reached at
by Alison Bechdcl
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CLARICE, I REALLY NEED YOU
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TO FINISH THIS AND GeTTO
14 APRIL 4, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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' “After badgering businesses into providing
benefits to homosexual and lesbian partners of
employees, the National Gay & Lesbian Task
Force has cut domestic partner benefits to its own
employees.... The homosexual advocacy group
says providing such benefits is ‘prohibitively
expensive,’ even as it continues to dismiss similar
complaints from private business as unfounded.
It seems that sauce for the goose isn’t necessarily
sauce for the gander.”
Ken Connor, president of Family Research
Council, reacting to an interview with Lorri Jean,
the NGLTF executive director, in the March 7 issue
of the Washington Blade (FRC e-mail update,
“If anything, we’re helping to improve this part of the neighborhood,”
John Logston, general manager of Flex, a Columbus, Ohio, bathhouse, which has
spent some $250,000 on renovations to an abandoned movie house but faces opposition
from neighborhood activists who argue “that type of environment isn’t good for the community”
(Columbus Times-Dispatch, March 4)
“My mother is totally cool about my being gay; she’s very supportive and very OK
about it. My girlfriend and I are even allowed to sleep in the same bed when we are at
the house, which is weird. Because when my mother and stepfather visit us, we don’t
let them sleep together — because it’s creepy and weird. We have very impressionable
Comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer, in
the first national broadcast TV appearance
of a comedian who introduced herself as
an out lesbian (CBS’ “Late Show with
David Letterman, ’’March 18)
“We are writing history, though we still
don’t know whether anyone will read it.
Sometimes we don’t know how far to go,
or whether we aren’t going far enough.”
Nelson Joel Valdez, a volunteer at an
AIDS prevention center in Havana, Cuba,
who helped develop a television ad featuring
two men and a transvestite exchanging
condoms (South Florida Sun-Sentinel,
“It’s not me being a pain-in-the-ass
activist, as seen by the university. This is
our life. This is our home, and this is a
Carolyn O’Laughlin, a residence hall
director who resigned her position after
being threatened with disciplinary action
unless her partner moved out of O’Laughlin’s quarters in an on-campus, single-sex dormitory
(The State, East Lansing, Mich., March 18)
“It’s an issue that’s even foreign to gay
people. Transgenders are not always gay”
Michael Slaymaker, a gay activist in
Orlando, Fla., on why an anti-discrimination
ordinance passed last November did not include
“gender identity” as a protected category
(Orlando Sentinel, March 24)
“Of course, everyone knows by now. We’re
at war — that’s my boyfriend and me, of
course, not Iraq.”
British gay comedian (and Sean Hayes look-a-
like) Simon Happily, who recently split with
his partner of seven years, doing emcee duties
during Comedy Camp night at the London's
Bar Code (March 25)
“America’s homosexuals might better spend their time telling Leann Rimes that
she’s just too young to settle for dance-music diva-dom, or getting Richard Gere to do
more musicals. Whom I’d really like to hear from are the country’s heterosexuals:
Are they all this stupid?”
Film critic Wesley Morris, arguing that the recent Cuba Gooding Jr.-Horatio Sanz comedy
“Boat Trip” contains outrageous stereotypes of everyone, not just gays (Boston Globe,
March 21) ’
DINING: The top menu item lives up to delicious
expectations at Thelma's Bar-B-Que. Page 20.
THEATER: A talented cast and notable costuming help make
'Dirt Blonde' a must-see story of diva Mae West. Page 19.
Out on the Bayou HOUSTON VOICE
APRIL 4, 2003
Cirque du Soleil's
'Alegria' a must-see
for gay Houstonians
By DON MOSER
DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FROM CIRQUE du
Soleil’s “Alegria,” but I sensed from the beginning that
something very special was happening here.
I was elated to attend a performance by the troupe.
For years I had heard and seen the news about Cirque du
Soleil, this French Canadian, award-winning conglomeration
of acrobatics, dance, music, and street theater under
a big top, but never had I witnessed the entertainment.
A mobile of circling birds overhead greeted me upon entering
the contoured boutique and concessions tent. Their fanciful
images and shadows helped ready my imagination for what
was to come in the big top. After very friendly ushers helped
me to my seat, I watched the lighting operators scale their ladders
to man hi-tech equipment for the coming light show.
The circular center stage had an inclined back area in
which the musicians played, and a catwalk above capped the
performance space. As events came and went, the layout of
the performance area played a crucial role, with entertainers
using the configuration to maximum visual effect.
I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE
show* in detail, even if I wanted to. Suffice it to say that if
you have never seen Cirque du Soleil, you will be utterly
amazed. I have seen quite a few live performances in my
time, but I have never experienced such a confluence of
imagination, skill, talent and fun.
The costumes were works of art; the music most original
and mood enhancing; the clowns and attendants funny
in a street theater way. But the performing artists were
pure entertainment. From the Fast Track trampoline act to
the Synchronized Trapeze to the Contortionist to the
Flying Man to the Russian Bars and the Manipulation
streamers...each of the 11 or so acts was awe-inspiring.
All in all, about 50 artists performed that night, and I
thought to myself, “How is it possible to create such events
where superlatives were not enough?”
To help me better understand the incredible creativity,
dedication and organization involved in producing such a
Please see ALEGRIA on Page 16
16 APRIL 4, 2003_____________________________________________
| out on the bayou
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Gay trapeze artist flies with Cirque du Soleil
ALEGRIA, continued from Page 15
spectacle, the circus’s public relations
firm here in Houston arranged an interview
for me with Gaston Elie, an openly
gay trapeze artist with this elite circus.
Reggie Lyons, the company’s traveling
publicist of four-and-a-half years, escorted
me through the ultra-modern circus
camp to the multi-national kitchen for the
meeting. Elie, a third generation trapezist
from Argentina, arrived in great spirits,
and I soon learned about his career and
the art of trapeze.
Beginning at the age of 8, Elie performed
with several circuses worldwide before realizing
his-dream: to perform with Cirque^du
Soleil. At the age of 29 and now in the prime
of his performing life, Elie displayed the
congenial professionalism of an artist at
o MORE INFO
Through April 13
8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays
5 and 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays
1 and 5 p.m. Sundays
Cirque du Soleil
1001 Convention Center Blvd.
ease with himself and with success.
I asked him what physically and mentally
was important to be one of the best
on the trapeze, and fortunately, he replied
in one of the four languages he speaks
that I can understand.
“Your wrists and stomach muscles must
be especially strong,” Elie explained. “We
perform 10 shows a week and two rehearsals,
so you have to have that strength. Mentally,
you are two people: First, you’re thinking
about executing the trick well with your
partner, and second, you must perform for
the audience. If a mistake is made, sometimes
that is the harder of the two.”
Regarding his performance that night, I
asked Elie which part was the most difficult.
“First, our act in Alegria’ is intentionally
choreographed to get the audience to
swing with us,” he said. “We want to see
members in the audience rock back and
forth in their chairs. The most difficult
part is the finale, because we are tired to
begin with and it has several difficult
moves to create excitement.”
Since Elie’s performance occurred at "
the beginning of the production, I asked
him if he is involved any more with the
“Oh, yes. All of the artists play several
roles and duties after their moment in the
spotlight, Elie said. “I assist with the
placing of hoops and helping out with
other acts as well.”
Finally, since it was close to midnight
by now, I asked Elie about his career and
“I was performing with my family in
Argentina when I saw a Cirque du Soleil
performance in Montreal in 1992,” he
recalled. “The new techniques I saw
inspired me to work towards joining this
circus. It was very hard and expensive. I
had to move to Montreal to study with the
best trapeze coach in the world, in my
opinion. My parents are very, very proud
of me and have supported me all the way.
“And, by the way, American audiences
are the best,” Elie said. “Please encourage
your readers to come to Alegria,’ Cirque
You heard the artist. Do everything
possible to see this marvelous production.
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HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
I dish There's a Fine Line Between Telling the Truth and Talking Trash
Brideshead revisited, again
Producers of new gay movie
try to line up two hot studs
for lead roles
MANY GAY TELEVISION AFICIONADOS —
or those with VCRs — will remember
the miniseries “Brideshead Revisited,”
a tale about a common youth in the
1920s who falls in love with his aristocratic
Oxford roommate and his roommate’s
The 1981 drama, based on the novel of
the same title by Evelyn Waugh, was infamous
for its homosexual content. It also
made a star out of JEREMY IRONS, who
portrayed the commoner.
Regardless, Hollywood has its hands
on the material and is planning to adapt
this modern classic for the big screen,
according to the London Daily Express.
“We’ve got the pick of all the best
young actors in the world for the two
main characters,” producer Douglas Rae
told the paper. “The ideal casting would
be COLIN FARRELL and JUDE LAW.
They are two of the most beautiful looking
men in the world.”
The article — we all know that the
British press is so sensationalistic it would
make JERRY SPRINGER blush — makes
it seem like the two have already signed up
for the movie and are in wardrobe fittings
right now, but Rae’s statement is more of a
wish list than reality.
Gay men everywhere wish Law and
Farrell would star in an adult movie, too.
But that doesn’t mean it’s actually going
to happen or that the actors themselves
will be interested in tackling the roles.
With or without Farrell and Law, Rae
is still optimistic about his new project.
But most producers usually are.
“I was one of those people who grew
up with the [television] version,” he says.
“I think that more than 20 years later,
there’s room for a new generation of people
who never saw the movie.”
That may be true, but few will head to
theaters if they cast PETER FALK and
JASON ALEXANDER in the film’s lead
roles. Farrell and Law are a whole different
story, but let’s wait to see who signs
on the dotted line before getting behind
DIEHARD FANSVOF THE COMIC BOOK
“SUPERMAN” are a bit peeved
about a new script that was floated on the
entertainment gossip Web site
The script, written by J. J. Abrams,
attributes Superman’s powers to the blue
and red battle suit rather than to his
alien origins. It also depicts Lex Luthor
as a member of the CIA and portrays
tommy Olsen, Clark Kent’s nerdy sidekick,
as a gay man.
Dorks — er, fans — have even created
an Internet petition to stop these changes,
especially Olsen’s homosexuality, from
showing up in the movie.
Take Anthony Andrews (left) and replace him with
Jude Law. Then replace Jeremy Irons with Colin
Ferrell, and you'll have the new cast of ’Brideshead
Revisited.' Maybe. (Photo courtesy of PBS)
“Jimmy Olsen is not gay Or, at least,
he’s not out of the closet,” the petition,
written hy an anonymous creator, reads.
“Being a dork does not make one gay.”
Thank goodness that’s true, or all the
people who have nothing better to worry
about than whether Jimmy gets turned
on by a man in tights would be heading to
Blake’s after signing this petition.
Initial speculation has linked JUSTIN
TIMBERLAKE to the Olsen role, and the
singer is slated to play a gay con man on
“Will & Grace” in the next few months.
This additional gay role might make the
sex symbol even more attractive to his
substantial gay male following.
been talks about
the creation of a
movie for years.
Daredevil and a
whole pack of X-Men,
still isn’t a man of
steel in sight. Justin Timberlake
But again, viewers
should wait until the ink is dry on
this deal before drooling all the way to the
Send comments, suggestions to
APRIL 4, 2003 17
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Get to know the coach!
Have a question?
Mark your calendar for Friday, April 11, 2003!
For one day. I will respond to all questions submitted
by e-mail that day. Ask whatever you want and I will
respond to your question. 1 will answer questions that
Abby won't answer and that your Mother didn’t know.
The 25th e-mailer will win an hour with the coach and
a complimentary profile evaluation, a $175 value!
This is my gift to you. The winner will be announced on
my Web site on Saturday, April 12th, on the front page,
and 1 will leave the winner's name posted for one week.
Let’s have some fun!!!
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18 APRIL 4,2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
television brian moylan
Full body slam
Want to write?
(and get paid for it?!)
THE CELEBRITY SIDE OF BEING ON
television is not always easy for Chin,
who moved to New York City because she
says it’s illegal to be gay in Jamaica. She
came to the city to find anonymity and to
be out and proud. Issues she faced after
arriving here pushed her to use poetry to
IN A WORLD WHERE REALITY TELE-vision
sitcoms like “Everybody Loves
Raymond” and war-related news
dominate the airwaves, HBO’s “Def
Poetry Jam,” which returns for its third
season Friday, April 4, takes viewers in a
Already spawning a popular
Broadway version and a touring company
of the concept, “Jam” brings the voices of
underground poetry slam masters to a
mainstream audience. The power is not
always in the words carefully wrought
and delivered to the expectant audience,
but in who utters them.
Many of the artists on the show
are people of color, and several in the
upcoming season, such as Alix Olsen,
Nikki Giovanni, and Staceyann Chin,
Chin, who took time out from appearing
in the cast of the Broadway version of
the show and from filming several segments
for television, told Houston Voice
this week that a diversity of voices was
the goal of “Def Poetry Jam” producers
when deciding on the lineup.
“They were looking for people who
were out there making a lot of waves
with their work,” she says. “I think they
were looking for particular faces so that
the group they put forward is as inclusive
“I cover so many of the bases, I’m half
Chinese, half black, from Jamaica, and
I’m queer,” she notes. “If you want diversity,
stick me in the foreground.”
The show features poets and celebrities
— such as Caroline Kennedy, Jewel,
Amiri Baraka, Benjamin Bratt, muMs
(who played Poet on gay favorite “Oz”),
ancLnoted spoken word performer
Maggie Estep — Chin still worries about
“I think that everybody who is
involved in anything where they’re trying
to be diverse, especially in the climate of
a very straight, white world, we all feel
like the token,” she says. “I try to remind
myself though that, even if I am a token,
it’s an opportunity to add some color and
some diversity and sexuality to a picture
that has been not that for so many years.”
“I was dealing with being a new immigrant,
and I moved here to be an out
queer person of color,” Chin says. “Then
I realized being a black woman is as
much a ‘handicap’ in America as being a
lesbian in Jamaica.
“I had a lot of shit to say, basically,”
she says. “So much of how I exist has to
do with language.”
It’s that language and getting her message
to the public that drives Chin to do
what she does on stage and television.
“What’s great about being on TV is
that it helped my career,” she says. “But I
don’t want it to be about me. I want it to
be about the ideas.”
And if you like her ideas, please let
her know — in the proper way.
“I’m moved when people tell me my
work moved them. But I don’t like when
people say, ‘Oh, you’re Staceyann Chin
and you’re the best poet,”’ she says. “The
people who understand my work are the
least inclined to yell my name in the
street. They understand that it’s not
about my autograph, it’s about making
those feelings your own and sharing
them with others.”
O MORE INFO
'Def Poetry Slam'
Fridays at 12:30 a.m.
Ideal candidates will have polished writing skills,
an eye for accuracy and detail, and the ability to
adhere strictly to weekly deadlines.
Houston Voice seeks to add to its pool of freelance
writers, particularly those interested in covering
news such as politics, police reports, court issues
and in-depth investigative pieces.
408 AVONDALE 800-357-1228
HBO brings back 'Def Poetry Jam/
focusing on the works of spoken word
artists with many different voices.
Contact Penny Weaver
HOUSTON Stay with us!
A 7-ROOM ALL-GAY B&B
We’re right. IN the neighborhood
And priced right!
Queen bed, cable TV,
phone. Walk to 15 gay bars.
Award-winning slam poet Staceyann Chin always
receives attention, but her identity as a queer of color
on 'Def Poetry Jam' sometimes takes the spotlight —
sometimes to her chagrin. (Photo by Will Hart/HBO)
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 4, 2003 19
theater don moser
Cast, costuming are just two
of the highlights of this play focusing
on the irrepressible Mae West
'Blonde' is a delight
I THINK CONTEXT IS VERY IMPORTANT,
so as I sat down to write about Stages’ new
production, “Dirty Blonde,” I was listening to
Three Doors Down’s song, “Loser,” and had
just finished reading Judith Thurman’s article
in the current New Yorker about artist
Vanessa Beecroft’s bulimia exhibition, “The
Wolf at the Door.” How those influences play
into this review, I’m not exactly sure, except
that a famously sexy female performer, Mae
West, and a couple of her obsessed fans are
the illuminating context for “Dirty Blonde.”
Stages Repertory Theatre has mounted
yet another must-see play for Houstonians.
Claudia Shear, whom you might know as the
screenwriter for several well-received films
like “Living Out Loud” and “It Could Happen
to You,” received Tony and Drama Desk nominations
for Best Play for this superb work
about Mae West’s life and career, told by way
of two lonely, admiring fans. Laura Josepher,
back in Houston for her third Stages’ production,
directed this two-hour time capsule, noting
that her research revealed West to be one
of the best and earliest feminist icons for her
use and command of sexuality
In fact, “Sex” was the name of West’s first
play one that was shut down by authorities
soon after opening and landed the budding
actress/songstress/comedienne/writer in the
slammer for a few days (she got no answer
upon asking the judge how she could spend her
nights). Scathing repartee with innuendo was
and is the trademark of West, and no “dame”
since could possibly match her mentally (Sarah
Bernhardt, though, comes to mind).
Undaunted and even encouraged by the
“Sex” brou-ha-ha, West created “Diamond Lil,”
a huge Broadway hit that established her image
as a sex symbol in the American public’s mind.
From that stage success came the film, “She
Done Him Wrong,” starring the then-unknown
Cary Grant, a film credited for rescuing the
near bankrupt Paramount Studios. West
worked in radio and television for many years
before writing her autobiography “Goodness
Had Nothing To Do With It,” finally settling in a
Hollywood apartment for her retirement.
It is in that very same apartment that
many of the finest moments of “Dirty Blonde”
are enacted. That setting, her family mausoleum
in Brooklyn’s Cypress Hill Cemetery,
and a number of vaudeville stages account for
most of the locations of this play that alternates
between the present and the past of a
great career. Actress Susan Oltmanns-Koozin
captures that Mae West in the past and embodies
Jo, the infatuated fan, in the present. Her
voice intonations, body movements, and interactions
with a variety of male characters had
to transcend decades of time, and she met the
demands incredibly Many moments during
her performance had me literally in the room
with the real Mae West, and it was only
applause that brought me out of the reverie.
Susan Oltmanns-Koozin stars as Mae West in
Stages Repertory Theatre's must-see 'Dirty Blonde.'
Accompanying Oltmanns-Koozin in this
stage creation of an American icon are the
immensely versatile Jeffrey Gimble and
Philip Lehi, both of whom play at least a
half dozen assorted men in West’s life and
career. Most intriguing, though, is Gimble’s
portrayal of Charlie, a young film archivist
who is solidly obsessed with this sex goddess,
to the point of visiting her grave every
year and secretly wearing one of her gowns.
Gimble’s range with this character along
with the others is wonderful to witness. Lehi
plays everything from a grandfatherly Joe Frisco
to the very witty drag queen Eddie Hearn.
Every new character—and there are several—
seem to be an entirely different person.
Outside of a well-written play strong direction
and wonderful enactment are the elements
of stage and costume design. It is amazing how
Stages’ creative staff can fabricate moments of
time and many different places so economically
and make the suspension of belief so easy
Costume Designer Andrew Cloud is responsible
for a great deal of that magic, having
begun costume research back in November
and creating 27 renderings that Costume Shop
Manager Brooks Ashley and staff brought to
material life. West was and is noted for her
larger-than-life persona, and as Josepher states,
there is little chance of overdressing her.
If for nothing else, the enjoyment of the
costuming would be reason enough to see
“Dirty Blonde.” That costuming coupled
with a gilded vaudeville stage arch, an
upright piano for the songs and thickly cushioned
furniture round out a stage design
wonderfully convincing and enjoyable.
By all means, go see “Dirty Blonde.” For
as Mae West so naughtily expressed: “Too
much of a good thing is wonderful.”
o MORE INFO
Through April 13
7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays • 3 p.m. Sundays
Tickets: $32-$42 • Stages Repertory Theatre
3201 Allen Parkway at Waugh Drive
713-527-0123 • www.stagestheatre.com
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Fax (713) 528-6708 • lovettinn.com
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20 APRIL 4, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
dining J.A. CHAPMAN
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House hosts a restaurant that excels
at its title offering and more
Thelma's does BBQ right
THELMA’S BAR-B-QUE HAS BEEN GET-ting
quite a bit of press lately. From a profile
on PBS in January to glowing reviews
in publications all across the country, it’s
the latest darling of barbecue cognoscenti
and foodies. So I figured I should head
over to the little red-trimmed house in the
sketchy Third Ward neighborhood and see
what the fuss was all about.
My first visit was at lunchtime.
Thelma’s sign isn’t real big, but I knew I
was in the right place because the house
was surrounded by cars. I had to park
way up the street, and the intoxicating
smell of barbecue smoke filled the air as I
walked back toward the screened porch
that proved to be the entrance.
“Keep the door closed!” someone
hollered from behind the counter. I obediently
complied, got in line, and took a
look around the joint. Thelma’s was
packed with a mix of downtown workers
and folks from around the neighborhood.
The dining room is small, holding about
12 tables of different types and sizes. A
jukebox dominates the back wall, and the
relish bar and a table with water and tea
flank the door. With this many people, it’s a
challenge to get around. But the crowd is
friendly Eating well will do that to people.
IT’S A PRETTY BASIC SETUP. YOU
order, pay, and get your number. Someone
comes out from the kitchen carrying
Styrofoam containers and calls out numbers
to deliver the food. Since this was
my first visit, I figured I should try the
sliced beef brisket. I ordered a one meat
dinner ($6.75), which meant I got the
sliced beef and two sides. I settled on cole
slaw and potato salad.
Contrary to what I’d been hearing, the
service was pretty quick. I had to wait
about 10 minutes at peak lunch hour for
my food. And what a pile of food it was! A
mountain of sliced brisket swam in a
tangy-sweet vinegar-based barbecue
sauce. Two huge scoops of cole slaw and
potato salad filled the other two sections
in the box. A little plastic baggy of thick
sliced white bread came on the side. I
could hardly wait to dig in.
After one bite, I could see why people
were raving. Smoky, and oh-so-tender, the
brisket practically melted in my mouth.
The occasional charred outside piece provided
a nice crispy contrast. If I had one
complaint, it would be that there was too
much sauce. I kept trying to brush it off
to better taste the meat. Perhaps I’ll order
it on the side next time.
The side dishes held their own. The
potato salad was mustardy and smooth,
while the cole slaw was crunchy with just
the right amount of sweetness. I’d
ordered iced tea as well, which they
warned me was already sweetened. They
were right - it was sweet and lemony, tak-
1020 Live Oak
Houston, Texas 77003
ing me back to those warm summer days
when I was a kid. It seemed like just the
right drink with Thelma’s barbecue.
MY NEXT VISIT WAS A FRIDAY NIGHT
for dinner. If the neighborhood feels questionable
during the day, it’s a bit more so
at night. We didn’t worry about safety,
though, as there were four police cars
parked out front. I’ve always maintained
that cop cars outside mean good, reasonably
priced food inside, so we decided this
was an exceptionally good sign.
This time I wanted to try the chicken
and my friend wanted to try the ribs.
Unfortunately, at 7:45 p.m. on a Friday,
they were both gone. Lesson: go at lunch,
or get there early for dinner if you want
your choice off the menu. We both decided
to try the catfish dinner ($6.95).
The restaurant was busy, but not
packed, with a slightly different crowd
than at lunchtime. There were two tables
of police, a couple of families and some
college-age friends out for dinner. We had
plenty of opportunity to study the clientele,
as our two catfish dinners took 45
minutes to arrive.
The catfish was worth the wait.
Cornmeal breaded, crunchy on the outside
and steaming hot and tender on the
inside, it was a joy to eat. This is how
fried catfish should taste. I can’t say as
much for the sides this time, though. My
friend enjoyed the ripple-cut fries, but my
green beans and dirty rice were rather
average. But with three huge catfish fillets
to devour, it wasn’t like we went hungry.
Thelma’s is a friendly, down home
kind of place, where Thelma herself
makes the rounds in the dining room,
making sure everyone is happy. The next
time you’re in the mood for barbecue, go
pay Thelma a visit. You’re in for a treat.
zjfs Thelma's Bar-B-Que llO 1020 Live Oak
Houston, TX 77003
Food: WWW W
Service: W W W H
r = Stay home and eat cereal
W W = Well, if you really must
W W W = Fine for all but the finnicky
Wl W W W=Worth more than a 20-minute drive
w W W W W=As good as you'll find in this city
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
SATURDAY, APRIL 5
Houston Buyers Club. Free BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis)
the first two Saturdays of the month. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Houston Buyers Club, 3400 Montrose Blvd., Suite 604.713-520-
Houston Outdoor Group. Breakfast at Le Peep's. Also, Bayou Bend
day trip is planned. Contact Howard and Terry, 713-528-6174.
Bonsai Show is April 5 and 6; contact Ray Gonzales at 713-522-
7809. HOG: 713-KAMPOUT.
All-Spanish Worship Service/Noche Espiritual. 6 p.m.
Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, 2026 W. 11th.
713-303-3409 or 713-861-9149.
After Hours. KPFT 90.1 FM. 1-4 a.m.
Dignity mass. 7:30 p.m. for gay Catholics. 713-880-2872.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 11 p.m.-2 a.m. at Viviana's.
Gay & Lesbian Breakfast Club. 9:30 a.m. 281-437-0636.
Houston Wrestling Club. Practice. 1:30 p.m. 713-453-7406.
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 11:30 a.m. Eye Opener
Group, 8 p.m. Saturday Night Live, 9:30 p.m. Willing Ones
Group. 1201W. Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772.
Q-Patrol. Volunteers walk the streets to help prevent hate crimes.
930 p.m. Convene at community center. 713-528-SAFE. E-mail:
St Stephen's Episcopal Church. Rosary 8 a.m. 1805 W. Alabama.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, noon-5 p.m. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
SUNDAY, APRIL 6
PFLAG Houston. Monthly general meeting, 2-4:30 p.m. Topic:
Corporate GLBT Employee Organizations. Christ Church Cathedral,
1117 Texas Ave. www.pflaghouston.org.
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Services at 8:30 &
10:50 a.m. Sunday school 9:45 a.m. 713-526-1017.
Center for Spiritual Living. Services at 11 a.m„ for children at
10:50 a.m. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808. The center also has commitment
ceremonies, metaphysical bookstore and classes.
Community Gospel. Service at 11 a.m. & 7 p.m. Sunday School for
children 10 a.m. 713-880-9235 or www.communitygospel.org.
Community of Kindred Spirits in Beaumont Worship at 6 p.m.
1575 Spindietop Ave., Beaumont, Texas. 409-813-2055. E-mail:
Covenant Church, Ecumenical, Liberal Baptist Service 9:30 a.m. &
education hour 11 a.m. 713-668-8830.
Emerson Unitarian Church. Adult education, 10 a.m. Service, 11
a.m. Lunch at noon, www.emersonhou.org.
First Congregational Church (Memorial). Service at 10 a.m.
Christian Education, 11:30 a.m.. 713-468-9543 or fcc-houston.org.
First Unitarian Universalist Church. Services at 9:30 & 11:30 a.m.
Brunch at 10:30 a.m. 713-526-5200. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 9 p.m.-midnight at Club Inergy.
Gay Bowling Leagues. 7 p.m. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd.
Gay Catholics of St Anne's-Houston. 5 p.m. worship service.
Dinner and social. alexcam@wtnet 713-623-0930.
GLOBAL Gay Lesbian Or Bisexual Alliance. University of Houston
GLBT student group meeting. 2 p.m. at the Houston Lesbian & Gay
Community Center, 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818.
WWW.uh.edu/~global. E-mail: email@example.com.
Grace Lutheran Church. Sunday school for all ages 9 a.m. Service
10:30 a.m. 713-528-3269.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 4-6 p.m. For more
information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 9 a.m.-noon. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 9:30 a.m. Came to Believe
Group. 1201W. Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772. www.lamb-dahouston.
Maranatha Fellowship Metropolitan Church. 10 a.m. service. 3333
Fannin, Suite 106.713-528-6756.
Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church. Services at 9:45 &
11:15 a.m. Sunday school 9:45 a.m. 281-298-2780.
Resurrection MCC. Services, 9 and 11 a.m. Children and Youth
Sunday School, 10 a.m. Children's service, 11 a.m. 713-861-9149.
St Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Holy Eucharist, Rite 1,7:45 a.m.;
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 8:55 a.m.; Education hour, 10 a.m.; Choral
Eucharist, 11 a.m. 713-528-6665.
Sunday Brunch. For HIV-positive men. 11 a.m. Riva's, 1117 Missouri
St. Paul, 713-880-0690. e-mail: PoznBuff@aol.com.
The Women’s Group. Meeting and discussion. 10:45 am. 713-529-8571
Thoreau Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Adult discussion, 9
a.m. Service, 11:15 am. 281-277-8882. www.tuuc.org.
Unitarian Fellowship of Galveston County. 502 Church St. Service,
10:30 am. 409-765-8330.
Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. Adult forum, 10 a.m. Service, 11
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, 2-6 p.m. • GLBT
Community Church with Rev. Melissa Wood: Bible study, 10-10:45
a.m., worship 11 am. www.geocities.com/glbtcc • 3400 Montrose,
Suite 207.713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
MONDAY, APRIL 7
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 am.-l p.m.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 9 am.-noon
at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25th St. 713-526-0555, ext
231,227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 p.m.-midnight. Keys West
Frost Eye Clinic. Free eye exams for people with HIV. 713-830-3000.
Gay Bowling Leagues. 9 p.m. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187
Gay Fathers/Fathers First Support group. 8-9:30 p.m. Bering
Memorial United Methodist Church. Tom, 713-726-8736.
Grief & Divorce Support Groups. 7 pm. Bering. 713-526-1017 ext 208.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Kolbe Project Eucharist 7:30 p.m. 713-861-1800.
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 8 p.m. Beginners' Group. 1201
W. Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772. www.lambdahouston.org.
Montrose Clinic. Offers weekly peer support groups for gay and
bisexual men with HIV. Spanish speaking group meets, 6:30 p.m.
215 Westheimer. 713-830-3050. Grupo de Apoyo para Latinos gay
y bisexuales VIH positives. Lunes 6:30. Para mas informacion
llama al 713-830-3025.
Queer Voices Radio Show. 8-10 p.m. KPFT 901
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 p.m. • American
Veterans for Equal Rights, 7 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207 713-
TUESDAY, APRIL 8
HAMS. Motorcycle riders' social, 7 p.m. Mission Burritos, 2245
West Alabama, www.hamsclub.org.
Houston Gay & Lesbian Parents. Support group. Bering Memorial
United Methodist Church, 1440 Harold St. www.hglp.org.
Bering Support Network. Lunch Bunch Gang, 11 am. 713-526-1017.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l p.m.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 10 a.m.-2
p.m. at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25™ St 713-526-0555,
ext. 231,227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 p.m.-midnight at Club
Houston. Also 4-8 p.m. at 611 Club, 611 Hyde Park. 713-830-3000.
Gay youth. New program for young gay males, ages 18-29.7 p.m.
614 Avondale. 713-533-9786.
GLBT Pentecostals. Bible study, prayer, 7 p.m. in the Heights. For
info: 936-931-3761; e-mail: www.Wgbl947@cs.com.
Houston Women's Rugby Team. No experience necessary. Practice,
6:30-8:30. Westland YMCA. Kay, 713-208-1529.
Introduction to Buddhism. All welcome at 634 W. Temple in the
Heights. 7 p.m. Carlton, 713-862-8129.
Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance lessons. Brazos River Bottom.
No partner needed. Beginner 2 Step, Waltz, Shuffle & Swing. 8:30
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 p.m. • Lesbian Coming
Out Group, 7 p.m. • Pride Committee general meeting, 7 p.m. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9
Houston Area Bears. Business meeting, 7:30 p.m. at Bibas. HAB:
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l p.m.;
SOM Discussion & Exploration, 7 p.m. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA). 8:15 p.m. meeting. Montrose
Counseling Center, 701 Richmond Ave., Room 15.
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Support Network Pot
Luck Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Various support groups, 7 p.m. 713-526-1017
Bible Study. Noon & 630 p.m. St Stephen's Episcopal. 713-526-6665.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 4-8 p.m. at Mary's; 9 p.m.-
midnight at Ripcord; 10 p.m.-l a.m. at EJ’s; 10 p.m.-l a.m. at
Midtowne Spa. 713-830-3000.
Free HIV Testing. Thomas Street Clinic. 9 a.m.-l p.m.
2015 Thomas St. OraSure method. Call for appointment Sharon,
Gay Bowling Leagues. 6:30 p.m. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd.
Houston Pride Band. Open rehearsal, 7-9 p.m. 1307 Yale. 713-528-4379.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 7:00-9 p.m. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Spiritual Uplift service. 7 p.m. Resurrection MCC. 713-861-9149.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, 2-9 p.m. • Free HIV
testing, counseling, 6-9 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-
THURSDAY, APRIL 10
Lesbian & Gay Immigration Rights Task Force-Houston. Meeting.
8 p.m. Chris, 713-426-3128. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BiNet Houston. Group for bisexuals; everyone welcome. 730 pm. Hobbit
Cafe, 2240 Portsmouth, www.flash.net/-bihouse. 713-467-4380.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 1130 a.m.-l p.m.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Community Gospel. Service. 7:30 p.m. 713-880-9235.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 10 a.m.-2
p.m. at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25™ St. Also 11 a.m.-3:30
p.m. at Gallery Medical Clinic, 5900 North Freeway, and Club Toyz
from 9 p.m/midnight 713-526-0555, ext 231,227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 4-8 p.m. at The Outpost; 8
p.m.- midnight at Brazos River Bottom and Cousins; 10 p.m.-l a.m.
at Toyz Disco. 713-830-3000.
FrontRunners. Running club. 6:30 p.m. 713-522-802L
Web site: http://home.swbell.net/larathon/houfr.htm.
Gay Bowling Leagues. 9 pm. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187
GLOBAL. Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Alliance at the University of
Houston-Central Campus. Weekly meeting, 6 p.m. e-mail:
Hep C Recovery. Support group. 630 pm. Bering. 713-526-1017, Ext 211
Houston Women's Rugby Team. No experience necessary. Practice,
6:30-8:30. Westland YMCA. Kay, 713-208-1529.
Lambda Skating Club. 8 p.m. Tradewinds Skating Rink.
Montrose Clinic. Offers weekly peer support groups for gay and
bisexual men with HIV. English speaking group meets, 6:30 pm.
215 Westheimer 713-830-3050.
Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance lessons. No partner required.
Brazos River Bottom. 830 pm. 713-528-9192.
Recovery From Food Addiction (RFA). Meeting for 12-step
program open to all. Noon-1 p.m. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church,
1805 W. Alabama St. RFA: 713-673-2848.
www.geocities.com/rfa77235/. E-mail: email@example.com.
Spanish Charla Conversation Group. Cafe Agora, 7 p.m.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 713-416-7203.
Women's Clinic. Montrose Clinic. 713-830-3000.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop in 2-9 pm. • Montrose Writers
Project, 7 p.m. • PFLAG-Houston board meeting, 7 p.m. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
FRIDAY, APRIL 11
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 am.-l pm.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 10 p.m.-2 am. at The Meatrack;
10 p.m.-l am. at EJ's and at Midtowne Spa. 713-830-3000.
Free HIV Testing. Thomas Street Clinic. 9 am.-l pm. 2015 Thomas
St. OraSure method. Call for appointmenL Sharon, 713-873-4157.
Frost Eye Clinic. Free eye exams for people with HIV. 713-830-3000.
Houston Area Teen Coalition of Homosexuals (HATCH.) Meeting,
7-10 pm. 713-942-7002.
Houston Tennis Club. 7:00-9 p.m. Memorial Park at the Tennis'
Kolbe Project Morning prayer, 10 am. 713-861-1800.
Mishpachat Alizim. GLBT Jewish congregation. Sabbath services
at 8 pm. on the second Friday of each month at Baby Barnabys,
602 Fairview. Monthly study groups with Congregation Beth
Israel, 5600 North Braeswood. Mishpachat Alizim, P.O. Box
980136, Houston, tX 77098.866-841-9139, ext. 1834.
Q-Patrol. Volunteers walk the streets to help prevent hate crimes 930 pm
Convene at community center. 713-528-SAFE E-mait qpatrolinc@aoLcom
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 pm. • Women's
Game Night, 7:30 pm. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818.
Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Houston. Volunteers offer a friendly
ear to callers in need of information, nonjudgmental support, crisis
intervention and referral services, emergency shelter and advocacy
services to crime survivors who may need someone to accompany
them to a hospital for medical attention or assistance in filing a
police report 713-529-3211.
HoP-ON. Anyone can join this non-profit moderated e-mail
announcement list that helps facilitate advocacy work and organizing
efforts for gay Houstonians. Quantity of postings is strictly
limited. Postings include press releases and action alerts from
national, state and local gay and allied organizations. For info or to
join, access www.groups.yahoo.com/group/HoP-ON/.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Volunteers perform a variety of
critical tasks which include staffing the information desk during
drop-in hours; helping with center programming and events; working
on community outreach efforts, fund-raising and publicity. Card
players, writers and artists in particular are needed. 713-524-3818.
Peer Listening Line. Youth only. Staffed by GLBT youth for gay,
lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. 5-10 p.m.
Pride Committee of Houston. Volunteers sought for Pride 2003
preparations. This is the 25th Pride celebration, www.pridehous-ton.
org. E-mail: email@example.com: 713-529-6979.
To list an event, call 713-529-8490, fax
at 713-529-9531, or e-mail editor®
houstonvoice.com. Deadline is Monday at 5 p.m.
APRIL 4, 2003 21
a weekly guide to arts & entertainment
activities for gay Houstonians
Mr. Prime Choice 2003 will be chosen this weekend.
Ripcord hosts the contest, with Don Gill serving
as master of ceremonies. The public can meet
the contestants on Friday evening at the Ripcord.
The contest is 9 p.m. Saturday. Mr. Prime Choice is
for all men over age 40, and competitors are
judged largely on their philanthropic efforts in the
community. Ripcord, 715 Fairview. 713-521-2792.
SUNDAY, APRIL 6
"The Causes of Heterosexuality" is the topic of the
adult discussion with leader Ritalinda D'Andrea at
Henry David Thoreau Unitarian Universalist
Congregation. The interactive workshop and exploration
looks at questions such as: What are the causes
of heterosexuality? Is it hormonal? Genetic? Is it a
"lifestyle"? Are the heterosexual's parents responsible
for his or her orientation? 10 a.m. CCR Building of
the Sanctuary. Henry David Thoreau Unitarian
Universalist Congregation, 3945 D/E Greenbriar,
Stafford, TX 77477 281-277-8882. www.tuuc.org.
FRIDAY, APRIL 11
Authors Dean James and Greg Herren will participate
in book signings. James is manager of Murder
By the Book and a Rice University graduate, in
addition to being a novelist. He is presenting his
new murder-mystery, "Faked to Death." Herren is a
former Houston resident who now calls New
Orleans home. His novel is "Bourbon Street Blues,"
also a murder-mystery. 6 p.m. Murder By the Book,
2342 Bissonnet. 713-524-8597.
SATURDAY, APRIL 5
Rocker Ginger Leigh performs
in Montrose. The Texas-born
Leigh is a fifth-generation performer
in a family full of musicians.
She describes her music
as pop/rock with jazz and R&B
undertones. Chances, 1100
www.GLeigh.com. Ginger Leigh
F.O, a Houston band, hosts open mic night from 9 p.m.
to 1 a.m. Chances, 1100 Westheimer. 713-523-7217
SUNDAY, APRIL 6
Montrose Clinic and Meteor present Houston-artists
Joseph Culotta and John Painter for a cocktail reception
and art show. Culotta is known for his mastery of vari-'
ous media- oils, acrylics, jewelry, design and more.
Painter, a carpenter and painter by trade, portrays his
primary interest in the metaphysical through his work. A
portion of proceeds from the show benefits Montrose
Clinic 3 p.m. Meteor, 2306 Genesee. 713-521-0123.
TUESDAY, APRIL 8
"Soul Sanctum" by featured artist Lisa Herrington is
an art exhibition that begins this week. A reception
with complimentary wine and appetizers is planned.
7 p.m. Mo Mong, 1201 Westheimer. 713-524-5664.
Gulf Coast Archives & Museum of GLBT History
Satellite Exhibition. The first exhibition from the GCAM
collection presented at the Houston GLBT Community
Center honors the NAMES Project Houston. Community
Center, 3400 Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818.
Positive Art Workshop Photography Exhibition.
Artists living with HIV/AIDS created these pictures
with accompanying text. Houston GLBT Community
Center, 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818.
22 APRIL 4, 2003 CLASSIFIEDS www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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