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Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000
File 010
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Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000 - File 010. 2000-02-04. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 27, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3337/show/3313.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2000-02-04). Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000 - File 010. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3337/show/3313

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000 - File 010, 2000-02-04, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 27, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3337/show/3313.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date February 4, 2000
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 010
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE • FEBRUARY 4, 2000 VOICES AND ECHOES VIEWPOINT A San Fransisco transplant finds the redneck within by KIRK READ As fate would have it, 1^ moved all the way to San Francisco to get in touch with my inner redneck. I recently broke my longstanding boycott on country- western dancing. It wasn't so much a boycott as it was something I thought was for the most part a good idea, but something I never got around to doing. At the suggestion of a Sunday lunch bunch, I ran home to change and taxi over to the bar where such dancing takes place, I had the boots already, but the only "boot-scootin' boogie" I'd ever encountered was when I was too tired to pick up my feet and walk properly. I got halfway into the cab and realized I was wearing a black belt with tan boots. Naturally, I did what any self-respecting gay man would do: I made the cabdriver wait while I changed belts. See, I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, so this two-step business wasn't completely new to me. The thing is, the boys who clogged to bluegrass were often the boys who shouted "Faggot" at me in the school parking lot as their Ford trucks unleashed a torrent of exhaust and Hank Williams, Jr. They laughed their Yee Haw laughs and sped home to their respective hollers. That Sunday night promised to be either a personal reconciliation or an unmitigated nightmare. On a stylistic note, 1 must say that I prefer men in flannel button ups to stretch nylon muscle tees. I tell you, looking around at a crowd of smiling gay men in cowboy regalia was nearly psychedelic. 1 grew up with these guys and their mother-of-pearl buttons. I remember all too well the clomp of boots and the tipping of hats. But as a teenager, I saw all this hillbilly stuff as my nemesis. The third-string football players with perms and Bocephus T- shirts were not exactly thrilled with me; their openly way-gay classmate had made it possible for same-sex couples to attend their 1990 prom, naively themed "Stairway to Heaven." "I got that rule changed so you could take me to the prom, Stephen," 1 told one of the hallway cowpokes who greeted me daily with a murmured "Fag." From that moment on, Stephen was terrified of me. Given this background, surely you can understand that willingly subjecting myself to Reba Mclntire and Wranglers was something of a noble challenge. I admit, 1 can be a bit culturally stodgy. I can't tell you the last time 1 played a Merle Haggard CD, and I've never been much for dancing at all. While many friends my age have relished circuit parties and drunken tea dances, I've been continually frustrated by the clubs. I find the music mostly deafening and monotonous. When I hear techno tribal, it doesn't send me into a trance. It usually sends me for the door. So I arrived at 6 p.m. that Sunday night for what my friends ominously termed "The Lesson." We learned the basic two- step and the waltz. I'd waltzed at my small town's version of cotillion. Two self-anointed society ladies whose mission it was to instruct Lexington's pre- adolescents in the art of ballroom dance made this class possible. My sixth grade fox trots turned out to be I recently broke my longstanding boycott on country-western dancing, and it was so nice b see a room of gay men who weren't sucking in their guts or puffing their chests out like some pre-op Dolly Parton. an easier affair than the full-tilt kicking and spinning line dances I was about to leam. But I persevered. Worst case scenario: As I badly bruise the feet of strangers, I bat my eyes and work that "It's my first time" charm. But what am I going to say on my second and third visits? I'm not trading my Levi's for Wranglers anytime soon, but the men were friendlier than in any bar I've ever visited, and I didn't see a single person doing bumps in the bathroom or stumbling around drunk. Not to wax puritanical, but teeth-grinding and nasal drainage are not all that conducive to conversation. It was so nice to see a room of gay men who weren't sucking in their guts or puffing their chests out like some pre-op Dolly Parton. The men were admirably patient with me, content to push me around like a broom as veteran dancers performed complicated turns and dips to our sides. Every time i tried to add to the dance floor conversation, I'd lose the beat and stomp on four people, but none of my missteps required hospitalization. During my third dance with a particularly adorable bear, he whispered in my ear: "Don't talk, baby. Just follow." Which is indeed a charming thing for one man to say to another. Certainly enough lo guarantee my return. Kirk Read lines in San Francisco and can be readied at KirkRead@aol.com and www. temenos.net/kirkrcad. LETTERS Wlwf will it take for action on HIV? To the Editor: Thank you for writing frankly about Mayor Lee Brown's failure to act quickly on ihe I HV/AIDS front as he had promised back on World AIDS Day ("Mayor stumbles on HIV follow through," Jan. 21). Anybody can give lip service to a problem, but a good leader does more. Before the November elections, I personally gave Brown the letter from Ryan White Planning Council that declared this state ot emergency. 1 le was notified about the very high 1JIV infection rate in the African American community and that we needed black leaders to step forward immediately and help us get a handle on this pmblem. He saw things differently I le cared more about thai arena project of his and his trip to Africa than he did the crisis on his doorstep. Since he received that letter, more than 250 African Americans have been diagnosed with IIIV. And this is from infections that actually occurred years earlier when the rates were lower. How many black people need to get sick before he and his team respond? Does the black community have to suffer the lessons and losses the gay community did before massive action starts1 If a gay person did the same thing to the gay community regarding this disease, we would take strong action. Maybe if we tied an arena deal into the response, Brown might act faster. Gary}. Van Ooteghem Chatrman Ri/an White Planning Council Editor's note: The Ryan White Planning Council will distribute about $17.6 million in fed- era! funding this year to help county residents already infected with HIV through seroices like food banks, drug reimbursements, dental sennas, counseling and hospice care. The money is restricted to treatment; HIV prevention and education efforts are left lo the city's $5 million-a-year HIV Prevention Program and private AIDS service organizations. Shell's diversity training includes gays, lesbians To the Editor I was pleasantly surprised by the interest of the Houston Voice in profiling where the oil companies stand with respect to workplace issues pertaining to sexual orientation ("Fill 'er up?" Jan. 28). Overall you did a thorough job, but I do need to correct one of the quotes from my interview. During the interview, I was asked if Shell includes sexual orientation in its diversity training. I had explained that diversity training is prevalent throughout the company. However, training specifically on the topic of sexual orientation is spotty. Some parts of the business have included sexual orientation in diversity awareness training, others are looking at pilots, and some parts of the companv aren't there yet. Rick Schroder Shell Oil Co. Houston Editor's note: The article also incorrectly listed the e-mail address of the company's gay and lesbian employee group, which is SEAShell@shellus.com. Let us know what you think Send the editor your letters (400 words maximum) or op-ed submissions (800 words maximum). Names may be withheld upon request, but submissions must include a name and phone number for verification. Houston Voice, 500 Lovett, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77006 fax: 713-529-9531 • e-mail: editor@houstonvoice.com
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