Eleven Dallas LGBT Movers and Shakers

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Ludovic Bertron
Update, July 18: After this post went up a couple weeks back, several people pointed that it was a little -- OK, a lot -- one-dimensional, omitting various demographics of Dallas' vast LGBT rainbow of a community.

So we've added to it. Not every mover or shaker or mover-shaker is included, and you're welcome to suggest the names of people who move and who shake in the comments. But we think it's a better reflection of the community's diversity, which should have been present the first time around.

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ThinkProgress.org
Koch with husband Todd and their two children in last year's JCPenney Father's Day ad
Cooper Smith Koch
An SMU graduate, Koch founded Cooper Smith Agency, a high-end PR firm in 2002. He's also the founder of the Gay List Daily, a daily email blast -- sort of like the gay version of Daily Candy. As the website explains, "Our topics aren't necessarily 'gay,' but our commentary is always a little drunken, a little naughty and a lot queer."

The website, which has a Dallas version and a national version, won Koch the North Texas GLBT Chamber's Community Service award this year for his support of local businesses. Cooper and his husband, Todd Koch, were also the gay dads featured with their two kids in the controversial JCPenney Father's Day advertisement last summer. Despite everything he has accomplished, Cooper is most proud of his 14-year relationship with Todd and the family they have made for themselves. Can you blame him? Just look at them.

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Stephen Sprinkle
A gay man and a Baptist minister walk into a room ... You can stop waiting for the punchline because it's only the Reverend Dr. Stephen Sprinkle, director of field education and supervised ministry and professor of practical theology at the Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth. The tenured professor is the first openly gay scholar in the history of the school and makes it a mission to prove that as an out gay man and clergyman, he is not a contradiction.

With a foot in both the LGBT community and the church, he builds bridges on both sides to strengthen acceptance. Sprinkle gained national attention with his "It Gets Better" video after one of his students told him about the project. He addresses the lonely time of his life when he was still a closeted gay man in the church setting. Out for 20 years now and an ordained minister, he implores, "It does get better."

It Gets Better Program founder and sex advice columnist Dan Savage featured the video on his own website and included it in the book version of It Gets Better. Sprinkle's blog, Unfinished Lives, continues where his book of the same name (now being translated into Korean) left off -- remembering hate crimes against the LGBTQ community.

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Cooper Smith Agency
Craig Lynch & Jeff Rane
Lynch and Rane founded their theater company, Uptown Players, in 2001, and it now occupies the historic Kalita Humphreys Theater. Their company specializes in plays and musicals with gay themes, treating their audiences to both camp as well as a more serious awareness to social issues such as homophobia, self-hatred and alienation. Their version of Songs for a New World closes on July 7. The duo's next project, the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman, opens on August 2, at which time they will also announce the the schedule for the 2013 Pride Performing Arts Festival, which will take place nine days before Dallas Gay Pride in September.

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Richard Neal
Neal owns Dallas' National Eisner winning and 15-time local award winning comic book store Zeus Comics. Always stocked with the latest comic and graphic novel releases, Zeus Comics has been a go-to destination for Dallas' comic book geekery for years. He also plays himself in the YouTube-labeled "funny gay comic shop web series" The Variants, which is set in Zeus Comics.

The openly gay owner gained national attention earlier this year when he became one of the first retailers in the country to refuse to sell DC Comics Adventures of Superman anthology, to which outspoken anti-gay activist and science fiction author Orson Scott Card contributed.

"The Orson Scott Card situation was only one moment in the march," Neal says. In 1989, he co-founded and co-chaired SMU's Gay and Lesbian Student Organization, and in 1991 it won a ruling adding protection for gays and lesbians to the school's anti-discrimination policy.

See also:
Zeus Comics Will Not Carry Orson Scott Card's "Adventures of Superman," Issue One

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Jack Evans & George Harris
When Harris suggested to Evans, his partner of more than 50 years, that there was a strong need to collect and commemorate the stories and history of the strong LGBT community of North Texas, Evans could not agree more. In spring of 2011, the couple founded The Dallas Way, whose mission is to "gather, store and present the complete GLBT history of Dallas."

Collecting personal stories of the LGBT community plays an integral role in the preservation of its history. You can support and learn more about The Dallas Way by attending their Outrageous Oral storytelling evenings, visiting The Dallas Way YouTube channel or submitting your own stories to add to Dallas' rich LGBT history.

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Transgender Education Network of Texas
Oliver Blumer
Dr. Oliver Blumer, a local chiropractor for over 30 years, is the chair and regional coordinator of D-FW for the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and active member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). TENT is dedicated to furthering the cause of gender diverse people of Texas through education. The NGLTF works to build the grassroots power of the LGBT community by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to defeat anti-gay mandates and advance pro-LGBT legislation. Blumer counsels transgender people and their loved ones through every stage of the transitioning process.

Individuals making the transition from one gender to another need help and education on legal documents, changing your name, protecting themselves, health and surgical resources, insurance and avoiding the traps of the shadow economy. While Blumer works with mostly female to male transgender individuals both one-on-one and in group settings, his wife mentors the significant others of those who are considering, in the process of or already transitioned. Education and visibility are most important to Blumer, who is anything but in-your-face. "I may not change minds," he says, "but I change hearts through one-on-one situations and experiences."


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Uptown Players

3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas, TX

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20 comments
hortencia.ratcliff
hortencia.ratcliff

Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed Ketel One and Smirnoff @ The Ilume VIP Event!!!

Robert L. Camina
Robert L. Camina

Thank you Raine! I just sent Preston a private message! =) Thank you Preston for the post!!

Raine Devries
Raine Devries

Robert L. Camina -- see the post above about Houston.

Preston Naquin
Preston Naquin

Robert L Camina should consider submitting a Workshop Proposal - Does anyone know him well enough to tell him about.....Houston, Texas was selected as the “Host City” for “The 26th National Conference on LGBT Equality” and will happen at The Hilton of the “Americas–Houston”, January 29–February 2, 2014. What's Creating Change? Only the premier annual organizing and skills-building event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their allies. The conference is run by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and attracts more than 3,500 people from all over the country every year. Presenters and participants come from all walks of life and include members of the business community, elected officials, students, faith leaders and staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations. Our five-day program features over 350 workshops and training sessions, four plenary sessions, and tons of networking opportunities, and really fun events, all in the welcoming space of the Hilton of the Americas–Houston. “Creating Change” Website: www.creatingchange.org

P. Bishop III
P. Bishop III

Yeah, all that is true^ This is just movers and shakers that the writer is friends with, I am assuming- not to say they aren't fabulous in their own ways!!

Raine Devries
Raine Devries

What about Robert L. Camina who is producing award-winning and compelling documentaries bringing awareness to LGBT issues? What about Joe S Hoselton who is Director of Graduate Admissions at SMU Meadows School of the Arts AND is a multiple pageant winner with his artistic persona "Jenna Skyy"? Brandi Amara Skyy with her magazine GAG? Erica Felicella and her amazing art installation that truly had people talking and was so thought-provoking? Rodd Gray and his wonderful work founding and working with Home for the Holidays? There are many "real LGBT movers and shakers in Dallas" that are missing from this list....

paulakey47
paulakey47

Pastor Ed Young gave sermons of what he thinks Jesus would say to celebrities such as Ellen.I got a different message from Jesus.  If interested go to stories4hotbloodedlesbians.    com

I

Obummer
Obummer

Yo God made Adam an' Eve, not Adam an' Steve.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Nothing like a str8 writer trying to do a gay piece.

nammer
nammer

all white men...most of them upper middle class...seriously?  I'm so sick of having certain people held up as an example of what someone who is gay is supposed to look like.  You'll also find that the majority of the people you profile here are very interested in self promotion rather than helping, for example, poor LGBT, LGBT people of color, or people living with AIDS...epic fail Observer

Maddoxin
Maddoxin

I'm going to have to agree with the below comments for the most part. While, yes these people are great contributors to the LGBTQ community, you guys did a horrible job in picking out a diverse group to represent the lesbian, bisexual, queer and trans community. There are so many great people you could have included yet you stuck with only gay men. Did you know there were also two Dallas area lesbians in the JCPenny ads? 

DiamondStylz
DiamondStylz

Um ....so no L, B or T's...Just the G's ............interesting.........are the pickens that slim in DALLAS

michelle1161
michelle1161

Wow.. very gay.. and very much lacking in L, B and especially T.  Well, we know who pays the bills at the Observer.  

paulakey47
paulakey47

@Obummer   By the way it is President Obama.  I was brought up to respect people that I may disagree with, obviously you have not.

Let me enlighten you......

The Hebrew word for man is "Adam."  and the Hebrew word for woman is "Eve."

The Jews wrote their history after the Second Babylonian Captivity.  As they went backwards, remember there was no written history...they came to a full stop.

No one was around to know who the first people were so they called them man and woman.  Many Bibles use man and woman, some use the Hebrew words Adam and Eve.

A little education goes a long way.  An enlightened and educated person does not make fun of others.  The signs of enlightenment and goodness are compassion, love, sympathy, tolerance and dialogue.  Name calling is a bullying tactic and show immaturity.

paulakey47
paulakey47

@shwhitley   How many people would know that Sally Ryder, a lesbian in a relationship for nearly 30 years with a woman, commanded the NASA space shuttle.

lzippitydoo
lzippitydoo

All artsie! Didnt see any real estate moguls, athletes, bankers, women, "normal" profession people. By movers and shakers what are you referring to in article?? Those who are spearheading a movement? Top people in the community?? The article was very limiting!

paulakey47
paulakey47

@michelle1161 Don't criticize the Observer, have you any idea how many American newspaper would never include a homosexual article, and if they did, it would be full of right wing bigotry.  Way to go, Observer.

Obummer
Obummer

@paulakey47@Obummer

Yo - Lying has uh kind o' respect an' reverence wif it. Our prezident pays us uh compliment o' acknowledging our superiority every tyme he lies ta us.

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