Trans Pride Initiative Connect-To-Care Health Fair Focuses on the "T" in LGBT

Trans Pride Intitiative-Dallas/Facebook
When we think about the "LGBT" community, most of us tend to focus on the "L" or the "G." Nell Gaither, executive director of Dallas' Trans Pride Initiative, has been exclusively focusing on what is likely the most underserved population in the LGBT community, transgender and gender non-conforming people. In its relatively short life as a nonprofit, the Trans Pride Initiative has helped provide the local trans community with access to necessary healthcare services, housing and employment assistance, and educational programs.

This weekend, the organization will host its third annual Connect-To-Care Health Fair at Parkland Amelia Court. The key focus of the event will be providing healthcare services like breast cancer screening, routine health assessments, HIV testing and basic dental care, along with assisting qualified patients in signing up for Parkland Hospital's health plans. Since 1999, Parkland has offered a community health plan that provides access to comprehensive healthcare services for low-income patients.

For the transgender community in Dallas, these types of health screenings can be hard to come by. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender people are disproportionately likely to experience extreme poverty and homelessness, which makes regular visits to a doctor nearly impossible. To aid in making these services more accessible, organizations like Planned Parenthood and OUT2Enroll will be able to advise visitors about signing up for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, which also requires that many insurance companies provide access to transition-related healthcare for transgender people, like hormone replacement therapy.

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QueerBomb Dallas' Radical Vision For A Better Queer Community

Scott Mitchell

As Texas cities go, ours is relatively gay-friendly. Dallas is one of only five cities in the state to have anti-discrimination ordinances in place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and Mayor Mike Rawlings has openly endorsed same-sex marriage. And, of course, the thriving "gayborhood" in the Oak Lawn area is usually packed full of people who feel safe enough to express their sexual and gender identities.

For Meg Hargis and Daniel Villareal, two of the activists behind Queerbomb Dallas, a few gay bars and a statue at the intersection of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs aren't enough to represent the diverse and vibrant queer community that makes its home here. Queerbomb Dallas is relatively new to the Dallas gay community, but in the short time they've been here, they've made us all take a hard look at the aspects of our culture that seem to be leaving some Dallas queers behind.

In terms of gay culture in Dallas, on face, it looks like we have a lot. Ask anyone where the "gayborhood" in Dallas is, and they'll point you toward the intersection of Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn, where "The Strip" is located. Here, you'll find almost all of the city's sprawling, multi-level gay bars and clubs, alongside LGBT-oriented businesses. Mostly, though, you'll just find bars, and a lot of people drinking in them.

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The World's Greatest Gay and Lesbian Bull Riders and Calf Ropers Will Be Crowned This Weekend in Fort Worth

Courtesy of the International Gay Rodeo Association

Dallas/Fort Worth has served as the home base for a number of major sports championships over the years. Since it doesn't look like we're going to get another Super Bowl for awhile because Lord Jerry Jones tried to cram more people into the stadium the way Cinderella's step sisters tried to cram their canned ham sized feet into that glass slipper, we may have to turn to other sports organizations to keep our ego fed for awhile.

For instance, this weekend the International Gay Rodeo Association will holds its "World Gay Rodeo Finals" at the Will Rogers Memorial Center's John Justin Arena in Fort Worth. So go ahead and use whatever outdated stereotypes you wish to describe this to yourself. However, just think about what a boost such an event could do for Dallas/Fort Worth since there's no way Jerry Jones can publicly humiliate us on the national stage by mismanaging this national event.

This weekend's event will award world champion status to LGBT athletes in a number of riding and roping competitions starting on Friday. The festivities stretch into the night with ballroom dancing and a "Royalty Contest" at the Hilton Arlington. The weekend concludes with massive "finals party" on Saturday night and an awards ceremony to the rodeo winners on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for one day or $25 for the entire weekend and can only be purchased at the box office.

Hey Dallas, It's Pride Week. Here's How We're Going to Celebrate this Monumental Year.

Via Vicky WJ
Our vote for Mr. Bear.

We are officially in Dallas Pride mode now, and there's a lot to celebrate after this past year: the Supreme Court rulings in favor of marriage equality (and Edith Windsor being adorable), the Boy Scouts of America's (admittedly half-assed) step toward inclusivity, George Takei being pretty much everywhere.

We want to be sure you do Pride 2013 right, so we've put together a list of things worth seeing this week. (Although in a pinch, any given gay event promises to be extra spectacular.)

See also: 11 Fabulous Photos From The 2012 Dallas Pride Parade

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(NSFW) Our Five Favorite Photos from Saturday's DFW Sisters Pool Party

Photos by Amanda Potter
Last Saturday the DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence hosted their fourth annual Sister Pool Party benefiting LifeWalk and Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS. Here are some of our favorite shots from the event, and you can check out the full slideshow here.

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Eleven Dallas LGBT Movers and Shakers

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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Miss Gay US of A at the Palladium: We Were There, and You Should've Been Too

The contestants for Miss Gay USofA
After a week of preliminary events, the Miss Gay USofA pageant descended on the Palladium on Friday, bringing hundreds of drag queens and fans thereof to Dallas.

Thirty-six contestants from across the country all vied to be the next Miss Gay USofA (not to be confused with Miss Gay America or Miss Gay National). For 2013, the theme was "Thunderdome," with the tag line "May the odds be ever in your favor." It may be mixing franchises but the death tournament theme is fitting for a pageant. And not just for the contestants: With so many towering wigs in the crowd it's surprising the audience members never got violent.

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11 Fabulous Photos From The 2012 Dallas Pride Parade

We look forward to Pride Weekend all year long. It's a chance to celebrate our sense of community; support our brothers, sisters and neighbors; and dress in whatever way makes us feel our absolute best. So really, let's just make every day Pride Day.

We partied in Cedar Springs on Sunday where the festivities climaxed and set photographer Jay Barker loose into the crowd to capture your snapshot stories. You can see the full slideshow here, but we picked our eleven favorites for you. Now c'mon, let's pop it out.

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And Now a Conversation with Sharon Needles, The World's Weirdest Drag Queen Character

"I like blood, and guts and puke."
Black leather gets clingy in the heat and her Tammy Faye Baker tattoo is susceptible to sun damage, so you won't catch drag superstar Sharon Needles hostessing a brunch anytime soon. Dance routines involving parasols are also out of the question.

In fact, her rider includes: A coffin, pallbearers, a fog machine, Pabst Blue Ribbon and a blender, the last of which Needles uses to liquify the audience's cash tips. If you want a ballad-blurring pastel flower, look elsewhere. She's Sharon Fucking Needles.

The character's personality has taken its performer, Aaron Coady, a decade to perfect. Spending that much time living in the mind of another (albeit, fictitious) human, has resulted in a nearly Stockholm connection between inventor and muse -- although who's in charge could be debated. Coady speaks in a collective "we" regarding both his personal life and Sharon, the ditzy, gothic persona who slunk out of the shadows and won the crown on RuPaul's Drag Race, Season Four. Superficially the two exist as polar opposites. On a deeper, more exploratory emotional level, Coady and Needles are modified amplifications of one other.

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Friday, August 3 is Chick-Fil-A National Same Sex Kiss Day, Which Means Makin' Out and Polynesian Sauce

Let's say you're a decent human being who believes that people shouldn't feel like shit for wanting to get off with other happy, productive tax payers. Oh, you are? Great. Come make out with me Friday night, August 3. This is the only instance in which half-buzzed straight girls making out solely for attention isn't the worst thing that college ever invented.

I've been unofficially boycotting Chick-fil-a for years. Seems like the only time I ever craved from-frozen waffle fries and powdered sugar battered factory chicken was on Sundays. (I think it stems from the same twisted desire to someday mark a minister -- or just the guy who played one on GCB-- off my bucket-list.)

Don't get me wrong: Privately owned companies have every right to close for the Sabbath. And it's well within the prerogative of multimillion dollar CEOs to be total assholes, treating others like second-class citizens. But everybody knows freedom ain't free.

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