Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez Is the Unlikely Star of a Pretty Cool HBO Documentary

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez at The Out List premiere at the Angelika.
The new HBO documentary The Out List was supposed to be a response to California's Proposition 8. But it turned into something bigger, director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders told Vanity Fair, where he's a contributing photographer. What it became is a series of interviews with 16 openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people talking about marriage, coming out, parenting, and living openly.

Greenfield-Sanders got some pretty high profile names, including Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, and Suze Orman. He also got Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

"I asked the director how I got in it and he never really answered me," she told a crowd assembled at the Angelika Theater in Dallas for a screening hosted by the Dallas County Democratic Party and the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. "He just said, 'You don't know how popular you are.'"

Omar Narvaez, president of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, introduced the film. He cheered Wednesday's Supreme Court decisions and gay marriage and hammered Democrat talking points.

"The Republicans proved Tuesday night that they will do whatever it takes to lie, cheat, and steal," he said, referencing the debacle closing to the Texas legislature's special session. He then called on everyone present to help elect Wendy Davis as governor of Texas, and Hillary Clinton as president.

In her interview in the documentary, Valdez talks about growing up in Dallas, and finding comfort at the LGBT-friendly Metropolitan Community Church. "Just like every other person that ever tried to come in there we drove around the church for a couple times trying to get brave enough to come in."

The Out List may not cover a lot of new territory for people already familiar with LGBT issues, but it's moving to hear so many people speaking passionately about the need for marriage equality just after the Supreme Court decisions. And the documentary touches on groups usually forgotten in the talk about gay rights: transgendered and bisexual people. And the legendary drag performer Lady Bunny, in her interview, says she's sick of the role drag queens had in the gay rights movement being ignored.

"We started your gay rights," she says, adding "It was the drag queens and the street people that were getting harassment by the police that said, 'Uh-uh, enough, here's a brick in your fucking face.'"

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Yo Illegals reap mucho rewards, isz ruining our country, an' need ta bees deported sho 'nuff!

holmantx topcommenter

Is it anti-Semitic to say I am weary of Holocaust movies?


"The Republicans proved Tuesday night that they will do whatever it takes to lie, cheat, and steal"

Insert most any political party and/or politician. Electing Hillary is the answer? Wow, please tell me the Democrats have a better candidate than that. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Yawn ... any discrimination based upon characteristics is just plain wrong ... but I will remain prejudiced against stupidity ...

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Cheers!  We finally have someone representing Dallas on the national stage who isn't a crazy-ass, right-wing bozo. 

primi_timpano topcommenter

Not necessarily. The museum is a good idea. Maybe Shoah in small doses.

For some reason this reminds me of what a woman once said after watching a mini series on the holocaust. The scene was one of SS or brown shirts raping a Jewish woman.

The distraught viewer, a graduate of HP high school and SMU, asked in all seriousness why the assaulted woman did not call the police.

Elie Weisel's Night is also good; and it is short.


@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  So a petty-ass, Democrat bozo is any better? 

How long did it take her to pass the State required Law Enforcement qualification test? How many experienced senior staff people did she transfer because they weren't 'her' people? How many people have been reassigned because they gave a friend of hers a ticket?

She earned the nickname 'Loopy' for a reason.

holmantx topcommenter


I did some work for a guy named Mendel Prengler down in Athens year before last who stabbed a Nazi at 14.

It was his second attempt to kill a German, and they had a bounty on him.  He was, and remains, a Polish Jew.  

A gregarious fellow, he animatedly told me in a thick Polish accent how he got to this country at 14 with 25 cents in his pocket, speaking no English.  His family and friends all disappeared into the camps.

Today he is a very rich man in Athens, Texas.  Scrap metal is his game.

He loves this country so much he cried.  We don't owe anybody anything for what we did or failed to do.  He is eternally grateful for the concept we call America.

holmantx topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @holmantx 

I grew up on the "World at War" documentary series narrated by Laurence Olivier.

but, admittedly, I have tapered off.

am I a bad person?

Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Umm...there's nothing pretty about her ass.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@NewsDog So you'll lavish praise upon OOPS, Gohmert, Cruz and the rest of the Texas bat-shit circus that make Texas look like a backward, ignorant repository of rednecked bigots, instead.

holmantx topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @holmantx 

Probably so however, watching the procession of Hollywood pieces on the Subject (never forget) now seems guilt-driven and obligatory.  It's a bit of a chore.

And so are the angst-driven docs on the unbearable lightness of being LBGT in modern society.

And certainly not on par with being a homosexual in Nazi-held territory.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx You'd probably get more out of a Holocaust Museum visit than watching a movie.  I know I did.

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