Is the Dallas Tavern Guild Trying to Straightwash the City's Gay Pride Celebration?

Categories: Dish

PrideWeekTwerk.jpg
Last year, the owners of several gay bars along Cedar Springs Avenue joined forces to create a more "family friendly" parade. In addition to adding a "Family PRIDE Zone" to Lee Park, where kids could safely avoid drunk people and get their faces painted, the Dallas Tavern Guild announced that they would impose a new dress code parade participants - no one was allowed to wear underwear on a parade float, "overexposed" female breasts with pasties on the nipples were no longer allowed, even though both had been okay at previous Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parades.

The decision ruffled feathers, most notably former Dallas Voice editor John Wright. Wright alleged that the Voice fired him for bringing negative publicity to the ban on displays of sexuality, which publisher Lee Cuisimano (also heavily involved in the parade) vehemently denied. Despite the outrage, the rules stood -- no naked breasts, no visible penises, and no exposed asses.

In a recent blog post at Wright's new independent LGBT news site Lone Star Q, local activist Daniel Cates charged that the Tavern Guild is continuing to sanitize Dallas pride through a subtle "re-branding campaign." In a banner on the Dallas Pride website, the slogan for the 2014 parade would present the "positive image of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community of Texas.

According to Cates, the Tavern Guild's focus on nudity at Pride wasunnecessary -- public nudity laws already existed, and neither he or the Tavern Guild were able to confirm a single instance of someone reporting offensive nudity. Besides that, "if you are not ready to have an open and honest talk with your child about human sexuality or bodies, then maybe you are not ready to bring them to a celebration specifically created for people to be able to express those things without shame," Cates wrote to me in an email.

Cates also argues that these attempts at cleaning up gay pride are really just thinly veiled efforts to make more money at the bars during Pride Weekend. Via email, he told me that "these changes are to ensure that the Dallas Pride Parade will appear as attractive to potential donors, sponsors, and advertisers as possible. I don't know how much the bars bring in, but Pride is easily their biggest weekend with crowds of around 30,000 each year."

"Pride in Dallas is run by the people who stand most to profit from it - the bar owners. In other cities like Fort Worth, Austin, and even New York City, Pride is organized by a community group," wrote Cates. "The Tavern Guild's "positive image" is one that is highly corporate, expensive, and culturally limited. Essentially, a pride parade that makes no one uncomfortable." But Pride Parades are meant to challenge social mores and make people re-think their own comforts, biases, and conceptions of what it means to be queer. It's not an image that resonates with most of us."

A group called Queerbomb Dallas has already planned their own all-inclusive Pride event without additional restrictions. They plan to follow all public nudity laws, but won't be focusing on presenting a sanitized image of the gay community.

Cates suggested that these events spring from disenfranchisement that many LGBT people in already feel in Dallas, and this "highly corporate" image of the gay community only makes things worse. "The fact the queer people of color celebrate pride separately in Dallas should be your first clue that not everyone made it into the class photo."

The Tavern Guild has not released a statement regarding the 2014 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade's new slogan, but it's unlikely that the organization has reversed itself and stopped supporting the rules they were so gung-ho about just last year.


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54 comments
IM1RU12
IM1RU12

Oh come on.  Gays are supposed to be flamboyant and scantily clad at the Pride Parades.  

Americano
Americano

If you don't like the rules of the parade, start your own.

mthillboy
mthillboy

Daniel Cates only is doing this because he just hates the whole world. It's only because he insists the Dallas is New Orleans and you must have nudity. This has nothing to do with Pride. This is only because it's for him and him only.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

At the end of the day, the DTG only cares about how much thier bars make.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

1) Gay people should be treated just like everyone else.


2) Gay people should be allowed to take over the streets every so often in a bacchanal of lascivious nudity and overt gratuitous sexuality because they aren't like straight people.


Don't you see how this is damaging your message?  Gay people need to pick an identity or admit that "gay" really isn't much of an identity after all.

tom910670
tom910670

Everything old is new again!  Community organizers and grassroots activists have been feuding with the Tavern Guild about their parade for at least 30 years. Start with the September date, originally set on the anniversary of a now forgotten and overruled court victory, but conveniently allowing bars two weekends of pride (including the real one, in June). Add a late Sunday afternoon start time, convenient for no one except bar owners looking to maximize revenue. Add the insane "Alan Ross" moniker, memorializing the Tavern Guild's own paid employee who dutifully enforced the bar owners' rules. Then add annual flaps over parade regulations designed to keep the parade corporate and sponsor-friendly. 

jmckee3
jmckee3

I went last year and it might be my last time, it was an endless parade of non-pride specific "floats" half of which was just companies driving their trucks down the parade route with out any other employees. Happy Pride! Here is a beer truck.

dvillarreal79
dvillarreal79

Also Ms. McCarthy, the first paragraph in your story says, "the Dallas Tavern Guild banned public displays of erections and "overexposure of female breasts" from the 2013 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade." What they actually banned was the appearance of men in underwear (they suggested swimsuits instead, as if those were somehow less revealing) and the exposure of female breasts with nipple pasties (something allowed by city code and Texas law, which had been okay at every Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade previous to now.


According to the Dallas Voice report on 9/3/13, (http://www.dallasvoice.com/pride-2013-2-10156798.html) "Doughman said parade entries featuring dancers have been told they should wear swimsuits instead of underwear this year. Also gone from parade entries this year will be women with bare breasts and only “pasties” or tape covering their nipples, according to Jeremy Liebbe, co-commander of security for the event."

Boners and "overexposed female breasts" have always been banned from Pride thanks to city code and state law, not because of the Tavern Guild. If you could please correct this error as well on your story, it would help provide more context and accuracy to your coverage.

dvillarreal79
dvillarreal79

"Queerbomb Dallas has already planned their own all-inclusive Pride event sans public nudity rules." As an organizer of QueerBomb Dallas, I can tell you that this is patently untrue. No idea where the writer got this as it's not attributed to any source, but it's wrong.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Please explain to me why overt displays of homosexual sexuality are acceptable; but similar overt displays of heterosexual sexuality are not acceptable.

thomprentice1
thomprentice1

@Americano you are not very AMERICAN, Americano.  Actually, really fascist.  Let the Jews start their own Third Reich if they don't like the rules of the Third Reich!

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus

At least someone is thinking entirely logically about the issue.

Voot
Voot

@everlastingphelps  

Huh. See, funny thing is that gays themselves are trying to rid themselves of any public pointers to their own sexuality:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/fashion/gays-lesbians-the-term-homosexual.html?_r=0

So now, unlike heterosexuals gays won't have to be publicly associated with buttfucking, dicksucking, or pussy-munching (I would have said carpet, but that would date me, wouldn't it) of any sex or close approximation thereof. Instead, they can now just go through life being married in order only to be gay with one another.

Myself, I find it oppressive and discriminatory to be referred to as anything other than "ever victorious".

dvillarreal79
dvillarreal79

@everlastingphelps  You're right, "Gay people should be treated just like everyone else." AND "Gay people should be allowed to take over the streets every so often in a bacchanal of lascivious nudity and overt gratuitous sexuality because" straight people have Mardi Gras.

dc005
dc005

@tom910670 if the bar owners were looking to maximize revenues,  wouldn't they want the theoretical 30,000 people who come to town for the parade in their bars drinking instead of spending hours outside watching.

where you gonna get the money to fund it,  were it not for the bar owners getting miller and budweiser to compete for sponsorship?

i don't know what the specific rules are,  from the story they seem reasonable.  there's always some jackasses who want to go way beyond the limit.  let them throw their own parade,  i'll support the one that shows how the community is vital, vibrant for Dallas;   except for orientation,  just like everybody else.  if that means nobody can ride in the back of a truck with their ass exposed and their wet skimpy panties showing everything,  or shaking their titties outside their flannel shirt,  i'm for it.

dc005
dc005

@jmckee3 In the early 80s a Mayor of Dallas spoke to a gay group,  papers found out about it,  his response was something to the effect  "I wouldn't have done it if I'd known they were a bunch of queers."  Although a City Council back then was over half-GLBT (including some names that would floor you),  none of them would ride in the Parade.  It took ages for business to realize there was money to be made from that 'bunch of queers.'  I've never been to a parade,  i'm relying on your description.  Maybe we're past the point where I should stop being grateful for companies willing to admit in public they're supportive.  Maybe not.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@jmckee3  

Consumerism comes as standard equipment to equality and mainstream acceptance. "You want to be seen as normal? Identify with our popular brand!"

Irony is a real bish.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tpfkap

Your usage of a deraugatory term is not neccessary.

Americano
Americano

@thomprentice1

Comparing a silly parade to the Third Reich is ridiculous.  I suppose that is your specialty.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Voot "So now, unlike heterosexuals gays won't have to be publicly associated with buttfucking, dicksucking, or pussy-munching ..."


Because heteros never engage in those behaviors ...


LOL!

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@dvillarreal

Yeah, no overt queer activity at Mardi Gras.

pak152
pak152

@TheRuddSki derogatory in what way? it is an accurate term that describes the sexual proclivities of an individual, unlike the word "gay"

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

How is a clinical term derogatory?  What if I had phrased it this way:

"How come faggots can display their boners but straights can't?"


Is that any better?

Voot
Voot

@DonkeyHotay @Voot 

I understand why you had to cut your excerpt of what I wrote short, Donkey. If'd you'd quoted the full sentence I wrote, your point wouldn't make any sense.


Maybe when people discriminate against you, Donkey, they're doing so not because you're gay but because they understand you were born dishonest.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @everlastingphelps  Don't hate any of it, any more than I hate my own balls.  But, just like Myrna's face, it's one of God's creations that no one wants seen in public.

dvillarreal79
dvillarreal79

@pak152 @everlastingphelps @DonkeyHotay @dvillarreal79  No one is complaining about the rules at the Pride parade. The writer here focuses on that, but Daniel Cates' original column focuses on Pride being "corporately funded, cost prohibitive and culturally limited," none of which have anything to do with nudity laws.

No one is advocating for a parade free of nudity laws. No one.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus

It's called drunker 'n shit.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

@theruddski. It's called southern decadence

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  ...


HipTip: if you don't like "queer activity", then don't engage in it.


hth.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tpfkap

Watch the hate speech, fella.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@pak152

Just trying to keep everyone current and in line with the language brownshirts, it reduces the hate.

Besides, usage of five-syllable words is ostentatious.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

Now that's a hard one. I'll have to consult the Daily Bulletin.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tpfkap

I'm simply going by the demand/suggestion of GLAAD. The word is now deemed offensive.

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