Mayors LGBTQ Task Force chair Omar Narvaez, who was just elected deputy mayor pro tem, presented the Dallas City Pride Awards on Wednesday
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
Councilman Omar Narvaez, who heads the Mayor’s LGBT Task Force, presented leadership awards to community members and allies at a reception held on Wednesday, June 22, in the lobby of Dallas City Hall.
Narvaez had just been elected the city’s new deputy mayor pro tem, and Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold was chosen by the council to replace Chad West as mayor pro tem. Each of those positions is held for a one-year term.
West made comments welcoming the community to Dallas City Hall and thanked the majority of the city council for joining the celebration. Dallas’ new city Poet Laureate Joaquin Zihuatanejo read his poem “What If.” And Misty Logan, president of the city’s LGBTQ employee resource group that served as host, welcomed everyone to the event.
Narvaez announced the awards, winners of which were chosen by members of the city council.
First was Betty Neal, who received the Outstanding Leadership in Civic Engagement award in recognition of her more than 40 years of service and activism.
State Rep. Jessica Gonzalez was recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Public Service. The second-term Dallas Democrat was a leader of the walkout during the first special session of the Legislature last year and was recognized by Texas Monthly as the Bull of the Brazos. She was a founder of the Texas Legislative LGBT Caucus.
For Outstanding Leadership in Arts and Culture, clothing designer Nicolas Villalba was the winner. He specializes in custom bridal wear, bespoke menswear and theater and television costumes.
Craig McCartney, who has been involved in supporting various organizations, especially those in the LGBTQ community, was recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Philanthropy. And Clyde Greenhouse, owner of Kessler Baking Studio in Oak Cliff, was awarded Outstanding Leadership in Business.
The council added an award this year to recognize Dr. Ximena Lopez’s fight to keep open the GENECIS program at Children’s Health. In her remarks, she dedicated the award to the kids who’ve been in the program and thanked her team and the attorneys who volunteered their time and won lawsuits.
For the final award, chosen by the chair of the Mayor’s Task Force, Narvaez announced that not only would the award go to former Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano, but that it would also be named after him.
Medrano chaired the Task Force for most of his eight years on the Dallas City Council. He joked that Narvaez called him a bad gay when he was first elected, because “I wasn’t out enough.”
He said he had planned to work for everyone in his district and came from a family where being gay wasn’t an issue. In fact, he said, his family “didn’t blink an eye” when he came out to them.
But he chaired the Task Force, passed Family and Medical Leave for partners of city employees, added trans healthcare benefits, included equality wording for sexual orientation and gender identity throughout the city’s legal codes and, for fun, had the city adopt its own official Pride flag.
“I’m a good gay now,” Medrano declared.
Resource Center hosts inaugural Pride block party
RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer
Pride has been big this month, with a number of celebrations happening everywhere from Fair Park to downtown. This year, Resource Center joins the party with its first-ever Pride Celebration Carnival Extravaganza this Saturday, June 25. With a festive theme, the Center invites the community to continue getting its Pride on.
The event will also mark the 39th anniversary of the Center’s founding in June 1983.
The event will be held outside the center’s community building at 5750 Cedar Springs Road with a lineup of entertainment, booths and carnival games throughout the outdoor setting.
While the event encourages a celebratory note, the history and importance of Pride isn’t lost.
“Resource Center has always served as a gathering place for our community — during the first days of the AIDS pandemic, in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre, and now as we continue to battle discrimination and anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation,” said Resource Center CEO Cece Cox in a press release.
“This is a time to gather again and celebrate the perseverance and strength of our beautiful rainbow families and community.”
The family-friendly event will have a variety of features, many which show off the center’s program offerings. The need to remind the community of its services is perpetual, according to Bill Scott, the Center’s director of events and operations. Guests will find a slew of information about what Resource Center can do.
“There’s always that need to show people who we are and why we do it. It’s good the community knows what we can offer in case there is a time of need,” Scott said by phone. “We have programs for young men and women, for trans populations, and we offer behavioral health services; and, as we grow, we can offer more services.”
All the programs at RC will be introduced to the community at the block party.
The event will also feature drag performances by Ginger Mann, Gennifer with a G and Rocky Tacoma. DJs RudeBoy and Tony Dean will spin live sets, the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group will perform, and Sue Ellen’s faves Kathy Corbin and Bella Estrada will play an acoustic set.
The event will also host the Resource Center mobile unit for free HIV testing, a marketplace with queer-owned and inclusive businesses, photo booths, carnival games, bounce house, a beer garden and food trucks with food and beverages available for purchase.
“This is a great way to close out the month of Pride,” Scott said. “We are the LGBTQ center of North Texas and this is like our way to give back to our community.”
The free event runs from 3-7 p.m.
For more information, visit myresourcecenter.org.
From Staff Reports
After two years of virtual celebrations, Pride takes charge on the west side the Metroplex on Saturday, June 25, with the Trinity Pride Fest taking place from 3-10 p.m. at Magnolia Green Park, 1100 Lipscomb St. in Fort Worth.
The free and family-friendly event, presented by Frank Kent Cadillac, will include food trucks and a variety of artisan vendors in a market by Wandering Roots, live music by local queer artists and band and interactive programming for the youth in a cooling tent.
Eats and treats will include offerings from Carpenter’s Café and Catering, Lucky G’s Bistro, Funky Calavera, Crazy Burger, Funkytown Cheese Co., Yatai Food Truck, Compatible Delights, Sweet Land, Kona Ice and Frios Gourmet Popsicles..
The entertainment for the main stage includes DJ Apthout from 3-5 p.m., followed by Averi Burk, Creator Jewels, Yasmeen, Big Sug and, at 9 p.m., drag performances from Kylee O’Hara Fatale, Sapphire Davenport, Zimora Lee Evans, Barbie Davenport Dupree and Salem Moon.
There are several options for parking at the festival, starting with free parking available in the parking garage at 1201 Alston Ave. Some street parking will be available as marked, and, of course, ride share is always a good option.
The festival is organized by the nonprofit organization Trinity Pride. The organization’s mission, according to its website is to “connect, empower and bridge the gaps within our Greater Fort Worth and LGBTQ+ communities across all generations by providing resources, education and inclusive spaces that inspire authentic self-expression.”
With protesters having shown up at various events in recent weeks, and with recent shootings causing heightened alert for many, Trinity Pride this week offered reassurances for those who want to attend.
Organizers acknowledged that when it comes to protesters at Pride events, “it is never a question of if there will be protesters but when and how many.” But they also stressed that Fort Worth Police Department officers will be on hand to provide security, adding that “we have been working closely with them to be prepared. We have multiple plans in place, and we benefit from the festival being across the street from the police station.”
Organizers also urged those planning to attend not to engage with any protesters that might show up.
“These protesters are hoping to disrupt the joy and celebration of our community. Engaging with them and distracting from our ‘Celebration of Love’ is exactly what they want,” they noted on the Trinity Pride Facebook page. Instead of letting that happen, they said, people should help make a “wall of love” — standing side by side with their backs to protesters, creating a visual barrier between the protesters and those celebrating Pride.
Organizers also promised that if the protesters “step out of line,” Fort Worth officers are ready to step in and “handle the situation.”
For more information, visit the event page at Facebook.com/TrinityPrideFW.