Dallas City Councilwoman Carolyn Davis, center in pink, at her 2013 swearing in at the Meyerson Symphony Center, with her daughter at her side. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)
Former Dallas District 7 City Councilwoman Carolyn Davis, 57, was killed in a two-car accident last night (July 15) by a suspected drunk driver on East Ledbetter in South Dallas. A 26-year-old woman who was a passenger in Davis’ car was taken to Baylor in critical condition.
Davis served four terms on the Dallas City Council.
During her tenure, she served on the committee that oversees the city of Dallas pension funds. Before marriage equality, city employees in same-sex relationships were fighting for equality in their pensions. A city employee who was married at the time of retirement could leave pension payments to their spouse should the retired employee die first; those in same-sex relationships couldn’t.
Davis was among the board members who championed equality on the pension board and with her help, LGBT employees achieved pension equality even before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.
In March, however, Davis was found guilty of taking bribes from a real estate developer. She was to be sentenced in September and was facing up to three years in prison.
According to police reports, at 7:44 p.m., Davis was driving west in the 2400 block of East Ledbetter, in the center lane, when her vehicle — a 1995 Cutlass Ciera — was struck head on by a 2007 Mazda Tribute, which was headed east on Ledbetter.
The driver of the Mazda, a 35-year-old man, was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said that while he remains in the hospital, he has been arrested and is expected to be charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. His name will not be released until those charges are made official, police said.
The Fort Worth Human Relations Commission today (Monday, July 15) voted unanimously to recommend the removal of Commissioner Mike Steele, who posted numerous racist, transphobic and conspiracy memes on Facebook.
Steele was not present at the meeting.
The Facebook posts were discovered two weeks ago by TCU Professor Emily Farris, who posted about them on Twitter, and first reported by the Dallas Voice.
Steele is serving his second term on the commission, which advises the city council and the city manager on human rights issues, including LGBTQ issues. According to the city’s website, the commission is supposed to “(a) advise and consult with the city council and the city manager on matters involving racial, religious or ethnic discrimination; (b) to recommend to the city council and the city manager measures designed to eliminate prejudice and discrimination; and (c) to promote and encourage communications between and cooperation of all groups interested in bettering community relations.”
The meeting was called after Steele refused to resign following the revelations despite pressure from the commission and Mayor Betsy Price. In refusing to step down, Steele described himself as the “proud father of an LGBT son” and claimed he was exercising his right to free speech.
All attendees at today’s spoke in favor of removing him, including Emily Farris. Steele’s supporters submitted written comments.
Watch for this post to be updated as more information becomes available.
About half a dozen protesters carried signs outside of Hunky’s on Saturday afternoon protesting same-sex marriage. About a dozen police officers protected them, although a number of people walked up to them to get pictures.
“They can call it whatever they want,” read one sign. “This is not a marriage.” Then there’s a reference to Genesis 2:24, which translates as, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Of course, we know that marriage hasn’t changed since biblical times.
Funny story: In the Hebrew bible, there are three ways — and only three ways — to get married. One is for a man to rape a woman. If he keeps her, they’re married. If not, it’s a disgrace to the woman’s family and the men-folk can go get their revenge and kill three generations of the rapist’s family. Two is for a man to buy a woman, since in the Bible a woman is basically property. And marriage situation number three is to inherit a woman. For instance if your brother dies, his wife becomes yours to take care of as your own. So, no, same-sex marriage isn’t Biblical marriage. That whole man and woman fall in love and the man proposes to a woman isn’t either, by the way. That is entirely an early the 20th century invention.
The protester with the big sign wore a shirt that read, “Letting Go of Biblical Truth.” Get it? LGBT. Clever protesters.
Another protester calls homosexuality “a sin of choice.” I guess that’s in contrast sins you’re forced to commit beyond without being responsible for them. Like adultery. Or any of God’s Top 10: Like remembering Shabbat and keeping it holy. Now I’m not calling their protest unholy, but it was held on a Saturday and the Hebrew word for Saturday is Shabbat. Or coveting thy neighbor’s ass or his wife, two things listed together in the biggies as No. 10. Or honoring thy parents. When you do those, apparently those are sins you didn’t choose to do. You were forced to have sex with your neighbor’s wife.
The protesters stayed about 30 minutes. As they left, partiers at JR.’s across the street began chanting, “Na na na, hey hey hey good bye!” according to sinner Jesse Arnold.
Police in Detroit have arrested Demetris Nelson, 26, for shooting two gay men on July 9, leaving one dead and the other critically wounded, according to Gay Star News. Police say Nelson found the two men through Grindr, specifically targeting them because they were gay.
Brian Anderson, 31, described by friends as “an aspiring pastor for Steadfast Baptist Church,” was killed in the attack. Malcolm Drake, 26, survived but was seriously injured.
Nelson has been arraigned on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, assault with intent to murder, assault with the intent to rob while armed and four counts of felony possession of a firearm.
Jaimie Powell Horowitz, a special prosecutor with Fair Michigan Justice Project, is handling the case. The project assists Michigan law enforcement and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against LGBTI people.
Alan Turing will appear on the new British 50 pound note. This is the first time an openly gay person will be the face on a major paper currency.
Turing is credited with breaking Germany’s Enigma Code during World War II that shortened the war in Europe. He created a code-breaking machine and is known as the father of modern computing.
After the war, Turing was convicted of indecency because he was gay, and, in 1954, he committed suicide at the age of 41.
He was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth in 2013. That led to the pardon of others thousands of others convicted of the “crime” of homosexuality under “Turing’s Law” in 2017.
In announcing the note, British Prime Minister Theresa May referred to Turing’s “pioneering work” and said it was important to remember the contributions and “impact of LGBT figures throughout history.” She said LGBT history is often less visible than contributions by other groups.
Jenny Block on being the partner you are looking for
You know that quote about “being the change you wish to see in the world?” It’s attributed to Gandhi, although clearly it’s too Instagrammy to actually be his. It’s close, though. What he actually did say was, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…. We need not wait to see what others do.”
I feel confident that he was talking about big things like world peace and climate protection and the like. Thing is, his words apply equally well to dating and love, too. I know, I know — you don’t hear the name Gandhi and think “love and dating guru.” (“Dear Mahatma…”) You think, well, guru. But the truth is, this just may be the best advice out there when it comes to finding and keeping the kind of love you seek.
If I had a nickel for every time someone complained to me that there were “no good ones out there,” but that they themselves couldn’t actually be categorized as one of the good ones either, I would be a very rich girl indeed. Those folks want someone who is good-looking and funny and kind and selfless and gainfully-employed and on good terms with their parents and with minty-fresh breath even in the morning. They want someone who knows how to cook and who works out and is good with kids and animals and who doesn’t have drug or alcohol or gambling addictions.
But they could never pass muster using the same standards. It’s crazy talk. Listen, if you want to find a good one, you have to be a good one.
The most extreme examples of this, of course, are those moronic beta males or incels who hate women because women don’t want to date them. They hate women for only wanting alpha males, but what do they do to make themselves, if not alphas, on the road to alphadoms? They don’t wash their hair or put on clean clothes or get a job or move out of their parents’ basement or stop playing all of those fucking violent video games. And they aren’t interested in women who are anything short of Playboy centerfold material, because they are men, and women owe them by virtue of their very existence.
I’ve got news for them: No one owes them shit. No one owes any of us, especially in the dating universe. Those little boys need to take a good, long look at themselves. Partnering with someone is about finding someone to complement you and who you can complement. Those guys have zero to offer. So why on earth would anyone offer themselves to them? It’s nonsensical.
And this isn’t about looks or weight or money. It’s about being one’s best self. It’s about being conscious of who you are as a person and asking yourself,
“Would I want to date me?” If the answer is a resounding, “No,” then why on earth would anyone else want to, either? And you can swap out the word date for love or marry. It all works the same way in this case.
“You’re so lucky,” people tell me when they hear about my wife and marriage. And I am lucky. But I also am a pretty OK person. I take good care of her and my family. I’m honest with her. I take care of myself. I am good to her friends. I work hard. I know how to compromise. Animals like me. I prefer discussions to arguments. I work hard to be the kind of partner I want to have and therefore I have that kind of partner.
A friend has been divorced twice and is not faring well on the dating scene now. I know her well. I know how she treats her partners versus how she expects to be treated. She is controlling and bossy and entitled and is shocked when people aren’t interested in playing by her rules and catering to her need to be the belle of the ball.
It’s so obvious from the outside. But if you try to talk to her about it, no matter how kindly, she simply can’t see it. She has in her mind what she deserves and doesn’t see her actions as having any bearing on her being able to obtain that. And I do mean obtain.
Whether we are looking for a partner or are already partnered and looking to make our relationship the best that it can be, there is virtually no better advice than to start with you. Put out in the universe the kindness and caring you want to receive. Take care of yourself in the way you want your partner to take care of herself. Become the best you, whatever that means.
We have to take equal responsibility in the love and dating games. All those clichés about it being a two-way street are true. You have to pave the way if you expect someone to want to walk with you on the journey of love and life. So before you complain about the dating pool or your partner’s lack of, well, whatever, check out what’s looking back at you from that mirror. Are you the partner you want to have?
— Jenny Block
Have a question or topic you want Jenny to tackle?
Out jazzman Dave Koz rides to Fair Park on Summer Horns
If you read our interview last week with jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, you’d know that his Pride Month was especially meaningful to him. But just as meaningful to his audiences is his ability to blow a horn. The multiple Grammy nominee will be joined onstage of the Music Hall for his Summer Horns concert tour by fellow jazz musicians.
We live in a much more multicultural society than we did even two decades ago, before the Asian Film Festival of Dallas first launched. Now the function the fest best serves — to expose audiences to diverse voices in cinema — is an easier sell. And the lineup of dramas, comedies, docs and short films from Korea, China, Japan and other Asian nations is sure to tickle the curiosity of film fans of all stripes. The Odd Family, pictured, kicks off the fest, followed by an opening night party on Thursday, but the screenings continue all week at the Angelika.
All screenings at the Angelika Film Center Mockingbird Station.
For complete schedule, visit AsianFilmDallas.com.
Chaka Khan, Michael McDonald co-headline concert
Ever since “I’m Every Woman” scorched the pop and R&B charts, Chaka Khan has been one of our favorite divas. But while the so-called Queen of Funk has been making music since the 1970s, she’s still active, as with her new album Hello Happiness, which echoes classic-Chaka while the material experiments with her contemporary flavor. She will perform alongside former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald; Dallas-bred indie pop duo D and Chi opens the show.
The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory,
300 W. Las Colinas Blvd. LiveNation.com.
Jenna Skyy and Cassie Nova at Drag Queen Story Hour (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)
More than 50 parents brought children to Drag Queen story time at Grauwyler Park Branch Library on Saturday, July 13. Kids growled like dinosaurs and purred like kittens and sang a song Jenna Skyy made up with little notice as they participated in an hour of storytelling.
Protesters stayed on the sidewalk away from the children. Their chanting wasn’t heard in the building.
Cassie Nova, dressed as a princess in pink and orange hair and purple-haired cowgirl Jenna had the crowd cheering. “My little cousin dressed me,” Cassie told the children. “So I’m wearing A LOT!”
Jenna browsed through the books she’d be reading just a few minutes before the event began. For the book Soup Opera, she said her music degree meant she could sing her way through the story. She sang the book’s refrain — “I can’t eat the soup” — just a couple of times before the children picked it up, and by the end of the book, they were standing and singing while the parents were cheering and applauding.
Cassie followed that with a quieter book, “My Cat Jack.” She had the kids yawning like a cat, scratching, stretching and more.
The protesters haven’t had much luck with the weather. For their first appearance in Dallas, they looked at last year’s schedule and location and were protesting outside the downtown library when the wind storm that caused so many trees to collapse blew through. This time, the group, which is from Louisiana, was hit by a hurricane at home.
Jo Guidice, director of the Dallas library system, said her office received more than 700 calls, 250 emails and an uncounted number of complaints on social media. She said that didn’t count the number of calls the branch library got. She said she even heard from the heard of the McKinney Public Library that he had gotten a call of complaint at his office, even though this was a one-time event this year and only happened in Dallas.
Coincidentally, the director of McKinney’s library went to school with Jenna.
— David Taffet
Protesters stayed outside and did not disrupt the story hour. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)