PROUD OF MANCHESTER
Silence preserves their photogenic success.
Marie Claire magazine introduced Moss’ best quotes with, “She doesn’t speak very often but when she does it's amazing.”
Netflix's literary documentary “Circus of Books” names Jeff Stryker as gay erotica’s ultimate superstar.
Stryker visited Big D in the early aughts. And New Fine Arts bookstore on Mockingbird Lane promised me a meeting with him.
My thirst was unquenchable — especially since Stryker penetrated country music with his anal anthem, “Pop You in the Pooper."
Stryker's Dallas opportunity window was tighter than a virgin pooper.
When Stryker stood up to shake my hand, I said, “No matter how many times I ask to interview you, my requests are never granted."
With Jack Nicholson-like swagger, Stryker smiled, nodded and said, “That’s right.”
Polaroid froze our split-second appointment.
Stryker's elusiveness rivals J.D. Salinger.
In 2013, a podcast duo had much better luck than me.
The Rialto Report's April Hall and Laura Helen Marks did a fine job coaxing Stryker from isolation.
I chose The Cedars and named Bill's as a main attraction.
Bill (1945-2020) was a lifelong bachelor who still wasn't ready to be described as "gay" in a media article. (Also, Bill was once bashed with a baseball bat.)
Editors cut my double-entendre explanation of the "Head for Bill's" slogan.
But a tastefully queer shoutout survived.
"Dallas' best secondhand music store, Bill's moved to The Cedars in February. Legendary proprietor Bill Wisener keeps the age of vinyl alive with aisles of LPs, though the disorganization of the CD bins can turn into a time-sucking scavenger hunt. Don't look for price tags either: Just ask Bill how much. Cute guys always strike the best bargains on imports, bootlegs, ginormous posters, and vintage T-shirts."
However, the specific work-related incident dates back to 2010.
That’s when Don — a former Dallasite — was in New York.
Don was conducting a tandem jump with a female client. To put the woman’s mind at ease — about the coziness of jumping two-to-one — Don revealed that he enjoyed intimacy with men. Like his partner, Dallas businessman Bill Moore.
After that jump, a complaint was filed against Don. And the employer, Altitude Express, placed Don on suspension.
While returning to face the ultimate decision, Don recorded the exchange, which y’all can listen to on YouTube.
At first, Don’s former coworkers dodge and evade the request.
However, Don’s lawyer, Gregory Antollino, discovered a copy.
One thing’s for sure, Don’s not the drama queen in this story.
The female client looks pretty dang happy when she smiles beside Don for a group shot after her feet land safely on the ground. (By the way, it was the female client's boyfriend who complained about Don's sexual identity...)
Like Texas Lawyer magazine's brilliant Mike Maslanka, who anticipates a wonderful outcome — even during a Trump Administration.
Chad commented on the game with both his head and the microphone resting on a bed pillow.
Chad never left his bed. Instead of whining about feeling sick, Chad acted as if his mattress was a La-Z-Boy recliner.
The studio was filled with neatly stacked piles of newspapers.
Chad published Whoopsy! magazine.
Chad gracefully shifted opposing topics — like connecting Ann Coulter’s horse-face to an argument about evolution.
Over the past year, Chad and I hung together in Austin. Probably three times.
He wasn’t always bedridden.
We sweated it out while walking from Adam Reposa’s law office near the Texas Capitol over to Sarah Weddington's nearby leadership center and then downhill to the Colorado River. That's where we downed hot coffee while Chad inhaled home-rolled cigarettes.
On Sixth Street, we chowed on burgers at The Jackalope. That's where we snapped a selfie, above, as we vied for the affections of our favorite Texan, web-design goddess Beth Sams.
During the recent “Sports Karaoke” episode, one of the fellow podcasters cracked an off-the-cuff joke about the “need” for printed media. I raised an objection with the authority of a Texan defending the Bill of Rights.
Chad and I fist bumped.
When I wrote about biking through Austin, I consulted with Mr. Badass himself.
Here’s what Chad said.
During one of our recent walks, Chad expressed his sincere respect for Louis Black, founding publisher of The Austin Chronicle.
Chad and Black's SXSW festival have a storied history that's stitched into the documentary "Total Badass," which is worth watching.
Rest in power, Chad.
How did I find out?
A group of Catholics sent a press release saying they've organized a "Rosary Protest."
The group is called Tradition, Family and Property. Their website is ReturnToOrder.org.
TFP states, "Because the Drag Queen Story Time for 3 to 6 year-olds is a serious offense against God and scandalizes children."
The release continues, "Whatever happened to the time when the protection of children's innocence was a non-negotiable social norm?
Even rough men watched their language and mannerisms when children or ladies were around.
Vulgarity, bad habits and vice were concealed so as to not destroy the innocence of a child."
Well, Dallas. Look for yourselves.
Witness Jenna in super-heroine action at last year's story time at J. Eric Jonsson Library, named after the brilliant founder of Texas Instruments — a company that could see into the future.
Grauwyler Park Branch Library, 2146 Gilford St., Dallas, Texas 75235
Saturday: July 13 at 12:30 p.m.
VICE News deftly explores differences between Oak Cliff and Oak Lawn in the wake of Muhlaysia Booker murder
VICE’s immigration correspondent David Noriega visits Big D. The story begins with stomach-churning clips of Muhlaysia being savagely beaten.
Then there’s my footage.
I'm also elated with Noriega's work.
With a touch that reminds me of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood," VICE's news-team explores the geographic and socio-economic separations between Dallas' "uppity" Oak Lawn gayborhood and East Oak Cliff — the location where the viral footage first emerged.
Muhlaysia's friend Meiko Hicks describes how Muhlaysia suffered from intense PTSD after the first attack. And how Big D's unspoken "no-snitch" policy mostly hovers over Dallas' Southern side.
However, the footage of Muhlaysia's casket being rapturously marched out of Cathedral of Hope last week is just ... gorgeous.
VICE ends the segment with a sharp cut. Leaving viewers wanting more. It’s unresolved — exactly like Muhlaysia's quest to seek to justice.
Happy Easter, y’all.
3,000-year-old Egyptian messages tell us that civilization’s greatest value was conquering the terrors of death.
Once a blockbusting attraction, the Forest Theater now reflects White Flight’s deterioration upon a progressive metroplex.
The theater’s towering neon sign is named after Forest Avenue, the crosstown spine that links South Dallas to East Oak Cliff. Until 1880, Forest Avenue was spelled with two Rs — a nod to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Ku Klux Klan’s first Grand Wizard.
In 1930, cinema impresario M.S. White built the Forest Theatre, a $40,000 air-cooled “talking picture house.” Interstate Circuit (which managed Dallas’ Majestic, Arcadia and Highland Park theaters) took over the Forest in 1932.
That initial Forest venue perished in a fire.
Coinciding with Central Expressway’s expansion, a “new” Forest Theater opened in 1949. Catering to a white clientele, the Forest was the Southwest’s largest suburban palace. Black ticketholders were confined to the balcony.
Throughout the ’40s, blacks faced housing troubles all over Dallas. But mortgage houses didn’t vigorously oppose migration to the city’s southern side.
By 1952, South Dallas was 90-percent black.
Adhering to segregation norms, Forest Avenue High School was designated a black facility in 1956 and renamed James Madison High School. That year, the Forest Theater “reopened” as a “de lux movie house for Negroes.”
The building remained a cinema until 1965, when managers announced the Forest’s closing due to lack of patronage.
For decades, the Forest alternated between standing vacant and hosting a variety of theater-nightclubs that lured the likes of B.B. King, Al Green, The Byrds, Tina Turner, James Brown and Gladys Knight.
In June 1976, Forest Avenue was rechristened Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. A young Erica Abi Wright could walk to the Forest from her home near Julius Schepps Freeway. On the big screen, she watched Bruce Lee’s slow-burn martial artistry in “Enter the Dragon” and Pam Grier’s brown-sugar ass-kicking in “Coffy.”
Erica later became Erykah Badu.
Badu began renting the empty and dilapidated Forest in 2003. The property wasn’t for sale, and Badu almost went bust bringing the 16,000-square-foot building up to code.
She changed the name to The Black Forest Theater and painted its front doors with a fist-handled Afro pick. The Black Forest housed Badu’s charity, B.L.I.N.D. (Beautiful Love Inc. Non-profit Development), which provided a soup kitchen, as well as youth-arts programs. The Black Forest’s marquee regularly spelled out Badu-like aphorisms preaching unity and community.
The theater experienced a scintillating revival as Dallas’ hottest after-party. At Badu’s invitation, Dave Chappelle, Snoop Dogg, The Roots and Jill Scott entertained lucky guests until the dawn’s early light. Following his 2004 American Airlines Center sellout gig, Prince headed to the Black Forest for a royal jam- session that patrons enjoyed for a mere $20 admission.
Egypt’s ancient symbol for imperishable life is the ankh. When Prince transformed into “The Artist Formerly Known As...” his name was represented by an ankh-like character that incorporated both the male and female astrological symbols. Badu titled her 2010 album, “New Amerykah Part Two: (Return of the Ankh).”
The walls of Queen Nefertari’s tomb (1290 B.C.) narrate the passage to the afterlife. Throughout her journey to the great unknown, Nefertari is depicted as wide-eyed, cheerful and wearing a bird-like cap, which represents Mut — the hermaphroditic vulture deity, who’s sometimes depicted with breasts; sometimes with an erect penis.
Badu hoped to transform the Forest into cultural landmark, much like New York’s Apollo Theater. Her noble dream proved to be unsustainable for just one person.
However, the Forest Theater — now for sale but in serious disrepair — awaits another revival.
‘QUEEN NEFERTARI + ERYKAH BADU:’ TOMMIE ROSS
LOCATION: THE FOREST THEATER, 1920 MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR BLVD. | ACCESSORIES: BRIAN ALDEN | STYLING: RICHARD D. CURTIN HEADDRESS: KENT PARKER | MARQUEE DESIGN: L.C. CORTEZ | WARDROBE CONSULTANT: CHARLES YUSKO
PRODUCTION DATE: MARCH 22, 2013 | PHOTOGRAPHY: BRYAN AMANN | DIRECTION: DANIEL KUSNER