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PastOut: Eleven Years Ago in ‘OutSmart’

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DebbieCoverEleven Years Ago in ‘OutSmart’

By Donalevan Maines

September 1998

Miss America Kate Shindle, in town to accept Woman of the Year honors at the Huff Fund Awards for helping fight the war on AIDS, helped stock shelves at Stone Soup pantry.

Miss Camp America celebrated its 30th anniversary with comedian Danny Williams, direct from San Francisco, emceeing the “Spice Up Your Life” pageant at the University of Houston.

Former Miss Burbank Debbie Reynolds followed her role as the mother of Kevin Kline’s gay schoolteacher in In & Out by selling out her show at The Grand 1895 Opera House in Galveston months in advance.

One-time Miss Gay Houston, Miss Gay Texas USofA, and Miss Gay Continental Kelly Lauren starred in Sex, the 1920s comedy by Mae West, at The Little Room Downstairs Theater.

Ray Hill portrayed—who else? Ray Hill!—in the one-man show The Prison Years at Actors Workshop of Houston. Steven Foster advised, “Ray Hill brings a gentle, often wisdom-laden wit to a life that includes, but is not limited to, coming out as a gay man in a Galena Park high school in 1958, making a detour into a Lone Star slammer in 1970, and eventually becoming one of the city’s most colorful activists.”

As the Fall Fun League began, the Basic Brothers team returned from the Gay Softball World Series in Atlanta ranked eighth out of 28 teams. Tina Burgos, the only female player on the team, was honored as Most Valuable Player of the league. Her teammates included Greg Adams, Bill Bland, Gino Chelakis, Mike Flanigan, Mark Friden, Richard Gay, catcher Lloyd Haddad (Most Improved Player), Stephen Haddock, Rick Hall, shortstop Bob James (aggressive despite a plaguing knee injury), Bruce Metsker, Leo Serrata, and Alfred Trevino.

Also in September 1998, bicyclists pedaled to prepare for Texas’ first-ever AIDS ride in October, 575 miles from Austin through Houston to Dallas over seven grueling days, to raise at least $3 million from individual donors for more than 40 AIDS organizations throughout the state.

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Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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