Doing the Happy Dance. AssistHers, a charitable group that provides non-medical assistance to lesbians who are ill, has produced its chief fundraiser, Decadent Desserts and More, for 15 years. This year, the event specifically honors the care group’s founders and volunteers. “AssistHers would be nothing without the people who have given so much of themselves to help our clients,” AssistHers president Lavita Marks says. “This year, we want to recognize all of our volunteers for their contributions, especially the contributions of our founding mothers.” The afternoon emphasizes dancing, and also offers a raffle and food provided by Houston’s most generous and talented caterers and restaurateurs. Oct. 9, 4 p.m. South Beach, 810 Pacific Street • assisthers.org.
Vote for the Vocalist. You Betta Sing vocal competition, hosted by Tye Blue, continues Sept. 1 and each Thursday at 10 p.m., and concludes Sept. 15. F Bar, 202 Tuam St. • fbarhouston.com • 713/522-FBAR.
Focus on the “Family.” Music Box Theater, which has taken over the space previously occupied by Radio Music Theatre, presents “family” presentations of Damaged Divas of the Decades. The Friday installments of the show saluting popular music’s most talented but troubled singers are “a bit more risqué,” and offer a $5 discount per ticket with reservation made online using the code “OutSmart.” Through Nov. 13. 2623 Colquitt St. • themusicboxtheater.com • 713/522-7722.
There’s a Rainbow in the Title, So It Must Be Gay. Bayou City Concert Musical’s Finian’s Rainbow runs Sept. 8–11 at Houston Community College’s Heinen Theatre, 3517 Austin St. • bayocityconcertmusicals.org • 713/465-6484.
Leatherpalooza. Leathermen from across the nation pour into Houston for a weekend-load of festivities beginning with Meet the Meat, Sept. 9, 10 p.m., at the Ripcord, 715 Fairview Ave. The Mr. Leather Houston annual competition is set for Sept. 10, 10 p.m., also at The Ripcord. Applications are available at Black Hawk Leather, the contest’s sponsor, and The Ripcord. The fun concludes Sept. 11, 5 p.m., with Misfits Ball at Numbers, 300 Westheimer Rd. • theripcord.com • 713/521-2792.
Sing Out and Party! Sing for Hope: An Evening of Art Songs & Arias includes a prelude dinner at the Houston Club with honorees Daniel and Gabriela Dror, a concert at Wortham Theatre featuring international rising opera arias and Broadway hits, and an after party back at the Houston Club, honoring Brian Leary. Benefits Bering Omega Community Services. Sept. 10. beringomega.org.
Partying Like Rock Stars. Bayou City Performing Arts, now the umbrella organization of Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston, Bayou City Women’s Chorus, Houston Pride Band, and Unhinged Productions, presents Let’s Get Loud, its annual meeting and kickoff event. Sept. 10, 4 p.m. Meteor, 2306 Genesee St. • bayoucityperformingarts.org • 713/868-2020.
Cajun Celebration. Zydeco queen Marcia Ball celebrates the release of Roadside Attractions, her fifth release for Alligator Records. Sept. 10, 3 p.m. Texas Music Fest by the Bay, Carlos Garza Sports Park, 3300 Magnolia Dr. in Texas City • bythebayfest.com • 409/643-5990.
Singing Under the Stars. Singer/songwriter Whitney McCray parties on the patio with the women of The Usual. Sept. 10, 10 p.m. 5519 Allen St. theusualpub.com.
On the Boards. Local LGBT leader and author Judy Reeves directs Texas Romance, Ellsworth Schave’s comedy. Sept. 16–Oct. 15. Theatre Suburbia, 4106 Way Out West Dr. • theatresuburbia.org • 713/682-3525.
No Bullied Child Left Behind. Youth, educators, administrators, and anyone interested in making schools safer for all students are welcomed at 2011 Voices of Houston LGBTQ Youth Summit: Taking Back Our Schools. $15; free for participants under age 18. Sept. 17, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. GLBT Cultural Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org/2011voices.
A Weighty Conversation. OutSmart’s Nancy Ford discusses her weight-loss journey and more at The Women’s Group, a feminist group for all women. Sept. 18, 10:15am. First Unitarian Universalist Church’s Sojourner Truth Room, 5200 Fannin St. • 713/529-8571. That afternoon, Ford speaks to the women of LOAF (Lesbians Over Age Fifty), regarding how Lesbian Health Initiative was instrumental in that journey. 2 p.m. Montrose Counseling Center, 401 Branard St. • loafhouston.org • 281/467-2578.
Notable Achievements. Bill Sampson, Paul Guillory, and Salangi Legacy host the second annual Black Achievers of Houston 2011 Awards, honoring LGBT community advocates Rainbow Pages’ Cristina Martinez and Lonnie Davis, and 14 other local leaders. The evening features red-carpet arrival, silent auction, photo booth, dancing to DJ Woodson, and a book signing with author Micheal W. Moore. Sept. 23, 8 p.m. House of Dereon Media Center, 2204 Crawford St. • hodmediacenter.com.
Leather, Levi, and Lace Ball. Chris “Sushi” Valk and Mona Lott-Gill host Empire of the Royal Sovereign Imperial Court of the Single Star’s Imperial Prince and Princess Ball, featuring entertainment and refreshments. Benefits Montrose Counseling Center, Lesbian Health Initiative Houston, and ERSICSS’ Kimberly Anne O’Neil Believe in a Dream Scholarship Fund. Sept. 24, 7 p.m. GLBT Cultural Center, 401 Branard St. • 713/721-4590.
Guys and Dolls and Gays. Theatre Under the Stars hosts [email protected], a post-show, cabaret-style event following the performance of Guys and Dolls at Artista Restaurant for TUTS’s LGBT friends. Sept. 29. TUTS.com/OUT.
Mark Your Leadership Calendars. Houston is the site of the 27th International Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference, which brings together hundreds of openly LGBT leaders in government, politics, advocacy, business, and community organizations to work on key issues facing out leaders and their communities. Dec. 1–4. Registration is free for international attendees before Sept. 30. victoryfund.org.
Beating Breast Cancer. The Susan G. Komen 2011 Race for the Cure, fighting breast cancer, has set a goal of $3 million. Members of Bayou City Performing Arts support the walkers and runners with a performance. Oct. 1, with opening ceremony at 7:45 a.m. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby St. • bayoucityperformingarts.org • 713/868-2020.
Road Trip. Strap on those chaps and spurs for the 25th anniversary of International Gay Rodeo Association’s World Gay Rodeo Finals. Oct. 7–9. Will Rogers Memorial Center’s Watts Arena in Fort Worth • igra.com • 877/392-8160.
Gridiron Gays. Houston is the host city for National Gay Flag Football League’s Gay Bowl XXI, kicking off Oct. 7–9. Cullen Park, 9008 Saums Rd. • 281/578-0693.
Batter and Battress Up! Celebrate National Coming Out Day and cheer your favorite local team at Kindred Spirit Foundation’s Second Annual Softball Tournament. Mixed teams compete for trophies; hot dogs and cools drinks, commemorative T-shirts, and koozies available. Oct. 8. Memorial Park, fields 1, 4, and 5. Benefits AssistHers, Lesbian Health Initiative Houston, and Expert Nutrition’s Ellen’s Hand. kindredspiritshouston.org.
40 Years of Festival Fun. Originally known as the Westheimer Art Festival, Bayou City Art Festival Downtown features 300 artists, entertainment, food, and fun for the whole family. Oct. 8–9. bayoucityartfestival.com.
Sing Out, Sisters! Tickets are currently on sale for Houston Women’s Festival, returning to downtown Houston for a full day of music, art, vendors, food, drink, and open-air fun. Performers include Ginger Leigh, Terri Hendrix, Shelley King Band, GBmojo with Ginger Doss, Wishing Chair, and others. Oct. 22, noon–10 p.m. • hwfestival.org.