Satisfying a Niche. Filmmaker/cinematographer PJ Raval’s films have screened to many diverse and appreciative audiences, most recently Lead Role: Father at Aurora’s Slant Festival 2007. Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 new faces of independent film in 2006, Raval recently completed work on Trinidad, a feature documentary about Trinidad’s transformation from a Wild West outpost in Colorado to the “sex change capital of the world.” His success in the Asian-American and LGBT film communities deems him well qualified to discuss his experiences in niche markets of the indie filmmaking world at this month’s Aurora Video Salon. May 23, 1 p.m. 1524 Sul Ross St. • aurorapictureshow.org • 713/868-2101.
Slap That Ball. It’s spring, and whether you’re playing or spectating, it’s time for softball. Houston Women’s Softball (hwslsoftball.com) is in full swing for its spring league, stepping up to the plate on Field 1 in Memorial Park. Mixed teams play with the Montrose Softball League at the Houston Sportsplex, located at 12631 Main St. Sundays. (montrosesoftballleague.com)
A Flipping Good Time. A pancake breakfast, children’s festival, silent auction, fellowship, and entertainment highlight Bering Memorial United Methodist Church’s annual Spring Festival. May 1, 8–11 a.m. 1440 Harold St. • beringumc.org • 713/526-1017.
Transformative Celebration. Transgender Center of America celebrates the grand reopening of its new location with a Unity Day Tour. May 1, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., followed by a reopening day brunch on May 2, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. 604 Pacific St. • tgctr.org.
Trans Unity. Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, is the keynote speaker at the Transgender Unity Banquet. Organized by the Houston Transgender Unity Committee, the consortium of area transgender organizations, the event benefits the Peggy Rudd Transgender Scholarship Fund. May 1, 6:30 p.m. Sheraton Brookhollow, 3000 North Loop West • htuc.org.
Coming Out Support. Houston GLBT Community Center has announced plans for a free, monthly coming-out group serving the needs of LGBT and questioning individuals. The group, facilitated by openly gay minister Burton Bagby-Grose, addresses topics including coming out to family and in the workplace, religion and spirituality, LGBT history, and more. Houston GLBT Community Center, 3400 Montrose Blvd., Suite 207. May 3 and subsequent first Mondays, 7 p.m., 3400 Montrose Blvd., Suite 207 • houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org • 713/524-3818.
Come Out Christian. For many LGBT Christians, the experience of “coming out” brings about another, more painful, “coming out”—a journey away from the church’s beliefs and traditions that form faith. This workshop is designed to facilitate the integration of sexual, gender, and Christian identities. Wednesdays, May 5–26, 7 p.m. Resurrection MCC, 2025 W. 11th St. • resurrectionmcc.org • 713/861-9149.
Leave a Message. In the winter of 1932, two anonymous Christian women, referred to as Two Listeners, began the practice of “expectant listening.” The messages they heard have been formulated into the classic daily devotional, God Calling. This monthlong series guides devotees to share their spiritual journeys through reflection, prayer, and journaling. Wednesdays, May 5–26,
7 p.m. Resurrection MCC, 2025 W. 11th St. • resurrectionmcc.org • 713/861-9149.
Cellular Memory. Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, speaks at the launch of Rice University’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. May 6, 6:30 p.m. Rice University’s BioSciences Research Consortium, 6500 Main St. • cswgs.rice.edu.
Uncivil Unions, Joe Angel Babb’s theatrical response to the debate on same-sex marriage, presented by Unhinged Productions. (See “Unequal + Unhinged = Uncivil Unions,” page 37.) May 7–30. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation Blvd. • comeunhinged.com • 832/426-4624.
Legal AIDS. Mitchell Katine, Raymundo Estrata, Mark Guetzow, John Nechman, Blenda Ruiz, and Sean Jackson are the scheduled speakers at HIV/AIDS and the Law. The free seminar for persons living with HIV/AIDS, their attorneys, health-care providers, family members, partners, and friends is sponsored by Montrose Counseling Center and Houston Bar Association AIDS Outreach Committee. CLE credits available. May 8, 10 a.m.–2:45 p.m. Montrose Counseling Center, 401 Branard St. Register by calling 713/529-0037, ext. 0.
Lunch and a Movie. Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church’s Welcome M.A.T. (Movies And Things) program presents Torch Song Trilogy, Harvey Fierstein’s award-winning comedy. Free; lunch is available for $6, or bring your own. May 9, 12:30 p.m., and each second Sunday. Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1900 Bering Dr. • 713/782-8250 • emersonhouston.org.
Sweet Sounds. The ebullient Linus Lerner conducts the Bayou City Women’s Chorus in It’s All About Love, the group’s spring concert. May 15 and 18. Unity Church, 2929 Unity Dr. • gmch.org.
That’s a Lot of Oomp. Organizers for Wonka: Soiree Pelouse III say they aim to raise $45,000
in cash with the annual tea dance event for
AssistHers, Legacy Community Health Services, and Houston GLBT Community Center. The costume party, with its Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-inspired theme, features entertainers Kofi and Jacinta. Bryan Hlavinka and Tammi Wallace are the event’s honorary chairs. May 16, 3 p.m. Heights Theatre, 339 W. 19th • soireepelouse.com.
Hairy and Beary. The cuddly return to Galves- ton for Bearwatch 11: Heroes and Villains for a series of weekend-long festivities including a brunch, bar runs, frolicking on the beach, a foam party, a costume party, and more. Benefits HATCH. May 21–23. Inn at the Waterpark, 2525 Jones Rd., Galveston • bearwatch.net • 409/740-1155.
Project Equality. Human Rights Campaign Houston’s 13th annual black-tie gala features actress Meredith Baxter as the keynote speaker and an appearance by honoree Tabatha Coffey, star of Bravo TV’s Shear Genius and Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. May 22. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St. • hrchouston.org.
Houston Pride Band presents No Strings Attached, featuring members of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association in a performance of Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria. Benefits Friends of the Houston Public Library. May 30, 3 p.m. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts’ Zilkha Hall • houstonprideband.org • 713/862-9491.
Diamond Girls. Kindred Spirits Foundation
presents its first annual softball tournament, offering a full day of softball, sun, hot dogs, commemorative T-shirts, and all the traditional accoutrement of the game. Men’s, women’s, and mixed teams are encouraged to register. (See “The Beat Goes On,” page 28.) June 5 in Memorial Park • kindredspiritshouston.org.
Healthy Living. Lesbian Health Initiative Houston continues to promote good health in the community by presenting its spring Rainbow Health Fair. (See Community, page 12.) The biannual event for women who identify as lesbian offers free HIV and STD, total cholesterol, and blood sugar testing; A1C for diabetics; blood typing; oral screening for cancer; and information about living wills and related legal matters, as well as assorted health and wellness education. Free mammograms and Pap smears are also available by appointment. June 5, 8:15 a.m.–2 p.m. Legacy Community Health Services, 215 Westheimer Rd. • lhihouston.org.
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