“The best advocate for change in this country has been MTV,” said Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins, explaining that reality shows such as The Real World “humanized” gay characters for his own children that he had with actress Susan Sarandon. Robbins brought his gonzo punk theater group’s production of 1984 to Houston, and spoke at length with OutSmart’s Blase DiStefano about politics, the war in Iraq, gay marriage, and how St. Joseph’s, the Catholic school that he attended in New York City, was on Christopher Street just three doors down from the Stonewall Inn.
School was back in session for Jonathan Rea, Lei Herman, Jack-Caine Silverman, James Alexander (at Harvard, no less!), Pamela Paige Palmer, and Tara Bates, all attending college with financial help from the PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation.
The Houston Gay & Lesbian Film Festival marked its 10th year by showing all eight films in three days at downtown-chic Angelika Film Center and kicking off the event with a prom theme.
Miss Money was featured in the queer rap documentary Pick Up the Mic.
Fitzgerald’s showcased Raven-Yolanda Adams in its Vegas-style drag extravaganza Black Diamonds Review. “It’s a fun thing to do on a Sunday night,” said producer Harrison Guy.
The Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning Fiorello! was staged by Bayou City Concert Musicals, benefitting Ronald McDonald House and the Center for AIDS Information and Advocacy.
The cheesy Michael Brown Chicken Sandwich (as in, “You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie”) was a crowd favorite at Jim Gray’s Hurricane Cafe in Galveston, where Trish McCormick and JP took the helm at the Kon Tiki, the landmark nightspot previously owned by the late Jesse Garza.
LGBT community supporter JetBlue Airways began service to Houston, while at Memorial City Mall, special events heralded the end of an era, as all 52 Foley’s stores in Texas completed their conversion to Macy’s.
Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.