National Coming Out Day: Paul Rudnick's box-office hit In & Out has proven itself the smashing piece of propaganda that Rudnick and the producers obviously intended. Thanks to the script's disarming wit, normally conservative radio talk-show hosts and social commentators have gotten it through their thick skulls that homosexuality is (surprise!) an emotional state as ordinary as heterosexuality--so much so that even small-town high school teachers can be gay or lesbian. Nevertheless, it's true that simply saying the words "I am gay" is a political statement that changes many heterosexuals' perception of you, not to mention their perception (if they knew you before the announcement) of human sexuality in general. The State Fair of Texas hosts National Coming Out Day, an event for people who wish to be honest with the world--in a supportive setting--about a simple but fundamental part of their lives. Activities start at 1 p.m. and run through 5 p.m. near the Hall of State. Call (214) 565-9931.
Lost and Found: Although the Dallas Women's Caucus for Art has an explicit mission to support and represent the often-overlooked contributions of women to art (if you don't believe them, pick up any American or European history book and count the great female artists listed), they don't attempt to railroad their artists into making the kinds of mawkish "political" art that wallows in, yet rarely transcends, pain. Lost and Found is the DWCA's 1997 national open exhibition, and a quick glance at the images here suggests that not only is the stuff free of feminist cliche, it's not even particularly gender-specific. The sculpture, prints, paintings, and drawings here all deal loosely with the theme of relinquishing and recovery. There's a reception for the artists from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. October 16 with a performance by C.J. Critt in the Upper East Pavilion of the Trammell Crow Center, 2001 Ross Ave. Call (214) 630-3171.
Culture Shock in the Workplace: Sexual harassment is on the minds of many Dallasites these days (don't worry about any more references to that unfortunate incident between "Y.G." and "M.H."; "Calendar" has pledged to be an oasis blissfully free of references to the DISD scandal). But even many feminist commentators are conceding that some angry female workers have stopped picking their battles, acting as if overhearing a dirty joke is the same as being fondled at the watercooler. That seething cauldron of lust known as the U.S. armed forces now routinely submits soldiers to "sensitivity training" (presumably before they're trained how to kill), but the question all this leads to is: What the heck constitutes sexual harassment? Dr. Regena Farnsworth, a UTA professor and author of various books on gender and sex issues at the office, presents "Culture Shock in the Workplace." The event happens at 7:30 p.m. at Jewish Family Service, 13140 Coit Rd. Call (972) 437-9950.
october 15 Jamie Colby: Although it's true "Calendar" has a living space barely big enough to do jumping jacks in, let alone entertain friends, we confess to a crush on Television Food Network host Jamie Colby. She's brainy (she serves as an investigative reporter on food-related consumer affairs) and beautiful (watching her separate the white from the yolk leaves us with sweaty palms), but best of all, she makes you think that her preparation and presentation tricks are matters of common sense, not Martha Stewart-ish leaps of Olympian domesticity. We can't do anything she does, but we can fantasize. Colby makes a Dallas appearance to give a free 90-minute demonstration, "New Directions in the Kitchen," designed to help you short-cut your way to restaurant-quality meals. Colby demonstrates from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Dillard's in Valley View Mall, Preston and LBJ. Call (972) 386-4595