City Hall

City Leaders Kick Off Gay Pride Month With No Mention of Gay Green Lantern

Going in, I was assuming the Pride Month event at City Hall was for celebrating the previous days' revelation that the Green Lantern is gay. It's not Batman or Superman, but baby steps, right?

But no one -- not Councilwoman Delia Jasso, not any of the half dozen speakers, not the Turtle Creek Chorale in the performance of "God Bless America" -- made any mention of LGBT strides in second-tier comic books.

Instead, the city's official proclamation of June as Gay Pride Month referenced the Stonewall Inn riots of 1969 that sparked the gay rights movement, and speakers focused on the the progress and challenges in the intervening years.

Jasso, who established the city's LGBT Task Force when she took office about three years ago, rattled off several notable accomplishments, like the hiring of a full-time LGBT liaison at the Dallas Police Department, non-discrimination measures in housing and employment and sensitivity training at Dallas Fire Rescue, though the organization has a lot further to go than DPD.

Mayor Mike Rawlings, who was was attending slacks icon Joseph Haggar's memorial service delivered a prerecorded video message in which he introduced himself ("Hello everyone. I'm Mike Rawlings."), praised the gay community ("Your style and your character is truly something to be proud of.") and promised to work to strengthen their ties with "mainstream institutions."

He also announced that a rainbow Gay Pride flag will join the four dozen others in City Hall's Flag Room, at least for the month of June.

Rawlings was followed by Mayor Pro-Tem Pauline Medrano, who stressed the importance of diverse appointments to city boards and commissions, and Angela Hunt, who earned City Manager Mary Suhm a round of applause for praising her work to advance gay issues.

Omar Narvaez, a member of the LGBT Task Force, applauded the city for upgrading last year's one-day proclamation celebrating Gay Pride to span an entire month. Carter Brown, the founder of Black TransMen, Inc. (which is what it sounds like) delivered a poem, and the awesomely named (and voiced) Lady B. Smoove followed up with a sung poem.

The event was capped off by TCC's performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which might have been a stereotypical choice but was well done, but none of the refreshments listed on the program, which Jasso promised to remember next year

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson