DIED Ellen Hahn, a prominent activist and educator who worked closely with the Houston Buyers Club, on August 11 of ovarian cancer. “Ellen became the standard by which we measure financial accountability here,” Houston Buyers Club founder Fred Walters wrote in an e-mail to OutSmart of Hahn, who had worked as an accountant. “She is the reason Houston Buyers Club is still here.” Hahn devoted time to other community organizations, including PoWeR, the Kindred Spirits Reunion, Legacy Community Health Services, and A Christmas Songfest. At Hahn’s request, no memorial service was held. Her many surviving friends have requested that people who wish to make a memorial gift consider a donation in Hahn’s name to organizations that support alternative care for HIV or ovarian cancer. Read a remembrance from Hahn’s friend Fred Walters at Memories of Ellen.
Archive for October, 2007
GAYEST & GREATEST SPOTLIGHT
Island man: Vincent J. Tramonte
If there is a Galveston resident who is more thoroughly Galvestonian than Vincent J. Tramonte, we haven’t met him. Tramonte, who runs the family real-estate firm, Joe Tramonte Realty, is a prime example of a genuine BOI (Born on the Island). An O’Connell High School alumnus, he graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin and earned a University of Houston law degree before returning home. Just a few of his Islander credentials: He is a founding member of the Knights of Momus, the leading Mardi Gras krewe. Last year, he was honored as King of Momus. At various times, he has led the Galveston Economic Development Partnership, the Rotary Club, and the local planning commission. He currently serves of the chamber of commerce board and is a member of the University of Texas Medical Branch President’s Cabinet. In short, Tramonte is your Galveston go-to guy. —TB [Photo credit] COURTESY TRAMONTE REALTY
GAYEST & GREATEST SPOTLIGHT
Best New Restaurant with a Fun Name: Beaver’s
You may recognize chef Monica Pope from t’afia, from Boulevard Bistrot, or if you have been around awhile—and you know who you are—from The Quilted Toque. Or you may know her from the Saturday Midtown Farmers Market or the Tuesday Houston Farmers Market. For their next culinary venture, Monica and partner and general manager Andrea Lazar are thisclose to opening a modern-day icehouse at 2310 Decatur and Washington Avenue—across the street from the now-closed Pig Stand. This one will be called Beaver’s (I know you’re giggling), promising “dam good” drinks, food, and fun. If you’re so eager (get it?) that you can’t wait for the mid-October grand opening, swing by one of the farmers markets and pick up some barbecue to go. —S.H.
GAYEST & GREATEST SPOTLIGHT
One Reason to Be Proud of Pride Houston: Nick Brines
Nick Brines is the sort of person who makes you want to sit up (um) straight. Towering at six-foot-three, he can’t be missed at local Pride events. The tall blond with the au-so-courant glasses has been a visible part of Pride Houston for 13 years. (That’s right, he started when he was 10.) Brine’s obvious passion and dedication for the mission of Pride are evident as he motivates volunteers and challenges the community to support the organization after a challenging year. Brines directs most of his talent toward corporate fundraising, a thankless pursuit, so that the rest of us can celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pride in 2008.—Sally Huffer • Photo by Yvonne Feece
For 11 years, at the time goblins come out and drag divas select their best gowns, OutSmart readers proclaim who and what are the best and brightest lights of the Houston GLBT community. The bravest role model, most proficient physician, hottest dance club, finest margarita… look no further. None are scary, we promise.
Equality Texas and Equality Texas Foundation have announced the election of four members to board of directors, two of whom are Houstonians.
Helping TransGenders Anonymous meets on Monday, 7 p.m., in the Bering Memorial United Methodist Church education building. Details. www.transhouston.com.
I see by Daryl Moore’s recent column, “The Bush Administration” [“LeftOut,”August 2007OutSmart], that he is fully invested in failure in Iraq by American troops and in seeking to blame the President for spinning the political truth. Again, Moore’s usual theme of hatred and disrespect are in overdrive.
GAY AND/OR STRAIGHT, COME OUT! You don’t have to be gay to recognize the need for GLBT equality. That’s the premise behind Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights. As part of the October 7–13 effort organized by the Austin-based Soulforce and Atticus Circle, Houstonians are encouraged to join a bevy of citizens linked online across the nation, providing a cyberspace gathering place for fair-minded straight allies to identify equal-rights-minded leaders and share stories. • Local Seven Straight Nights organizer Caitlin McIntyre hopes the weeklong event provides a tool for those straight allies to take a more active role in GLBT activism. • “I understand-…my process has been very long,” she says. “I grew up in a homophobic town. I wish I had said then, ‘Yes, my dad’s gay and he has a partner of eight years, and I’m very proud of him.’” • The virtual sharing is capped by a real-time vigil, beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 11. At that event, audience members are encouraged to share stories and enjoy entertainment as well as participate in a congressional letter-writing campaign. The list of marriage rights that are not available to same-sex partners will be read “so you can see the sheer magnitude of them,”
The past few times the openly gay David Sedaris has come through town to read from various works, he has sold out well in advance. No wonder some describe him as the literary equivalent of a rock star. (Too bad he rarely does interviews.) Approachable despite his celebrity, Sedaris makes himself available for post-show book signings, asking each person a unique, random question before autographing. At his last reading in Houston, a hopeful young writer in front of this hopeless not-so-young writer, chatted Sedaris up about making the move to New York. He gladly indulged that person with advice while signing a copy of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. • What endears the diminutive, squeaky-voiced wordsmith to audiences is his painfully honest, yet eloquent, often self-abasing tales of his past. Whether writing about his childhood travails as an awkward, budding homosexual with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or his inept attempts at learning the native language while living with his boyfriend, Hugh, in France, practically anyone can relate to his vulnerability. — Eric A.T. Dieckman