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
GAYEST & GREATEST SPOTLIGHT
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.
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 metal-framed photographs of Heather Harris are among the works of 300 artists featured at the downtown Bayou City Art Festival this month. The gift of a Canon Rebel camera prompted her to start creating pictures that combine traditional photographic techniques, computer-aided imagery, and metal sculpture.
Back in early March, I weighed about the same as a beached bottlenose dolphin. It was time for a change. Dusting off notes from a personal trainer/nutritionist I consulted with seven years ago, I designed my own eating schedule of five meals a day (to speed up my metabolism) totaling 1,500 calories a day. I hit the fitness room at my apartment complex every night, spending half an hour a day on an elliptical running machine with a few minutes for warm-up and cool-down on either side. I tried to lift weights a few days a week. Once a week, I’d take a day off and eat whatever the hell I wanted. It was working. I shed 40 pounds in the first two months. A few months into it, my roommate told me he’d be moving. I’d be leaving the convenience of an on-premises fitness room. Time for another change. Find a gym.
Michele Ostrander loves Houston museums, the tacquerias that dot her northside subdivision, and the great outdoors. She enjoys camping in the Hill Country, bike riding, and bird watching, though she adds her partner of nine years, Sofia Aguilar, “isn’t really into birding.”
Our community needs more GLBT candidates, local political observer David Arpin declared in an essay he wrote for this magazine in November 2005, following a bruising campaign over the antigay marriage amendment to the Texas constitution. Arpin’s call for candidates (“Win It Forward,” November 2005OutSmart) included this observation:
For a city that for generations has welcomed so many queer folk, Galveston surprisingly lacks gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender public celebrations. Other than Houston Splash, the colorful African American Pride celebration that lands on East Beach on one Sunday in May, the city has few annual queer event traditions. (The ambiguously gay Dickens on the Strand and Mardi Gras don’t count, though the Mardi Gras-related Krewe of Banners party may be the closest event thus far to a GLBT happening on the Island.) Now Laura Villagrán, the publisher of the Gay Yellow Pages directory and the website GayIslander.com, plans to fill that gap with a GLBT Pride weekend, which debuts this month.
Anyone who believes one performer at the Houston Women’s Festival is pretty much like the next—that is, a woman wearing tie-dye T-shirt with a guitar slung around her neck—hasn’t seen this year’s lineup for the October 20 event. Now in its 13th year, the annual celebration of women’s artistic endeavors, vendors, food, and fun has an eye on the eclectic.
Writer and entertainer A.C. Coleman (on the right) welcomes poet Billie Simone at his “Jazz, Poetry & Art” event on September 28, 7-9 p.m., at Bering & James gallery. The Houston GLBT Community Center presents Coleman’s evening of spoken-word and music artistry, the third in a series. Coleman, who is completing a second music CD with his producing partner David Eduardo Flores Perez for their 2Osos label (Perez, a visual artist, also took this picture), is inviting other talent to perform. Interested persons may contact Coleman — who is also an occasional contributor to this magazine — at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations accepted at the event will support the community center and its programming.