Grand marshal voting now open

2 audition dates set for the  Pride Festival community stage

Grand-Marshalls

Shanequa Williams, Jalenzski Brown, Omar Narvaez, Lee Ann Locken, Michael LaMasters, Nicole Ohara Munro.

DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Nominations for grand marshals of the 2017 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade have closed, and voting has begun to narrow the field of six finalists down to two. Online voting runs through Aug. 4 at DallasPride.org.

Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said 30 people were nominated in all. The ballot lists the six people who received the most nominations. Nominees are Omar Narvaez, Nicole O’Hara Munro. Queen Taz/Shanequa Williams, Jalenzski Brown, Michael Hayes/Michael Lamasters and Lee Ann Locken.

In June, Omar Narvaez became the first openly gay person elected to the Dallas City Council in 10 years. He is also one of the few people who came onto the council by beating an incumbent. Narvaez works for Lambda Legal and has served as president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

Nicole O’Hara Munro bartends at Zippers and is show hostess at Marty’s Live. She’s a strong activist and educator for transgender rights. She currently works with A Nu Trans Movement and a LGBTQ youth group.

Queen Taz/Shanequa Williams is a survivor of the July 7 protest that ended in the shooting of DPD and DART officers. She’s a bi-sexual woman who supports the LGBT community and is a strong and powerful voice for equality and acceptance in our city. She is a mother/rapper/singer/songwriter (Tru G Records) Prez of Boss ‘N Up CC/Prez of Life is Valuable.

Jalenzski Brown works with Resource Center as the MPowerment programs manager and co-manager of the HIV and STD prevention and treatment services. He also serves on the Mayor of Dallas’ LGBT Task Force.

Michael Hayes/Michael Lamasters is involved with GayBingo and is a former Mr. Gay Highland Park, Mr. Gay Texas USofA and Mr. Gay Mid-Atlantic USofA as well as the former national titleholder of Mr. Gay USofA. He’s a regional college recruiter and speaks to students on shaping and building their futures.

Lee Ann Locken is one the stars of The Real Housewives of Dallas. During the show’s first season, she included quite a bit of fundraising for HIV/AIDS causes, spending so much time working with Legacy Counseling Center that Legacy Executive Director Melissa Grove was practically a seventh housewife on the show. Even on episodes in which Grove didn’t appear, Locken mentioned needing to call Grove. Locken was recently grand marshal at the Key West Pride Parade.

This is the fourth year grand marshals are selected entirely by nominations and a community vote.

Auditions

Open auditions for local talent to perform on the Community Stage at the Pride Festival take place in the Rose Room on two consecutive Saturdays — July 22 and July 29. The auditions will be held in the Rose Room from 1-4 p.m. Enter through the patio entrance off the parking lot behind S-4, and come up the stairs to the Rose Room.

Doughman said the festival committee will select up to a dozen acts to perform 15-20-minute sets from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

He said they’re looking for a variety of acts — dance, drag, stand-up comedy, two or three actors doing a scene, acoustic groups.

“We’re open to any talent,” he said.

But there is a limit to what they can accommodate: “We have no facilities for a full-scale band,” Doughman said, simply due to limitations in the park for electricity. So that means no large bands that need multiple outlets.

“We can accommodate a guitar and a drum set, though,” he said.

This is the first time there will be a community stage in addition to the main stage.

Audition at The Rose Room, 3911 Cedar Springs Road on July 22 and 29 from 1-4 p.m.    

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 14, 2017.

        

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