Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 19, Ed. 1 Friday, September 23, 2011 Page: 10 of 48
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From Page 4
Starnes said it took him awhile to get up to
speed, and he was involved with LifeWalk just
"off and on" for several years. But three years
ago, he decided to really take the plunge and has
been an active member of the Guys and Dolls
team ever since.
This year, even that got ratcheted up a notch
when Stames finally gave in to his teammates'
cajoling and entered the Miss LifeWalk Pageant.
"My team had been asking me for two years
to enter the pageant, but I declined every time. I
was just scared to death to do drag," Starnes ex-
plained. "But this year, I decided to accept the
challenge, even though it scared me,"
The first challenge was to come up with a char-
acter/so "I Marled brainstorming about a charac-
ter, about who I would be," Starnes said. "I
Started thinking about things I, as a person, am
passionate about. And I am passionate about the
"Her music gets to me in a way that no one
else's does," Starned continued. "Her lyrics in-
spire me. I think, if I had to pick just one, my fa-
vorite Pink song is 'Glitter in the Air.' It says,
'Have, you ever wished for an endless night?'
'Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the
air?' It made me look into myself, literally. Last
summer, while we were on a road trip, my
friends and I stopped and actually threw a fistful
of glitter in the air. It was silly and fun, and now
it is a memory that will last forever."
But there is one line in the song, Starnes said,
that really touched him, one lyric that made him
think and gave him the determination to set
aside the fear thathad held himback: "Haveyou
ever looked fear in the face, and said, I just don't
It was, Starnes said, a spark that made his pas-
sion for LifeWalk and for doing something to
help othejs blaze even brighter.
"I knew I wasn't going to try to be Pink, but I
love what she does. So I decided I would kind of
pay tribute to her with my character," Starnes
And so, Lotta Pink was born.
And lo and behold, Lotta Pink won the Miss
LifeWalk title on her first try, helping Starnes
bring in about S7,i!i!i! for LifeWalk this year,
bringing his total over all his Guys and Dolls
years to about $11,000.
Starnes said he and Lotta Pink obviously have
a lot in common. "We share our passion for the
cause, first of all, and second, we both want to
step outside the box," Starnes said. "I was afraid
of doing drag. But my favorite quote is 'Do it
scared,' so that's what I did. I stepped outside the
box and challenged myself, and in doing that, I
learned that fears are just fears, nothing oK\"
Starnes said that while his fears still remain to
some degree, Lotta Pink "has no fear," and she is
helping him overcome his own.
"It's easier when you can put on a wig and
some makeup and kind of step outside yourself,"
Starnes said. "Now, learning to step out without
that disguise is what comes next!"
Knowing that what he does is all to help AIDS
Arms and the clients the agency serves makes it
even easier to put the fear aside, Starnes: said.
"The Guys and Dolls team works all year, not
just on the day of LifeWalk. And the people at
AIDS Arms work all year trying to help other
people. I love AIDS Arms, and I love what it
stands for," Stames said. "The walk itself is sym-
bolic, to me. It's a short walk, yes, but just going
through the movement of walking allows you to
release your passion.
"Everybody who participates is there for their
own reasons, but whatever the reason, they are
passionate about it," he continued. "That alone
speaks volumes. The biggest thing that came out
of all this for me was seeing how good people re-
Again, it all comes down to overcoming fear
and fully realizing the passion.
"It's so important for everyone to find their
passion, whether it's LifeWalk or something
else/ Starnes said. "Finding my passion has
lifted me to a whole new level of awareness, un-
derstanding and joy. It's just such a positive en-
ergy when you are around all these people at
LifeWalk who work so hard to make a difference
in other people's lives. It's helped me find a hap-
piness I have never known before." ■
AIDS Anns LifeWalk will be held Sunday, Oct.
2, at Lee Park. Registration begins&t 11:30 a.m., and
the walk begins at 1 p.m. For more information, go
online to LifeWalk.org.
From Page 10
said that in addition to his business, he recently
purchased a condo and has a new partner.
His partner was taking a wait-and-see attitude
toward Johnson's re-enlistment.
"We'll deal with it when the time comes," said
his partner, who works for an employer that does-
n't offer nondiscrimination protection and asked
not to be identified.
Because Johnson was an officer, there may not
be an immediate slot for him in the Air Force,
With President Barack Obama's proposed draw-
down of armed forces, many who want to re-en-
list whose specialties have been filled will also
have to wait for an opening.
Pepe Johnson had an appointment with a re-
cruiter on Wednesday also. Before his DADT dis-
charge, he had been named soldier of the year at
Fort Sill and became a sergeant.
Today, the former Dallas resident, who still
owns a house in Oak Cliff, works as a petroleum
land man in West Virginia.
"I want to sit down with a recruiter and look at
the options available to me," Pepe Johnson said,
adding that he holds no resentment against the
Army for his 2003 dismissal.
"'Don't ask, don't tell' was a law created by
Congress and imposed on the military," he said.
"The Army was an incredible experience for met"
If he re-enters, Pepe Johnson said he would
have to go through basic training again because
of the length of time since he served. Then, he
said, he'd like to enter officer candidate school. ■
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 19, Ed. 1 Friday, September 23, 2011, newspaper, September 23, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239186/m1/10/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.