I stumbled upon a Facebook page this afternoon called “Boycott LOGO’s A-List Dallas” and I have to admit, when I first saw it, I was expecting to see some people griping over the casting choices (which there has been plenty of outrage over). Once getting a little more in depth into what exactly had transpired, I saw that it was much much more. I could explain it, but the letter on the info tab does it in a way that I never could. Here is the letter below, followed by some Facebook Screen Shots about the event.
Dear Logo Executives:
I would like to bring to your attention in hopes that next time you re-think your choices as to whom you cast on your A-List shows. I am writing to you to make people aware of how serious HIV and the reality of the ignorance within our own community really exists, and in particular one of your cast mates of the Dallas A-List: Philip Willis.
I went to Jack’s Backyard to a going away party for a friend and soon realized there was a fundraiser raffle to support HIV/AIDS. Of course it made the evening even more enjoyable to me as not only have I been a volunteer at the Resource Center for years, and have donating a lot of time and money to the cause, not only with our community, but with organizations in Africa as well, but I am HIV positive too and know first hand of the daily struggles anyone with HIV face.
It is my understanding the cast members of the A-List Dallas were there to pass out raffle tickets.
One of the A-Listers Philip Willis approached me and my friends and asked to donate $20 for some raffle tickets which I instantly reached into my pocket and gave him $20. I asked Philip what were they raffling off and he stated “it doesn’t matter, it’s for a good cause; it’s for all those poor old sad people.” I asked who he was referring to and he just winked and said “you know…them.” I replied “no, I don’t, who are you referring to?” He said, “you know, those ones who have AIDS.” My response to him was “I am HIV positive, and I’m not poor or sad.” His mouth dropped opened and just walked away without saying a word.
I chose then to approach the Lone Star Ride table (who sponsored the charity event) in tears and anger and asked who was in charge. I explained to him exactly what happened…I was immediately dismissed and told “well if you wanna go talk to the cast member Philip, he’s around.” That is all he had to say.
I took his advice and approached Philip Willis and said “I’d like to introduce you to my friends.” I then proceeded to educate him on his lack of tact and education. He instantly replied “I don’t know what you are talking about, and I never said that.” He attempted to leave, but I told him I wasn’t finished speaking. I once again tried to educate him on his ignorance, but he didn’t want to have anything to do with it, so he chose to walk away…not saying another word. No apology, nothing. I am hurt, and I am furious that this Philip Willis was so incredibly uneducated and full of disregard, and he was there to represent a figure in our Dallas GLBT community to raise money for such an important cause. He is in no way, shape, or form an “A-lister” and should NOT be allowed to represent himself as an upstanding citizen of the GLBT community of Dallas, TX. I am also extremely angry at Logo, you obviously did not do your homework when choosing your cast members correctly. Shame on you!
Please know that regardless of how this hurt me personally or how angry I am, this is not about me-this is about the increasing number of men between the ages of 18-25 who are contracting HIV in our community. According to my doctor, it is spreading like wildfire. Something needs to be done.
If you have any questions or would like to contact me directly, feel free to do so. If by my letters, conversations, and emails prevents one person from contracting HIV, then I’ve done my job.
Wow, some pretty serious allegations there. Here are some text screen shots from Donni Pangburn’s Facebook Page:
Here below is a picture that we found on the “Boycott LOGO’s A-List Dallas” page where the caption reads, “Attempting to educate Phillip Willis on his ignorance and discrimination. He later denied everything…he needs to be removed from the show.” I believe this to be an image of Donnie confronting Phillip as he mentioned in his letter above.
As always, if you have any tips or information about A-List Dallas, or anything in the Gay Community in Dallas, email it to us: Kendall@GayDFW.com