Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 17, Ed. 1 Friday, September 9, 2011 Page: 15 of 48
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my severance package and stay in Dallas. It was
enough for me to live on for two years."
That gave him the chance to spend a year trav-
eling as Miss Gay America, and to go to cosme-
tology school and become a licensed hair stylist.
Today Hott Rodd the Hair God does all right
for himself. He has his own salon, located on
Royal Lane at Preston; he has a car; he owns his
And while Patti's schedule has slowed down
considerably from the hectic "seven shows a
night" times of the early days, she still keeps busy,
too. For the last eight years, Patti has co-hosted
GayBingo, benefiting Resource Center Dallas,
with Jenna Skyy at Station 4. And more recently
she took on emcee duties for the monthly Viva
Dallas Burlesque shows at the Lakewood Theater.
The shows, while not the first place you might
think to find a drag queen, have given Patti the
chance to take her message to a new audience,
and audiences^ Gray said, have responded well.
Gray described himself as an independent per-
son who can take care of himself, and who also
wants to try to help take care of others, too. It's a
philosophy that grew, he said, from his Orange
Power, the name he has for his personal spiritual-
ity that grew out of a blend of what he saw as the
best teachings from more traditional teachings.
"I just think of it as this warm, orange glow that
surrounds me and protects me, and that makes
me want to keep doing the right thing," Gray said.
"That's what it's about, really; doing the right
tiling. Paying it forward.
"I watched that movie, Pay It Forward, back
when it came out, and it really changed my life,"
Gray continued. "That's what I had always tried
to do anyway, but that movie really made me
think about it, really made me recommit myself
Gray said he "stopped counting" years ago, but
that he estimates that Patti Le Plae Safe, in all her
incarnations and at events around the country, has
raised "well over $1 million" for charity through
the years. But he is also quick to add that it's not
the amount that's important; what's important is
that he tried.
"That's what I tell everybody who asks me: It
doesn't matter how much time you give, just give
some time. It doesn't matter how much money
you raise, as long as you contribute something.
There's a spot out there for everybody who wants
to do something. You just have to try to do the
right tiling, try to pay it forward."
Gray said if he has one regret, it's that he has
yet to find that special someone to share his life
with, and he admitted that maybe Patti was a big
reason for that.
"I'm married to Patti, really. And there's not
much I can do about that," he laughed. "It's going
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 17, Ed. 1 Friday, September 9, 2011, newspaper, September 9, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239184/m1/15/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.