Gay Houston Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker Brings Strength To This Texas City
Hopes to Help Turn Houston Into
a Gay Hot Spot.
Houston voters made history last December, electing the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. Annise Parker, 53 leads the nation’s fourth largest metropolis.
As the fourth-largest city in the nation, MY GAY HOUSTON’s LGBT scene remains as diverse and vibrant as its more than 5 million residents. Its blend of world-class culture and an anything-goes attitude make this city on the bayou a great getaway for the discerning gay traveler.
From the pedestrian-friendly Montrose neighborhood to downtown and the historic Heights, Houston has something for everyone, all seven days of the week. Read on for picks on where to be and what to see..
The city launched a campaign titled “My Gay Houston,” featuring gay Houstonians in print advertisements and on a newly-revamped website, as their latest effort in a years-old gay campaign. For some time now, Houston has been trying to promote themselves as gay-friendly and gay-welcoming. Hopefully with Annise at the helm of the city, this campaign will get a boost.
Greg Ortale is CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. In an interview, he readily admitted that the city’s efforts to attract the gay and lesbian market had “clearly benefitted” from the election results.
“Whether in good economic times or bad, you want [gay and lesbian] travelers in your city,” Ortale told EDGE. “To assume we’re going to ignore a major traveling market is ludicrous. It doesn’t make a difference to us.
“We’re proud of what our city offers in arts, sports with our food scene and retail. We can back up our destination against anybody else’s.”
Despite pockets of liberal tolerance such as Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Austin, Texas ranks relatively low for gay rights. Its state constitution specifically bans same-sex marriage.
Regardless, Houston’s marketing team seems committed to its gay-friendly stamp. The tourism board continues its collaboration with the community’s LGBT organizations. More news from Houston soon!
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