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Houston LGBTQ Community Steps Up Following Hurricane Harvey

Houston LGBTQ Community Steps Up Following Hurricane Harvey

LGBT Houston Shines Following Hurricane Harvey: Looking At The True Acts Of Kindness From The Houston LGBTQ+ Community After One Of The Worst Hurricanes In American History


A Special Two Part Series


(HOUSTON) — Standing outside Houston’s LGBTQ community center, The Montrose Center, in the early afternoon of Thursday, August 24th, you could see Hurricane Harvey was approaching Houston. The sky was dark, and the winds had arrived. The rainfall would come only hours later and would last for several days without relent until Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

During and in the wake of the storm an innumerable amount of Houstonians lost their homes, vehicles, pets, possessions, while some even less fortunate lost their lives and those close to them. Our great city was devastated!

The attention of the entire nation turned to Texas. With that attention, came the influx of aid from all over. Louisiana’s Cajun Navy responded to need, shuttling down boats and volunteers to rescue people from the deadly flooding. According to the National Weather Service, areas of Houston received over 50” of rain.

“I wanted to feel like I could do something. We all felt powerless. We can’t do anything to stop a hurricane, but we can do something afterward.”– Michael Glazner

The American Red Cross set up the state’s largest shelter-in-place at Houston’s downtown George R. Brown convention center. Initially housing 10,000 evacuees, other facilities were opened including NRG Arena and the Toyota Center.

Hurricane Harvey’s devastation became infamous with celebrities such as Kevin Hart, Sandra Bullock, Chelsea Handler, and Ellen DeGeneres contributing large sums of money to relief efforts. Cristela Alonzo, comedian, and actress from Texas and an adamant LGBTQ+ ally went so far as to research shelter locations needing supplies and volunteers.

ABTHarvey-223x300 Houston LGBTQ Community Steps Up Following Hurricane HarveyAs an estimated 32,000 people were displaced from their homes in Harris County, Houston’s truest acts of heroism from local citizens began to shine. NRG, George R. Brown, Houston Food Bank, Pets Alive, to BARC and Gallery Furniture and many other facilities set up as shelters were inundated with volunteers.

As #HurricaneHarvey pounded Houston with rain, members of Houston’s LGBT pride organization, Pride Houston, Inc., went into action collecting contributions and left over supplies (from Houston’s June Pride Celebration) for delivery to the George R. Brown Convention Center for people in need. Items like bottled water, clothing were donated.

In the days since the storm social media has been overwhelmed with photos and posts from Houston’s LGBTQ+ community. Images of volunteers helping one another, and posts details someone’s random acts of kindness. There are so many.

“It seems like our community has either had to step up for themselves for so many years or by extension have gotten used to stepping up for other people and helping out,” former ‘Friends of Pride’ committee co-chair Michael Glazner said to About Magazine.

“I’m impressed, honored, and privileged to be a part of this community, ”  Glazner said. Glazner was one of many Pride Houston, Inc. volunteers that assisted during Hurricane Harvey.

Individual Diagnosed With Meningitis After Bunnies On The Bayou

Individual Diagnosed With Meningitis After Bunnies On The Bayou

An Individual Who Attended Easter Weekend’s Bunnies On The Bayou In Houston Has Been Diagnosed With Meningococcal Meningitis According To Health Officials!

(Houston) – An individual who attended Bunnies on the Bayou  on Easter Sunday has been diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis, the City of Houston’s Health Department announced late Saturday. Health officials and Bunnies on the Bayou are in the process of notifying attendees.

‘There may be unrecognized cases who were in close contact with this person,’ a e-mail released to the LGBT community from Bunnies on the Bayou explains. ‘This is an example of public health in action in order to prevent further cases.’

“The City of Houston Health Department contacted us about one person who was confirmed and treated,” Josh Beasley, board member for Bunnies on the Bayou explained to About News. BOTB is an non-profit, and one of Houston’s oldest and most prestigious organizations that raises money to help many different LGBTQ charities.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time in 40 years something like this has happened,” Beasley says.

Meningococcal meningitis is a rare but serious infection that can be fatal or cause great harm without prompt treatment. As many as one out of five people who contract the infection have serious complications.

Each year, approximately 1,000 people in the U.S. get meningococcal meningitis, which includes meningitis and septicemia (blood infection).  According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 15% of those who survive are left with disabilities that include deafnessbrain damage, and neurological problems.

“The epidemiologist said there was a lower risk of transmission in this case, but asked if we would email information out just in case,” Beasley said.

The symptoms include sudden onset fever, headache and stiff neck. Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and confusion are also symptoms. Symptoms may appear quickly or over several days, typically within 3-7 days after exposure. The virus is not spread by causal contact nor is it airborne.

Officials ask if you have experienced any of the above symptoms please contact your health care provider immediately. For any questions or concerns you may also contact the Houston Health Department at 832-393-5080.

 

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2017

A note from the editor-in-chief.

Today is 18th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). It is a day not only to be acknowledged by the world’s trans community, but by the world as a whole. This is because trans people should not be pigeonholed to just their community, or even just to the LGBTQIA community. Just like cisgender people, transgender people are just … people.

Trans Day of Remembrance has been annually recognized since 1999, when it was established by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith. Smith started the memorialization in response to the murder of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered the year before. In the years since its inception, TDoR has become a vigil not only for Hester, but for all the trans people who have lost their lives to violence in the years since.

Today, we can see that violence against the trans community has not changed much. In 2017, 25 trans people have been victim to a fatal crime, including Texas’s own Stephanie Montez, a 47-year-old trans woman from Robstown. The majority of those people were trans women of color; and those numbers are up by 2 from 2016, with still a month and a half of the year left to go before the beginning of 2018.

The names of the people lost in 2017 are as follows: Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow (28), Mesha Caldwell (41), Sean Hake (age unknown), Jojo Striker (23), Tiara Lashaytheboss Richmond (24), Jaquarrius Holland (18), Chyna Doll Dupree (31), Ciara McElveen (21), Alphonza Watson (38), Chayviss Reed (age unknown), Kenneth Bostick (59), Sherrell Faulkner (46), Kenne McFadden (26), Josie Berrios (28), Ava Le Ray Barrin (17), Ebony Morgan (28), Troy “Tee Tee” Dangerfield (32), Gwenyvere River Song (26), Kiwi Herring (30), Kashmire Redd (28), Derricka Banner (26), Ally Steinfeld (17), Stephanie Montez (47), and Candace Towns (30).

Sadly, the attitude toward the trans community around the country is not generally improving – especially so with a president in the Oval Office who perpetuates antiquated and ridiculous stereotypes about the trans community by trying to ban trans servicemen and women from the military. From there, it trickles down. It trickles down to his supporters, those who are unsure of him, but who still listen, and then to the children of all of those people. Children who, if I might add, we should be educating about equality, about not seeing gender identity or sexual orientation or color or religion or nationality.

That’s why here at About Magazine, I’m making it a personal mission to make About Magazine + About News just as inclusive of our trans community as it is of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, and pansexual community. We will also be more inclusive of the intersex and asexual communities, so that no one is left behind.

To do so, we will be launching in 2018 our first page on the website for trans-only content, aptly titled About Trans. Currently, we are looking for trans writers and editors to be a part of this initiative. Until then, I will oversee it. However, I am a cis person, and in order for this operation to be genuine and authentic, it is my earnest belief that this portion of our site should be trans-run. If you or anyone you know would like to be a part of About Trans, feel free to email me at anthony@about-online.com.

Going forward, let’s remember what today stands for, and remind ourselves and our trans friends, neighbors, and loved ones that they are just as important as anyone else, and that we’re there to aid them if they should ever need it in any way. Give them your love, and give them your support, because they are just as much a part of the LGBTQIA community as anyone else that falls into any of those other categories. And if you don’t believe this to be true, read a little bit of our content today so that you can understand why trans people are so important to the queer cause. Because as genderqueer activist and musician C.N. Lester said, “Even when we are confused about someone’s gender, and don’t have a greater awareness of what it means to be trans, we have a choice to respond with kindness rather than cruelty.”

Choose kindness.

Choose community.

Choose love.

 

Anthony Ramirez

Editor-in-Chief

 

For more information on Transgender Day of Remembrance, visit the GLADD website here.