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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.

About Magazine Announces New Chief Editor

About Magazine Wendy Taylor Anthony Ramirez Houston LGBTQ

LGBT News Platform About Magazine Names Anthony Ramirez as Editor In Chief

Updated 8/24/18

(HOUSTON) About Magazine + About News today announced that Anthony Ramirez has been appointed editor-in-chief of the About News platform. Ramirez succeeds Cade Michals, executive publisher, and founder since 2008, who is stepping aside for Ramirez to take lead. Michals will step back from his post as executive publisher of the LGBT news platform on November 7.

Michals will continue to play a pivotal role behind the scenes with the organization and its multiple affiliates, but will no longer make editorial or day-to-day management decisions. Michals, also the founder and director of the LGBT award show in Houston the F.A.C.E. Awards, has been transitioning the award show to a non-profit over the past few months allowing the award show to continue.

Ramirez is no stranger to writing. He is credited with four published novels (The Write Thing, Witches of the Deep South, Where He Lay Down, and a collection of his About Magazine column entries, Less Than Butterflies). His novel, Where He Lay Down, was nominated for an honor by the American Library Association’s Over the Rainbow GLBT Roundtable committee. Ramirez previously served as the editor of fiction and the director of social media and marketing for ELJ Publications. Last year he hosted the event Yas Queen: Out of the Margins (a reading of LGBTQ, POC, and women writers) at the American Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Washington D.C. He recently completed coursework for his Bachelor of the Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

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Anthony Ramirez named new editor in chief of About Magazine

Starting with About News in June, Ramirez was an investigative reporter. With this transition, Ramirez plans to expand the brand into a multimedia platform that will include a boost in op-ed pieces, short fiction and poetry from LGBTQ writers around the state, video content, and spotlights on Texas-based LGBTQ civilians who impact the community in a positive way. In December of 2018, he opened About Media Group’s own LGBTQ book publishing house, About Editions. About Editions has gone on to publish 8 books thus far, with a scheduled 12 for the entire 2018 year. The house’s first book — a collection of poetry from writer Mathieu Cailler entitled May I Have This Dance? — was released in December 2017 and won the New England Book Festival Award for Poetry that same month. In June of 2018, Ramirez launched About Media Group’s first-ever television production company, About Media, which has since gone on to being production on its first original series (Round-Up with Mel Rose), pick-up the web series Wineding Down with Anthony for its second season, and begun preproduction on an original sitcom entitled The Anthony Project. About Media has two scripted drama series in the early stages of development based off the books How to Break My Neck (Jessica L. Walsh) and Lifelong Learning (Zeke Jarvis) from About Editions.

Beyond writing and journalism, Ramirez is also a performer of the stage and screen. He is the executive producer, head writer, and star of the aforementioned About Media shows Wineding Down with Anthony and the forthcoming sitcom The Anthony Project. Ramirez sings annually in the Kingwood Kabaret scholarship fundraising event for Lone Star College and served as the volunteer committee chair for Pride Houston, Inc. from summer of 2016 until stepping down in the summer of 2018.

As a means of achieving these goals, Ramirez is constantly looking for new writers, photographers, editors, web designers, event coordinators, and more.


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Houston Man Killed By Drunk Driver As Boyfriend Watched Helplessly

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Houston Man Killed By Drunk Driver As Boyfriend Watched Helplessly

Another tragedy on the Houston roadways in the early morning hours have lead to the death of a 43-year-old man, that was killed in a crash involving a drunk driver, according to police.

Troy Lamar “MacDaddy” McNeil’s life was cut short over the past weekend, when an alleged drunk driver hit him. It was in the early morning hours of Sunday, McNeil, his long time boyfriend, two others were driving southbound on the Gulf Freeway in a Dodge Durango, heading home to Dickinson, Texas.

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Troy McNeil (right) pictured with boyfriend JR Guarjardo

Nearing Bay Area Boulevard, the Durango was sideswiped by another car, causing the Durango to turn sideways in the road, and resulting in another car hitting the Durango.

When McNeil got out of the car he was struck by a silver Toyota Camry driven by Anthony Saul Arrendondo, also traveling southbound on the Gulf Freeway.   Arrendondo, 36, is charged with driving while intoxicated and further charges are pending.

McNeil’s long-time partner was in the car and saw when his boyfriend was hit. ” I love him. I love him. He didn’t do anything bad,” said JR Guarjardo.

McNeil graduated from Russell High School in East Point, Georgia and was currently employed by Green River Associates. Left to cherish his wonderful memories are his parents; Mark and Vickie Berry of Dallas, Texas, a sister; Sharon Chapman of Forest City, Arkansas and his partner J.R. Guajardo of Dickinson, Texas.
Memorial service to be held on Friday, May 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm at Brookside Funeral Home.

 

Miss Gay Texas Violet S’Arbleu

Violet S'Arbleu stole the talent portion of last weekend's Miss Gay Texas America pageant with "A Lil' Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place" from The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. (Photo by Clay Gore, Houston Press)

(HOUSTON) People might associate Texas with yellow roses or bluebonnets, but this year an unmistakably different flower is taking over the state. Houston-based drag entertainer Violet S’Arbleu, née Jacob Chaput, will shower the Lone Star State with a purple reign as the newly crowned Miss Gay Texas America.

“The Miss Gay Texas America legacy is 43 years of stellar, inspirational entertainers,” he says, “and honestly I’m just so humbled and thrilled to have the honor to join those ranks and represent the system this year.”

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