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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.

Prominent Houston Attorney Transitions To A Woman

Prominent Houston Attorney Transitions To A Woman

Prominent Houston Attorney Transitions To A Woman, Finds Support From Law Firm And Clients!

 

(HOUSTON) — The transgender community just got a new face. A local Houston attorney has transitioned and is proud of her community and especially her law firm for their massive support.

Law firm Fish & Richardson isn’t named “Law Firm of The Year” by U.S. News for nothing. Danielle Joy “DJ” Healey, a litigator with the global firm, formally known as David Healey, said the firm worked with her to make it as easy as possible to announce her change to clients and to people at work.

Healey, a 57-year-old senior principal at the firm says; “They put an enormous amount of effort and time and energy into it. It just shows that the Fish family is really a family,” she told Law.com. Healey says she has known she was transgender since she was 4. “I’ve had to deal with. … It doesn’t change me as a person. It just allows me to live more fully and happily,” she said.

“We’re delighted that DJ was able to transition with the support of her firm. We would not say that is typical in any way, shape or form. Firms have a long way to go,” D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the National LGBT Bar Association said.

In a released statement Fish & Richardson announced that
“Diversity and inclusion are crucial to the positive culture and success of our firm, and we treat everyone with respect and dignity at all times. DJ is a valued colleague and an important part of the Fish family, and we will support her completely in the months ahead.”

Ms. Healey graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1985 with honors and Brown University in 1982. Ms. Healey served as law clerk to the Honorable James DeAnda, United States District Judge, Southern District of Texas, from 1985-1987.

Harris County District Attorney And Houston Police Halt All Field Drug Testing!

(Exclusive) Harris County DA Kim Ogg Issues Directive To Halt All Field Drug Testing For Law Enforcement. © AboutMagazine
(Exclusive) Harris County DA Kim Ogg Issues Directive To Halt All Field Drug Testing For Law Enforcement. © AboutMagazine

(Exclusive) Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg Issues Directive To Law Enforcement That DA’s Office Will No Longer Mandate ‘Field Testing’ For Drug Charges!


(HOUSTON) — A directive released by District Attorney Kim Ogg and obtained by About News informs law enforcement that as of midnight on July 15th, 2017, the Houston Police Department will be permitted to forego field testing in drug-related cases.

Field testing is a widely used method for law enforcement for the purpose of identifying what are believed to be narcotics.  “The change in policy comes as a measure to ensure the safety of officers,” Ogg says in the directive. It proceeds to state that potentially lethal drugs such as Fentanyl and Carfentanil (two highly addictive narcotic medications) pose too high a risk to officer safety.

Houston Police Department’s Media Relations told About News that  “due to the dangers of Fentanyl, it’s [field testing] going to be discontinued …” HPD was unable to ascertain whether the field testing rules were applicable only to Fentanyl and Carfentanil products or all drug cases across the board.

Harris-County-DA-Houston-Police-Halt-All-Field-Drug-Testing-1024x723 Harris County District Attorney And Houston Police Halt All Field Drug Testing!
(Exclusive) Harris County DA Kim Ogg Issues Directive To Halt All Field Drug Testing For Law Enforcement. © AboutMagazine

Law enforcement agencies throughout Harris County would no longer be required to perform field tests should they choose to follow the directive. Instead, new criteria would be presented to the Office of the District Attorney Intake Division, including but not limited to: contraband color, contraband texture, the presence drug-related paraphernalia, demeanor of the suspect, and prior arrests and convictions involving controlled substances of the suspect.

Field testing has often been met with criticism, as cases of false positives have led to the arrests of innocent individuals not in possession of controlled substances. These incidents have seen civilians faced with jail time, employment loss, and homelessness.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office in conjunction with Houston Police Department will be holding a press conference at 3 o’clock on Friday, July 14th to announce the changes to protocol. Click here to read the directive sent from District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Anthony Ramirez, News Correspondent for About Magazine + About News, Cade Michals contributed to this news article.

 

Houston LGBT Teen Murder Victim’s Photos Appear On Grindr

LGBT Teen Murder Victim’s Photos Appear On Grindr
(Screen Shots From The Fake Grindr Account) About News

A Murdered Houston Gay Teenager’s Photos Appear On ‘Fake’ Grindr Profile In Spring, Texas.

(HOUSTON) — A murdered LGBT teenager from Houston that made national news including The Huffington Post, and USA Today, has fallen victim once again, this time of ‘Catfishing.’  The victim was 18-year-old Stephen Sylvester. Allegedly murdered by a man he was dating on July 17, 2015.

Over the weekend, several two-year-old published news outlet photos surfaced of murder victim Stephen Sylvester and his one-time Houston boyfriend Taylor Shirley. The photos were attached to a profile on the popular gay dating, hookup app, Grindr.

Screen-Shot-2017-07-11-at-10.55.03-AM-copy-748x1024 Houston LGBT Teen Murder Victim’s Photos Appear On GrindrThe fake Spring, Texas-based profile seeks ‘threesomes.’ Spring, TX is about 25 minutes north of downtown Houston. The unknown culprit(s) behind the profile use photos released to members of the media after the victims’ murder. The profile used ‘Stephen and Taylor’s’ photos, and would message people [on Grindr] looking to ‘hook-up.’

“It’s one thing to use my pictures to catfish people on Grindr and it’s a totally different thing to use Stephen,” Shirley posted on Facebook after being contacted by people he knew that had been messaged.

“It takes a really f*****d up person to use him when you have to read about his death in order to find that picture.”

Grindr terms and conditions prohibit it’s user from impersonation and claims any violation of the guidelines could result in a permanent ban. About News reached out to Grindr and are waiting for a response.