News

Home News
Award-Winning News Coverage From About Magazine + About News for the LGBT Community for the State of Texas.

10 Most Fascinating People In Houston

10 Most Fascinating People. About Magazine In Houston

Houston is one of the most amazing and spectacular cities in America. It is filled with many fascinating individuals in a varity of races, sizes, genders, and personalities. Fascinating people have a special magnetism and their energy radiates outward.

But what exactly makes them so captivating? Is it their curiosity to explore outside the ‘norm,’ or that they are always there to lend a ‘voice’ to a cause or advocate for what is needed?

Fascinating people try new things. They do what interests them; to better a cause. They know what needs to be done and are brave enough to take the steps to get there. They are engaging, unusual, and hypnotizing. The passion they spill we hope leaks onto us and spills in to the streets of our community.

Houston is home to millions of people that are fascinating, and we could never know them all but, we are proud to honor the ten that we have had the privilege to meet.


1. Fran Watson President, GLBT Houston Political Caucus

fran-watson-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Fran Watson

Fran is a native Houstonian whose passion for equality, equal dignity, and fair treatment for everyone makes her one of our most fascinating people in Houston.

As the President of the GLBT Houston Political Caucus, the South’s oldest civil rights organization dedicated to advancing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights through the endorsement of pro-equality political candidates. She also serves on the board of Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston. She serves on the Executive Board of the Houston chapter of New Leaders Council (NLC).  Additionally, she is a member of the newly formed NLC4 Women’s Caucus, a committee of women from across the country seeking to promote an agenda of equality for women.


2.Victoria Hellyer Transgender Activist, Fashionista

victoria-hellyer-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Victoria Hellyer

Originally from Tarkington, Texas, Victoria now is a proud resident of Houston. She has personally branded herself, her image, and her transgender activist duties as The Duchess of Montrose.

As the first transgender model for Pride Houston’s Rock the Runway, Victoria is using her knowledge to help inform the community with any questions they have and create a conversation about transgender identity.

Victoria’s heart, her activism, and her tireless efforts working with many different LGBTQ+ organizations makes her one of the most fascinating people in Houston.


3.Cristina Wells  Winner of Pride Superstar

cristina-wells-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Cristina Wells

As the newly crowned voice of Pride Superstar 2016, Cristina is one fascinating diva. She is a proud Houstonian, and a registered nurse by trade. But most of all, she is proud.

As a public figure that is proudly a woman who is plus-size, mixed race, loud, a mother, a nurse, a singer, and a lesbian. She stood up, and fought for all the people that relate to her.

“I have always been told “no”,” Cristina says. “Winning Pride Superstar feels like the culmination of years of being told no, being told I am too big for the costumes or that I don’t look the part.”

 


4.Nathan de Paz President of Bunnies on The Bayou

nathan-de-poz-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Nathan de Paz

Nathan is currently the president of Bunnies on the Bayou, Inc. – Houston’s largest social fundraising event on Easter Sunday benefiting local organizations who’s focus on the LGBTQ community. Since 2011, Bunnies has made over $670,000 in donations.

In Nathans lifetime, he has worked as a mattress salesman, a corporate marketing specialist, opera singer, public school teacher, a page-turner for pianists, and as private instructor for beginning singers.

He is an enthusiast for his local community and LGBTQ issues.


5.Susan Christian Mayors Office of Special Events

susan-christian-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
(L) Susan Christian

The mayor’s director of special events for the City of Houston, and has been with the city for more than 30 years. She moved to Houston from the small central-Texas town of Hico.

Since taking the head of the dictor’s office, she’s developed the mayor’s civic celebration program into a year-round blockbuster, with 3.6 million people attending over 1,000 annual events. If you’ve ever enjoyed the Fourth of July Freedom Over Texas celebration, Thanksgiving Day parade, or the Children’s Festival, then you’ve got Christian to thank. Because of her amazing dedication and service to Houston for these fascinating events, we believe Susan has earned her place in our list of ten.


6.Ashton Woods Civil Rights Activist

ashton-woods-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Ashton Woods

Ashton is a proud Houston-based activist and blogger. He is a gay atheist and “unapologetically black.” While none of these things completely define him, they highlight his multiple identities and he works to remind others that being black is not monolithic. In Ashton’s’ view, justice must be intersectional and nowhere is this walk the talk more evident than his involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement.

His ever-lasting support and volunteering for many different projects is why Ashton is one of Houston’s most fascinating people.

 


7.Travis Shirley Artist & Visionary

travis-shirley-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Travis Shirley

Travis Shirley has quickly gained worldwide recognition for his fresh perspective on all aspects of lighting, set and video design. After attending the world-famous ‘Fullsail University’ in Florida, Travis launched his Houston based company ‘Travis Shirley Lighting Design.’

This master of digital vision art led him to  Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Jason Derulo, Smashing Pumpkins, Pentatonics, and many more allowing him to take their concert fans on a magical journey expressed by his art.

It is because of this, Travis Shirley is one fascinating person.

 

 


8.Aike Jamal Creative Artist

aike-jamal-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Aike Jamal

There is no doubt his designs are award winning, and his talent in singing is beyond this world. Aike is a master at creativity, and his skills are brought to life for the Houston community through the creative designs you see in F Bar Houston, and the soon to open Jimmy Chew’s. His undenying dedication for supporting the LGBTQ+ community through many different non-profits makes this artist something for the history books.

Aike is a graduate of the University of Houston, and his creative endeavors is what makes him one fascinating person.

 

 


9.Jeffery Harmon Business Owner & Visionary

jeffery-harmon-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Jeffery Harmon

Jeff Harmon moved to Houston in 1998. He explains that he has worked in the service industry his entire adult life, and felt it was time to do something. His quest took him to Bryan | College Station, Texas to open the first LGBTQ+ nightclub there in 2003, and later a restaurant in 2006.

In 2016, another vision led Jeffery to re-launch of one of Houston’s iconic nightclubs. This massive undertaking is a reason that makes Jeffery fascinating. 

Another passion for Harmon is the LGBTQ+ community and the many non-profits he works with.

 


10.Jeffry Faircloth Advocate

jeffry-faircloth-254x300 10 Most Fascinating People In Houston
Jeffry Faircloth

Jeffry is self described as a theology nerd, an LGBT advocate and a history student. He’s an unorthodox Christian, and a Judy Garland fan. He’s also the co-President of the Houston PFLAG, and a member of the Mayor’s Office LGBTQ+ Advisory Board.

Once a member of Houston’s HATCH Program, Jeffry has been able to experience the LGBTQ+ community from many different angles and apply his support where it is much needed.

His strong support for LGBTQ+ youth, and their families is what makes him one fascinating Houstonian.

 

 

 

(Cade Michals, Nathan Neel and Blake Casey all contributed to this article)

Suspect Arrested In Montrose Attack

Suspect Vince A. Dancer accused in the assault of Houston Dr. Stephen D. Brown.

Details are still emerging, but according to Houston Police Department, charges have been filed against Vincent Asher Dancer (w/m, 20) in the assault of Steve Brown that occurred around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday (July 9) at the home of Brown.

Court documents indicate the two were in a ‘dating relationship’ and Dancer resided with Brown at his townhome on the upper west side of Montrose. (Sul Ross near Shepard Drive)

“Officers responded to an assault in-progress call at the above address and were flagged down by a citizen who directed them to the residence,” stated HPD Homicide Division Sergeant B. Harris. “Officers found Dancer who stated he had assaulted Mr. Brown with a glass globe and that he believed he had killed him.”

Dancer was arrested at the scene and charged with Aggravated Assault of a Family Member in the 183rd District Court. His bond has been set at $30,000.00 and is currently in jail.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office filed for an ‘Emergency Protective Order’ on July 11 on behalf of Brown. The order prohibits Dancer from any contact with Brown.

The victim,  was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital in critical condition with head trauma. A friend of Brown’s spoke with About News on the condition of anonymity stating, “Steve is still listed in critical condition and in ICU.”

Dancer is set to appear in court again on August 10, 2016.

Houston Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Student

Houston Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Student

A Houston teacher, member of Bunnies on the Bayou, and a chairperson of the Montrose Softball League has been arrested and charged with having sex with a student.

The girlfriend of the victim allegedly discovered some text messages on her boyfriend’s phone which suggest he had sex with his male teacher.

Steven Amedeo, 39, is employed as a teacher at Milby High School.

According to Harris County court documents, Amedeo and the underage male student allegedly met last December outside of school.

According to ABC 13 “Investigators say the victim’s girlfriend discovered text messages between the teacher and his victim and reported what she knew to Milby’s principal. The alleged victim gave police a detailed drawing of the teacher’s apartment, which investigators say matched the layout of Amadeo’s place.”

Amedeo now faces felony charges for sexual performance by a child.

Pride Houston President Proposes At Pride Parade

Pride Houston President Proposes At Pride Parade

Pride Houston President Proposed To His Partner In Front Of Thousands Of Spectators At The Houston LGBT Pride Celebration And Parade.

Since the dawn of LGBTQ+ marriage people have been maneuvering and planning to stage jaw dropping, dance moving, and flash mobbing marriage proposals. But in Houston on Saturday in front of thousands of people, surrounded by family, friends, and a lot of pride, a man kneeled down on stage and asked his partner to spend their lives together. He said yes!

As Houston’s downtown streets filled with hundreds of thousands of spectators for the 39th Annual Houston Pride Parade, Frankie Quijano was setting into action; plans to propose to his long-time partner. Quijano, is Pride Houston’s president, and tasked with producing the nations fourth largest pride annually. His fiancé, Abijah Kratochvil, is an Arkansas native, and Social Media Director for Pride Houston, Inc.

“He’s been by my side through two Pride’s, which says a lot because I’m married to Pride,” Quijano tells About Magazine. Quijano started with Pride 13- years ago as a volunteer.

“Abijah has been so supportive, he deserved something very special and romantic to show him how much I love him,” Quijano described. Right before the largest Pride celebration kicked off, Quijano took to the stage, surround by family and bent down on one knee and in front of the entire world; to ask probably the most important question of his life. Of course, to seal the deal the ring was tightly and safely wrapped in a blue Tiffany’s box that was slowly presented to his love!

GEORGE-WEB-BANNER-ABOUT-MAGAZINE-1024x159 Pride Houston President Proposes At Pride Parade

As the president of Pride, on one of the biggest days of the year for the LGBT+ non-profit, Quijano describes how the organizations leadership helped keep his proposal secret. “I’ve been volunteering for Pride for 13 years and have a great team of leaders that stepped up and ran the celebration” he tells us. “In reality… I was more nervous about everything running safe and smoothly for pride but not the proposal.”

“No details yet,” Quijano explains on when the wedding bells will actually ring, “but it’ll probably be in Arkansas.”