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Editor’s Note: Help Our Friends at Spectrum South

Screen-Shot-2018-08-24-at-8.51.17-PM Editor's Note: Help Our Friends at Spectrum South

I really should stop addressing everyone as “readers” considering the fact that we now offer so much video content. Followers? Viewers? (You do technically watch and read by viewing. Right?). Ah, well. I digress. The reason we’re planting this note to all of you is to let you know that some very special friends of ours need your help. If you’ve been paying attention lately, you may know that we at About Magazine have an earnest infatuation with another LGBTQ magazine here in Houston. While we love all our friends at all the queer publications that cohabitate here in Houston — OutSmart and The Montrose Star are two large staples of this community without which many LGBTQ Houstonians might suffer a great loss of information — we have a very special place in our hearts for a magazine that shares the same vision About does and that never ceases to impress us.

That magazine — as you may have guessed from my other blushing, giddy notes about them — is Spectrum South. 

40053754_762468307478014_4539267329309016064_o Editor's Note: Help Our Friends at Spectrum SouthIf you actually do read these notes I drop from time-to-time, you’re probably asking, “Yo, Anthony. Why do you like Spectrum South so much? Are you trying to Single White Female them? Why are you so obsessed?”

Truthfully, these are all actually very valid questions; and I worry about it myself a little bit, as the idea of starting to dress like Kelsey Gledhill — chief creative officer of Spectrum — does cross my mind quite often. But the truth of the matter is that Spectrum South (led and co-founded by Gledhill and editor-in-chief, Megan Smith) is just really freaking awesome. Like … I sometimes cannot believe the fact that I never tire of boasting about these two young women and their publication, as well as their entire talented staff. It may sound silly (and even bordering stalker-esque), but Spectrum South has a huge impact on all of the decisions that I make for the future and betterment of About. 

That isn’t to say that we’re here to copy their every move, learn how they think, gain their trust, infiltrate their business, and initiate a coup. (Was that too specific? Shit just got weird). It’s just that they are literally the utmost forward-thinking, diverse, and inclusive queer publication in this city, which is a road I takes steps down every single day in order to improve About. But what’s impressive isn’t the fact that they want to be inclusive or that they want to give something from their publication to every part of the LGBTQIA spectrum in all its many beautiful colors. It’s that they’re actually doing it. Strange as that may sound, this sort of triumph isn’t easy.

Jbfzmzm Editor's Note: Help Our Friends at Spectrum South
Kelsey Gledhill, Anthony Ramirez, and Megan Smith.

In my time at About Magazine, it has proven difficult over-and-over again to truly bring representation to everyone in this community. Whether they be Black, lesbian, Latino, asexual, bisexual, gay, queer, nonbinary, trans, woman, Asian, or any other marginalized person, finding the right way to execute the desire to do so can be sometimes fruitless and exhausting. It’s like I said before, this is a road that I take About down every single day (not without the help of our own lovely staff). Only, sometimes that road is unlit, and it winds, and it takes sharp turns, and it goes up-and-down hills you aren’t expecting because you’re traveling it in the dark. So imagine that blindness and loss of direction coupled with the fact that, oh, hey, your power steering fluid has just run out.

To give a little background on Kelsey and Megan — at least as best as I understand it — both these queer women worked in Houston’s LGBTQ journalism scene before Spectrum but found themselves longing for something that really spoke to the corners of the community into which people avoiding shining their flashlights. So they took it upon themselves to create a publication for the community that might better serve our LGBTQIA siblings that are often more marginalized than even the co-founders themselves — queer, white women — or myself — a gay Latino. And with a team of some of Houston’s most incredible writers and photographers that includes (but is not limited to) Crimson Jordan, Barrett White, Yvonne Marquez, and many more, Spectrum has been able to really slip into those creases and cracks to present pieces about some of the Queer South’s most prominent LGBTQ people and businesses, while also discussing topics queer people need a space to read about — from sex to politics to gender affirmation to consent and much, much more.

That’s why when Spectrum South shared with us that they’d be starting a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for what has turned into their second year in business, we were more than delighted not just to write this letter, but to also invite them to be guests on Wineding Down with Anthony next week and to help get all of our fans, viewers, followers, and readers (oh, look! I got it right!) to pitch into their campaign so that they can continue to bring to you some of the finest content available to queer folks in the South.

And after just three short, impressive days (with still 34 left to go), friends of Spectrum have already contributed $2,749 dollars — more than half of their $5000 goal. Just think what a great excess we could help them obtain if About followers (which summate on social media to over twelve thousand people) could donate as little as a dollar a piece. Sure, not everyone can do it. And that’s understandable. But if you can, I implore of you to donate so that Spectrum can continue to bring Houston (and far beyond) the amazing content they’ve been generating for a little over a year now. With that said, if you can’t, keep reading their pieces, watching their videos, and sharing their content with your loved ones.

It is important to have a publication like Spectrum South in our LGBTQ community — one that hands megaphones to those that have long gone unheard — for the sake of continued progress in a world that maybe lately has seemed more apt to regress. Spectrum, Kelsey, and Megan inspire us at About to care more, do more, and want more for and about our people, all the while reminding us that while it may be difficult to see at first glance, there is goodness in this daunting world.

Screen-Shot-2018-08-24-at-8.45.43-PM Editor's Note: Help Our Friends at Spectrum South
Anthony Ramirez
Editor-in-Chief

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No Mardi Gras Plans? Grab Your Toga & Get to Galveston

Toga Party Galveston Krewe Bacchus Sheraton Mardi Gras

The Krewe of Bacchus, Texas is throwing a Roman toga party in Galveston this weekend.

(GALVESTON) Bummed you don’t have plans for Mardi Gras? Grab your toga and head down to the Four Points Sheraton in Galveston for BACCHANAL, a Roman-themed toga party thrown by the Krewe of Bacchus, Texas. There you’ll find a cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, live music, and dancing. From 6:30 until 7:30, there will be a crowning of the king and queen. From 7:30 until midnight, it’s a giant party.

ADA;Kgiphy-300x147 No Mardi Gras Plans? Grab Your Toga & Get to Galveston

The Krewe of Bacchus is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that raises funds benefiting other Galveston organizations and the surrounding community. They have been serving and giving back to the Galveston community for eight years and will be crowning the new king and queen of the Bacchus at the toga ball. Additionally, they are dedicated to the preservation of Mardi Gras in Galveston and support the Galveston College School of Culinary Arts and the East End Theatre Company.

Tickets to the ball are $45 and can be purchased at the door. The address to Four Points by Sheraton is located at 2300 Seawall Blvd. Galveston, TX 77550. Come enjoy yourself!

Toga1-300x169 No Mardi Gras Plans? Grab Your Toga & Get to Galveston

Julie Mabry To Be Honored With 2017 Humanitarian Award

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Julie Mabry To Be Honored The 2017 Alexander Hill Humanitarian Award At FACE Awards On November 16

HOUSTON — LGBTQ+ Houston’s biggest award show announces the 2017 Alexander Hill Humanitarian Award Honoree as Julie Mabry of Houston, Texas. The announcement came on the heels of yesterday’s official nominations. The 2017 FACE Awards to be held South Beach the Nightclub in Montrose on Thursday, November 16, 2017.

The FACE Awards, Houston’s largest LGBT award show, will honor Mabry at their annual red carpet gala presented by Avenue 360 Health & Wellness, South Beach the Nightclub and CBS Radio Houston. Keeping with true tradition, the FACE Awards will not be announcing details surrounding the tribute; only saying it will be a ‘great journey.’

Honoree Julie Mabry has been a figure in the Houston LGBT community for many years, starting in bartending, event promotions and owning one of Houston’s most successful lesbian, (all welcome) bars on Washington Avenue. During the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Mabry opened her bar and started accepting donations for flood victims in our community. Beyond assisting with donations, creating Go Fund Me pages for victims, Mabry reached out to Jim ‘Mattress Mac’ McIngvale for help with others in need. Mabry’s undying devotion to keeping Houston Strong, her endless volunteer efforts, and her open heart are what true humanitarians look like.

julie-mabry-face-awards-1024x768 Julie Mabry To Be Honored With 2017 Humanitarian AwardThe first in the FACE Awards 6-year history, the award show producers announced the creation of the ‘Alexander Hill Humanitarian Award.’ Alex Hill, a young gay man whom the award is named after, died in Montrose after being hit. Pride Houston recently honored Hill with the first ‘Rainbow’ crosswalk in Texas, at the location where he died.

“It’s an amazing honor that Alex inspired people with his unconditional love and kindness.” Leo King, a friend of Hills said. “His smile, laugh, and kind aura was infectious.”

“Alex was determined to make the world a much better place than when he entered it and he certainly did,” Casey Ray, a close friend of Hills said. “Though he wasn’t allowed the opportunity to make as much of an impact as he would have liked.”

“We thought how to honor Alex,” said FACE Awards director Cade Michals. “I think by naming this special award after him, it will allow his memory to stay alive in our community.”

The 2017 FACE Awards brings many new categories, and new nominees with over twenty-one categories for the community to vote. Voting started on Wednesday and will continue until November 8th. Some of the new categories include Chef of the Year and Inspiring Hero of the Year. Also included is The ‘Jimmy Carper Trailblazer Award’ an award that will honor LGBTQ+ ‘Trailblazers’ in the Houston community.

Who Is Nathan Neel

Who is Nathan Neel In Houston

WHO IS THIS NATHAN NEEL? MYTH OR MEGA DESIGNER?

Nathan Neel is the creative powerhouse behind Neel Branding, a branding studio specializing in concept design, branding, and design services to businesses of all sizes around the world. Nathan is an accomplished creative artist and enthusiast, and true adventurer.

For more than 5 years, Nathan has worked with numerous clients across a variety of industries – travel and tour hospitality, consumer packaged goods, music, real estate, retail, and healthcare – so it should come as no surprise that expression comes naturally to this branding and public relations consultant. There is no question Nathan is equally comfortable in front of a computer designing as he is in a room full of suits.

In addition to being a branding expert and creative designer, Nathan has written and created award-winning concepts for About Magazine, and co-created, and lead the design team for Houston’s premier award gala, the FACE Awards.

Who-is-Nathan-Neel-Houston-Consultant-Branding Who Is Nathan Neel
Nathan Neel

Before devoting his passion to full-time design, Nathan worked with the likes of Teleflora and LeAnn Rimes. Neel is an avid traveler with a ‘Do It Yourself’ itch to scratch. Nathan holds a degree in Business from San Jacinto University with national honors.

As a creative nomad, Nathan travels the world while working on inspiring projects and concepts. You can rest assured, his clients are always the only priority.