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Frank Billingsley: Mothers, Marriage, and Meteorology

Frank Billingsley

Mothers, Marriage, and Meteorology

A closer look at KPRC Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley and his new book Swabbed and Found.

(HOUSTON) — Frank Billingsley is no stranger to the City of Houston. In fact, he’s been in the living rooms of Houstonians for years as KPRC Channel 2’s chief meteorologist—a position he assumed over twenty years ago in 1995. Despite how well we may feel we know him—Frank has never held back from sharing details of his personal life—there are still many things that the public doesn’t know about him.

Many of those details are outlined in Frank’s new book, Swabbed and Found, which chronicles his life not just as a meteorologist, but as a gay man and a child of adoption. The latter recently led Frank upon an incredible, sordid, and sometimes complicated journey to discover better who he is and where he comes from.

I sat down with Frank in the weeks following Hurricane Harvey to discuss the book, his life before this journey, coming out, and, of course, the weather.

Billingsley states that while his sister—who is also adopted—for years yearned to find out more about her birth parents, the need to know about his own had never overwhelmed him. In fact, it wasn’t until his colleague and dear friend, Dominique Sachse, presented him with an email link about biological genealogy testing that he even considered it a possibility. After all, his home state was a closed-records state that didn’t allow for adoption records to be released if requested to remain closed by the birth parents. At least not without “a lot of trouble and a lot of money,” as Frank put it himself in our interview.

“That was the first time that I had realized that it [genealogical science] had become sophisticated enough and that the database had become as big as it is … It’s like a fingerprint. It’s so unique that it can link you to another person.”

Yet, it was that link that led Mr. Billingsley down a road to discovering his birth mother—who he has since met and with whom he has established a relationship. As Frank puts it, “not everybody wants that information,” when it comes to finding the people that put them up for adoption. However, that knowledge led him to a more enlightened state of being—closure even. To hear Frank make a compelling argument on the idea of closure and finality, “Closure is closure. And closure is very often sad. You close life with a funeral. You close relationships with a glass of wine. You close jobs with hugs and tears. But closure is a part of life.”

SF_FNLcvr-683x1024 Frank Billingsley: Mothers, Marriage, and MeteorologyClosure, however, did prove harder for some than others. Billingsley’s aforementioned sister did discover her family, only to find that her birth mother had passed of cancer and that her father wasn’t open to a relationship with her. She did, however, find that she had half-siblings, with whom she has maintained contact.

When the conversation circled around to Frank being gay—Frank and his husband Kevin, with whom he has a stepson, married on December 12th, 2012—I asked Frank about coming out to his parents in a decade not as accepting as the 2010s. Frank admits that it wasn’t easy, but that it wasn’t as difficult as the coming out stories that are often told. He states that his adopted father admitted he didn’t understand homosexuality, but knew how smart Frank was. He continued to tell his son that if someone as smart as Frank thought that it was okay, there couldn’t be anything wrong with being gay. “

However, when it came down to meeting his biological mother, Billingsley admits that there was a moment where it felt as though he had to come back out of the closet. He states that his mother, like his adopted parents, is a devout Christian, and that maybe she does not understand homosexuality.

Being someone in the media, Frank is never without news in his face. A supporter of the strides that the Obama Administration made for LGBTQ people, I asked Frank what he thought of the current administration, and whether or not he worried that rights would be stripped away from LGBTQ people. He seemed hopeful, stating, “I don’t think that the legislation would be there to support that. And if it does, I don’t think the people who vote for the legislature will support that. I don’t think we want to see our country go back.” He continued, “When we’re dealing with human beings, and their rights to be human beings, taking a deep breath and pondering whether the decisions concerning their rights are futile. If you look at the trans military ban—you have generals who are saying, ‘No, no!’ It’s bad enough we’re banning Muslims … and now this?”

As far as Hurricane Harvey is concerned, Billingsley was concerned for what he proudly refers to as “my city,” a phrase Houstonians everywhere are familiar with and that binds us together. He states he wasn’t surprised by how the city came together, nor was he surprised by the impact of the storm—which he himself predicted to bring as much as 50” of rain to certain areas surrounding the city.

Billingsley’s book (being released by Houston’s Bright Sky Press) is a page-turner. It’s one that Houstonians will read with ease because each word can be heard in Billingsley’s voice. That won’t stop it from gathering attention outside Houston, however. For there’s much more appeal in a story the story than just Frank’s fame. In fact, it would be fair to say that anyone who has ever had uncertainties about who they are will have a difficult time putting the book down. However, in this debut chronicle of his life, his main message rings loud and clear:

Regardless of color, orientation, race, nationality, religion, age, size—people are people. We’re all related by that fact. And as such, people all deserve the same rights and respects.

And if there may be no better mouthpiece in Houston for that message to come from than Frank himself—a smart, successful, well-round, and well-respected gay man and pillar of the LGBTQ community.

Houston’s Erik Barajas Named One Of The Hottest News Anchor In World

Erik Barajas Sexiest News Anchor About Magazine

ABC KTRK-13 Afternoon News Anchor Erik Barajas Has Been Named One Of The Hottest News Anchors In The World By BuzzFeed!

HOUSTON — FEB 17 — This morning the on-line outlet Buzzfeed announced to the world something Houstonians have known, that Erik Barajas is one sexy news anchor. Yes sir!Erik-Barajas-Sexiest-News-Anchor-About-Magazine-BuzzFeed-300x225 Houston's Erik Barajas Named One Of The Hottest News Anchor In World

BuzzFeed asked their on-line community to name their hottest news personalities and then ranked them the ‘The 50 Hottest News Anchors In The World.’ The report was released this morning.

The ABC affiliate KTRK-13 evening news anchor landed the #6 spot and seemed to get embarrassed when co-anchor Ilona Carson congratulated him on-air. “Its because of his big arms,” she said causing Barajas to blush.

 

“Its because of his big arms”-Ilona Carson

 

Our Eye-Candy Eyewitness hunk is no stranger to recognition for his on-screen sex appeal. In 2014 People Magazine honored Barajas as a ‘finalist’ for ‘Hottest Anchors.’

Stunningly though, before his ‘huge arms’ grabbing the spotlight it was his ‘do,’ as in hairdo. Yes! According to KTRK-ABC 13, Barajas won the ‘Hairry Award,’ an award that honors the best male anchor ‘hair’ in Texas.

No other Texas news anchor landed anywhere on the Top 50 list below #35.

Reality TV Stars And American Gladiator Set To Walk Red Carpet At 2016 FACE Awards

Married to Medicine's Dr. Ashandra Batiste(L)and Sisters In Law's Jolonda Jones (R)
Married to Medicine's Dr. Ashandra Batiste(L)and Sisters In Law's Jolonda Jones (R)

WE TV’s ‘Sisters In Law’ Jolonda Jones, Cherrise Traylor, and Bravo’s ‘Married To Medicine’ Dr. Ashandra Batiste Set To Attend Houston’s LGBTQ+ FACE Awards To Honor The Community!

HOUSTONNOV 26 — It gets real as in ‘real’ilty this year on the red carpet for Houston’s LGBTQ+ FACE Awards as some of TV’s hottest reality stars come to Montrose for the 5th annual award show that honors the LGBTQ+ community in December presented by Avenue 360 Health & Wellness and Smirnoff Vodka. Set for Monday, December 12 in Montrose at South Beach. Red carpet arrivals at 7PM and award show at 8:30PM.silcastphoto Reality TV Stars And American Gladiator Set To Walk Red Carpet At 2016 FACE Awards

Rolling into their 5th year, the F.A.C.E. Awards swings out their fabulous red carpet in true celebrity fashion to welcome celebrity reality stars into Montrose for an evening that is promised to be the ‘VMA’s of Houston.’

Bravo’s hit TV show ‘Married to Medcine’ star Dr. Ashandra “Shan” Batiste will stroll down the magical red carpet that will be hosted by the Houston Chronicle’s Joey Guerra along with a special unnamed guest. Batiste, a Houston dental surgeon; is one of the stars of the new reality show that is currently being filmed in Houston. Batiste will also be a presenter. Bravo has long capitalized on the formula of revulsion + curiosity = good television.

2016-FACE-AWARDS-1024x256 Reality TV Stars And American Gladiator Set To Walk Red Carpet At 2016 FACE Awards

WEtv’s Network’s reality series Sisters In Law  Jolonda Jones will be in attendance. Jones is no stranger to reality television. She has appeared on the hit CBS television show Survivor multiple times. But proudly, Jones is a Houstonian, and an outspoken advocate. Currently in production of a new reality show, and a full television camera crew in tow, Jones will grace the red carpet. Jones is currently filming a new reality show.

WEtv’s Sisters In Law star Cherrise Traylor, will be joining the crowd that is set to honor some of Houston’s best in over twenty different categories. Traylor is a nationally known personal trainer, a national football player for the Houston Energy, and an American Gladiator.

LGBTQ Revry Launches Streaming Service

Will It Be Gayer than Netflix? Retry Has Launched The First LGBT Streaming App For Apple TV

Will It Be Gayer than Netflix? Retry Has Launched The First LGBT Streaming App For Apple TV

The exciting new app – now available on tvOS, Chromecast and Roku – aims to provide the best “LGBTQ+” entertainment on TV.


A new streaming app, Revry, has launched to help close the LGBTQ+  gap by showcasing queer entertainment.  Revry is the first LGBT-focused streaming app for tvOS and Chromecast, and it’s also currently available on iOSAndroidRoku, and on the web. You can sign up for a monthly Revry subscription for $5 a month, or $55 a year.

“We were so excited when the new Apple TV with an App Store first came out,” said Revry’s CEO Damian Pelliccione, “but then we did a search for ‘LGBT’ and found nothing.”

“It’s extremely important for us to continue to expand the show’s reach to new audiences, but also that queer stories are told and are readily available to the community,” Starting From… Now’s writer/director/producer Julie Kalceff said in a press statement. “The Revry team’s passion both for digital media, queer content, and the LGBT community were clear from our first meeting.”

Like Netflix, the Revry team knows that in order to compete against other streaming services it eventually needs to offer original content that can’t be found anywhere else—especially not for free on YouTube. Revry is now looking to secure exclusive content and produce original programming.