By Donalevan Maines
“Southern history is never simple and seldom straight,” quipped historian Jim Sears, author of the book Rebels, Rubyfruit, and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South. Sears guided OutSmart readers back in time to 1967, when Houston became known as “the homosexual playground of the South.” Sears also reported that:
• In 1972, the Houston Motorcyle Club held its meetings at Mary’s; lesbians formed softball, basketball, and touch football teams; and Bible study at the Gaze Center became MCC of the Resurrection;
• In 1973, Pokey Anderson walked out of suburbia, into the lesbian bar Just Marion & Lynn’s, and quickly became a “community organizer”; local printer Floyd Goff published the community newspaper Nuntius (or “Roman messenger”); a program called “Out of the Closets, Into the Streets” aired weekly on alternative radio station KPFT-FM; and
• Fred Hofheinz’s fall 1973 election as mayor, by a margin of about 3,000 votes, allowed Houston gays to claim credit for the narrow victory.
Back to the future, Jess Boyd celebrated his selection as Boy of Montrose 2001. The new Daddy of Montrose was Lloyd Powell.
Blase DiStefano laughed with funny man John Leguizamo, who co-starred as Chi Chi Rodriguez in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, and recalled, “I did steal the show, didn’t I?”
Club Rainbow notched its second anniversary at 1417-B Westheimer, next door to Westheimer Dollar Mart.
Attorney Steve Kirkland became Houston’s second openly gay Municipal Court judge.
Coy Tow became the first executive director of the Greater Houston GLBT Chamber of Commerce.
High-school photos of Houston banker Brandon Wolf and lawyer Roger Donley appeared at www.gayyearbook.com, a web-site designed to show gay youth that it’s possible to make it through those sometimes-dreadful teen years.
Finally, the screen adaptation of John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened at Landmark’s River Oaks Theatre, this month in Houston, 2001.
Donalevan Maines also writes about Lawanda Jackson in this issue of OutSmart.