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Editor’s Note: Saluting Houston’s Gayest & Greatest of 2017

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Cover design by Alex Rosa

By John Wright

The greatest thing about our Gayest & Greatest Awards issue is that it gives us a chance to tell the remarkable stories of everyday people in Houston’s LGBTQ community.

Take Dr. Stewart Zuckerbrod, voted Best Male Eye Doctor in our 21st annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Zuckerbrod was also one of the first gay men in Houston to become a father through surrogacy, and he’s currently raising his two teenage daughters as a single dad.

Then there’s Felicia Flores, voted Best Female Insurance Agent. Flores is a former Ms. Texas Gay Rodeo Association and a longtime Selena Quintanilla impersonator who’s finally found her professional calling.

Zuckerbrod, Flores, and other Gayest & Greatest winners may not make headlines throughout the year, but they represent the very fabric of Houston’s LGBTQ community. We hope you enjoy reading about them here.

Elsewhere in this November issue, we highlight two important upcoming days—the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20, and World AIDS Day on December 1.

In advance of TDOR, writer Lourdes Zavaleta takes a look at two local groups serving women of color who’ve been disproportionately affected by the ongoing epidemic of anti-trans violence. Previewing World AIDS Day, writer Rich Arenschieldt interviews gay sports icon Greg Louganis, who will keynote AIDS Foundation Houston’s annual luncheon, and writer Andrew Edmonson profiles pioneering activist Tori Williams.

Speaking of pioneering activists, don’t miss Edmonson’s piece marking the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking National Women’s Conference in Houston in 1977, which included the likes of Annise Parker, Phyllis Frye, Pokey Anderson, and other notable Houstonians..

On the entertainment front, writer Ryan Leach interviews Andy Cohen, who brings his two-man show with Anderson Cooper to Sugar Land’s Smart Financial Centre in December. And writer Don Maines talks to Solomon Georgio, a rising-star comedian who’ll be in Houston this month.

Finally, it’s November, which means elections and Thanksgiving. Congressional midterms are 12 short months away, and writer Cameron Wallace previews one key local race—the battle to unseat U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas). Meanwhile, food writer Joanna O’Leary runs down Houston’s best Turkey Day takeout, while columnist Susan Bankston lists a few clever ways to deliberately offend your Trump-supporting relatives this holiday season.

Gobble gobble!

This article appears in the November 2017 edition of OutSmart Magazine. 

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John Wright

John Wright is the editor of OutSmart magazine. He has spent two decades in the mainstream and LGBTQ media. Most recently, he served as senior editor of Dallas Voice, and covered LGBTQ issues in the state Legislature for The Texas Observer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He resides in the EaDo area of Houston, where he is currently remodeling a 1930s row house.
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