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Editor’s Note: OutSmart’s Sept. 2018 Issue

We are days away from the most important election of our lifetimes.

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CLICK HERE TO READ OUTSMART’S SEPTEMBER 2018 ISSUE ONLINE

Are you registered to vote? If not, the deadline is October 9. 

As of this writing, we are 66 days from the most important election of our lifetimes—and just 51 days from the start of early voting. As David Webb notes in this month’s Rare Reporter column, the future of the LGBTQ equality movement hangs in the balance. 

Speaking of midterm elections, what’s wrong with this picture? Montrose, Houston’s gayborhood, has long been represented in Congress by an anti-LGBTQ Republican. As writer Brandon Wolf notes, Democrat Todd Litton is trying to change that in November. 

Meanwhile, in our monthly Out for Change series, writer Marene Gustin profiles Corpus Christi’s Eric Holguin, who’s vying to become the first openly gay Latino elected to Congress. And writer Jenny Block interviews lesbian rock icon Melissa Etheridge, who’s headed to Houston for a concert at Pearl Bar benefitting the campaign of Democratic congressional candidate Dayna Steele. 

In Unapologetically Trans, columnist Monica Roberts explains how black women are the cornerstone of the progressive movement, and will be a driving force behind the Democrats’ blue wave in 2018.   

At OutSmart, we embrace diversity, and this issue is another case in point. The cover features Harper Watters, a Houston ballet soloist who is leaping to stardom in social media and film. Don’t miss Gustin’s story and Ashkan Roayee’s dramatic images of Watters.  

Elsewhere, writer Joanna O’Leary interviews Inika Hernandez, a black lesbian and Olympic high-jumper from Houston who’s eyeing gold in 2020, and Don Maines chats with civil-rights-era veteran Lizan Mitchell, who leads an all-African-American cast in the Alley Theatre production of Skeleton Crew. 

Skeleton Crew is part of an impressive lineup of shows and concerts in Houston this fall. For a full rundown, check out D.L. Groover’s annual Arts & Entertainment Preview. 

Maines also previews Oklahoma!, which kicks off Theatre Under the Stars’ 50th-anniversary season; Swimming While Drowning at Stages Repertory Theatre; and an upcoming “country cabaret” featuring local gay singer Cody Ray Strimple. 

Finally, Block chats with Houston’s own Vickie Shaw, the popular comedian who is headlining this year’s Queer Queens of Qomedy Tour. Needless to say, Shaw wants everyone to come out to the show at Neon Boots on September 8. 

“I also want everyone to vote,” Shaw says. “I know I’m preaching to the choir. But we have to vote and get our friends to vote.”

Amen.

This article appears in the September 2018 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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