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ABC13 Spotlights Montrose All Week Long

Brandon de Hoyos outlines the station’s coverage of Houston's gayborhood.

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ABC13’s Director of Community Engagement Brandon de Hoyos (left) with LGBTQ activist Ian Haddock at Present Company on Monday.

All week long, KTRK-TV (ABC13 News) is highlighting the very best of Montrose, showcasing prominent locations and local leaders throughout Houston’s LGBTQ community.

This week’s coverage of Montrose includes multiple aspects. On the arts side, viewers can watch a profile on well-known paper artist Joan Son. Plus, ABC13 will dish on eateries in town, such as George Country Sports Bar and Good Dog. The news station will also take a closer look at diversity in education, including as HISD’s Arabic Immersion Magnet School. 

The idea to spotlight Montrose originated about a year ago, with ABC13 staff thinking of ways to bring attention to communities both in and outside the Interstate 610 loop, Director of Community Engagement Brandon de Hoyos told OutSmart. 

“Since then, we have been to 22 communities with our ABC13+ series and have since turned our attention inside the loop,” he said. “Montrose was always going to be one of the places we covered because it is so rich in history and we have so many reasons to love it.”

Whether you live in Montrose or not, viewers will learn a thing or two about Houston’s larger than life gayborhood, de Hoyos said. “You are going to see familiar places and faces, but there are untold stories and real diamonds in the rough that we discovered as we researched and met with the people who live here.”

The coverage kicked off Monday with reporter Steve Campion talking to people at the colorful patio bar Present Company, which is located on Westheimer Road.

Watch ABC13’s footage from Present Company below.

Talking to transgender activist Mia Ryan, she spoke about her admiration for the Montrose area, which started about 17 years ago when she was searching for a place of acceptance.

Ryan, who recently started Sister to Sister Support Group to provide a safe space for trans folks, feels like Montrose continues to be a beacon of hope for those looking for a haven.

“It is great that this space is still here,” she said. “It is still providing an affirming atmosphere and environment for the next generation.”

Montrose is such a fundamental part of Houston, and it is refreshing to share positive stories on the LGBTQ community outside of Pride Month, Hoyos said.

“You can’t talk about Houston without talking about Montrose,” he said. “In many ways, because its history is so diverse. Montrose really is a portrait of Houston: its founding is tied to the oil boom, called home by many larger than life personalities over the years, a playground for creative spirits and counterculture warriors, and a place with a brave and bohemian spirit.” 

“We had to tell the story of Montrose and all its people—LGBTQ community included—because it is a reflection of where we have been as a city and where we are going together,” de Hoyos continued.

For Hoyos, Montrose is a true embodiment of love.

“There is an embrace you feel in Montrose that is unlike other parts of Houston,” he said. “On a personal level, being here made it okay to be myself as an openly gay man. I found strength in numbers, and an energy that allowed me to dream, grow and forge my own path.” 

Montrose is a place within the city where inclusion matters, where people from all walks of life can unite as one. De Hoyos hopes the gayborhood inspires viewers to learn to be more kind and compassionate.

“Ultimately, I know viewers are going to find new reasons to fall in love with Montrose all over again, and that is really exciting,” he said. “Montrose beckons you to come as you are.”

Tune into ABC13’s continued Montrose coverage today through Friday. Go to abc13.com/plus for more information.

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Connor Behrens

Connor Behrens is a communications graduate from the University of Houston. He has written for the Washington Post, Community Impact Newspaper and the Galveston County Daily News (the oldest newspaper in Texas). When he's not writing stories, he is likely watching the latest new release at the movie theater.

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