Congressman Beto O’Rourke has generated more enthusiasm for his Senate campaign than any other Democratic candidate in Texas in recent memory.
As such, we are thrilled to feature O’Rourke in this month’s cover story as he attempts to end his party’s 24-year losing streak in statewide races.
Based on his interview with OutSmart’s Ryan Leach, O’Rourke not only understands LGBTQ issues, but is prepared to fight for full equality. This stands in stark contrast to his opponent, GOP senator Ted Cruz, who is among the most anti-LGBTQ members of Congress.
But O’Rourke is not the only potentially history-making candidate featured in our final issue before early voting begins on October 22.
To conclude our year-long “Out for Change” series, writer Marene Gustin chats with former Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez, who is vying to become the nation’s first out lesbian governor. And writer Andrew Edmonson speaks with Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who is taking on anti-LGBTQ congressman John Culberson in her bid to flip a critical Houston-area district that’s been red for more than 50 years.
Then there’s Dakota Carter, who is hoping to become the first openly LGBTQ elected official in Friendswood, but has come under attack over his sexual orientation, as writer Connor Behrens reports. Carter and Valdez are among 55 openly LGBTQ candidates in Texas this year, and more than 430 nationwide—both record highs.
As I’ve said previously in this space, the 2018 midterms are shaping up to be the most important election of our lifetimes. If you care about the future of this country, get registered by October 9 and then vote as though your life depends on it. You can vote early at any polling location October 22–November 2, or at your precinct’s location on Election Day, November 6. The Houston GLBT Political Caucus candidate endorsements list can be found inside the front cover of this issue.
In the meantime, if you need a diversion from all the politics, this October issue has plenty of options. Edmonson previews Halloween Magic’s hilarious Kinky Re-Boots production, while writer Gregg Shapiro chats with RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Aquaria, who brings the show’s Werq the World Tour to Houston this month. Meanwhile, writer Don Maines previews Theatre Under the Stars’ production of The Wiz, as well as Peter Bisuito’s muscle-drag comedy show at the University of Houston.
And last but certainly not least, don’t miss our profiles of selected 2018 Gayest & Greatest winners, as well as the full lists of this year’s Readers’ Choice honorees.
This article appears in the October 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.