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Mayor Annise Parker Speaks OUT

By Charlotte Robinson, May 12, 2014

Mayor Annise Parker Houston’s openly gay politician is gracing the cover of the upcoming June/July issue of The Advocate. Parker has proven she’s not going away any time soon serving as the mayor of the largest city in Texas. Parker began her career as a very visible lesbian activist during the 1980s & talks about how due to her experience & expertise, a lesbian Democrat was the sensible choice for Houston. Parker states, “As my public profile went up, Houston’s public profile went up. When I was elected more than four years ago, it got worldwide media attention. The entertainment-focused media on the West Coast & the news-focused media on the East Coast – neither side paid much attention to what happened down in Houston except to make fun of us. I was able to give people a glimpse of a different kind of Houston & suddenly we started popping up on ‘best of’ lists.” Though interest in her sexual orientation increased when she ran for mayor, Parker had always been open & honest about her identity throughout her political career & she encourages others to follow her example. Her deliberate frankness about her lesbian identity turned it into an asset, or at least neutralized homophobic attacks. “You have to know who you are & be comfortable with who you are before you enter a political race,” Parker notes. “I talk to potential GLBT candidates & they’ll say things like, ‘My sexual orientation is nobody’s business. My sexual orientation is not going to be a subject of the campaigns & I’m just not going to talk about it.’ I’m sorry, that’s not a good enough answer. The worst thing is for anybody to feel that you’re hiding something or there’s something that you’re ashamed of addressing in your past.”
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1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Mayor Parker is very cool....and someone to watch moving forward. Thanks

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