About 40 of us attended an inspiring training on LGBTQ and labor’s combined struggles. This event brought together leaders from across the state, including Summer Organizers from San Antonio and members from Houston.
The panel included Genevieve, a Summer Organizer from San Antonio, LGBTQ leader Cleve Jones, and the Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker.
It was inspiring to hear Mayor Parker’s perspective. Mayor Parker is the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. We were interested in Mayor Parker’s history of activism — she became a leader of the Houston Gay and Lesbian Caucus in the mid-80s in order to confront a right-wing group of city council candidates who referred to themselves the “Straight Slate.”
And we were moved when Mayor Parker described how even in her high-power position as the mayor of a major U.S. city she sees pay discrimination. Because she is unable to include her family in her benefits plan, she is paid comparatively less than any other mayor who has held the office.
Cleve Jones illuminated the historical relationship between LGBTQ Movement and Labor, adding his own stories. The breakout sessions at the end of the training got Summer Organizers and members talking together to reflect on what we had learned and where we can go from here.
When the training adjourned, we had a blast marching in the Houston Pride parade! As you can see, our pictures are worth a thousand words.