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Finding Faith in the Democratic Party

A photo of James Lee, a gay man of faith.

For far too long, conservatives have claimed a monopoly on faith. And if the past few years are any indication, they aren’t letting up any time soon. Republican lawmakers are having a renewed romance with discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. From religious refusals in healthcare and discrimination in adoption procedures to the right to refuse service in business, there seems to be an unending assault on equality in the name of faith. I think it’s time Democrats push back…

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If I Were Texas Governor…

A photo of Monica Roberts as governor.

It's now been several weeks since that historic election, the one that made me the first Black female governor of the Lone Star State. It also makes me the first Democratic governor since Ann Richards held the office from 1991 to 1995. The shock of election night has since worn off. The election is certified, the interviews are done, and I spend the runup to Inauguration Day learning the nuts and bolts of the position. I must be prepared to…

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Be The Change: Why Queer Folks Need to Join The Resistance

A photo of Josh Watkins and Laura Moser who are part of the resistance.

On November 4, 2017, I sat in the ballroom of the Houston Marriott North, surrounded by some of the city’s most prominent, eclectic, and diverse transgender leaders. Together, we had gathered for the 25th annual Houston Transgender Unity Banquet, to share a safe space and celebrate the Gulf Coast’s ever-growing trans community. The speaker lineup was jam-packed, each one voicing words of empowerment and hope. Then, Phyllis Frye, a trans woman, veteran, advocate, and the first openly transgender judge appointed…

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Meet Fran Watson: Queer Black Houston Lawyer and Activist Seeks Texas Senate Seat

A photo of Texas Senate District 17 candidate Fran Watson.

As an assistant professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies at University of Houston, I’m particularly thrilled to see candidates who make the Texas political landscape reflective of the diversity of Houston. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Fran Watson through the city’s LGBTQ activist networks, and have seen her consistently show up to serve and engage with many different Texas communities. Fran and I traveled to Austin together this spring—as part of a…

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Speaking Out: Intersex Texan Promotes Protective Policy

A photo of intersex advocates Koomah and Mo Cortez.

When Mo Cortez was five years old, he woke up in a hospital bed, peeled back the sheets, and discovered a large red “X” on his groin. Cortez was born intersex—with ambiguous genitalia—and surgery was an attempt to “normalize” him. Instead, it made it him feel dehumanized, he says, “like a Frankenstein.” But despite his many challenges since then, Cortez says he has found truth in his identity, and has used his own experiences as motivation to tirelessly advocate for…

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