LGBT people and issues came to the fore of Houston discussions when, in November 2015, residents voted to abolish the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which would have banned discrimination against several groups in public spaces. Immediately afterward, Rhetoric and Composition specialists across the country noticed and began discussing this development, and we hope the discussions continue.
Visitors to the city should know that many LGBT individuals live here, some in neighborhoods like Montrose, which has strong historical ties to the gay and lesbian communities, and some in areas that are only now becoming sexually inclusive. Charity organizations such as Pride Houston and Bunnies on the Bayou hold events to support the LGBT population through fundraisers and counseling and education initiatives. Organizations like the Montrose Center provide physical and mental health support for the LGBT population. Local magazines like Out Smart and websites like My Gay Houston cater to LGBT readers. Also, many local businesses openly welcome LGBT individuals and have a clientele comprised largely of LGBT people and allies. We include a sampling of these businesses here:
Key: $ = under $11 $$ = $11-30 $$$ = $31-60 $$$$ = above $61
- Baba Yega, 2607 Grant St., 713-522-0042 $$
- Riva’s Italian Restaurant, 1117 Missouri St., 713-529-3450 $$
- El Tiempo Cantina, 1308 Montrose, 713-807-8996 $$
- Michelangelo’s Restaurant, 307 Westheimer Rd., 713-524-7836 $$$
- Barnaby’s Cafe, many locations in and around Montrose (e.g., 604 Fairview St.) $$
- Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy St., 713-528-1993 $$
- Empire Cafe, 1732 Westheimer Rd., 713-528-5282 $$
- Inversion, 1953 Montrose Blvd.
- Agora, 1712 Westheimer Rd.
- Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar, 307 Fairview St.
- Blacksmith, 1018 Westheimer Rd.
- JR’s Bar & Grill, 808 Pacific St. (one bar by a stage, another bar by pool tables; Karaoke on Sundays)
- South Beach, 810 Pacific St. (dance club)
- Montrose Mining Company, 805 Pacific St. (leather bar)
- Meteor, 2306 Genesee St., (dancers, some pool tables, drag show on Thursdays)
- Pearl Bar, 4216 Washington Ave. (lesbian friendly)
- F Bar, 202 Tuam St. (frequent drag shows; has a dance floor)
- Guava Lamp, 570 Waugh Dr. (small lounge)
- Anvil Bar & Refuge, 1424 Westheimer Rd. (mixed crowd; not LGBT focused, but LGBT friendly)
This page from My Gay Houston lists 27 hotels in Houston that have become Travel Alternatives Group (TAG) approved®. Some but not all are located downtown.
RESTROOMS AND GENDER DIVERSITY
Queries for Houston, Texas, on the website Refuge Restrooms will show various establishments, including addresses and distances, offering restrooms for intersex, transgender, or gender nonconforming people. We send special thanks to 4C4Equality and the Queer Caucus for this link!
HOUSTON UNITES CAMPAIGN AND OTHER INFORMATION
Click here for a list of Houston organizations and businesses supporting the anti-discrimination Houston Unites campaign. Click here for the Houston section of GayYellow.com, a kind of gay-friendly yellow pages.