The death of a certain long-time Houston resident and former US president stole some of the spotlight from that of a certain long-time Houston resident and all-purpose hell-raiser. In the shadow of the half-mast flags downtown, several hundred progressive activists gathered Sunday afternoon on the Bagby Street side of City Hall to remember the latter Houstonian, Ray Hill.
Toward the beginning of the remembrance—which was actually two remembrances, one in accordance with Hill's wishes, and a second in an open-mic format—mistress of ceremonies and former mayor Annise Parker said, "I'm not going to tell you Ray's life story. He has a Wikipedia page; look him up." She and about a dozen other people told their favorite Ray Hill stories, but Parker saw as her duty the busting of several Ray Hill myths: e.g., he was not a founder of the Houston Gay Political Caucus (now the GLBT Political Caucus).
There was a lot to process from the gathering, but what stuck with me the most was Mayor Sylvester Turner and Congressmember Al Green both saying how vital it is in our imperfect republic to have trouble-makers like Hill. Thanks to his decades of "rubbing the cat's fur the wrong way," we have a better city, with elected officials who respect the rights and the dignitiy of LGBT+ constituents.
UPDATE: a Texas Observer item on "Uncle Ray" from former KPFT news director Renee Feltz.
Quick note: Starting in January, I'll be changing the way I present these digests of Texas Progressive Bloggage. Since I began posting these, I've mostly been ripping them from Brains and Eggs, editing them to fit my personal style-book, adding and subtracting where needed.)
1. My Facebook post from Sunday morning:
This post is for everyone who is unfamiliar with Ray Hill, his good works, his activism, his stories, his Texas-size love. People outside of Greater Houston likely don't know his name, let alone his importance; sadly, many who have lived here their whole lives don't either.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.