Houston Largest City to Elect Openly Gay Mayor, Don’t Mess With Texas Srsly

LESBIAN MAYOR: With Annise Parker winning nearly 53 percent of the vote late Saturday, Houston became the largest city to elect an openly gay mayor. Last night, with wife Kathy Hubbard by her side, she told supporters: “I know what this means to many of us who thought we couldn’t achieve higher office. But let us at this moment join as one community. We are united in making Houston the city it should be, could be, can be and will be.”

The Christian Science Monitor says her election in a state which outlawed same-sex marriage is telling of the national mood:

“As gays and lesbians become broadly accepted in society and politics, that acceptance is marked by a firm boundary beyond which voters do not yet appear willing to cross: same-sex marriage.”

FAMILY TIES: What is happening with the world when stories that open with “According to the National Enquirer” are accepted as fact? So we’re just gonna tell you that Meredith Baxter, according to a sketchy unreliable source, is going to marry her girlfriend. Or not.

GAY SCIENCE: According to this author, gay people are like female orgasms or male nipples: we don’t know why they exist evolutionarily, but it is kind of cool that they do! There are many, many traits of humans and other living things that are incidental by-products of evolution. They’re not the traits that were selected for. They’re incidental by-products of the traits that were selected for. Let me give an example. Let’s ask the question, “Why did bones evolve to be white? What is the selective advantage of bones being white?” (@blowfish)

BRING IT ON: Five Life Lessons Learned From the Ladies of ’00 Films: “So everything that doesn’t fit into some stupid idea of what you think God wants you just try to hide or fix or get rid of? It’s just all too much to live up to. No one fits in one hundred percent of the time. Not even you.” (@jezebel)

BULLYING: Were you bullied in middle or high school? Judith Warner was, and is still thinking about it. These days, I come back a lot to memories of 7th and 8th grade (and the unreliable narrators of those memories), because my elder daughter, Julia, is now in 7th grade, which means, of late, that she lives in a world filled with endless girl dramas of the most unfortunate and, alas, ordinary kind. Her article stirred up a lot of feelings over at Jezebel: “We editors reminisced about our own 13-year-old accomplishments and the wondrous potential of that age. In fact, it’s a time I try to avoid thinking about, since it’s when the cozy cocoon of childhood broke and I found myself the target of casual mockery on a daily basis.” Also, if you want to read more about how the world shortchanges women from the age of 13 on, we recommend Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap, by Peggy Orenstein, one of the best books ever to exist. And then just listen to Tina Fey, she will help you — (@nytimes, @jezebel)

CIVIL UNIONS: The Austrian Parliament has approved legislation that will give same-sex partners the right to enter into civil unions with “most of” the same rights as hetero marriage. Once you’re done celebrating that, try to wrap your head around the fact that the author of this article then spends five paragraphs discussing “So how much did Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” character and movie have to do with this move by Austria’s government?” He must have known it was Sunday Funday. (@examiner)

SPERM DONOR: A gay Irish sperm donor has won visitation rights to the child that was created from his sperm and that a lesbian couple is now raising. This is sad, because it means that lesbian partners and their children are not recognized as a legitimate family unit by the Irish government, but also awesome because it means that WILL AND GRACE IS COMING TRUE. Seriously does anyone else remember that arc where Jack and Rosie had a kid? (@irishcentral)

ACTUAL GAGA: Bitch must have read our Christmahanakwanzakah wish lists, because they have a whole article about Lady Gaga’s sexuality! Does she feed into negative stereotypes about bisexuality, or can she be our shining star? “The only thing I’m worried about is that it could appear to some, who don’t know much better, that bisexuals are those that are interested only in men for relationships, but will enjoy sexual relationships with women purely for fun. I hope it doesn’t further that awful stereotype, and that Lady Gaga isn’t put in the position of being the poster child for women who like women only while drunk and horny.”Also, in other news, Intern Rachel had no idea until right now that Gaga makes out with a lady cop in the Love Game video! Merry Christmas! (@bitch)

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. DTA.”Don’t mess with Texas!” I love my state.

    Re: Gaga bisexuality. My sister is bisexual and I think the exact opposite of the stereotype. She has had relationships with both. But she has had more emotional relationships with females, and i feel she pursues those more. Whereas with men it tends to be more physical..(No alcohol involved) Either way I can understand having more of a physical attraction to one and more of an emotional attraction to the other. Or it could be equal.. Either way it doesn’t make her less bisexual, imo

    • I think the thing the article fails to draw enough attention to is that Gaga has never said she’s not interested in being in a relationship with a woman but is interested in being with a man. I mean right now she’s like over love or whatever, but I think people judge her based on her past when really what we WANT or desire or COULD do often has no relation to what we HAVE done. I’ve identified as bi pretty much since I was 17 or so, when I started writing a book about bisexuality my agent suggested I get myself a girlfriend ’cause no one would consider me truly bi since I’d only had boyfriends. I actually did end up getting a girlfriend like a month later. But at Gaga’s age I hadn’t been in a serious relationship with a woman yet either. Weird.

    • I would label myself as bisexual with lesbian tendencies just because I don’t want to limit myself. So I think the bisexual thing could go either way (haha get it?).

      • yeah, kind of same here. i think that’s why i actually really appreciate celebrity bisexuals? because even if they sometime may seem to be “reinforcing negative stereotypes” to other people, they are also just real human beings who act the way I see myself act a lot of the time, and that is reassuring, even if they are crazy. like, when i hear lady gaga say “i’m bisexual, i’ve had sex with women, but more serious relationships with men, but also blah blah blah…” I don’t know, somehow I can relate to that more than someone who says “I just think it’s all about souls, you know? I’m genderblind! I just believe in love!” This is not making sense. BUT the point is that sexuality is complicated, and we all deal with gender differently and none of our relationships are the same regardless of orientation and can we just get over it now? thanks.

      • Is it ok if I steal your ‘bisexual with lesbian tendencies’ label to use? Its been driving me mad trying to explain to people without sounding like a knob.

  2. Way to go Houston. Also this makes me think of when I had to do a critique of a speech for my intro communications class. Ann Richards speech to the 1988 DNC, another awesome texas woman. “But, if you give us a chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pvrvRT23is

  3. having lived in houston for the majority of my pre-college life, this is crazyyy. i mean, i just cannot imagine the dinner table conversations this had to have provoked. i’m not sure how much this is a bellweather for actual progress, but regardless… crazy!

  4. The gay science article would have been so much better without the non-point of the whiteness of bones. That’s a dealbreaker™!

    SURE, I could have commented about that under the article itself but Autostraddle is cozier.

  5. Another great book about adolescent girls and bullying/self-esteem is Meeting at the Crossroads by Carol Gilligan. It’s a little more academic, but still very well-written and engaging. I read this and Schoolgirls over the summer and both completely changed my understanding of what it means to be female in our society.

    Also, yay Texas!

    And I’m not sure what to think about all these studies that are out to prove the “point” of gayness from an evolutionary standpoint.

  6. How about this for Gay Science: Gays naturally evolved to make up for the unnatural population boom. If you look at it this way, then God was the original creator of the “Gay Agenda.” (Gotta run now, I can see the Westboro pitchforks coming after me…)

    PS: Intern Rachel, don’t feel bad. One of my friends didn’t even know Lady Gaga was bisexual until I read her this article and she looked it up on wikipedia to confirm (cause we all know it’s not true until it’s on wikipedia). Note: My friend and I are no longer friends.

    • Yeah, I also didn’t know that Lady Gaga makes out with a cop in that video so thanks for posting that!

  7. Oh, I am proud of Texas right now. One step at a time. Sometimes, I’m jealous of Canada, you know? They seem to get it. I don’t know too much about Canada but I mean, marriage equality is already in effect there. I’m always saying we spend too much times that shouldn’t be that big of a deal. If two people love each other and want to be bound legally, let it be. Who cares what their genders are? (And how else will Rose Rollins be my eternal lover?) We NEED to be discussing the bigger issues, things that can ACTUALLY harm people, or damage/end lives, like world hunger or crime rates or something! Holy shit, no one is going to die because I’m in love with a woman, you know? And I think Canada gets that. It seems they understand these things need not be so difficult. And I don’t wanna sound condescending, but truthfully, the masses are asses. Like, really. I hate to say it but sometimes I feel like the majority of this nation is just not up for the job of deciding what’s right. That’s the downfall of democracy, for me. That’s the reason why Bush was in office for so effing long, most people didn’t know what the hell they were doing anyway when they voted for him. So just because half the nation is running around screaming like chickens with their heads cut off because two people of the same gender want to love each other doesn’t mean we should pay them any mind. Those are the times the government should step in and say “You guys are being a bit redic. They wanna get married, let it be. You’re not gonna die, I promise, you’ll get over it.” and we should move on. I mean, the ones with the poles up their asses will get used to it! Canada seems fine.

    Besides, none of the reasoning makes sense, as for why we shouldn’t have same-sex marriage. Don’t go telling me about God, because in this country, we have separation of church and state. And as soon as they started putting marriages on paper and giving legal benefits, God technically went out the window, so he/she has nothing to do with my love life.

    Sorry, I shpiel sometimes.

    I plan on reading/commenting the gay science thing later.

    Civil union is simply not good enough for me.

    I don’t like that Irish deal. He knew what he was getting himself into when he popped out the soldiers. But you know what? I didn’t read the article so maybe I’ll go get more deets before I say anything else. I definitely remember Jack and his son and Rosie on Will & Grace though.

    • As a Canadian I can personally tell you that Canada is full of awesomeness. There was some church in Saskatchewan that didn’t want to perform gay marriages though, so you know, we still got our share of assholes.

      • EGADS. You are from the fair land of Tegan and Sara! Teach me all of the beautiful ways of wonderland. I’m so jealous of you right now. Marriage and The Sisters Quin. Do you say “eh?” at the end of your sentences?

        I hope none of that was offensive.

        • I have been caught multiple times by my American friends for saying “eh?” at the end of sentences. But also you guys say things like “I know, right?” and “huh?”.

          • True – it is full of awesomeness – you and I being two of the most AWESOME parts of Canada eh? It was like minus 50 degrees here this weekend though and my bottom lip got stuck to my zipper so not everything about Canada is awesome.

          • Lol, people don’t say “huh?” How do you expressed that you need something reiterated?! Whoa! Coldness. Zipper-lip Siamese action. And I believe “I know, right?” is a regional thing. ‘Huh’ is all around, though, lol.

          • No, that does not sound awesome at all. Edmonton was the coldest place in North America this morning and the second coldest place in the whole entire world. WTF Edmonton, WTF?!? One time in Edmonton I got frostbite on my thumb b/c I went to 7-11 to get a slurpee and forgot mittens. Canada is cold.

            DemiArianna – we say “pardon?” or “pardon me?”. My Mom got a reputation for being this crazy Canadian lady when we lived in Seattle b/c she would yell at the poor American children to stop saying “huh?”/”what?”. It went something like “YOU SHOULD BE SAYING PARDON ME. WHO TAUGHT YOU TO SAY WHAT OR HUH? THAT IS RUDE!”. She was kind of scary sometimes.

          • Lmao, I never saw “huh” to be rude. I thought it was universal! Like “haha”.

            Oh wait, I heard the people in France laugh like “frau frau frau!” but they may just be a rumor.

          • I considered going to university in Calgary then I remembered that there’s -50 degree winters there. Montreal is not bad. It’s -2 now.

          • Oh god I say ‘I know, right?’ all the time, its a legacy of my gap year in Colorado and I’m mocked all the time for it. It is ridiculous, so I deserve it.
            I love when Canadians say ‘eh?’ at the end of stuff. I’m planning to go to Canada this summer partly just because everyone I’ve met from there has been so awesome.

        • I actually DO use the word eh, so no offense taken. And yeah, Marriage, Tegan, and Sara. It’s all life needs!
          … and decriminilized weed and a minimum drinking age of 18-19 for those who care.

  8. Hopefully this offsets some of the damage Texans have done to the world. I doubt it though, we still have people that think the south will rise again and Texas is gonna go back to being a republic.

    At least the ones that promised to move to Canada didn’t follow through when Barack Obama got elected. They probably would have had a heart attack if they actually knew what happens in Canada.

  9. I think it’s unfair that the only thing people are focusing on is the fact that Annise Parker is gay. When all is said and done no one is going to pay attention to what she did or didn’t do, but that she was gay. I’ve been reading comments on articles about her and all people are focusing on is homosexuality. It’s sad.

  10. I’ve heard many things said about me before. And most of them rightfully so. I’ve heard “violent bitch”, “angry lesbian”, “THE SATAN LOVES YOU!”, “evil witch”, “that scary polish chick”, “asshole”, “cunt”, “frustrating little bitch”. All of them I could agree with (‘cept maybe the Satan one, never met her). But I have never before in my LIFE been called a spandrel, the way it would make sense. My mind is blown.

  11. I came here to post some sort of comment.

    Then I got high.

    Now I can’t remember the comment.

    But rest assured….


  12. So happy for Houston. For those who don’t know about her, read up on Barbara Jordan. Also from Houston, was an African-American, openly gay congresswoman in the 70s. And no one cared! So, weirdly, Texas has shown to be more progressive than many other states!

  13. I expected you guys to make a”Houston we have a problem joke, like “Houston, we have a lesbian”
    Once again AutoStraddle proves to be a million times classier than me.

  14. I live in Texas. I have many friends from Houston. We were discussing this. People were saying they like/dislike. And then my friend said, “Well at least we don;t have to worry about scandals and affairs..” And I was like WTF? I swear straight people can say the most dumb ignorant things sometimes..SMH

  15. My dad works in city government in another large city with an openly gay mayor…West Sacramento!! The redevelopment department there is where it’s at. West Sacramento isn’t the same city as Sacramento, it’s BETTER, and you should move there and spend your dollars at their Ikea (because you are gay) and your sales tax will pay my dad.

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