Most of the human condition is universal. But some people experience life differently than the mainstream does. And that I understand.
Pretty much any issue, concern or problem you might want to bring to me, I have seen, worked with and handled — promoted, celebrated and normalized (for the good stuff) and otherwise devised ways to get around, advocated against, held hands through, and provided a shoulder for crying on, you name it.
As an advisor, a lawyer, an actress/singer, a stage manager, a concert producer, an activist and, above all, as a friend.
Read on for some of the ways the community has been an organic & integral part of my life for decades.
As a lawyer
The community has long been a focus of my solo law practice, which began in Montrose, the heart of Houston, Texas.
I have worked with business people (some open, some semi-closeted), couples who could not marry (and, lately, ones that did), nonprofit arts and social service organizations, and far too many terminally ill individuals. I was a pioneer in drafting documents to safeguard the economic and legal interests of gay and lesbian couples. I was also one of Houston’s first volunteer lawyers for people with AIDS, and represented a number privately as well.
As a performer
I worked in multiple capacities with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston (originally The Montrose Singers), as attorney, stage manager and performer. I was the Chorus’ first female soloist and first female honorary member.
I had a decade-long collaboration with the Chorus’ long-time director, composer and tenor John-Michael Albert, with a wide-ranging repertoire that include contemporary consciousness raising songs.
I produced concerts by Romanovsky & Phillips (obtaining their first mainstream press review!) as well as the Sixth Annual National Women’s Choral Festival.
And I’m currently playing a plum recurring role, the lead character’s mother, in season 3 of the groundbreaking webseries History (“Gay Characters / Universal Content”).
As an advocate & activist
I have confronted and battled homophobia and discrimination in academic institutions, the Catholic and Episcopal Churches, and a union stage crew (which got its pay yanked for disappearing while some 250 gay and lesbian choristers waited for the curtain to lower on their triumphant opening number. Yeah, “Curtain down” was an ambiguous cue, my <insert body part>.)
As a writer
I chronicled the family of a deceased gay man turning on the longtime live-in partner who survived him, for the Houston Press. I predicted the inevitability of marriage equality in 2013.
I’ve shared a dressing room with drag queens (only GG back or onstage, in fact). Lesbian friends packed my moving van when I left Houston for NYC. My best friends are gay (really! not just a saying!) I was with them when they married during the first wave of same-sex weddings in San Francisco. Ignored an impeding hurricane to witness another dear friend’s wedding (and now serve as fairy godmother to the couple’s Wunderkind). Returned to Texas to lead the toasts at a college friend’s wedding (the first I’ve attended that included a Supreme Court opinion).