In a new profile published this week in
Bloomberg Businessweek, Annise Parker, Houston's gay mayor,
says she's responsible for making the city hip.
Parker was installed as mayor of the
nation's fourth largest city in January.
conservatives who opposed her election made plenty of political hay
over her sexual orientation during the campaign. She was also
the inspiration behind a now defunct effort to boycott Houston. “Do
you want a Texas version of San Francisco? Neither do we!” boycott
organizer David H. Grisham said.
In her profile, Parker dismisses all
the talk about her sexual orientation: “People assume the toughest
decision in my life was coming out. But being gay isn't tough –
it's who I am.”
“During a mayoral debate, some guy
jumped up and said, 'You've never once mentioned your gay agenda for
the city of Houston.' I responded that I was talking about my agenda
for the city of Houston. I didn't tell people I was a candidate who
happens to be gay. Nobody wants to hear that. I learned it's a
distinction you show, not one you say.”
Being Houston's first openly gay mayor
has been “a fantastic opportunity to change how people think about
my city. I take a lot of credit for raising Houston's coolness