Voices & Echoes
Out on the Bayou
Scene & Heard
A WindowMedia Publi
Political activist named to volunteer advisory post
by MATTHEW A. HENNIE
Another of Houston's elected officials Is making strides toward the
city's gays and lesbians.
U.S. Congresswoman Shelia
Jackson Lee last weekend announced
Ihe appointment of Houston attorney
.Andres Pereira as her advisor lo the
gay community, a volunteer position
similar to one Mayor Lee Brown created for his administration last March.
Pereira. 31. secretary of lhe
Houston Gay and Lesbian Political
Caucus, is no stranger to politics. He
campaigned for former Gov. Ann
Richards in her succesfull990 effort.
The Congresswoman saw that il
was successful for the Mayor and il
was a good way to enhance communication between thai constituency and
her office," Pereira said. "She has been
very supportive of lhe communily."
The appointment mirrors others
Jackson Lee has made in communi
ties across her district, said Chief of
Staff Kathi Wilkes.
The Congresswoman is very happy
to have Andres come on and be her
volunteer and liaison lo the gay and
lesbian communily. It is a welcome
addition," Wilkes said.
Pereira hopes to keep Jackson Lee
abreast of current issues in the gay
community and bring concerns from
constiluents lo her. he said. And the
Houston native wants lo better communication between gays and African-
Americans, he said.
"There is a natural coordination
between minority communities. Often
you confront the same problems,"
Brown's liaison to the gay community, local attorney Mal I hew Eastus.
offered a bit of advice after his first
three months in the newly created
position: develop a thick skin.
Some gay activists criticized lhe
Eastus. who rose
lhe gay community to lhe
mayor's representative without
in gay activism.
"He is a very Pereira
bright guy and sharp lawyer." Eastus
said of Pereira. "He has been involved
in a very visible way in the gay political movement. He will have a great
sense of lhe community right away
and help (Jackson Lee) oul right
Eastus hopes to work with Pereira
in his new role.
This is a greal way for our two positions to work together and for the two
people we work for lo work togeiher."
Gay Chamber Joins
The Greater Houston Gay and
Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has
opened an office at the city's new
community center on Hawthorne
Avenue, officials said.
The chamber joins the Houston Gay
and Lesbian Polidcal Caucus inside
the two-story, 3,300-square-foot
building, which organizers hope will
soon become the focal point of the
city's nay and lesbian community.
"We see our office space as a real
milestone in the growth of our organization," said Anita Renleria. president of the gay chamber. "We think
it's important lhat tlie (chamber) be a
cornerstone member of the center
and believe that il will be a benelii lo
our member businesses as well."
The office space will be used to
organize the Chamber's EMPOWER
'98, an exposition of gay-friendly
businesses held in November.
Duke Employees Donate
to Stone Soup
Duke Energy ended its AIDS
Awareness Week by delivering more
than Sl,000 of toiletries to AIDS
Foundation Houston's Stone Soup
food pantry recently.
The company and its volunteers
gave more than $12,000 to the Ninth
Annual Southwestern Bell Houston
AIDS Walk on May that drew some
2,000 people and raised more than
S250.000 for 18 AIDS/HIV service
agencies. Some 45 company volunteers took part in the AIDS Walk.
The AIDS epidemic has an impact
on the entire Houston business community because it affects individuals
from all walks of life." said Paul
■Anderson, presideni and chief operating officer. "Duke Energy is raising
the awareness of its employees
through this wee:'s activities."
Duke Energy employs about 2,000
people in Houston.
Coalition Offers Housing
Funds for people with HIV/AIDS in
Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend.
Waller, Chambers and Liberty counties is available lo assist with rent or
Utilities through the People With
The assistance, up to $500 per
year, is intended for clients in emergency situations. For more informa
tion, call 713-919-0312.
The coalition is also starting
Learning. Empowerment, Advocacy
and Participation (LEAP), a 24-week
education program which trains people for community activism.
"We are delighted to have received
funding for Project LE.AP." said Lynn
Pannill, the coalition's executive
director. "We remember Steven
Bradley and his vision for LE-AP, and
hope to offer a program which underscores those goals."
Bradley, who founded Project
LEAP, was a principal dancer with
the Houslon Ballet.
The first class is set for July.
Application swill be available June 15.
Camp Hope Needs
Camp Hope, a project of AIDS
Foundation Houston and the Texas
Children's Hospital and Camp For -All
Foundation, is in need of counselors
for its week-long program in late
HIV-positive children from the ages
of 6 to 16 attend the camp in Burton.
Counselors are needed to assist the
children with activities. For more
Information, call 713-623-6796,
Deep Sea Fishing
Some of the 90 spots open for two
upcoming deep sea fishing trips
remain open, according to the
Rmnbow Fishing Club.
trips are planned for June 21 and
24. Additional trips are scheduled for
July 19, August 16 and August 19.
For more information, call 713-523-
Counseling Center Hires
New Clinical Director
A veteran volunteer has been hired
as a parllime clinical director for the
Monirose Counseling Center, officials
Martin Bachop, who has volunteered witii the center for 13 years,
will now take on clinical supervision,
the review of clinical policies and
provide psychological assessments.
The center, a non-profit United
Way agency founded In 1978. provides counseling, case management.
chemical dependency treatment and
education to the gay community.
Lets Talk About Sex
Montrose Clinic is sponsoring a
90-minute frank discussion and clinic on sex to explore sexuality and
encourage a better understanding of
sex and relationships, organizers
"It Is our hope that through workshops like these, people will have a
new venue to meet people and develop healthy attitudes about sex." said
Katy Caldwell, the clinic's executive
The workshop, set for June 18 at 8
p.m.. is free. For more information,
call 713-830 3068.
American cowboy: Houstonian Gene Mikulenka (right) answered questions after a
screening of "American Cowboy" on June 6 as part of the Second Annual Gay and
Lesbian Film Festival. The 52-minute docudrama, directed by Kyle Henry (left), traces
Mikulenka s journeys in gay and straight rodeo circuits, including the finals of the 1996
International Gay Rodeo Association. —Photo by Dalton DeHart