June 30, 2016 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner has selected 49 people to serve on the City’s first Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Board. The number of board members is meant to be a symbolic nod to the 49 victims of The Pulse massacre in Orlando.
The board exemplifies the diversity of the Houston LGBT community, and consists of 21 White/Non-Hispanic members, 12 African-American members, 13 Hispanic members, 2 Asian members, and one biracial member. These individuals represent identities from across the LGBTQ spectrum—including representatives from the gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, intersex, and straight ally communities.
“It was important to me to make this announcement before the end of Pride month,” said Mayor Turner. However, let me be clear, our support for the LGBT community is not ending. We are standing with Orlando today and we will be standing with them tomorrow. In Houston, we fight hate with love and inclusion. There is much work to be done and I can’t wait to get going.”
The board will serve as a direct link between the mayor’s office and the LGBT community, providing advice and recommendations on issues. Due to the board’s size, the mayor anticipates there will be a committee structure. Board Chair and Vice Chair are Lou Weaver and Melanie Pang, respectively. Weaver is with Equality Texas and Pang works for The Salvation Army.
Below is the list of other board members:
Dee Dee Watters
Lily Pando (15-year old who will serve as an honorary member)
R. Aaron Flores
T. Ray Purser
Tamira "Augie" Augustine