The term triple threat is commonly used to refer to a performer who is a dancer, actor and singer. Well, Houstonian Harrison Guy is a triple threat: dancer, activist and inspiration. Currently, he sits as Chair on the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and is the founder and creative director of the nonprofit Urban Souls Dance Company, a modern company that specializes in exploring African-American culture, heritage and expression.
From a young age, Harrison knew he was born to dance and perform. Growing up in La Marque, Texas, he would dance around his home and went on to join arts programs in high school. His passion followed to college and his junior year he studied at the famous Alvin Ailey Dance School in New York City where he stayed for a few years. Ultimately though, he felt the desire to return to the Lone Star State and after many years, saw an opportunity to make a name for himself.
“Houston’s dance scene is pretty fleeting. I decided I wanted to create an opportunity for dancers to dance in Houston around the type of work that I like which is very much rooted in African American history and culture. I have always felt very connected to that demographic so I wanted to combine that – who I am – with dance, which is what I love,” said Harrison.
Harrison began his community work in Houston in 2005 through the Donald R Watkins Foundation which focused on eliminating HIV/AIDS in the black gay community. Now, as Chair on the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, Harrison has set high goals for the board but Harrison is up for the job. In the coming year, he hopes the Board can tackle creating LGBTQ competency/diversity training for the city, publicizing how best to deal with hate crimes/discrimination and continuing to make Houston more LGBTQIA inclusive.
A little over a year ago, Harrison experienced unplanned attention when a photo of him and his husband, Adrian Homer, now a facilitator for the teen programs at HATCH, went viral. The two were fraternity brothers at Prairie View A&M University and dated for 10 years before tying the knot. The wedding was picked up by the Houston Chronicle and other national media outlets which led to lots of phone calls and attention. At first annoyed, Harrison now embraces the popularity with open arms.
“Little younglings now kinda look up to us. Teenagers messaged me on Twitter mentioning how they never thought they would see two black men married and how it gives them inspiration and hope. I never imagined that it would have that impact. It is just so cool to me that I was able to have an impact and connect with a younger generation that may not have ever seen that,” says Harrison.
Urban Souls Dance Company will be performing Body Archives: Bone Deep Memories at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston on October 18 at 6:30 p.m.