Mike Holloman is a Houstonian born and raised, having lived in Houston his entire life aside from his time at Texas A&M studying finance. “Since college I have lived in central Houston, in the Montrose, Upper Kirby, and Rice University areas. So, I’m a pure native Texan and Houstonian.” As far as work goes, Holloman owns the central Houston franchise of Murphy Business Brokers, a national business brokerage firm, where he works as a business broker. “After working from 1994-2011 in the investment management industry, I decided to branch out on my own. So, I bought my business and have been working with entrepreneurs to buy, sell, or determine the value of their businesses. I find great joy in helping people obtain their independence and pursue new passions.”
As for his off hours, Holloman is all about volunteerism, working with a variety of charitable and political causes. “I have had the honor of serving in several volunteer roles with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), including four years on the National Board of Governors and six years on the National Board of Directors. Now I’m a permanent member of their emeritus council and board alumni.” He also currently sits on the National Board of Directors of the Victory Fund and Institute, recently serving as board chair for the Victory Institute and serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Legacy Community Health Endowment. Somehow, that’s not all.
“I’ve also had the pleasure of working with the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, Equality Texas, and the Montrose Center on various events and fundraisers. And, of course, any time a political candidate or issue that is pro-equality needs support, I love to see how we can pull together to provide the best support.”
Other than LGBT causes, Holloman’s greatest passions are kids and dogs. He has two children, a 23-year-old son living in Austin with his fiancé and a 10-year-old daughter who Holloman says “is a continual source of entertainment and joy.” As for four legged friends, Holloman has two teeny Chihuahua Terrier mixes who he calls his “regular snuggle buddies. I’m a huge proponent of rescuing dogs (and other companions) from the shelters.”
Holloman also calls himself a “complete water fanatic. I am at my happiest when I am swimming, boating or otherwise near any form of body of water (including a bubble bath). So many weekends are spent enjoying time up at Lake Livingston where I have been fortunate to have a weekend getaway. I also enjoy my time at the gym, pushing myself to do weights and cardio despite never developing that habit earlier in my life.”
Clearly, Holloman is a true Renaissance man, making him the perfect go-to guy when it comes to learning more about what makes H-Town the incredible city that it is, particularly for the LGBTQ community.
What’s your favorite thing about Houston?
Everything! I love Houston. I love the eclectic, crazy diversity that our city has, both in terms of its people and places. There is always something fun to do, somewhere fun to go or eat, and always the opportunity to feel welcome. Our city is a truly welcoming one. It is cosmopolitan and world-class, but with none of the “snobbery” of some of the other world-class cities. And our cost of living for what we get is an amazing deal, particularly given the strength of our local economy.
What never ceases to surprise you about Houston?
The amazing people. You can always count on a visitor being warmly greeted. If your car is broken down or you’re trapped in the rain, you can always count on the kindness of strangers. Our people are giving and ambitious and crazy and smart and just can’t be beat.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Houston?
Great question! Where are the best margaritas? Seriously. I’d probably say 1308 Cantina (or the Annex) would be my go-to spot when I just want to go somewhere I can count on for good food and a relaxed atmosphere. But I could rattle off a list of 20 places that are great. So just come find me and ask me for suggestions depending on taste and desired environment. Other regular spots that spring to mind are: Coppa, Hungry’s, Aladdin, Barnaby’s, Black Walnut, Hugo’s, Dolce Vita, Local, and Pico’s.
What is your favorite thing to do in Houston?
It’s hard to pick a favorite thing to do. The Houston Zoo and surrounding parks are one of my favorites for sure, as are Discovery Green and the Buffalo Bayou trails. A night at the movies or taking in any of the arts in the theater district, along with a nice meal with friends and loved ones are always top of my list as well. You can also never go wrong with visiting any of the amazing museums.
How would you describe the queer community in Houston?
No nonsense, roll your sleeves up, and get sh*t done. Our community is diverse, smart, creative, and pernicious. We’ve seen our share of challenges, and we don’t let it get us down. When we’re not working hard to make the world a better place, we know how to live life in true Texas style, bigger, and badder than anyone else.
What is your favorite queer event in Houston?
Favorite queer event? Does Sunday fun day at the Eagle count? I can’t pick just one event, so must shamelessly plug the events that are nearest and dearest to my volunteer and fundraising work. I love the HRC annual gala, or “gay prom,” as it’s a chance to see so many LGBT folks and our allies come together and also raise some big money for a number of issues. The Victory Fund annual brunch is always a light and fun Sunday. And the Legacy annual luncheon is always a hit full of great food and drinks and fun people gathering together to make a huge difference. Of course, nothing tops the Pride weekend activities, drawing in the massive diversity of our community all coming together for common purpose and celebration.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give to a queer person coming to visit H Town?
Talk to people. Houston is one of the friendliest cities you will find. If you just stop someone, tell them you’re visiting and would love some tips on what to do, you can guarantee you’ll get the warmest, most proper Southern welcome you can imagine.