Native Houstonian, Mike Webb is leading the Houston GLBT Political Caucus into the future. Webb was recently elected President of the organization which is the oldest LGBTQ political organization in the south. Webb is also the first genderqueer identifying President in the organizations history.
People who identify as genderqueer do not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions and identify with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders. Webb had this to say about the journey. “For me, coming out as genderqueer was that final step I needed to take to be completely free. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always felt like I never really belonged in a gender category. I remember my parents, especially my dad, would always have to remind me that I was a ‘boy’ whenever I subscribed to ‘feminine norms.’ I don’t see being genderqueer as a label.I see being genderqueer as a liberation from gender related labels completely.”
Webb was inspired to come out through encounters with advocates for equality while working on the staff of Texas Senator, Sylvia Garcia. “[They] taught me that it was okay for us to be who we are, no matter how much we may be misunderstood. When I saw brave children who happen to be transgender or gender nonconforming proudly fight for their lives against bigots, I felt empowered enough to face my own truth.” said Webb.
Webb grew up in Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood. Portland, Oregon then became home while matriculating at Reed College; followed by a short stint in Washington DC. Webb currently works for Texas Freedom Network, a statewide organization that focuses on several issues, including LGBTQ equality.
“I love Houston’s diversity. After living in three different cities, I always missed how easy it is to meet people from different cultures, races, religions and ethnicities. Our diversity is the absolute best thing about our city.” said Webb.
One of Webb’s favorite places to recommend to visitors is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston followed by the Contemporary Arts Museum right across the street. “Both museums are spaces I take advantage of when I want to be in a LGBTQ friendly environment.”
For food and drink Webb has two recommendations, “For a good low-key drink, I recommend Grand Prize, and if you’re hungry I always recommend Reggae Hut off of Almeda, as long as you don’t mind a little spiciness.” joked Webb.