By design, politicians are public figures. They are used to cameras, the press, and definitely get used to the sound of hearing themselves talk. But as public as people like Houston Annise Parker can be, it is rare that she has been so candid about her personal life. The nation probably knows that she is openly gay, and they know that she won an historic victory as the first openly gay person elected mayor of large American city. And that’s probably about it.
But in a rare speech to the Coalition for the Homeless, Mayor Parker opens up about her family experience with the struggles of homelessnesses, and about the story of her wonderful family. All three of the mayor’s children are adopted (though only two legally) and all are African-American. In this speech, she shares the story of how she and partner Kathy Hubbard (THE First Lady of Houston) came to know their son. He’s not legally adopted, but they consider him family just the same.
As the Mayor reminds us in this speech, genetics are not the only factor that determine a family. Like her and her partner, many same-sex couples are providing homes for children that may otherwise be homeless. They open their life and their family to them. It’s one of the most loving and noble acts one could ask to be done. It’s speeches like this one that make me truly proud to be a Houstonian.