Monday, December 03, 2018

Goodbye Ray Hill

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One of our iconic Houston TBLGQ community and civil rights activists in Ray Hill passed away on November 24 at age 78 of heart failure while in hospice care at Bering Omega House. 

Yesterday we go to say goodbye to Ray at his memorial funeral service on the steps of Houston City Hall 

The service lasted three hours and was emceed by former Houston mayor Annise Parker, herself an iconic leader in our community.   It featured local politicians, people connected with KPFT-FM's The Prison Show, family members of Ray, past presidents of the Houston GLBT Caucus and a host of people gathered on a sunny December day to tell their Ray Hill stories and remember a man who had a huge influence not only our community, but Houston and the nation. 

He helped organize the massive 1978 march against Anita Bryant.   The Town Hall meeting at the AstroArena that led to the organization of the Houston TBLGQ community.  Was a supporter and thorn in the sde at times of the Caucus.

Hill was also the subject of two documentaries, with the most recent one entitled, The Trouble With Ray.

Of course I knew Ray, and bumped into him from time to time at our various community events.  I loved talking to him because it's not every day you get to talk to a historical community icon

The one thing I loved about him and I've also emulated in my own advocacy work is that he didn't just work on gay issues.    He was a prison reform advocate.   He supported the trans community and the First Amendment.

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He was a proud, unapologetically gay agent provocateur and troublemaker pushing us in the TBLGQ community, local politicians and our community to be better. 

And we're going to miss him.

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