Mayor Parker talks to student group

Nov. 1, 2011

Aimee Kennedy, a BCM medical student and member of the Gay-Straight Alliance, introduced Mayor
Aimee Kennedy, a BCM medical student and member of the Gay-Straight Alliance, introduced Mayor Annise Parker.

The Gay-Straight Alliance, a newly formed BCM student group, hosted its first event, welcoming Houston Mayor Annise Parker to campus Oct. 13.

Parker discussed the challenges she has faced since being elected in January 2010. Some of them were expected, others not. She talked about the controversy surrounding red-light cameras, dealing with the worst drought in the city and state's history and budget cuts resulting from the difficult economy.

She took students through her typical day, which often starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker spoke at an event organized by the Gay-Straight Alliance, a BCM student group.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker spoke at an event organized by the Gay-Straight Alliance, a BCM student group.

But as the first openly gay mayor, Parker also talked with students about challenges she has faced since coming out while a college student at Rice University. She recalled a campus event that was held soon after the creation of the university's first gay student group, where several members wore bags over the head so they couldn't be identified.

Fortunately, society's attitude toward gays and lesbians has changed significantly since then, she pointed out to students in attendance.

After her talk, Parker took questions from the audience.