Stonewall Democrats of the Rio Grande Valley is the group’s newest chapter in Texas. The chapter has 24 members and is based primarily in the McAllen and Hidalgo County area. This brings the total number of active chapters statewide to nine, joining Austin, Houston (two chapters), Collin, Dallas, Denton, San Antonio and Tarrant. Pictured are Rio Grande Valley members Romeo Flores, Eli Olivarez, Bill Jay, David Lumber and Bill Ruppert, who are all attending the Texas Stonewall convention in Austin this weekend. Olivarez, the chapter’s president, said he was inspired to launch it after attending a Stonewall meeting during the Texas Democratic Convention last June.
“The area is blue [Democratic], but it’s socially conservative,” Olivarez said of the valley. “We wanted to create relevance for the GLBT community.”