Funeral scheduled for Albert Mata

Tim Brookover and Albert Mata

Albert Mata, the long-time partner of Houston GLBT Community Center president Tim Brookover, passed away on Monday, Feb. 20.

Albert was a vivacious man. I could always tell if Albert was at an event. His laughter would echo through the room the second I entered, inevitably emanating from the a tight circle of conversationalists over which he was holding court. Sweet, kind and a little naughty, Albert’s energy and gentleness will be greatly missed.

Services for Albert will be held at Bethel United Church of Christ (1107 Shepherd).

Visitation – 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 24, 2012
Memorial Service – 4 p.m., Saturday, February 25, 2012

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Sneak Peak of “Albert Nobbs” at Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Houston GLBT Community Center present an advance screening of Albert Nobbs on Thursday, January 26, at 7 pm at the the Brown Auditorium in the Caroline Weiss Law Building (1001 Bissonnet). To receive a free pass to the screening e-mail the Center at president@houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org.  Nobbs (Glen Close) is a person identified female at birth who presents himself as male and serves as a hotel butler  in 19th century Ireland. He lives a life of quite efficiency for 30 years before his secret is discovered. (Trans identified viewers will immediately recognize the question asked of Nobbs in the trailer (after the jump) “What’s your real name?” to which Nobbs responds “Albert.”)

In interviews Close refers to the character in the feminine, and promotional materials for the film describe Albert as a “woman disguised as a man,” obstinately to obtain employment, but we are dealing with a character who spends more than half his life living as a man and who is living 75 years before the term “transgender” or “transexual” were invented. Albert, albeit a fictional character,  presents himself as a man so please forgive me giving him the respect of using male pronouns.

The movie is based on a play which, in turn, is based on a short story by George Moore, the 19th century Irish novelist and childhood friend of Oscar Wilde (Wilde famously said of Moore “He conducts his education in public”). During his life Moore’s novels were frequently banned for taking on what were considered “salacious” themes.

The Museum of Fine Arts recommends arriving 90 minutes early to the film to insure seating. Free parking is available in the surface lot across the street from the Law Building.

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Queer Bingo at GLBT Community Center

Tanya Hyde

The fabulous Ms. Tanya Hyde

The Houston GLBT Community Center hosts its Queer Bingo on the first Saturday of each month. Hosting this month’s festivities is self proclaimed living legend, and queen of all Montrose, drag performer Tanya Hyde. Queer Bingo benefits the Center’s John Lawrence and Tyrone Garner Scholarship Fund (that’s John Lawrence, of Lawrence v. Texas fame) and other center programs.

Doors open at 4 pm, with games kicking off at 4:30.  In addition to cash prizes for Bingo, the event features fabulous door prizes,  a raffle, and bar service courtesy of Capital Beverage.

“We invite all our community friends to join us for First Saturday Queer Bingo, have fun playing games with their friends, and support scholarships for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender scholars,” Center president Tim Brookover says.  “We have a great time every month as we benefit our scholarship fund and other Center programs.”

Queer Bingo takes place at the GLBT Community Center’s headquarters at the historic Dow School (1900 Kane).

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Houston GLBT Community Center offers scholarship

The Houston GLBT Community is now accepting applications for its new John Lawrence and Tyrone Garner Scholarship, LGBT students from across Texas can apply.

The scholarship is named for the two men who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit Lawrence v. Texas, which ended with a 2003 Supreme Court ruling that abolished the Texas sodomy law.

Burton Bagby-Grose, treasurer for the Houston GLBT Community Center board, said applicants should have already demonstrated a commitment to public service, already demonstrated leadership in the fight for equality for LGBT people, engaged in significant extra-curricular activities, have a record of service in community organizations and have demonstrated a financial need.

Application deadline is May 14. The inaugural scholarship will be awarded in June during the community center’s annual commemoration of the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court ruling, which was handed down in June 2003.

To download an application and get more information about applying go to the Houston GLBT Community Center Web site.

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