Houston’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker
Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is in Shanghai on her first official foreign visit.

According to Xinhua news agency, Parker praised the Chinese city for being the most open to its LGBT community. Last year, the city hosted China’s first gay Pride event.

Parker was attending Houston Day at the Shanghai World Expo. She spoke from the American pavilion.

“Shanghainese and Houstonians are similar. They care about what you do, not who you are,” said Parker. “To boost development, a city needs to be open to a full range of people, especially the innovative ones who break barriers, like people of the gay community.”

Parker will be in Dallas in September. She will serve as honorary grand marshal of the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.