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Arts & Culture

Just Happens to Be LGBT

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Richard Farias, left, with parents Mary Helen and George at their 50th anniversary party

As I write this article, the ink is still drying on the lease for a brand new venture: a non-profit LGBT community center. Known as Pride Center San Antonio, it will open later this year in an 1,800 square-foot space next to the Woodlawn Theatre.

Many dedicated people have worked on this project over the last several years, and many more have dreamt of making this a reality. Thanks to neighborhood partners Kurt Wehner, Greg Hinojosa and Jacob Valenzuela, we are thrilled the Center will be located in the ever-revitalizing Deco District and along major bus routes on Fredericksburg Road.

Based on a conservative estimate of three to five percent of the population, between 51,000 and 80,000 people in Bexar County may identify as LGBT. That’s a significant chunk of San Antonians, some of whom may not know where to go to find others like themselves, particularly beyond the bar scene.

The Pride Center hopes to provide a place of acceptance for those who cannot find it otherwise—a place where people can access programs, services, support groups, community organizations and creative outlets. A place where people can be comfortable being LGBT—and also so much more. As always, it will also be a place for allies to join us in support and solidarity.

Each month, this column will profile a different slice of life in LGBT San Antonio, featuring interviews with community leaders, allies, people from all walks of life and organizations doing great things. If you have an idea of what to cover, ping me!

Richard Farias is the board chair of Pride Center San Antonio, an LGBT community center serving San Antonio. He is also an educator, student life director and native San Antonian. Contact him at

Each month, we’ll feature a reader’s personal “I am” statement that encompasses who they are. My statement below is an example. Whether you’re LGBT or an ally, e-mail me (see address above) your own “I am” statement in 100 words or less using a format similar to the one below, and we’ll select one each month to publish.

I am that I am. I am male. I am Latino. I geek out about all kinds of things. I am a more spiritual person than I let anyone know. I love God, as I believe God loves me. I am an educator and always will be. I love the Spurs. I am a devoted partner, brother, son and friend. I believe in connectedness. I am a dreamer and eternal optimist. I read. I am a hiker and occasional runner. I am a foodie. I love being a San Anto downtowner. And I just happen to be LGBT.

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