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Houston LGBTQ Exhibits


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Said by Outsmart to have anchored Houston’s gay community in Montrose, Mary’s...Naturally was a gay bar in Houston, Texas that opened as Mary’s...Naturally in 1969 by Joe Anthony before passing into the ownership of Jim “Fanny” Farmer. 

During its life, Mary’s was described as “the place to get off.” An unofficial rule of Mary’s was that underwear couldn’t be worn; before the pairs were taken down in the 80’s, newcomers’ underwear were draped on the rafters. Mary's was a social hub, with people of all walks of LGBTQ+ life attending the club. [1]

Mary’s wasn’t just a place to have fun, though. It also became a place where gay men organized community and political events. This support and sense of togetherness was especially important when the AIDs crisis hit.



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A close-up shot of a mural on Mary's window by Scott Swoveland. Shown here is Divine, a well-known Houston drag queen.  

In the midst of the AIDs crisis, the drag performers at Mary's...Naturally would take the wage that they earned during the performance and donate most, if not all, of it to charities supporting AIDs victims and awareness. At this time, Mary's...Naturally became a place where members of the community met regularly to plan and organize charities and even create hospices, supporting their peers during a time of fear and uncertainty, when hospitals and funeral homes were turning men away when these people needed them the most. These meetings at Mary's...Naturally were where the creation of groups that supported these people -- places and groups like the Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) Society, which became AIDS Foundation Houston -- all happened. [1][2][3]


A shot of a mural titled Above and Beyond done in 1993 by Scott Swoveland on the window of Mary's Bar. This mural was done in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969

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A closer shot of Above and Beyond.