Michael Bergeron
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A Murder in Montrose

A Murder in Montrose
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As much as diversity progresses and flourishes it seems that society is always taking one step forward and two steps back.

Look at a timeline of events in Houston over the last few decades. On October 24, 1985, a mayoral candidate was getting ready for an interview on local Channel 13. A conservative, Louis Welch, didn’t realize his microphone was live and said one of his plans to fight AIDS was “to shoot the queers.” Welch eventually lost the election to Kathy Whitmire.

On July 4, 1991, as Paul Broussard was leaving a well known Montrose nightclub, he was beaten and fatally stabbed by a group of ten teens that lived in The Woodlands. In a recent article in Out Smart magazine, Andrew Edmonson writes: “The crime received little media attention until Queer Nation, a direct-action group formed to confront and defeat homophobia, organized a Take Back the Streets march nine days later to channel the simmering anger of Houston’s LGBT community. The protest mobilized 2,000 people and stopped traffic at the intersection of Montrose and Westheimer for an hour in a spontaneous act of civil disobedience.”

All of the assailants received prison sentences or probation. The last person serving time for this crime was paroled last year.

Since this incident, there have been other incidents that galvanized the media and received worldwide attention, including the hateful murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming in October of 1998 through the mass shootings last week in Orlando, Florida.

A Murder in Montrose: The Paul Broussard Legacy, a documentary produced by Houston Public Media that airs on television later this week, looks at the events surrounding Paul Broussard’s murder and how it continues to affect Houston 25 years later.

A Murder in Montrose: The Paul Broussard Legacy will run on local PBS Channel 8 on Thursday, June 23 at 8 pm. A live town-hall discussion will follow the broadcast.