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MARIA C GONZALEZ: SCHOLAR ACTIVIST
C. González is a professor in the English Department at the University
of Houston, a feminist, political activist, and LGBT advocate. Her experiences
growing up in El Paso, Texas were difficult and since then she has been
working to make life a more welcoming and encouraging place for all.
She joined the University of Houston faculty in 1991 and became involved
in local politics almost immediately. Always a feminist activist, her
work in Houston became an extension of her scholarship. She met amazing
feminist activists in Houston in the local women's choice community
and in the late 90's became active with projects created by Annise Parker
and Grant Martin, as well as becoming involved with the Houston Gay
and Lesbian Political Caucus, as it was known at that time.
In the early 2000's, González became a board member of the Caucus
and then president from 2005 to 2006, during which time they changed
the name of the Caucus to the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, attempting
to be more inclusive of members of the community. González has
a long history of political activism and advocacy for the LGBTQ community.
It begins with being a positive role model for others. "Texas can
be a tough state for the LGBT community," González said.
"We still have a long way to go. I get students who come from all
parts of Texas and say, 'You are the first positive role model of an
out person I've ever met.'"
She has worked on political campaigns, including Annise Parker's campaign
for mayor. She was involved from the beginning in 2009 with the Texas
Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit and serves as the director of Finance.
She was selected by Mayor Sylvester Turner to serve on the LGBT Advisory
Board in 2016, a board that acts as an intermediary between the mayor's
office and the LGBT community. González is an authority on Mexican-American
literature, Chicana writers, and feminist and queer theory, and is the
author of Contemporary Mexican American Women Novelists: Toward a
Feminist Identity. She is the co-editor of Voices Breaking Boundaries'
three-volume series collection of transnational art and essays, Borderlines.
As past president of the National Women's Studies Association and a
board member of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies,
she has served on the editorial boards of the NWSA Journal, The Journal
of Lesbian Studies, and Chicana/Latina Studies Journal. She
is one of the founders of the GLBT Studies Minor and the LGBT Resource
Center at the University of Houston and a longtime member of the Faculty
Senate. González is a political activist and has been president,
vice-president, and screening chair of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus
as well as being a member of the board. She was honored as female Grand
Marshal at the 2007 Houston Pride Festivities; the theme was "Lone