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POKEY ANDERSON

It is a bit difficult to sum up the activism of Pokey Anderson, mainly because starting in the mid-1970s it went in so many directions and touched so many areas.

Anderson's involvement began with feminism while in college and evolved after moving to Houston in1972. She attended the National Women's Political Caucus at the Rice Hotel in 1973. She learned about the Montrose Gaze Community Center at a workshop devoted to sexual orientation. The Houston Gay and Lesbian community was small and the Gaze and the lesbian club Roaring Sixties gave her the opportunity to meet others and get involved.

She heard that a San Francisco group was trying to use the strategy of block voting to elect gay-friendly candidates, so in June of 1975 she invited Keith McGee, Bill Buie and Hugh Crell to form the Gay Political Caucus. Its purpose was to endorse political candidates and help channel activism efforts.
With her Caucus photo in the Houston Chronicle, she was definitely out of the closet. Anderson was perhaps the first openly lesbian activist known publically in Houston because of her speaking engagements, radio appearances and visibility in a number of groups,.

Pokey Anderson was a member of the first delegation of LGBT Americans to be invited to the White House on March 26, 1977. The delegation met with one of President Carter's top aides, Midge Costanza.

Anderson was a staff member of the lesbian/feminist publication Pointblank Times, begun in 1975. In 1979 KPFT's Breakthrough radio show was focusing on lesbian/feminist listeners. She and co-host Cherry Wolf took over the show around 1981 and remained on the air for eleven years.

She was a part of Hazelwitch Productions, which was formed in the mid-1980s to produce cultural events entertaining and empowering the lesbian/feminist community. And, in 1984 she was honored as Female Grand Marshal at the Houston Pride Parade.

Another important step was in 1988 when she and Annise Parker opened Inklings Bookshop, on Richmond Avenue. It was more than a gay and lesbian literature and music resource for lesbians; it provided a visible mecca and networking opportunities at a time that Houston lacked a community center; and it was open just over nine years.

Anderson's contributions to LGBT history have a common element, they were designed to bring together the community and provide opportunities for activism, for that Houston is much richer.