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In 1981, Marion E. Coleman, a local civic leader and business owner, opened a women's bar she called Kindred Spirits. Unlike other women's bars of the day, Kindred Spirits offered patrons a bright, clean, and safe environment in which they could gather and party with their friends. The club was a favorite watering hole for lesbians throughout the Houston and southeast Texas area, but Kindred Spirits was much more than a bar. For many women, it became a focal point in their lives.
Through Kindred Spirits,
women found acceptance, enjoyed quality entertainment, met friends and
lovers, played softball, participated in the Gay Pride Parade, and got
involved in community events. Kindred Spirits helped
For several years after the bar's closure in 1989, former patrons repeatedly requested that Marion open another bar, or at least hold a reunion. After much consideration, the Kindred Spirits Reunion was held in 2002, and proceeds were donated to local not-for-profit agencies serving women. The success of that event, and subsequent annual dances, gave birth to the idea of forming a charitable organization to help women in our community.
In 2009, with an
official 501(c)(3) designation, Kindred
Spirits Foundation, Inc., (KSF) was established to continue the
legacy of Kindred Spirits and to uphold its tradition of service to
the community. Over the last decade, the Kindred Spirits Reunion and
the Kindred Spirits Foundation have donated approximately $150,000 to
local charities that provide health and human services to women, and
indeed these efforts are dedicated to enhancing women's lives.
Footnote: Marion Coleman was elected Female Grand Marshal for the Pride Parade in 1982.
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