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LINDA MORALES

ACTIVIST SPRIIT

"I have done lots of activism, all based on who I am. I am Latina, I am Lesbian and I am a woman, these encompassed my activism. In those three areas there is lots of discrimination: discrimination against women, against Hispanics, and against Lesbians and Gays. "

"Political activism must be a state of mind all the time when one lives in a world of discrimination. The day racism, sexism and homophobia end, my work will be completed."

Born in Uvalde Texas, Linda Morales moved to Houston in 1978 after graduating from the University of Texas. She went to work at UT Health Science Center as a television specialist on the marketing team for the Texas Health Report with Dr. "Red" Duke. Once settled Morales began exploring her life through the lenses of the Woman's Movement and the Gay and Lesbian community. Though she found community and empowerment there was a missing key, her Hispanic heritage. She set her focus on the Hispanic community, founding and leading various organizations that asserted common human dignity and the value of all communities.

These included Gay and Lesbian Hispanics Unidos (GLHU,) an educational and social organization, which formed Amigos Voluntarios en Educacion de Salud (AVES,) an HIV AIDS committee that became one of the primary AIDS education organizations in Houston, and Amiga de Houston a statewide Latina network determined to raise consciousness about self-esteem/self-image, relationships, and sexism. Under her leadership, Houston was home to the first Texas Lesbian Conference.

Along with other activists Morales, founded Latino Lesbian Gay Organization (LLEGO) to focus on addressing health, immigration, and political issues. She was president of Mexican-American Democrats, which worked to screen and endorse candidates and get out the Latino vote. Morales was fearless and uncompromising when it came to human dignity and respect even when it put her at odds with her own communities.

Morales also served on the boards of the AIDS Equity League, helped organize several Texas Lesbian Conferences, and was an Advisory Council member of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Program. In 2017 Morales was appointed to Harris Health System's Board of Trustees by Harris County Commissioner Court. |

Morales' professional stints include serving as a Legislative Aide in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives and her work with Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, where she focused on building union capacity and political power to improve worker's lives.

On April 12, 1989 the Texas Human Rights Foundation challenged Texas' homosexual conduct law, Texas Penal Code 21.06 Linda Morales agreed to be the lead plaintiff. Though the law was not overturned, this action paved the way for many successful legal challenges to come, including the landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas in 2003.

          

Read the issue of the Montrose Voice
with the cover story on Linda Morales