Houston Matters

Travel Guides Still Help LGBT Navigate, For Now

For decades, Bob Damron’s Address Book has provided listings of LGBT-friendly establishments across the nation. But times have gotten tough for the publication.

Damron Guides
Covers from past editions of Bob Damron’s Address Book, a guidebook of LGBT-friendly establishments.

Damron Guide 1987Back in September, we told you about The Green Book Project. Led by two Houstonians, the project explores the impact and legacy of The Negro Motorist Green Book, which served as travel guides listing African-American friendly businesses.

More recently, we came across Bob Damron’s Address Book. Created by businessman Bob Damron in the mid-1960’s, the book was a list of gay bars and LGBT-friendly establishments. Eventually, the Damron Company published four regular titles, including the Damron City Guide and Damron Accommodations.

The guides are still published, which Gina Gatta has led since the early 90s. But times are changing. Gatta says she’s had to lay off staff in recent years, and publishing is slowing. 

In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Maggie Martin talks with Gatta about how these LGBT guides came to be and how Houston stands up against other major metro areas in terms of LGBT friendliness.

Damron Guide Houston Pages
A listing of LGBT-friendly establishments in Houston from Bob Damron’s Address Book.

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Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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