By Johnny Trlica

It was the greatest game in the history of football. The Houston Texans defeated the Dallas Cowboys 52-7 in front of a record NRG Stadium crowd of 1.5 million in Super Bowl LI. It was the first time a host city got to see their home team play in the NFL’s biggest game.

Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler threw for 569 yards and 7 touchdowns while the defense limited the Cowboys’ rookie sensation Dak Prescott to just 15 yards.

Lady Gaga’s halftime show was spectacular, highlighted by a surprise appearance of Houston’s own performing legends Tanya Hyde and Lana Blake.

Among those in attendance was President Hillary Clinton, Texas Governor Wendy Williams and former president Ronald Reagan.

Hey, if our current administration can get away with presenting “ alternative facts,” can’t we all? But seriously, does its best to provide the real facts and stories important to our community. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been reading at HRH.

Ivanka to the rescue?

Could it be that we really do have a friend in the White House? Just days before Nordstrom pulled her shoes and clothing from its stores, Ivanka Trump and her spouse, Jared Kushner, pushed back against a much-feared rollback of federal protections for LGBT people, reports

Candidate Donald Trump had promised to reverse all of President Barack Obama’s executive orders, including the one signed in 2014, that protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors. stated: “ Two sources told Politico that Ivanka Trump and Kushner—a Modern Orthodox Jewish couple known to socialize with progressives and LGBT people—scuttled the order and pushed for the White House to make a statement underlining the president’s support of LGBT equality.”

“ President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community,” read the White House statement, released on January 31. “ President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”

Texas mayor comes out as transgender

If politics changes people, this may have voters in a small Texas town wondering who they elected. Eight months after taking office, the mayor of New Hope, a small town in Texas, has come out as transgender, reports

“ As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am transgender,” Mayor Jess Herbst wrote in an open letter on the town’s website.”

“ It is gender identity not sexual preference that applies to me. I love my wife, and she loves me, we have no intention of change. My daughters have been adamant supporters of me and are proud to tell people their father is transgender.”

“ I live my life as a female now, and I will be performing my duties to the town as such,” Herbst wrote.

New Hope, which has 640 registered voters, is located in one of the state’s most conservative suburban regions, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas.

First Hamburger Mary’s, now In-N-Out

If Montrose got just a little excited to hear that Hamburger Mary’s is opening a restaurant there soon, the entire city is doing flips to learn that In-N-Out is heading our way. The Irvine, California-based burger chain with a cult following, will soon close on land in Houston, reports

“ This time, they’re doing it,” CBRE Group’s Jazz Hamilton said. “ You’ll see them closing (on sites) quietly, and then all of the sudden, they’ll start building all at once.”

Thomas Burnham dies unexpectedly

Longtime Montrose resident Thomas Burnham passed away on Friday, January 27. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death, reports

Burnham, 60, was found in his Montrose apartment unresponsive by his former wife. She went to his apartment after receiving calls from his friends, concerned that their calls and text messages were not being answered or returned.

Burnham was well known in the Houston LGBTQ community, having worked in property management at several Montrose apartment communities and was employed part time at the 611 Hyde Park Club for several years before it closed and was later reincarnated as Eagle Houston.

Burnham is survived by his daughter Melissa and many friends. A memorial service is being planned at a time to be announced later.

Montrose Center wins big at Super Bowl

There was more than one winner at Super Bowl LI. The Montrose Center Hatch Youth Program was selected as a beneficiary of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation because of its work on ending LGBTQ youth homelessness.

The Montrose Center also won a grant from Touchdown Houston, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s charitable program, designed to provide a positive impact on the Houston community long after Super Bowl LI has been played. The amount of the grant will be announced at a later date.

For the latest LGBTQ news and current events in 2017, click on Johnny Trlica is the editor of the Houston Rainbow