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Op-Ed on Commissioner Tom Ramsey’s Derogatory Remarks

Op-Ed on Commissioner Tom Ramsey’s Derogatory Remarks 

By Tammi Wallace (she/her)
Co-Founder, President & CEO
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce 

Grooming – it’s a word that is used in so many contexts in our vernacular. But sometimes, a single word becomes an attack, a rallying cry for hate and it ostracizes and demonizes a community. 

Recently, Commissioner Tom Ramsey attacked the LGBTQ+ community with a lie, through his untruthful and baseless comments during a Commissioners Court meeting. It was an attack, a rallying cry for hate and intentionally demonizes the LGBTQ+ community. 

What were his exact words as recorded? “I think there are some unresolved issues related to this community,” said Commissioner Ramsey. “They deal with the grooming of children.” 

Where the “unresolved issues” lie is with Commissioner Ramsey and the need to be held accountable for spreading a false and malicious narrative, with no factual basis. 

Through his statements, Commissioner Ramsey is using fear to dehumanize a community that is already at high risk of violence because of the current political climate in our country. Misinformation and intentional mischaracterization of the LGBTQ+ community from leaders such as Commissioner Ramsey, far-right and extremist voices, and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and rhetoric only encourages hatred, harassment and violence that is pervasive and unrelenting, against the community. Commissioner Ramsey’s comments should be unacceptable in Harris County. 

From a business perspective, this kind of rhetoric, does not help Harris County attract diverse talent or companies to live and invest in our region and it impacts our economy and all residents of Harris County. 

Let’s talk about truth and facts. Historically, ‘grooming’ has occurred in high profile institutions and organizations not affiliated with the LGBTQ+ community. Some of which Commissioner Ramsey has supported or engaged with over the years. 

Here is what is happening with children and the LGBTQ+ community…they are being raised in loving LGBTQ+ families where they feel secure and are thriving. 

LGBTQ+ homeless youth are being helped by organizations like The Montrose Center and Tony’s Place. It’s estimated that 40% of LGBTQ+ youth have been kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Kicking kids out of their homes to the streets and making them feel unloved and unworthy is what is harmful. Where is Commissioner Ramsey in terms of advocating for these kids who deserve love, support, and security? I haven’t found a supportive statement from him about these kids who are being harmed and discarded as if their lives do not matter. 

LGBTQ+ youth are given scholarships through Out For Education (OFE) to support their path to and through college and the organization has been dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ youth since 1999. In fact, Out For Education is one of the most successful LGBTQ+ scholarship-granting foundations in the United States. 

The LGBTQ+ community comes together throughout the year to raise needed funds to support these and other organizations to help children and young people in the LGBTQ+ community. Supporting children, supporting youth, and supporting community…this is impact, this is truth, and this is what we should be talking about in terms of supporting kids. 

Harris County should be no place for misinformation, lies or hate, and, especially from the dais of Commissioners Court. The LGBTQ+ community and residents of Harris County deserve much better than an elected official spewing concocted ‘talking points’ that attack and hurt a community and our county. 

Tammi Wallace 

Tammi (she|her) is a Co-Founder and the President & CEO of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Through her work, she is dedicated to promoting economic inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community. Tammi has been a driving force in the Chamber's growth since the launch of the organization in 2016. She has been active in the LGBTQ+ community for over two decades, working at local, state, and national levels. 

About the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce 

The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce accelerates economic opportunity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer + (LGBTQ+) business community through a strong network of business allies, innovative programs, strategic partnerships and advance policies that foster economic inclusion and equality. Learn more at

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