In honor of Pride Month, we are featuring three local AIA LGBTQIA+ Alliances in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Learn more about each alliance’s history, goals, and advice for others in the profession looking to strengthen their allyship or get involved!

group of people in bright clothing on a bike tour in front of Watson Chateau, wooden fence driveway
AIA Austin’s LGBTQIA+ Alliance held their First Annual Queer Austin Bike Tour in December 2023.

AIA Austin LGBTQIA+ Alliance
Est. 2020

Advocate for the preservation of queer space, connect with our LGBTQIA+ architecture community, and educate our professional network on the importance of sensitivity to marginalized communities.

Annual Events
Pride Happy Hour, End of Year Mixer, and Drag Story Hour

Recent & Upcoming Events
Queer Austin Bike Tour, a lecture on the Watson Chateau, panels at local AIA and TxA conferences, and a LGBTQIA+ symposium at the AIA Conference on Architecture. We’re excited about our latest series of events titled QTOPIA, where we’ll deconstruct and understand queer space through collage, zines, and a design competition.

Featured Accomplishment
In 2023 we held our First Annual Queer Austin Bike Tour, which highlighted a mixture of historic and current queer spaces, and spaces designed by queer architects. Its success was honored by the City of Austin’s Equity Based Preservation Plan, which had us present the Bike Tour at the Plan’s launch event. The Bike Tour exemplified one of the Plan’s core goals: proactively identifying important places.

people sitting in wooden folding chairs on an outdoor patio, listening to a speaker at the front of the group
In April 2023, AIA Austin’s LGBTQIA+ Alliance held a lecture by Marta Stefaniuk on the Watson Chateau, an 1850s home owned by local queer interior designer Arthur P. Watson Jr. and his husband Bob Garrett.

people in rainbow colored construction hats, holding rainbow/pride colored fans and smiling
AIA Dallas’ LGBTQIA+ Alliance members celebrate the first Set The Stage Design Competition and finale drag show in 2023.

AIA Dallas LGBTQIA+ Alliance
Est. 2022

Mission & Vision Statements
Mission Statement: To provide a safe, positive, and educational environment to elevate LGBTQIA+ voices in the AEC industry. 

Vision Statement: To serve and support our local communities while fostering stronger relationships and networks among professionals in the field of architecture and design. 

Recurring Events
Trivia Night, Game Night, Gay Bingo volunteering, and Cross Pollination Happy Hour

Special Events
Panel featuring authors from Out In Architecture, Drag Brunch, Halloween Bash, PrideXDesign panel, and much more. We also have one signature event that we have done yearly since last year, which is the Set The Stage Design Competition. Additionally, this year we hosted a series of events branded The Kaleidoscope Series that featured three panels and a design exhibit highlighting queer architects and designers in history. 

Featured Accomplishments
In 2022, we were able to host a panel with Sarah Woynicz at PrideXDesign, which kicked off a series of events where the Alliances around the country started to come together and collaborate/communicate more about the events and impacts we have been doing. It’s still an ongoing process as many new Alliances are beginning to take shape, but now we are able to pull them into a semi-organized network of other Alliance leaders to help guide them. 

Another accomplishment has been the national participation in our Set The Stage Design Competition.  Both years that we have hosted the competition, we have had participants from New York, Georgia, Colorado, and other places outside of Texas, which was our hope. The competition is virtual (with a finale performance in Dallas) so it has been great to see teams branch out and bring in perspectives from all over. 

people viewing a rainbow colored exhibit on the wall featuring queer architects
This month, AD EX (Architecture and Design Exchange) in Dallas hosted “Kaleidoscope: The Prism of Queer Architecture,” highlighting the stories and work of queer architects and designers of past and present.

four people in front of an AIA24 sign on stage
Hoa Phung, Assoc. AIA (AIA Chicago); Kiza Forgie, AIA, NOMA (AIA Houston); Sasha Buchert; and Larry Paschall, AIA (AIA Dallas) speaking on “The Collision of Firm Practice + Queer Advocacy” at AIA24 in Washington, D.C.

AIA Houston LGBTQIA+ Alliance
Est. 2023

The Houston LGBTQIA+ Alliance will be engaging in the political scene and breaking down barriers where we can. We will have a strong presence at the TxA Annual Conference & Design Expo, including a shared booth with AIA Dallas, Austin, and Houston members present — we hope to see you there!

Featured Accomplishments
Our committee has been working on educating others on the importance of LGBTQIA+ Advocacy and our need for Safe Spaces. Being only one year in, we are building a network of ideas within our membership and creating a place for members to bring their own ideas to the table, knowing they’ll have the support of the committee behind it.

This month, we highlighted our members on AIA-Houston’s Social Media, answering the question “What does Pride mean to me?” We are also planning a book tour of Out in Architecture at our local universities, giving queer students the opportunity to see themselves in the profession. Additionally, wur membership had the joy of speaking at the AIA Conference on Architecture & Design this year.

two people smiling and hugging in front of a sign in table
Members at a recent AIA Houston LGBTQIA+ Alliance Happy Hour.

Q&A with the Alliances

smiling group on top of a rooftop in downtown austin
AIA Austin LGBTQIA+ Alliance’s End of Year Mixer. Last year’s event hosted an annual gathering of queer designers and allies at Neon Grotto featuring drag queens Ritzy Bitz and Celia Light.

What has been one of the benefits of having the alliance in your local chapter?

AIA Austin LGBTQIA+ Alliance: Building a community in Austin has been the most rewarding part of the Alliance, but increasing visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community within the profession has been a helpful step to increasing support from leadership.

AIA Dallas LGBTQIA+ Allaince: One major benefit has been contributing to the “daisy-chain” of Alliances across Texas. Houston, Austin, and Dallas are able to cover the 3 of the top 4 most populated cities in Texas, with San Antonio’s Alliance not far from officially forming. One goal we think all the Alliances hope to have is more engagement with the smaller cities that are conglomerated with the larger chapters so that we can be inclusive to those folks as well. 

people sitting in a bright, rainbow-covered bar listening to panelists
AIA Dallas’ LGBTQIA+ Alliance hosted its June “Architecture on Tap” event with Texas authors to speak about the Out In Architecture book. They shared their stories and inspired others on why visibility is so important in our built environment. 

What are some ways the profession can be more inclusive of its LGBTQIA+ members?

AIA Austin: Listening and taking action are crucial parts of inclusivity and allyship. The more one listens the more one understands and feels sympathy, but it’s important to not sit idle.

AIA Dallas: We think the profession can be more inclusive by taking the time to learn and participate in the events that we are creating. Financial support goes a long way, but it is not the pinnacle of being inclusive. Physically showing up and/or making space for events, socials, etc. to flourish is truly how the larger AEC industry can be more connected and understanding of its LGBTQIA+ members. 

AIA Houston: By asking difficult questions and having the patience to listen and humility to realize when our early assumptions are wrong. By shaping the safe spaces the community needs.

people sitting at tables facing a speaker listening to a presentation
In February 2023, AIA Dallas’ LGBTQIA+ Alliance hosted Sarah Woynicz from PrideXDesign to moderate a hybrid panel with Alliance leaders from AIA Dallas, AIA Austin, AIA Chicago, and AIA New York to talk about the importance of connecting queer voices and EDI initiatives.

What is your advice to other chapters looking to start an alliance?

AIA Dallas: Our best piece of advice is to reach out to anyone you may know in an existing Alliance and ask to get connected with the Alliance leaders in Dallas, Austin, and/or Houston. Historically, a group of us from within and outside Texas will get together with the interested party and have an informal meeting talking about how we got started, some good dos and don’ts, etc. This has been really helpful in introducing them to the existing network of Alliance leadership and when ready, into the Quarterly Roundtable with every Alliance in the U.S. Even if you aren’t sure if your chapter is ready for an Alliance, we still encourage you to reach out—we are always here to support anyone who wants to try!

AIA Houston: All it takes is one person ready to spearhead a committee — be that person. You’ll quickly find the support is there and the interest is not yours alone.

Visit the Alliances’ websites to learn more and get invovled! AIA Austin LGBTQIA+ Alliance | AIA Dallas LGBTQIA+ Alliance | AIA Houston LGBTQIA+ Alliance


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Can you please just focus on Architecture? When are you going to do an article on Christian Architects? Chinese Architects? Muslem Architects?


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