Presented By

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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Strengthening of the Gay Community Sunday, June 15, at 2:59pm at their home in Oak Lawn

Jack Evans and George Harris

Jack Evans is tall and thin, with the energy level of a man half his age. George Harris has a Mississippi accent and quiet demeanor that complements his partner of 53 years. 

“You’re getting off track,” Harris says warmly, sitting outside the Library Bar.

“Yeah, getting off track,” Evans responds. “Uh, where were we? Which way were we going?”

Evans pauses, trying to remember where he left off, an understandable hiccup in relaying the narrative of their lives. Evans was fired from Neiman Marcus in Houston for being gay, and Harris was thrown out of the CIA in Northern Virginia. “I came to Dallas in ’56,” Harris says, “and it was locked down tight. There wasn’t any gay movement that I knew about.”  

Five years later, in 1961, Evans and Harris met by coincidence at a bar and then again a few days later, at a mutual friend’s going-away party. As a couple, they became a force, working side by side in their real estate business for 38 years, founding what would become the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and starting The Dallas Way, a project aimed at presenting the history of the GLBT community in Dallas. They were married (finally) in March. 

“Of course, this was symbolic,” Evans says. “It’s not legal in the state of Texas yet.”

Over five decades, Evans and Harris, who are both in their 80s, have seen marked changes in Dallas’ gay community. They saw people get arrested in the ’60s at house parties. They saw people circle the block in the ’70s before entering Metropolitan Community Church for fear of getting arrested. They saw more than 100 friends die of complications from AIDS in the ’80s. 

“That issue alone brought us together,” Harris says. 

“It organized us,” Evans says. 

So they started their projects—the chamber, the oral histories, the fundraising.

“Our real focus has been our legacy for the community, that our whole lives have been trying to improve, to encourage the young people to make a difference,” Harris says. “They think they can walk down Cedar Springs holding hands, and it’s just automatically come to that, but there was a lot of struggle to get there.”

“Well, our next project,” Evans says, “which we, uh—”

“I hope we don’t start another project,” Harris cuts in. 

Perhaps they’ve done enough.

  • LisaMoon KevinMorrow

    George Harris was a regular customer of mine at the Wyatt’s Cafeteria at Lomo Alto and Lemmon.I think his office was across the street..Very nice man. Always had a kind word to say to people..Kev

  • Beth

    George Harris is my uncle. He and Jack Evans are incredible people. They are wonderfully kind, generous, open, and loving. My brother and I are crazy about them and always have been. They are so brave for what they have done for the gay community in Dallas. They deserve all the respect and consideration that can be given them!