News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oak Lawn, The Heart Of Dallas' LGBTQ Community, Earns State Historical Marker

Dallas will make history Wednesday as the first Texas city to get state recognition for its LGBTQ neighborhood.

Tonight at 7, the Texas Historical Commission will unveil a historical marker in front of JR’s Bar & Grill in Oak Lawn — the heart of the gay and lesbian community in Dallas.

The Dallas Way, a group that works on preserving the city’s LGBTQ history, requested the designation. President Evilu Pridgeon says the location of marker, at the corner of Throckmorton Street and Cedar Springs Road, is significant. It was once a meeting place, known as The Crossroads.

“The Crossroads is the social, cultural, political heart of the LGBTQ community and we want to celebrate that,” she said.

A store called Crossroads Market used to sit on that corner; it was like an indoor flea market with various vendors.

Pridgeon says many people don’t realize the important role the LGBTQ community has played in Dallas’ history. The marker will try to rectify that.

“The marker actually starts out talking about that Dallas is not known for being politically progressive or especially welcoming to diverse communities,” she said.

“And yet it has become one of the few places that actually is welcoming and has a neighborhood for gays, lesbians, transgender, bisexual and queer."

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.