January Happy Hour
Date(s) - Thu, Jan 7, 2016
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Santa Rita Cantina
The National Council of Jewish Women Austin Section January Happy Hour is Thursday, January 7th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, at Santa Rita Cantina- 1206 West 38th Street. We will provide appetizers for the group, and a $5 donation is recommended for attendance. RSVP required by January 4th to firstname.lastname@example.org. After networking time, we will hear from guest speaker James Mercer who will tell his story and explain the Lonestar Social Services.
Set in Central Texas between 1982 and the present, James Mercer endured decades of victimization, relentless bullying, torture, sexual molestation, and near death at the hands of his father, his uncle, and many of his peers, all because he was gay. After surviving a copycat near-death experience in 1998 after the June dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas, and the September death of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming just three months later, James was barred from his parents’ house and subsequently dropped out of school in his junior year of high school.
Driven by the need to be loved and accepted just the way God made him, he got into drugs, alcohol, and dangerous partying. After the second of two unsuccessful suicide attempts, he woke up one morning after having had his stomach pumped, realized he was becoming just like his abusive alcoholic father, and decided to take his GED. With the help of a renewed and evolving spiritual awakening in the Jewish faith, aided by the loving counsel of venerated mentors and a beloved rabbi, his life changed forever.
James Mercer, lives near Austin, Texas, with his life partner of 12 years and their three daughters. He is the owner of Lonestar Social Services, and is a fierce and unabashed advocate for abused, abandoned, mentally challenged, chemically addicted, gay, and foster-to-adopt children.