The Better Generation is a brand for everyone. Here we ensure that everyone is welcome, no matter creed, color, or orientation there will never be any discrimination. Sneakers are for everyone. So for this pride month we chose to highlight a few individuals that are holding it down for the city of Houston. These individuals were chosen based on their continuous contributions to the LGBTQ+ community and overall charity.
To set the tone we have Amarji King. Amarji is a young DJ here in Houston making waves in the underground scenes. Amarji loves to make people move and dance. The music they play is to spread love and create positive energy and is what they personally would move to. Some sounds you’d hear if you went to a set would be funk, house and disco.
We wanted to know more about the LGBTQ+ scene Amarji is a leader for so we asked more about what it means to them. The biggest thing we took away from our conversation is that they love creating safe spaces for those who want to have fun but still be safe. They want to promote an environment where you can truly be yourself. All you have to do to find it is go out and find like minded people. If there's nothing in your area the best thing you could do is “fill the space”. Be bold and brave, allow yourself to lead and help show how it's done.
On top of being an influence within the city Amarji gives back to the community. They supports local BLM organizations by donating the profits from his sets.
We hope to see Amarji continue to succeed and be a positive force for the community Houston has. We had one final question for them and we had to know what Amarji's current favorite shoes are. They let us know that the Jordan 1 Mid “Fearless Blue the Great” is his current favorite pair. They got them for retail and Blue the Great is a Dallas local so he had to cop!
The next individual we wanted to highlight is Sugar Joiko. She is a singer, songwriter and producer from New Orleans. She moved here back in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina. Ever since moving here she has worked on her music career. She originally got into music through production. She would use unique sounds and synths which later helped develop her pop-style.
Sugar has been in the LGBTQ+ community for a while and has a loving sneakerhead wife. Originally growing up in a religious family it was hard to figure out her truth. Life led her down a path that allowed her to blossom into the being she is today, through the work of music, support and generosity she was able to come out and show her true colors. Her loving family supports her and loves her for who she is.
Sugar is a leader in the community by providing concerts, organizations and groups that support the LGBTQ+ community. We wanted to know from sugar how to be an ally. She told us that the best way to support the community is by “leading by example”.
Finally we wanted to know Sugar's current favorite kicks. She told us that her current favorite shoes are leather boots. Even though this is not a sneaker we currently have available we know that there's more than just sneakers and think her choice is a solid pick.
Last but not least we wanted to highlight Travis Torrence. Travis is the grandson of sharecroppers from Mississippi and the great-great grandson of slaves who worked on plantations in Louisiana. He is a gay, Black man who graduated from Yale Law School and works in the energy industry in the South. He specifically highlighted that “It’s not lost that I’m invited into spaces that aren’t often seen by people who look like me and identify as I do.”
Travis is this year's grand Marshal for the Houston Pride Parade. Which is one of his biggest achievements. Getting there was not a quick process though. “Being Grand Marshal of the Houston LGBT Pride Celebration is the most humbling honor I have ever received. When I was in the closet, I constantly managed pronouns so people wouldn’t know I was dating a man. I avoided social gatherings so people wouldn’t find out my sexual orientation. And, I revised how I spent my weekends so that I could remain in the closet. All of this was exhausting and painful. So, this honor is a testament to how far I’ve come personally and how far we’ve come as a community.”
He has always been big on volunteerism and has served as the Chair of the World AIDS Day Luncheon. He was “committed to bringing awareness to the HIV epidemic in Houston and agreed to chair the luncheon, and it was a rousing success.” The biggest challenge for Travis has always been finding a way to help all of the organizations that are doing amazing work across our community. Travis is a huge influence when it comes to fundraising for the LGBTQ+ community and has continued supporting the community through countless organizations.
Lastly we wanted to know what Travis’s current favorite style and shoes are. He stated “I’m loving the matchy-matchy short sets that are hot right now. Favorite shoe is always a Gucci or Ferragamo loafer. But I love what Fear of God is doing these days.”