Nearly a dozen residents in the city of Pharr, Texas, have petitioned to change the name of “Gay Drive.”
Resident Maria Villarreal and her husband, Mel, have lived on the quiet street for more than 40 years.
“We’re happy here. That’s why we’ve never moved,” she tells Valley Central News.
But there’s one thing that has always bothered them: Their street’s name.
“The word ‘gay’ used to be a word that the meaning was being jolly, being happy,” Mel lamented. “Now they’ve added another meaning to it and they define themselves as gay people.”
He continued, “I don’t have anything against gay people, it’s just that it has that meaning.”
Now, four decades after moving onto the block, she and her husband have launched a petition to change the street’s name to “Los Unicos Street” after a band Mr. Villarreal used to play in way back when.
Eleven other residents of Gay Drive signed the petition, but it was ultimately struck down in a 6-1 vote by the Pharr City Commission, who said altering in the street’s name could affect emergency services.
Beatriz Gonzalez, who originally signed the Villarreal’s petition said that, on second thought, she’s glad City commissioners voted against the change.
“Everybody might have to change all their paperwork, you know, all their documents,” she said.
But the Villarreals say they aren’t giving up yet. They plan to continue pursuing the name change.
Their latest suggestion is to find a way to combine the words “Gay” and “Los Unicos.”