A popular gay Houston leather enthusiast, title-holder and businessman died on Tuesday after suffering an apparent heart attack.
Gene Landry – president of the Houston Bears, Mr. Houston Eagle 2014 and Daddy of Montrose 2014 – died sometime Tuesday, according to social media posts.
Landry was also managing partner at Pedal Party, which provides party bikes that up to 16 people can ride and pedal while they cocktail. The company gained national exposure in 2013 when it was included in a USA Today article exploring the pedal pubs.
The Houston Bears said late Tuesday that plans for a public memorial celebration are in the works. Landry (photo right) is survived by Dustin Fasanella (photo left), his partner of two years.
Friends from across the country reacted to Landry's death on social media.
Michael Edwards, a fraternity brother of Landry's, said he met him in college and quickly became familiar with the “loud, snarky fabulous force.”
I met Gene Landry in college when he was fresh out of High School. He played trumpet. I was not great at Tuba. Gene quickly went from a new Cougar Band kitten to a loud, snarky fabulous force in the band.
He was artistic, creating winter guards that our band director didn't want to support but succeeded anyway, writing on the Cougar Band Aid, Creating the Fairies at the Texas Renaissance Festival, to making small movies after he moved to Minneapolis and creating the Pedal Party company when he came back to Houston.
He stayed active with the community, joining Kappa Kappa Psi, the band service fraternity and being a force in Houston's LGBT community leading both the Houston Bears and working with the charitable agent system becoming Daddy of Montrose.
He couldn't hold back his spirit and led the way for others, like myself to come out. He was loving, but could also cut you down quickly with the the most withering of looks or the strongest barb you could think of.
We lost someone today who was giving, loving and a great friend. As we moved on with our lives I only saw him occasionally at bear events, mostly, but the moment we saw each other it was like falling back in with the inside jokes, the laughs and the love. I'm going to miss that the most.
Go Coogs. AEA brother.
Another friend, Jonathan Smith, said Landry helped provide him and his partner with purpose.
Thank you Gene Landry, your influence gave me and my partner far more purpose than can ever be described. You are, and always will be a pillar of our inspiration, my partner first will always be your boy of Montrose, and me a happy addition by default. Thank you for enriching our lives, let us continue that fantastic love and loving care you always offered to everyone. we hope to always make you proud.
Josh Eagle, the general manage at Eagle Houston, called Landry “genuine, kind-hearted and fun.”
Today we lost one of the most genuine, kind-hearted, fun, and best person I have had the honor of knowing. Gene Landry was all of those things and then some. He was my friend, he was family to all of us at Eagle, he was also someone I learned so much from and could call any hour of the night if I needed help. I'm absolutely floored by his passing. I am thankful I got to see you a few days ago and hug you good bye one last time. I miss you very much brother.
The bar also paid tribute to Landry.
It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to our friend, colleague, mentor and family member Gene Landry (pictured right). Words alone are not able to accurately describe Gene. As the current president of The Houston Bears and a Mr. Texas Eagle titleholder, Gene was known for his tireless efforts in our community and his entrepreneurial spirit in his work life. Year after year, Gene has been the voice of reason for so many, including us, and has served to guide the community through the best and worst of times. He has served as an inspiration and will always be remembered. God bless you Gene and those of your family you have left behind. It was an honor to have you in our life – even for a brief moment.
Fellow bears in Dallas also mourned for Landry. Dallas Bears President Gauge Xavier called him a mentor.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire membership of the Dallas Bears, I would like to express my most sincere condolences to the family of Gene Landry. I knew Gene not only a president of the Houston Bears but also as a friend. Gene, thank you for being there as my colleague, my mentor and most of all as my Bear Brother. Rest in Light and Love.
Last week, popular gay Atlanta leather daddy, title-holder, and leather and BDSM event organizer Alan Penrod died.