Hey Chris, the first two statements after the title question seemed derogatory and harsh. I WAS going to jump on the bandwagon and give you what for! First I clicked your name to read some of your other questions (on a quest to find out if you were some sort of troll or something). I now realize that you are sincerely looking for a place to move to, and knew very little about Houston and Texas in general. First off, if you were to drive west of the San Antonio and Austin areas which can be rather hilly, you would find prairie land, not desert. Desert would start from around Ozona to El Paso, which borders Mexico and New Mexico. East of San Antonio and Austin have more trees grass etc. Southeast Texas, including Houston, you will find lots of trees and green grass lawns and such. And in East Texas, you would find very thick trees and brush in the "Piney Woods" and the "Big Thicket". Texas is an extremely large state with a little of something for everyone.
Native and adopted Texans are very proud and sometimes very quick to defend the honor of our "Lone Star State". That being said I apologize for my fellow statesmen who may have taken offense to your words and let loose on you. But I promise this, Texans on the most part are just as quick to defend their friends.
If you are looking for an area of Houston, that is liberal minded, gay-friendly, lots of second hand stores, etc. the Montrose area is the place for you. I had a gay brother who lived in this area and was very happy there. Last fall Houston became the first major U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor, Annise Parker. There are many job/career possibilities in Houston, many museums, a zoo, sports, night clubs, restaurants, and shopping. Public transportation can be iffy though. Continuing educational possibilities are numerous.
You said in another question "Texas is a conservative state", true, but the big cities Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio have large sections of liberal people. STAY AWAY FROM THE SMALL EAST TEXAS CITIES AND TOWNS!! Such as Beaumont, Lufkin, Tyler, and smaller. They are mostly conservative thinking even if they vote Democratic, mostly religious, and not very gay-tolerant. Besides the major airports are in Houston and Dallas.
If you want to know about the Dallas area e-mail me and I will tell you about that area as well. My 26 year old daughter lived there for 5 years and I know a lot about it.
BTW, if you happen to check out some of my answers under my name, you may realize that I myself am conservative and religious. I am however very tolerant and defensive of others rights to practice their own beliefs as long as it doesn't infringe upon anothers.