^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ! ^B P ^^ HOUSTON VOICE
Local Life =-
When June rolls around, it's all about Pat
The central figure in the logo of
Pride Houston is described as
definitely omnipresent and
omni-sexual and so 'Pat'
By BINNIE FISHER
Ask anyone who's associated with Pride
Houston to talk about Pat, and they suddenly
become animated as they gush with glowing adjectives that paint a radiant portrait of the city's most
visible symbol of Pride.
A single human could scarcely possess all the luminous qualities attributed to Pat, but the androgynous
figure that is the centerpiece for the city's Pride logo
handles the compliments in stride.
"It's all about Pat right now," says Pride Parade
Chair Lynn Sixkiller "Pat loves the limelight."
The figure that is neither distinctly male nor female
reaches to the stars with one hand, symbolizing
Houston's nighttime Pride
Parade, and to squiggly
lines with the other hand
that represent the Texas
heat in late June.
In the middle of Pat's
chest beats a big. red heart.
"I see Pat as just a fun-loving gal," says Yvonne Feece,
who with her partner, Rebecca
Mahaffey, and a committee of
volunteers created the 2005 Pride
logo incorporating two figures of
Pat. "Everyone loves Pat."
Although Pat is definitely androgynous, most of those who know her say
that the pronoun, "her," is the one to use.
Among gays and lesbians, "her" and "she" are
used to describe just about everyone.
The figure that has come to symbolize Pride
Houston was created in 1997 by Leana Columenares to
capture that year's theme of "Glowing with Pride." It
was the first year of Houston's now famous nighttime
Columenares said at the time that she created the figure in memory of her father, Bill Whiting, who died of
AIDS in 1996.
"Pride is a strong emotion that each of us can find
within our hearts, and I wanted to emphasize this in the
•f) MORE INFO
Yoakum and Westheimer
Westheimer between Woodhead and Whitney
logo," she said.
Joel Lutringer later incorporated the figure into
what has become the official corporate logo of Pride
Houston. The figure stands in a circle reaching toward
the night sky and the Texas heat.
As for the name Pat, that's strictly unofficial. For the
first few years of the figure's existence, it was referred
to as, "Pride person."
Pride committee members wanted to personalize
Occupation: Symbol of Pride Houston
Relationship status: Free to be
Kids: Adoption is an option
Pets: Maybe next year
iNuuouy nau ever mou£.
before," says Sixkiller. "It was perfect."
approval was unanimous.
"Nobody had ever thought about naming her
.ore," says Sixkil,rt
So, Pat it was.
their mascot, so the call went out among them for a
name. Committee member and Houston Voice Sales
Manager Jason Wilson uttered the name that stuck,
When he began searching for a name, he says, he
thought of the androgynous character created on
"Saturday Night Live" and later in a movie by actress
The jingle that accompanied Pat went like:
A lot of people say. "What's that?" It's Pat!
A lot of people ask, "Who's he? Or she?"
A ma 'am or a sir, accept him or her
or whatever it might be.
It's time for androgyny.
Here comes Pat!
He said it in a Pride meeting, "Pat," and the
Montrose is home
Where Julia Sweeney's character moved to
L.A., took a bungalow
and lived among straight
people who are probably
still trying to pinpoint
Pat's sexuality, Pride
Executive Director Jack
Valinski says, Houston
doesn't have to worry
about that. Houston's Pat
calls Montrose home.
"Pat is just a person who
looks like either a he or a she
and is all about having a good
time," he says.
Pride Houston President Nick
Brines says now that Pat is in her
eighth year in Houston, she has effectively branded the city's Pride celebration.
"Whether she's standing 10 feet tall on a float
or on a one-inch-wide lapel pin, she's everywhere,"
he says. "Pat's omnipresent, omni-sexual, onini-every-
Whenever Houstonians see Pat, Brines says, "People
know it's an official Pride event."
Feece says when she and the committee were creating the logo that would highlight the 2005 Pride slogan,
"Equal rights! No more! No less!" Pat had to be there in
a big way.
The two Pats depicted on the logo are definitely celebrating.
"We put two together," she says, "it could be two
guys or two girls."
Sixkiller says the thing that makes Pat such a perfect representation of Pride is, "Pat's very diverse.
She's been in many colors. She just kind of covers it
Feece says Pat epitomizes what Pride is all about.
"She eats, sleeps and breathes Pride. She's all-inclusive.
She's always trying to outreach to other groups and to
Brines says in addition to Pat's big heart, he likes
the fact that, "Pat's crazy."