HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
JUNE 24, 2005 5
Grand Marshals are doers of good deeds
By DAWN R0RIE
Each year, gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender Houstonians come together to
choose Grand Marshals for the city's annual Pride Parade. Among the nominees are
individuals and organizations that have
made outstanding contributions.
From dressing up and going all out for
charity fundraising, to healing the emotional wounds of sexual minority teenagers and
the spiritual wounds of those turned away
from their churches, the 2005 Pride Parade
Grand Marshals have devoted their lives to
assisting those in need.
FEMALE GRAND MARSHAL
Deb Murphy of H.A.T.C.H.
For thirteen years, Deb Murphy has
been actively working with various gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups.
Her reason for getting involved is direct
and no nonsense. "You can bitch or you
can change it—you pick," she says.
Opting to be part of the change.
Murphy has volunteered with Gay and
Lesbian Switchboard Houston and the
Houston GLBT Community Center, where
she also served on the Board of Directors.
Murphy is currently the Youth Service
Worker with H.A.T.C.H., a project of the
Montrose Counseling Center. Through
H.A.T.C.H., Murphy works to "end the isolation" of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths, as well as those who are
questioning their sexuality and "help
them find their authentic selves."
Taking her message of acceptance
where it is most needed, Murphy has started a "H.A.T.C.H. in the Schools" program.
Murphy is also supervising the
Methamphetamine Addiction Prevention
Project (MAPP), a street outreach program seeking to educate young adults
about the dangers of methamphetamines.
Murphy says she is honored to be chosen as this year's Female Grand Marshal.
"I really didn't think 1 was going to be
elected, considering some of the other
people on the ballot," she says. "I was just
thrilled to be nominated."
MALE GRAND MARSHAL
Weldon Hickey of Miss Camp and
Krewe of Olympus
Weldon Hickey claims that he works
behind the scenes of most of the organizations with which he is involved, but anyone who saw him strutting his stuff as
Sally Jesse Helms Leiberman Gore (Miss
Hawaii) in the 2004 Miss Camp America
Show would argue otherwise.
He became involved with Miss Camp
America after he and his partner of twenty-eight years moved to Houston in 1991.
The foundation, which started out as a
spoof of the Miss America Pageant, is
now a major production which raises
Members of the Bayou City Boys Club posed for a photo after the group was named organizational Grand
Marshal for the 2005 Pride Parade.
money for a variety of non-profit organizations serving gay, lesbian, bisexual and
Hickey is a volunteer and former president of the Krewe of Olympus, a group
that presents Mardi Gras-themed theatrical events to raise money for community
organizations. To Hickey, the Krewe feels
more like a family than an organization.
"A lot of the younger ones there call
me 'Mom,' because I am the mother
hen," he says. Because of his partner's
love of cars, the two are involved with
the Classic Chassis Car Club, a predominantly gay and lesbian group of classic
"It was a very big honor to be nominated (as Grand Marshal) to start with. To
actually win the title—I was floored. I was
up against some very stiff competition."
HONORARY GRAND MARSHAL
Dennis and Evelyn Schave
For fifteen years, Dennis and Evelyn
Schave have been providing spiritual support
to gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender
persons. The Shaves' support of sexual
minorities has been steadfast even when they
faced rejection from their own friends and
"We feel that our heart is really with
(gays and lesbians)," says Evelyn.
As licensed counselors at Community
Gospel Life Counseling Center, the
Schaves have spent the past two years providing Christian counseling to individuals
and same-sex couples who may have been
turned away from other churches.
"Many gays are asked to leave churches
that they have been involved with for
years," explains Evelyn. "We just feel the
need to bring healing to them and let them
know that God loves them for who they are
and what they are."
The Shaves are pleased at having been
chosen as Honorary Grand Marshal for
this year's Pride Parade. "We just really
feel honored that they would choose us,"
ORGANIZATION GRAND MARSHAL
The Bayou City Boys Club
According to spokesperson Michael
Collins, the Bayou City Boys Club, which
puts on a variety of events to raise money
Twenty seven years
of Houston Pride
Past Grand Marshals of the Houston Pride
Parade have included bar owners, drag queens,
political activists and heterosexuals who supported the gay and lesbian community.
Grand Marshals from years past reigned over
the 2003 Pride Parade. In 2004, Pride
Houston began a new tradition of naming not
only a male and female Grand Marshal, but
also honorary and organizational Grand
2004 Jerry W. Simoneaux and Sonna Alton,
male and female Grand Marshals; Jim and Sue
Null, honorary Grand Marshals: and the
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, organizational Grand Marshal.
2003 All past Grand Marshals
2002 Rusty Mueller & Mela Conteras
2001 Dalia Stokes & Mitchell Katine
2000 Richard Weiderfiolt & Tori Williams
1999 Nancy Ford & Sean Carter
1998 Bob Bouton & Jackie Doval
1997 Deborah Bell & Jimmy Carper
1996 Bill Havard & Jeanette Vaughn
1995 Suzanne Anderson & Don Gill
1994 Jay Allen & Cicely Wynne
1993 Carolyn Mobley & Brian Bradley
1992 Brian Keever & Sheri Cohen Darbonne
1991 Linda Morales & Jack Jackson & Gene
1990 Walter Carter & Annise Parker
1989 Bettie Naylor & Charles Armstrong
1988 Bruce Cook & Eleanor Munger
1987 Persons Living With AIDS
1986 Tony Bicocchi & Dee Lamb
1985 Freda Jerrell & Terry Clark
1984 Rick Grossman & Pokey Anderson
1983 Marion Pantzer & Walter Stricklar
1982 Andy Mills & Marion Coleman
1981 Rita Wanstrom & Ray Hill
1980 Jim Farmer & Ruth Ravas
1979 Thelma Hansel
1978 No Parade that year.
for HIV/AIDS charities, is "a small part of
the effort to make the lives of HTV/AIDS-
afflicted people easier."
From a jungle-themed dance party to
its annual Gospel Brunch, BCBC appeals
to a broad cross-section of gay Houston in
order to raise funds for providers of
HIV/AIDS public education, patient care,
The group has raised more than
$605,000 for local HIV/AIDS charities in
the past dozen years, including Bering
Omega Community Services and AIDS
According to Collins, BCBC is thrilled to
be selected as Organization Grand Marshal.
"We consider it a great honor to be chosen
by the community" he says. "We felt like we
were being chosen for all the hard work that
the volunteers have done for the past twelve