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Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003
File 039
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Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003 - File 039. 2003-06-27. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 14, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/721/show/710.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-06-27). Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003 - File 039. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/721/show/710

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003 - File 039, 2003-06-27, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 14, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/721/show/710.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date June 27, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 039
Transcript 6 JUNE 27, 2003 PRIDE EDITION www.houston voice.com HOUSTON VOICE Pride 2003 Houston Pride has come a long way Parade has become an organized protest for gay civil rights, celebration of gay unity By ELLA TYLER Saturday's Houston Pride Parade dates back 25 years, but gay rights rallies in this city were held long before the parade itself was organized. In 1976, the first parade was a march sponsored by the Gay Activists Alliance at University of Houston. It was downtown, and included a speech by Vito Russo, according to Judy Reeves of the Gulf Coast Archives & Museum of Gay, Lesbian. Bisexual & Transgender History In 1977, gays organized a protest against Anita Bryant, who was appearing at the State Bar of Texas's convention at the Hyatt Regency. The event drew unprecedented crowds, and undoubtedly spurred future organizing efforts. Bryant, a former Miss America runner-up and representative for Florida Orange Juice, was a major organizer against Miami's gay rights ordinance. The first Pride Week was June 16-25, 1978. It began on Friday with a prayer vigil held at the Houston Public Library plaza, in memory of the Bryant rally held there a year before. Reeves said. A week of lectures, projects and parties followed. Town Meeting I, a community-wide planning meeting on June 25 at the Astroarena, closed out the week. Use of the Astroarena for a gay function was controversial. The GCAM archives include a copy of a transcript of a Harris County Commissioners' Court meeting of May 25,1978, at which a Dr. Wallings, then chairman of the Community Standards Coalition of Houston, protested the event's taking place on county property. However, Marys...Naturally is a popular place for parade watchers both at street level and above. (Photo by Dalton DeHart) Pride Committee of Houston member Troy Christensen says that — so far — the unpredictable rain in Houston has paused long enough each year for the Pride Parade. (Photo by Dalton DeHart) since the Houston Sports Authority had the exclusive rights to lease the property, Commissioners' Court decided it could not prevent the rental, although it wanted to officially go on record saying its members disapproved. Reeves said. The first official Pride Parade was held in 1979, according to Troy Christensen of the Pride Committee of Houston. The first Houston Pride marshal was a heterosexual woman, Thelma Hansel, a.k.a. Disco Grandma, according to activist Brandon Wolf, who has compiled a list of parade marshals. The next year, both a male and a female grand marshal were chosen. In 1988, a position for an honorary grand marshal was created, and in 1993, a marshal spot was added for an organization, Wolf said. Marshals are now chosen by a vote, which is open to all gay Houstonians, from a list of nominees chosen by the Pride Committee. Various politicians have had entries in the Parade, and state Rep. Debra Danburg, Congressman Craig Washington and Constable Jack Abercia have been honorary grand marshals, but no Houston mayor had ridden in the parade until 2000. That year. Mayor Lee Brown made history as the first person holding that office to participate in the event. Sue Null a member of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays), which was the organizational grand marshal in 1993 and 2001, says, "When I learned my daughter was a lesbian about 14 years ago, she mentioned PFLAQ to me. I said, 'No, I don't need that; I'm okay with you...but there's no way I'm going to march in a parade.' _ "Several years later, I attended PFLAG to find support for a young gay man just coming out," Null adds, "four months after that, he and I were marching in the Pride Parade, and the next year,.my husband joined me. Since then, we have marched in most of the parades." Until 1997, the Pride Parade was held in the afternoon of the final Sunday in JUne, but by the early '90s the timing was creating problems. "The parade was dying," Jack Valinski, former executive director of the Pride Committee and this year's parade director, said in an interview with the Houston Voice last year. "People were sick and it became harder and harder to get a crowd out in the heat. We were talking about moving it to another month, but Lee Harrington kept saying we should make it a nighttime parade. "It finally come down to one vote, and I voted in favor of the nighttime parade, but I was worried," Valinski said. "We didn't even know if the city would let us do it like this, and there were security issues, but it has been wonderful." To Jimmy Carper, who was a grand marshal for the first night parade in 1997, every parade is wonderful. "I saw my first Pride Parade in 1986 and was completely overwhelmed. I saw a vibrant and very alive community that I wanted to be a part of," he said. "In 1988,1 was in the parade for the first time. I couldn't believe the feeling of walking down the middle of Westheimer in Montrose with hundreds of people on either side cheering. "I had never felt such a feeling of belonging' ever before," Carper added. "That feeling has been repeated each year that I've marched in the parade, and never to a lesser degree than that fust time. Since 1988, I've only missed one parade: that year I watched from the sidelines. I'll march in every future one!" Before 1997, the parade route varied some from year to year, according to Brian Keever, a 20-year veteran of Pride parades. "I remember when we started at Shepherd and Westheimer, years ago," he said. "We had a pre-rally for the parade at the old Plantation Club behind what is now the Fox Diner and the floats were lined up in the lot behind Alabama Theatre. That was in the early '80s. We even reversed it in '90 for Star Nite 90 at the Multi-Service Center on West Gray" Holding the parade at night has presented unique problems over the years, according to organizers, but its overall success is evident. "One problem with the new timing of the parade was that the route had to be shorter, because city law at that time said a parade starting after 8 p.m. couldn't be over a certain length." Christensen said. "With Annise Parker's help, we got that changed. The extra length makes a big dif- Parade Themes Through the Years 1978: Gay Pride 1979: In Celebration of Human Rights 1980: Proud To Be 1981: We the People 1982: A Part Of.Not Apart From 1983: Unity Through Diversity 1984: Unity and More in '84 1985: Alive With Pride 1986: Liberty Is In Our Grasp 1987: Come Out and Celebrate Pride 1988: Rightfully Proud 1989: Stonewall 20 - A Generation of Pride 1990: Look to the Future 1991: Take Pride 1992: Pride = Power 1993: Out & Proud 1994: HouStoneWall25 1995: Silence to Celebration 1996: Pride Knows No Borders 1997: Glowing With Pride 1998: Unified, Diversified, Electrified 1999: Pride, Power & Pizzazz 2000: Take Pride, Take Joy, Take Action 2001: Embrace Diversity 2002: Pride Worldwide 2003: Silver Celebration ference because the line-up area is much better with a Woodhead start, especially with Lanier Middle School right there. "The crowd has gotten bigger since the first nighttime parade in 1997, reaching a high of 150,000 in 2000," he added. "The crowd (in 2001] was slightly smaller, but still very impressive given that Tropical Storm Allison hit Houston just two weeks prior." Dalia Stokes, female grand marshal for 2001, praised organizers of the annual Pride Week events "What a fabulous job the volunteers with the Pride Committee of Houston do in putting on this extravaganza that is so welcoming and so inclusive," Stokes said. "My entire family — partner of 25 years, 86- year-old mother, 29-year-old daughter, and 2-year-old granddaughter — participated in the parade and found it to be an enriching experience all the way around." So far, even the weather has been cooperative for Pride in Houston. "It rains nearly every year sometime during parade day, but it never really rains on the parade itself," Christensen said. "1 remember one year it rained right before the parade, but stopped before 8:45 p.m„ and one year it rained just as the parade was ending." The parade is managed by the Pride Committee of Houston, a non-profit corporation. f"
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