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Houston Voice, June 25, 2004
File 043
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Houston Voice, June 25, 2004 - File 043. 2004-06-25. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7279/show/7272.

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.

(2004-06-25). Houston Voice, June 25, 2004 - File 043. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7279/show/7272

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, June 25, 2004 - File 043, 2004-06-25, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7279/show/7272.

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, June 25, 2004
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date June 25, 2004
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 043
Transcript 10 JUNE 25,2004 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE %A Past Grand Marshals reign at every Houston Pride Parade From political activists to drag queens to bar owners, Houston honors Parade past ByKAYDAYUS When the Houston Pride Parade marches into its 26th year on Saturday, as always, organizers will honor this year's grand marshals and those from past years. The names of some past marshals are easily recognizable, but some are not. For instance, the name Thelma Hansel, a.k.a. "Disco Grandnia" may not ring many bells, but it was with Hansel that Houston began the tradition of honoring leaders in the gay and lesbian community. Hansel was Grand Marshal at Houston's first Pride Parade in 1979. Technically, there was a Pride celebration in 1978, but it was a gathering at the AstroArena, not actually a parade. Local long time gay rights activist Ray Hill, who was Grand Marshal in 1981, said Hansel got her nickname because, "She loved Sunday evening drag shows at the old Plantation gay bar. They even gave her her own table." "Disco Grandma" was heterosexual but she had a gay son and, Hill said, she loved him and his partner and was very accepting of them. "There weren't many accepting parents back then," he added. Unfortunately, he said, there were some who were not happy with Hansel as Grand Marshal because she was not gay. Nevertheless, another, heterosexual, Eleanor Munger, was named Grand Marshal in 1988. Munger, who recently passed away, was founder of Omega Houston City Controller Annise Parker, a past parade Grand Marshall, rode in last year's parade with her partner, Kathy Hubbard. (Photo by Dalton Dehart) Thelma Hansel, a.k.a. 'Disco Grandma,' began the tradition of honoring leaders in the gay and lesbian community. She was heterosexual but she had a gay son and, says local gay rights activist Ray Hill, she loved him and his partner and was very accepting of them. House Hospice for people with AIDS. Hill has great praise for her. "She was an Ivy League graduate and she was hor-. rifled by AIDS. She did great sacrificial work." Ruth Wanstrom was female Grand Marshall along with Hill in 1981. Wanstrom, owner of a lesbian bar called the Roaring 60's, also had a nickname, "Papa Bear." Nobody seems quite sure how she got that moniker. A name that's instantly recognizable is lesbian City Controller, Annise Parker. Parker served three terms on Past Grand Marshall Mitchell Katine (center) rode in last year's parade with John Lawrence (left) and Tyron Garner, the plaintiffs in the historic Lawrence v. Texas case. Houston's City Council and last year was elected to the second highest elected position in the city. Parker reigned as Grand Marshal in 1990 before she began her political life. She was selected because she had been a gay rights activist at Rice University and was the founder of a gay and lesbian group at that institution. She was also active in Houston's Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus and served a term as president. Hill describes her as an effective politician who applies her engineering and accounting background to the structure of city government. At least three other past Grand Marshals have passed away: Eugene (Gene) Harrington, who led the 199lParade; Ruth Ravas, the 1988 Parade Grand Marshal; and Rick Grossman who reigned over the 1988 Parade. Harrington, an attorney, was according to Hill, "A Renaissance man." Harrington, along with Hill and three other gay men ran for Houston City Council on the same ballot in the early 90's. It was mostly a symbolic effort, but Hill said proudly that he received the most votes. Trivia buffs will be interested to note that Hill and attorney Mitchell Katine-Grand Marshall 2001-have both been involved in cases that went before the U.S. Supreme Court. Katine was the first attorney to take on the historic case of Lawrence v. Texas, which prevailed before the U.S. Supreme court and struck down sodomy laws across the nation. Coincidentally, the W GASTE Court's decision was handed down just two days before last year's 25*n Anniversary Pride Parade, prompting some parade participants and attendees to wear T-shirts that declared them to be, . "legally gay." Hill, an ex-con, claimed he was falsely arrested by Houston Police after he tried to stop officers from beating and harassing an African American gay man in the mid-1980's. His case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where he won. In the written decision handed down by the Supreme Court, Hill was referred to as a "citizen provocateur," a title that is still on his business card today. Other past Grand Marshals include: Charles Armstrong, bar owner and businessman, 1989; longtime lesbian activist Pokey Anderson, 1984; Nancy Ford, writer and comic, 1999; and Mela Contreras, owner of Mela's bar, and Rusty Mueller (a.k.a. Crystal) in 2002. Perhaps the most interesting Parade as far as Grand Marshals are concerned, was last year's 25th Anniversary Parade. All past Grand Marshals were invited to lead the Parade. Hill described it this way, "We were all on a big float last year. They recycled all the old GM's. There was hardly room for all the walkers and canes on that float." With more than 175,000 onlookers and 125 parade entries, it was the biggest Houston Pride Parade ever. The tradition continues Saturday as the 2004 Grand Marshals: Sonna Alton, communications director at the Montrose Clinic; Jerry Simoneaux, an attorney and president of the Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston; Sue and Jim Null, PFLAG activists; and Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian and Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, take their elected places at the head of the Houston Parade. I MORE INFO Houston Pride Parade 8:45 p.m. Saturday starts at Westheimer and Woodhead www.pridehouston.org
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