2 MONTROSE VOICE/FEBRUARY 27, 1987
Committee Rejects Night Gay Pride Parade
By Sheri Cohen Darbonne
Participants at the second planning
meeting for what is now to be called
Gay/ Lesbian Pride Week 1987 decided
against considering the option of holding a nighttime parade, over the enthusiastic promotion of supporters of the
concept and meeting chair Ray Hill,
who urged delaying the vote.
Larry Bagneris, who has been pushing the evening events idea as a way to
avoid the summertime heat and revitalize the parade, said the idea was
intended as "something different to stir
up some excitement." Channelling the
parade route into the site of another
Montrose event would also keep post-
parade spending in community businesses, he suggested.
Lights on parade floats would give
the celebration "a whole new look" and
would attract more television coverage,
Bagneris stated. He said the problem of
obtaining a waiver or amendment to a
city ordinance prohibiting the activity
could probably be resolved "quietly" in
"There was an ordinance six years
ago that said we couldn't have a parade
(on Westheimer) at all. We managed to
change the charter under a redneck,
uncooperative, unbelievable city
administration and police department
we had at the time," Bagneris commented.
Hill noted there is a "slip clause" in
the ordinance that allows an exception
or amendment if approved by a majority vote in City Council. Exceptions are
regularly granted for activities such as
the Greek Festival, which extend into
the night hours, he pointed out.
Responding to questions about security during the parade, Bagneris said,
"We pay taxes ... we should demand
But Debbie Holmes, a member of the
Montrose Symphonic Band, com-
Scott Clark asked what kind of protection would be available for people having to walk several blocks to their cars
after the parade and street festival. Bagneris quipped that the committee would
provide the same type of service that
Come out and
Houston Gay/Lesbian Pride Week '87
mented that while the band was the
parade unit most likely to suffer the
worst effects of the heat, performers
would have difficulty seeing their music
at night. Mary Walters of the Lesbian
Mothers group, said security after dark
posed a special problem for people with
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was available in previous years following rallies at Spotts Park: "Namely
nothing. We can't afford it!"
Bagneris noted that Westheimer was
well-lit and that there would be many
people on the streets after the events.
A proposal to allow those interested to
investigate the possibility of a night
parade was defeated by a show of hands
at the well-attended meeting.
"Thank you very much," Bagneris
remarked after the vote. "You've saved
me a lot of work."
Regarding a festival on Pacific Street,
suggested as an alternative to the
Spotts Park rally, Sue Lovell noted that
not all gay businesses were located
there and suggested the committee
arrange some sort of shuttle transportation to carry revelers to various businesses in the area. The festival
discussion will be resumed at a subsequent meeting.
"Come Out and Celebrate Pride" was
selected as the theme for this year's celebration after the committee viewed
artist's interpretations of three different
themes. The other themes incorporated
in the five designs shown were "Celebrate" and "Proud and Free."
David Lozano submitted the winning
logo design, incorporating two dancing
figures against a lambda character and
rainbow. The rainbow flag and lambda
are symbols suggested by the National
Conference of Gay Pride Planners to be
used in pride week logos.
A motion to include the word "lesbia-
n"in all future official references to the
celebration week also passed by a show
of hands vote. The proposal, introduced
by Deborah Bell, includes a provision to
alternate positioning of the words
"gay" and "lesbian" each year, with
this year's event to be called "Houston
Gay/ Lesbian Pride Week", while next
year's will be denoted "Lesbian/ Gay."
Bell, who is vice president of the state
chapter of the National Organization
for Women and is active in the Texas
Lesbian/ Gay Leadership Conference
and Womynspace, and Hill were elected
co-chairs of this year's pride week planning organization.
Jack Valinski was chosen as media
coordinator and Lloyd Powell as outreach coordinator, both by unanimous
acclamation. Selection of a parade chair
was tabled as there were no volunteers
or suggestions. Bagneris declined nomination for the position, saying he had to
be out of town too often to coordinate the
parade plans this year.
The body voted to authorize Hill to
spend reserve funds from last year to
arrange printing logo t-shirts early, in
hopes of having them available to distribute during the Houston Festival and
Westheimer Colony Art Festival.
Sheltering Arms, an organization
which provides support services for the
elderly, is seeking Montrose-area participants for its shared housing program,
according to Annette Allen, case manager for the program.
The service, which operates in much
the same way as a commercial roommate matching service, attempts to
place individuals in need of an affordable living situation in private homes.
The only requirement is that one of
the parties in the arrangement be
elderly or handicapped, Allen said.
The program has existed about 18
months, with 15 matches having been
made, Allen said.
Currently, only five people are going
through the placement process
although about 50 homes across the city
People offer space in their homes for a
variety of reasons, Allen explained.
Elderly persons living alone, for
example, sometimes offer space free of
charge for the benefit of companionship
and assistance with household chores,
At the other end of the spectrum are
those who are looking for a renter, who
tend to ask average rates for a room or
larger area in their hqme.
Allen said she tries to talk these people into lowering in the prices.
In Montrose, both living space and
people to move in are needed, Allen said.
Many people who have entered the
program have expressed an interest in
living here, she said.
Participants in the program are
required to provide three character references and a medical statement from a
doctor ascertaining their ability to care
for themselves, Allen said.
A screening interview is also conducted to determine financial situation,
why the person is interested and what
type of person they would feel compatible with.
After the screening, arrangements
are made for participants to contact
each other, Allen said.
If two agree on a living arrangement,
the case manager meets with the people
and draws up a contract between them.
If problems later arise with compatibility, participants are urged to contact
Sheltering Arms charges a $25
matching fee for the service, which can
be waived under special circumstances,
Sheltering Arms is a non-profit
organization working primarily with
the elderly and adult children of aging