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Houston Gay Pride Parade

Houston Gay Pride Parade, 2013

The Houston Gay Pride Parade (or often called the Houston Pride Parade) is the major feature of a gay pride festival held annually since 1979. The festival takes place in June to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies. This event commemorates the 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood, which is generally considered to be the beginning of the modern gay rights movement.

The festivities are held all day on the 4th Saturday of June. The highlight of the event is the parade, which has been held in the evening after sunset since 1997. The necessary revision in a Houston parade ordinance to allow a nighttime parade was facilitated by then-Houston City Council member Annise Parker. With the event after dark, the various units can be creatively illuminated.

Until 2015, it took place in Houston's most gay-friendly neighborhood, Montrose.[1] The route of the parade usually had been along Westheimer Road, from Dunlavy Street to Crocker Street. Owing partially to concerns over increasing congestion over the years in the nearby neighborhoods, and to accommodate a larger festival (held in the daytime before the parade itself), the 2015 parade was moved to downtown Houston.[2]

It is currently the most attended and largest gay pride event in Texas, the Southwest region of the United States, and the second largest Houston-organized event in the city behind Houston Rodeo. The 2015 Houston Pride Festival attracted 700,000 attendees, which set a new record.[3]


Entries in the parade are eligible for awards in categories with cultural references significant to LGBT history as well as a judges pick and categories with more localized focus:

Houston Pride Themes & Parade Grand MarshalsEdit

Year Theme Grand Marshal(s) Honorary Grand Marshal(s) Organizational Grand Marshal(s) Community Grand Marshal(s) Celebrity Grand Marshal(s)
1979 "United We Stand" Thelma Hansel
1980 "Proud to Be" Jim Farmer & Ruth Ravas
1981 "We the People" Ray Hill & Rita Wanstrom
1982 "A Part Of, Not Apart From" Marion Coleman & Andy Mills
1983 "Unity through Diversity" Marion Pantzer & Walter Strickler
1984 "Unity and More in '84" Pokey Anderson & Rick Grossman
1985 "Alive with Pride" Terry Clark & Freda Jerrell
1986 "Liberty Is In Our Grasp" Tony Bicocchi & Dee Lamb
1987 "Come Out and Celebrate Pride" Persons Living With AIDS
1988 "Rightfully Proud" Bruce Cook & Eleanor Munger Sharon Kowalski & Harvey Milk
1989 "Stonewall 20" Charles Armstrong & Bettie Naylor
1990 "Look to the Future" Walter Carter & Annise Parker Debra Danburg & Craig Washington
1991 "Take Pride" Gene Harrington, Jack Jackson & Linda Morales Katy Caldwell & Marvin Davis
1992 "Pride = Power" Sheri Cohen Darbonne & Brian Keever Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Houston
1993 "Out & Proud" Brian Bradley & Carolyn Mobley Adan Rios PFLAG Houston
1994 "HouStoneWall 25" Jay Allen & Cicely Wynne Claire Koepsel Q-Patrol
1995 "Silence to Celebration" Suzanne Anderson & Don Gill Annella Harrison H.A.T.C.H.
1996 "Pride Knows No Borders" Bill Havard & Jeanette Vaughn Jack Abercia The Royal, Sovereign, and Imperial Court of the Single Star
1997 "Glowing with Pride" Deborah Bell & Jimmy Carper Krewe of Olympus
1998 "Unified, Diversified, Electrified" Bob Bouton & Jackie Doval Barbara Winston Texas Gay Rodeo Association
1999 "Pride, Power & Pizzazz" Sean Carter & Nancy Ford Colt 45's
2000 "Take Pride, Take Joy, Take Action" Richard Weiderholt & Tori Williams Don Sinclair People With AIDS Coalition Houston
2001 "Embrace Diversity" Mitchell Katine & Dalia Stokes Blake & Gordon Weisser PFLAG Houston
2002 "Pride Worldwide" Mela Contreras & Rusty Mueller Jane & Irv Smith Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Houston
2003 "Silver Celebration" All former Grand Marshals honored
2004 "Pride As Big As Texas" Sonna Alton & Jerry Simoneaux Sue & Jim Null Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas
2005 "Equal Rights! No More! No Less! Weldon Hickey & Deb Murphy Dennis and Evelyn Schave Bayou City Boys Club
2006 "Say It Out Loud!" Phyllis Randolph Frye & Ray Ramirez Rev. Marilyn Meeker-Williams Bunnies on the Bayou
2007 "Lone Star Pride" Jack Valinski & Maria Gonzalez Garnet Coleman The Imperial Court of Houston
2008 "We are Family" Dalton DeHart & Kelly McCann Julie Eberly AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc.
2009 "Out 4 Justice" James Knapp & Fiona Dawson Mike & Linda Bratsen Legacy Community Healthcare
2010 "Pride NOT Prejudice" Gary Wood & Carol Wyatt Ann Robison Montrose Counseling Center Mayor Annise Parker Andy Cohen
2011 "Live. Love. Be." Bryan Hlavinka & Tammi Wallace Duane & Judy Roland The GLBT Community Center Jonathan D. Lovitz
2012 "Live Out Proud" Nicolas Brines, Jenifer Rene Pool and Council Member Ellen Cohen Toro, mascot of the Houston Texans Madison Hildebrand
2013 "Pride Unleashed" John Nechman & Robin Brown Januari Leo
2014 "Carnivale" JD Doyle & Christina Gorzynski Sarah & Fernando Aramburo
2015 "HEROES" Ryan Levy & Britt Kornmann Anna Eastman
2016 "Houston Proud" Bradley Odom-Harris & Fran Watson Dena Gray
2017 "Wonderland" Lou Weaver, Sallie Wyatt-Woodell, and Aimee Broadhurst Tony Carroll, Marion Coleman, and Arden Eversmeyer
2018 "#Pride40" All former Grand Marshals Bob Briddick, Julie Mabry, and Josephine Tittsworth
2019 "Summer of '69" Harrison Homer-Guy, Judge Shannon B. Baldwin, Mike Webb, and Constable Alan Rosen Atlantis Narcisse, Dee Dee Watters, Ana Andrea Molina and Monica Robert


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