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Do you endorse or oppose changing the time and location of the GLBT Pride Parade and Festival?
By Nancy Ford
The Pride Houston website, www.pridehouston.org, currently includes a five-minute public survey that seeks to obtain community input regarding proposed changes to the annual parade.
Based on data provided to OutSmart by Pride Houston by mid-December, nearly 500 people had responded to a survey on the site. Respondents were relatively evenly divided in terms of moving the festival to another location, Pride Houston reports.
“The date change has actually been trending better support than the location change,” Wyatt says.
Pride Houston has set a community feedback session for Saturday, January 13, 1 p.m., in the activities building of Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church (2025 W. 11th St.) At that time, the organization will present a short explanation of its research, alternatives, and possible benefits associated with the proposed changes. The meeting will include a time for audience questions and comments.
Wyatt said the Pride Houston board of directors will make a decision regarding the location and time changes in January 2007 “at the earliest.”
Carol Wyatt, president of the board of Pride Houston, asserts that responses to the survey posted at www.pridehouston.org tend to favor the proposed changes to the GLBT Pride Parade and Festival. Here are some samples provided by Pride Houston (the organization didn’t provide the names of any of these respondents):
“Moving the Parade and Festival to Downtown Houston would send a strong message that this is our city too. I feel we hurt ourselves by holding the events in the ‘gayborhood’. I wholeheartedly support a move downtown.”
“Probably the most unpleasant thing about the Festival last year was the heat combined with no shade and all that concrete. A larger park venue would be a good change; also with better food and vendors.”
“Since I live out of town, going down to Montrose is not worth the trip with so many people in a small area. A trip into Houston with hotels and events downtown would be great!”
“I would be nice to see some new changes. There is more to us then just being in drag. Some of us have kids and would like to have them come during the day when it is not sooo hot and family friendly! I thank you for even considering a change.”
“Westheimer is no longer safe for the parade. The surging crowds make the drive for participants something far too dangerous.”
“The idea of holding the parade during a cooler time of year would allow our aging community, as well as our HIV-POS members, to enjoy the festivities without the concern of heat exhaustion.”