Get ready: The annual Pride month whirlwind starts now.
This is the month to revel in our collective pride as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and our allies. So here we celebrate with a selected listing of events and activities, including, of course, the 2007 GLBT Pride Parade, still proudly rolling along its traditional route: Westheimer.
That could be the rallying cry for the local GLBT community, which in many ways first bonded to protest the 1977 appearance in Houston by singer Anita Bryant, at the time a notoriously antigay crusader. Throughout June, Houston Public Library commemorates the 30th anniversary of the June 16 protest by gays and their allies with an exhibition, “Anita Bryant Comes to Houston, June 1977,” at the downtown Julia Ideson Building. The presentation includes photographs, posters, newspaper clippings, and other documents related to the landmark community event. On the 25th anniversary of the Bryant appearance (before the Texas Bar Association!) and protest, we published an oral history, “Houston’s Stonewall: The Night Anita Bryant Came To Town” (June 2002 OutSmart, by D.L. Groover). Details: 832/393-1300, www.houstonlibrary.org.
Lesbian Health Initiative presents its annual Rainbow Health Fair on Saturday, June 2, 8:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m., at Legacy Community Health Services. Services offered include mammograms and blood pressure and cholesterol checks. Legal eagles will provide information on medical power of attorney and advance directive (living will). Details: 713/426-3356, www.lhihouston.org.
This month, Gallery M2 in the Heights presents Interruptions, an exhibition of photographs and paintings created by John Painter and his late partner, Tracy Silverberg, who was lost to AIDS last year. The show will be displayed June 6-30. A portion of sales proceeds benefits Legacy Community Health Services. Painter will be on hand at the Saturday, June 9, 7-10 p.m., opening reception. Details: 713/861-6070, www.m2-houston.com.
Did you attend your senior prom with the head cheerleader, but really wanted to ask the captain of the football team? Or vice versa? Well, now you can partner with the gender of your choice at the HATCH Alternative Prom on Friday, June 8. The wonderful support group for GLBT and questioning youth hosts the yearly program for the young folk, but grown-ups are invited, too. The venue for the 7 p.m.-midnight event is the Historic Magnolia Ballroom downtown. There is no admission charge for young people ages 13 – 20. The rest of us pay $25. Details: 713/529-3590, www.hatchyouth.org.
OUT ON THE STREETS
Lace up your athletic shoes for the Houston Pride 5K Fun Run and Walk on Saturday, June 9, 7:30 a.m. The Houston Montrose Athletic Association organizes this annual event with the Texas FrontRunners. Proceeds from the run and walk support AssistHers, the group that provides support for lesbians living with illnesses and disabilities. Registration: $25 after June 2. Details: www.geocities.com/houstonpride5k.
READERS ARE LEADERS
Brush up on your leadership skills this Pride season. Josephine Tittsworth, the transgender activist and educator, has announced an eight-week Summer Leadership Reading Circle based on the book Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition, by Dennis N. T. Perkins (2000). The dates for the 7 p.m. sessions, hosted by the Houston GLBT Community Center, are June 5, 11, 19, 25 and July 11, 17, 23. At the end of the eight weeks, each participant should grasp the 10 components, presented by Perkins, needed to become an effective leader, according to Tittsworth. To sign up, e-mail Tittsworth at [email protected] with “Leadership” on the subject line of the e-mail. Details: 713/524-3818, www.houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org.
SAY A LITTLE PRAYER
Yes, Virginia, there are churches and temples that embrace gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. On Sunday, June 10, a consortium of GLBT-positive congregations demonstrates that welcome with its annual GLBT Pride Interfaith Worship Service at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Clergy and lay people from numerous area faith traditions will participate in the 7 p.m. service. In what will surprise many GLBT folk, the speaker is a Baptist–yes!–but a preacher from the non-bigoted branch of that Protestant brand: Rev. Kenneth Pennings, executive director of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. Details: Burton Bagby, [email protected]
START IT UP
The official Pride season gets in gear with the 2007 Pride Houston Kick-Off Party on Sunday, June 10, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Popular diva Kofi is the emcee, Special K from KRBE handles DJ duties for dancing among the dinosaurs. Local singers Alan Lett and Josh Duffy perform during the 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. bash. Tickets: $10. Details: 713/529-6979, www.pridehouston.org.
MARSHALL THE FORCES
Congratulate the 2007 GLBT Pride Parade grand marshals at a reception hosted by the Greater Houston GLBT Chamber of Commerce on Monday, June 11, 8 p.m., at 1415 Bar & Grille. Read about the grand marshals on page 51. Details: www.thechamberhouston.org.
A LITTLE BUSINESS
Participating in the Parade? Pride Houston requires that at least one person with each entry attend the Mandatory Pride Parade Meeting on Tuesday, June 12, 7 p.m. (location not announced at press time). Details: 713/529-6979,
On the second Tuesday of every month, the Houston GLBT Community Center hosts an informal nosh at Hollywood Vietnamese, Chinese & French restaurant. For Pride month, the center salutes two other community groups, the Houston Transgender Unity Committee and Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of GLBT History, at the Tuesday, June 12 GLBT Night @ Hollywood. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and guests order from the menu. The center will give away special Pride-themed door prizes (provided by OutSmart ). Details: 713/524-3818, www.houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org.
Friends of Pride, the donors group for Pride Houston, takes its annual Wine Tasting Event to the very posh downtown Houston Club this year. On Saturday, June 16, guests can sample more than 20 wines from around the world and nosh on appetizers while a jazz combo plays in the background. Not a wine drinker? Pride Houston has added a premium vodka |station. There is no admission charge with Friends of Pride membership (which starts at $75). Details: 713/529-6979, www.pridehouston.org.
COME ON, GET HAPPY
The Stonewall rebellion of 1969 was fueled in part by despair over the thenrecent death of Judy Garland, whose life and career meant so much to the queer tribe. On June 16, Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston weaves together those historical and musical strands with There’s No Place Like Home, a 7:30 p.m. concert in Jones Hall. Don’t fret, though: The history lessons won’t hurt a bit, and there are the Garland classics–“The Trolley Song,” “The Boy Next Door,” and, of course, “Over the Rainbow.” Tickets: $19-$39. Details: www.bayoucityperformingarts.org.
Team Houston, the organization supporting many local sports groups, hosts a Team Houston Mixer, a swim party and cookout on Sunday, June 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at member Keith Peters’ Creative Development gymnastics facility. Details: gaygamesteamhouston.org.
Savvy socialites in the community know that Noche de Gala, the Gay and Lesbian Latin Organization-hosted dance, has become one of the glamour events of Pride month. The second annual black-tie party is Friday, June 22, 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. at the Arabia Shiners Center. The Grammy-nominated band Avizo performs, and DJ Alex Cherry spins additional tunes. Tickets: $50. Details: 713/710-0045, www.houstongallo.org.
Bering Omega Community Services and AIDS Foundation Houston Camp Hope benefit this year from the Houston Billiard Open. Independent Billiard League of Houston hosts the tournament at Slick Willie’s Family Pool Hall on Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24, starting at 10 a.m. Registration: 10 a.m. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Details: www.iblhouston.com.
Quick, where is your voter registration card? Are you even registered to vote? On Pride Parade day, June 23, the Houston Equal Rights Alliance and the Houston GLBT Political Caucus will help the non-registered among us by staging the largest voter-registration drive and voter-identification project in their history. Volunteers from the two allied organizations will be stationed all day in the Pride Festival area and along the parade route. There are project meetings on June 13 and June 20, 6:30 p.m., at the HERA/caucus office. Details: 713/522-HERA, www.houstonera.org, 713/521-1000, www.hglbtpc.org.
MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC
Before the parade, listen to some tunes at the 2007 GLBT Pride Festival. The headliners this year: the ab-tastic duo Jacob and Joshua Miller, who made a name for themselves with their Logo network reality series, Jacob and Joshua: Nemesis Rising. Opening acts are the Louisiana-native rocker Laurel and Kimberly Caldwell, a finalist from the second season of American Idol. Speaking of that darn TV series, if your favorite (ahem, Melinda Doolittle) didn’t win this season, you can make your vote count in another tuneful contest. The finals of the Pride Idol competition take place at 5 p.m. Pride Houston hosts the semi-final round on June 17 at Guava Lamp. The festival, which includes a community-groups tent, cosponsored by Pride Houston and Bunnies on the Bayou, begins at 2 p.m. at the Westheimer-Commonwealth intersection. Admission: $10. Details: 713/529-6979, www.pridehouston.org.
THE MAIN EVENT
Before the parade passes by, find a prime viewing spot along Westheimer for the 2007 GLBT Pride Parade. The largest Pride parade in the Southwest begins at 8:45 at Woodhead and proceeds east to Whitney. Prime viewing spots: the curve area beginning at Windsor and Yoakum/Waugh intersection. Details: 713/529-6979, www.pridehouston.org.
THE DAY AFTER Cyndi Lauper. Deborah Harry. Erasure. The Dresden Dolls. Rufus Wainwright. Margaret Cho. Rosie O’Donnell. If the True Colors Tour, presented in support of the Human Rights Campaign, isn’t the queerest entertainment event to blow across the country, then we don’t know what is. The extravaganza lands in Houston (one of 16 U.S. stops) on Sunday, June 24, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. A portion of every ticket sale benefits the work of HRC, the national GLBT advocacy organization. The magic starts at 6 p.m. Read an interview with Cyndi Lauper on page 46. Tickets: $26 – $126. Details: www.hrc.org.
REJOICE IN OUR RIGHTS
June 26 marks the fourth anniversary of the landmark Lawrence vs. Texas Supreme Court decision that overturned antigay sodomy laws in our state and made us legal across the land. Remember our history: This is a case that started in Houston (read activist Ray Hill’s essay “Three Years of Freedom,” June 2006 OutSmart, and “Supreme Chance,” March 2003 OutSmart ). To mark the historic occasion, the Houston GLBT Community Center hosts its annual Lawrence vs. Texas Celebration on Tuesday, June 26, 6:30 p.m., at Bering & James art gallery. One of the petitioners in the case, John Lawrence, is the special guest; his fellow petitioner, Tyron Garner, who died in 2006, will be remembered in a presentation. Donations supporting the center will be welcomed. Details: 713/524-3818, www.houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org.
Just in time for Pride month, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force releases Come Out and Win: Organizing Yourself, Your Community, and Your World (Beacon Press). Written by Sue Hyde, director of the annual Creating Change conference, this handbook on political organizing for the GLBT people will help you get inspired. The Task Force and Beacon Press also release a second book this month, Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know About Their Legal Rights, written by Lisa Keen and part Queer Action, a new series of paperback originals edited by Michael Bronski. Details: www.thetaskforce.org.
Amy Cook: Welcome Back to Texas
Strange but true, ever since singer-songwriter Amy Cook–who headlines the community stage at the Pride Festival–left L.A. for Marfa, Texas, people have taken notice. Her music has been featured on Laguna Beach, Veronica Mars, Dawson’s Creek, and The L Word. Her folk-rock style mixes well with her breathy alto confidence a la Sheryl Crow. Her lyrics on her new CD, The Sky Observer’s Guide (Root House Records), read like those of a poet in search of truth, from the romantic “The Answer” (“Of all the mysteries, all I really wanted to know is what’s behind those eyes”) to the contemplative “Where Do We Go?” (“Maybe when the wind blows sometime, underneath the depths of sunshine, when the evening’s drunk with wine, we’ll think of all these summer nights. Where we gonna go from here?”). Want more? Go to www.AmyCook.com. –Eric A.T. Dieckman
Check www.pridehouston.org, for additional Pride Houston-sponsored activities.