PastOut: 12 Years Ago in ‘OutSmart’

June 1997

By Donalevan Maines

Deborah Bell

“Ready, set, glow!” More than 100 entries lit up Westheimer from Ridgewood to Stanford as Houston celebrated the country’s first nighttime Gay Pride parade!

As grand marshal, Deborah Bell was also belle of the ball, after rising to prominence as national organizer of the 1993 March on Washington.

Left Out columnist Daryl Moore encouraged readers to attend the parade in what “we normally wear,” as a way to transcend gay stereotypes on the evening news of near-naked boys, drag queens, and men in leather.

“Dittoheads” tuning into conservative talk-radio shows began hearing progressive points of view when Dayna Steele featured lesbian parents Denay Hudson and Norri Collier on a program discussing gay families. Other guests on her show included members of the Greater Houston Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, gay comics Kevin Maye and Scott Kennedy, and organizers of Houston’s first gay and lesbian film festival, which featured Late Bloomers, shot entirely in Dallas with an all-Big D cast.

“Simple Pleasures” was the theme of Pride Week concerts performed by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston at First Unitarian Universalist Church.
Main Street Theater at Chelsea Market celebrated Pride with a production of Falsettoland, the final installment of the Tony Award-winning musical trilogy that reunited Martin with his lover on the eve of his son’s bar mitzvah, just as AIDS was beginning to spread.

Horton Foote’s Broadway debut The Young Man from Atl anta, set in 1950s Houston, lost the best-play Tony Award to The Last Night of Ballyhoo, set in the upper-class German-Jewish society of Atlanta in December 1939. Rosie O’Donnell hosted the Tony telecast.

Montrose clothing store Basic Brothers announced, “We’re glowing with 15 years of Pride,” while its manager Ken Claude shone brightly as winner of the Mr. Gulf Coast Drummer ’97 contest.

Gene Harrington

Thumper Knightly was crowned Miss Mary’s 1997.

And activist Gene Harrington won not one, not two, but three accolades at Texas Southern University: professor of the year by the Barbara Jordan Chapter of the Black Law Students Association; distinguished professor of the year by Phi Deltas Phi legal fraternity; and law school teacher of the year for 1997.

Donalevan Maines also writes about the Tony Awards and critic Everett Evan in this issue of
OutSmart magazine



Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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