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With Quijano Suit Dismissed, Pride Houston Announces Lo Roberts as New President

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From staff reports

Following a two-month legal dispute, Pride Houston Inc. announced Friday, Jan. 5  that Lorin “Lo” Roberts is the new president and CEO of the nonprofit organization.

Roberts replaces Francisco “Frankie” Quijano, who served as president and CEO of Pride Houston from 2011 until October 1, 2017.

Roberts and other Pride Houston board members sued Quijano in late October alleging that he had refused to relinquish control of the organization’s business assets. After a judge ordered Quijano to turn over access to Pride Houston’s bank and social media accounts, the lawsuit was dismissed on December 22, according to Harris County district court records.

“Pride Houston, Inc. is proud to announce that Lorin ‘Lo’ Roberts has accepted the position of president and CEO on October 1 after receiving a unanimous vote by Pride Houston’s Board of Directors in late September 2017,” Pride Houston wrote in a news release Friday. “While the transition was not without some bumps, Pride Houston is happy to announce the appointment and looks forward to a bright future for the organization.”

The release states that Roberts began volunteering with Pride Houston eight years ago and has served on various committees and in multiple leadership positions.

“Lo was, in essence, our vice president last year,said Dan Cato, board observer and marketing director for Pride Houston. “She took on entirely new levels of responsibility with professionalism and grit, even dropping everything to organize a major event in less than 24 hours.”

The release states that Roberts sees Houston’s diversity and its unique blend of cultures as an incredible resource and advantage, and would like to see that diversity emphasized in Pride and the LGBTQ community.

“The rights of everyone under the LGBTQIA umbrella are extremely important.,” Roberts said. “But there needs to be a larger emphasis on supporting the visibility of people of color in this community—especially the rights and lives of black trans people, who find themselves disproportionately affected by violence, homelessness, and a lack of social services. …

“The fight for equal rights in our community is just as important now as it ever has ever been, especially given the political climate in Washington D.C.,” Roberts added. “It’s important to stay active in our advocacy and remember that there are many people in the world that don’t want LGBTQIA people to have their freedoms. And in a city like Houston, a city of over 2.3 million people, an organization like Pride needs to exist to serve as a mouthpiece for our people and to provide them with what they need to live happy, healthy, secure lives. But the first step to getting to that place is to create a more inclusive environment in our organization and make sure that all people within the community—black, white, Hispanic, Asian, bisexual, intersex, trans, etc.—feel represented by Pride Houston.”

Read the full release here.

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John Wright

John Wright is the editor of OutSmart magazine. He has spent two decades in the mainstream and LGBTQ media. Most recently, he served as senior editor of Dallas Voice, and covered LGBTQ issues in the state Legislature for The Texas Observer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He resides in the EaDo area of Houston, where he is currently remodeling a 1930s row house.
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