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Pride Parade Rashomon, getting Galveston right, and Maja Ivarsson.

PRIDE QUESTION
In the August 2009 issue of OutSmart magazine’s News Briefs, the parade injuries were addressed [“Injuries Mark Houston GLBT Pride Parade,” by Nancy Ford]. Pride president Brad Odom was quoted as saying “he saw no instances of spectators along the designated parade route coming into the street to obtain beads and trinkets.”
Is this a misquote or is Mr. Odom blind? Was he at the parade?

Tony Vega
Houston, Texas

OutSmart replies: In paraphrasing a quote, OutSmart may have portrayed Brad Odom’s take on the parade spectators as less ambiguous than it was. The truth is ever more complicated and convoluted than any attempt to convey it.

In the July telephone interview reporting for the article in question, OutSmart asked Brad Odom, president of Pride Houston 2008 and 2009: “You didn’t see anybody swarming floats along the parade route, even where the fences were up and the barricades were up?”

Mr. Odom replied: “No, I didn’t see and I kind of kept checking on things like that. And because of the solid nature of the fence, if people were on the wrong side of it, we had cops directing them back on the right side. In years past, where the crowds came out into the street—I had never seen that before. People said that happened all the time, and I was like, ‘No, that’s not acceptable.’ And we fenced the entire route. And that helps people. It kind of gave people ‘This is where you need to be and this is where you view from and that’s where the parade is’—kind of giving two delineations. And the all route monitors and police knew that if people were on the wrong side of the fence, they needed to get back on the other side of the fence.”

ISLAND SPIRIT

Congratulations on your very impressive articles on Galveston [July 2009]. You have captured the very essence of Galveston’s spirit, attractions, and you certainly included our wonderful gay community here on the Island. What a treat to get to read and enjoy such a well-written story. Thank you….

Eldrege Langlinais
Galveston, Texas


MAJA WORSHIP

I just read the article/interview with Maja Ivarsson and I found it to be helpful in a way [“Sounds Good,” by Gregg Shapiro, July 2009]. Maja is my hero. I love the fact that you guys mentioned same-sex marriages and compared it to “Underground.” I love the article/interview. Thanks so much for posting it!

Olivia Hoffman
Pocatello, Idaho

TRANS ATTENTION
I don’t know if you have seen all of the attention that Houston’s Transgender Foundation has been getting, even on the national level. Recently, Matt Kailey included us in an article on examiner.com (“Houston Mayor Bill White proclaims ‘Transgender Center Day’”). Advocate.com did as well (“Houston Mayor Proclaims Trans Day”)….
Thanks for running your story [“The Houston Transgender Archive” by Brandon Wolf, June 2009]. We are proud to be the face of Houston’s transgender community.

Lou Weaver
Houston, Texas

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