On April 12, 2012, Pride Houston announced the winners for the 2012 Pride Houston Parade Marshals. Nick Brines and Jenifer Rene Pool were voted as Male and Female Grand Marshals, and City Councilmember Ellen Cohen as Pride Ally Marshal. The three winning marshals shared this year’s ballot with other worthy community members which included Texas Gay Rodeo Association member Christopher Prado; Women of Victory creator Robin Brown; and Thomas and Cynthia Chappel, both contributing members of PFLAG and the Association for Family and Community Integrity.
Nick Brines—2012 Pride Marshal
The owner and business manager of Azur Salon, Nick Brines first joined Pride Houston’s Pride Committee in 1994. As a member of the fundraising committee, Brines created the gala event “Pumped Up Art” which featured celebrity-signed shoes remodeled by local LGBT artists. In 1997 Brines moved to a position on Pride board of directors where he’s worked steadily to bring Pride’s fundraising to new heights.
Jenifer Rene Pool—2012 Pride Marshal
A child of a WWII vet, Jenifer Rene Pool grew up with the belief that service to one’s country and neighbor is every citizen’s duty. Pool is dedicated to service to her city and her community. She has served as commissioner of both the Police Advisory Committee and Building and Standard Committee under Mayor Annise Parker and Mayor Bill White before her.
Ellen Cohen—2012 Pride Marshal Ally
City Councilmember Ellen Cohen has a long history of progressive activism beginning with her founding of Reach to Recovery of Canada, a support group for post-mastectomy breast-cancer patients. After moving to Houston in 1977, Cohen became executive director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC). In these positions she advocated for domestic partnership rights of same-sex couples for city employees. She continued her advocacy for LGBT rights as a Texas legislator for statewide LGBT rights and now, as a city councilmember for District C, she continues to work toward equality for all.
Congratulations again to this year’s LGBT marshals. We look forward to seeing them at 2012 Pride Houston Parade in June.
Alex Grandstaff is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.