Pride Houston is now accepting grand marshal nominations for its 2019 celebration. Nominations will be accepted through January 6, with the nominees announced at a Pride Unveiling event on January 24.
Dan Cato, Pride Houston’s marketing director, says two changes have been made to the marshal categories, to keep up with changing times. The traditional “Male” and “Female” categories will become “Male Identifying” and “Female Identifying,” and a “Gender Non-Binary” category has been added for individuals who identify as neither male nor female.
Public voting will run from January 25 through mid-April. In addition, a committee of former grand marshals will choose Honorary Grand Marshals. All of the grand marshals will be announced at a Pride Kickoff on April 25.
“To further dialogue around the issue, we are also going to host a Town Hall in late February to discuss our grand marshal categories,” Cato says. “The community will be invited to offer ideas and provide input on the evolution of the categories.”
According to a review by OutSmart earlier this year, Pride organizations in most other major U.S. cities use gender-neutral grand-marshal categories. Those cities include Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, and St. Petersburg.
In honor of the late activist Ray Hill, the Town Hall will be an annual event where Pride Houston seeks input on key issues affecting the celebration and the organization.
“Hill was pivotal in putting Houston on the map as the welcoming and inclusive city that it is today,” Cato said. “Pride Houston will continue to honor his memory by always championing LGBTQIA+ rights both locally and nationally.
To nominate someone for grand marshal, go here.