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What’s going on with Pride Houston 365 this year?

There will be a parade, but no festival this June.

What’s going on with Pride Houston 365 this year? According to an Instagram post last Friday, and a detailed follow-up on Saturday, there will be a parade this year, but no festival.

Every year since 1978, Pride Houston has hosted a festival and parade commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. The Houston parade is currently, among Pride celebrations, number one in the South, number three in the nation, and the only Pride celebration in Texas to be ranked in the top 20 globally. Last year, the nonprofit rebranded itself as Pride Houston 365, as Houston’s Pride parade and festival added a year-long series of events and made a lot of changes since the firing the previous year of former executive director and president Lorin “Lo” Roberts.

“We have internal controls and an Advisory Committee now,” co-president Thasia Madison said at the time. “The Advisory Committee not only advises, but it audits our messaging and brand, sponsors, etc. Essentially the Advisory Committee is the community’s watchdog to ensure the Board of Directors is acting in the best interest of the community we serve.”

Another change was that the organization opted for co-presidents. Alongside Madison was Kendra Walker. Neither were available at press time to comment on the 2023 changes.

“There are a lot of factors at play,” Pride Houston 365 wrote in the post. “Pride Houston is dedicated to renewing the trust of the Houston LGBTQIA+ community.”

The organization also wrote on Instagram that the parade, historically held in June in the Montrose area before moving to Downtown Houston a few years ago, will not move back to Montrose.

“Pride Celebration cannot and will not be moved back to Montrose,” the organization wrote, adding that 850,000 people attended last year’s parade. “Montrose would have to completely shut down to accommodate them. The Montrose residents will not allow this and the City of Houston will not permit it.”

According to the Instagram post, last year’s event cost three to five times more for security, marketing, and insurance than the last time the parade and festival were held, in 2019, and while sponsorships were up, they did not meet the costs. Also, around 850,000 people attended the parade and some 80,000 attempted to join the festival, with many still waiting to get in by 2:00 p.m., two hours after the start of the festival. Volunteers were down 90 percent from the previous event.

“Pride Houston is committed to [providing] a safe and accessible celebration for all,” the organization wrote in its Instagram post. “We have some big plans coming in 2024, but in order to get there, we need to take time to prepare.”

Additionally, on the organization’s Facebook page, this was posted Monday: “Registration (for the parade) will open February 1st. We are planning BIG THINGS in 2024 so we are taking this time to pace ourselves and plan accordingly. Pride Houston knows that the community has a lot of questions about the organization and what we are doing. We are committed to transparency and accountability and have created some FAQs to answer some of your questions. Stay tuned for those. We thank you for your patience and we are excited for this 2023 Pride season.”

OutSmart reached out to Pride Houston but did receive a response. This story will be updated when more information becomes available. 


Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and, among others.
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