The 2023 Official Houston Pride LGBT+ Parade roars back into downtown on Saturday evening, June 24 at City Hall, 901 Bagby Street, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm. The theme of this year’s event is “All We Need Is Love.”
Pride Houston 365 recently announced the seven grand marshals who will lead the Pride parade, perform ceremonial duties, and serve as ambassadors for Pride Houston 365 during June and throughout the year.
Female-Identifying Grand Marshal
Margarita Pérez Frinsco is a fundraising professional who currently serves in a volunteer capacity as board chair of the Hollyfield Foundation, a grant-making organization that has long supported Houston nonprofits serving the LGBTQ and HIV communities. Since 2021, Frinsco has been treasurer of the University of Houston LGBTQ Alumni Association. In 2019, she co-founded Her Destination Unknown, a group that hosts Wednesday night gatherings designed to foster connection among the local lesbian community. She also volunteers for Las Comadres, a University of Houston group that mentors first generation STEM Latina college students.
Male-Identifying Grand Marshal
Jeffrey Campbell currently serves as CEO of Allies in Hope, formerly known as AIDS Foundation Houston. In 2002, he became reportedly the first openly gay African American man to pastor a church when he launched Fresh Start Church. He has also served as the Minister of Health and Wholeness for the Fellowship of Affirming Churches, providing HIV education to affirming and inclusive pastors, as well as creating discussions for leaders and participants around the topic of mental health and the African American LGBTQ+ community.
Gender Non-Binary/Non-Conforming Grand Marshal
Ethan Michelle Ganz is a NCCER-certified pipefitter who has worked, volunteered or advocated for Equality Texas, the Transgender Education Network of Texas, Houston Climate Movement, and Stop Tx DOT I-45. In 2022, they were awarded the Democracy Champion Award from Pure Justice and the Policy Chat Speakers Award from the Texas Advocates for Justice. They are a co-founder of the Montrose Residents Coalition.
Ally Grand Marshal
Christian D. Menefee is the youngest person and first African-American to be elected Harris County Attorney, the chief civil lawyer for Texas’ largest county. He was the first public official to stand up to Greg Abbott by refusing to follow the governor’s order to prosecute the parents who provide their transgender children with gender-affirming care. He has also joined in several cases protecting the rights of LGBTQ children. In 2022, his efforts were recognized with the 2022 Kristen Capps Social Conscience Award from the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus.
Honorary Grand Marshal Trendsetter
While a high school student at Seven Lakes High School, Cameron Samuels fought the Katy ISD’s homophobic internet filter and book ban in 2021. In 2022, they were named to Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 List. In April, they were honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s Trailblazer Award. Of their advocacy, they told Teen Vogue, “If we don’t speak up against bigotry and stand up against discriminatory policies, then who will?”
Honorary Grand Marshals
The Normal Anomaly Initiative’s mission is to center Black, queer-plus persons to overcome barriers and end stigma and problematic narratives to actualize a new normal. The organization was founded in 2016 by Ian Haddock as a blog to tell the stories of marginalized people. In 2019, it evolved into an organization that now offers a wide range of programs, from HIV testing to healthcare navigation services to advocacy training. It also sponsors the popular Black Queer AF Music Festival.
Andrew Edmonson is a longtime activist who has fought against anti-gay violence, and championed the rights of LGBTQ Texans and individuals living with HIV. He served on the boards of Body Positive, a grassroots HIV service organization, and Halloween Magic, an annual fundraiser which raised over $1 million for AIDS-related charities. He has worked as a journalist for OutSmart and other publications, winning the Award of Special Merit from the Texas chapter of the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association.
For more information on the Pride parade and associated events, visit pridehouston365.org