NewsPride 2024

Houston’s New Faces of Pride: A New Era of Inclusivity

Founder Bryan Cotton aims to address issues of organization, transparency, and diversity.

June is finally here and that means it’s Pride Month in Houston. There are events throughout the month to celebrate, and this year is the inaugural coming out of Houston’s New Faces of Pride, a nonprofit looking to make a difference in the community. 

Founded in 2023, Houston’s New Faces of Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to promoting unity, inclusivity, and empowerment within Houston’s diverse LGBTQ community. Through organizing fundraising initiatives and hosting events throughout the year, Houston’s New Faces of Pride works to bring the community together, culminating in a Pride Parade and Festival on June 22nd in Downtown Houston. With a mission to unite and celebrate the vibrant identities that define the city, Houston’s New Faces of Pride is working to be an organization that Houston can be proud of.

Houston’s New Faces of Pride Honors the Normal Anomaly Initiative, March 5, 2024 (Photo by Dalton Dehart and crew)


Founder and President Bryan Cotton believes Houston’s New Faces of Pride will wow the community. “I’m very happy to see everything come together after all of these months. For our first Pride festival, I am extremely impressed with what we have put together, and I think the community is going to love it.”

A native Houstonian, Cotton owns his own business and serves on the board of the Montrose Center, where he leads the philanthropy committee. Despite his many commitments, Cotton recognized the need for a nonprofit Pride organization in the city and embraced the challenge. “The key is I don’t get stressed. I’m very organized, work with a very organized team, and have an incredibly supportive husband, Joan, who is my biggest fan and greatest supporter.” 

Despite his many commitments, Cotton recognizes the immense value an organization like New Faces of Pride can bring to the community. He draws from his personal experiences with Pride, which he began attending around 2000. In his twenties, Cotton struggled with suicidal thoughts stemming from feelings of not belonging and lack of family support. However, by getting involved in the community and finding solidarity at Pride, Cotton began to feel a sense of belonging. For him, Pride started with this realization and has remained a daily part of his life ever since.

“I’m happy to come out again and again, and if you don’t like it, I don’t care. Going through all of that allowed me to become the warrior that I did, standing up for other people’s rights, fighting for them, raising money, and sending kids to college. I hope that one day, no kid will ever feel the way I once did. There will always be bigotry in the world, but we have to let people live and love.”

Cotton attended Pride every year from 2000 until 2018, when he felt the event began to decline. He believes Houston Pride has been lacking in organization, financial transparency, and diversity—issues he aims to address. “We are a diverse and financially transparent organization, founded by experienced nonprofit leaders in Houston who are committed to making a positive impact on our local community,” he says.

Houston’s New Faces of Pride 2024 Pride Kick-off Happy Hour, January 31, 2024 (Photo by Dalton Dehart)


For this Pride season, Cotton’s team has several exciting events lined up. “We will have a nonprofit happy hour, we have the festival, the parade, an after party, a sober event, and a brunch, among other things.”

Country music singer Billy Gilman, who gained fame as a child with his hit single “One Voice” and later reintroduced himself to a broader audience as runner-up on the 11th season of The Voice’, will be performing, as well as singers Lauren Sanderson, known for her empowering lyrics and genre-blending sound, and Chris Housman, a country music singer-songwriter recognized for his authentic storytelling and for addressing LGBTQ+ themes within the genre. These headliners are just a few of the performers lined up. There will also be numerous festival vendors and booths and, of course, a festive parade. 

Another element Cotton has considered is security. “Security is extremely important during Pride. That’s why Houston’s New Faces of Pride will be working with the Houston Police Department and Constable Rosen’s office. They will be handling all aspects of security and will not be using third-party companies.” Cotton goes on to say that “we are working with professionals that do this all day, every day. We want everyone to feel safe while having fun.”

Since this is Houston’s New Faces of Pride’s first Pride month, Cotton is hoping for a massive turnout.  “Be willing to give us a chance. If you miss what Pride once was, I think you’ll love what we have to offer. We want to give Houston a Pride we all can be proud of.” 

What: Houston’s New Faces of Pride downtown parade 
When: Saturday, June 22 • Festival hours are 12-6 p.m., with the Parade from 7:30–10:00 p.m.
Where: Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby Street

For more information, to purchase tickets, and to get involved with Houston’s New Faces of Pride, visit

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David Brasher

David Brasher received his Masters degree in English from the University of Louisiana. He has contributed to national publications such as Instinct Magazine and Buzzfeed as well as local publications in Nashville. He moved to Houston in 2022 and spends his free time watching CNN and listening to true crime podcasts.
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