Houston PrideMeet the Marshals 2024Pride 2024

Houston’s New Faces of Pride Female-Identifying Grand Marshal: Iris Rodriguez

Rodriguez advocates for diversity, inclusion, mental health, and LGBTQ issues.

Houston’s New Faces of Pride Female-Identifying Grand Marshal Iris Rodrigue

“Being named a grand marshal is a significant honor that acknowledges your past efforts and empowers you to continue your work with renewed energy and confidence while building connections with other activists. it allows you to address broader audiences and engage with media, policymakers, and the public. Leading a Pride event underscores the importance of celebrating the ongoing journey toward full equality, justice, and acceptance.” — Iris Rodriguez

Known For:
Rodriguez was born in Mexico and raised in Houston by a single mother as one of eight siblings, living in a household of laughter, love, hard work, and the belief that all people are equal and deserving of respect. She gives full credit to her mother, Marie Dolores Belmont, for giving her the passion and drive to live a life of service. Working as a bartender at Kindred Spirits, she spent most of the 1980s serving drinks to members of the LGBTQ community. She witnessed bar raids, the first AIDS blood drive, and many LGBTQ+ Political Caucus events. She has served on multiple committees of the Kindred Spirits Foundation, Inc. and has been an active board member for over ten years. She is the first Hispanic female in the Houston Fire Department, serving for three decades and presently ranked as a captain. Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, she is a veteran of three wars and one humanitarian conflict. She is an artist and a world traveler. She played in the original Montrose Softball League and the Houston Women’s Softball League. She competed in the 911 Games “Guns and Hoses” benefiting Texas Special Olympics, where she was undefeated in this Police Department vs. Fire Department boxing tournament. She has run Houston marathons and competed in adventure racing. On her off time, she can be found sporting a tool belt and remodeling her 120-year-old home. She is proud to identify as a gay/lesbian member of Houston’s LGBTQ community.

Policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion in workplaces, schools, and public services; mental-health support within the LGBTQ community; educating others about LGBTQ issues and the importance of inclusivity; empowering LGBTQ youth and providing them with role models, support systems, and safe spaces to express their identities.

Favorite Causes:
Women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and human rights.

Dream to Change the World:
Show up, engage, listen—then do something positive to bring about change.

Ultimate Life Mission:
Live life with optimism and happiness, and advocate for positivity.

Favorite Hashtag:

What: Houston’s New Faces of Pride downtown parade
When: Saturday, June 22, 7:30–10:00 p.m.
Where: Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby Street
Info: tinyurl.com/38ta7f6s

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Brandon Wolf

Brandon Wolf is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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