Kaliente won the trophy for Best Overall Entry (Photo by Chuck Marcelo)
The biggest Pride parade in Dallas history took to the streets of Oak Lawn on Sunday afternoon, with more than 120 total entries making their way down Cedar Springs to Reverchon Park. Today (Monday, Sept. 19), organizers announced the winners in the nine different categories. They are
Best Performance: Oak Lawn Band
Best Walking Group: Turtle Creek Chorale
Best Costume: LULAC
Best Social Commentary: Dallas Victims of Crime
Best Overall Entry: Kaliente
Best For Profit: Bank of America
Best Non Profit: United Court of the Lone Star Empire
Judge’s Choice: Veteran’s for Diversity
Best Interpretation of the Theme (“Solidarity Through Pride”): Abounding Prosperity
(Watch for more of Chuck’s photos of the parade here on Instant Tea throughout the week.)
The United Court of the Lone Star Empire won the trophy for Best Nonprofit Entry (Photo by Chuck Marcelo)
Citing safety concerns, officials with Cleveland Pride announced Thursday, July 28, that the city’s 28th annual Pride parade and rally — which had been pushed back to Aug. 13 to accommodate the just-finished Republican National Convention held in that city — have been cancelled.
In a press release posted yesterday on organization’s website, Cleveland Pride Inc. President and CEO Todd J. Saporito said: “We have been entrusted by our community to create a secure parade and festival environment for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends and allies. Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today’s environment. Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year.”
The press release went on to thank “all partners, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and service providers for their dedication and energy,” and noted that the Pride planning team’s next steps will be to “refund monies to vendors, sponsors and service providers. A team of board members and lead volunteers will initiate discussion for town hall meetings to further map out a program where we and other LGBT community partners, will be able to start crafting awareness and training programs, that will be beneficial on a day-to-day basis as well as prepared for our celebration in 2017.”
Saporito also noted, “Cleveland Pride, Inc. seeks to remind everyone that Pride is not a one-day celebration, but a daily act of visibility throughout our community. While we may not be marching as a large, unified body, we can come together throughout Cleveland and continue our support of local LGBTQ establishments and LGBTQ community members.”
But some community members aren’t buying it, including activist, radio host and Baldwin Wallace University associate professor Ken Schneck.
In a blog post on Huffington Post yesterday, Schneck called the cancellation “inconceivable,” given that Cleveland hosted the Republican National Convention, complete with “protesters with many, many guns,” just last week; that there is a city-wide celebration happening this weekend to thank Cleveland for hosting the RNC; that Cleveland hosted the Gay Games just two years ago; that the city took less than 48 hours to plan a parade to celebrate the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA championship (a parade that drew more than a million spectators); and that “cities all over the country have been celebrating Pride post-Orlando for months now.”
Today — three days before Independence Day and one day after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on open military service by transgender men and women — I received this photo and caption from the Navy Office of Community Outreach.
And we are proud to share it here on InstanTEA.
PHILIPPINE SEA (June 25, 2016) Yeoman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Elexis Rogers, from Jacksonville, Florida, sings the National Anthem during a Pride month observance ceremony organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Supporting Sailors (G.L.A.S.S.) association on the aft mess decks aboard the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The G.L.A.S.S. association organizes events for the ship including fundraisers, community relations projects and morale building events. The USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jamaal Liddell/Released)
Imran Yousuf, a U.S. military veteran and bouncer at Pulse Nightclub, will be honorary grand marshal of the Houston Pride parade on June 25. His actions at Pulse saved dozens of lives.
The parade begins at sunset with a 30-foot by 20-foot Rainbow Flag inscribed with the names of the Orlando victims at the head of the parade.
Meet Yousuf at 1:30 p.m. on the Barefoot Wine® Stage in front of Houston City Hall.
Last year, the Houston Pride parade moved from the Montrose neighborhood to downtown. Held the night after the marriage-equality decision, the parade attracted more than half a million people.
The Houston Pride Festival runs noon-7 p.m. at McKinney and Smith streets.
The Houston Pride Parade starts at 8:30 p.m. and runs through about 11 p.m. The route begins at Lamar Street, goes north on Smith Street, to Walker Street, makes a right to Milam Street and then makes a left and continues to Jefferson Street. Bleachers, high rise parking garages that are open to viewers and sidewalks line the route and are open to attendees.
Folks in Houston and the surrounding area are invited to attend “A Stand Against Hate: Candlelight Vigil for Orlando Tragedy” tonight (Monday, June 13) beginning at 6 p.m., at The Montrose Center, 401 Branard St.
The vigil is organized by Pride Houston, The Montrose Center and Legacy Community Health.
In announcing the event, organizers said: “Tonight we stand in solidarity against hate in any form. Tonight we stand together in strength to show that fear will not win. Tonight we stand in silence as we mourn the lives lost in the senseless act of terrorism in Orlando.
“We stand with our allies, friends, families and loved ones.
Los Angeles Times is reporting that Santa Monica police there have arrested a man after finding assault rifles, ammunition and possible explosives in his car.
Police responding to calls about a possible prowler near Olympic Boulevard and 11th Street found the man, who told them he was waiting for a friend, and that he was in town for the L.A. Pride celebration in West Hollywood. When officers inspected his car, which has Indiana license plates, they found several weapons and a lot of ammunition as well as tannerite, an ingredient that could be used to create a pipe bomb, the LA Times notes.
A city official in West Hollywood also confirmed the arrest and stressed that officials were beefing up security at the gay Pride event, the Times reports, noting, “One source in West Hollywood said there was discussion of calling off the parade but that officials decided to go forward, with heavy security including undercover officers in the crowd.”
Authorities have said they know of no links between Omar Mateen, the man who killed 50 people and wounded at least 53 more in a shooting early this morning at Pulse, an Orlando, Fla., gay bar.
“Up until just over two years ago there was no national strategy focused on supporting conservatives running for mayor and city council. CLA’s commitment to supporting these Republican officeholders and candidates is unrivaled, and I’m proud to continue that record of support in the elections ahead,” Price said in the CLA statement. “I look forward to working with my fellow conservative municipal elected officials to take advantage of the opportunities to grow and expand the Republican Mayors and City Council caucus.”
Outgoing CLA Chair Richard J. Berry, mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., praised Price as “one of the hardest working mayors I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years,” and said her “focus on the issues has made Fort Worth a national leader when it comes to health, jobs, safety, and community engagement.”
Price, a Fort Worth native, was first elected mayor of Cowtown in 2011, just two years after a raid by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents and some Fort Worth Police officers on a gay bar called the Rainbow Lounge made international headlines. Although municipal elections in Texas are nonpartisan, Price’s status as a Republican was well established — she had served as treasurer of Tarrant County for several years, and those elections are partisan — and the city’s LGBT leaders initially worried that she might derail progress toward LGBT equality the city had made since the raid.
But while she hasn’t been actively promoting LGBT issues at the city level, Price has pretty much stuck by the promise she made during her first campaign to treat everyone equally and fairly. She has served as grand marshal of the city’s annual gay Pride parade, and last fall helped kick off Tarrant County Gay Pride Week, among other things.
“I am the mayor for everybody,” Price said at Pride Week festivities.
When I got the email with the statement from the CLA, I decided to check into that organization’s mission and goals. After all, Republican organizations overall are not known for being particularly LGBT-friendly. So I sent CLA an email:
“I am editor of Dallas Voice, and I received your email regarding Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price being named chair of your organization. Can you tell me where CLA stands on issues related to LGBT equality? Thank you.”
I quickly received this answer:
“Hi Nash – thanks for the note.
The Community Leaders of America (CLA) is the caucus of America’s local elected Republican leaders with representatives from every state and from communities of all sizes. CLA was created as a direct response to the lack of a unified national strategy supporting Republicans running for local elected offices.
“Unlike their state and federal counterparts, America’s local leaders live and work in the very communities they represent. Their constituents are the families they see in the work place, at the grocery store, or out and about in the community every single day. Choosing to push a problem in need of a solution off to another day, or legislative session, is not an option for these local leaders. They must govern and lead practically, in a principled, efficient, and effective manner. These selfless individuals, and the communities they represent, are the ideas engines that will help propel America down a path where every community has the opportunity to thrive and prosper for generations to come.
“Political and Communications Director
“Community Leaders of America”
So yeah, I still have no idea what Community Leaders of America thinks about us LGBT folks. But I am going to give Mayor Price the benefit of the doubt on this one. After all, she hasn’t done us wrong so far.