City of Dallas to issue proclamation for third year; events include Family Day at zoo, awards reception, day of volunteering at homeless shelter


PLANTING THEIR FLAG  | ­Dallas officials and LGBT Task Force members gather in the flag room at City Hall during a Pride Month event in 2012. This year’s events kick off Wednesday, June 5. (Dallas Voice file photo)

ANNA WAUGH  |  News Editor

The city of Dallas will again sponsor weekly events throughout National LGBT Pride Month.

This year Councilwoman Delia Jasso’s LGBT Task Force collaborated with Dallas Public Library and other city entities to plan more events that engage and educate the LGBT community.

Omar Narvaez, a member of the Task Force in charge of the Pride events, said the month will kick off on Wednesday, June 5, with a proclamation declaring it Pride Month in Dallas like last year. The Pride flag will also be displayed in the Flag Room and in the foyer of City Hall all month.

The LGBT community was expected to return to City Hall in force on June 12 when the City Council was scheduled to take up a resolution supporting marriage equality and statewide LGBT job protections. But after Jasso pulled her support for the resolution this week and Mayor Mike Rawlings then refused to put the item on the agenda, GetEQUAL TX is now planning a protest.

Other events in June include an LGBT Family Day at the Dallas Zoo on June 19 with discount tickets. And the Task Force will host a special recognition reception at Resource Center Dallas that evening. The month will finish with a give back day at homeless shelter The Bridge on June 29, where volunteers will hand out food and clothes.

“Last year was more about how the city and community work together,” Narvaez said. “This year we decided it was time to take a step further and see what are the other things we could do to celebrate Dallas and the community at the same time.”

Task Force member Pam Gerber, who spearheaded the city’s Pride Month events last year, said having June Pride events helps educate people about the community while celebrating Pride at the same time.

“I think it’s important because we need to keep it on people’s radar screens,” Gerber said. “We’re not at our destination yet. Just walking around and declaring our sexual orientation or gender identity isn’t enough. We need to educate people.”

Librarian Ray Sablack helped oversee the planning of four Dallas Public Library Pride events, from an art exhibit on display all month at White Rock Hills Library to a Stonewall Book Award lecture and an LGBT family day. In addition, each library will display LGBT books in honor of Pride Month.

Sablack said the events were in collaboration with the city events and he and other library staff wanted to help put their mark on celebrating Pride.

“The library has always been at the forefront of diversity,” he said. “Part of our job as librarians is to empower marginalized aspects of our community.”

Meanwhile, Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs has proclaimed the month of June 2013 as “LGBTQ Pride Month” in the city of Denton. Local leaders will meet briefly on the east side steps of the Courthouse on the Square June 1 to read the proclamation. Burroughs signed a city proclamation in 2009 and 2012 recognizing LGBT Pride Day in the city of Denton.

“The city of Denton and its leaders have been supportive of our community in the city for a number of years,” said John Turner-McClelland, vice president of the Stonewall Democrats of Denton County. “While we have had Pride days proclaimed at least twice before, this is the first time the city is recognizing the entire month of June.”

Then on June 20, a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas will take place at Harvest Metropolitan Community Church. Denton leaders are also planning a celebration or a protest at the courthouse when the U.S. Supreme Court announces its ruling in two key marriage equality cases in late June.


City of Dallas Pride Month events

June 5: Pride Month Proclamation Day, City Hall Flag Room, 12-1 p.m.

June 8: Mindful and Kind art exhibit begins on display at White Rock Hills Library

June 12: Stonewall Book Awards lecture at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, noon-1p.m.; GetEQUAL TX protest at City Hall, noon.

June 19: LGBT Family Day at Dallas Zoo, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; SOLID Talk: Building confidence in you, Oak Lawn Library, 6 p.m.; LGBT Task Force special recognition reception, Resource Center Dallas, 6-8 p.m.

June 22: Rainbow Family Day, J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1-4 p.m.June 29: LGBT Pay it Forward Day, The Bridge, 8 a.m.-12: p.m.

Denton Pride Month events

June 1: Reading of Pride proclamation, Courthouse on the Square, 12:30 p.m.June 20: Celebration of the 10th anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, Harvest Metropolitan Community Church, 7 p.m.

June 20: Celebration of the 10th anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, Harvest Metropolitan Community Church, 7 p.m.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 31, 2013.