Pride in the Metroplex doesn’t begin — or end — with the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday


PRIDE WITHOUT BORDERS | Tarrant County Gay Pride’s annual parade on Oct. 5, is one of many events across the metroplex this year.


James Russell  |  Staff Writer

Teen Pride
Organizer Amanda Robinson hopes for a big turn out for this year’s Teen Pride. And if the turnout for the Sept. 14 “Inspirational Sunday” event at Cathedral of Hope is any indication, she doesn’t need to worry.

The theme for this year’s Teen Pride event is “Under the Big Top.” On Saturday, Sept. 20 at CoH, there will be a big tent, clearly indicating a lot will be going on. Robinson, the co-founder of Real Live Connection, the organization putting on Teen Pride, said the family-friendly event includes vendors, performances, food and the chance for families to be together.

“A lot of organizations will be offering services that people may have not even be aware of,” such as banks offering credit counseling, and JobCorps, which offers job opportunities.

Robinson said she couldn’t pinpoint one particular thing that drew youth and young adults to last Sunday’s event. “They just came,” she said.

“Just our word-of-mouth outreach and social media presence alone” got people interested.

With ambitions for her organization to hold events year-round, Robinson said she couldn’t be more grateful for the attention.

Teen Pride takes place on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 2-7 p.m. at CoH. Admission is $5, or free with a student I.D.

Tejano Pride Summit
This year’s Tejano Pride Summit, organized by LULAC — Rainbow Council, on Saturday, Sept. 20, continues the summit’s tradition of building bridges across identities within the Hispanic and LGBT communities. The free, day-long event features interactive workshops, informational sessions, food and entertainment.

“Whether it’s between people of faith and non-believers, or between indigenous and modern Hispanic identities, we’ll be reaching out and connecting identities,” said Omar Narvaez, the summit’s co-chair. “The question is how do we bridge those divides?”

Now in its third year, the summit is an opportunity to bring LGBT people and allies together to discuss ideas and collaborate on projects. The ultimate goal is to build a statewide network to advance civic engagement and participation, the health and wellbeing and acceptance of LGBT people. Interactive workshops will discuss and engage attendees, while performances and meals will bridge the divide between the indigenous and modern Hispanic identities.

The summit will kick off with a reception on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Havana Lounge, 4006 Cedar Springs, at 6 p.m. honoring Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

The third annual Tejano Pride Summit On Saturday, Sept. 20, takes place from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Dallas County Schools Technology Building, 5151 Samuell Blvd.

Dallas Southern Pride
Dallas Southern Pride’s black Pride event wants everything to be gold from Oct. 2 through Oct. 6. With events, educational opportunities and parties packed into four days, there should be something to appeal to everyone in the more than 10,000 people expected to participate.

“’Dallas Southern Pride: All Gold Everything!’ is designed to promote positive awareness and foster support for organizations that are addressing health, education, economic and social issues affecting the local LGBT communities of color,” said Kirk Myers, DSP’s business advisor. “The weekend’s events will serve as an excellent chance to raise awareness on important issues and to have some fun.”

Among the regular events are the pool party, 24 Karat Ball and the Southern Regional Ball/House and Pageant (B/HAP) Communities’ Leadership and Health Disparities Conference, now in its third year. Participants are expected from nearly 20 states across the country. This year the conference is emphasizing the health disparities among African-American and Latino men as well as transgender male-to-female individuals.

But this year there are some changes too. Both the welcoming reception and closing day BBQ will be free. Among pre-pride events are some game-changers, too. For the first time, his group will be participating in the Alan Ross Freedom Parade.

Tarrant County Gay Pride
The organizers and volunteers for this year’s Tarrant County Gay Pride week are once again putting the “unity” in “community.” They’re also making it a little longer than a week.

On Sept. 13, the association took betting types for $30 a seat Louisiana for a day-long trip to a casino. Proceeds benefit the all-volunteer organization’s efforts.

The organizers have planned something for everyone between Oct. 2-19, reaching all facets of the community. Gray Pride happy hour for LGBT people over 50 at the 515 Bar (formerly Crossroads) at 515 Jennings kicks off the celebration on a jam-packed Thursday, Oct. 2.

Participants can walk across the street to the Rainbow Lounge, 651 S. Jennings, for a wedding celebration for same-gender couples, or head to Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave. for a youth event in collaboration with LGBTQ Saves. Meet the parade’s grand marshals and Raina Lee award winners at Club Reflections, 606 S Jennings Ave.

The long weekend officially kicks off with the Showboats & Show Girls benefit. Keep your weekend free if you hadn’t already, because on Oct. 4 you’ll need to visit the annual parade in downtown Fort Worth and Oct. 5 festival in Trinity Park. Other partner events include the 16th annual QCinema film festival and the International Gay Rodeo finals.

QCinema’s schedule alone could overwhelm even the most enthusiastic of Pride-goers with 23 movies, live comedy shows and more.

While many events are traditions, this year also marks a year of firsts. Among the firsts are two of the grand marshals: Sharon Herrera is the first Latina and Tori Van Fleet-Kujala, is the first trans grand marshal and only the third in Texas. They will be marching with Allan Gould, the former executive director of the AIDS Outreach Center.

Since its founding in 1981, the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association has maintained a distinctly Fort Worth identity. According to the TCGPW website, founder Gary Taylor, who also went by the drag name Raina Lee, hosted gatherings for her LGBT family at Forest Park’s Shelter House, “a place to gather, out in the open, in public, where we could be exactly who we were, without discrimination, without judgment and without fear.” That gathering became the current Pride Picnic, a large gathering in the even larger Trinity Park.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 19, 2014.