By John Wright Staff Writer

5 questions with Lohn Cearnal

Lohn is a president of this year’s Tarrant County Pride Week, which kicks off this weekend with the parade and other events and concludes with the picnic on Sunday, Oct. 13. For a complete calendar, go to

How did you get involved with Tarrant County Gay Pride Week?

Back in the 1980s, a friend was president and said, “I need someone with marketing experience to work with people and put a picnic together with the three beer vendors in Fort Worth,,” so I became vice president.

What is your favorite thing about Pride Week?

It brings lots of people out of their houses who do not normally go out all year long. It’s a time to see and visit with friends from in town and out of town.

Unlike Dallas’ Pride, Tarrant County’s is largely self-funded. How do you manage to accomplish that?

We do it with lots of hard work and support from the bars. The titleholders also work very hard putting on shows throughout the year to raise money so that we can give out free food and beer. All of the major beer companies are also big sponsors.

This year Pride Week was moved from June to October. Why?

Our week was in conflict with other cities in Texas, and we wanted to move to a cooler time of year to bring out more volunteers. We are expecting a larger turnout.

One of the grand marshals for the parade, James Allen, was profiled in last week’s Dallas Voice. Tell me a little about the others.

There are two, the Cowtown Leathermen and Jon Gipe. The Leathermen was organized on Sept. 13, 1983, by a small group of men who enjoyed leather and the brotherhood that a leather club provides. The club has been contributing to the community through the years by supporting other organizations, raising funds for various projects such as TCAIN, Samaritan House, AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth and AIDS Rural Resources Center in Weatherford. Gipe is a member and the historian for Cowtown Leathermen. Fondly known as Jon Jon, he has been a club member almost from the start of the club. Jon Jon is also involved “behind the scenes” in helping other community organizations and events in whatever way he can. Jon Jon can never seem to say no if help is needed.

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