I have attended Houston Pride Parades going back to the time when they were held in Montrose in daylight on sweltering Houston summer days, but until Saturday night I’d never participated in one
My participation in in came for several reasons. I believed that in the wake of the Orlando Pride attack I needed to do so as a community leader to support the event in the wake of a threat being called in to the parade. The video I and other Houston community leaders taped in the runup to it was just part of that.
Since Dee Dee was going, I rolled with her to initially join the Houston Transgender Unity Committee (HTUC) trans contingent of the parade but ran into the trans Latinas of Organizacion Latinas de Trans en Texas (OLTT) who were ahead of them in the parade lineup area on Allen Parkway. Since I’d been promising to hang out with them and missed a few events they have put on locally because of all my jetsetting, when they asked me and Dee Dee to carry the trans pride flag as part of their group I accepted along with her.
I also felt that since the TBLG Latinx community was the one disproportionately affected by the Pulse attack, it was apropos for me to march in my first Houston pride parade in solidarity with my trans Latina sisters.
When the parade finally started moving from the Allen Parkway assembly area towards downtown and the parade route, it was impressive taking a sneak peek behind me and watching the OLTT color guard with their trans pride flags flapping in the slight breeze smartly marching in formation and looking good doing it.
But one thing I thought about at that moment was that I would like to see more Black trans participation in this parade and next year’s Juneteenth parade. We’ll see if it happens.
Then we hit the starting point of the parade at Lamar and Smith Streets and heard the cheers coming from the crowds stacked five deep on both sides of the parade route.
It was fun watching OLTT founder Ana Andrea Molina running around holding her own trans pride flag and giving high fives to the crowd and checking on our OLTT contingent to make sure we didn’t get too strung out as we marched down the parade route.
And just as quickly as it started, it was rapidly over once we got to Milam and Jefferson Streets, to be greeted by some fool doing some Bible belting. I threw some shots in to get under his skin and bring some truth to his proselytizing for Conservagod before heading back home. .
So will I do the parade next year? Depends on whether I’m in the Houston area for it and don’t get invited to do somebody else’s parade that happens to fall on the same 2017 date.