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It’s Pride Time, Houston

Houston’s Pride Parade, which draws over 500,000 people from Houston and around the world each year, happens this weekend.

The rainbow flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s.
The rainbow flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s.

In case you’re wondering why Houston has a giant parade in the summertime, here’s a little history:

There weren’t many public places where LGBTQ people were openly welcomed in the 1960’s, and the establishments that did welcome them were usually bars. Those bars were frequently subject to police raids, during which patrons who didn’t comply with gender norms were often carted off to jail. One night in June of 1969, police raided a bar in New York City called the Stonewall Inn. But this time, instead of running from the police, the patrons fought back. That moment and the six days of demonstrations that followed it are widely considered the beginning of the modern LGBTQ movement.

Houston’s first Pride Parade took place in 1978 (some sources say 1979) on Westheimer Road, in the heart of the Montrose area. It took place there every year until 2015 when the annual celebration moved to the downtown area. Pride Houston organizes the parade and its related events.

This year’s parade theme is “Wonderland,” which some gay rights activists are criticizing for being escapist in a political climate that they believe instead warrants awareness. 

The event kicks off Saturday, June 24th at noon with the Pride Festival at McKinney and Smith. The festival is free, all ages, and open to the public. The main event, Houston’s Pride Parade, starts at (a mercifully post-sunset) 8:30PM. Each year, the parade draws about 500,000 from Houston and around the world. 

For more information about the parade and Pride Houston events, visit their website.

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