Brenda Howard was known as the “Mother of Pride,” coordinated the first LBGT Pride march, she also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LBGT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.  

Gay Pride or LBGT Pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate diversity and gender variance.  Pride,  as opposed to shake or social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LBGT rights movements throughout the world.  Pride has lent its name to the LBGT themed organizations, institutes, foundations, book titles, periodicals and even a cable TV station and the Pride Library.

Ranging from solemn to carnival themes- pride events are typically held during LBGT Pride Month or some other period that commemorates a turning point in a country’s LBGT history, for example Moscow Pride in May for the anniversary of Russia’s 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality.  Some pride events include LBGT pride parades and marches, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, large festivals, such as Sydney Mardi Gras, which spans several weeks.

Common symbols are the rainbow or pride flag, the lowercase Greek letter lambda, the pink triangle, and the black triangle, these latter two reclaimed from use as badges of shame in Nazi concentration camps.

The state of Texas “spreads” Pride Celebrations from June through October for a number of reasons.  Dallas celebrates in September with Fort Worth celebrating in October.  The states largest Pride event, however takes place in Houston on the last Saturday in June to coincide with the anniversary of New York’s Stonewall rebellion.

My Texas Twins Events/Pawning Planners Team will again this year be sponsoring the Fort Worth parade on October 10 as well as attending the annual picnic in Trinity Park on October 11, 2015. 

Although, there have been a few of my friends and associates who do not or cannot understand my affiliation with a community that accepts anyone regardless of background or lifestyle- it should be noted that many of my lifelong friends are members of the LBGTQ community and, I believe that love is love.  My team and I champion many causes including civil rights activities.

My twin sister, Cindy Daniel along with our tiny Texas Twins aka The Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney attended a NOH8DALLAS Campaign with Adam Bouska last year as a silent protest.

The NOH8 Campaign (meaning No Hate) is a charitable organization in the United States whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media and visual protest.  The duct tape symbolizes voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest.  Both LBGT and non-LBGT people participate in these photo shoots.

Melissa Etheridge made Pittsburg the site of her first Pride appearance in 2012 where she played and entertained for over two hours. Finding celebrity entertainers to perform at Pride Events is a “dicey” discussion.  “Of course I would always aim high and then get shot down,” says Steve Henderson, a Capital Pride volunteer who worked for 17 years on the entertainment planning committee.  “Unless they were going for a pro bono show, we would never be able to get a Gaga, Britney or Madonna-like act.  Not while its a free festival.  Gaga is a minimum $1 million plus riders she also required a 10 truckload in and performance rehearsals weeks in advance, which we cannot do since the stage is installed the evenung of the festival.  It’s always been a problem with A Grade headliners.”

While many entertainers donate their time to Pride Festivals and activities, cities with shoe string budgets simply cannot afford to hire “Headlining Acts.”  Despite the challenges, Henderson, who now lives in Chicago, has many good memories and is proud of the entertainers he brought to Pittsburg over the years- RuPaul in 2009, Chely Wright 2010, Deborah Cox 2012 and Cher Lloyd, Emeli Sande and Icona Pop in 2013 and more.

Pride Toronto boasts the largest Pride celebration in North America announced its 2015 headliners and performers during its 35th festival edition June 19-28, 2015.  Having welcomed the world and raised the bar for Pride celebrations last year, the Pride Toronto 2015 festival will build on Worldpride’s energy and momentum with a full program celebrating the lives and stories of the LGBTQ & community.  The festival will feature icons such as Pussy Riot, Cyndi Lauper, Chaz Bono and John Waters in addition to welcoming human rights leaders and legendary performers to the hottest stages and events in Toronto.

Logo TV is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Viacom Media Networks.  The channel focuses on lifestyle programming aimed primarily at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  Founded by former MTV executive Matt Farber, Logo TV chose the name “because a logo is an identity and nothing is more important than having your own unique identity, and making it work for you.  Your logo is your symbol, it’s what you put forward with pride, it’s who you are and it’s where we are.”

Pride Month is meant to celebrate how far the community has come and many activities are family oriented to involve children.  Family friendly activities in Fort Worth are through the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association and have year round activities.  To find out how you can get involved with a group, simply Google activities in your area.

Wendy M Wortham