Pride is breaking out all over Texas this fall, with first-ever Pride celebrations this weekend in Tyler and Wimberly, and Dallas Southern Pride getting underway next Wednesday, Sept. 25. Tarrant County Pride offers two days’ worth of events Oct. 5-6, and in Dallas, Texas Latino Pride is set from Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Longhorn Ballroom.
— Tammye Nash
Pride in the Park
Tyler Area Gays — TAG — has been around since 2008, explained Caroline Sanchez, the organization’s chair and volunteer coordinator, and has been staging picnics in the park for several years now. “But,” she said, “this is our first Pride. This is the first time we are actually calling it Pride.”
The TAG Pride in the Park picnic is set for Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Southside Park, 455 Shiloh Road in Tyler. Sanchez said that TAG is providing free burgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings — while supplies last — and TAG members will be bringing side dishes to share. Everyone attending is encouraged to bring their own side dishes, desserts and beverages.
Early this week Sanchez said more than 40 vendors had already registered to participate in the Pride picnic, with more applications coming in each day. “We have everything from HIV testing to yogurt to puppies looking for a forever home,” she said. “I think we will reach at least 50 vendors by the weekend. That’s important because it shows how much support the community has for us. And we’ve got a great conglomeration of vendors, too.
A great variety.”
Vendors will include the Boy Scouts of America, the East Texas Crisis Center, organizers for Tyler’s upcoming Out of the Darkness suicide awareness walk, wedding planners, artists “and even Walmart/Marshall is coming. We’ve got everybody,” Sanchez said.
Jumping Party rental will be there “with seven humongous inflatables,” Sanchez said, including a 71-foot-long obstacle course and a couple of bounce houses, available for a small fee payable to the vendor. There will be a Kids Zone, and The Tyler Loop, an online newspaper serving the Tyler area, will have representatives there “getting stories from people about coming out in East Texas,” she added. “Basically, we are bringing the community together — all different parts of the community — to see how we can help each other out.”
“We are all part of this community, so let’s work together to make it better for all of us.”
Dallas Southern Pride
About 2,500 people are expected to converge on Dallas from Sept. 25-29 for Dallas Southern Pride/Black Pride 2019, according to Ahmad Goree, one of the organizers.
“We are expecting people from all over the country to come for Black Pride weekend,” Goree said, noting that Dallas’ annual celebration is rated as the fifth-largest black Pride celebration in the country, behind Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Miami and Los Angeles. “We go back and forth with LA, though, for the number four spot.
“We’ve got a lot going on this year,” Goree continued. “We are really excited to be partnering with the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office this year for the first time to present the LGBTQ Town Hall Meeting” on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the MLK Jr. Recreation Center, 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dallas. DPD’s LGBT liaison officer, Cpl. Amber Washington, will be there, as well as the DA’s LGBT liaison, Phillip Clark.
“We’ll be talking about all the issues and topics important to our community,” Goree said.
The HIV Prevention Trials Network 092 Stakeholders Engagement Convening takes place Thursday, Sept. 26, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Sheraton Suites Market Center, 2101 N. Stemmons Freeway, and the Miss Dallas Southern Pride Pageant begins at 8:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the host hotel, the Doubletree by Hilton Market Center, 2015 Market Center Blvd.
Friday features the Ball House and Pageant Conference from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Doubletree, with a Lunch and Learn event from noon-2 p.m., presented by Gilead Sciences at the Sheraton. The evening continues with the BHAP Awards Gala from 6-11:30 p.m. at the Doubletree.
The BHAP Conference, Goree said, will focus on “all the various issues that affect our lives, from politics to domestic violence and more, with about five different sessions during the day.” And the Gala that evening will honor those individuals who “have made a significant impact on the BHAP community,” and will include the presentation of the Community Advocate Award as well as awards for those who have excelled in their categories at the balls throughout the year, “life Face of the Year, Body of the Year and so on.”
The main event for the weekend is the Pool Party from 4-8:30 p.m. at the Cedar Canyon Dude Ranch, 4523 University Hills Blvd. in Lancaster, featuring nationally-know R&B artists Light-Skinned Keisha, Asian Doll and more. The evening continues with the Mega Party at the Gas Monkey, 10110 Technology Blvd. in Dallas.
Dallas Southern Pride weekend winds up Sunday with the Gulf Coast Unity Ball, with competition in a variety of categories, from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Doubletree.
More Pride on tap
Dallas Lesbian Pride
Dallas legend Betty Neal presents “Wett: The Official Dallas Lesbian Pride” Friday, Sept. 27, beginning at 10 p.m. at Sue Ellen’s. The party will include a show featuring Kennedy Davenport, RP, Shemar Gracon, Karla KP and Glam Davenport, along with DJ 008 and MC Tyra Ra Ra. Reservations are available.
Other upcoming Pride events:
• Wimberly Pride: Sept. 20-21. Includes a Pre-Pride Kick-off Party on Friday, a Pride March Pre-Party on Saturday from 5-7 p.m., the Pride March at 7:30 p.m. and the After Party from 7:30-11:59 p.m. Get all the details at Facebook.com/WimberlyPride.
• Grayson Pride Public Forum, Saturday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Denison Snap Center,
531 W. Chestnut St. in Denison. Facebook.com/pg/Grayson Pride.
• Texas Latino Pride Live Music Festival, Saturday, Oct. 5, from 2-10 p.m. at the Longhorn Ballroom, 216 Corinth St. in Dallas. Facebook.com/TexasLatinoPride.
• Tarrant County Gay Pride, with the parade and festival on Saturday, Oct. 5, in downtown Fort Worth and at the Fort Worth Water Gardens, and the Gay Pride Picnic on Sunday, Cot. 6, at the 7th Street Pavillion at Trinity Park. TCGPWA.org.
• Grayson Pride Comedy Benefit, Friday, Oct. 18, at Tupelo Honey Bar and Grill, 130 E. Woodward St. in Denison. Facebook.com/pg/Grayson Pride.
— Tammye Nash