Queer Voices

May 29th 2024 Queer Voices

May 29, 2024 Queer Voices
May 29th 2024 Queer Voices
Queer Voices
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Queer Voices
May 29th 2024 Queer Voices
May 29, 2024
Queer Voices

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Kendra Walker, President of Pride Houston 365, takes us on a remarkable journey through the history and future of Pride in Houston. From the spirited Anita Bryant protests to the trailblazing activism of Larry Bagneris, Kendra shares the inspiring origins of the Houston Pride movement. She also reveals exciting plans for the 46th annual Pride Festival and Parade on June 29th and teases new initiatives for 2024, like a seniors' corner and a star-studded lineup of entertainers. Dive into the heart of Pride Houston 365's RISE program, which is dedicated to supporting grassroots organizations and fostering year-round community involvement.

Meet the passionate volunteers behind Pride Houston 365 as we highlight their rigorous training sessions and preparations for upcoming Pride events. We clear up misconceptions about the so-called "dueling" Pride parades by emphasizing the importance of unity within the LGBTQ+ community. Bryan Cotton and Andrea Simonton of Houston's New Faces of Pride discuss their mission to uplift smaller nonprofits, previewing their first-ever Pride Parade and Festival on June 22nd with headlining acts like Chris Hausman, Lauren Sanderson, and Billy Gilman. Their efforts aim to give back to the community while bringing everyone together for a memorable celebration.

We wrap up with the inspiring story of Christina Wells, who shares her journey as a plus-size, older, openly gay performer. Christina reflects on her powerful performances in "Newsies" and "Hairspray," her 22 years of being out, and the challenges she has faced in the entertainment industry. Her story is one of resilience and authenticity, reminding us of the importance of embracing diversity and inclusivity in theater. Join us for an episode brimming with history, passion, and a celebration of the vibrant LGBTQ+ community in Houston.

Queer Voices airs in Houston Texas on 90.1FM KPFT and is heard as a podcast here. Queer Voices hopes to entertain as well as illuminate LGBTQ issues in Houston and beyond. Check out our socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/QueerVoicesKPFT/ and
https://www.instagram.com/queervoices90.1kpft/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Kendra Walker, President of Pride Houston 365, takes us on a remarkable journey through the history and future of Pride in Houston. From the spirited Anita Bryant protests to the trailblazing activism of Larry Bagneris, Kendra shares the inspiring origins of the Houston Pride movement. She also reveals exciting plans for the 46th annual Pride Festival and Parade on June 29th and teases new initiatives for 2024, like a seniors' corner and a star-studded lineup of entertainers. Dive into the heart of Pride Houston 365's RISE program, which is dedicated to supporting grassroots organizations and fostering year-round community involvement.

Meet the passionate volunteers behind Pride Houston 365 as we highlight their rigorous training sessions and preparations for upcoming Pride events. We clear up misconceptions about the so-called "dueling" Pride parades by emphasizing the importance of unity within the LGBTQ+ community. Bryan Cotton and Andrea Simonton of Houston's New Faces of Pride discuss their mission to uplift smaller nonprofits, previewing their first-ever Pride Parade and Festival on June 22nd with headlining acts like Chris Hausman, Lauren Sanderson, and Billy Gilman. Their efforts aim to give back to the community while bringing everyone together for a memorable celebration.

We wrap up with the inspiring story of Christina Wells, who shares her journey as a plus-size, older, openly gay performer. Christina reflects on her powerful performances in "Newsies" and "Hairspray," her 22 years of being out, and the challenges she has faced in the entertainment industry. Her story is one of resilience and authenticity, reminding us of the importance of embracing diversity and inclusivity in theater. Join us for an episode brimming with history, passion, and a celebration of the vibrant LGBTQ+ community in Houston.

Queer Voices airs in Houston Texas on 90.1FM KPFT and is heard as a podcast here. Queer Voices hopes to entertain as well as illuminate LGBTQ issues in Houston and beyond. Check out our socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/QueerVoicesKPFT/ and
https://www.instagram.com/queervoices90.1kpft/

Speaker 1:

Hello everybody, this is Queer Voices, a home-produced podcast that has grown out of a radio show that's been on the air in Houston, Texas, for several decades. This week, the last Wednesday before Pride Month, 2024, we're featuring something old, something new and something newsies. Starting with something old, though they'd prefer the term original, I, Davis Mendoza DeRuzman, speak with the president of Pride Houston 365, Kendra Walker, leading the organization to the 46th annual Houston Pride Festival and Parade on June 29th.

Speaker 2:

Larry Bagneris in 1979, actually he was a black activist went down to City Hall and got the permit and that is known as the official first Houston Pride Parade in 1979. 46 years later, pride Houston is still here, still hosting the Houston Pride Festival and Parade.

Speaker 1:

Then on to something new with my interview with Houston's new faces of Pride, including President Brian Cotton and Director of Communications Andrea Simonson, leading their newly formed organization to their inaugural Pride Festival and Parade, one week before Pride Houston 365's on June 22nd.

Speaker 3:

There was an article back in November in the Pink News that ranked cities for most LGBTQ-friendly cities and the least LGBTQ-friendly cities, and the way they ranked it was amount of pride activities throughout the year and Houston was number two on the top 10 least LGBTQ friendly cities. So us having another event bringing many more pride events to the city is nothing but good.

Speaker 1:

And after our something Old and Something New, brett Cullen speaks with Something Newsies Christina Wells of Newsies at Theatre Under the Stars running from now through June 2nd, who's also appeared on America's Got Talent and the winner of Houston Pride Superstar Singing Competition in 2016.

Speaker 4:

I am a lesbian. Thank you for asking, because so many people just assume I'm an ally, especially because I'm a mama and I have kids. But I'm a lesbian. I've been out for 22 years, I came out of the closet and, yeah, that's really important to me to let people know that I don't know. I'm so many things Like I'm half black, half white, I'm plus size. I'm older. I'm half black, half white, I'm plus size, I'm older, I'm gay. Like there are no boundaries when it comes to like going after the things you want to do and just achieving your dream, regardless of titles or labels that are placed on you.

Speaker 1:

Your Voices starts now. Today, I'm speaking with President of Pride Houston 365, kendra Walker, who first joined the organization's board as Special Events Director in 2018, before becoming Executive Vice President in 2020, interim Treasurer in 2021, co-president in 2022, and now serves as President and Director of Philanthropy as of 2023. In addition to Pride Houston 365, kendra was also a board member of the Montrose Center from 2018 to 2021 and founded Lesbians of Color Houston in 2013, where she currently serves as president, a proud Alpha Kappa Alpha member, having served in 501c3 boards since grade school, in addition to her full-time job as an IT consultant. Please welcome Kendra Walker.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about Pride Houston.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Let's get right into it, because on Saturday, june 29th, at downtown Houston City Hall, pride Houston 365 is celebrating its 46th annual Houston Pride Festival and Parade, making it one of the longest running LGBTQ plus pride parades in America and the largest in the Southwest. So 46 years is a lot to cover. But could you tell me a bit about the history of this organization?

Speaker 2:

So the history of the Houston Pride movement was born out of the Anita Bryant protests in 76. And a guy named Larry Bagneris in 1979, actually he was a Black activist went down to City Hall and got the permit and that is known as the official first Houston Pride Parade in 1979. 46 years later, pride Houston is still here, still hosting the Houston Pride Festival and Parade.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that bit of history. And, in addition to being part of history, y'all are also striving to make history every year. So tell me, what do y'all have planned for 2024?

Speaker 2:

Well, 2024,. We have a lot of changes. One we're still growing, of course. So, like you said, we're the largest Pride Festival and Parade in Texas, but this year we decided on a number of changes. One, you know there will be free water. We will have the addition of a seniors corner for the first time this year. We also have a great lineup of entertainment that we'll be announcing in June, as per customary.

Speaker 1:

Pride Houston 365 has since announced their headlining performers country singer of American Idol fame, brooke Eden. Pop star, also of American Idol fame season seven runner-up, david Archuleta. And headliner singer and TV personality of VH1's Love Hip Hop Atlanta K Michelle.

Speaker 2:

And this year well, actually for the last four years we've had this program called RISE. It's called Rally, inspire, Support, elevate, and RISE is where and it's near and dear to my heart, but it's where we initially seek out grassroots organizations that are just getting started. Because if you have ever served on a 501c3 board, you know you need resources and you can't get resources unless you have resources. And usually there's a concentration of funds at the top with big 501c3s and well-known organizations and no one is looking at the little organizations, the grassroots, that are just getting started. But they're doing important work. So Pride Houston likes to provide financial assistance as well as marketing assistance to help them get the word out building a community right that's.

Speaker 1:

That's really exciting. And you know y'all are named pride houston 365 because y'all's involvement in our community being year-round all 365 days, or 366 if there's a leap year exactly so tell me a bit more about y'all's work outside of Pride Month, in addition to the RISE program and recipients.

Speaker 2:

So, in addition to the RISE program and recipients, we also have our scholarship program that we give to it's more need-based and academic-based, but definitely more need-based because you know there are deserving students who may not fit the academic requirements but who need that little help, that little financial assistance, to get into college, and so we provide need-based scholarships. We also do a number of outreach programs and that's spreading education and awareness. For example, for World AIDS Day and at a lot of our events we hand out free or quick kits all year round. And that is, we want to do our part in helping to basically combat the HIV epidemic, because that is really important and a lot of things affect the intersectionality of our community. You will see us Austin House is a strategic partner of us, so we quarterly, when we have leftover products such as water, soft drinks, food and things, we actually donate to Austin House. We gave them their biggest donation in three years and we do a lot of the work ourselves. So you should see us packing up these U-Hauls to take these donations of water.

Speaker 2:

I drove a U-Haul. That was interesting. I drive a big truck, but not that big.

Speaker 1:

That's incredible. And you mentioned before I started recording that this is entirely volunteer-based. Is that correct?

Speaker 2:

Yes, entirely volunteer-based. No one, all of us, my board, all of the volunteer, all of the staff, we all have full-time jobs and we do pride Houston as our way of giving back to the community. So, yes, it is completely volunteer-based. We're hoping to expand to actually have paid staff, because this is, I mean, it is a full-time job. I mean when I get through and I clock out, you know, for my companies, at five I'm usually on the computer handling Pride Houston business, sometimes up until midnight.

Speaker 1:

I'm wondering, and maybe our listeners are wondering as well how can people get involved with Pride Houston 365?

Speaker 2:

Well, you can go to our website, pridehouston365.org. You'll see a button on there to volunteer. Very easy. You sign up as volunteer.

Speaker 2:

We have, I instituted something different this year. What I noticed was that volunteers show up on the day of an event or the day of outreach but they aren't trained and you're trying to train them on site and that, just you know, didn't make a lot of sense to me. So this year we actually started training volunteers back in September or October and we train every second and fourth Saturday. We actually go. It's the on-site training. We're downtown, we walk the entire festival site, we actually go to where Eden is held, where some of our outreach programs are held, and we give you on-the-job training. Now, everyone cannot attend these trainings. We know Houston is so spread out so you can still volunteer just by showing up the day of. But our hope was we have trained over 200 volunteers. So over 200 volunteers are very skilled in what the festival is like, what Eden is like, where we have our you know outreach and our panels. They're very skilled in how to set up an activation kit and things of that nature and it makes the events a lot smoother.

Speaker 1:

And so, speaking of June, I know you're going to be releasing the lineup and more details, but what can you share with us about next month as a preview in advance, not needing any sneak peeks or scoops? You know looking for that.

Speaker 2:

you know I'll give you a sneak peek and a scoop. So one of our main stage hosts is muffie thanderville. Yes, um, special k will actually be. Uh, one of the hosts for the fashion have three radio sponsors this year 96.5, 104.1, and 97.9. And 97.9 hosts will be taking space at the Mainstage Festival and I'll give you a couple hints Our headliner entertainer we actually have two and we're working on a third to mix in with the local entertainment and recently I just talked to one of the hometown locals, kayla G. She's very popular so she will be taking a festival stage as well. So you will see a lot of popular local performers and the surprise headliner you'll wait to join.

Speaker 1:

Very exciting. We're going to thank you for that scoop, kendra. I really appreciate that. And now, speaking of two, I have to address the rainbow painted elephants in the room of two pride parades on back-to-back weekends this year, right With new faces of pride events on June 22nd. And so the media and public officials alike have drawn a lot of attention to the two pride parades, which is, you know, is all publicity, good publicity, you tell me? I don't know, but a lot of headlines have called this dueling parades and competing events or feuding festivities. And with that kind of us versus them language that's being used recently, it's kind of hard not to feel like y'all are being pitted against each other. But would you agree with the characterization of dueling, competing and feuding, or would you describe having two pride celebrations in Houston in June any differently?

Speaker 2:

I would say from the side of pride Houston we don't compete, we serve. So all we're focused on is our rise and our celebration. We let the media do what it's going to do. We get it. But I think when you talk about dueling parades or dueling organizations, it's up to the organizations themselves to change that narrative. So I can speak for pride houston 365 we don't compete, we're served. We're excited to celebrate pride. We've lived along other festivals um in in the city for a while. Black pride is this weekend. I wish it got as much traction and splash got as much traction and woodlands pride and brazoria county pride got as much traction and Splash got as much traction and the Woodlands Pride and Brazoria County Pride got as much attention as this is getting. I don't want to see our community reduced to dueling prides. We're better than that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. And that was the sentiment that I believe I witnessed during last month's community meeting hosted by New Faces of Pride, and you were there and you said we do not need to be talking about each other in a negative light. Is what you said?

Speaker 1:

And I agree with you 100% on not disparaging each other. This show is absolutely not going to be a platform for attacks against any organization, thank you. But there were community members in attendance last month, like Auggie Keahey, who said maybe, in addition to not talking negatively about each other, she mentioned that this is quote an opportunity to support one another, and so would you agree that this is an opportunity to support as one queer community and, if so, in the spirit of unity and good spirits? I'd love for you to share one thing you like and excites you about new faces of Pride's festivities. And don't worry, we asked them to say the same thing about Pride Houston 365. Just something positive, anything.

Speaker 2:

I don't know a lot about their activities, but I will say this I hear that it's at the Wortham Center, so there should be a seat, so there should be AC. We're a bit more lively, festive, so we'll have cooling stations down, of course, at the Festival Grounds June 29th.

Speaker 1:

But the Worthington Center I haven't been, but I hear it's very very nice, yeah, and you mentioned the news of getting hydration stations and cooling stations and free water. Free water, yes, that's very nice. Yeah. And you mentioned the news of getting hydration stations and cooling stations. Yeah, free water, so free water yes, that's very important.

Speaker 1:

But I really appreciate you sharing that, that positive lights, and I think that's a bit of what we need in our community just hearing positive takes on one another. And to that end, does Pride, houston 365 and New Faces of Pride have any plans or intentions in meeting with one another and, if so, what do you hope to gain from such a meeting?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think the concern from our side was not so much as a new parade or a new festival, because we've lived along festivals, um, we've just been told so many times from the city, um, how big of a drain pride can be on the city's resources when you bring that many people into a place, right? So I I'm hoping that these celebrations can um be moved apart, whether different seasons, or at least two, three weeks in between, and not back-to-back celebrations, because the most vulnerable of our community I'm a little concerned with the heat Seniors can't come out twice and it is. You know, sponsors have expressed the concern they can't rally their employees out twice and they want to support everybody. So I'm hoping that we can, you know, coexist to where and community actually has a viable path to participate in both if they want to. Right now I don't think it's a viable path with us being so close together.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that makes a lot of sense with kind of the sustainability that you mentioned.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

With the city and the concerns, and those concerns were also reflected during community members when they spoke during last month's event. So, yeah, definitely something that's in alignment and we're keeping our fingers crossed. Is there like a meeting in the books, or is it just hoping?

Speaker 2:

We have opened communications between the two groups and we're trying to figure out what that meeting looks like. I think right now both groups are focused on their celebration looks like. I think right now both groups are focused on their celebration. So if we don't get to it before June, possibly, you know, after but we have we do have somewhat of a date in mind throwing it around trying to get everybody's schedules and get everybody aligned, just what that meeting looks like, what's the purpose of the meeting, and so that we can move forward. Because at the end of the day, it's really about the community. And if we want to add pride or expand pride for the community, then we need to do it in such a way where the community can actually enjoy both, participate in both, you know, and what's a viable path? Does that look like?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, and I think that that collaboration is essential. I think public officials, like interviewed Councilmember Mario Castillo, who expressed, you know, wanting to bring organizations together, bring y'all together, and it seems like y'all already are. So I think that's in the works, in the works.

Speaker 2:

It works. Yeah, I would say cautiously optimistic.

Speaker 1:

Just last year, a study by Clever Real Estate placed Houston second to last in their list of LGBTQ plus friendly cities, partially because we rank last in pride parades per capita. So your solution isn't, you know, only one organization does it all. No, let's, let's spread it out. Am I understanding correctly? Right?

Speaker 2:

Yes, we also because the community has been asking for it. We also filed for permits to do a fall festival in Montrose. They've been clamoring for something in Montrose, as you know, in 2021, when we had to scale back because of the pandemic we did a Montrose block party and Deborah Cox was there. It was well-received and they really enjoyed it. So we were like, okay, we have something in the summer. How long is the community going to have to keep asking and asking? So, pride Houston, we went ahead. We filed for permits. The first Saturday in October, we'll be having a fall festival in Montrose as well, in addition to our summer activities. We're hoping, if the turnout is great, that this will become an annual thing. So you want it in Montrose, you want a fall festival? Show up and support when the weather is cooler, and then we can talk about making sure that that is a part of our lineup every year.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha. Well, thank you for sharing about that. Yep, the summer and the fall, you know, october is history month.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we did that because the most vulnerable of our community, some of them we think about the elderly, but we don't think about those that have autoimmune, those that have lupus there are some in our community that literally cannot be out in June and they want to celebrate Pride too, and they deserve to celebrate Pride. This year we've added a number of kid and sober events because our community is multifaceted. I know everybody thinks of diversity as regard to culture, but what about diversity as in regards to lifestyle? So we have an interactive kids day for kids to be a barber, we have a skate sober night. We even have yoga activities planned for this year, because we want all of the community to see themselves and we're so diverse and although we can't be all things to all people, we can try our best.

Speaker 1:

And we definitely appreciate your dedication to inclusivity and accessibility for all members of our community. That means a lot for y'all to be considering that of our community. That means a lot for y'all to be considering that and so, lastly, bringing it all in, taking it on home with Pride Houston 365. You've been with the board since 2018, and, I'm sure in the community for much longer and so I'd love to hear is there a story or a moment that stands out whether it was a community member who came up to you at the event and told you how much it meant to you, or something about how much it means to you personally? Is there a story or something that you hold very dear to your heart about Pride Houston 365 that you can share?

Speaker 2:

I would say. Being special events director for the first time, I wanted a very all-inclusive pool party, one that had a number of Black women, Hispanic women, a lot of women, you know, because they had predominantly been male, and one that brought out all community, where our trans family felt included, our non-binary felt included and a lot of people said it couldn't be done, people are not going to show up, Women don't want to be around, women in their bikinis. And in 2019, we had the largest, most inclusive pool party and people were like, oh my God, you pulled out. That is still one of the most memorable days when I looked out in 2019. And it was a sold-out house and there was every gender, nobody, every race, every culture, every ethnicity and they were just in that pool partying together and it was pride and it was everybody, and everybody felt included and everybody felt like they belong. That will always be a great memory for me.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much, kendra Walker, president and Director of Philanthropy for Pride Houston 365. Be sure to come out on Saturday, june 29th, at Downtown Houston City Hall. Thank you so much.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Don't turn that dial or close that app, because Queer Voices and I will be right back with an interview with Houston's new Faces of Pride. Thank you for listening to Queer Voices on KPFT or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Davis Mendoza-Ruzman he him pronouns and today I'm speaking with the president and founder of Houston's New Faces of Pride, brian Cotton, and their director of communications, andrea Simonton. A bit about our guests before going into the history of their organization.

Speaker 1:

Prior to founding Houston's New Faces of Pride, brian Cotton served on the board of directors of Out for Education in 2011, before becoming vice president in 2013 and president from 2014 to 2017. He also served on the LGBTQ plus Victory Fund and Institute Board from 2018 to 2021, and the Montrose Center's board since 2019. His full-time job is as a real estate broker with Texas American Realty since 2007. And, in addition to serving as Houston's New Faces of Pride's Director of Communications, andrea Simonton also serves on the Human Rights Campaign's Board of Governors since 2022, and as a federal club chair since 2021, now serving as steering committee chair. Her full-time job is as a marketing consultant and account executive with Hexa Group. Welcome to Queer Voices, brian and Andrea.

Speaker 4:

Thank you so much for having us.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely so. On Saturday, june 22nd, in downtown Houston, houston's New Faces of Pride will be hosting their first ever Pride Parade and Festival. For our listeners who may be unfamiliar with Houston's New Faces of Pride, they might be able to deduce a few things about y'all from your name alone, but tell us a bit more about the history and mission of y'all's organization the history and mission of y'all's organization.

Speaker 5:

So we were founded in 2023. I always have to think about what year it is. I guess you get to be, you know a certain age and then you forget where you are and what year it is. But we were founded last year basically out of a community need for a pride organization that donated funds back into the community. So everything that we do is basically seeding money back into smaller nonprofits under a larger umbrella of pride. This year we're focused on Tony's Place and Grace Place, both local nonprofits that support LGBTQ, homeless youth. So when you see us doing events, doing our parade and our festival downtown on June 22nd, the proceeds from our pride year, as we're referring it to, are going to go back to writing. You know what we hope to be a giant check to those two nonprofit organizations.

Speaker 1:

I love that. That's very exciting. And speaking of Tony's Place and Montrose Grace Place, you mentioned this June's festivities, but tell us a bit more about what y'all have already done in support of those organizations.

Speaker 5:

Absolutely In December, and this was really something that we're quite proud of. So this was weeks after we had publicly announced you know who we are in the Houston Business Journal. We had a drive, which initially started as a clothing drive for Tony's Place and Grace Place for winter right, and one of the things that really, you know, struck us and saying, you know, this is how this is goes to. You know, show what where our hearts are and what how we're doing this is is sort of the correct way to operate. You know, we had said, oh, it's going to be a cold winter jackets. You know, homeless, homeless kids needs jackets and blankets.

Speaker 5:

And when we sat down with these two organizations, they were like that's great, but our number one requested item is a backpack. And for somebody like me who's very privileged in never having housing insecurity, I was like, well, for school, like I, that didn't. I couldn't understand you know why. You know, of course, after speaking to to them, it was because these kids who have no home, they're carrying everything on their back, um, and so having these conversations sort of led us to, you know, shift our focus for this, this drive in december, um, but one, you know, being able to really fill the need of, of what that, what those organizations need, and then for our drive, we were able to raise roughly $13,000 worth of supplies for these two organizations, like I said, just weeks after our public, you know coming out, which was really great and also showed us that the community is looking for an organization to support that's doing things like this. So it was really, really wonderful.

Speaker 3:

Some of the things we've already done. We are, in addition to everything Andrea said, we also have our monthly nonprofit happy hours. Our very first one we did was December, the clothing drive she was just speaking of, but we try to have those every month, totally separate from our two main beneficiaries, so we can highlight amazing small nonprofits in our community that are doing so much. We did something with Out for Education, normal Anomaly, save Our Sisters United, and last night we did one with Floss, and then, of course, we have several other organizations picked out that we'll be doing, you know, in the months to come. So those are some things we have done. Tomorrow night at the Leigh Meridian Hotel, we will be announcing our Grand Marshals and our entertainment lineup very, very, very soon, most likely in the next week. Just finalizing a few details on that to get that out there.

Speaker 1:

Houston's New Faces of Pride has since announced their headlining performers country singer Chris Hausman, singer songwriter Lauren Sanderson and headliner runner up of the voices season 11 country singer Billy Gilman.

Speaker 3:

Then we have a pride kickoff event, we have a sober event, we have a pride CrossFit event coming up on June 1st. So starting the you know, the Pride month with a day of fitness, if you will, or a morning of fitness, and then, like I said, we have the kickoff event sober event. The day of is going to be especially crazy. We have the festival from 12 to 6, and then we have the parade from 7.30 on and then we have the official after party that will be at Post Houston with DJ Marty Friesen, who many also know by Denver Max, and we're very excited to be working with them. They have been doing this party for two years and they've sold out both times, but this year we're the first Pride organization that they have reached out to and wanted to work with, so we are very excited and very honored to be working with them.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, thank you for sharing. That's very exciting information. And and how can our listeners get involved with houston's new faces of pride?

Speaker 3:

uh, they can come to our many events. Uh, we love to see people come out for, like I say, our monthly nonprofit happy events, happy hour events. They're a lot of fun and it's a great way to learn about some of the amazing small organizations in our community and all the things that they're doing. You know. So we're very excited to be able to showcase and give the visibility to these groups once a month. But beyond that, you know, one thing that we're always excited to have is volunteers. You know we have had a volunteer drive recently. We'll be having more coming up, but they can always go to newfacesofprideorg and up at the top you'll see links to sign up to volunteer. And would love to have that, Would love to have them at our events.

Speaker 5:

I was going to say I was waiting for you to mention the volunteers. I was like Tim's going to kill us. Tim, if you're, if you're listening, we plug the volunteers, we promise. I also want to add, you know, one of the things that we've been very grateful for and one of the ways that we're hoping to promote some smaller, maybe less known organizations and businesses. If anybody who has a group that they want to highlight or help get more involved or visibility to please reach out to us, please say we're on all the social platforms. There's a contact email on our website, newfacesofprideorg. But if you work for an organization or know of one that really needs support, please send that in to us, let us know and we're happy to get connected.

Speaker 1:

And now to address the rainbow painted elephant in the room of two Pride parades on back-to-back weekends, this year with Pride Houston 365's event on June 29th. Now the media and public officials alike have drawn a lot of attention to the two Pride parades, calling this dueling parades, competing events and feuding festivities. We had Councilmember Castillo on our show recently and during a city council meeting in April. He said when we have two parades he elaborated later that he meant on back-to-back weekends we really do a disservice to the unity that we see during Pride and all the communities that come together. Do you agree?

Speaker 5:

with these characterizations, or would you describe two Pride parades and celebrations any differently? I would disagree because you know, and of course we've had these conversations within our board and our organization as well right, I think. First and foremost, you know we want to emphasize that we are here by necessity. We also, you know, want to clarify that our organizations, while they both support or, I guess, bring visibility would be a better way to say that to the LGBTQ plus community, we are doing very different things in that, you know we are focused on raising money for our benefiting nonprofits and continuing that throughout the year. So our focus is really different than than you know.

Speaker 5:

The other pride celebration, you know we always we say you know we're working with Katie Pride and with Woodlands Pride to support each other and we really feel like the more pride that we have in our city, you know, the better it's. I think it was Kay that said you know there's enough pride to to go around. So I would disagree that it that it takes away, if anything, you know where we're really expecting us to bring more joy and more celebration in June.

Speaker 1:

In the spirit of unity and good spirits, I'd love for both of y'all to share one thing you like and excites you about Pride, houston 365's festivities and don't worry, we asked them to say the same thing about y'all too.

Speaker 5:

Sure, I think that's a wonderful question. You know, I'm really excited for the Grand Marshals that they've selected. It is a wonderful group of people who are well deserving of recognition for their work in the community. So I'm excited to, you know, have them receive that celebration that they deserve. Like I said, all wonderful and great individuals who definitely receive deserve that, that that spotlight. So I think that's going to be very exciting.

Speaker 3:

I am glad to see their recent uptick in community involvement with other organizations you know, such as Tony's Place and Grace Place, the same organization that we're sponsoring. So I'm glad that those organizations could get more you know benefits and notice and visibility from another organization. That's really all we want is to highlight these amazing organizations, and they decide to do the same, so I think that's great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I love that.

Speaker 1:

And to that end, we spoke with president of Pride Houston 365, kendra Walker, last week and she mentioned a tentative plan for both organizations to meet and discuss areas of collaboration. How are those plans going and, if y'all proceed, what do you hope to gain from such a meeting?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I mean I can answer that question pretty bluntly. We reached out to try to schedule a time and their board came back with you know we're only going to meet under stipulations. So you know, unfortunately we tried to get something on the books and you know we're met with a letter of demands before we could collectively get in a room. So as of now, that's where that stands.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha, would you be able to share what some of those demands were, or anything that was particularly disagreeable?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, I'm happy to share the document with you after this, without pulling it up, I couldn't say off the top of my head there was a few things in there. You know that that were just a little outlandish. I don't want to necessarily call them out specifically, brian, unless you know you're. You're comfortable doing that, but we're happy to share the document for the written record or however you'd like to do that.

Speaker 3:

They said they wanted to meet. Luckily, andrea is as fast to chase someone down and get a date and then, you know, we sent several emails trying to get times and then we got that list. So it's unfortunate. We were willing to sit down and meet for the community. The greater good for the community is all we ever have in mind. That's why we're here. Unfortunately, that was not, you know, reciprocated. We certainly didn't ask for any stipulations or anything else, but getting a list of demands back was was quite disheartening, but I can't say I was surprised. So we'll see what happens with that. You know we'll go from there.

Speaker 3:

One thing I want to comment on. From earlier, though, you had mentioned about two prides and things like that. There was an article back in November in the Pink News that ranked cities for most LGBTQ friendly cities and the least LGBTQ friendly cities, and the way they ranked it was amount of pride activities throughout the year, and Houston was number two on the top 10 least LGBTQ friendly cities. So us having another event bringing many more pride events to the city is nothing but good. You know, when another organization has an event one time of year, well, we have events, multiple events, throughout the year we have, you know, events, multiple events, throughout the year, we have, you know, at least months, and we have people in a community that's gay every day of the year.

Speaker 3:

Right, we truly are a year long pride organization. We have multiple events planned for October already with some of our largest sponsors. Like I say, we have, you know, nonprofit happy hours planned. I believe I did look at the calendar but I believe through. I think we might be up to November now I'll have to look, but we truly are doing things all year long. So when Houston shows up as number two on the least LGBTQ friendly cities, we're making a big difference on getting us off of that list and into the top 10 most LGBTQ friendly cities.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, or hopefully at least Frank's higher than Dallas, I mean, come on.

Speaker 5:

I know Right.

Speaker 3:

Right, yes. But, you know, dallas, sadly, is number six on the list, so being number two is actually not good, but yeah and.

Speaker 5:

I know our, our phone lines are always open, Our doors are always open and we welcome, you know, our, our phone lines are always open, our doors are always open and we welcome, you know, community discussion and discussion from you know, anybody who wants to talk to us, right? I mean, we're, we're an open book and we want to just share with the world who we are and what we're trying to do, right, so we'll, we'll see if we're able to get something together with the other organization. But to directly answer your question, that's sort of where that settled.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you all for sharing. Before we wrap up, is there anything that you would like to share with our listeners that we haven't covered? Anything else that you're excited about?

Speaker 5:

I would just reiterate the two wonderful benefiting nonprofits Tony's Place and Grace Place. Please look them up. They're doing amazing work. Again, you know any. To whatever capacity you know you're able to join us, whether it's the festival or the parade or our happy hours. Or you know our different parties we have throughout the year, or you know our different parties we have throughout the year.

Speaker 3:

That's where your dollars are going are back to those two amazing nonprofits. Yeah, I would. I would encourage people to come to our events, you know. Come to our monthly events. Look at the things that we're doing in the community. You know how we're making a difference, the organizations that we're highlighting. Come to the events, meet the board, meet the volunteers, get to know us and that's how you'll learn more about us than anything you may hear you know elsewhere. That is inaccurate. So we are here for the community, doing amazing things. Many of us have been on boards for many, many, many years, you know. But for those of us who are those out there that are confused or don't know us, no better way to get to know us than to come to one of our events and chat with us. So we'd love to see anyone and everyone there.

Speaker 1:

That was president and founder of Houston's new faces of pride, brian Cotton, and their director of communications, andrea Simonson. Thank you both for your time and joining us today.

Speaker 4:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Stay tuned because coming up next we have Brett Collum in his interview with christina. Wells of newsies at theater under the stars.

Speaker 7:

I'm brett cullum, and today I am speaking with christina wells, a hometown hero from houston. She's a vocalist, she's an actress. She won our pride superstar singing competition in 2016. And Christina was also on this show that you might have heard of. It was America's Got Talent in 2017, where the whole country got to fall in love with her. She is now performing in the touch show, newsies, which opens on May 21st and runs through June 2nd. So welcome to Queer Voices, christina Wells.

Speaker 4:

Hi, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Speaker 7:

I'm excited to have you here, absolutely. I have just been a fan for years now, so tell me a little bit about the part that you were playing. In Newsies I usually associate this show mainly with dudes, because it really is just a guy heavy cast For a musical. That's weird. But, I'm glad to know that you're in that mix, so tell me a little bit about who you're playing and what you're doing with this production.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so I play a character, meta Larkin, and Meta is a burlesque theater owner and she's really close with Jack, she's like kind of his mother figure in the show and she's like an advice giver. And in the show and she's like an advice giver and I, you know, I gotta sing a little jazzy tune and bring some female voice to this all-male show. And, yeah, she's a great character. She's based off of Ada Overton Walker, who was an amazing activist and performer in the late 1890s.

Speaker 7:

It's kind of fun because you get to play a real person. That's rare, yeah, well, actually, no, honestly, I just came from the Broadway tour of Chicago and I got to.

Speaker 4:

She was also based off of a real person. That's rare, yeah, well, actually, no, honestly, I would just came from the broadway tour of chicago and I got to. She was also based off of a real woman too. And so, like it's, I love it whenever they take real strong women from you know history and they infuse them into these musicals, because it keeps their spirit alive and it lets us know what an amazing part these women played in the history of these great events and it's fun to do that deep dive with a character and actually have pictures and things like that.

Speaker 4:

That, yeah, yes, yeah, I have my wig fitting and I'm gonna look just like her. Like not even a joke. I was shocked at how perfect my wig is shaped. I'm gonna.

Speaker 7:

It's really exciting so what is it like performing with tuts in your hometown?

Speaker 4:

oh, you know, this is my place. I. I love Theater Under the Stars. It's so funny because I have like a surreal moment every time I come back, because I always, for so many years. It was a dream, like I remember being 15 years old, I came and saw South Pacific here and I just was like one day I want to be on that stage One day I want to do this. And now my phone reminded me. It's like you've been doing shows with Tuts for six years and I was like, what is my life? What is my life that I get to say that? And so, yeah, it's amazing to be here.

Speaker 7:

What are some of the other shows? Just real quick.

Speaker 4:

Oh yeah. So one of my favorite show of all time that I did here was the Little Mermaid. I got to be Ursula, which is a touchstone. I've done the Miller shows for a number of years. I was in Seussical as Sour Kangaroo. I was in All Shook Up as Sylvia. So yeah, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful experiences here at Ted's.

Speaker 7:

Well, I have to ask you the controversial question Did you audition or did they just call you?

Speaker 4:

No, you can't ask me that question. I mean, I auditioned in my heart. You auditioned when you were 15, right in my heart, and so you audition when you're 15, right, you know, we haven't built a relationship here with the under the stars and I'm grateful that they acknowledge my talent and they know that I'm capable of bringing what needs to be brought to the table for the character. So it's a blessing.

Speaker 7:

It's a blessing that I'm grateful to have who wouldn't want to celebrate you, because you're here from houston and that's amazing, so I would pass you in every touch show.

Speaker 4:

Oh, thank you A whole season of Christina.

Speaker 7:

That's what I'm asking for. I love that this show is actually. Alan Menken wrote the music for it so what excites you about doing this particular production. Newsies.

Speaker 4:

You know it's funny because, I'll be honest, before I was cast in the show I wasn't as familiar with it, because I think in my head, like you said, I think of it as a boy musical or even like a child's musical, because it's a Disney show and so you know Ursula or other Disney shows. I have a character that I associate myself with and I didn't know Meta that well. And now, after these past few weeks, this show is exciting, it's inspirational, exciting. It's inspirational Like every single day in rehearsal, chill bumps, these songs and the beauty of this music and also the fact that you see these children. I mean, I know we have adults playing a lot of the characters, but it's really children saying we deserve to be treated better. And I think right now it's so reflective of what we're going through in the world where people are just like no, in my job, in my relationships, in anything I have. I want to have boundaries, I want to have self-respect. No longer are the days where we grovel and we just go along with toxic situations, like we're standing up for ourselves. I think right now more than ever and it's amazing to see it, oh, in 1899, these kids have had the courage to get together and say no, we will not be treated this way. Like would I still? Would I have that courage when I was 17, when I was 16? Like I'm almost 50 and I'm just now getting to that place. So yeah, this show is inspiring.

Speaker 4:

I've been telling people the talents and the beauty of this show. It's unexpected. You don't realize it. I think we just think of Jeremy Jordan and we think of dance and children and it is so much deeper than that and literally every aspect of this cast is unbelievable. Like we had our designer run Sunday night and designer runs can be challenging because where are we at in the rehearsal process? Are we far enough along to where we've developed it, enough to where all the people working on the design aspects can really see what the show is? And everyone had tears in their eyes and people were clapping and I'm like, if we have this kind of reaction in a rehearsal room, imagine when we get on stage. It's just exciting.

Speaker 7:

Ironically, though, your big breakout song when we're talking about musicals that talk about people that stand up for themselves is I Know when I've Been from the musical Hairspray. Yes, you won that Pride Idol. You sang that one and you got through America's Got Talent with that one, and that song is sung by Motormouth Maybell, and I noticed that you've actually done that role before. Did you do that before you went to the Pride Idol and America's Got Talent?

Speaker 4:

Yeah. So it's a great story because, so you know, I'm a later in life performer. I did not perform like when I was raising my kids, like I would do maybe a community little something, but I was not a performer at all. And I moved back to Houston in 2014 and I was dealing with family things and I was just trying to get everybody settled. And in 2015, one of my friends was like, hey, they're going to have a musical at this local community theater, they're going to do Hairspray and I think you'd be great in it. And I was like, really, she's like, yeah, so I go audition and they cast me as Motormouth.

Speaker 4:

So I sing I Know when I've Been and let me tell you, people were acting like I came. People literally, people were like you from New York City, I'm like girl, no, I'm from Pasadena Like it was just this huge thing that that song just fit me so well. So the next year, when I did Pride Superstar, they said this week is musicals week. And I'm like, well, I know what I'm going to do. So I sang I Know when I've Been which was had a big reaction. So I'll tell you, when I had to battle, they wanted me to sing for my first audition, Son of a Preacher man, and I sang it for them and I was like, listen to me, because you have to do all these musical back auditions before you get on stage, right? I'm like, trust me, let me sing, I Know when I've Been. And they were like, okay, let her sing it. And that changed everything.

Speaker 7:

You know you've done huge stages here in Houston, like the Hobby Center. You've also done smaller, more intimate houses. Do you have a preference or are they both kind of like? I just adjust?

Speaker 4:

Oh no, I you know what I will tell you. For years, I wanted anyone to know I could sing. I would. I just dreamt of an opportunity to have any chance to be on a stage. So now, I don't care what it is, Is it 10 people in the audience or is it 10,000? I'm going to sing, I'm going to be on stage and I'm going to be so grateful for the opportunity. So that's why I don't think of this as well.

Speaker 4:

I've been on a stage, you know, in front of 2,000. Next it needs to be 4,000. Then it needs to be six. No, I'll do a show in front of 200. And then I'll do a show at the Texas stadium. So I'm fine with all of those things. I just want to be on stage and get to share my gift. First of all, I got to Miller oh, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby. Or I did Broadway in the park in Chicago and they, they that outdoor theater holds almost 15,000 people, like with the big space, and then, standing on that stage singing with a full orchestra, I was like Lord Jesus, come on now.

Speaker 7:

Oh, he's just having white knuckles. Oh, I love it.

Speaker 4:

You know what I just feeling the people, feeling the energy, and you know, in this life it's so hard to find ways to feel good. I think we search for ways to feel good. That's why we're scrolling on our phones, watching movies. We're always looking for a way to feel better, and I love that. If I get to perform, I feel like it can help people feel better, and so that makes me happy.

Speaker 7:

Well speaking of making people feel better. Your bio says that you were a registered nurse. Tell me like where did you start out practicing that? Do you keep up your nursing license and you're working still.

Speaker 4:

Yes, I work still. So I've been a nurse, no-transcript. I have a minor in gerontology and the 55 plus community is my favorite, and so now I work remotely, which a lot of people know. I worked when I was on tour. I have my little computer. I'll be sitting in the back doing my little work online and I do something called utilization review.

Speaker 7:

So I'm basically a conduit between the insurance companies and the hospitals, making sure bills get paid. That is crazy wild to even think about, because most actors that I speak to they're like this is all I do. And here you are doing two jobs at one time going on stage, making people feel better. Going off stage, making people feel better.

Speaker 4:

Making people feel better, going off stage, making people feel better. You know, I think something happened where I used to believe that in order to be a successful performer, I had to solely support myself as a performer, and that is an unrealistic perspective that sets you up for a sense of failure when you're not able to make that happen. And you don't have control over gigs, you don't have control over casting, you don't have control over all those variables. And so I gave myself permission a few years ago to work and have insurance and communicate with my bosses. I tell them Google me, let me show you what I do. But I'm a very reliable nurse and I'll be here from eight to five, every single day, I promise. But when I clock out I'm going to go sing and dance for the world, and on the weekends I'm going to do a little show and make a little dress. I'm going to do a little something, but I'll be right back here Monday morning, and so far I've been really lucky that they listen and they understand.

Speaker 7:

So and plus you must be a hit at the holiday party for the office.

Speaker 4:

You know what is so funny. We're doing these like get to know each other slides, like in a PowerPoint for my team at work and they were like Christina, we'd really like you to put pictures of America's Got Talent on your slide. I was like okay.

Speaker 7:

You know, obviously you were one of our pride idols, so you were in the community, Christina Wells and I wanted to ask you for the Queer Voices audience. What letter do you identify with when people ask.

Speaker 4:

I am a lesbian. Thank you for asking, because so many people just assume I'm an ally, especially because I'm a mama and I have kids. But I'm a lesbian. I've been out for 22 years, I came out of the closet and, yeah, that's really important to me to let people know that I don't know, you can. I'm so many things like I'm half black, half white, I'm plus size, I'm older, I'm gay, like there's no boundaries when it comes to, like, going after the things you want to do and just achieving your dreams, regardless of titles or labels that are placed on you. So, yes, she's L, all the way, baby.

Speaker 7:

Well, I don't feel like there's any boundaries with you. So I mean nurse, actress, mom, lesbian. It's kind of like what can't you do right now? So I'll have to ask the burning question too. From that is are you in a relationship?

Speaker 4:

No, I'm single. I'm actually three years single, yeah. So if you're listening, you can find me at Christina Wells Official on social media.

Speaker 7:

Or come to Newsies at Touch.

Speaker 4:

Stage door. I accept phone calls. Yeah, no, I'm single. She's a single lady. It's funny because I'm in a different place in my life. My kids are grown, I'm a grandma, I know I have two grandchildren. She's single. It's a different world for me now.

Speaker 7:

You're an empty nester with a grand I have two grandbabies.

Speaker 4:

I have a grandson and granddaughter. I have two sons. My oldest son is 25. My youngest son, two sons. My oldest son is 25. My youngest son is 22. And my oldest son is married, beautiful wife, and they have two beautiful babies and a little boy and a little girl.

Speaker 7:

You know you were raised by a single mom in Pasadena. What did your mom teach you that you hope that you pass down to your children and now your grandchildren?

Speaker 4:

Strength of character. Son of your children and now your grandchildren. Strength of character. Strength of character. I always say and my mother taught me this we can't control what happens to us in life. We can't control the things that happen. We can only control how we respond to it and the people we choose to have next to us as we respond. So I always tell my children coping mechanisms and discernment in the people in your life, because I can't change if life is hard or life is good. Life is bad if I'm successful, but I can't change if life is hard or life is good. Life is bad if I'm successful. But I can decide how I will cope with those things and I can decide the people that I will allow to be in my life while I do so.

Speaker 7:

You know we can't discuss you without talking about the entertainment industry and how there's a struggle. Obviously, if you're not a particular body type, you have that. Do you feel like that's changed for you in any way or do you still feel like that? You still have to fight that fight?

Speaker 4:

I will be honest. I know now that my exposure, the marketing that America's Got Talent has given me my personality. I think there is a likability that does help me and I do feel I'm talented. But my weight is always a conversation, like. A really great example is two years ago, a year and a half ago, I got offered an opportunity on a very well-known cruise ship to be a character. I've been before my Ursula and then once I got past they cast me and then when I got to tech, they actually had like a lift they wanted to use and I was a greater size, too big for the lift, and they actually had to go with another person. So my weight's always a conversation. It's a conversation in costuming, it's a conversation in physicality, it's a conversation in like am I going to dance? Because sometimes someone will want to cast me in something and I'm like you know, this is this, is this, it's all this it's all this good stuff right here.

Speaker 4:

I always say that my ice cream cone has two scoops and so, yeah, when you cast me, you cast all of me and that's every pound to me. So it's always a conversation and I talk about it openly because I think it's important to talk about it. I am a fat woman but I'm obviously an active fat woman who lives a big, full and robust life, as my therapist says, and so it is, but it is definitely a factor. So if someone wants to cast, let's say, motormouth Mabel, and they want her to dance in the final part of Hairspray, which is like that whole big dance, you know, for the end, and they want her doing all the choreography, yeah, I'm probably not who you're going to cast.

Speaker 4:

You're going to cast like a thinner Motormouth and so, like I said, and I think the relationships I've built with the theaters I've worked at, because they're like is Christina, am I worth it? Like, is my voice and my acting and my personality and all the rest of me worth it for the parts that is not going to come. I'm not running, that's not going to happen. You know, mama going, she going to jiggle a little, but she ain't going to run.

Speaker 7:

You know, one of the things I've been encouraged about in Houston theater is I have noticed there is a wider diversity. Recently I saw a show where they had a romantic lead and he was a man of a certain size, let's just say, and I thought, wow, this is just incredible, that now we finally, in this what 2024? Are getting to a point where we can do diverse casting, where we can do colorblind things, where we can do body size different things, where we can go against that type, and so I think the world's catching up to you and you can do so much. I mean, come on, sing, save people's lives. I would want to be on a show with you on a cruise ship, because if anything medically goes wrong, you're there I got it.

Speaker 4:

It's so true At the bottom of my acting resume it says I sing, dance and save lives. It's so true At the bottom of my acting resume it says I sing dance and save lives.

Speaker 7:

It literally says that on my resume I'm sold, I'm casting you in anything. That's how you got into this all-male production of Newsies.

Speaker 4:

Let me tell you they were like she's here in case somebody hurts themselves. No, but seriously understand that reflecting real life on stage, reflecting real people on stage, is way more engaging. Like we don't want to see perfection anymore. We used to want to see perfection. We used to want to see Barbie dolls only, and that's we aspire to be it. And something has changed in celebrity. Something has changed in our desire to look at people and see ourselves. We want to see ourselves. We want to see the color of our skin. We want to see and see ourselves. We want to see ourselves. We want to see the color of our skin. We want to see our body types. We want to see the people that we are reflected back in us because we are entertaining, we are interesting and we are engaging as humans, natural people, not all perfect.

Speaker 7:

Christina Wells, I cannot wait to see you in Newsies Tuts, the Hobby Center. It's going to be amazing. One last question before we go though when do you live? Now, I know that you kind of moved around a little bit.

Speaker 4:

Oh yeah, I live in Clear Lake, baby.

Speaker 7:

Right, all right, back to home.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 7:

Because weren't you in New York for a while, or Vegas.

Speaker 4:

I didn't move, but I was in Vegas. I lived in Vegas for a number of years. I lived in Ohio, I moved around, but I've been back in Houston now for 10 years and so, yeah, I live right here in Clear Lake and my whole family does so. She's home, she's home. The roots is down, they settled.

Speaker 7:

Now we're proud to have you. I mean absolutely. I mean you're. You're a Houston treasure and we will claim you anytime, and I'm sure Tuts will as well. So. I can't wait to see this?

Speaker 1:

production with you. Thank you so much. I appreciate that this has been Queer Voices, which is now a home. Thank you so much. I appreciate that. At Queer Voices for more information. Queer Voices executive producer is Brian Olivinka, andrew Edmondson, deborah Moncrief-Bell, brett Cullum and myself. Davis Mendoza-Duruzman are frequent contributors. Glenn Holtz is our sound engineer and usually the host at the top and bottom of the hour, so I thought it'd be great to close us out with that familiar voice.

Speaker 6:

Some of the material in this program has been edited to improve clarity and run time. This program does not endorse any political views or animal species. Views, opinions and endorsements are those of the participants and the organizations they represent. In case of death, please discontinue, use and discard remaining product For Queer Voices. I'm Glenn Holt.

The Evolution of Pride in Houston
Houston Pride Organizers Discuss Unity
Houston's Pride Faces' Interview and Events
Houston Pride Organizations Collaboration Discussion
Christina Wells Talks Performing and Identity
Embracing Diversity in Entertainment Industry
Queer Voices Team Introduction and Disclaimer