(Don’t) Feel the Rainbow

Houston Pride 2020 Postponed Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Organizers plan to host the Bayou City's annual LGBTQ+ celebration this fall.

By Emma Schkloven May 1, 2020

Remember: If you’re going out in public, follow social distancing guidelines (at least six feet between you and anyone else), wash hands often and thoroughly, and consider wearing a face mask.

Updated 11:37 a.m. June 16: 

While Pride Houston is hosting small-scale events throughout the summer and its larger events this fall, its annual Pride parade has been retooled as a march and rally, scheduled for June 27. Called "It Starts with a Riot! March + Rally,"  the new event has been coordinated with Black Lives Matter Houston as peaceful protest against the discrimination both the LGBTQ+ and Black communities frequently face.

Masks will be given to those who arrive without one of their own. According to a statement from Pride Houston, the march is a fitting way to commemorate Pride Month⁠—after all, Stonewall itself was a display of protest. "The Stonewall Riots were the result of the resilience of the Black LGBTQIA+ community ... It is because of their fearlessness and resilience in the face of such violent adversity and police brutality that we are able to not only celebrate our Pride every June at Stonewall’s anniversary, but to continue our fight for progress every single day of the year."

Published 1:36 p.m. May 1

Houston’s LGBTQ+ community won’t be rolling out the rainbow carpet this summer. On April 30, Pride Houston announced that it is postponing will not hold its annual downtown celebration this June—nationally recognized as Pride Month—due to concerns about COVID-19. Instead, the annual parade and festival are being postponed until later this year, with the organization setting a new target of fall 2020.

“As a nonprofit that has vowed to support the LGBTQ+ community, we have no option but to delay our celebration so that we can ensure the safety of our supporters and attendees,” Pride Houston President and CEO Lou Roberts said in a statement, noting that the decision was made after daily conversations with health and elected officials.  

The Bayou City is the latest major metropolitan to delay its Pride plans. Over the last month, New York City cancelled its Pride March for the first time in a half a century and San Francisco cancelled its 50th annual Pride celebration, while Capital Pride in D.C., L.A. Pride, and Chicago Pride all postponed their events.

That doesn’t mean Houstonians won’t be able to feel the rainbow connection this summer. According to the release, Pride Houston still plans to host smaller pop up events throughout June as the city allows.

“Always remember after every storm there is a rainbow,” Roberts said. “and for us that Rainbow is Pride Houston 2020.”

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