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.
Summer 2020 hardly resembles the season we innocently anticipated last year. Travel plans have been cancelled, the Olympics has been postponed, and masks have become the new must-have accessory of the season. Even though the world seems to have turned upside down, Pride Month in Houston lives on. While some of the major events, including the annual Pride Celebration, have been rescheduled for this fall to accommodate new safety concerns and regulations, June is still packed with events to support and celebrate LGBTQ+ identities. And some of these small-scale events are continuing all the way through summer. From virtual gatherings to socially distanced performances to protests for change, there is something for everyone who wants to take part in Houston’s Pride Month.
Bookworms who have spent the past few months buried in their own library will definitely want to resurface for Epic Reads’ Epic Pride event. The event, presented by Blue Willow Bookshop and Hatch Youth, will bring together five LGBTQ+ writers to discuss their experiences with their identities and the power that writing holds in their lives. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook at 3 p.m.
June 16. Free. Online. Stream the event here.
If quarantine has dragged you to your seventh re-watch of the same sitcom, and you now find yourself mouthing the words instead of laughing at them, it may be time for something new. Luckily, Outsmart and Pride Houston’s Reel Pride will bring fresh content to your screen. The LGBTQ+ film festival, which runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., will feature a wide collection of movies, all centered on queer narratives. Films range from those made locally to international works and will vary from documentaries all the way to shorts. Basically, there’ll be something for everyone.
June 20. $10. More info and tickets at eventbrite.com.
It Started with a Riot! March + Rally — (Updated 6/26: Due to Houston’s rising coronavirus cases, the rally has been cancelled. A virtual rally will be held on Pride Houston’s Facebook page and website instead.)
As the Black Lives Matter movement has been receiving more and more attention this month, Pride Houston has rethought its iconic parade. Instead of postponing the event for the fall, like previously planned, the annual event has been adapted to support BLM and honor the black and brown LGBTQ+ voices of the Stonewall Riots 51 years ago. The event, which has been organized with Black Lives Matter Houston, will bring Houstonians together for a peaceful protest of the power structures working against queer people and people of color. The march on City Hall is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.
June 27. More info at https://pridehouston.org.
ADL Southwest Welcomes LGBTQ+ Artist/Songwriter Wrabel
Former Houstonian Stephen Wrabel, known professionally as Wrabel, has been steadily making a name for himself in the pop music arena. He’s written songs for artists including P!nk, the Backstreet Boys, and Kesha, and his album, One of Those Happy people, was included in Billboard’s 20 Best LGBTQ Albums of 2019 list. During a special performance later this month, Wrabel will speak to his former hometown, playing songs, and telling stories of his life and place in the LGBTQ+ community, as part of a Zoom event hosted by the Anti-Defamation League Southwest and the Montrose Center.
June 25. More info at montrosecenter.org.
Spill the Tease Burlesque Show — (Updated 6/26: Due to Houston’s rising coronavirus cases, the show has been postponed to Aug 15.)
Desperate for a night outside of your quarantine nests? Well, you’re in for an evening of fun and flirtation at Spill the Tease Burlesque Show. Attendees will enjoy the performances of six different artists from socially distanced seats at cabaret-style tables. Proceeds from a raffle during the 21+ event will go to Montrose Center’s Hatch Youth program, which supports LGBTQ+ youth. In addition to benefiting a good cause, the event’s two-drink minimum should take that pandemic fatigue edge off—just keep your face mask on; it’s part of venue White Oak Music Hall’s new safety guidelines.
June 27. From $100. White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St. More info and tickets at whiteoakmusicalhall.com.
And Through Their Eyes Grow Thorns Exhibition
Winston Contemporary Art’s latest art exhibit, And Through Their Eyes Grow Thorns: An Exploration of Storytelling Through the Art & Eye of Queer Artists of Color, celebrates the LGBTQ+ community of color’s strength and resiliency in the face of prejudice. The exhibition, which features the works of seven artists, is available to view in-person by appointment and virtually on the gallery’s Facebook page. Artist talks are being held weekly.
Thru Jul 27. Free. Winston Contemporary Art, 2426 Bartlett Street, Suite D. More info at wcahouston.com.