HISTORY OF PRIDE
The 4-day celebration includes events and activities produced by Heavy Hitters Pride and local and regional partners, sponsors, and supporters. These events attract hundreds to sing, dance, learn, and remember the significance of Pride and the importance of continuing our work.
On June 27, 1969 The Stonewall Riots in New York City marked the beginning of the LGBT rights movement in the United States. Harassed by local police simply for congregating, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patrons decided to take a stand and fight back against the brutal intimidation they regularly faced. By refusing to resign themselves to the shadows of that bar or American society, the beginning of a social movement dedicated to the eradication of discrimination against all LGBT Americans was born. The events of those nights inspired a social awakening for many in the LGBT community and had a profound effect on the nation’s perception of persons who identify as L, G, B or T as a community in and of itself. The following year on June 28th, the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to commemorate the anniversary of this brave stand against injustice.
As a result, more than 40 years later, pride events are held nationwide in cities big and small – from San Francisco to Omaha and New York to Sioux Falls, members of the LGBT community and their allies gather at festivals and parades to celebrate the progress we’ve made, but also to recognize the distance we still have to go to achieve full equality. This celebration made its way to Houston with Pride Houston. The Celebration is typically held the last Saturday in June to commemorate Stonewall, and the parade, which is held in the evening after sunset. This tradition was arranged by then-Houston City Councilmember Annise Parker, where a parade ordinance was revised to allow for the nation’s only nighttime Pride Parade.
The Black Gay pride was born out of a small number of friends in Los Angeles in 1988 later to be known as ATB "at the beach" who knowing and understanding the much stronger rejection of the larger black community due to strong family structure, cultural and religious factor, refused to be seen but yearned to celebrate and enjoy their identity as black gay men deciding to host a small gathering in Malibu point Dune beach which was several miles away from the metropolis and in a place almost hidden from the public. This gathering was a huge success and eventually started a movement for the black gay pride.
The Black Gay Pride today has metamorphosed into a well-established events that unite and bring together black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to celebrate both their African heritage and sexual orientation. Most major cities in the U.S. hosts an annual Black Gay pride event.
In 1997, Houston gave birth to the tradition with Houston Splash.This was Houston's first premiere black gay pride event and is currently produced by Loud, Inc. Houston Splash has grown from 3 days to a five-day event that includes parties with a purpose to the biggest pride beach party on Sunday.
2015 gave rise to Heavy Hitters Pride. Heavy Hitters Pride will continue to eradicate discrimination against all LGBT Americans with the inclusion of the men who are larger than life, called Heavy Hitters. Now in the sixth year, Heavy Hitters Pride was a brave step to celebrate our many victories and our diverse community, and to remember that there is so much to be proud of and thankful for.
We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming community and celebrate Pride in Houston!
Happy pride season from the 2022 Heavy Hitters Pride Committee!