Houston Pride:: Events and Books to Celebrate

 

One of my favorite things about living in Houston is its widespread diversity. It is one of the most, if not the most, diverse city in the United States. And it’s not just about the demographics. Step onto any street, into any museum or restaurant, into any playground or grocery store, and you’ll find diversity in action. You’ll find people heralding from all different walks of life, a veritable melting pot of culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender. And I do mean melting pot; Houstonians representing these various cultures and identities are blending and working and celebrating life together, every day. Houston isn’t just claiming numbers on the diversity front. It is celebrating the dignity and worth of each and every person, culture, and identity that claims The Big Heart as their home. June is LGBT {Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender} Pride Month. The 2019 Houston Pride Celebration:: Summer of ’69 takes place on June 22, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Pride:: Events Around Houston

Pride Heart

As the fourth largest Pride, Houston takes, ahem, pride in its Pride celebrations, so I’ve put together a list of a few of the Houston Pride events going on in and around town. Your local communities may be celebrating with additional events, so be sure to check out neighborhood newsletters, community bulletins, and local libraries for more information. 

Grand Marshal Reception

Time:: June 12 @ 6-8pm
Location:: Hamburger Mary’s
Admission:: FREE 

Join your Houston LGBT family in honoring this year’s Pride Grand Marshals. This event is sponsored by Hamburger Mary’s, a Houston gem that celebrates and welcomes everyone who walks in their doors, and hosted by one of Houston’s best drag queen’s, Kofi Cakes. Everyone is invited to “Eat, Drink, and be Mary!”

Skate Sober:: Official Dry Pride Night

Time:: June 17 @ 6-10pm
Location:: Lockwood Skating Palace
Admission:: $8, includes skates

This one is great for families! Enjoy an evening at a classic roller rink:: chill vibes, old school music, and, of course, skating!

2019 Houston Pride Festival and Parade

Time:: June 23 @ 12-11pm
Location:: 901 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Admission:: FREE

This event is open to the public {no age limits}, so it is great for families. While there is no admission, if you want to score a better view of the Festival entertainment on the main stage, you might want to consider purchasing tickets here. The parade route begins and Smith and Lamar Sts. and finishes at Milam and Jefferson Sts. Before you go, be sure to check out the list of regulations regarding what you can and can’t bring into the festival. 

Houston Pride Story Time @ Barnes and Noble

Time:: Saturday, June 29 @11am
Location:: Barnes and Noble West Oaks Village
Admission:: FREE

Experience a special Pride story time featuring Prince & Knight and Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack; and Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall. Children will enjoy great stories, fun activities, and celebrate inclusivity and diversity. They’ll also receive a coupon from the Cafe for a discounted grilled cheese and beverage.

Houston Pride:: A Reading List

 

Pride Scrabble Tiles

If you’re unable to make it to any of the official Houston Pride events, Pride Month is also a great time to learn more about the LGBT community. Books are a vital resource in helping children to not only learn about others, but to learn about themselves. Stories function as both mirrors and windows:: mirrors, because readers can see themselves reflected in the characters on the page; and windows, because they help readers understand the world through the eyes of someone different from them. I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorite books that serve as windows and mirrors for anyone who might be feeling like they’re different. My hope is that by reading stories of love and inclusivity, we mamas can raise our children who make room for everyone at the table.

Picture Books

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

This book is a fantastic way to approach conversation about Pride with younger children. The simple rhyming text and bright, colorful illustrations showcase a Pride parade that is inclusive for everyone. {Side note:: I met the author at an event last year, and she is delightful. Her passion for and support of the LGBT community is evident. I highly recommend her books!}

 

 


Red:: a Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Red has a bright red label, so everyone assumes he is red. But he knows he is in fact, blue. His friends and family try to encourage him to do “normal” red things, like drawing strawberries and playing with yellow to make orange. But he just can’t. Finally, a helpful friend asks him to see things from a new perspective, and Red starts to understand who he truly is. This imaginative books helps children to learn about identity and understanding your true self. 

 

 

 


Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival

I love this book. Norman is perfectly normal, until one day, he grows a pair of beautiful wings. He loves them so much, but worries everyone will think he isn’t normal. So he covers them with a big coat. Now, he feels hot and cloistered; he is not himself. He starts to hate the wings and wishes he’d never grown them. Then, with the encouragement of his parents, he sheds his coat and realizes it wasn’t the wings he hated, but the coat that was hiding them. The words are simple; the illustrations are lovely. And the message is clear:: be yourself. Don’t try to hide who you are. This is a sweet and hopeful story!

 

 


Middle Grade

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue

Sumac Lottery has a big, loud, and diverse family. She has two moms, two dads, and a host of biological and adopted siblings. They all live happily together in their home, Camelottery, and Sumac knows she has the best life. Until one day, one of her grandfathers comes to live with them. The grandfather, nicknamed “Grumps”, does not seem to appreciate Sumac’s family. She hatches a plan to encourage him to move out, but things, of course, don’t go as planned. This fun novel explores the idea of family in its many forms and the ways everyone can come together, even when they’re different. It is a story of love and acceptance, and it is just lovely. 

 

 


George by Alex Gino

Outwardly, George looks like a boy. However, she knows she is a girl. She also thinks she cannot tell anyone. When her class decides to put on a production of Charlotte’s Web, George really wants to play Charlotte; but her teacher won’t let her because she is a boy. How can she be her true self when everyone else can’t see her? George is a true mirror/window story, a story to help children see themselves in George or to help them be a good friend to someone who is struggling. 

 

 

 


P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy

Evie is a young girl when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant older sister, Cilia, away to live with an older relative. Evie so heartbroken and just wants her sister to come home. Her parents forbid her from speaking to her sister, so Evie secretly writes her letters. She tells Cilia all about her life, including her confusing feelings for the new girl in her class, June. She writes and writes to Cilia, but Cilia never writes her back; Evie struggles to find her way without her sister. This is a beautifully written novel that delves into religion, identity, and the pain of grappling with both. This book does deal with some heavier topics, so I recommend reading along and discussing this one with your child. 

 

 


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