Houston Pride: Events and Books to Celebrate

two women celebrate PrideOne of my favorite things about living in Houston is its widespread diversity. It is one of the most, if not the most, diverse cities 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, and there are many ways to celebrate in the Bayou City.

Pride: Family Friendly 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

Thursday, June 16, 2022
7:00-10:00 pm
Location: Avante Garden
411 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
Admission:: FREE

Join your Houston LGBT family in honoring this year’s Pride Grand Marshals. All ages are welcome.

2022 Houston LGTB+ Pride Celebration

Date: Saturday, June 25 2022
Time: 12pm-11pm
Location: 901 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Admission: FREE

Festival Hours: 1:00pm-6:00pm
Parade Hours: 7:00pm-9:30pm

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.

If you are bringing your kids, check out the Family Fun Zone.

Rainbow on the Green

Date: Friday, June 24, 2022
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Discovery Green
1500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77010
Admission: FREE

Discovery Green presents its annual citywide LGBTQ celebration with electrifying entertainment. This year, Rainbow on the Green presented by Legacy Community Health will honor the courageous families who have spoken out against legislation meant to deny medical treatment to transgender children.

The Pride Run: Houston, Texas

Date: Saturday, June 25, 2022
Time: 7:00 am (check-in begins)
Location: 1900 Lyons Avenue, Houston, TX 77020
Registration Fee: $30

This event is for everyone; people who want to walk or run, people of all ages, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Gay, straight, whatever– join the fun and celebrate all the colors of Houston’s rainbow.

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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