Too often, women are left out – intentionally or otherwise – when it comes to citywide Pride celebrations. However, this is hardly the case when it comes to the city of Houston. The city is honoring quite a few lesbians at this year’s event, including 2018 Honorary Pride Grand Marshal and hometown hero Julie Mabry, owner of Houston’s one and only lesbian bar – Pearl. A number of other women are being honored as well, since this year’s Houston Pride is honoring all of the past Grand Marshals from the past 40 years.
Why? Because 2018 marks Pride Houston’s 40th Anniversary!
Pearl Bar will serve as sort of an unofficial “Pride Central” for lesbian Pride-goers – and anyone else who cares to join in – before, during, and after the event. Jeremy Fain, Secretary, Board of Directors, Pride Houston, Inc. says that every year there is usually a shuttle that takes people to and from Pearl and the Pride Festival. “We’re talking right now about getting this organized,” he explains.
On top of honoring lesbians at Pride, two events for this year’s Houston Pride have been designed to be particularly inclusive of the lesbian community, “Our girl party, Eden, and the brunch with Lesbians of Color.” Eden is the official “girl party” at Pearl on Friday, June 22, 2018, and Brunch & Beatz is a brunch on Sunday, June 24, 2018, in partnership with the group Lesbians of Color. “The events are focused on the lesbian community.” But, Fain adds, “We’re inviting everyone to participate.”
Eden, at Pearl Bar from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am on Friday, June 22nd, is “dedicated to the strong, beautiful, and brave women of the LGBTQ+ Community, but, everyone is welcome!” The event will include an inflatable fun zone; a burlesque show at 9:00 pm; and a silent auction. A $10.00 donation is requested at the door with all proceeds going to support keeping the Houston Pride Festival admission free and available to everyone.
Brunch & Beatz will be held at the Montrose Center 401 Branard Street, Houston, 77006 and promises great food, “top 40 trending hits, pop, reggae, classic R&B, and Hip Hop anthems, and even a little Latin ‘flava’” with DJ Rocabye and MC Krazzy Kris. The event will take place June 24th from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and tickets are $30.00 a person.
Pride Houston’s main events include the 2018 Houston Pride Festival on Saturday, Jun 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm. It is free and open to the public as is the 2018 Houston Pride Parade which is that night at 8:00 pm. The Official Pride After Party is at Rich’s Houston, 2401 San Jacinto, from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am and is $20.00 a person. You can get tickets in advance for the After Party, which is highly recommended, as the event is sure to reach capacity. Houston does not fool around.
The Ten Days of Pride events also include:
Grand Marshal Reception at Hamburger Mary’s on Thursday, Jun 14, 2018, at 6:00 pm.
Pride Superstar Competition Finale at Rich’s Houston on Thursday, Jun 14, 2018, at 9:00 pm.
Pride Pool Party, Salvation at Cle Houston, on Saturday, Jun 16, 2018, at 2:00 pm.
Pride in the Country at Neon Boots on Saturday, Jun 16, 2018, at 10:00 pm.
Dine with Pride on Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018, at participating Chipotle restaurants starting at 8:00 am.
Rock the Runway at Audi Central Houston on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018, at 7:00 pm and the after party at 10:00 pm.
Unleashed at the Eagle on Thursday, Jun 21, 2018, at 9:00 pm.
Rainbow on the Green at Discovery Green on Friday, Jun 22, 2018, at 7:00 pm.
Pride in the Park at the Houston Dash on Friday, Jun 22, 2018, at 7:30 pm.
Official Pride Closing Party, Hot Tea, at Rich’s Houston on Sunday, Jun 24, 2018, at 5:00 pm.
If you’re not sure what to wear to the Pride Festival and Parade, just know that it’s almost impossible to go too over the top. You will see everything from barely there to head-to-toe rainbow unicorn regalia. If you’re looking to gear up for Pride Houston, you have all sorts of options both virtual and actual. Pride Houston tees and tanks “will be popping up here and there around town,” Fain says, and you can also get them online or at the Festival.
For online options, check out sites like, Human Rights Campaign (HRC); Look Human; Revel and Riot; and TomboyX. As for brick and mortar options in Houston, there are plenty. Target, believe it or not, is a great start, as it’s taking it up yet another notch this year with super cute tees, tanks, rompers, towels, umbrellas, and the like. Shop early, the “gay” Target on Taylor stocks up big and sells out fast.
Spencer’s at the Galleria has all sorts of rainbow gear in general and Pride specific gear from tees to accessories. Arne’s warehouse is home to all things rainbow from tutus to leis to beads to flags to gloves to décor. If leather gear is what you have in mind, the Eagle is your definite go-to. Sex toy shop Adam and Eve, always has lots of lingerie and costumes if you’re looking for something on the naughty side. Erotic Cabaret Boutique can also help you with your leg warmer, rainbow bikini, and Pride confetti needs.
As for Pride Houston’s message to all the lesbians from Houston and beyond, Fain says, that’s easy. “Our lesbian community is so vibrant and is always very present during Pride. We have new leadership, Lo Roberts, a lesbian of color who is making huge changes and bringing our community together again. Come out in support and let’s all celebrate together.” There is no better way to spread the message of equality and inclusivity than through visibility. Now, more than ever, women need to stand together and show their true colors. Nothing’s going to stop us now!