By Matthew Bado, TSB Staff
It is hard to believe that one year ago this month, McKinney was host to the inaugural Collin County Gay Pride Party celebration. We had no idea how many people would show up. I estimated 50 at most but we ended up with 200 locals, both gay and straight, who came out to support this monumental moment in our county’s history (hear that Mr. Newsom?).
It was so popular Denton county wanted a piece of the action. Thus, a growing cadre of citizens will gather for the Second Annual “Come As You Are” Pride Party on Sat., June 23 at Tierney’s Tavern in Old Town Lewisville from 6 – 11 p.m. Tierney’s is located at 208 E. Main Street. We will celebrate gay pride, equality and unity in the North Texas suburbs, a sector often over looked by metropolitan areas and city government. (According to the Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance, the City of McKinney does not have an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.)
Last year’s inaugural event was spearheaded by community activist, Morris Garcia, and his partner, Tim Phillips, of Plano. Garcia is once again leading the charge.
“In 2011, Tim and I decided to have a first ever Pride event in Collin County, one of the most conservative counties in Texas, because we felt there was a long overdue need to demonstrate to the communities here that there is a GLBTA element that needed to be recognized as good citizens and contributors to the community,” said Garcia, Chair of the North Texas Pride Planning Committee. “More importantly, we wanted to celebrate and be proud of who we are, thus the theme, Come As You Are.”
“The overwhelming attendance and success of the inaugural event made it clear that there was a need to continue with an annual event. We look forward to seeing an even greater participation from sponsors and attendees this summer,” added Garcia.
Entertainment will be provided by The Ducado Vega Band and DJ Fierce. The remodeled Best Western Plus Lewisville will provide complementary transportation to/from Tierney’s and will host an after-hours pool party until 1 a.m. following the event. Pride attendees are privy to discounted room rates.
Tierney’s will be decorated with gay pride themed colors and patrons can take advantage of drink specials, face painting, door prizes, raffles and vendor booths.
While a majority of the gay population resides in urban settings, it is clear that many have migrated to the suburbs in recent years, emedding themselves in communities in ways no different than straight counter-parts. Gays long for an improved quality of life — good schools, churches, and extra-curricular activities — and look for the ideal community to settle down, raise a family and get involved.
Visit www.NorthTexasPride.com for more information. See related stories below.
C.U.R.E. is a nonprofit with three primary goals: first to encourage others to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS, second to focus on HIV/AIDS education and outreach to the youth, women and community members of diverse ethnic backgrounds, and lastly, to present a public means of remembrance and healing. More information is available at www.curentx.org.
About Health Services of North Texas:
Health Services of North Texas, Inc. (HSNT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of underserved North Texans through prevention, care and advocacy. HSNT strives to provide the highest quality medical care at little or no cost to clients. Whether it is our North Texas HIV/AIDS services, our Denton Medical Center, or our Guardianship Services, HSNT has a long history of providing for the needs of our communities. More information is available at www.healthntx.org.