HOUSTON – This year the Pride rainbow has expanded to include two new colors: black and brown. The addition aims to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Houston’s annual Pride parade, which typically takes place in June, was originally delayed to the fall amidst COVID-19 concerns. In place of the fall celebration, Pride Houston announced that it would host “It Started With A Riot! Pride Houston 2020 Equality Virtual Rally” on June 27 in support of the BLM movement. Pride Houston President and CEO Lo Roberts is the first Black female to hold her position within the organization.
“One of my favorite quotes is ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,‘” said Roberts. “I’m the type of person, if I don’t see someone like me sitting at the table, I will try to make room for people who look like me,” said Roberts.
Roberts began volunteering with the organization nearly a decade ago, and has worn many different hats in that time. Since being inducted as president and CEO in 2017, she has implemented changes to the organization and ensured the Pride Houston team reflects the diversity of its city.
According to Roberts, many Black queer people have been fighting at the forefront for equality. The Stonewall Riots of 1969, led by two trans women of color, are the basis of June Pride celebrations worldwide. Additionally, the Black Lives Matter movement was founded by three Black women, two of whom identify as queer.
“The reason for Pride was to celebrate victories through those riots, to celebrate people taking the time to listen to us and have that platform,” said Roberts. “We continue to strive for total equality.”
In addition to being the president and CEO of Pride Houston, Roberts also works as a pediatric nurse and health specialist. As such, she is very mindful of taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Saturday’s event. Participants are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. Additionally, volunteers will be handing out snacks, water, PPE’s and sanitizer to those in need. There will also be hygiene stations and random screenings conducted throughout the event.
Pride Houston will livestream the virtual rally on their social media pages on Saturday, June 27 at 11 a.m. For the full interview, watch the video above. For more info, visit the Pride Houston website.