HOUSTON – On Saturday, thousands of people packed downtown for the Pride Houston Celebration and Parade.
This year, there are six Grand Marshal’s and KPRC 2 spoke to one of them.
Meet Travis Torrence!
“I’m a lawyer, a community organizer, a philanthropist, I’m Black,” Torrence said. “I’m queer, and I’m proud to be here.”
The Louisiana native turned Houstonian also serves as the President of the National LGBTQ+ Bar Foundation, he’s a board member for the Alley Theatre and the LGBT Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.
“I’m also heavily, heavily involved in the Hollyfield Foundation which gives grants to non-profit organizations across our community that are dedicated to equal rights for our LGBTQ people and people who are impacted by HIV and AIDS as well,” Torrence said.
Torrence is this year’s ‘Male Identifying Grand Marshal’ for the Pride Houston Parade.
“It is the honor of a lifetime because, for me, PRIDE is all about celebrating those who fought so hard for LGBTQ+ people,” he said.
He and his partner even painted their door rainbow colors to celebrate the accomplishment.
“The neighbors seem to love it. They stop by to take pictures of it, and we are so proud of it,” Torrence said.
PRIDE is a celebration that honors, history, legacy, and the future, but people in the LGBTQ+ community are still dealing with many challenges like discrimination and harassment.
“Not only in the workplace but out in the world. One in four people will experience a hate crime in their lifetime, and if you concentrate on the trans community, it’s even worse,” he said.
There are also issues at the local, state, and federal levels.
“And what we are seeing that’s coming out of the Supreme Court and other courts across the land, it’s not looking good for us. Our rights are constantly under attack,” Torrence said.
But Torrence is using his voice and passion for the LGBTQ+ community to make sure people have equal rights and understand the history.
He says PRIDE plays a big role in Houston and they are celebrating all year long!
“We are all the same, we are a part of the community, and we are not going anywhere either. We are here to stay,” he said.
Torrence says he looks forward to celebrating with everyone at the parade and the CeCe Peniston performance.