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We organized in meeting rooms at Rosenberg, we made connections among our community and allies, we successfully fundraised, the permits were in our hands…until the world shut down.

My wife and I found our love in Galveston much like the star-crossed love between a certain Capulet and Montague, this IBC fell in love with a BOI at the corner of 25th Street and Postoffice (then 3rd Coast Bar). The same things that stood out to me then are the reason I fall in love every day; her strength, love, compassion, fight, and care for others make her an amazing Galvestonian.

Those qualities are what built our partnership, and now the community is bought into the love and care we bring back to our home here in Galveston.

Over the years, one or both of us have been involved in many LGBTQ-specific initiatives on the island that we are proud of including Gulf Pride for Youth (GPY), World AIDS Day, the Rainbow sidewalk, Queer and Allies (Q&A), the soon-to-be GLSEN Gulf Coast Chapter and now our newest passion project, the Third Coast PrideFest.

We began the process of bringing back a Pride parade to our island after 15 years. I remember getting nudged by Steven Creitz and Trey Click, both amazing community advocates in their own right, who were ready to pass along the rainbow baton to the next generation. I felt like we were prepared to run our leg of the race with some help from our larger community.

The community called for an event to bring everyone together, so we answered. Between phone calls to the Downtown Partnership, meetings with the city, Mardi Gras balcony parties hosted through Yaga’s entertainment, to grassroot meetings amongst friends, we stitched together a layout for an amazing 2020 parade. Variant after variant pushed our plans back and we ended up getting involved in other things in Galveston but we never truly lost passion to bring a parade back to the island. Then a wave of community excitement hit early in 2023.

Word of a new bar, new organizations focused on LGBTQ engagement, and pressing legislation pushing our identities into the political arena once again brought us back into planning mode. We assembled in a shell of a bar in early February celebrating the next bar to hit Seawall — Island Time — and dreamed of a community event that would bring Galveston’s LGBTQ community together again.

Over the next few hours, a full October weekend itinerary rose from the 2020 ashes like a phoenix. The only thing missing was a name. Should we keep our 2020 name, Galveston Pride Parade? How do we represent a larger community past the causeway? How do we truly represent a fun-filled weekend? In just a few days we found an amazing equalizer that spoke to our mission, Third Coast PrideFest. This, of course, was full circle for me and spoke to my heart on so many levels. I found community, love, and lifelong family members at Third Coast back in 2009, and now we can bring life back to the name for a new generation of Galvestonians and beyond.

I am excited to bring the LGBTQ back to our community. The Roes and everyone on the PrideFest committee are excited to work with community organizations to bring Ru Paul girls, pool parties, glow nights, and a family-friendly parade to our island.

We hope to see you in October!


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