Galveston | Beaumont

Home Galveston | Beaumont
Award-Winning News Coverage For Galveston & Beaumont From About Magazine.

Pride Galveston Is Making Waves

Pride Galveston LGBTQ

As we begin our journey into June, we also foray into Pride Month. And what could be better in the heat of summer than a seaside Pride celebration just a short drive down to Galveston?

(GALVESTON) – With all the excitement in the news surrounding The Woodlands’ inaugural Pride festival and the vamped-up bustle of Pride Houston’s 40th Anniversary, it’s good to remember that all across the state of Texas, Pride festivals are prepping for action. Galveston, Texas, the island town known for its rich history and exuberant attractions, is no stranger to the LGBTQIA community. With queer bars staggered across the island and a large population of LGBTQIA people, its no wonder why Pride Galveston is hustling into its sophomore year with a three-day celebration that is certain to … well … make waves.

 

26613532_10210433692669564_2106470928_o Pride Galveston Is Making Waves
Kiki Dion Von Wales

And though this is only the second annual Pride Galveston, its certain to be a big year with events spanning from Friday, June 8th until Sunday, June 10th. Friday brings about the annual Mr. & Miss Pride Galveston Pageant at local gay bar, 23rd St. Station at 10 PM. Saturday will consist of the annual Beach Bash at East Beach from 10 AM to 5 PM, immediately followed by the Pride Galveston Block Party (also at 23rd St. Station) from 5 PM until 10 PM. The block party will be headlined by Mykul J. Valentine and Tiffany Hunter, who will be performing along with DJ Chris Luera featuring Athenz. Once again at 23rd, Sunday will wrap up the weekend with T-Dance.

26653942_10210434491449533_444342932_o Pride Galveston Is Making Waves
DJ Jamie Fuller-Waymire

 

But, again, this is only Pride Galveston’s second year (and its first as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit). Before 2017, the Pride celebrations in Galveston were sparse and existed under different names, which was noted by married couple and Pride Galveston founders Jamie and Terry Fuller-Waymire, who took over for last year’s Pride. Jamie, a local DJ and promoter, and his husband Terry, who is more famously known in drag as Kiki Dion Van Wales, have put all their eggs into the proverbial basket with Pride Galveston, and the city has been there to back them up. Walgreens, Antiques Amour, Galveston.com + Co., and many more have become sponsors of Pride Galveston 2018. And because About Magazine is also an official sponsor of Pride Galveston, we got to chat with the aforementioned dynamic duo behind the big event.


About Magazine: Can you give me a brief history of Pride Galveston before you two took over? 

Currently, the event is officially called Pride Galveston. Before we took over the last time it [a Pride celebration] was held was in 2013, and was under the banner of Galveston Pride. From 2009 until 2012 it was called Pride Fest. So, there was a 4-year gap when there was no official Pride celebration in Galveston. There were some informal beach events that a now-defunct local bar called Third Coast organized. The current home bar for Pride Galveston is 23rd St. Station.

What led to you taking on the challenge of taking this task on?

We wanted to revive Pride in Galveston; and it all started last year as just a beach bash and it just took off within a few months time. That is when we decided to add the block party to accommodate everyone. Some folks wanted just the beach, others wanted a block party, and many wanted both. Then the idea of a Mr. & Miss Pride Pageant was presented to us and, with our previous pageant promotion experience, this was an obvious event we needed to add. This year, of course, Pride is a 3-day event with the addition of the T-Dance on Sunday with a host of male and female dancers.

pride-galveston-block-party-2017 Pride Galveston Is Making Waves
Pride Galveston Block Party 2017

Last year was the first year the two of you ran Pride Galveston (correct me if I’m wrong). What do you think you learned from that event and what do you think you’re going to change this year?

Correct. Last year was our first go at Pride Galveston, and we learned a lot last year as I am sure we will learn a lot this year. For instance, last year the event exploded so fast that we learned to take on volunteers as often as we could. It can be a bit overwhelming organizing the pageant, the beach bash, the block party, and the T-Dance. There are so many variables involved, like DJ setup for the beach (a free event, save for parking), food organizing (which was free last year and [is] again this year), setting up the vendors and sponsors at the block party (another free event), setting up the stage, setting up the effects lighting, bringing in Porta Potties, extra trash bins, coordinating with the city on road closure and police allocation. Next year we are looking to put the block party and beach bash on different days so it’s not so overwhelming.

Since last year we have developed our websites, which both provide a wealth of information about the upcoming events on June 8, 9, & 10, 2018. The websites also allow for vendor sign-up, sponsor sign-up, pageant sign-up, and there is also a handy contact link if more information is needed.

“The greatest reward is seeing all the smiling faces of folks who are happy to see Pride back on the island.”

There are lots of events going on that are PG-related. Tell us about some of those?

Pride Galveston 2018 gets underway on Friday June 8th, 2018 with the Mr. & Miss Pride Galveston Pageant which starts at promptly at 9 PM at 23rd St. Station. The winners will reign as Mr. & Miss Pride Galveston for one year. The prize package includes a big crown for each winner, a brilliant Pride sash, category awards, future bookings with Island Diva Promotions as the reigning Mr. & Miss Pride Galveston 2018, and a cash prize as well!

pride-galveston-beach-bash-2017 Pride Galveston Is Making Waves
Pride Galveston Beach Bash 2017

Saturday June 9th, 2018, is a big day with the Beach Bash getting underway at 9 AM and running until 5 PM (an all ages event). The Beach Bash will have (from Numbers fame) DJ Houseman spinning live on the beach under the Pride Galveston canopies. We will also be serving free hotdogs under the Pride Galveston canopies and you can meet your hosts: Jamie Waymire (DJ Jamie) & Terry Fuller (Kiki Dion Van Wales). Some of our entertainers will also be present on the beach. Immediately following the Beach Bash, the Block Party gets underway at 5 PM (a free event for all ages) with live DJs Chris Luera & Athenz. We will also have some street performers present, as well as many vendors who will be selling Pride-related items, food, miscellaneous items, and services. The big show outside at the Block Party will get under way at 8 PM with our headliners, Tiffany Hunter and Mykul Valentine, both of who have won national pageant titles — royalty in the flesh! The Block Party ends at 10 PM and everything shifts inside to 23rd St. Station, which is 21 and up to get in with no cover. The back patio will have live DJs battling for the crowd, and there will be numerous roaming dancers both male and female to delight the crowd. The party at 23rd St. Station continues until 2 AM. On Sunday, June 10th, the T-Dance takes place at 23 St. Station with no cover starting at noon with free food, roaming dancers both inside and on the patio in the back. Pride concludes Sunday evening.

What is the significance of Galveston having its own Pride celebration?

We felt like the city needed its own Pride Celebration again so that our residents and tourists have a tool of empowerment which increases visibility. Our incarnation of Pride Galveston celebrates our community as a whole, not just gay, lesbian, trans, bi, queer, but our straight allies as well. We want it to be an all-inclusive celebration and feel like it is time to unite as one, rather than be divided into categories. We feel like the mission and meaning of Pride needs to evolve for the future and not be left in the past as a relic of days gone by.

How do people who want to help out volunteer to be a part of Pride Galveston?

Anyone who wishes to volunteer for Pride Galveston can go here and we will be sure to respond ASAP. We can use all the help we can get. We learned last year that it’s very hard to do without help.

What’s the biggest challenge in throwing a Pride celebration together? What are the greatest rewards?

The biggest challenge to putting together a Pride celebration is coordination with all the people, venues, and variable involved to make it work. We work closely with the city of Galveston to make this event a success and have the support needed to complete our mission. The greatest reward is seeing all the smiling faces of folks who are happy to see Pride back on the island. We made sure all of our events were free to attend so that even those with limited income could join us. This is why sponsors are so vital! They make these events possible and free!

mr-mrs-pride-galveston-e1526593023915 Pride Galveston Is Making Waves
Mr. & Miss Pride Galveston 2017

Safety is always a big issue and something that everyone wants to ensure. What safety measures are being taken to protect those coming to the festival?

Glad this question was asked and we have this concern covered! The Galveston Police Department will be at both entry points to the block party and will ensure a peaceful event. We also will have up fencing this year and access to the event will be strictly controlled. No firearms are allowed, and no food or beverage will be allowed in or out of the event. We will also have many volunteers help keep watch over the event.

What are you most excited about for Pride? 

We are most excited to see the growth and all the smiling faces that will occur due to the event. For instance, last year we had a make-shift stage that I (Jamie) built with minimal lighting and sound. This year is much different as we have a full-on stage thanks to our friends at Stagedrop.com, a mobile dressing room complete with an AC unit for the outdoor entertainers, and full-range lighting and sound systems!

What are some ways that the community can do to help support Pride Galveston and make it a huge success?

Getting the word out the primary way to support Pride Galveston and make it an even bigger success than its first year! Volunteers, sponsors, and vendors all help to promote the event, but word of mouth in the community is key! Of course, directing those who wish to participate in some form can be directed to our Facebook Event Page or at the previously mentioned websites.

Are there any details I’m missing that you’d like to let me everyone know?

The big change over last year is that we are now officially a non-profit entity. Last years success prompted the application with the State and subsequent approval. We are so excited about this year’s events and look forward to growing in the years to come. We even added a board member, Mr. Jon Vance, who is a local pageant promoter as well with the Continental pageant system. We have him to thank for bringing in Tiffany Hunter and Mykul Valentine. He is also a sponsor, along with his husband Dean Weir under their JD Productions banner. We hope to see everyone come out and have a blast this year!

28500179_10210816243073085_1963879231_o Pride Galveston Is Making Waves

Galveston County Sheriff Refuses To Release Documents In Death Of Gay Man In Custody

Jesse Jacobs died in custody of the Galveston County Sheriff.
Jesse Jacobs died in custody of the Galveston County Sheriff.

Galveston County Sheriff Refuses To Release Documents In Death Of Gay Man In Custody

(HOUSTON, TX) – The Galveston County Sheriff is refusing to release documents, any videos and the intake form of a gay man that died while in custody at the Galveston County Jail back in March 2015 fearing a lawsuit from the family. A move that shows not all law enforcement agencies are ready to be completely transparent.

On March 6, 2015, Jesse C. Jacobs was processed into the Galveston County Jail to serve 15 days for a second DWI offense. He served about half of that, and was pronounced dead on March 14, 2015 at University of Texas – Medical Branch in Galveston after being transported from the Galveston County Jail.

Sheriff Henry Trochesset told local ABC affiliate KTRK-13 he would not release anything out of fear of litigation from the family. As protests and riots continue around the country, and in Texas over the Sandra Bland case; the Jacob’s case is being hidden from the family and the public by Galveston officials.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.

The Jacobs family is outraged over the lack of transparency. “I’m angry,” says Jacobs’ father, also named Jesse. “Because as far as I’m concerned, they executed my son just as sure as if they put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.” Jesse told Miya Shay of KTRK-13.

In accordance to the law, the Sheriff of Galveston County must disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions, which protect interests such as personal privacy, and national security. None of the nine exemptions would allow for the Sheriff to withhold information that should be made available to the public and family of Jacobs.

One exemption would be an on-going criminal investigation into the death of Jacobs. The Galveston County Sheriff has stated that the cause of death in the autopsy report is natural causes.

KTRK-13 asked Sheriff Trochesset if he believes everything was done by the book. “It appears that way,” he answered. Trochesset told About Magazine ‘he hasn’t worked inside the jail it self in about 30 years.’

Family Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Galveston Sheriff

(Photo: About News) Family and Legal Team of Jesse Jacobs
(Photo: About News) Family and Legal Team of Jesse Jacobs

 

Family Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Galveston Sheriff

The Family Of Jesse Jacobs, A Gay Man That Died In Custody Of The Galveston County Jail Have Filed A Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Galveston’s Henry Trochesset And Officials For His Death!


 

(Galveston, Texas) 03/14/16 – On the steps of the United States Federal Court House in Houston; family, friends, and the legal team for Jesse Jacobs announced their filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit against Galveston Sheriff Henry Trochesset and officials after one year of ‘run arounds, no answers, and lack of transparency from officials’.

In the middle of some of the biggest media outlets in the country, lead attorneys U.A. Lewis and Debra V. Jennings outlined details in the federal complaint filed on the one-year anniversary of their client’s death.

The federal complaint accuses the Galveston County Sheriff of having blood on his hands in the death of Jacobs, accusing the Sheriff, his medical staff, and jailers of violating Jacob’s 8th and 14th amendment rights.

“The Galveston Sheriff executed our son.” The father of Jacobs stated to members of the media. “Today is the next step in finding answers.”

According to the complaint, Jacobs started having seizures after four days of incarceration as a direct result of lack of prescribed medication.

Disturbing details in the complaint outline how jail officials placed Jacobs in solitary confinement after he started to show signs of ‘withdrawals’ instead of transporting him to UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch). The jail did not have a medical unit, as required by federal law.

In the solitary cell that had no water, sink, shower or toilet, Jacobs was found unresponsive, with his matress covered in fecal matter.

“This is one of the worst cases of medical indifference to human life I have ever seen,” said Houston civil rights attorney, Randall Kallinen, “This goes on far more often than the public realizes.”

Jacobs was sentenced to 30 days (would have served only 15) for a DWI in Galveston County in 2015. The family claims the jail staff was provided with a prescription Jacobs needed, and had been prescribed for more than 10 years.

The complaint alleges that’s because the jail officials refused to provide prescribed medications that were imperative for Jacobs, he died.

One of the medical doctors mentioned and asked to provide health care to Jacobs while incarcerated appeared before the Texas Medical Board last week in Austin, Texas ‘steaming’ from a complaint filed by the Jacobs family. Another doctor, Dr. Teresa Becker, has a hearing set for April.

The Galveston County Medical Examiner determined Jesse’s cause of death to be “abrupt discontinuation of long term medication.” Jacobs died one year ago today at the University of Texas Galveston after being transported from the Galveston County Jail.

The family is seeking twenty-five million dollars in the lawsuit.

Fiancé Denied Access To Partners Funeral By East Texas Family

Fiancé Denied Access To Partners Funeral By East Texas Family About Magazine
Cody Livingston, 23 (About News)

A Heartbroken Texas Man Has Learned He Will Not Be Welcome At His Partners Funeral As The Family Redacts Him From Obituary


(Updated: 3:04p.m.) An East Texas man is heartbroken because he claims the family of his fiancé is unwilling to allow his attendance, or final ‘goodbye’ at his partner’s funeral. The family says that ‘just isn’t true. You are welcome to attend.’

The news of the tragic death of Cody Lane Livingston, 23, of Sour Lake, Texas, set state LGBT news sites on fire earlier this week after Livingston was found unresponsive in a ‘holding cell,’ of the Hardin County Jail after being taken into custody for an outstanding ‘minor’ warrant.

About News learned the Livingston family wants the LGBTQ+ community to know that:  ‘the Livingston family would like anyone that loved Cody, to attend his funeral.’  Arista Argueta, a close friend of Cody, who is transgender told us. “The family has known of Cody’s lifestyle and is supportive, if you want to attend, you can. Anyone can!”

Tanner Moore, the fiancé of Livingston emotionally explains their journey of love, commitment, and their plans to finally wed in November, which was cut short. The family of Livingston has shut out and ostracized Moore, and has erased the existence of his partner in his obituary.

Argueta states “that’s not entirely true, [he] is more than welcome to attend the service,” and notes that one thing is certain. “Cody was a gentle heart, and good person. His death has saddened us all.”

“It still infuriates me that [his] family is unwilling to include me because they have a hard time accepting his sexuality.” Moore claims. “He was and is still my whole world and I will always fight for him.”

The Texas Rangers have officially launched an investigation into the ‘in custody’ death of Livingston that occurred on August 26th, 2017 after Livingston was taken into custody on a warrant.

Cody Livingston’s funeral will be held on Saturday August 3, 2016 at Broussard’s Mortuary at 2000 Mcfadden, Beaumont ,  TX 77701  at 2:00p.m.