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Pride Houston Announces New President

The organization announced Lo Roberts as president and CEO after legal battle with former president, Frankie Quijano

Houston, TX —  Pride Houston proudly announced Lorin “Lo” Roberts has accepted the position of president and CEO on October 1 after receiving a unanimous vote by Pride Houston’s Board of Directors in late September 2017. While the transition was not without some bumps, Pride Houston is happy to announce the appointment and looks forward to a bright future for the organization.

Lo considers herself a proud Houstonian and was honored to accept the role of Pride Houston president, as well as all of the responsibility it entails. She began volunteering with Pride eight years ago and has served on different production committees and in various leadership positions including Parade Committee co-chair, Volunteer Committee chair, and member-at-large on the Board of Directors.

Lorin-Roberts-pride-houston-about-magazine-2018-copy-718x1024 Pride Houston Announces New President“Lo was, in essence, our vice president last year,Dan Cato, board observer and marketing director said. “She took on entirely new levels of responsibility with professionalism and grit, even dropping everything to organize a major event in less than 24 hours.”

Lo sees Houston’s diversity and its unique blend of cultures as an incredible resource and advantage and would like to see that diversity emphasized in Pride and the LGBTQIA community.

“The rights of everyone under the LGBTQIA umbrella are extremely important. But there needs to be a larger emphasis on supporting the visibility of people of color in this community. Especially the rights and lives of black trans people, who find themselves disproportionately affected by violence, homelessness, and a lack of social services.”

Lo has charged the organization by developing short- and long-term goals to convert this emphasis into action and to reinvigorate Pride’s advocacy spirit.

“The fight for equal rights in our community is just as important now as it ever has ever been, especially given the political climate in Washington D.C. It’s important to stay active in our advocacy and remember that there are many people in the world that don’t want LGBTQIA people to have their freedoms. And in a city like Houston, a city of over 2.3 million people, an organization like Pride needs to exist to serve as a mouthpiece for our people and to provide them with what they need to live happy, healthy, secure lives. But the first step to getting to that place is to create a more inclusive environment in our organization and make sure that all people within the community—black, white, Hispanic, Asian, bisexual, intersexual, trans, etc.feel represented by Pride Houston.”

Other major objectives for the organization in the coming year include re-establishing relationships with other LGBTQIA non-profits, outreach to primary and secondary institutions of learning, relaunching scholarship programs, and devoting new resources to the health and wellness needs of the the different LGBTQIA populations that call Houston home.

About Pride Houston:

For 40 years, Pride Houston has been a central part of the local LGBTQIA community in Houston. The 2018 Houston LGBT Pride Celebration®, the fourth largest in the nation, will again be held in Downtown Houston continuing the legacy that began on the steps of City Hall in 1977 with the protest against Anita Bryant which is widely considered Houston’s “Stonewall Movement”.

For more information on the 2018 Celebration go to www.pridehouston.org

Pride Houston, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization out of Houston, Texas.

Terror Threat Made Against Pride Parade In Houston

Terror Threat Made Against Pride Parade In Houston
Terror Threat Made Against Pride Parade In Houston

Houston Police Department has launched an investigation into threats made towards the the upcoming Houston Pride Celebration and Parade, that were made on social media.

The tweet read: “There will be a massive shooting at the pride parade in Houston, Texas.” The Twitter account has since been deleted.

“We’re trying to figure out who it is,” HPD spokesman John Cannon stated. “We’re looking into it just like we’d look into any other threat made to someone’s life.”

Pride Houston President Frankie Quijano released a statement in part reading “There will be an increased Houston Police Department and additional security officer presence throughout this year’s Celebration.” Assuming details will not be released to risk security.

Anyone with information about the owner of the account and any possible threats to the upcoming event is encouraged to call 911 or HPD at 713-884-3131.

Houston’s Pride Week runs June 19-26.

LeAnn Rimes Headlines Houston Pride Fest 2017

The Internationally Acclaimed Country- Pop Singer Will Headline The Houston Pride Festival Stage On June 24, 2017.

(HOUSTON) — County and Pop Superstar LeAnn Rimes will headline Houston’s Pride Festival in downtown Houston on Saturday, June 24, Pride Houston Inc. has announced.

The LGBTQ community is family to me,” Rimes released in a statement. “My music wouldn’t be the same without the love, and inspiration.

Rimes, on a current whirlwind of Pride performances and spreading love, hits the festival stage in Houston at 3 PM. Her new single ‘Love Is Love Is Love,’ will surely be a hit amongst Houston’s LGBTQ+ community.

The free concert and festival is open to the public and will be located in the plaza in front of City Hall downtown. There is no age limit to attend, and no tickets needed. Gates are expected to open at 12:00 PM.

Immediately following the Houston Pride Festival, the attentions turns to the Houston Pride Parade. The annual parade has an attendance of over 700,000 people every year from all over the world.

Pride Houston 2017 will be a musical one indeed—in addition to Rimes, Pride Houston has promised an amazing entertainment line-up and show stopping parade.

Pride SuperStar’s Jasmine Branch in Car Accident

JassyB Pride SuperStar

Jasmine Branch, better known by her stage name as JassyB, is a Pride SuperStar contender who recently was involved in a car accident that left her with injuries to the knee.

33020532_363693860786365_1429291934161043456_n Pride SuperStar's Jasmine Branch in Car Accident(HOUSTON) – Every year for the last twelve years, Pride Houston, Inc. calls for singing talent from all over the city to perform in its annual Pride SuperStar singing competition. The American Idol-esque stage show is hosted every Thursday night at Rich’s Houston and is hosted by the insurmountably talented Wendy Taylor (who has competed in both Pride SuperStar and on American Idol). There, twelve performers take the stage with a microphone to match that week’s theme; and each week, contestants are eliminated. And while each contestant faces a unique set of challenges every single week, a recent automobile accident left one contestant in the hospital with injuries to her knee, which will inevitably result in a much more difficult performance at tonight’s show.

Jasmine Branch, or JassyB, is a 29-year-old Houston transplant from Louisiana who recently came to Houston with her partner ready to expand her musical following and make her dreams of being a performer come true. Only, after the aforementioned accident on Garth Rd. last week left her with some mobility issues, Jasmine will take on the challenge in a new way that none of the other performers will be forced to face.

32151655_10155779717514912_8311921908685733888_o Pride SuperStar's Jasmine Branch in Car Accident
Photo by Eric Edward Schell

Jasmine’s medical bills and car troubles are on a constant rise; and without the approval of a doctor stating it’s safe from a medical stand point, Jasmine is unable to work. That being said, hostess, fellow musician, and newfound friend, Wendy Taylor, has taken on the task of starting a GoFundMe fundraiser to help Jasmine take care of what she needs to not only keep her in the competition, but to make sure she gets back on her feet — literally.

Jasmine sat down to talk to About Magazine.


About Magazine: Do you want to start by telling me a little about your life in music and also about what brought you to Houston from Louisiana?

Jasmine: Well, I’ve been singing since I could talk. I have done a few shows in Louisiana; I was on TV back home; I made it through a few rounds in American Idol. I consider myself to be a pop/R&B artist. My artist name is JassyB! And that’s also my fan page name. I have a few videos on Facebook that have hit 5+ million views. I have a YouTube and an Instagram. I recently moved to Houston where I need to build a platform and fan base. My partner is the reason I traveled out here. Also because Shreveport, Louisiana is a tiny city and I felt [that] in order to grow, I needed to move to a bigger city. So it was a plus that she lived here. I am currently working on a new single “Better Without You”.

So, now that you’re performing in Pride Superstar, what have you learned so far and what do you think you’ll take away at the end?

I have learned to step out of the box and get out of my comfort zone. I have also learned to not be afraid to be myself. I am challenging myself with new songs; and I’m hoping at the end I will have met wonderful people who will not only be great friends but friends that can help benefit my future. I will also be glad that I met a few other singers because  I love to surround myself with music.

Have you made some new friends through this competition?

Yes, a bunch of new friends.

So, tell me the importance of Pride to you? And how important do you think this sort of competition is to LGBTQ artists out there like yourself?

Pride is very important to me. I take it very seriously. People have died standing up for something they believe in; and that is Pride. I feel like it’s important to the LGBTQ+ community because it’s letting people know it’s okay to be who they wanna be and do what they wanna do. For instance, Ada Vox on American Idol. We are proud. We are here. We are coming out! So, I would say to any artist that is LGBTQ+: Do not be afraid, and be true to who you are!

Do you mind telling me a little about the injuries and events of the accident?

So we were getting this car from a financing company, and we have been having some problems with the car because it was pre-owned and the warranty was “as is.” We were having some problems with the brake lights and brakes. So, we were driving down Garth Rd., and a truck in front of us slammed on his breaks and we did the same and slid right into the back on the truck, completely totaling our car! I ended up at the hospital with knee pain, and they told me that my knee was fractured and dislocated. Being that I’m from Louisiana, I don’t have insurance in Texas yet, so all my expenses are gonna have to be out of pocket. Well, since I hurt my knee, I can’t work for a while being that my job is nothing but standing and walking around. I can’t stand or walk too much or lift anything heavier then 10 pounds. So, I’m also looking for a job where I can sit or do light standing.

If you could tell any other aspiring queer singers and musicians anything about going into this industry, what would that be?

Go in with an open heart and open mind. Be free and express yourself. Dress how you want. Be bold. Be beautiful. Be brave. Also, go in ready to work, because in this industry, you have to work to get where you wanna be.