EXCLUSIVE: This past Thursday, Jaron Turnbow — a thirteen year veteran of Dallas Pride — was announced as the organization’s newest executive director just a week out from the Dallas Pride Celebration.
(DALLAS) – Dallas LGBTQ celebration committee, Dallas Pride, has appointed a new executive director to its board of directors. Jaron Turnbow, Dallas Pride’s newest leader, has been worked under current executive director, Michael Doughman, for several years and has spent thirteen with Dallas Pride. He has worked as head of the organization’s parade committee most recently.
Turnbow gave us a brief interview (with an extended interview on camera to come).
Anthony Ramirez: How long have you been with Dallas Pride and how are you feeling?
Jaron Turnbow: I’ve been with Dallas Pride for 13 years now, and it’s been a great 13 years. I’m still letting it sink in, [because] this is a huge responsibility. To oversee events that bring the LGBTQ community together and new ways to better pride — it’s a lot of pressure. I’m extremely confident for the coming years of Dallas Pride. We have an amazing Pride Committee who dedicate way more hours than the general public realize; and they are just an amazing group of people. We add new committee members every year and it’s just awesome to be a part of this family. But now, as executive director, it’s scary. But I’m ready to rock-and-roll Pride. That’s what I keep telling everyone, “Let’s rock-and-roll Pride!”
What’s your goal going forward for Dallas Pride?
My goal is to grow the event. We are already talking about ideas for 2019 and 2020. Usually we would take a few months off after Pride to recoup, but we’re already working on ideas and how to make them happen, even before the 2018 Pride event has taken place. A few years ago, a lady told me that she brought her gay sister to Dallas Pride. It was her and her sister’s first Pride ever. She told me how happy it made her to see her sister have so much fun and to be herself. Those stories are why we work so hard to put these events together. For one weekend, everyone, and I mean everyone, can come together and celebrate each other. I tear up every year at the end of the parade as we follow the last entry down the parade route. To see everyone cheering, having fun, and being themselves — it’s a powerful thing. Together, we are stronger. Our goal is to be able to bring more people together by growing the event and throwing the best party we can. Another goal is to grow our LGBTQ Teen Pride. Amanda [Robinson] has worked hard to make it what it is today. The teens are our future, they need to know they have support from the older generations.
Describe yourself in three words.
Wow, three words huh?
“I need Dr. Pepper”? [Smiles]. Okay, no. Creative, optimistic, compassionate.
Dallas Pride kicks off with its festival next Saturday, September 15th, and its parade next Sunday, September 16th. Headliners include Asia O’Hara and Thea Austin.
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