Houston has one of the largest and most visible gay communities in the country, a fact that often surprises outsiders who think of Texas as being quite conservative. If you need any evidence that Houston's gay scene packs plenty of punch, check out the Pride Festival and Parade, which takes place in late June (June 25 is the date for 2016), capping a full week of gathering and events. This will be the 38th anniversary of Houston's Gay Pride celebration, which typically draws more than 425,000 participants and spectators.
During the days leading up to Pride, you can attend a number of related parties and gatherings. Here's a full calendar of events.
The Houston LGBT Pride Celebration takes place on Saturday, June 25, from noon until 11 pm - the festival will be held downtown, taking place at 901 Bagby Street, outside City Hall and right across from Hermann Square. There's a main Pride Stage featuring performances by a range of prominent artists. There are also pop and other music performances on other stages, a food court, a Community Zone of some 200 local retail vendors and GLBT organizations, and a safe and secure Kids' Zone with fun activities.
Admission to the festival is free.
More than 400,000 spectators and 1,000 participants take part in the Houston Pride Parade, also held on Saturday. This parade is unusual in that it takes place at night, following the Pride Festival - it commences at 8:30 pm and lasts until 11 pm. The parade begins on Lamar Street, heads up Smith Street, and turns right onto Walker Street, and a left on Milam Street and continues to Jefferson Street.
Houston Gay Resources
Houston gay bars, plus restaurants and area hotels, will have special be especially festive throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers and websites, such as Out Smart Magazine and HoustonGayGuide.com, for details. Also take a look at the outstanding GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Houston CVB.