HOUSTON - After in-person events were cancelled last year because of the pandemic, Pride Month 2021 celebrations are looking up.
"This year it's great timing because we have a widespread rollout of the vaccines and now we have a better opportunity to get together," said Lourdes Zavaleta, Managing Editor at OutSmart Magazine in Houston. The digital and print publication serves greater Houston's LGBTQ community.
Lourdes Zavaleta and her team are highlighting nearly 20 events this year. The list will include several first-time events like Kemah's first ever Pride Week from June 7 to June 13, Pearland's first Pride Parade on June 13, and the Houston Astros first Pride Night on June 16.
Zavaleta says the Astros are among the last teams of Major League Baseball to host a Pride Night.
"They were supposed to host their Pride Month [night] last year, but of course, it got cancelled because of the pandemic, so it's really exciting that we're finally going to see that," she noted.
Pride Month is also important because it’s when some decide to come out.
"I came out in June a few years ago," Zavaleta shared. "And [the Pride Parade] was one of the first places that I got to just be around other like-minded people who wanted to support me and I felt like I was a part of the community. So, that's really empowering and I'm so glad that we're able to gather again this June, because I'm sure a lot of people are going to have that experience, too."
The Pride Houston Parade is being postponed for later this year. Its organizers are expected to announce more details on July 25.
"There's no big celebration and parade yet, but there are smaller events that are taking place so people have space to gather and celebrate," Zavaleta added.
OutSmart Magazine's Pride 2021 issue and its full list of events will be available Wednesday.