Every year in June, a wide array of Pride celebrations take place all over the world. These celebrations began following the modern LGBTQ+ equality movement that took place in the 1970s. People come together in cities globally to celebrate the freedom of expression and love in all of its forms. Pride serves as a reminder to embrace life to the fullest, in all of its beautiful color. The Eye Gallery in Houston continues to offer our support and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community of Houston and beyond. We have been voted the “Gayest and Greatest” award from Outsmart Magazine for many consecutive years, and we believe that is largely due to our continued allyship and efforts for real progress.
Gayest and Greatest
The History of Pride
Although there were quite a few instances where LGBTQ+ people fought for their rights, Stonewall is certainly the most well-known and pivotal event, which also is why June is now known as Pride month. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Stonewall, allow us to give you a very condensed version.
It all began with a raid that took place on June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, a very popular gay and lesbian bar, in Greenwich Village in New York City. Patrons of the Stonewall and other nearby bars decided to stand up for themselves, and this energy created a momentum that lingered. Thus, this momentum ended up leading to riots that lasted until July 3, 1969.
In the following weeks after the Stonewall Riots, various activist groups were organized to focus on establishing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ to gather, as well as promoting their rights. Exactly one year following the uprising, the first gay pride marches took place on June 28, 1970 in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These marches served as a tangible and monumental step forward for the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.
Amazingly, these marches and parades drew out huge crowds of thousands of people enthusiastically carrying different signs and banners. Furthermore, the Pride marches rapidly gained traction worldwide and helped lead to the establishment of numerous gay rights organizations.
Today, LGBTQ+ Pride events take place each year all across the globe throughout the month of June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. A small number of cities choose to partake in their Pride events in different months, most often related to poor weather in June, though the heat could never stop a Houstonian!
Although these celebrations tend to be fabulously fun and lighthearted, they are so much more than that. Pride is about the efforts to continue striving for progress, uplift the voices of the LGBTQ+ people, and celebrating them all year long. Great progress has been made in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and the freedom for members of the LGBTQ+ group to live their truth, and great work is left to be done.
Houston actually has a very deep LGBTQ+ history that might be unbeknownst to the general public. This history is interwoven with important events and stories that have helped make Houston the city we know and love today.
For example, the first recorded same-sex marriage in Texas took place in 1972 in Houston between two men, one of whom impersonated a woman to be able to pull off the event. When the reverend was later questioned about the ceremony, he responded, “We marry souls, not bodies.” While the county clerk refused to record their marriage license, the event itself was a massive steppingstone for LGBTQ+ equality.
Furthermore, another example of the rich history of Houston’s LGBTQ+ community was the swearing in of Annise Parker for City Council in 1998. She was the first openly gay or lesbian elected official in Houston. She later made history when she was elected as the first openly lesbian mayor of a major city in 2009. In 2010, Mayor Parker appointed Phyllis Frye as the first out, transgender judge in the United States.
The Eye Gallery stands with the LGBTQ+ community in solidarity
The Eye Gallery in Houston has developed long-standing relationships with countless members of the LGBTQ+ community. As the gayest and greatest, we work diligently to ensure that we provide an environment where LGBTQ+ employees and customers not only feel safe, but also wholly welcomed.
Who you authentically are matters, your voice matters, and your truest self-expression matters.
Furthermore, we want to do this not only during Pride month, but year-round. One of our favorite things about providing eclectic, colorful, and beautiful eyewear is that it is the perfect way for people to more profoundly express themselves. We want to celebrate that colorful freedom of expression. Therefore, we aspire to continue to be the gayest and greatest place for buying distinctive, luxury eyewear in Houston.
Whether you are looking for the perfect pair of colorful frames to tie your outfit together for this year’s Pride events or just want to celebrate the colorful splendor of love with a vibrant, unique pair of frames, come see us. As the world slowly resumes a sense of normalcy and more in-person interactions take place, a colorful pair of glasses can be a lovely way to show your most colorful self to the world. As the gayest and greatest place for eyewear in Houston, we would love to help you make your selection and answer any questions you might have.