June marks LGBTQ pride month, and many cities will be hosting their annual variations of pride parades and celebrations.
For the past 36 years Dallas has also hosted a parade and celebration, albeit it’s own unique version.
For one, the parade itself is called the Alan Ross Freedom Parade and, until this year, was usually held in September (it’s in June this year).
For starters, organizers in Dallas historically held the parade in September (although it did start out in June) to commemorate a significant moment in the fight for LGBTQ equality in Texas.
In 1983, Judge Jerry L. Buchmeyer ruled the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional, which essentially made it a crime to be gay.
In celebration the parade was renamed the Texas Freedom Parade and moved to September, the month of the ruling.
Buchmeyer’s decision was ultimately overturned by a higher court. It wasn’t until a 2003 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that such laws were ultimately deemed unconstitutional.
So who is Alan Ross?
Alan Ross was one of the executive directors of the Dallas Tavern Guild, organizers of the parade in Dallas, and was a member of the board of directors of some of the leading gay and lesbian nonprofit groups during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
In 1991, the parade was named after Ross to honor the fact he had shouldered much of the responsibility for organizing the parade in the early years.
Alan Ross died in 1995.
In 2019, the parade and festival in Dallas were moved back to June. History is still being made, as this year’s parade will be the first in Dallas to be broadcast live on TV, right here on CW33.
Watch the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday, June 2nd from 2 pm-4 pm on CW33 or catch the encore presentation on Sunday, June 2nd from 10pm-12 am.