(CORPUS CHRISTI) – For the second time in two years, the global coronavirus pandemic has caused the cancellation of PRIDE events in Corpus Christi. The Board of the Mosaic Project of South Texas (MPST), which puts on PRIDE events in Corpus Christi, announced the cancellation of several October events including its largest and most public event, the parade and block party.

“We could not in good conscience put lives at risk by holding large events where the virus could be spread,” said Tom Tagliabue, President of the MPST. “As much as we want to have PRIDE events and activities in October to commemorate LGBT History Month, we know health care services in the Coastal Bend are stretched to the limits and we do not want to risk making the situation worse with large public gatherings. Protecting the health, safety and welfare of our community must be our foremost consideration. We encourage everyone to stay strong, stay proud, get vaccinated and do your part to limit potential spread of the virus in the Coastal Bend.”

PRIDE events typically take place in June during PRIDE Month. For 2021, the Board moved its major events to October during LGBT History Month in hopes COVID cases would subside and more people would get vaccinated. The announcement from the MPST covers the Poetry Pop Up Market and Poetry Night planned for October 2, the Parade on Shoreline Boulevard and Block Party planned for the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History set for October 9, and the Family Fun Day scheduled for October 23 at the St. Paul United Church of Christ.

“We desperately want to get back to normal where friends, families, allies, stakeholders and the public can safely gather and celebrate important community-building events,” Tagliabue said. “Unfortunately, the escalation of positive COVID cases, the lagging number of residents receiving vaccinations and the unprecedented levels of hospitalizations makes it unwise to do so.”

Bill Hoelscher, MPST Treasurer said the organization will reach out to plan future events and activities. “We received wonderful community support for PRIDE and we want to recognize the sponsors, donors and supporters and express our sincere appreciation for standing with us,” Hoelscher said. “We will continue to work with those friends and supporters in planning, organizing, and producing events that elevate the dignity of the LGBTQIA+ community whenever it can be done safely again.”

PRIDE Corpus Christi, in partnership with the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History will have an exhibit during LGBT History Month entitled 50 Years: The Stonewall Uprising” curated by the Stonewall National Museum and Archives (SNMA) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The SNMA describes the exhibition thusly:

In June 1969, riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village are generally cited as the starting point of the LGBTQ rights movement, but the facts are considerably more nuanced and even disputed. Then referred to as the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement, the LGBTQ rights movement had been steadily, if slowly, growing during the 1960s. Arguably, the first widely noted times gay bar patrons fought back against police harassment took place in California years before the Stonewall riots. Media coverage immediately after the Stonewall uprising was minimal. Yet within a year, the first gay pride marches had taken place and gay activist organizations had sprung up. The era of LGBTQ liberation was about to dawn. This exhibition looks at the who, what and where of those June nights in an attempt to understand why the Stonewall riots became the catalytic movement in the effort to secure equal rights for LGBTQ Americans.

With the support of Wells Fargo and other donors, SNMA share exhibition with venues and organizations throughout the United States. Using its Archives and Library as resources for information, SNMA is committed to the distribution of historically accurate information that affirms and uplifts the history and culture of LGBTQ people and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion as the means to a pluralistic society.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to educate the community and commemorate LGBT History Month by showcasing critical moments in the LGBTQ struggle for equality,” Tagliabue said. “We are grateful to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History for its commitment and support.”

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