Houston Splash, the south’s largest LGBTQ Pride celebration catering to the African-American and Latinx population, kicks off its 23rd year in Houston on Friday, May 3.

“Communities of color, especially black and brown communities, have historically been excluded from mainstream movements and spaces, including within the larger LGBTQ+ community, which is why Houston Splash prioritizes black and brown empowerment during our celebration,” said Mike Webb, one of this year’s organizers.

It was this exclusion that sparked the event. “During the early 90’s of the Splash Beach Party years, when black LGBTQ+ community members started to celebrate with the predominantly white LGBTQ+ community members of the time, many white participants eventually moved their celebration to another location. These common experiences highlight the need for queer communities of color to create empowering spaces where we do not have to face the racism and social barriers we commonly experience in our everyday lives,” Said Webb.

As the celebration grew, Houston Splash’s founders wanted to honor the community that initiated the Splash Beach Party by maintaining “Splash” as part of the name. The celebration is for everyone who wants to celebrate the pride all LGBTQ+ communities of color should feel. The Hilton Post Oak Galleria is the official host hotel and will provide a space for all newcomers to stay or even visit during Splash events.

“Our Super Social Day Party on May 5th creatively combines celebrating each other, complimented by civic engagement. We intentionally invite community partners that provide voter registration, HIV/AIDS testing and education, and additional resources that can help positively impact LGBTQ+ people of color,” said Jason Black, another organizer of the event.

Houston Splash routinely collaborates with other organizations like Legacy Community Health, Equality Texas, and Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity. Additionally, Houston Splash is in talks with Pride Houston on potential collaborations in the future as it continues to highlight the importance of this black and brown safe space for community celebration.

For more information on attending Splash and its many events, visit www.houstonsplash.com.