We're pretty sure that most of the gay folks in town already know about the Pride Parade. But they aren't the only people who will be there. "If you've had a really shitty day, march in the Pride Parade with the PFLAG contingent," says Jim Null, vice president of PFLAG Houston (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). "It will change your life. I kid you not. "People will come out from the sidelines," he says, "because many of these people have been totally rejected by their parents; they've been thrown out on the street; they've been thrown out of their churches; they've been fired; they've had no support whatsoever from anybody except each other. And so when they see parents who support their gay kids, they have a hard time handling it."
Having been with PFLAG for years, Null and his wife, Sue, are the honorary grand marshals at this year's Pride Parade, an honor that is bestowed on heterosexual allies who have done service to the GLBT community. Accompanying them on the Pride Committee float will be female marshal Sonna Alton and male marshal Jerry Simoneaux.
And what a gay old time it will be. "Our parade is a whole mixture of professional floats, homemade floats and not floats," says Jack Valinski, program coordinator of the Pride Committee. This mix makes for one helluva street party, with thousands of people lining lower Westheimer, hooting and hollering for homosexuality. Keep an eye out for the giant chandelier suspended over the street. 8:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 26. Westheimer between Woodhead and Whitney. For information, call 713-529-6979 or visit www.pridehouston.org. Free. -- Keith Plocek
Life Is Hell
Combat Shock is a low-budget flick about a freaked-out Vietnam vet who goes postal on neighborhood drug dealers and other two-legged vermin. For this reason, it's often mentioned favorably in reviews that also contain the words Taxi and Driver. Those reviewers fail to mention that the flick lacks even a sliver of the acting ability and plot development of the Robert De Niro opus. However, Combat Shock is so far over the top with brutal carnage, loopy dialogue and depressing characters that it makes Taxi Driver seem like a Cary Grant movie. If that's your thing, then check out the blood and guts at 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 24. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1000 West Oaks Mall. For information, call 281-556-0204 or visit www.drafthouse.com. Free. -- Greg Barr
When it comes to online archives of H-town's arts scene, it's time to help out with the old and chip in with the new. A bastion of music news for over nine years, Space City Rock needs your help to keep its listings up to date. Founder Jeremy Hart is now married with a newborn, so he just doesn't have enough time to stay hip to the scene. If you're ready to pick up the gauntlet (or, rather, the mouse), point and click your way to spacecityrock.com and drop him an e-mail. And while you're riding the cybernetic wave, hop on over to houstonphotoclick.com. Created by Ken Wiatrek and Shawn Durrani, Houston Photo Click is a new forum where people can submit images of, well, just about anything they want. "This is a documentation of what's going on in Houston," says Wiatrek. "There's all kinds of shit going on, and people should look out for it." -- Keith Plocek
Latin American artists get their due at the MFAH
Sometimes a repressive regime can foster creativity. While living under a dictatorship in the '60s, Argentine artist Antonio Berni created a prehistoric monster made from the flotsam of industry: wood, metal, cardboard, plastic, roots and nails. His creature, La sordidez, is a blatant warning against the ills of modernity -- and a caricature of a regime that was implementing it at all costs. Berni's work is on view with that of 66 other Latin Americans in "Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America." This monumental exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston focuses on lesser-known (but not less important) artists. Says curator Mari Carmen Ramírez, "We have deliberately left out artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera." The exhibition is on view through September 12. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. $3.50 to $7 (free on Thursdays). -- Keith Plocek
Tales from the Crypto
SAT 6 /26
Think Bigfoot is a hoax? Skeptics and believers alike should check out the annual Southern Crytpo Conference. Featured guests include Bob Gimlin, who helped capture the most famous Bigfoot footage in 1967, and Kriss Stephens, a ghost chaser for MTV's Fear show. Stephens will talk about some of the creepiest, most mysterious roadkill ever found in these parts. The science/nature conference is the brainchild of wildlife journalist Chester Moore, who admits it does have some X-Files qualities. "Hey, if I had a Scully," he says, "I'd be all right." Learn about the truth out there at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 26. Lone Star Convention and Expo Center, 9055 Airport Road in Conroe. For information, call 409-331-4344 or visit . $10. -- Steven Devadanam