2020 Grand Marshals
(She / Her) Tommie Ross is a legendary icon and one of the most accomplished and awarded entertainers in not only Houston, but also America. She has traveled the world entertaining the masses of diverse populations in every imaginable way. And yet she also takes time to do public speaking events, serve on public panels as an advocate, mentor young gay men and women, and has been awarded by the Mayor, the US Congress, the Montrose Center, and OutSmart Magazine as an Icon.
She has sat and spoken with reknowned national entertainers, politicians, and business leaders alike. She will celebrate her 60th Birthday in March 2020 and what better gift for a Living Icon and Legend than to award and reward her with this wonderful opportunity to represent our gay community as Grand Marshall, just as she has represented us with style, grace, dignity, integrity, humility, and excellence in her 45 year entertainment career.
Austin Dexter Williams
Austin “Dex” is amazing, and loves his community. There has not been a time when I was in company and he wasn’t thinking of how he could help and love on EVRYONE in the community- LBGTQI, Hetero, Elderly, EVERYONE!
Now to introduce the man who has done so much for the Houston LGBT+ community and whose motto is “I just want people in my community to feel loved”. Dexter moved from Georgia to Houston in 2001 to focus on family, career, and a more subdued, quiet life. However, it wasn’t long before he involved himself in various LGBT+ organizations. His first community organized event was a forum titled, “Under the Rainbow” a platform aimed at understanding the pressing concerns on who we are as gays, lesbians, trans, asexual, non-binary people. Next Dexter attempted to bring awareness to race relations in the LGBT+ community.
It wasn’t until the summer 2012 when Dexter met the love of his life whose passion for community matched his own. In 2013, Dexter created the Community BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) where LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters played games, shared food and reunited with old friends. At each picnic, Dexter selected a non-profit organization to help raise funds and awareness. In 2014 a nonprofit, Bee Busy Learning Academy Inc. was the beneficiary of the community picnic. This kind deed would come full circle. In 2017, Dexter accepted the position as Social Media Marketing Manager at Bee Busy Learning Academy Inc. It’s not uncommon to see Dexter featured in various PSA’s related to HIV, U=U and PReP. Annually Dexter host various forums such as Trans 101, The MSM Power of Sex and Know Your LGBTQ+ Rights.
Because of his love of community Keith & Dexter presents was created. Once a month, they provide a safe space for everyone of all ages to eat, drink and twerk. In 2017, not only did he land a job he adores and started a day party business, Dexter married the love of his life, Dr. Keith Clarke. It’s that love of community that makes Austin Dexter Williams who he is today!
(They/ Them/ Theirs) Kelsey resides in Houston, TX with their fiancee and three fur babies. Kelsey is a Licensed master social worker who works as a case management supervisor for the Salvation Army’s Young Adult Resource Center.
Kelsey also serves on the Board of Directors for Gender Infinity. Kelsey’s focus lies in LGBTQ+ equality, the epidimic of homelessness, and racial equality. Kelsey is a proud non-binary, queer individual who believes in living and achieving social justice through empathy, connectedness, and activism.
Lillie is the full-time, non-stop, volunteer chair of the Harris County Democratic Party. She has also been an active ally-member of The GLBT Caucus for many years. She has dedicated her life to fighting for progressive values, including for the LGBTQIA+ community. I have enjoyed watching Lillie share her passion for progressive causes, especially LGBTQIA+ causes, with our three kids, whom she’s taken to many rallies, marches, and meetings. Among other things, Lillie turned the Harris County Democratic Party into a year-round operation with a full team of year-round staff, all of whom are provided with health care and living wages, and all of whom are dedicated to fighting for progressive causes
She launched the “Black Girl Magic” campaign that saw the election of eighteen black women to Harris County judicial positions. Lillie helped turn Harris County true blue, and ensured that HCDP had much bigger presence in the Pride Parade every year she’s been Chair.