Collecting Our Histories

Coastal Bend Pride History seeks to collect, preserve, and disseminate local LGBTQ histories from all community members in order to ensure our stories and memories are not lost or forgotten. This website builds upon work by fellow community members to preserve materials but still needs your help. Feel free to reach out and share any stories, photos, videos, or materials that document and show the ever changing presence of LGBTQ people in South Texas.

As 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Coastal Bend Pride History seeks to document local civil rights, pride history, and drag activism in all its manifestations. Each year forward will include a special emphasis on different communities in order to build a comprehensive collection with diverse representation.


Hidden Door

Originally opened as a men’s only leather/denim bar, the Hidden Door has served countless LGBTQ people in the Coastal Bend over its 38 year history. The Hidden Door’s continuous presence as the oldest gay bar in town also makes the HD the oldest community space that still provides weekly fundraisers for LGBTQ non-profits along with drinks and drag entertainment.

”Gay clubs and bars hold a special place in history as havens and sanctuaries as well as party-spots and hook-up sites. They’ve served as venues in which to build solidarity and community, and to promote education. They’ve also been the sites of violence and persecution that, in the past, ultimately led to great advancements in pride, rights, and freedoms.

Nancy Unger, LGBTQ Historian, Santa Clara University

1990s Drag Pageants by Texas Crown Productions

As owners of the Texas Crown Productions between 1990 and 1996, Rudy Cardona and Victor Lopez staged the Miss Corpus Christi America, Miss Corpus Christi Metroplex, Miss Nueces County, Miss Texas Riviera, and Mr. Corpus Christi pageants as part of the Miss Gay Texas USA pageant system, the largest and oldest drag queen pageant system in Texas.

“Drag is so much more than gay men dressing up as women. It’s about creating space and creating validity for people who want to express gender differently and by their own rules. And drag queens, drag kings, need to be at the forefront of pushing for rights and protections and safe spaces for the entire spectrum of gender non-conforming and trans people.”

Sasha Velour, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Winner, WBUR Radio Interview, Sasha Velour On Why Drag Is A ‘Political And Historical Art Form’

Contribute Your Stories

Please reach out to contribute your stories of LGBTQ+ history in the Coastal Bend. This year in commemoration of Stonewall’s 50th anniversary, our focus will be on civil rights, pride history, and drag activism, but the website seeks to provide a broad overview of all communities. We appreciate your stories, photographs, videos and other contributions. If necessary, we can scan, copy, or photograph your material for inclusion on the website. Simply click on our Contribute page to get in touch.

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