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65 Photos Celebrating 65 Years of the Oldest LGBTQ+ Club in America
Houston’s Diana Foundation is the oldest continuously active LGBTQ+ organization in America. So they made a book!
It could be coastal ignorance, but we were surprised to find out about The Diana Foundation. Founded in 1953, the group began as a TV watch party for the 25th Academy Awards, The Diana Foundation grew to become a major social and philanthropic organization.
Hosting its annual Diana Awards, which is a comedic spoof of the Academy Awards, Diana members roast some of Houston's finest. Each year, proceeds help support local charities, and the Diana Awards serve as one of Houston's most celebrated traditions. The newly published book gives an account of Diana Awards shows from 1953 through 2018.
"The Dianas have a long history of supporting Houston's gay community," said John Heinzerling, Book Project Committee Co-Chair. "In fact, our book cites many examples where the Dianas provided the seed money to start many wonderful organizations still in operation today. Whenever our community has needed help the most, The Diana Foundation has always been there to make a difference in people's lives."
Author Brandon Wolf offers, "Telling the story of the Dianas is to tell the story of gay life in Houston. The history of the Dianas is a labor of love, inspired by the wit and spirit of the people who began the organization and those who continue it. When I think about it, the history is just fascinating. It is an inspirational tribute to the human spirit in general and to the determination of gay people in particular. The story of the Dianas is the story of emotional survival amidst oppression - the utter resolve to change the world we live in - and the determination to have a good time in the process. This book is thus dedicated to the spirit of the Dianas, and every individual who gave life to that spirit."
A limited number of books are available for sale online at DianaHistoryBook.com. The book website also provides a free download in PDF format. The Book Project Committee plans to launch its eBook through popular vendors in June. Thanks to the generous support of Book Project donors, the eBook version of "The Diana Foundation: 65 Years of History" will also be available for free download. See more on Facebook and Instagram.
Los Angeles has the Oscars. New York has the Tonys. Houston will forever have the Dianas.
Special thanks to Tanner Williams for his work to provide photos and information for us in this slideshow.