Jack Valinski oral history interview and transcript
This recording and transcript form part of a collection of oral history interviews conducted by Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University. This collection includes video recordings and transcripts of interviews with Houstonians who have made contributions to the LGBT community.
Jack Valinski moved to Houston in 1981. He came to work for an ABC affiliate, 97 Rock, now Mix 96.5. He began listening to the KPFT show Wilde-N-Stein and its host Ray Hill and was soon volunteering to run the audio board. In 1982 Valinski moved into one of the roles as host and producer. This has been his longest continuing thread of activism in Houston. A long-time member of the GLBT Political Caucus, has been a past Vice-President and an Executive Board member, and has been honored with several awards by the Caucus over the years. He's also been honored by the Texas Human Rights Foundation and the Houston Equal Rights Alliance. He was deeply involved for many years with the Montrose Activity Center (MAC) and was its newsletter editor. It was with MAC that the Houston Pride Parade got its beginning, as a sub-project. Valinski had many roles in Pride over his roughly 23 years of involvement, ranging from overseeing the media to being Executive Director, and he helped shepherd the group to become its own organization. A proud accomplishment was when the Parade became a nighttime event in 1997. He was named Male Grand Marshal for the 2007 Pride Parade. Never far from politics, his current job is as Community Liaison with the Mayor's Office for the City of Houston.