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The Diana Foundation began on March 25, 1954, when a dozen gay friends met for a cocktail party in an apartment at 3416 Louisiana Street. There would be cocktails, appetizers, party chatter, and the television broadcast of the Academy Awards.

Houston Florist David Moncrief hosted the party, along with his roommate Curtis Wright. Before the broadcast, the host presented a local "award" to one of the lesbians present, for her "outstanding performance" within the last year, which was actually a bad performance -- either a failing of human character or an incident of questionable taste.

A large plaster statue of the goddess Diana was in the living room that night - thanks to Curtis who dressed windows for Sakowitz Department Store. She would later become the namesake for what developed into an annual pre-Oscar roast amongst gay friends that continued the next year and has never skipped a beat right up to the current day.

Each year the party grew larger, moving from private homes to an adult movie theater to the Sheraton Hotel to the Tower Theater and finally the Wortham and other locations.

By the 1980s, the Diana Awards were a gigantic production at the
Tower Theater, with 1100 sold out seats, guests arriving in limousines, and a cast of upwards to 150. It is estimated that the Dianas have contributed more than $2 million to the community over the past 60 years, and helped seed many of the important community organizations during their infancy.

In 1995, the last lavish production was presented. Responding to the times, the Diana Foundation downsized their annual event, replacing the production numbers with a sit-down dinner and a select number of awards. On
March 2, 2013, the Diana Foundation celebrated their 60th anniversary at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. The group is the oldest, continually active gay organization in America.

The Diana Foundation