This week SFGN launches “Speak OUT” a weekly feature giving a regular voice to South Florida LGBT leaders. This week we asked why Pride is still relevant?
Below are some of their answers:
The Gay Rights Movement has become so mainstream because we have been vigilant in our demands for equal rights. Is it still relevant? Of course, Pride, first of all, is a celebration of those brave men and women who stood up on June 28, 1969 and said we are not going to take this anymore when the police tried, once again, to raid the Stonewall Bar in New York City. It’s a time each year to look back and say thank you to them as we would not be where we are toady as a community had they not taken a stand; it’s also relevant for the fact that we must never give up the fight, we have come very far, but still have a long road ahead of us….stand up…..stand proud….fight on!
— Terry DeCarlo, Director of Development & Public Relations for Broward House
Until LGBT discrimination is just a bad memory, Pride events are absolutely relevant. Let’s not forget that just last week, the Republican Attorney General of Florida, Pam Bondi, said our marriages hurt Florida. Pride events are the perfect venue for our neighbors to see for themselves that our families are no different than their families.
— Ken Keechl, noted trial attorney and candidate for Broward County Commission
The LGBT Community can be proud of the many new and younger activists who have moved the ball forward and are assuming leadership roles in the gay rights movement. These leaders are able to build on the extraordinary work of the LGBT movement founders and longtime activists. After years of losses at the ballot box and in public opinion, we are heading in a new direction and not looking back.
— Lori Lynch, Executive Director, LGBT Visitor Center of Miami Beach
The LGBT community here in Florida should be proud of the advancements we are poised to make when it comes to marriage. SAVE and the ACLU of Florida's Federal Marriage Recognition lawsuit, demanding that the Governor and Attorney General recognize same-sex couples that live in Florida but were married in other states, along with the pending challenge to Florida's same-sex marriage ban in local court spearheaded by National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality Florida, we will be on the path to marriage equality very, very soon.
— Tony Lima, Executive Director of SAVE
Community Pride events are still relevant because there is still more work to be done. It’s a show of support not just by fellow members of the community but also advocates. Many of us are fortunate to be able be able to express our pride everyday but the union of all LGBTQ people to celebrate equal rights will be relevant until all rights are equal. Join us at the Impulse Lounge at Stonewall Pride for the Impulse Group total #Domination to show your support!
— A.J. Alegria, President of Impulse Group — Fort Lauderdale
As long as there are people who are afraid of their attractions to members of their sex, or who are isolated because of how they experience or express their gender, there will be a need for LGBT Pride events. People who are out and proud are role models and lifelines.
— Brian McNaught, noted columnist, author and LGBT activist
Besides the social aspects of the community coming together in a fun setting where people are free to be themselves, Pride also is a good opportunity for numerous charities and organizations to educate our community about the good work they are doing and the issues that still need to be focused on. It was only last year in 2013 that I sponsored the domestic partner tax equity ordinance allowing City of Miami Beach employees in domestic partnerships to receive the same benefits as their married colleagues which also aided Miami Beach in receiving a perfect score in the HRC Municipal Equity Index. While I am proud of this accomplishment, Pride reminds our community of how far we’ve come and how much farther we still have to go.
— Michael C. Gongora, former Vice Mayor of Miami Beach