A hurricane and an election can sure change a speech.
“This was not the speech I thought I’d give on Oct. 8,” Steve Rothaus wrote in Monday morning’s edition of the Miami Herald.
On Saturday evening, Rothaus was honored by the National LGBTQ Task Force with the 2016 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. The Task Force’s Miami Gala, originally scheduled for Oct. 8, was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.
And then came the surprising election of Donald J. Trump.
“Now more than ever we need to protect the progress we’ve made and to look ahead to making South Florida an even better place for LGBTQ people to live, work and vacation in,” Rothaus writes.
RELATED: Task Force To Honor Rothaus
Held at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach, the Task Force’s 20th annual Miami Gala raised more than $650,000 for programs providing direct services to LGBTQ people. The gala also honored Broadway producers Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley. The duo conceived the idea of “What The World Needs Now Is Love” – a musical tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre.
More than 700 people attended Saturday night’s black tie affair and Rothaus offered a reminder that the fight for equality and justice is far from over.
“As we sit here in the glamorous Fontainebleau ballroom, enjoying our dinner — some folks even planning to stay overnight — there are abandoned LGBTQ youth in our own community who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, where they will sleep tonight or with whom,” Rothaus said. “That is the real reason for this fundraising gala and why we each do what we do. Now, more than ever, the people in this room must not forget the mission or slow down for even a moment.”
RELATED: A Journalist & Role Model
Rothaus’ award is named in honor of a South Florida activist who hung himself in a Miami Shores garage in 2007. In his Monday piece in the Herald, Rothaus reflected on his career as a journalist and some of the more impactful moments.
“More than ever, journalists today must share opposing points of view — you should know what other people are thinking, even if you disagree with them. That provides you with information that helps in decision making, such as who to vote for,” he wrote.