It was a trade show in Berlin nearly 20 years ago where Steve Smith decided to take a stand.

“We had a rainbow flag on our table and the organizers wanted us to take it down,” Smith recalled. “Well, I said no. The flag stayed up and that was that.”

And the rest is history. Smith continues to tout the rainbow colors when promoting Key West as an international and inclusive vacation destination.

“Gay life is totally woven into the fabric of this community,” he said. “The whole island is a gayborhood. It is a welcoming, safe place for all. There’s definitely a certain magic here.”

In addition to his role as travel agent extraordinaire -- Smith has served as past president, treasurer and on the board of directors for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association -- he continues to play a major part in shaping mosquito policy.

Now in his fifth term as a member of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board, Smith said he remains ever vigilant in the agency’s mission of “protecting public health and eliminating nuisances.”

A native of Daytona Beach, Smith married his husband, Paul Murray, in Provincetown in 2004 shortly after Massachusetts legalized gay marriage.

– JMD


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