This past year was truly a busy year for the LGBT rights movement and we refuse to slow down anytime soon. With the strike down of DOMA and more than a third of the nation’s states now having legalized gay marriage, PrideFest is a time of celebration, a family reunion of sorts, and a festival that raises awareness for our youth, our seniors, and everyone in between.
Coming together to raise awareness for the LGBT community is a selfless act of love. Many of us grew up in conservative, quiet parts of the country, with no established LGBT community. Some of us wonder what our lives would have been like if we all had a safe space to be ourselves, flourish and grow. And each year at Pride, people just continue to inspire and amaze me. All ages come in masses just looking for a place to be themselves and be accepted for the awesome people they are.
Pride is about standing up for others when, for whatever reason, they're unable to stand up for themselves. It’s about giving hope for a better future for our youth and strength to those who are afraid to come out. Instilling a sense of pride in young people is the best investment our community can make. Pride is about accomplishing small goals all year long for the LGBT community with the hope that one day, we'll all live in a much better place. We can plug into the energy of the larger community and re-energize ourselves knowing that we are a part of the movement.
While South Florida anticipates the many upcoming pride festivals in March, we recognize that pride isn’t just a month, it’s a state of mind. It’s not a single event that becomes a success, but the collective will of many throughout the year to see our community thrive for many generations to come.