With the Florida governor signing an anti-trans bill on the first day of Pride Month, Fort Lauderdale was undeterred and recognized June as Pride Month in a proclamation, as well as raising a rainbow flag above City Hall.
“The city proudly reaffirms its commitment to protecting and respecting the rights of every resident, business owner, student and visitor who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community by flying the rainbow flag above city hall during this month of June for the fourth year in a row,” Commissioner Steve Glassman said while presenting the proclamation on June 1.
The proclamation made mention of this Pride Month’s 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which kicked off the Equality Movement, as well as the 44th anniversary of the state’s first Pride in 1977 after the community lost its fight to repeal a Miami-Dade County ordinance protecting the LGBT community. Glassman also highlighted the importance of having fixtures such as the World AIDS Museum, Stonewall National Museum & Archives, and Sunshine Cathedral in the city.
Members of Pride Fort Lauderdale and South Florida Afro Pride Federation were present to receive the proclamation.
“It’s our honor to be in a city that cares so much about its community and everyone in it,” said Miik Martorell, the president of Pride Fort Lauderdale. “We are the very first pride in Florida and our history is rich and we have a community that’s just as rich.”
Pride Fort Lauderdale will be in November this year due to COVID-19 with the theme “Glitter and Gratitude.” Kevin Clevenger, who was present at the proclamation ceremony, has taken the helm as executive director. In the meantime, FLoatarama will be returning for the second year on June 12 as a kickoff to Wilton Manors’ Stonewall Pride Festival on June 19. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis will be serving as grand marshall of the boating event.
The proclamation coincided with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act in Jacksonville, banning trans women and girls from participating in sports with other women and girls.
“It will ensure fairness for women athletes for years to come in the state of Florida,” the governor said in a news conference. “We are going to go based on biology — not based on ideology.”
The topic of transgender athletes is not foreign to the Fort Lauderdale commission chambers. In May, Carvelle Estriplet, a Wilton Manors business owner as a Black trans woman, spoke before the commission to share her disappointment with the commissioners who did not vote in favor of a resolution slamming anti-trans bills. During her comments, Vice Mayor Heather Moraitis shared that she does not believe that trans women should be able to play on women’s sports teams, going so far as to say that Estriplet had a physical advantage over her and asked, “Do you want to stand next to me? Do you want to compare? Do you want to arm wrestle me?” “I do believe men are biologically stronger,” she added.