A group of Pompano Beach residents gathered together on June 28 to raise the rainbow flag on the beach and unofficially proclaim a section of it as Stonewall Beach.
The event was organized by Anthony Kulp, a resident of the city who lives in Palm Aire Country Club. He chose June 28 because it was the first day of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, which is known as the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement in the U.S.
“We no longer have to hide in the shadows or make up secret names for places to meet in public. This beach area is to honor the people who risked it all for us,” Kulp said during the ceremony. “The name Stonewall will always be synonymous with the gay movement. Stonewall Beach will be a place for all to come and celebrate our differences whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight.”
Kulp said Sebastian Beach in Fort Lauderdale, which is known unofficially as the main gay beach in Broward County, keeps “losing more and more parking.”
“A lot of gay people have moved up here to Pompano,” said Kulp, who is a local realtor.
“If you arrive at 11 a.m., no parking,” he added.
So Kulp wanted to declare a portion of Pompano Beach as its gay beach in order to give LGBT people another beach to visit and play on.
Kulp said Palm Aire Country Club has been attracting gays to the area for “a long time.”
When Kulp noticed there were so many gay people living in the community he decided to start the Palm Aire Social, which was attracting 250 people a month before the pandemic hit.
Instead of choosing an out of the way area as the new “gay” section Kulp chose a spot next to the pier.
“It’s really an outstanding beach,” he said. He noted the new gay section is close to parking, showers, bathrooms and restaurants.
“I wanted to pick a spot close to everything,” he said. “We don’t need to hide at the end of the beach.”
Michael Gillespie attended the ceremony. He recently moved from New York, and now lives in Palm Aire.
“Stonewall Beach is conveniently located, and a place for members of the community to gather together,” he said. “Anthony worked very hard for the LGBT community, and we want to say thank you for his dedication.”
For now there won’t be any other events planned until it’s safe to do so again. But even so Kulp is confident the new Stonewall Beach will start attracting gay people soon.
“I think this is going to take off,” Kulp said.
Click here to learn more or to join the Stonewall Beach Facebook group.