Written by Josue Santiago Thursday, 04 March 2010 00:00
Although the economy continues in a recession, there are many events taking place this month. Two of the most important ones are the Pride celebrations that happen annually in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. PrideFest Fort Lauderdale is one of the most distinguished with roots that were planted over 30 years ago. At that time, Anita Bryant began her “Save Our Children” campaign that sought to annul a Miami-Dade county law that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. This event was born from political motives to bring the community together, and although the damage that Anita caused with her campaign wouldn't be repaired until 20 years later, the event continued to grow until today. PrideFest Palm Beach also has a long history with more than 17 years of celebrations.
At both PrideFests, you can expect to have a lot of fun with live music, artists and DJ's. In Fort Lauderdale, CeCe Peniston, Lori Michaels-Me & the Girls, Pepper MaShay, Gioia Bruno, Shelina, Heather Craig, Tony Cruz, Marc Hansen, Noa Tylo, Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus Ensemble, South Florida Pride Jazz Ensemble, Francillia, Drag It Out and TP Lords will be there. Spinning at PrideFest will be Djs Corey D, Maximus 3000, Silvio, MIIK, Bill Hallquist, Blaine Soileau and Paradox. The masters of ceremonies will be Craig Stevens, Donna & Denise and Marky G.
On a personal note, what I find most interesting about these events is that when they are covered in the mainstream media, they only show the half-naked men, the effeminate, the drag queens and the rainbow flag. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that because we all have the right to express ourselves as we see fit, I think it's important to not lose sight and understand the history of these events, and that it's more than the images portrayed in the news. It's about the benefits reaped from the struggles of prior generations and that we're more than how we are stereotyped. That is why it now falls on us to stand behind events like these that bring our community together to celebrate all we have accomplished over the years, faithfully represent the totality of our community and continue paving the way for the long road to equal rights and true acceptance that lies ahead.
PRIDEFEST FT. LAUDERDALE - March 13-14 - PrideSouthFlorida.org
PRIDEFEST WEST PALM BEACH - March 27-28 - CompassGLCC.com