Gitter and Gaga and drag queens, oh my!
The third-annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival hit South Beach in a flurry of rainbows and fabulousness, and despite the oppressive heat and flash rain storms, it seemed that a fantastic time was had by all.
While the pride festival ran for an entire week and included events such as movie screenings and comedy nights, the pinnacle of the weekend was undoubtedly Saturday’s Pride Parade, led by grand marshal Andy Cohen of Bravo TV’s “Watch What Happens Live.
It shut down Ocean Drive from Fifth Street to 15th.
The University of Miami was well-represented in the festivities. Many SpectrUM members attended, as well as members of Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men. They marched in conjunction with the FIU chapter, their allies and Pridelines Youth Services, a community center for local LGBT youth.
According to senior Alec Rivera, DLP’s vice-president, 10 fraternity brothers participated in the parade, along with friends, girlfriends and their supporters. While this was his first Pride event in Miami, he is a veteran of other cities’ celebrations.
“[Pride] is a really exciting event. It’s great to be able to get together with other LGBT people and their allies to basically celebrate the LGBT community,” Rivera said. “It’s not just about having fun. There are a lot of other things going on, [such as] opportunities for education regarding HIV/AIDS awareness and political activism.”
Rivera noted that besides marching in the parade, DLP was able to assist Save Dade, the local campaign for marriage equality, with its canvassing activities.
Sophomore Lina Mesa also attended for the first time, though she spent the day working at a concession stand.
“I had a fantastic time. The people were incredibly nice and I loved the atmosphere. Next time, I’m definitely going for myself instead of working,” she said.
It is true that Pride isn’t just about fantastic costumes and pop anthems. Out of the 60 entries in the parade, there were numerous “legacy couples” represented, which are partners who have been committed to each other for over 20 years.
While Pride might be a bit shocking to some tourists’ sensibilities, one of the best aspects of Pride is that it shows that gays and lesbians are no different from their straight counterparts. With the recent controversies over gay marriage and Don’t
Ask Don’t Tell, it’s more important than ever that the LGBT community bands together to announce that they’re here, they’re queer, and everyone deserves to be happy in their true identities.
Sarah B. Pilchick may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.