Our Community’s Unsung Heroes. Our Allies | Opinion

Cathy and her son Michael. Photo by Bobby Blair.

Throughout the years of the LGBTQ movement, our struggles, setbacks and disappointing legislation has made it a very difficult journey for most of our community members. Our community members have fought vigorously for equal rights and equal opportunities. We have made tremendous strides, but there is still so much work to do.

Allies of our community have been absolutely incredible in assisting our community with substantial progress. Progress that in many cases may have never taken place without the support of our LGBTQ community allies from all over the world. Specifically here in South Florida we have a giant of an Ally in Cathy Cerniglia, owner of Over Easy Cafe.

Cathy has been a very special ally that has been serving our Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors LGBTQ community for nearly 30 years. The amount of generosity and support that the founder of Over Easy Cafe has bestowed on our community is one of the most consequential contributions that has been a consistent commitment to making a difference for others.

This family, which also includes Cathy’s husband Mark, son Michael and sister Terri Short, are showing us all how to give back. Michael is one of the most wonderful young men I have ever met. Michael has a continuous smile along with a quirky kind word or fun joke that is always fun to engage with. Michael’s number one desire is to provide the very best experience every time you walk in their family diner. This is very inspirational. It is truly a time tested, everyone is welcome place, to enjoy one great meal and make new friends.

Over the years Over Easy Cafe has supported the Wilton Manors Kiwanis, Broward House, Smart Ride, Front Runners & Walkers of Fort Lauderdale, Softball Turnout, and Women in Distress. The amount of food provided to Broward Gives Back food pantry is incredible. Cathy and her team provide the pantry with food throughout the year for children in need. The list goes on and on.

Cathy and her team are the pillars of generosity and tireless support for our LGBTQ community members in need. Over Easy Cafe should provide all of us inspiration to help others, and clearly has created a roadmap for others to follow who want to make consequential differences and impact lives in the most amazing ways.

It’s critical that we support the businesses who are giving so much to our community. I look forward to seeing you at Over Easy Cafe one day soon. The menu is off the charts tasty. My favorites include the biscuits and gravy, cooked to order omelets and lunch specials like the chicken pot pies and sloppy joes sandwiches. So darn great!

Over Easy Cafe is located at 318 E. Oakland Park Blvd. Just minutes from Wilton Drive. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.


Bobby Blair is a LGBTQ media pioneer and leader known for his philanthropic work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. A Florida native, he lives in Fort Lauderdale with his longtime partner, Brian Neal. Blair was inducted into the GLBT Hall of Fame in 2015.

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