Take PRIDE! Kicks Off Pride Month | WATCH

A century of history lined the walls of the Galleria Mall as hundreds gathered to kickoff Pride month. “Take PRIDE! A 100-Year Retrospective of LGBTQ+ Milestones” opening reception drew hundreds of LGBTQ and their allies, honoring the past and inspiring the future.

History Fort Lauderdale has produced Pride Month kickoffs for the past several years and always makes a point to honor the brave people who paved the way and the generation carrying on the work.

An exuberant Dean Trantalis channeled the electricity in the air, saying, “Let us celebrate!” Fort Lauderdale’s mayor then read a proclamation declaring June as Pride Month in the city.

FayWhat?! hosted the event.

“I am beyond proud and excited to be here celebrating 10 esteemed members of the LGBTQ+ community and kicking off Stonewall Pride and Pride Month.”

This year’s honorees represent a broad spectrum of the community. Artistic Director of Island City Stage, Andy Rogow; President/CEO of The Our Fund Foundation, David Jobin; renowned entertainer, Erika Norell; President/CEO of South Florida Symphony Orchestra, Jacqueline Lorber; On Air Host at It’s Happening Out Productions, Josie Smith Malave; Board Chair at OUTshine Film Festival, Mark Gilbert; Transgender advocate and Director at SunServe, Misty Eyez; Chief Executive Officer at Pride Center at Equality Park, Robert Boo; Celebrity Host, Shawn Palacious (Kitty Meow); and Owner and Publisher of OutClique magazine, Steven Evans, Ph.D.

Along the wall was a massive tribute to Miss Florida F.I. Pageant Hall of Fame. This was especially poignant in an era where drag, trans, and more are being shoved back into the closet.

Each honoree, along with other community icons, had a poster board set up listing their accomplishments. The crowd browsed through them while munching on food provided by Tulio’s Tacos and Capital Grille.



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