Rainbow flags, drag queens, and shirtless partiers will not fill the streets of Little Havana this February. Gay Ocho (Gay8), the LGBTQ+ Latino Pride in America, is canceled in 2024.
Rumors of its demise have been circulating for months. But just a few weeks ago, someone very close to the event told this reporter everything was on schedule and to ignore the rumors. But after wishful thinking and hoping to bring it all together, Gay8 had to acknowledge the reality.
It issued a statement, saying, “This decision was made after extensive deliberations, understanding that meeting the exceptional standards you’ve come to appreciate would not be feasible this year.”
Alyssa Ramos, Gay8’s chairwoman, hinted at what may be the cause, telling Happening Out Television, “We want to produce a quality event, and just don’t have the support from the city like we have in the past.”
4Ward Miami produces the event. Longtime Gay8 Director Jonathan Casanas echoed her thoughts, saying, “We didn’t get the support we needed.”
Gay8 is a reference to Eighth Street in the heart of Little Havana. Recent years have seen the festival grow, adding films and comedy shows. The street has been packed. The statements, backed by the history of large crowds, seem to quietly point a finger at city officials.
With less than two months until the event, time ran out for support and the decision had to be made. However, Ramos says she believes the organization can rally and return in 2025.