Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors and Miami Beach Pride are popular events in South Florida’s LGBT culture, but there’s a new kid on the block: Miami Shores Pride. Working together with SAVE, it will be hosting its 2nd Annual "Coming Out Day" Celebration on Oct. 22.
The event will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., starting with “The Big Gay Parade,” spanning from NE 96th St. to Park Drive. Proceeds from the event will be benefiting Safe Schools South Florida as well as scholarships for LGBTQ students through the Point Foundation.
Joe Raia, one of the board members for Miami Shores Pride, shared that last year’s event had about 1,500 participants and that this year, they are expecting well above that.
“Last year was the inaugural year and really was planned within a couple of months, and it was an incredible effort with the four founding board members to get it up and running. We were able to raise money to send one young woman to college. She's going to be studying to be a nurse anesthetist,” he said.
“We're definitely looking forward and excited to be able to help her continue her journey and her second year of scholarship. But we're also looking to add to that, and so we've been very fortunate with the support this year. And in our second year, we're hoping to send an additional two to three young people to college, as well as support mentorship services with the Point foundation.”
The occasion will feature Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava as the grand marshal, a Books & Books tent exhibiting LGBT literature with a banned book giveaway, and a drag show by the emcee Poizon Ivy. Music will be provided by Dj Musicat, with Sol & the Tribu as the headlining act. There will also be pop-ups from local renowned restaurants for foodies.
“We established the event last year, largely in response to what's been going on in the state of Florida, particularly with DeSantis’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ nonsense. And of course we’re going to say ‘gay,’ I mean come on, we’re gay, this is what we do. We're not going away, being loud and outspoken is an important political thing to do,” said Giselle Kovac, one of the founding board members for Miami Shores Pride.
“And the other part of it is that we have the most amazing community here, and we really felt like it was time to celebrate it,” she continued. “Not only the incredible, prolific, rich gay community that we have, but all of our allies and all the people who love the gay community and are supportive and see us as an asset to Miami Shores. We wanted to celebrate all of this, all of us together, coming together.”
Visitors can purchase entrance passes on the website www.shorespride.org. Regular admission is priced at $10, while VIP tickets are $200 (or $250 at the event entrance) and will include drinks and food. All proceeds generated from ticket sales and the event will be dedicated to supporting Safe Schools South Florida and providing scholarships for LGBTQ students through the Points Foundation.