This weekend, October 12-14, Orlando will be celebrating “Come Out with Pride.”
Pride is a festival where all of our community, LGBT and our straight allies alike, have a chance to celebrate who we are and who we love. For those of us a little less fabulous, let me tell you what you can expect. You will see people dancing and celebrating the life they have with every ounce of energy in their bodies. You’ll find partners and friends embracing in the gratitude they have for one another and the freedom they have fought so hard to acquire. And, of course, you will witness one of the most audacious parades of your life that that will more than likely leave a trail of glitter in its path.
Despite all the fun and colors, gay pride started as a civil rights movement for the LGBT community. The first parade was a quiet affair, organized in 1970, a year after the Stonewall Riots. In the decades since, we have fought for public acceptance, successfully repealed "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell", and won the right to marry whomever we love. Yet, we still have many battles to fight.
The state of Florida has no universal protections against discrimination for its LGBTQ+ citizens. This means that anyone that identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer is at risk of being fired, evicted from their home, or denied service for simply being who they are. About half of the counties in Florida, including Orange County, have passed a local ordinance to protect both our LGBTQ+ co-workers and neighbors, as well as our LGBTQ+ students. You can help us guide the rest of the state on this path towards equality. Join Nicolette and our team at the Gay Pride Parade this Saturday, October 14, with Equality Florida collecting signatures on petitions to send to our legislators, to urge them to support LGBTQ+ protections! Let’s move our state 4ward.