Pride and Politics | Night & Day | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Pride and Politics

How many gay and lesbian pride organizations does one market need?

In Broward and Palm Beach counties, the answer seems to be four.

Even if you eliminate the Palm Beach County group, you're still left with three groups that produce four celebrations in Broward County every year. Isn't that a little, well, queer?

Gay and lesbian pride parades and festivals are traditionally held in June to honor the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, in which gays and lesbians fought back against the New York City police. For this year, Pride South Florida has decided to break with tradition, changing its major celebration to the spring for better weather and a better turnout. This move has generated so much controversy that a second organization, Pride of Greater Fort Lauderdale, formed to produce a series of June events. But PSF also has a few June events, thus leaving everyone thoroughly confused.

PSF's PrideFest 2002 celebration is coming this weekend at Holiday Park and the War Memorial Auditorium. The parade, however, will be held two weeks later in conjunction with Compass Palm Beach in "Beautiful downtown Lake Worth." (Their words, not ours.)

This year's festival should be a lot more festive than last year's, which was held inside the air-conditioned but soulless Broward County Convention Center. Using the park and the auditorium will allow for vendors indoors and out, with all the performances on the indoor stage and, outside, a food court, picnicking, an antique-car show, a series of children's activities, disco and country-western dance floors, and booths from local gay businesses and organizations.

The entertainment will be the usual lineup of singers and drag shows. The biggest flaw, which PSF seems unable to correct, is the heavily male list of performers. Gay Black Pride South Florida manages to find a whole slew of male and female performers every year, something both PSF and PGFL claim to be trying to do but can't seem to pull off.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Karen Dale Wolman

Latest Stories