The Ten Most Memorable Moments in Miami's Gay History
© Felix Becerra, Miami Beach Gay Pride / Flickr CC
In most cities, gay pride parades have a long history tied to decades of activism and celebration. In Miami, locals have been marching on Ocean Drive only since 2009. Although the procession is a recently adopted South Florida tradition, the gay community has always been an active part of the cultural melting pot. From 1977's Save Our Children campaign to today's weekly Sunday drag brunches, the LGBT community has come a long way, so there's plenty to celebrate.
Spring ushers in not only a change in the weather but also the Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival and annual parade, returning for the eighth year. Last year's festivities attracted more than 100,000 attendees over three days, and nothing less is expected this year. Grand marshal is
In anticipation of the fest this weekend, New Times presents the ten most memorable moments in Miami's gay history:
10. Club Baths Opens (1974)
John W. Campbell opened the Miami branch of the Club Baths more than 40 years ago. The gay bathhouse was a place where men could enjoy typical spa amenities such as saunas and
9. A Place to Congregate (1970)
Christ Metropolitan Church was founded as a congregation for gay and lesbian Christians in Miami.
Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower (right) at the 2009 Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade on Ocean Drive.
Courtesy of Miami Beach Gay Pride / Flickr CC
8. Miami's First Gay Pride Parade (2009)
Miami Beach's first Gay Pride Parade, established by Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower in collaboration with the Miami Beach Gay Business Development Council, drew an estimated 15,000 spectators. Now it attracts out crowds greater than 130,000.
7. The Purple Pamphlet (1964)
A Florida legislative committee led by Sen. Charley Johns published the pamphlet "Homosexuality and Citizenship," also known as the "Purple Pamphlet." The document attempted to portray gays and lesbians as disease carriers worse than child molesters. It was part of a larger effort to identify closeted queer folks in schools, universities, and government jobs. Luckily, the local reaction to Johns' letter was swift. Dade County officials threatened legal action against the Florida attorney general's forced distribution of the Purple Pamphlet.
A sign proclaims love for the Vietnamese while combining the flags of the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam and the National Liberation Front (South-Viet Cong) during protests against the Republican Convention in Miami, Florida, August 21-23, 1972.
Courtesy of Washington Area Spark / Flickr CC
6. Democratic National Convention (1972)
The Democratic and Republican national conventions were both held in Miami in 1972. The DNC featured the first public speech concerning gay rights by openly gay San Francisco activist Jim Foster. The RNC, on the other hand, was met with extensive antiwar protests, women's marches, and shows of solidarity from the gay-rights movement.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.