Everyone Is Included in Miami Beach Pride's Celebrations

Photo courtesy of Miami Beach Pride
Pride typically brings images of parties, glitter, and pop-music icons. Though everyone loves a good rainbow-filled festival, there is more to the queer community than a once-a-year celebration. To provide an inclusive and representative environment, Miami Beach Pride organizes events that reach far beyond the party atmosphere of most Pride activations.

And, thanks to the pandemic, you won’t have to wait until next June to experience it.

“We understand that folks that belong to the LGBTQ+ community have a wide range of interests that they would like to see themselves represented in,” Miami Beach Pride spokesperson Peter Carey says. “That has been one of the major pushes to make sure we are speaking to people of color — our Latin community, our Asian community, our music enthusiasts, our queer artists. All of those types of microcosms within our community are important.”

Pride may have looked different for most people these past few years. In June, packed festivals may have caused some apprehension. Thankfully, Pride is something that can be celebrated all year.

Since its inception in 2008, Miami Beach Pride historically has been one of the first Pride events on the calendar during April. However, due to the pandemic, the City of Miami Beach pushed the celebration to September in hopes of providing everyone an opportunity to celebrate safely.

Running September 10-19, the celebration features rooftop parties, two music stages, pool parties, and an event dedicated to ballroom culture, with Pose’s Jason Rodriguez serving as host. And in an attempt to create this inclusive environment that’s representative of the surrounding area, one stage will be solely dedicated to the Latinx community, with Mexican pop star Paulina Rubio as the headliner. This is all in addition to the parade along Ocean Drive on Sunday, September 19.
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Photo courtesy of Miami Beach Pride
"We’ve got other types of programs, arts, and cultural programming, that we run, one of those being the queer art showcase [on Monday, September 13] and also a social-justice night later on in the week [on Wednesday, September 15]. On Thursday, we have our Legendary Ball, which is going to be a celebration of the ball community.

"Miami Beach historically has been a haven for people of LGBTQ+ identities, people who back in the day they used to call 'alternative lifestyles,'" Carey explains. "Being able to have our own Pride here, on the Beach, I think is really important to create that safe space for our community and also to give them an opportunity to be able to celebrate as an outlet where they feel comfortable and celebrated as who they are."

Typically, Miami Beach Pride hosts over 170,000 visitors during the week, but the organization goes far beyond its weeklong celebration. Established by former Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower in 2008, Miami Beach Pride serves as an initiative of the Miami Beach Gay Business Development Council. Some yearlong programs include the Angels Program, an outreach dedicated to supporting young queer individuals, and the Legacy Couples Program, an exhibit set to debut in 2022, dedicated to highlighting LGBTQ+ couples in the community and the significance of same-sex marriage legality.

To ensure that all events and programs are inclusive, Miami Beach Pride has an extensive council and volunteer community dedicated to choosing each aspect of Pride.

“It’s a lot,” Carey says. “We’ve got a small staff of four here in the office, and we are sort of just a think tank of what we think the LGBTQ+ Miami Beach community really wants to partake in, trying to stay at the forefront of some of the issues that affect our community. We also have a board of directors that sort of oversees our nonprofit organization, and they are instrumental in the planning and decision-making for Pride. And we’ve got community members who choose to volunteer for us throughout the year, and their ideas are always valid because they’ve got their ear to the ground as well.”

Miami Beach Pride. Friday, September 10, through Sunday, September 19, at various locations; Ticket prices vary depending on the event.
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Ashley-Anna Aboreden is a Miami native and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She is an English graduate from FIU and is currently receiving her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She has an everlasting love for shih tzus (especially hers), chocolate chip cookies, and vintage books.