Hotspots chats with Miik Martorell, current Pride Fort Lauderdale Board President

Tell our readers a bit of history of Pride Fort Lauderdale

Well, Pride Fort Lauderdale started in 1977; it actually started out as a protest of Anita Bryant. The community got together in Dade and Broward Counties and basically protested against the fact that she was fighting against gay rights. The organization ended up coming together every year for several years as a Pride festival. It started as a march and would alternate between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. We eventually found our home in Fort Lauderdale. This year is the 40th year, a really important commemoration of all of the good and bad things that have happened to our community over those years.

What is new for this year?

There are so many big changes. For one, we have an all-new board. Fresh ideas, fresh new people, most of whom have never done this before, but they want to do something good for the community. With that, our all-volunteer group put together an event that will take place, for the first time, on Fort Lauderdale beach. It’s no longer in the park. Second, the event will be completely free this year, there will be no charge. Finally, we moved the date to the peak of season, hoping to attract a lot of people from around the country. We want to make this a pride that is a destination pride, not just a local one.

What can people expect if they attend this year?

We have added a history of pride put together by the Stonewall Museum, they will do a display for everyone to see. There is an area for seniors which SAGE is working with us on. South Florida Family Pride is putting together an area for families, bringing their family as well. A really big addition will be our sports area, dedicated to different sports teams in the community to show people there is so much more to our lifestyle than just nightlife and partying. We will have free shuttle service this year from Wilton Manors. We have also partnered with the Water Taxi and we will also offer free parking at the Galleria on Sunrise BLVD and take the water taxi over.

Who is performing?

At the moment, we have Latrice Royale, who will come back to perform. We also have several local DJ’s lined up- Wendy Hunt, AJ Ready, and Joe Gauthreaux who is an internationally known circuit DJ. In addition, we have Grammy Award winning country music singer Ty Herndon who recently came out as gay. We have two other people we are working on, but haven’t signed contracts yet, but there are a few surprises left that we are looking forward to unveiling in the upcoming weeks.

How can people get involved with Pride Fort Lauderdale?

There are a bunch of ways. If they just want to come and enjoy the event that’s awesome, we definitely want that, but if you want to be a part of it and help us put this on, it will be a very meaningful year this year. We really need volunteers right now. If any of your readers are interested in volunteering they can visit our website at PrideFortLauderdale.org. They can fill out the form on there and we will contact them.

The Pride Fort Lauderdale website has been recently updated with new information so check them out there at PrideFortLauderdale.org and stay tuned for more info as the date gets closer.

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Ian Maloney
Ian Maloney is from Delmar, DE. He lives in Miami Beach with his husband Alan and their dog Goldie. He loves learning languages, history, and writing about politics. He holds a Master's Degree from Wilmington University and a Bachelor's from the University of Delaware.