Surely the only thing better than celebrating Gay Pride is ringing it in on the beach? Well, luckily, Fort Lauderdale Pride allows you to do both! Fort Lauderdale Pride is the oldest Pride in Florida, and was first launched in 1978. The need to launch Pride Fort Lauderdale came in the height of protests surrounding entertainer and evangelical activist Anita Bryant, who led a discriminatory and hateful campaign that aimed to overturn a landmark gay civil rights ordinance in Miami-Dade County. Since then, the name and location of Fort Lauderdale Pride have varied over the years, however, the core value has remained untouched: to promote and maintain pride in Fort Lauderdale and support organizations and business that nurture the local LGBTQ community.
The varied nature of Fort Lauderdale Pride over the years has givin this pride a unique and inspiring history. With everything from protests and political parades, to lively parties and beach festivals, the rich program of events each year continues to keep pride enthusiasts coming to this dreamy LGBTQ destination on the sea. In 2017, Pride Fort Lauderdale celebrated its 40th anniversary on Fort Lauderdale Beach, attracting more than 40,000 people for the festivities. Today, more than 120,000 people attend Fort Lauderdale Pride to take part in the annual celebrations. Fort Lauderdale Pride has well and truly gotten into its groove now, and normally you can expect plenty of entertainment with everything from a beach party, block party, cultural events, and of course an incredible pride parade along the beachfront.
While Fort Lauderdale Pride is the apex of LGBTQ celebrations in the city each year, Fort Lauderdale remains a gay hotspot for gay and lesbian travelers year round. After all, it is estimated that Fort Lauderdale welcomes 1.5 million LGBTQ visitors annually, who spend roughly $1.5 billion. As President of Pride Fort Lauderdale, Milk Martorell, says Greater Fort Lauderdale is a community that celebrates diversity and inclusion in every way, each and every day, where Pride is our daily way of life.” Along with this, Fort Lauderdale is home to a lively LGBTQ scene, which is kept afloat by hundreds of gay-owned and operated businesses. It also boasts the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the country.
So if you want to not only celebrate your pride through Fort Lauderdale Pride, but also through engagement with a thriving and diverse LGBTQ community, be sure to pencil in Gay Pride Fort Lauderdale into your pride calendar this year. After all, sunny weather, revelry, and a whole lot of new friends are waiting for you!
Photos © Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau