MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Miami Beach was alive Saturday during the 3rd annual Miami Beach Gay PRIDE parade and festival. It was billed as a celebration of the strength, beauty, and contributions of South Florida’s LGBT Community.
Starting at noon, the length of Ocean Drive along the Art Deco district was closed to traffic and open to South Florida’s proud lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender families. Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower, along with Pride sponsor organizations, groups and businesses, were also in attendance.
The parade route ran from 5th to 15th Street on Ocean Drive, ending at the Miami Beach Pride Festival and Expo.
The event also gave the LGBT community in South Florida a chance to showcase some of the couples who have been giving strength and inspiration to generations of LGBT South Floridians.
Tony Fernandez and Bob Truax have been together for nearly 6 decades and Saturday, they will be one of 42 couples in this year’s parade. They will be in the “Legacy” group made up of couples who have been together more than 20 years.
“57 years…wonderful years,” said Tony as he gently stroked Bob’s face.
They began dating in 1953 when Tony was a young entertainer who just came over from Cuba and in a heartbeat; they knew it was meant to last.
“He had those beautiful eyes,” recalled Tony as he looked at an old picture of Bob. “That did it for me and the smile! I love it.”
And would you believe, during all their years together – they’ve only had one big quarrel – that’s all it took.
“He (Bob) went to his mother and I stayed in the apartment by myself, I was crying and carrying on,” remembers Tony. “The next morning, at 6 o’clock in the morning, he open the door and we saw each other and embrace(d) and we know that we could not be without each other.”
That’s when they learned the secret of a great relationship – one they share with a lot of young couples…both gay and straight.
“I said, ‘Hey, don’t sweat the small stuff, communicate, talk things over and don’t stay angry over night,’” said Bob.
Along with love and patience there’s also a lot to be said for a good sense of humor!.
“Do you still see the same guy today?” asked Scouten as Bob looked at Tony’s picture from 1953. “Hell no!” Bob laughed! “No comment!” said Tony, as he laughed too.
For more details about the Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival and Parade, click here.