MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — It’s a weekend full of music, celebrities and equality as the 2016 Miami Beach Gay Pride festival celebrated the LGBT community in its eighth year.READ MORE: Earth Day: Driftwood Middle School 'Green Team' Immersed In Environmental Wellness
Along with the color, the costumes and the crowd, the event always promises the unexpected. Despite the religious stereotype, the Coral Gables United Church of Christ was out to promote their message of inclusion.
“For the black community, and the religious community, gay and LGBT issues usually aren’t accepted. And I’m pretty sure that this whole experience is to show people that you can be religious and you can be accepting,” said Miss Toto, an African-American whose glitter wardrobe would outshine a disco ball.
Y-100 morning show host Elvis Duran was the parade’s grand marshal. He says Sunday’s festivities are one of the best in the country.READ MORE: 'It's Going To Be A Lot Better': Key Largo Scuba Operation Recovering From Worst Of Pandemic
“This is the city that’s about diversity and color and fun. So to get together to celebrate this, this weekend, in this city, it’s amazing. And I’m so honored,” said Duran, who hung out with rapper Iggy Izalea on the morning radio show’s float.
Representing FIU, students came out calling for more education and equality.
“With so much going on and so much oppression around the United States, with everything going on with North Carolina and stuff, it’s good to represent this community and see how big it is and to show everybody that we’re not alone,” said student Ashley Reyes.
Miami Beach commissioner Michael Grieco says he’s proud of all the support he’s seen coming from the youth.MORE NEWS: COVID ‘Long Haulers’ Reporting Relief From Symptoms After Receiving Vaccine
“Walking around, I see more and more young folks feeling comfortable to come out and celebrate as loudly as they can. There’s been a lot more on the campuses, there’s been a lot more outreach and engagement with folks. Which I’ve seen has actually been really effective, as well, in getting people to be more inclusive,” said Grieco.