MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach Pride began this week. The theme is “No Place Like Home,” but some in the LGBTQIA community feel unsettled with the recent signing of HB 1557, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Around Lummus Park, the spirit of pride is on full display with a rainbow stage and flags already up around town.READ MORE: Couples Set To Make 2022 A Record Year For Tying The Knot
But the message this year may have changed a little after the signing of the bill.
“It’s about protecting parents ability to be involved, and it’s about making sure that the classroom instruction particularly at this very young ages are focused on math science and reading,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
The new law broadly bans the discussion and instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. Some applaud it, while others feel it marginalizes members of the LGBTQIA community.
“I do think that we worry a lot about those feelings of shame that are harbored while you’re in the closet and struggling,” Patrick Gevas said.
Gevas is a board member with Miami Beach Pride. He was once one of those young kids who was afraid of anyone finding out he was gay.READ MORE: Pedestrian Fatalities In The US Reach Highest Level In 40 Years
“The hopes are very and I think we are a resilient community and the hope is that we as Miami Beach Pride can be one of the leaders,” he explained.
Gevas wants this year’s festival to also steer some important conversations leading up to the festival and parade this weekend. A panel discussion on social justice, health and wellness is set for Wednesday night at the Art Deco Museum. No doubt, the Don’t Say Gay law will be a big topic.
“It was right here in Miami where the pride marches were targeted by the early members of family values groups,” Claire Ouestlati Porter, a professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Miami, said.
Porter is helping with the discussion.
“Florida certainly has that past but part of the reason it has that past in particular in Miami-Dade is because we’ve had a vibrant queer scene,” Porter told CBS4.
Clearly, still a lot of work to be done towards inclusion and acceptance, but also still a lot to celebrate.MORE NEWS: College Grads Having No Problem Finding Work
“The greater acceptance and visibility we see is because of the hard work the LGBTQ have been doing to make that happen,” she added.