The tumult in the community over big changes happening to the St. Petersburg Pride Festival and Parade can simmer down a bit: It appears St. Pete Pride isn’t going anywhere in 2016.
There is no doubt a shift on the horizon, with chatter that Pride is moving the parade and festival to Downtown or possibly the new pier once it is completed, which is estimated for fall 2018. And there’s a possibility St. Pete might be building to become a candidate to host World Pride in the near future, which will take a literal village (or city) to make happen.
Tampa to host the NAGAAA Softball World Series
The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance has named Tampa as the spot for the Softball World Series, well in 2018, so you have a few years to get ready for it. The NAGAAA is an international sports organization (that’s right, they play with Canadians!) that got its start back in 1977 as a way to provide opportunity and access for the LGBT community to participate in organized softball competition in a safe environment. The league is currently working with over 13,000 players from 43 cities, including Tampa. So let’s get out there and throw them balls and swing them bats and make sure that in 2018 Tampa gtes to say they won the whole damn thing in their own backyard.
Is St. Pete Pride moving?
Facebook was all asunder after several members of the community started to voice concerns about where and when St. Pete Pride would be holding the annual Pride celebration this coming summer. In the past, the parade route has started in the empty lot across from Georgie’s Alibi and would move through Kenwood and down Central Avenue through the Grand Central District where the festival would be, but with the closing of Georgie’s it has been speculated that the parade and festival may make a move to downtown. Officially nothing has been announced, and no final decisions have been made (St. Pete Pride’s website still shows last year’s route), but that didn’t stop the battle from waging as the fact that the lot across from where Georgie’s once was is not (and never was) owned by Georgie’s came to light. Many came to the defense of St. Pete Pride calling the other side “keyboard warriors” and stressing that everyone should wait and see before getting upset. An announcement should hopefully be coming soon from the St. Pete Pride camp and once we know, you will know.
There are things we choose to remember, and there are things we can never forget along this bumpy road toward full equality for the LGBT community. A sort of monumental “Where were you when the sky turned blue – or black?” flashback syndrome of the historical variety, littered with victims and victors, footprints moving forward and sometimes back.
For me, Jan. 6, 2015, sticks right there in the craw for the same-sex marriage victory in Florida, as it should; nearby, you’ll find Feb. 14, 2015, the day that I married my best friend and husband Tony at a glorious outdoor wedding, hastily assembled as if out of fear that we might be imagining things or that it could disappear within the blink of an Alito eye. Then there was June 26, 2015, the day on which we could all – for now, anyway – breathe a sigh of relief, unclench our fists, put on some rings and hold hands in matrimony in all 50 states.
(story edited at 6:50 pm. A representative from the Metro Center reached out to say erroneous statements were made by Robert Barnum. Metro Center is not a part of the Georgie’s Alibi sale. The story has been updated with a statement from Metro Center.)
The largest Pride celebration south of Atlanta was a hot one, until the sun went down the the night parade started.
“As far as the parade goes, I think it was fabulous,” said Eric Skains, executive director of St. Pete Pride. “I think over time it will get better and better, but I definitely feel like it was a step up from last year, and hopefully next year it will be a step up from next.”
Clinton Brentwood Lee, a photographer from St. Petersburg, shoots weddings and other events for his company Brentwood Photography. Like many people on Facebook, Lee changed his profile picture for his business page to show support for marriage equality in the wake of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on June 26.
St. Petersburg | Metro Wellness and Community Centers announced the opening of the LGBTQ Primary Care Clinics during the St. Pete Pride parade and street festival June 25.
“The LGBT Welcome Center in St. Petersburg is proudly flying a giant rainbow flag above Central Avenue [June 25], and will be at the heart of Metro’s outreach to the community throughout St. Pete Pride weekend,” Metro said in a press release. “As we look to the coming year, the highlight of this year’s Pride season is Metro’s next big step in providing full health and wellness for our community.”
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