Miami Beach Pride is the biggest LGBTI celebration in the surroundings. | Photo: Miami Beach Gay Pride/Facebook
Hialeah, Florida, counts 224,669 inhabitants. Located in Miami metropolitan area, the city is also known to be the fourth most conservative in the US.
This often translates to a not-so-welcoming attitude towards the LGBTI community. Karen Larrea and Madeline Fernandez want to change that by organizing the very first Hialeah Pride festival.
‘There’s an LGBT community in Hialeah, and they don’t have their own festival. I feel like they need a safe place to go as well,’ Fernandez told Miami New Times.
She also listed several surrounding cities, such as Miami, Coral Gables, and Miami Beach, as areas that are not only more accepting but also welcoming toward the local LGBTI population.
‘It’s needed to break barriers,’ she added.
‘If you just stay quiet and you don’t make yourself known and put out there, then everything stays the same.’
Political authorities are happy with the project
Fernandez explained ‘there’s been a great reaction from the mayor [Carlos Hernández], he’s on board with it.’
‘He’s very happy we’re going to do a pride in Hialeah.’
Furthermore, she said they are ready with any possible reaction from the community.
‘I’m sure it’s anticipated with anything. Everybody has their opinion, and that’s why we live in a free country where everybody can express themselves. I’m hoping if they protest, it’s in an orderly fashion.’
How is Hialeah Pride going to be different from other Florida’s Prides?
The Pride will take place on Sunday 7 October. Fernandez and Larrea chose October as it is LGBTI History Month in the US.
Fernandez explained how their Pride is set to be different from the others she has attended.
‘Other Prides usually separate transgender [people] and give them a tent. They’ll give the women a tent. For the gay men, they get the main stage and stuff like that. At this Pride, the main stage is going to have entertainment for everyone,’ Fernandez said.
‘For transgender, for queer, for every letter in the “L-G-B-T-Q”. For the straight allies that support LGBTQ, lesbians, gay men… it’s all going to be in one space.’
‘We don’t want to do a segregated pride, which is most of the time what I see. I’m not saying it’s wrong or right, but I feel like everyone should be together. They already separate us enough,’ she said.
The full lineup is still TBC. However, Florida favorite lesbian DJ Citizen Jane will be behind the decks.
In addition to being a party, Hialeah Pride will also provide revelers with education and self-care.
‘We’re also going to have a medical section. Since it will be in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re doing mammograms for free, as well as HIV testing,’ Fernandez said.