It’s already been a rough enough year for LGBTQ+ people. On the first day of Pride Month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act into law. The measure prevents transgender girls from middle school through college in Florida from participating in their school’s sports teams. And anti-trans legislation is nowhere near Florida-specific. Similar laws have passed in Mississippi, South Dakota, and Idaho, potentially paving the way for more states to follow suit.
Sure, same-sex marriage was federally legalized six years ago, but anti-queer and anti-trans sentiments continue to pervade present-day policy. Their presence is overt, stressful, and leaves a lasting impact on communities. The Trevor Project reported this year that 94 percent of the nation’s LGBTQ+ youth say recent politics have a negative impact on their mental health. And, mind you, we’re only halfway through 2021.
Let this serve as a reminder to us all that we observe Pride Month both to reflect and to rejoice. In that spirit, here are eight ways to celebrate your beautiful existence in the face of adversity.
LGBTQ+ Speed Dating at Time Out Market
With many of us still emerging from pandemic-induced cocoons after a year of disconnect, meeting people can feel like a frustratingly new and persistent challenge. Maybe you want something low-stakes. Consider meeting a few people in person at Time Out Market’s LGBTQ+ speed-dating event. If you’re nervous that your social skills have dramatically dulled, have no fear: Conversations with dates are limited to five minutes or less. Plus, your ticket includes a free drink and access to happy-hour deals. 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at Time Out Market Miami, 1601 Drexel Ave., Miami; 786-753-5388; timeoutmarket.com. Tickets cost $15 via eventbrite.com.
Miami Beach Pride Bar Crawl
Love gay bars? Never been to one? Looking to cram as many as you can into one night? Miami Beach Pride’s bar crawl on June 16 offers a momentary reprieve in a city of exorbitantly priced cocktails: one ticket, five drinks! You can gallivant from Gaythering to Axel South Beach, Nathan’s Bar, Palace Bar, then finish off at Twist — enjoying a cocktail at each location. Participants who visit all five bars will be eligible to enter a raffle for prizes. 7 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday, June 16, at Hôtel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; miamibeachpride.com. Tickets cost $25 via eventbrite.com.
Miami’s Art District is known year-round for its color-blotted stucco walls and equally noisy nightlife. It’s never a shock to find Wynwood drenched in disorienting rainbows or hear the untz-untz-untz of bass waft out of the neighborhood’s shops and restaurants way too early in the daytime. The visual and auditory stimuli supply a fitting backdrop for the third-annual Wynwood Pride, which begins Friday, June 18. Friday’s ticket-exclusive festivities include a Charli XCX concert and drag performances by Miss Toto, FKA Twink, Kandy Muse, and others. On Saturday, catch Honey Dijon, Derrick Carter, Ultrathem, La Goony Chonga, and other DJs for free at the Oasis until the late afternoon — when everyone will trickle out and into the participating bars and businesses to enjoy all-day discos and discounted drinks. Sunday’s final hurrah at Freehold will feature sets by Eli Escobar, Vakdevi, and Miguel Clark. Friday, June 18, through Sunday, June 20, at various locations; wynwoodpride.com. Tickets for Friday cost $80 to $150 via tixr.com.
Welcome to Wilton Manors: the second gayest city in America! Nestled in the crook of Fort Lauderdale’s geographical elbow and less than an hour north of Miami, the small city is one of the safest urban areas for LGBTQ+ people in the state and of Florida’s most frequented Pride destinations. Stonewall Pride, named in honor of the 1969 riots against police brutality and LGBTQ+ oppression in New York City, is an annual full-day festival with plenty of music and drag performances. This year it falls on Saturday, June 19. The main stage will be devoted to Black excellence for Juneteenth with a lineup of Black DJs and recording artists like Nik Nak London and Tpromix. The theme for this year’s evening parade (Yes! Fans of theatrics are in luck — there’s a theme!) is “Out of the Darkness, Into the Light,” encouraging attendees to stride with Pride ‘neath the night sky after a day of sweating it out on the sidewalks. 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at 2200 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors; stonewallpride.lgbt. Tickets cost $5 to $100 via tickettailor.com.
Daybreaker Pride & Joy at Space Park
For the Miamians who wake up with ample energy — or those who feel like cultivating some through early morning exercise — Daybreaker hosts a fitness Pride party on June 26. Choose between a yoga or dance-fitness class from 10 to 11 a.m., then go to the immediately ensuing party for some live music. If you only want to work out, there’s a ticket option to attend the fitness class without sticking around for the DJs or breakfast. If you just feel like skipping the whole sweaty ordeal to go to the party, we promise not to judge. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Space Park, 298 NE 61st St., Miami; daybreaker.com. Tickets cost $30 to $40 via eventbrite.com.
Pridelines Pride Pop-Up Festival
Formed in response to Anita Bryant’s anti-gay rights “Save Our Children” campaign, Pridelines supports Miami’s LGBTQ+ community with access to healthcare and mental-health referrals, leadership programs, and support groups. The Pride Pop-Up Festival on June 26 is a free, family-friendly event with live music and vendors for those looking to do a little shopping and dancing at a more age-inclusive venue. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Pridelines on 6360 NE Fourth Ct., Miami; 305-571-9601; pridelines.org. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Reflect Collective’s Queer Market
If you’re shopping for Pride on June 26, your dollar might as well go straight to queer and trans community members. You can support local LGBTQ+ vendors at Reflect Collective’s Queer Market in Hallandale Beach from noon to 5 p.m. Every purchase grants you a raffle entry to win prizes. Every dollar raised from the entrance fee goes toward the Reflect Collective supplying queer survivors with unrestricted grants for financial support. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at 307 NW Tenth Ter., Hallandale Beach. Tickets are here and cost $10.
Aqua Foundation for Women’s LGBTQ Family BBQ
The Aqua Foundation for Women has offered grants, scholarships, initiatives, and support to South Florida’s lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community since 2007. On Sunday, June 27, the organization is holding space for a family-friendly Pride event with a universal crowd-pleaser: food. Aqua’s open-to-all LGBTQ Family BBQ is a safe environment for families to connect and foster community on the soft shores of the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami-Dade County’s first safe and accessible beach for African-Americans. The mile-long park will shade families under palms from noon to 4 p.m., with plenty of time for parents to mingle and grill before the kids get overtired and cranky. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park’s Main Pavillion on 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami; 305-960-4600; virginiakeybeachpark.net. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Keep Miami New Times Free… Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who’ve won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism’s existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.