Physical Pride marches and parades were canceled in Miami this year due to public health concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. This is especially unfortunate since this year is the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March which took place one year after the Stonewall riots in New York City. Just because the marches are canceled does not mean that Pride is canceled. The LGBTQIA+ community in Miami has come together to create a series of virtual events and to support the local queer-owned businesses.
Virtual Pride and Beyond
Virtual Pride Happy Hours
The South Florida Pride Collective is revamping its approach to Pride this year. Every Friday in June, the Collective is hosting virtual happy hours. At 5 p.m. the queer community and beyond can enjoy performances from high-profile musical guests like Cascada or local favorites such as the South Florida Wind Ensemble. There’s a full line up of conversations and performances by drag queens including Tiffany Fantasia and Miss Coco Peru. The virtual events are free, but any donations will go to local COVID-19 relief funds.
Pride in December
Instead of going virtual or canceling outright, Wilton Manors (one of the trendiest gay neighborhoods in Miami) is postponing their pride celebration until winter. On December 6th, Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival will hit the streets. There will be decorated floats that have been encouraged to light up the night with lasers and twinkle lights. Over 25 local restaurants, bars, and art museums are expected to participate. Prospective spectators can join walking groups and march in the parade or sit back and enjoy the robotic, rollerblade dance troupes that glide down the streets. The street market is expected to be in operation and well stocked with merch, goodies, and ways to donate to charitable organizations.
Miami Beach Pride Updates
Miami Beach Pride usually takes place well ahead of Pride month. This year, the festival was supposed to take place in late March, but COVID-19 had other plans. At this time, the organizers have not decided if they’re postponing, canceling outright, or moving to virtual mediums. Those interested in updates are encouraged to visit their website for the latest updates which they’ve assured the public are coming soon.
Queer Dining Options
Finka Table and Tap
Eileen Andrade cut her teeth in the hospitality business working with her parents and running a food truck with her brother. Now, she’s the chef/owner of 2 Latin fusion restaurants in Miami. Finka Table and Tap cooks up a blend of Peruvian, Korean, and Cuban fusion in a homey space. Korean staples like Bibimbap have been restyled with Cuban flavors. Lomo saltado (a filling, Peruvian favorite) has been converted into fried rice. The combinations are lawless, exciting, and sure to satisfy.
Bubble and Pearls
Chef Josie Smith-Malave spent years cooking in New York City before becoming a contestant on season 2 of Top Chef in L.A. She has since returned to her hometown of Miami and opened Bubble and Pearls which is now open for dine-in reservations and takeout (outdoor seating is available). They’re committed to using the freshest ingredients which is most evident in their daily, rotating raw bar selections. Patrons can sip champagne while enjoying an array of small plates including bone marrow, steamed buns, or flatbread. There are a few larger entree selections as well such as roasted chicken and New Zealand lamb chops. Be sure to save room for the key lime pie, which is the chef’s favorite dessert.
Outplay is a gender-neutral clothing company based in Miami. Although there isn’t a storefront yet, all of their clothing is available online. With a full line of sportswear and swimwear for every shape and size, they’re proving that the queer community doesn’t have to conform but can wear what makes them comfortable. “We believe in being comfortable with not only the skin you live in but in the clothes that speak to the world about who you are.” Currently, they have 2 additional specialty clothing lines. Their specialty Pride line features fun tops and bottoms in bright, festive colors. The mesh line is available in the company colors of black and blue.
What started as a small corner shop in 1996 has grown into a sprawling men’s fashion boutique. Gay-owned Pride Factory specializes in menswear, swimwear, and, for the first time, facemasks. Accessories throughout the store range from trendy staples like sunglasses and hats to novelty items like the Golden Girls-themed hand fan.