Pride Awareness Celebration set for June 24 in Miami Lakes

Community By Linda Trischitta, Editor Wednesday, May 3, 2023

     A group of Miami Lakes residents will host a Pride celebration June 24 at the Main Street Playhouse.

     Plans will include a 90-minute evening of poetry readings, music, and performance of a short play, “Stuck in the 1940s,” written by Amanda Ortega, a Main Street Players board member. 

    It is a coming-out story of a Cuban-American woman and her struggles with her community, family and ideals, Ortega said. 

     The town council voted unanimously at the April 11 municipal meeting to not sponsor the activities outlined by the Cultural Affairs Committee, which proposed presenting a play, poetry and providing information for the gay community but didn’t provide the full program, which is still being developed. 

     “Since we don’t know what these resources that will be passed out are going to be and we’re not privy, as perhaps Council member [Ray] Garcia said, perhaps about the content of the play or what would be distributed, I would be more comfortable if it was done independently without it being associated with the Town of Miami Lakes,” Councilwoman Marilyn Ruano said.

     The Graham Companies is a sponsor. There would be no cost to the town or the committee budget, organizers say.

      “The evening is open for all,” said Charles James, a member of both the committee and the theater’s board. “You may wind up learning something about Pride that is helpful or that you did not know.”

     The committee has not obtained council support for Pride activities -- flying a rainbow flag at Town Hall or a night of music and dancing at the Miami Lakes Hotel on Main -- proposed in recent years. 

     Instead, volunteers have staffed booths at the Farmer’s Market to observe Pride Month, share information and greet residents.

     The resolution creating the committee states it “coordinates activities that will further the development of art, music, theater and other recreational activities.” 

     The council has said past proposals didn’t conform with that mission. 

     Pride Month has not always gone unobserved by town government. 

     In June 2021, Mayor Manny Cid issued a proclamation to honor Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas, who at times was imprisoned on the island. In poor health and impoverished in New York, he took his life in 1990.  

     Last June, Cid and the town sponsored a screening at the theater of the R-rated “Before Night Falls,” about Arenas’ life. 

     Cid said on April 26 that presenting the movie spotlighted human rights abuses against the LGBTQ community by the Castro regime, and that committee members participated.