Open in App

Tampa and St. Pete kick off LGBTQ Pride month with flag raising ceremonies

By Rachel Tucker,


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Officials from Tampa and St. Petersburg raised the LGBTQ Pride flag over their city halls on Thursday morning to kick off LGBTQ Pride month.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor was joined by city council member Alan Clendenin and other city officials to hoist the Pride flag over city hall. The month of June is “dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ voices, a celebration of LGBTQ culture, and the support of LGBTQ rights,” according to a release from the City of Tampa.

St. Pete Mayor Ken Welch, city officials and representatives from St. Pete Pride attended the city’s flag raising ceremony. The city’s Pride month events culminate in the St. Pete Pride Parade and Festival on June 24, one of the largest Pride events in the South.

Idina Menzel to headline 2023 St. Pete Pride concert

“Intentional inclusivity has always been one of our administration’s core principles,” Welch wrote in a news release. “Our annual Pride festivities … highlight our city’s support for our LGBTQ community, and all who have experienced marginalization. I’m proud to be leading a city that embraces our LGBTQ community. Our citizens are valued for who they are, not who they love or how they identify.”

This year’s Pride month comes amid a controversial Florida legislative session, where lawmakers passed several anti-LGBTQ bills . These include legislation that curtails access to gender-affirming medical care, restricts the use of public restrooms, and expands what critics call the “ Don’t Say Gay ” bill.

Organizers cancelled Tampa’s 2023 Pride on the River event several months in advance, citing uncertainty around the new legislation.

“It’s disappointing to hear Tampa Pride on the River is canceled,” Castor said in response to the news last month. “But it doesn’t change the fact that Tampa is and always will be an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming community.”

What is LGBTQ Pride month?

LGBTQ Pride month is celebrated in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. The uprising was a series of skirmishes between gay activists and law enforcement, beginning with a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a known LGBT-friendly establishment.

“It was not the first time police raided a gay bar, and it was not the first time LGBTQ people fought back,” according to the Library of Congress . “But the events that would unfold over the next six days would fundamentally change the discourse surrounding LGBTQ activism in the United States.”

Decades later, LGBTQ people and their allies celebrate Pride month with events like parades, festivals and concerts. But Pride month isn’t just a big party – memorials are typically held to remember over 300,000 LGBTQ people who have died from HIV/AIDS since the 1980s, or who were lost to hate crimes.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WFLA.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment

Comments / 0