In an enlightening interview with Hotspots this week, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis talks about the need for the LGBTQ community to reach out and build bridges with those who deny us equality and demonstrate acts of hate and discrimination.

Mr. Trantalis, who is the city’s first gay mayor, was discussing harsh criticism he received recently for presenting a proclamation to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church on the occasion of their 60th anniversary.

Now the very name of that megachurch raises the hackles of the LGBTQ community. Its founder, Rev. D. James Kennedy, was an evil man who seemed to prioritize his condemnation — no, let’s not mince words — his downright hatred, for people who are LGBTQ+.

There were even demonstrations. Trantalis tells us he was there, shouting and fighting for our community’s acceptance by those who call themselves children of God.

Time has passed. Kennedy died in 2007 and the inflammatory sermons promising fire and damnation came to an end.

“We need to kind of be the better people here in a way, and to try to move past it and shake hands and say, you know, ‘let’s try to build a better community by working together’,” the mayor believes.

Read excerpts of the interview inside or watch the video on and form your own opinion, but we agree with the Mayor.

We hear a growing chorus of new voices in the LGBTQ+ community who see things differently and believe outreach and dialog in addition to advancing legislation on a federal level to protect our rights are a more constructive path forward.

There’s been enough fighting. It’s time to build bridges.

-Peter Jackson, Publisher

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels