Gov Ron DeSantis and radical members of the Florida GOP seem to have accomplished what they intended.  To divide the LGBTQ+ community and the communities we live in to make decisions that harm some or all of our community.  This weekend South Florida’s Treasure Coast Pride made the dire decision to cancel it’s LGBTQ+ pride parade and restrict its Pridefest events, a decision that came just 72 hours before the festival.  The city played a heavy role in decision making for the Pride non-profit because of access to city streets and facilities.  Both the city and Pride canceled and made changes in anticipation of Gov Ron DeSantis signing a bill intended to prohibit children from attending drag shows.  The parade cancellation may be the first Pride parade cancellation of this type in American history.  Pride also changed access to the entire pride event to adults 21 and older, forced security ID of every guest and the city facilities hung privacy black out covers on all fences that surrounded the festival so no one on the outside could see in. I attended the festival and was shocked by what I witnessed.  First, on my arrival all representatives for Treasure Coast Pride, operated as Pride Alliance of Treasure Coast, told me that all officers and board members had no comment and would not be speaking to me.  Approximately 3 hours later, fortunately, Treasure Coast Pride Alliance President Jack Waldroup spoke to me on camera.  (VIDEO). Waldroup told me they were concerned about the loss of their non-profit status and that to “be on the side of caution” the city and Pride made this decision.

As we reported extensively on Queer News Tonight, Florida passed one of the most comprehensive anti-drag, anti-LGBTQ+ bills in history that critics have suggested was designed to be intentionally vague. The legislation, waiting on the Governor’s signature, would give the state broad powers to revoke food and beverage licenses from businesses that admit children to those performances.  Critics also point out that this may be just the beginning of what the Governor wants to accomplish.  A source for one Florida Pride organization, who wished to not be identified said “like Don’t Say Gay, kindergarten as a start is now the 12th grade.  Liquor licenses are only a start.  This is moving to erase drag queens being seen in public.  This is creating fear  at every level.  To enforce this law, will the Governor remove a police chief or even city commissioners or a city’s mayor if they don’t follow this law?”  That fear seems to have happened at Treasure Coast Pride.   Shaletta Taylor, Drag Queen Host Of Main Stage echoed that concern.