Hosts FayWhat?! (L) & Shawn “Kitty Meow” Palacious (R)

New hosts, entertainment, and sponsors will add to the opening reception excitement of  History Fort Lauderdale’s “Take PRIDE! A Retrospective of LGBTQ Life in South Florida” exhibit at 6pm on Wednesday, May 31 at Galleria Fort Lauderdale. FayWhat?!, host of the The FayWhat?! Show and Shawn “Kitty Meow” Palacious, entertainment media personality, both form Hotspots Magazine/Happening Out Television Network have been tapped to co-host the benefit ticketed evening, also serving as an official Stonewall PRIDE Month Kickoff event. Broward County Mayor Lamar Fisher will present a proclamation recognizing PRIDE Month followed by performances by entertainers Nicole T. Phillips and Erika Norell. DJ Aulden Brown will keep the music flowing.

The reception will recognize LGBTQ pioneers such as City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Visit Lauderdale’s Senior Vice President of Inclusion & Accessibility Richard Gray, South Florida Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director/Founder Sebrina María Alfonso, WSVN Channel 7 Anchor Craig Stevens, South Florida SunSentinel Journalist Rod Stafford Hagwood, renowned entertainer Tiffany Arieagus, Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus Founder Gary Keating, and Founder of The Copa and entrepreneur John Castelli. This impactful free-to-the-public exhibit at Galleria Fort Lauderdale, running during PRIDE month, June 1 – 30, will chronicle the gay rights movement and the impact of the LGBTQ community on South Florida’s vibrant arts and culture, business, media, and political landscape.

“History Fort Lauderdale is grateful to our community of supporters who have recently joined us to showcase the valuable legacies of our LGBTQ businesses and influential leaders who have worked to make our great city an ideal place to live, work, and play,” said Patricia Zeiler, executive director of History Fort Lauderdale. “Now, more than ever, education and tolerance are paramount as we continue to build upon these accomplishments, safeguard our progress and move forward to ensure that Fort Lauderdale remains a welcoming place to live and visit for all…during PRIDE month and beyond.”  For more information about History Fort Lauderdale, please call (954) 463-4431 or visit

The exhibit, located near Swarovski, between Macy’s and Dillard’s, will include over 100 historical photographs plus videos and costumes chronicling the growth, awareness, and struggle of the LGBTQ community through the years. Photos will capture the liberation movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, the activism and rise of PRIDE parades and human rights rallies and the proliferation of gay-centric world-famous business endeavors including the Marlin Beach Hotel, The Copa and Backstreet.

A Photo Tribute Wall will feature lifestyle and significant event photos from Michael Murphy Photography. For more than 30 years, Michael Murphy has been capturing historic moments and memorable individuals that have shaped the South Florida LGBTQ landscape. In addition, the exhibit will include the showing of “Open Dialogues,” an award-winning short film which captures the personal narratives of LGBTQ voices, produced by Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, directed by Miami-based filmmaker Freddy Rodriguez and funded by Community Foundation of Broward.

“Galleria Fort Lauderdale is a proud co-presenter of this historical activation that will recognize PRIDE month,” said Melissa Milroy, senior marketing manager of Galleria Fort Lauderdale. “We welcome everyone under the sun to join us in saluting local pioneers and learning how our destination has become a mecca for LGBTQ residents and visitors.”

Additional contributions to the exhibit are courtesy of Stonewall National Museum, Archives & Library, World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, History Miami, Wilton Manors Historical Society, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

History Fort Lauderdale’s “Take PRIDE! A Retrospective of LGBTQ Life in South Florida” is sponsored by Galleria Fort Lauderdale, Visit Lauderdale, Castelli Real Estate Services, OutClique, HotSpots Media Group/Happening Out Television Network and GPR | Goodman Public Relations. Opening reception contributors include The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Lips Fort Lauderdale, Tulio’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, and Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants.

Tickets for the May 31 preview reception/official Stonewall PRIDE Month Kickoff event are $35 and are available at