Florida’s Pride events may face lower attendance due to recent legislation.
New legislation signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis prohibiting children from attending certain adult events have left many within the LGBTQ+ community feeling that they are being pushed back into the shadows. The law, intended to shield children from witnessing explicit or overly sexual content, has led some to believe that the annual turnout for events celebrating Pride Month, a time for increased visibility and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, will be significantly reduced.
Reporter Victor Blackwell spoke with many who have been affected by the new law and are trying to adapt to the changing landscape. Those interviewed shared feelings of heartbreak, as this legislation seems to be regressive and a move “back in time.” Alisyn Camerota, host of CNN Tonight, noted the disparity between reading the law on paper and witnessing its real-world consequences.
While the law bans children from adult live performances and exposure to simulated or explicit sexual acts and nudity, the larger question remains as to why events celebrating the LGBTQ+ community have been targeted and limited in this manner. Many are unsure how these restrictions will impact future Pride events and whether the community will be enticed to attend.
Aside from the law, other factors affecting turnout include the real threat some feel due to anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment. Incidents such as hate graffiti, acts of vandalism, and discrimination in department stores have left some in the community uncertain about feeling both safe and supported while attending large-scale events.
In conclusion, Florida’s recent legislation has left the LGBTQ+ community concerned about the future of Pride events and the visibility they provide. Emphasis should be placed on finding ways to celebrate, support, and uplift the community amidst an ever-changing political and societal landscape.