April 19, 2009

Miami Beach enjoys first gay pride parade

Members of Florida's gay and lesbian community say their first-ever pride parade in Miami Beach was a positive step forward.

Robert Collier of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said attending Saturday's pride parade with his partner of 46 years, Charles Hunziker, was a sign of changing times, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

It's about time that Miami Beach has a pride parade, Collier said.

Collier, who met Hunziker in 1963, remembers the intolerance gays and lesbians faced in the area at that time.

Clubs were frequently raided. It was illegal for gays to dance together, Collier told the Sun-Sentinel.

Hector Zuazo, a former public school teacher for Miami-Dade County, was hopeful the parade would help change people's minds about the gay community.

I'm here because I don't want our kids to go through what I went through, Zuazo said.

Non-acceptance is ignorance and I hope that this parade will change that. We are just like everyone else. We just have a different orientation when it comes to sex.