Happy 127th, Miami!

Today, we celebrate more than just the birth of a city; we commemorate the journey of a vibrant, diverse, and resilient metropolis. Miami, you have been the kaleidoscope of colors and cultures, the sultry rhythms of salsa, and the tender whispers of the Atlantic waves. But more than anything, you have been a haven of acceptance, evolution, and pride for the queer community.

The pulse of queer life in Miami reverberates across the decades. From the days when Al Youst opened Miami’s first gay bar, La Paloma, in the 1930s, to the roar of the 1970s that led to the establishment of the Dade County Coalition for the Humanistic Rights of Gays and the fight against discriminatory policies, your heart has always beat in sync with ours.

In the 1980s and 90s, amid the harrowing crisis of the AIDS epidemic, you held us close with the founding of the Health Crisis Network to ensure care for those affected by the virus. And to protect our queer youth, our organization, Safe Schools (GLSEN South Florida), was founded in 1991. Alongside other non-profits fighting for queer acceptance, we became staunch advocates for the LGBTQ+ community, fostering safe, educational environments for queer youth. We became a beacon of hope and support, shaping policy and transforming countless lives. And let’s not forget the colorful events of Miami Beach Pride, initiated in 2009, which has grown to be one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ events in Florida and nationwide.

You have been our city, our sanctuary, and our strength. Yet, we know there is more to do. Our wish for you, Miami, is a future where every citizen, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, feels seen, heard, and loved. We envision a city where acceptance is not a privilege but a birthright, a city that continues to be a beacon of queer pride and inclusivity.

Happy 127th Birthday, Miami. Here’s to celebrating many more milestones of queer history, love, and pride with you. Let’s march hand in hand into a future that promises equality for all.

By: Harold Marrero
Chief Operating Officer

We encourage you to share this information with friends, fellow teachers, and allies and join us in bringing awareness to our efforts. Your support is essential for our ongoing work to create safe spaces for all students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or expression. Please consider donating to Safe Schools so that we can continue advocating for inclusivity and diversity within the education system.