Sunday, February 24, 2008

Winter Party in Miami: "Gay festival is fun -- but hosts mean business"

From The Miami Herald.

Winter Party is a day at the beach, but National Gay and Lesbian Task Force organizers want everyone to know that the big, weeklong festival has a serious side, too.

''When the Task Force took over Winter Party, one of the missions was to make sure it was not just a [men's] circuit party but a series of events to reach out to . . . the entire spectrum of the community. Transgender people, LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] families and youth,'' said Michael Bath, Miami's Task Force special events manager. ``We don't have a pride celebration in Miami. This is about the closest thing we have to it.''

Besides the 15th annual beach party, Winter Party Festival this year includes an interfaith religious service, a picnic for gay families, a ''Hollywood Nights'' youth event and a preview of a new memorial to gay hate-crime victims.

Bath expects 10,000 visitors from all over the world to attend this year's festival, with events in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. . . .

(Seen at TowleRoad.)

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