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Come Out With Pride returns to Lake Eola

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Tatiana Quiroga. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE / Zoom

The theme of this year’s Come out with Pride event in Orlando is ‘Unified By Pride,’ which executive director Tatiana Quiroga says represents an incredibly diverse community. 

She says this year’s in-person event is a welcome return after the pandemic forced a change of plans last year. But the joy is tempered by reflection on a year of setbacks for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Quiroga joins Intersection for a conversation about the celebration and the challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2020 parade organizers changed gears and put on a car caravan. This year the celebration returns in person to Lake Eola- with attendees required to RSVP in advance to help manage the crowd size. Vaccinations and testing will also be offered on site.

Quiroga says it’s been a tough, uncertain two years. 

“So we really look at this opportunity of being in person, this in person celebration for all of us, you know, to come together, to be in a safer space, to be able to celebrate who we are, celebrate our heritage, our culture, celebrate a chance to be our authentic selves.” 

Quiroga says while there’s a lot to celebrate, there have also been setbacks to the LGBTQ+ community over the past two years. 

She says the signing of the ‘Fairness in women’s sports’ act into law- banning transgender women from high school and college sports teams that align with their gender identity- was a blow. 

“There’s still a lot of work to be done. And especially when it comes to our more vulnerable siblings that are in the trans and gender nonconforming communities, we realize that they’re the ones who experience more violence, and they’re the ones who also experienced the most discrimination. So it is our job as allies to make sure that we are present for them.” 

Quiroga says her organization is in the process of putting together a bid for World Pride in 2026.

But for now she’s looking forward to Saturday’s celebration.

“Just being able to be in that kinship and fellowship with members of our community and the allies who are equally standing there next to us and their support, it just fills my heart so much.”

The event starts at 12 noon and runs until 10pm.

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie