There are actually quite a few Gay Pride Orlando events! The two major ones are Gay Days and Come Out With Pride. Let ManPlay.com be your guide to Gay Pride Orlando! We'll tell you all about Gay Pride Orlando History and Statistics, Gay Pride Orlando Events, and more!
The Gay Pride Orlando events are aplenty! The city of Orlando has numerous Gay Pride events, and in this section we will give you the history and statistics on the two major Gay Pride Orlando events: Gay Days and Come Out With Pride.
Gay Days actually started out as a single Gay Day in 1991 in which over 3,000 members of the Gay Pride Orlando community gathered at Walt Disney World wearing red shirts (so they would be more noticeable). Each year the event grew bigger, drawing more and more of the Gay Pride Orlando community. In 1995, Gay Day at Walt Disney World had climbed to over 10,000 participants.
Over the next ten years, Gay Day became Gay Days and is now a six-day festival. Although the final day is still always held at Walt Disney World, the five previous days of this Gay Pride Orlando festival are held all over Orlando and includes live entertainment, guest DJs, dance parties, pool parties, art auctions, film screenings, expos, pageants, and "Gay Day" days at other local amusement parks (Seaworld, Universal Studios, I-Drive 360, etc.).
In 2010, approximately 150,000 LGBT people, families, supporters, and allies attended Gay Days, with between 20,000 and 30,000 people going to Walt Disney World on the last day.
In the past, Gay Days has been criticized by several religious groups and the Southern Baptist Convention has even gone so far as to boycott Disney for not putting a stop to the events. Walt Disney World, on the other hand, has welcomed the business.
After seeing the success that the Gay Days Gay Pride Orlando event had, the Metropolitan Business Association of Orlando finally decided to make a move on their long-brewing thought that a Gay Pride Orlando festival was needed in the city. The MBA of Orlando wanted their Gay Pride Orlando event to be focused on building unity and cohesion in the community as a whole—LGBT folks, straight folks, businesses, and government— as well as rallying the rest of the country in support while they work to change the Florida state laws affecting those in the LGBT community.
Come Out With Pride, Inc. officially formed as a corporation in 2005, under the MBA of Orlando umbrella. Come Out With Pride (or COWP) is a registered nonprofit charitable organization and has a team comprised entirely of volunteers. The Come Out With Pride board of directors is made up of only seven people that are elected every two years. Currently, the board of directors is comprised of: Brian Riha (Board President), Bob Azzarito (Board Member and Director of Logistics), Deb Ofsowitz (Board Secretary and Silent Auction Chair), Matt Riha (Board Member and Director of Sponsorship), Jeff Prystajko (Board Member and Director of Marketing), Kayla Bloomer (Board Member), and J.D. Casto (Board Member). The production of this Gay Pride Orlando event is done through groups of managers, team leaders, and helpers who are all volunteering their time.
The first Come Out With Pride Gay Pride Orlando event followed their formation in October of the same year. Come Out With Pride always runs the first weekend of October, which was chosen for their annual Gay Pride Orlando event for several reasons. First, they didn’t want to clash with the already successful Gay Days Gay Pride Orlando event that takes place in June. Second, they realized it would align nicely with National Coming Out Day (which is on October 11th) as well as National Gay and Lesbian History Month. Third, they could take advantage of the cooler days that come with Autumn.
Come Out With Pride has a mission statement that is always changing and evolving as they accomplish new things and accept new challenges, but as of this writing, their website lists that their mission is to: "produce an annual pride event that fosters a sense of community, encourages LGBT citizens to live openly and with pride, and educates the general public of our shared cultural heritage; encourage fellowship and support among participating businesses, professionals, individuals, and charitable pursuits in the LGBTQ+ and allied communities; oppose prejudice in society at large and within the LGBTQ+ and allied communities on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; foster communication, tolerance, and mutual support among LGBTQ+ persons and the allied communities; provide positive role models in the LGBTQ+ and allied communities; and provide financial support to other LGBTQ+ oriented non-profit organizations in the local area through the making of grants made possible by the proceeds from each year’s event".
Since they started over a decade ago, the Come Out With Pride Gay Pride Orlando event has exploded into one of the biggest and most major LGBT celebrations in the state of Florida, which an attendance of over 150,000 people! The Come Out With Pride Gay Pride Orlando festival is made up of new and repeated events that cater to a diverse audience of ages, genders, races, and sexual orientations. In 2015, these events include such things as live performances, variety entertainers, fireworks, the Disney Kid Zone, a 5K race, a dance party, a parade, and dozens of vendors as well as food and drink options. Following years will have many of the same components, but many news ones as well!
This Gay Pride Orlando event also celebrates with a yearly theme that give guidance to the festival’s events and programming. In 2015, the theme was "PRIDE: United".
They have also now implemented a program for giving back to the Gay Pride Orlando community. Through charity fundraisers, Come Out With Prideprovided $5,000 to local organizations and causes in 2015. They divvied up the funds between The Barber Fund ($1,000), MBA Orlando ($2,000), and LGBT Center of Orlando ($2,000).
Gay Pride Orlando encompasses all kinds of events throughout its largest gay pride festivals, as well as throughout the year. Below, you will find descriptions of many of the events that take place during Gay Days and Come Out With Pride (as discussed above), as well as some of the smaller events that take place during the year.
Gay Days consists of several events over its six-day festival. Below, you will find the events of Gay Days 2016, which are more or less the same as previous years.
The Kick-Off Party of this Gay Pride Orlando event features a cash bar, music, special guest appearances, and more! Attendees can also opt for VIP tickets, which cost $50-$75 and include appetizers and an open bar.
Gay Days annual pool parties are hosted at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando hotel and feature both a daytime and an evening party with live pool-side DJs.
Yet another Gay Days party, this time with the addition of beer, wine, spirit, and food samples from all over Orlando. Other entertainment includes live performances, guest DJs, and a swimwear fashion show.
From Thursday to Sunday of the Gay Days Gay Pride Orlando festival, they hold the "World’s Largest Gay & Lesbian Travel, Wedding, & Business Expo". Admission is completely free and attendees have full access to hundreds of vendors, businesses, and organizations.
On the last day of the Gay Days festival, it is tradition for attendees to gather at Walt Disney World wearing red. Throughout the earlier five days, they will also celebrate the same way at other local amusement parks, including SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and iDrive 360.
The events of Come Out With Pride change from year to year, but below we’ve listed their main events from the 2015 festival to give you an idea of what you can expect.
The launch party for this Gay Pride Orlando event offers both regular and VIP experiences and includes live music, entertainment, and a silent auction.
This 5K race treats its participants to zany, eccentric entertainment all along the course, all while raising money for the Zebra Coalition’s missions to support LGBT youth! Participants all received a t-shirt, a gift bag, refreshments, and an invite to the finish line party.
Just before the big Come Out With Pride parade, guests of this Gay Pride Orlando event can catch a huge brunch spread, bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, as well as live DJs and performances. All profits from the meal go towards Pride Gives Back.
The big event! The Come Out With Pride event takes place over an hour and a half and is the highest attended event at this Gay Pride Orlando event.
The evening following the Come Out With Pride parade offers attendees a fantastic fireworks show, free of charge. For those that want a more magical evening, however, they offer limited tickets for "Dinner and Fireworks". You get a prime viewing spot of the show as well drinks and a five course meal.
Bear Bust is the largest running Gay Pride Orlando event for "bears". Founded in 1990, Bear Bust has been running successfully for over 25 years. Originally homed in the historic Full Moon Saloon, it now takes place at the Parliament House in downtown Orlando.
It takes place annually over an extended weekend in late October and will run from October 20-23 in 2016. Events include live performances, DJed dance parties, and an extensive vendor fair.
Although this Gay Pride Orlando event does not cater to the entire LGBT community, it is a very important event to the community of gay men that identify as bears or bear-admirers in Orlando, Florida, the United States, and even the world!
Orlando Black Pride is a Gay Pride Orlando event that specifically caters to the black LGBT community of the city. Hosted at various Orlando hotels throughout the years, Orlando Black Pride has grown from a single event on a single day to over twelve events across in six days.
Orlando Black Pride takes place annually over in late May and/or early June and will run from May 31st and June 5th in 2016. The most popular events of this Gay Pride Orlando festival are the All White Party, the Pool Party and Expo, and the Pajamas and No Panties Party. The All White Party has been a part of the Orlando Black Pride line-up since the very beginning and is often hosted by a celebrity guest. The Pool Party and Expo takes place over a full Saturday of the festival and is host to over 500 LGBT attendees as well as dozens of businesses. The Pajamas and No Panties Party is exactly what it sounds like, but featuring exotic dancers and DJs.
If you are looking for more information on Gay Pride Orlando or the events of the festivals all around the city, check out the following helpful resources:1. Official Website: Gay Days