Queer Up South Florida

Tragedy Strikes Stonewall Pride, Broadcast. Parade Cancelled Moments Before Start

During Queer News Tonight’s live broadcast of the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival, tragedy struck as an out-of-control truck struck 2 parade attendees, killing one.

On Saturday, June 19 Happening Out Television was live at Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride.  Tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies were gathered to celebrate Juneteenth and one of the first Pride events in South Florida for 2 years. It was warm and sunny outside, perfect weather to celebrate, and the crowd was taking full advantage.  As the day went on and it got closer to the 7 pm parade step-off time, the feelings of love and happiness that are hallmarks of Pride were almost palpable.   Queer News Tonight was already streaming our LIVE parade pre-show coverage, and was preparing to begin the coverage of the parade.    That was when we were alerted about an accident at the parade staging area that was going to cause the parade to be delayed.  From our position at the Black Excellence Stage, we were far from the staging area and didn’t know exactly what had happened.  It was shortly after that we found out that two members of our community had been seriously injured in the accident, and one passed away.  The decision was made to cancel the parade, but the Pride celebration continued.  As the evening went on, conflicting reports began appearing on local television.  Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said in a news interview that it was an attack on the LGBTQ+ community.  Eventually we learned that the driver of the truck that had hit the parade attendees was actually a member of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, and that the people hit were also members of the chorus. Our community mourns this tragic accident that cast a shadow over our Pride celebration.  A vigil was held here at Sunshine Cathedral last night, and many members of the community came to speak about the tragedy.

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