PrideFest: Meet the Fans

Get to Know the Event from a Local Aficionado and Member of the LGBTQ Community in The Palm Beaches.

The Palm Beaches is a welcoming destination for the LGBTQ community. Along with beautiful beaches, eclectic restaurants, elegant resorts, and unique Florida things to do, we have festive,special events, where LGBTQ visitors will have a blast.
Don’t just take our word on Pride Palm Beach, get to know why a local LGBTQ community member, and her family, love this annual event.
Let’s get to know our aficionado

Andrea Laing (right)
Andrea Laing (r) with her daughter

Andrea Laing, her wife Nicole, and their teenage kids live in Wellington. We asked Andrea what makes Palm Beach Pride in The Palm Beaches a meaningful and fun event.
As part of the LGBTQ community in The Palm Beaches, you attend Palm Beach Pride with your wife and kids, what makes this event stand out? 
Being out as a family on a day to day basis can be very different for a family who is “Family.”  When my kids were young, they were afraid I could get arrested and put in jail for being in a gay relationship.  They never thought marriage could be an option.  Now, we can be free to move around the community not without fear, but at least we know the law protects us.   Pride allows us to celebrate how far “Family” has come and how society is learning to accept love as love. I would like to think it is an open forum for acceptance.  It is joyful!!

What are your favorite moments from this latest Palm Beach Pride?  
My favorite moment is always the parade!  I have watched it a few times, but in the last few years have marched in it.  This year, my daughter and I marched in it and that made me truly proud! My absolutely, favorite part of the parade though, comes at the end when the LGBTQ youth carry the Rainbow Flag and the crowd, our community, falls in step behind to follow them to the festival.  The youth heralding in the future, “Out and Proud”.  It is just so great!

For first-time goers, any suggestions?  
Catch the parade on Sunday and plan to stay to see the entertainment.  There are usually community events at the Lake Worth Playhouse or Penny’s at the Duke that are fun to attend.

Downtown Lake Worth has a terrific vibe going on, where do you like to go before and after Pride?
Downtown Pizza is our favorite on the Avenue as that was our dating haunts and has some great slices and salad.  If you like casual bar and pub food, Dave’s Last Resort is festive and has that casual Lake Worth Beach beach town thing going on.
The Palm Beaches are a terrific place to visit, tell us about your favorite locations and things to do?
Canoeing - Lake Okeechobee
Biking - Palm Beach Bike Trail, on Palm Beach
Kayaking – MacArthur Beach State Park, Singer Island
City meandering - West Palm Beach theater with character and heart , Lake Worth Playhouse;
Art- traditional art - Norton Art Museum, West Palm Beach; outdoor art - Society of the Four Art’s Garden, on Palm Beach;
Nature conservation - Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Best getaway - Peanut Island.
 See the LGBTQ Guide to The Palm Beaches  

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