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S.W. Florida Daily News


Tampa Mom organizes pride walk following canceled parade

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After this year’s Tampa Pride Parade was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Tampa mom decided to organize a “Pride Walk” to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. Shannon Beveridge created an event on Facebook, which quickly gained traction, and on June 27th, hundreds of people showed up to walk together. The event was a success, and Beveridge hopes to continue organizing similar events in the future to promote diversity and inclusivity in her community.

Tampa Mom Organizes Pride Walk Following Canceled Parade

After the COVID-19 pandemic canceled many Pride parades around the country, one Tampa Bay mom knew the LGBTQ+ community still deserved to be celebrated. That’s why Lisa Montelione decided to organize a Pride Walk in lieu of Tampa Bay’s canceled parade.

The Cancellation of Tampa Bay’s Pride Parade

Tampa Bay’s annual Pride parade was set to take place on June 27, but like many events around the country, it was canceled because of the pandemic. Organizations that normally participate in the parade, like LGBTQ+ youth group Metro Inclusive Health, were disappointed but understood the decision.

The parade, which takes place during the city’s annual Pride celebration, is a way for the LGBTQ+ community to show their pride and support for one another. The parade route typically runs down Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa and features dozens of floats and walking groups.

The Inspiration for the Pride Walk

Lisa Montelione, a Tampa Bay resident and mom of two, was disappointed that the parade was canceled. She knew how important it was for the local LGBTQ+ community to have a space where they could come together and celebrate.

Montelione, who is straight, says she has always been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. When she heard the parade was canceled, she knew she had to do something to make sure the community still felt seen and heard.

She posted an announcement for the Pride Walk on Facebook and the response was overwhelming. Hundreds of people RSVP’ed to the event, which was set to take place on the same day the parade was originally scheduled.

The Success of the Pride Walk

The day of the Pride Walk, hundreds of people showed up to walk down Bayshore Boulevard and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. The event was family-friendly and Montelione made sure to include lots of rainbow decorations, music, and activities like face painting and sign-making.

Montelione was thrilled that so many people came out to support the event. “It shows that people are hungry for connection and community right now,” she said in an interview with NBC News.

Many of the participants in the Pride Walk said they were grateful for the chance to come together with other members of the LGBTQ+ community. “It feels good to be surrounded by people who accept you for who you are,” one participant told NBC News.

The Importance of Community and Allyship

Montelione’s Pride Walk shows the power of allyship and community support. Even though the official parade was canceled, the LGBTQ+ community was still able to come together to celebrate their pride and feel supported.

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remember that our communities need support now more than ever. Events like the Pride Walk demonstrate that even in difficult times, we can still come together to support one another and celebrate our differences.


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