Letter from the Publisher

Welcome To Pride Season

Maura Mumball Lane

And so it begins, the season of Pride in South Florida, New York, and Los Angeles.  It’s time to rainbow up our PowerPoint presentations and convince the business community to invite LGBT consumers to the party!

I had a super time at Miami Beach Pride last month.  Hats off to event organizers, volunteers, sponsors and celebs who turned South Beach into a perfect festival of gay life. Nothing like dancing with sand in your toes. And Miami knows how to throw a parade–finally some floats!

Also from Miami: The reviews are in for MiFo and they are two thumbs up. The Miami leg of the Miami Fort Lauderdale festival reminded us that we have a long way to go to get our local stories on the screen. A great testament to this passion is this week’s trending #giveelsaagirlfriend, a plea to Disney for Frozen2. The paparazzi is ready to welcome new talent in screenwriting, direction and producing. Without MiFo, many of those would not have the platform to share with appreciative audiences.

This will be my first Pride Season as Publisher of the Agenda. I am at the halfway point in this year and I have been humbled. Sure, it’s easy to say we have a talented and passionate staff. Let me tell you, this team is downright dangerous. They are so connected to their craft that they will not rest easy on the brand.

The amount of effort that goes into weekly content meetings is matched with the attention to client goals and delivery. They know that every business that choses to advertise with us is dependent on us to bring them LGBT consumers. Our entire team is focused on results, delivering exceptional client experience and holds true the responsibility of representing the LGBT community. All of this while pushing back the competitive noise and adding new prospects daily.

What is the purpose of Pride Season? It is a time to applaud the achievements of others. We’ll start this Friday at Diversity Honors. Diversity Honors is the gayest gala in South Florida. Nice mix of men and women and everyone is gussied up! Buy a ticket, and let’s meet there. For $175, you’ll have a splendid time in a gorgeous ballroom at The Seminole Hard Rock. You’ll learn about the stellar work of this year’s honorees and enjoy a performance by Tony Award-winning Actor/Singer Levi Kreis. Clink glasses with people who care about our community, gays from West Palm to the Keys will attend making this authentically South Florida.  Last minute addition, the gorgeous Bollywood star and global human rights activist Celina Jaitly will receive the Harvey Milk Foundation’s Lilla Watson Global Champion Medal. Diversity Honors benefits The Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park.

Pride Season is a time to showcase our power as a community. With lively conversation about the rights to deny us service, it’s time we showed what happens when you put out the rainbow flag. I was fortunate in my past career to work beside the powerhouses in Black media. The gateway to marketing to black consumers was February, Black History Month. Now June is upon us, the official Pride Month. Last June was historical as everyone who was anyone changed their Facebook profile to support marriage equality and brands including Oreos to Doritos wrapping their products in rainbows.

The excitement continues this June as we help marketers who understand the value of embracing us. The Wilton Manors Entertainment Group has developed a comprehensive program for Stonewall Pride this year. Graduating from a local community event, Stonewall now utilizes an event management company and promises to deliver over 30,000 in attendance. Regional advertisers will extend their message with engagement and digital programs surrounding Stonewall and throughout the month of June.  Westfield Broward Mall has extended the invitation for us to come West and SHOP WITH PRIDE from June 2 -12. Macy’s at Westfield Broward is also supporting this first of-its-kind shopping program, complete with a calendar of fun events and the sale of commemorative totes filled with goodies to benefit The Pride Center at Equality Park.

Pride Season is about our history, our buying power, our ability to say “thank you, I came in because I saw the (ad, flag, booth, rainbow).” We’ve got less than a month to make an impact. I know we can support each other, show our strength in numbers, offer positive feedback and welcome challenges. A toast to those presenting these opportunities, designing the campaigns, volunteering for committees, dancing on floats. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is well worth it! Besides, in July, we’ll be ready to pitch 2017!