MIAMI BEACH, Fla.–Miami Beach Pride is proud to announce their 2019 Ally Marshals, who will be helping kick off Pride’s 11th annual celebration on Miami Beach. This year’s Ally Marshals will be Judy and Dennis Shepard, parents of Matthew Shepard and founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Coming off of the 20th anniversary of the attack on University of Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard, the Matthew Shepard Foundation has been working tirelessly to erase hate crimes and foster understanding, compassion, and acceptance for the LGBTQ community.
Leading these efforts, Judy and Dennis Shepard have spenttwo decades working to provide a safe place for LGBTQ youth, and educateparents and allies on how to stand up for the LGBTQ community. Judy and Denniswere also instrumental in helping pioneer the first federal legislation againsthate crimes, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
“We are incredibly honored to have Judy and DennisShepard be our Miami Beach Pride Ally Marshals this year, and to honor them fortheir unwavering support and tireless work in the LGBTQ community.”said Bruce Horwich, Chairman of Miami Beach Pride. “Their dedication toincreasing safety, visibility, and inclusiveness for the LGBTQ community hasaffected positive change and improved the lives of many LGBTQ youth.”
“We are thrilled and honored to be a part of MiamiBeach Pride. Miami has always been a friendly place for the Foundation, thoughwe know we have much more work to do down there. Hate crime reporting is verylow, which does not match up with the known issues in South Florida,” saidJason Marsden, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. “Wehope that by representing our Foundation and reminding people of Matt, we canencourage both those affected by hate crimes and law enforcement to step up,connect, and do a better job for LGBTQ+ community of Miami Beach.”
The Matthew Shepard Foundation empowers individuals toembrace human dignity and diversity through outreach, advocacy and resourceprograms. We strive to replace hate with understanding, compassion andacceptance. Learn more and donate at matthewshepard.org.
About Miami Beach Pride
Miami Beach Pride is an extraordinary week-long event that kicks off with a rainbow flag raising ceremony at Miami Beach City Hall and culminates the following weekend with a Festival & Parade with exclusive VIP areas,more than 125 LGBT-friendly vendors and businesses, exciting celebrities,musical performances, refreshments, food a family-friendly play area and resource programs for LGBTQ+ seniors. Other events throughout the week include a PrideLights the Night remembrance for the victims of the PULSE nightclub shooting, a Miss Miami Beach Pride drag pageant and an exclusive VIP Gala.
Since its inception in 2009, Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown from a neighborhood event to an event on the global stage with A-list celebrities such as Gus Kenworthy, Ross Mathews, Bebe Rexha, Mario Lopez, Elvis Duran, Iggy Azalea, Jordin Sparks, Gloria Estefan, and Adam Lambert. After an inaugural year in 2009, with an estimated 15,000 spectators, Miami Beach Pride has grown to an event attracting more than 145,000 attendees. In addition to Parade spectators, last April’s event included more than 70 parade contingencies, 35 floats