LGBTQ History in Tampa Bay

Tour curated by: The Tampa Historical Team, especially Jay Rae

The Tampa Bay area LGBTQ community has a rich and turbulent history. The1960s saw the Johns Committee (Florida Legislative Investigative Committee) begin a witch hunt for communists and homosexuals in the university system; the late 1970s found Anita Bryant decrying the idea of same-sex adoptions, which ultimately led to a ban on all same-sex adoption in Florida until 2008; and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms orchestrated a ban on promotion or participation in any gay pride activities in 2005, which was not repealed until 2013. But the LGBTQ community remained resolute throughout, and is as vibrant, powerful, and innovative in Tampa Bay today as in any community in the US. Tampa hosts the Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, plans and promotes numerous Pride celebrations, and boasts numerous LGBTQ organizations who work tirelessly to protect civil rights and defy all anti-LGBTQ legislation.

With special thanks to USF Special Collections

Locations for Tour

St Petersburg Florida is known nationwide for the annual LGBTQ Pride festival held every year on Grand Central Avenue. Beginning as an outgrowth of the Greater Tampa Bay Area Pride Festival, St Pete Pride's first event was held in June of 2003.…