Miami Beach Pride, YES Institute, and HistoryMiami Museum Collect Stories from Miami’s LGBTQIA+ community for New “Legacy Couples” Exhibition
Exhibition Opens at the Miami Design Preservation League /Art Deco Museum on Friday, April 1 as part of the 14th edition of Miami Beach Pride Festival and Parade, 2022
Miami – Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - Miami Beach Pride, YES Institute, and HistoryMiami Museum are collecting and sharing audio stories from Miami’s LGBTQIA+’s community for a new exhibition celebrating fourteen legacy couples from South Florida. Introduced as part of Miami Beach Pride’s first festival and parade in 2009, Pride’s Legacy Couples program recognizes same-sex couples who have been in committed relationships from ten years to more than five decades.
“Elders’ stories are not often heard, and risk being lost forever unless we make concentrated efforts to collect them. Miami Beach Pride, in a race against time, has an immense responsibility to capture and memorialize untold and cherished stories of same-sex love and commitment for future generations,” Miami Beach Pride Grants and Cultural Affairs Director Carol Coombes said. “It’s often the hidden stories of these elders who were at the forefront of the fight for equality who paved the way for the LGBTQIA+’s community to live as freely as we do today.”
Developed as a two-way conversation between older and younger generations, the first-hand audio stories of 14 same-sex couples are central to the broader telling of LGBTQIA+’s history in the area and the United States. Portraits, personal objects, on-camera interviews and first-hand audio accounts of the selected couples will be on display.
Featured couples include an octogenarian couple who lived in the shadows to avoid immigration authorities, a bi-racial couple who made history as the first gay couple to legally marry in Florida, and an activist couple who have philanthropically supported Miami arts for three decades.
HistoryMiami Museum trained and directed YES Institute interns on interviewing techniques to assist them in capturing these stories as part of this oral history project. Each interview will be preserved in the HistoryMiami Museum archival collection as part of the museum’s Miami Stories project.
"We are excited to share in this collaborative effort to help capture these incredible stories of love and commitment," said Michael Knoll, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at HistoryMiami Museum. “The mission of our museum is to preserve and present our community’s history, and we are honored to be not only a repository for the couples’ stories, but also a partner in sharing them with Miami at large.”
Audiences wanting to access the stories can use QR codes that accompany photos of each featured couple; listeners will be linked directly to the corresponding SoundCloud story to hear interviews in their entirety.
“Our youth gained valuable knowledge and skills in the interviewing process walking away with a deeper appreciation for those who opened the doors in our community,” Yes Institute Leader of Community Engagement and Belonging Ayari Aguayo said. “During the current political climate where laws are aimed at youth of diverse gender and orientation experiences, allowing the opportunity for our young people to hear firsthand testimonials from our elders creates bridges and offers strength, hope, and guidance for a new generation.”
Pride’s Legacy Couples exhibition will open Friday, April 1, 2022, as part of the 14th edition of Miami Beach Pride Festival & Parade 2022. After its debut, the exhibition will reside at the Art Deco Museum/ Miami Design Preservation League Welcome Center located at 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Then, on May 6 it travels to HistoryMiami Museum, located at 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, where further activities are planned including a Share Your Love Story: Story Exchange + Pop-Up Exhibit on Saturday Jun 25, 2022 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM are planned see RSVP to coincide with Miami-Dade County’s June’s Pride month celebrations.
Miami Beach Gay Pride, Inc. aka Miami Beach Pride, is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners and the City of Miami Beach. Corporate support from Capital One. Additional funding for this program was provided through grant awards from the AARP Community Challenge and Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Arts.