On Sunday, February 19, 2023, the streets of Little Havana in Miami came alive with the vibrant and colorful 7th annual Gay8 (Gay Ocho) Festival. This festival is the largest Latino LGBTQ+ festival in America, dedicated to showcasing the best of LGBTQ+ art, music, dance, food, and culture.
Drag queens and DJs took to eight stages to deliver live music and performances, ensuring that the festival-goers had a memorable experience. Queer News Tonight anchor, FayWhat, was present at the event to host the Girls Central Stage, a venue named after the festival's late founder, Lynn Bove. This stage featured a fusion of Latin music with EDM, pop, and more, dedicated to lesbian and queer-identifying women, while also welcoming anyone who wanted to dance in a safe and inviting space.
In addition, Damian Pardo and It's Happening Out host, Jonathan Casanas, ran the Macho Dance Party, which lasted from 4 to 11 p.m., attracting many community members from across the state. It featured tribal and House sounds by acclaimed DJ Alex Ramos.
The Gay8 festival is a celebration of the vibrant and diverse Hispanic/Latin culture and seeks to amplify the voices of the LGBTQ+ community within it. At a time when many Hispanic and Latin communities worldwide are fighting for freedom, liberty, and life, this festival takes on even more significance. It provides a space where everyone can come together and celebrate all that makes this culture so special, while acknowledging the impact of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Gay8 festival is not only a celebration of culture and diversity but also serves as a reminder of the challenges that many in the LGBTQ+ community face. The festival's message is one of inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance, and it sends a powerful message that everyone deserves to be loved and respected, regardless of their background or sexual orientation.
Overall, the 7th annual Gay8 festival was a resounding success, bringing people from all walks of life together in celebration of Hispanic/Latin culture and the LGBTQ+ community. The festival's organizers, sponsors, and volunteers are to be commended for putting on such an incredible event, and we look forward to seeing what they have in store for the 8th annual Gay8 festival.