Pride is Way More Than a Party

Pride to us, especially a WorldPride 2026 in Orlando, is so much more than a party. The Pride movement was born from protests against oppression. Through the years, Pride events have evolved into a combination of tributes to our trailblazers, a remembrance of those we have lost, celebrations of our authentic selves, reflections on our progress, and calls to action for lasting equality and inclusion.

The Pulse tragedy sparked systemic change in the Orlando community. In the face of such a significant tragedy, we found our resilience, unity, strength, and growth. Central Florida has become an active community that questions authoritative systems, protests for important issues, celebrates milestones and triumphs, asks for accountability from leaders, and unites for strength and love.

The legacy of Pulse caused us to create something new — what we will call the “Orlando model.” Our model showed us the importance of inclusion and allyship with both local groups and government officials (including the city and county mayors) becoming significant allies. Local police became integral to change. New organizations were founded and additional resources were put in place. Visible symbols, like public artwork, were installed to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. Traditional and social media influencers have kept our efforts “top of mind.”

We hope that those we bring together at WorldPride Orlando 2026, and those who hear about our transformative model, will bring practical lessons back to their home communities. We believe our lessons can help reverse the dark forces of intolerance getting a foothold in our country and others. Most importantly, they will help more communities take action to protect individuals and save lives.

Pulse interim Memorial

Pulse Interim Memorial

LGBTQIA+ individuals protest Florida laws in front of City Hall

LGBTQIA+ individuals protest Florida laws in front of City Hall
Pulse Vigil on June 13, 2016

Pulse Vigil on June 13, 2016

Progress Flag flies at City Hall

Progress Flag flies at City Hall
Display of allyship in the Thornton Park neighborhood

Display of allyship in the Thornton Park neighborhood

Sea-to-Sea flag segment at Pride

Sea-to-sea flag segment at Pride
Pulse mural

Pulse mural

Ben Johannsen makes his one millionth rainbow ribbon at Pride

Ben Johannsen makes his one millionth rainbow ribbon at Pride
Friends pay respect to those taken on June 16, 2016

Friends pay respect to those taken on June 16, 2016

Pulse families and employees march at Pride

Pulse families and employees march at Pride
Pets show their support

Pets show their support

The Pulse Interim Memorial at night

The Pulse interim Memorial at night
The Legacy of WorldPride