Despite Scandal, Bronx Pride Festival Goes On
By Lennin Reyes
A month ago, the status of the 2012 Bronx Pride Festival hung in the balance due to the closure of the Bronx Community Pride Center after ex-director Lisa Winters was accused of mishandling money from the organization. But the scandal did not stop organizers Appolonia Cruz and Peter C. “Equality” Frank from working around the clock to keep the festival going.
Their efforts brought a solid turnout to Crotona Park on July 21, as Bronx Pride 2012 went off without a hitch. “We only worked on this for the past two weeks,” said Cruz, who has hosted the previous six festivals. “I’m happy the community came together to make this happen.”
The community gave the love back ten-fold with their presence at Bronx Pride. “The LGBT community has come a long way in terms of gaining our rights,” said Bronxites Louisa Rosario and Lizette Ortiz. “But like the saying goes, it takes bad moments to make us better.”
Another prominent LGBT supporter who was happy to see the good turnout was the Reverend Carmen Hernandez, the first Bronx Latina to marry a woman. “We are not going to allow the Bronx LGBT community to die,” she told festival-goers.
Attendees say more needs to be done for the Bronx’s LGBT community. “The Bronx is behind in terms of getting respect and resources for the LGBT community,” Reverend Hernandez said.
In addition, there is still bitterness over the Lisa Winters scandal. “It gave the LGBT community a bad rap,” Rosario and Ortiz agreed. However, any lingering negativity paled in light of the perfect weather. “These winds mean a new beginning for Bronx Pride,” entertainer Tym Moss said.