NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – Miami’s record in the battle for the recognition of LGBTQ people as full citizens is a notable one, from the work of Ruth Shack, the Dade County commissioner who, in 1977, added sexual orientation to a bill forbidding discrimination (and fought her ex-friend Anita Bryant on the issue) to the Miami-born filmmakers who crafted the Oscar-winning Moonlight.
Shack and the filmmakers—Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney—feature on a timeline posted next to a recently unveiled public sculpture that honors LGBTQ pioneers and benchmarks in Miami-Dade. The work, by Miamian Alan Gutierrez, was commissioned by North Miami’s Art in Public Places Program after city councilman Scott Galvin suggested it as a response to the June 2016 shootings at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
The sculpture, installed in Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park in North Miami, is bright and colorful. “Rather than be a somber memorial to those [Orlando] victims, North Miami’s sculpture celebrates LGBTQ lives that inspire all of us, and acknowledges the legacy of LGBTQ milestones in Miami-Dade County’s history,” Galvin tells LGBT Weekly.