By Published On: September 26th, 20192.1 min readLast Updated: May 22nd, 2023

Orlando is celebrating it’s 15th annual Come Out With Pride Festival and Parade on October 12th this year at Lake Eola Park. This event will feature vendors, live performances, and over 150 groups (us included) that will walk the 1-mile route of The Most Colorful Parade. It’s not surprising that this event draws thousand of attendees each year, as Florida is the fourth largest LGBTQ+ populated state (approximately 516,000), and Orlando itself has become a landmark of tolerance and compassion to the gay community after the Pulse tragedy of 2016. This poses the question; how do these numbers and statistics translate into the people we interact with everyday as members of our community?

A vibrant mural on a gray wall featuring a swarm of colorful birds in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. the words "you mattered" are displayed above in white text.
Pulse Memorial Mural in the Mills50 District

Members of the LGBTQ+ community have always been instrumental in shaping the beauty industry, and are often the catalysts for evolution in taste and trends, whether the rest of us are aware of it or not. From the androgynous flapper styles of the 1920s to the loud, gender-bending drag looks that have become normalized today, gay influence is everywhere; and cosmetologists, as the craftsmen behind these styles, are the channel that these shifts in society travel through. So, as we march in the upcoming parade, openly declaring our Pride and support of the human right to love whomever we so please, it is important to reflect on the fact that 15 years of Pride in Orlando is still a very nominal amount of time.

It is for this reason that I’ve asked a couple of members of the LGBTQ+ community, who also happen to be stylists at J. Bauman Salon, to describe what Pride means to them, and why we must continue to promote acceptance not only in our salon and workplace, but in our global community as a whole.

A diverse group of people smiling and posing with a pride flag at an outdoor event, expressing joy and unity. they are dressed in colorful and vibrant outfits, featuring dyed hair and sunglasses.
Our Team Celebrating Pride with Festival Hairstyles

“Pride to me means celebrating visibility and identity. Celebrating how far we have come to be able to come out and inspire others to feel comfortable in their own skin, and to not be ashamed about who they love. Because love wins and love is love.” -Neisjah Hastings

Three women with long, colorful braids stand facing away, holding up a rainbow pride flag against a gray wall.
Click HERE to Book Rainbow Braids For Pride

“Pride to me symbolizes the road to complete freedom, representation, and equality. Celebrating each win and loss for every member of the community together – one of the most emancipating feelings in the world.” -Pray Soni

If you’re planning to Come Out With Pride this year, be sure to keep an eye out for J. Bauman Salon in the parade, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all things Pride and beyond!

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