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Orlando’s ‘Come out With Pride’ celebration is happening no matter what, organizers say

ORLANDO, Fla. — This year’s “Come Out With Pride” event in Downtown Orlando is moving forward, despite similar events being canceled in parts of Central Florida.

Organizers told Channel 9 that no matter what, the Downtown Orlando “Come Out With Pride” celebration will happen in October.

Despite the safety concerns some members of the LGBTQ+ community have ahead of the popular parade and festival, others said no amount of hate and bigotry will stop them from celebrating who they are.

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“All of this hate from people threatening us and saying things like, you know, kill all gays, the fear is there,” said Orlando physician Irfan Murgasen. “I am a business owner here in Orlando, I focus on transgender patients, as well as anyone else in the community for aesthetic needs. I am not changing anything that I’m doing.”

Murgasen said he thinks it is a mistake for communities to cancel Pride events and that doing so gives in to the pushback, and that he’s going to Orlando’s event this year louder and even prouder than before.

Mother of two, Jenny Strickland said she supports the community but wants to see what happens before October and added that “like any large event, she’ll be cautious.”

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“I’m not sure if I’ll come,” Strickland said. “I keep my eyes open for is there a way to escape if we needed to? Is there a place that we would go underneath?”

Organizers said they have been in contact with the city, county and Orlando police.

OPD told Channel 9 that it’s not aware of any current threats, and Pride will be assessed and evaluated to determine what kind and level of security is needed as the event draws near.

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“The main thing that I would want to look into beforehand is what type of security measures are being taken for things like Pride or anything else that’s LGBT related,” Murgasen added. “We have to lead by example, especially for the people that are younger children. You know, they’re going to look to us to see how to act.”

Organizers said that Pride is still six months away and said a lot can happen with laws and bans that could target the LGBT community so they’re moving cautiously around planning.

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