Saved by the Bell heartthrob and Emmy Award-winning host of TV’s Extra, Mario Lopez certainly has a diverse fan base. This weekend, he will preside as the Grand Marshall at the 2015 Miami Beach Gay Pride parade and festival — so .
A long-time LGBTQ ally and GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) supporter, Lopez and his chiseled abs will lead the parade along Ocean Drive. The Parade officially kicks off at noon on Sunday, April 12, followed by the Pride Festival, featuring live performances from four stages, community booths and refreshments.
From his starring role in the 1997 TV bio Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story, playing the gay, HIV-positive Olympic diver, to his participation in the GLAAD “Amplify Your Voice” anti-gay bullying PSA campaign, Lopez has always been very passionate about LGBTQ causes. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald, the dimpled actor discusses his reasons for leading this weekend’s festivities:
“A couple of cousins of mine, who I’m very close to, happen to be gay. Just to rally with them and the family. I’m very close with them and like to support when I can….I feel at the end of the day, if you come from a place of love you can’t go wrong.”
Named as one of the “Top 100 Events of the Year” by BizBash Magazine, Miami Beach Gay Pride unites members of the LGBTQ community with friends, allies and supporters in a celebration of diversity and culture. The two-day festival (April 11-12) is expected to draw more than 100,000 spectators for the parade, and will include a Saturday beach party, women’s events and a community stage for South Florida artists to perform. Following the parade, the entertainment continues through 9 p.m., and concludes with a fireworks display at 11th Street and Ocean Drive.