This year celebrates 15 years of Miami Beach Pride. Among LGBTQ community members and supporters this April, one individual stood out and ignited a ruckus and chaos. That man was FL GOP state Rep. Fabian Basabe.
As Basabe appeared in a convertible holding up a sign and joining the festival, he was confronted with boos from the crowd and protests demanding his resignation.
“The community feels angry, duped, and disappointed because Basabe has voted for laws that move us backward, not forward,” said Michael Góngora, commissioner of the City of Miami Beach City Commission.
Basabe has an unsettling relationship with the LGBTQ community of South Florida. Campaigning as a supporter and member of the LGBTQ community, Basabe took a sharp turn as an elected official, breaking many promises he made throughout his campaign.
Once in office – with help from the Democrats after promising to vote against Gov. DeSantis’ bills limiting gay rights – Basabe actually voted with the governor on many issues attacking gay rights, such as extending the “Don’t Say Gay” bill to all grades, restraining drag shows and more.
“Fabian Basabe has always been desperate for attention and thinks we are all just ‘extras’ in the reality show that is his fabulous life,” said Billy Corben, famous documentary-maker, UM Alum and political activist.
Góngora and Corben agree it is quite ironic that an identified LBGTQ+ member would vote against his community.
When asked why he was participating in the parade as an evident adversary, Basabe “called gays, ‘my people,’” and said, “I only see love,’” according to the Miami Herald.
Aside from angering much of the South Florida community, Basabe has faced some consequences. Now under investigation for acts of violence and drunken conduct, the former “Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive” television star’s reputation continues to crumble into a whirlpool of negativity and major concern for the integrity of elected officials all around.
“In order to prevent people like Basabe from becoming elected, we have to encourage better candidates to run and we have to vote better,” Corben said. “There’s no other way around it.”
The situation hits closer to students at UM who were also in attendance at the festival. Sierra Staker is a pride ambassador who runs the operations of taking students to the event and believes the actions of Basabe, after acting out against the LGBTQ community, were very careless and thoughtless.
“Pride is always about love,” Straker said. “It’s not just getting to know your community, it’s getting to love your community. You can’t try to strip that kind of love.”