EXIT 31b to Oakland Park Blvd. To Wilton Manors, Florida
The upcoming EXIT is to Oakland Park Boulevard. The city of Oakland in California is known for its diversity. Oakland is across the San Francisco Bay from the number one gay city in America, that being, of course, San Francisco itself.
Perhaps then it should be no surprise that the city abutting Oakland Park Boulevard is Wilton Manors. Wilton Manors is home to a majority LGBT population.
Like in many resort towns around Florida, while many are year round residents, most are in fact winter snowbirds. If you cruise down Wilton Drive, the so-called main drag, you will see these residents frequenting its many restaurants, bars and other gay-owned businesses. The scene is very colorful and frankly inclusive. Between cruising, drag and birds, my commentary is rife with bad puns. But do not hold it against Wilton Manors; this winter nest is a hot-bed of creativity and culture.
Interestingly, like the majority of snow birds elsewhere in Florida, most of the LGBT community here live in family households. The 2010 U.S. Census reported that Wilton Manors is second only to Provincetown, Massachusetts in the proportion of couples relative to the total population.
The city is very progressive and boasts a lot of well, pride. The art scene spills out onto streets that are well manicured and spotlessly clean.
It should be no surprise of course that this brazenly flamboyant community contains a large Pride Center, the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, and a branch of the Stonewall National Museum & Archives. The Stonewall Museum commemorates a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village which was the birthplace of the Gay Pride movement.
No wilting flowers, the community wants the world to know they have created a welcoming, successful, and diverse community. In fact, the mayor, Gary Resnick, refers in the Town’s official biography that he has a male partner. The city’s web page highlights LGBT life stating that "the City of Wilton Manors Police Department conducts police training that is geared toward working with the City’s LGBT population and has gay and lesbian officers amongst its ranks.”
You would not be surprised about any of this, once you see a Wilton Manors Police Car. The vehicles are themselves open statements about the proclivities of the city's residents. That’s because no black and whites are these vehicles. Here smokey drives a police car draped in rainbows!
Happy Pride Week!
#WiltonManors #PrideCenter #StonewallNationalMuseum #WorldAIDSMuseum #Florida #Provincetown