An art exhibit, years in the planning, has opened in Miami to celebrate the cultural contributions and lives of Black queer Miamians. Opening now, as Governor DeSantis intensifies his attack on gay Floridians, the show appears as an act of resistance.

Drag queens dressed in colorful gowns hold a mock wedding to raise money for a local Black church.

At a Miami club, a popular drag king entertains hordes of people.

Local newspaper editorials call for an end to LGBTQ discrimination.

And queer couples fall in love.

These aren’t stories of Miami today. They’re glimpses of Miami’s Black LGBTQ history dating back to the 1940s.

“Give Them Their Flowers,” a new exhibition at the Little Haiti Cultural Center Art Gallery, displays and celebrates Miami’s under-documented Black LGBTQ community at a time when Florida’s government has become increasingly hostile toward Black and LGBTQ representation.

The project, on view until April 23, is the most relevant exhibition in Miami right now.

“This is a space that celebrates, honors and makes visible what has always been here,” said Nadege Green, the exhibition’s co-curator and founder of historical storytelling platform Black Miami-Dade.

“There’s something that happens, especially around LGBTQ+ folks, where sometimes you feel like you remain invisible, and this fully rejects that.”

Since the show was years in the making, it wasn’t meant to be a response to the current political moment, said Marie Vickles, the curator-in-residence at the Little Haiti Cultural Center who co-curated the show with Green. Still, Vickles said, the show underscores the importance of researching Black, queer Floridian history….

“We’re here, we’re queer, we’re Black in Miami,” she added. “And that is a story worth telling.”

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