Last year, the LGBT community and their allies were finally allowed to assemble for Tampa Bay's own gay pride event, after 13 years of being unable to do so. Tampa Pride and a number of related festivals and kick-off parties was held on March 26th, 2015, with the Tampa Pride Parade taking place in the heart of Ybor City.
This year, the Task Force put out a basket filled with butterflies in every hue of the rainbow at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay's table during the Tampa Pride street fair. Visitors to the table were encouraged to write a message of solidarity and hope for survivors of sexual or domestic violence. The butterflies will be displayed at this year's Take Back the Night, and more butterflies will be available for guests at Take Back the Night to write messages if desired.
Statistics hav e shown that members of the LGBTQ community have experienced higher rates of sexual violence, comparable to the general population. Many studies have also indicated that the rate of victimization amongst the transgender community is staggeringly high -- at almost over 50%. Sexual and domestic violence affects individuals across every race, gender identity, age, class, or sexual orientation. It is for this reason, that the Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay is deeply attuned to the issues affecting the LGBT community as the Task Force is made up of individuals identifying as LGBTQ, and allies who support the LGBTQ community.