Throughout the years, the Pride Chamber (previously the Metropolitan Business Association), Central Florida’s LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce, saw the need for a Pride festival that focused on building unity and an open dialogue within the local community, as well as encouraging the rest of the country to rally by our side while we worked to influence Florida legislators to create more inclusive laws. In 2005, Come Out With Pride, Inc. (COWP) was formed as its own corporation under the chamber. This allowed the new organization to have their own board of directors and mission for the community. COWP is a 501c3 all-volunteer nonprofit organization led by a board of directors and a production team.
Since that day in 2005, COWP has grown into a major Pride event, becoming one of the largest Pride festivals in Florida. Between the marketplace, entertainment, kid zone, parade, fireworks and variety of food and beverage choices, this event caters to the diverse communities that make up Central Florida.
COWP is celebrated during the first or second weekend in October, aligning with National Coming Out Day on October 11 and National Gay and Lesbian History Month. COWP is a fun event for everyone to enjoy, regardless of age, gender identity, race, ability or sexual orientation.
An important mission for COWP is to give back to the community through charitable initiatives, including cash grants and scholarships through its Pride Gives Back program and various partnerships with local organizations and causes.
COWP is implementing new ways to improve and build upon this incredible event without losing sight of the organization’s main goal. COWP will continue to spread a message of acceptance and diversity while engaging in community activities and educational forums.
To learn more about our bylaws and our latest financial information, please contact us.