For the First Time Honoring Four Individuals Who Significantly Contribute to the LGBT Community
Celebrity Grand Marshal – Television Personality Ross Mathews
Advocate Marshal – Elvis Duran and the Morning Show’s Uncle Johnny
Ally Marshals – Activists Liebe and Seth Gadinsky
For the first time in its nine-year history, Miami Beach Gay Pride will honor four individuals who have made significant contributions to the LGBT community as Pride Marshals. Television personality and pop culture expert Ross Mathews will serve as Grand Marshal; celebrity bartender and cast member of iHeart Radio’s “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,” “Uncle” Johnny Pool, will serve as the Advocate Marshal; and philanthropists and advocates Liebe and Seth Gadinsky will serve as Ally Marshals. Miami Beach Gay Pride is presented by Celebrity Cruises and runs April 7 to 9, 2017.
Openly gay comedian, TV host and author Ross Mathews will serve as Miami Beach Gay Pride’s Grand Marshal leading the loud and colorful parade that’s expected to draw over 130,000 spectators this year. Mathews is a strong supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, speaking at many of their nationwide events and receiving their Visibility Award in 2011. He has hosted the GLAAD Media Awards, officiated a same-sex marriage from a float in the middle of Capital Pride in Washington D.C., and recently produced a widely hailed video response to a personally degrading comment made by Milo Yiannopoulos during his resignation press conference as senior editor at Breitbart.
Of his video response, The Advocate later reported: "Knowing he can be an example for kids across the world who don’t have positive role models is what drives him most, (Mathews) went on to say, ‘I’m afraid that the kids like me out there now will see his message and not my message. So I want every kid out there who is different, who feels different, who knows that they’re different to know that that’s good.’”
Mathews entered the public psyche as “Ross the Intern,” a correspondent on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Currently, Mathews can be seen hosting the nationally syndicated daily entertainment talk show “Hollywood Today Live,” which was just renewed for its second season. He’s part of the E! Network’s red carpet commentary team and has guest judged on VH1's “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
In addition to his work on television, Mathews can be heard weekly on his top rated podcast “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews” [PodcastOne] where he gives his hilarious take on the latest entertainment news and gossip.
In 2013, Mathews released his first book, “Man Up: Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence” [Grand Central Publishing], which quickly became a national bestseller. “Man Up” takes readers inside Mathews’ personal journey from coming out to his family, to becoming a super fan, while revealing the most embarrassing and hysterical moments of his small town life and big city adventures. It chronicles his journey of how he managed to turn an obsession with pop culture into one-on-one interactions with A-List celebrities.
“Uncle” Johnny Pool is a legendary bartender who bartended at the world-famous Stonewall Inn in the 1960s. He was an active participant in the Stonewall Riots, widely credited as the beginning of the equal rights movement, and has since fought for the equality of all human beings regardless of sexuality or skin tone. The Advocate Marshal, new for 2017, honors an individual who has fought tirelessly for LGBTQ equal rights.
Pool got his start bartending in Cherry Grove on Fire Island where he has worked for over 53 years. His career began at The Beach Hotel & Club in Cherry Grove in 1964, which would later become The Ice Palace. He currently works at Cherry’s on the Bay and is celebrating his 17th year this summer. With over 53 consecutive years bartending at the legendary LGBTQ summer destination, Pool has seen it all. Now he can be heard as the oldest living intern on “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,” the #1 top 40 radio show in the country, where he bartends on a weekly basis. Johnny is best known on the show for his infectious greeting, "Hello Lady", as well as his sometimes irreverent knock-knock jokes.
To celebrate “Uncle Johnny” and his decades of fighting for equal rights, Miami Beach Gay Pride will turn one the bars in Lummus Park into Cherry’s on the Bay and Pool will make special appearances at the bar to mix his favorite cocktail recipes. Bartenders throughout the Pride Festival will also wear “Hello Lady” buttons.
Also new for 2017, the Allied Marshal pays tribute to LGBTQ-allied individuals who have championed social justice and human rights. Liebe and Seth Gadinsky have devoted over two decades to advancing social justice. Seth serves on, and formerly chaired, the board of the Anti-Defamation League in Florida. Liebe is dedicated to building community through her volunteer efforts, having distinguished herself as a strong supporter and advocate for human rights. Through her volunteer work for SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone), she worked tirelessly to help pass and defend the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance. She served on the Board of The Miami Foundation and its GLBT Community Projects Fund Advisory Board. Liebe currently serves on the board of the National LGBTQ Task Force and formerly served as the first straight ally to chair the board. Additionally, she has spent the last 10 years helping ensure the success of the Task Force Gala – Miami. Together, Seth and Liebe are passionate supporters of myriad LGBT organizations in Miami-Dade and beyond.