ST. PETE, FL. — The first day of the month of June also marks the first day of Pride Month. 

Wednesday morning, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor kicked off the month-long celebration with a flag ceremony, something she referred to as the reason she’s proud of her community. 

Topher Larkin, METRO’s Events and Experience Manager, has called St. Petersburg home for just a little over two years now.

“Friends and family are all here and I just kinda wanted to connect with my community again,” he said. 

“This place really is about community and normalizing things,” he mentioned while looking at LGBT merchandise at inclusivitea. on Central Avenue downtown.

The space is operated by Metro Inclusive Health. It’s a place where everyone is welcome to work, get pride merchandise or get their health questions answered.

Topher likes to browse in between projects. He takes pride in bringing awareness, collaboration and just making this conversation part of the norm in the community.

His biggest reason for moving back to the area?

“It’s about finding family,” he said, “And that’s what it is here, that’s what it is at inclusivitea. That’s what it is at METRO and at all these places. We are finding family, we’re finding their community and a sense of belonging, and to me that’s the most powerful thing.”


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