Jaymes Vaughan and Jonathan Bennett
Miami Beach Pride has just announced its Celebrity Grand Marshals for 2023. Celebrating the celebration’s 15th anniversary, gay actor Jonathan Bennett and husband Jaymes Vaughan are slated to lead the Pride festival and parade April 15 -16.
Bennett made history as the first gay character on a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and this year returns to the channel in The Holiday Sitter, the channel’s first Christmas film focused on a gay couple. Vaughan has hosted Celebrity Page and competed on a season of Amazing Race (with a fellow Chippendale employee). Together the couple also co-hosts iheartradio’s Pridecast, and co-founded the OUTbound Travel company.
They will be joined by other grand marshals that will be announced in the coming weeks and continue the theme of Growing Stronger Together. Legendary queer entertainer Sandra Bernhard was previously announced as the host of the Miami Beach Pride VIP Beach Affair.
Known for playing Aaron Samuels, the most popular boy at North Shore High in the 2004 queer cult-classic Mean Girls, Bennett is now executive producing of Hallmark’s The Holiday Sitter.
Bennett previously played Bud McNulty in 2005’s Cheaper by the Dozen 2, the title character in the 2009 comedy Van Wilder: Freshman Year, and the recurring character Casey Grant in the Veronica Mars. He also hosted Food Network’s Halloween Wars and Cake Wars.
The gay icon married Vaughan earlier this year in Mexico.
Bennett tells the press that Pride holds a special place in the couple’s hearts, “The LGBTQ+ community has come so far over the past 15 years, and we are beyond excited and honored to be named Celebrity Grand Marshals for Miami Beach’s momentous Pride next year. It will be a great moment to celebrate our journey and where we are today. We are so grateful to all of the participating artists, LGBTQ+ icons and allies who will help make this a Pride to remember.”
Bruce Horwich, Miami Beach Pride Chairman adds, “At a time when LGBTQIA+ people are under increased attack, Miami Beach Pride is a beacon of hope for so many here in our beautiful and welcoming city. Our Celebrity Grand Marshals this year truly embody the spirit of our 15th anniversary, a celebration of our continued progress as one global community. Jonathan and Jaymes have embraced their identities and used their platforms to help members of our community, and truly love and live their truth without fear or shame, exemplifying our key themes of inclusivity, visibility, community, and equality.”
Miami Beach Pride’s 2022 Pride Holiday Brunch is still on tap. It will feature beloved drag performers, and a celebration of Bennett’s (long overdue Hallmark holiday film). The fundraiser event supports Miami Beach Pride and its community, the holiday brunch is on December 17th at Miami New Times’ two-time, award-winning Morini restaurant in Miami Beach. The Pride Holiday Brunch will be hosted by Miami Beach’s very own Tiffany Fantasia, and includes a 3-course brunch, unlimited mimosas and bloody Marys, Pride beats by DJ Deanne, and a variety of drag performances and holiday surprises.