‘Dear Evan Hansen’ says goodbye to Ben Platt in disco dance video

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Dear Evan Hansen” ushered in new leads Noah Galvin and Taylor Trensch in a ’70s disco dance-off on the streets of New York City.

Current star Ben Platt joins Galvin and Trensch in ’70s attire as the trio dance to “Getaway” by Earth, Wind and Fire. The video, titled “Getaway,” was directed and edited by Nick Lieberman.

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White House denies Trump joked Pence ‘wants to hang’ gays

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is contesting a report President Trump made an highly criticized joke Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” all gay people.

The administration top’s spokesperson issued a statement to the Washington Blade and other media outlets denying Trump made the joke, which was reported in a New Yorker profile piece about Pence and his ties to the corporate right, including the Koch brothers.

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15 states and D.C. seek to block Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 15 states and D.C. have intervened in litigation challenging President Trump’s transgender military ban, arguing the federal policy interferes with the National Guard.

The states made their argument Monday in a joint friend-of-the-court brief led by lesbian Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and filed in the case challenging Trump’s policy in federal court in D.C.

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Following controversy, Sarasota Pride renews focus ahead of Pride Fest 2017

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | As the Sarasota LGBTQ community and its allies readied themselves for Pride Fest 2017 on Oct. 21, Sarasota Pride board members and community leaders met to renew the upcoming celebration’s focus.

“Perception is a reality and the past 48 hours has proven that statement to be true,” Joél Pozo, Berry Ayers (Beneva Fruitville) and Sarasota Pride released in a joint statement following an Oct. 3 meeting. “Everyone in this community has a voice and that has been reflected in our collaboration.”

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Calling all authors: Gulfport gears up for weekend of lesbian literature

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT | The Gulfport Public Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center is seeking authors for its first ReadOut event, self-described as a “weekend of lesbian literature.”

The event is currently scheduled for Feb. 17 at the Gulfport Public Library, and will also feature “other lesbian events taking place during the week leading up to it,” Readout 2018’s press release reads.

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Longtime community advocate joins Equality Florida board

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | LGBTQ-inclusive and celebrated law firm Carlton Fields has announced that its Chief Operating Officer, Anastasia “Annie” Hiotis, has been elected to serve a three-year term on the board of Equality Florida.

“We are thrilled about the addition of Annie to our board of directors,” says Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith. “Annie has been a long-time advocate in the St. Petersburg community and she and her colleagues at Carlton Fields have provided countless hours of support for our work to advance LGBTQ equality. Annie’s experience and energy on Equality Florida’s board will help us continue to achieve our mission.”

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Eric Rollings looks to become the first openly gay Orange County Commissioner with his run at District 3

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Orange Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor and Board Chairman Eric Rollings will officially announce he is running for the Orange County Commissioner seat in District 3 at the Orange County Administration Building at 10:45 a.m. Oct. 19.

Rollings filed the appropriate paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections Oct. 13. Rollings filed for a run at the District 3 seat for 2020, but may actually be eying to take the seat as early as 2018.

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Cher joins ‘Mamma Mia’ sequel

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cher has joined the cast of “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.”

The pop diva confirmed the rumors she was filming for the ABBA musical in a series of tweets. She did not reveal exactly what her role will be but did tweet “Fernando,” the title of one of ABBA’s songs.

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Katy Perry helps lesbian couple get engaged on stage at concert

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Katy Perry helped one fan propose to her girlfriend at her concert on National Coming Out Day.

While performing at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., a woman named Katie proposed to her girlfriend Becky on stage.

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Obama selects gay artist Kehinde Wiley to paint Smithsonian portrait

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Former President Barack Obama has selected as the artist to paint his official portrait for the Smithsonian gay portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, the museum announced Monday.

Known for his highly naturalists paintings of black people in heroic poses, Wiley uses bold, vibrant colors in his work, which highlights the status of young black men in contemporary culture.

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VP pushes back on Trump’s hang the gays joke, but won’t deny it

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back on a New Yorker article reporting President Trump privately joked his No. 2 in office wants to hang all gay people, but won’t deny Trump said those words.

Alyssa Farah, press secretary for the vice president, made the comments in response to a Washington Blade inquiry on why Trump would make that joke and he thinks the death penalty for homosexual acts is a human rights violation.

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‘On Your Feet!’ dancer Joseph Rivera talks dance, touring and the Estefans ahead of the show’s Florida run

By : Jeremy Williams
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Dancer Joseph Rivera is heading to the Sunshine State with the company of the hit Broadway musical, On Your Feet! in both Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center Oct. 17-22 and in Tampa at the Straz Center Oct. 24-29.

On Your Feet! is based on the life and love of 26-time Grammy Award-winning power couple Emilio and Gloria Estefan. The show is packed with many of Estefan’s chart-topping hit songs, as well as some of the most intense dancing you will see on any stage.

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