The story of Nina Simone (the rescue cat, not the jazz singer)
Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and her rescue cat Nina Simone appear in a video on YouTube to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Paws in the Park, a festival to benefit the SPCA of Central Florida. The event, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at Lake Eola Park, begins with a benefit walk. Pet vendors will surround the lake, Animal Planet’s Victoria Stilwell will make an appearance at the Disney Amphitheater and Splash Dogs will provide entertainment with their dock diving competition. The Dogs of Anarchy will host a flyball competition. Have your dog microchipped for $10 thanks to 24PetWatch. For more information, visit OrlandoPets.org/PawsinthePark. To hear the story of Nina Simone, go to YouTube.com/user/SPCAF.
Speak now or forever hold your peace
When Leslie Chambers had doubts about whether she should marry her once-gay boyfriend Alan Chambers on their wedding day, she asked God for guidance. Chambers, who penned a blog post recently about the experience, said she asked God to interfere with the 1998 nuptials if she had somehow missed the mark. “Because the day proceeded with only minor hiccups (like our hired Roles Royce not showing up to take us from the church to the reception and a lit candle flying out of a candelabra), I married Alan and have never doubted whether it was the right thing to do. I trusted God and my relationship with God,” Chambers wrote. Alan Chambers, with whom she now has two children, is the founder of Exodus International, an organization that tried to straighten out hundreds of gay men with religion and guilt. Last summer, Alan Chambers dismantled Exodus and apologized, admitting that he hurt people with his reparative therapy. Though he believes gay sex is a sin, he has said that a person’s choice of sex partner in a personal one. Though Chambers said he still struggles with same-sex attraction, he loves his wife and is committed to her and their marriage. The couple celebrated their 15th anniversary in 2013.
Audebert a la mode
Each year, Paris-based TV5 Monde chooses 24 cities around the world to highlight on a show called 24 Heures Chrono de La Internationale. This year, the network chose Orlando and invited local LGBT Chamber President Mikael Audebert, who is French, to represent the city. Audebert traveled to France and taped the show on Jan. 15. He talked about life in Orlando, growth sectors and new industries, jobs and how to build a business from the ground up or invest in Florida. The show was the most-watched of any city featured with 65 million viewers. He closed the show discussing visa and green cards for LGBT French citizens under the new Obama Administration policy, which recognizes same-sex marriages for immigration purposes. The show can be seen at MBAOrlando.org/TV5.
Catch Gina Duncan on the radio
LGBT activist and former Orange County Commission candidate Gina Duncan was a guest on GSHRadio.com on Jan. 28 to talk about her book Attraversiamo, “Let’s Cross Over”: A Story of Gender Transition, with Watermark editor Steve Blanchard, co-host of the Rainbow Hour. Gina spoke about of her transition from football star and high school homecoming king to living an authentic life as a woman. GSHRadio.com is a 24-hour online LGBT radio station. Visit the site to hear the interview in its entirety.