Out St. Pete filmmaker and life coach Eric Casaccio seeks to empower the world

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg transplant Eric Casaccio, an out filmmaker and international life coach, has published Empowerment from Narcissistic Situations, a manual designed to help move readers’ lives forward.

The e-book provides a roadmap for moving beyond narcissistic situations and “clearing out feelings of doom that come as a result,” Casaccio says. “It’s a workbook guide for taking the story of your disempowered past in the now and transforming it into a story of your empowered future.”

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‘Eat, Pray, Love’ author Elizabeth Gilbert’s partner dies

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert’s partner Rayya Elias has died from pancreatic and liver cancer. She was 57.

Gilbert confirmed the news on Thursday by posting a tribute to Elias on Instagram.

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2017 LGBTQ Pop Culture Alphabet

By : Jeremy Williams
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It was the year of #MeToo, as this one story seemed to dominate the pop culture landscape of 2017. Victims came out saying “enough is enough” and called out their attackers and predators by name.

It was also a year of important stories being told on television and in films. We honored the voices of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community in movies like Moonlight and The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson, and on shows like When We Rise and Master of None. Plus we got Will & Grace back!

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The Tender Activist: King & Queens

By : Scottie Campbell
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Mom would tell it like she told all of her best stories, barely getting the words out through her laughter and sometimes joyful tears. She and Dad had been to see Carrie. Someone in their party grabbed someone’s arm just prior to Carrie’s hand reaching out of the grave causing that first someone to scream, which made the audience scream, all before the scream Brian De Palma intended but, not to worry, they all screamed then, too.

So I might have connected who the author was when I bought my first Stephen King book when I was 11, but I’m fairly certain it was the cover that drew me in. A silver front with a faceless boy’s head floating on it. The store was B. Dalton Bookstore in the Marquette Mall. That small mall and the McDonald’s down the street were our family’s touchstones to civilization while stationed in the frigid Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Can I tell you about the smell of that book? I cannot, because it smelled like nothing else. The scent of those dull, off-white, pulp pages can only be described in intangibles: raw potential and adventure; that whole store smelled that way.

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Hugh Hefner championed gay rights pre-Stonewall

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died from natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion, on Wednesday. He was 91.

A pioneer for the straight sexual liberation movement, Hefner was also one of the early advocates for gay rights tracing back to the 1950s.

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Functionally Literate to hold first LGBTQ-themed reading event

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In the great tradition of Paris is Burning, reading is fundamental—and the library is open. Well, in the great tradition of quality LGBTQ literature, at least, the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park is open for an exciting, first-of-its-kind event.

Functionally Literate, Burrow Press’ quarterly reading series that’s been pairing what it describes as “the best writers in Central Florida with visiting writers from all over the world” since 2012, will hold its first LGBTQ-themed event in the Orlando area Sept. 23. The event, free to the public, will feature authors S.J. Sindu and Kristen Arnett.

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Benita Roth explores the rise of the ACT UP/LA during the ’80s and ’90s in new book

By : Scottie Campbell
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Benita Roth is a professor of sociology, history and women’s studies at Binghamton University so it is unsurprising that The Life and Death of ACT UP/LA is academic and will primarily have a life as assigned reading in college courses. Dense and meticulously annotated, it makes for a cumbersome, though essential, read.

ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) was born in New York City in 1987 when Larry Kramer, disillusioned with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis he co-founded, challenged an audience to create a more effective organization. ACT UP/LA was formed in December of the same year and, unlike ACT UP/NY which is still in existence (albeit decidedly more quiet these days), lasted a decade until its remaining three members voted it out of existence.

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Chris Colfer to make directorial debut with ‘The Wishing Spell’ film

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Glee” star Chris Colfer will make his film directorial debut with “The Wishing Spell” for FOX, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps company will produce the big-screen film.

“The Wishing Spell” will be an adaptation of the first book in Colfer’s fantasy children’s book series, “The Land of Stories.” The six-part series focuses on twins, who after the loss of their father, find themselves magically transported into a world where fairy tale characters are real.

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Mother, transgender son write book about coping

By : Wire Report
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WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) — Donald Collins’ arms are covered with tattoos. Some have metaphorical meanings. The dandelion symbolizes resilience. The robin and the moth represent new beginnings.

Though only 24, he is an old pro at resilience and new beginnings. In his senior year at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Donald came out as transgender. Since then, as he progressed through his transition from female to male — which affected his body, his lifestyle, his name, his interactions with others — he and his mother struggled with their emotions and differing opinions about what was happening to his body and to their family dynamic.

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RuPaul covers Entertainment Weekly Pride issue

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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RuPaul is the cover girl for Entertainment Weekly’s Pride edition.

The issue chronicles Ru’s rise to stardom and examines the influence he’s had as the first drag queen to break mainstream.

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Caitlyn Jenner’s sequel ’20/20′ interview ratings decline

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Caitlyn Jenner’s catch up interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “20/20” didn’t have the same success as her first 2015 interview.

According to Deadline, Jenner’s follow up only raked in 4.2 million viewers and came in at number three for the 10 p.m. timeslot. A rerun of “Blue Bloods” on CBS came in at number one with 6.5 million viewers. A two-hour “Dateline” on NBC was number two with five million viewers. “Dateline” was also more popular with the 18-to-49 demographic than Jenner’s interview.

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Caitlyn Jenner reveals she underwent gender reassignment surgery

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of The National Gay Media Association
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Caitlyn Jenner has revealed she underwent gender reassignment surgery in January of this year in her new memoir, “The Secrets of My Life.”

According to Radar Online, Jenner, 67, writes that part of her decision to undergo surgery was due to probing questions from the public about her genitals. Jenner also says she was tired of tucking her penis in.

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