LGBTQ cosplayers find community, safe space at comic cons

By : Rachel Dececco
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ABOVE: LGBTQ Pride booth at Megacon 2019 in Orlando. (Photo by Rachel Dececco)

Geeks, nerds and comic book enthusiasts come in all shapes, sizes and colors … including rainbow.

Comic book conventions, or comic cons as they are called, have become cultural phenomenons in recent years. They’re places where celebrities from renowned movies, television and literature in genres ranging from fantasy and horror to superhero and science fiction (sci-fi) hold panel discussions and meet fans. More than that, these comic cons are LGBTQ safe spaces.

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Dr. Steve Yacovelli explores LGBTQ people as leaders in his new book, ‘Pride Leadership’

By : Jeremy Williams
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Dr. Steve Yacovelli is the owner of TopDog Learning Group, LLC, a learning and development, leadership, change management, diversity and consulting firm based in Orlando.

“We work with organizations to help them maximize their human talent,” says Yacovelli. “It’s a lot of consulting, a lot of talking to see what the client really needs. Then using the tools that my team has to kind of get those problems solved.”

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Nicholas Sparks accused of trying to ban LGBTQ club at Christian school

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Author Nicholas Sparks, known for penning bestselling romance novels such as “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember,” has been accused of trying to ban an LGBTQ club at a Christian school he co-founded in New Bern, North Carolina.

Sparks has been embroiled in an ongoing legal battle with Epiphany School of Global Studies’ former headmaster, Saul Benjamin.

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Orlando artist Nick Smith turns literary classics into original works of art

By : Jeremy Williams
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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away known as Orlando, an artist by the name of Nick Smith was rediscovering his love of art and began creating original pieces based on classic novels and popular stories.

“I’ve been drawing since I was a wee little lad,” Smith says. “I actually started tracing, that’s one of the things I always tell people, learn how to trace when you’re young so you get an idea of shapes and figures.”

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Author Rob Sanders revolutionizes picture books with ‘Stonewall’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Self-described “writer who teaches and teacher who writes” Rob Sanders appreciates anniversaries. In celebration of the LGBTQ pride flag’s 40th in 2018, he released “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag,” the first picture book detailing the LGBTQ symbol’s origin. Now, just ahead of the Stonewall Uprising’s 50th, he’s made history again with “Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.”

The openly LGBTQ author’s follow up is the first picture book to detail the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. Its story of strength, unity and equality was released April 23 from Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books; the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher.

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New children’s picture book recounts the history of Stonewall

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa Bay author Rob Sanders will unveil “Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution,” the first picture book detailing the history of the Stonewall Inn’s role in the LGBTQ civil rights movement, at the fifth annual SunLit Festival in St. Petersburg on April 27.

Sanders, the author of the celebrated “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag,” will welcome all ages to a book launch performance at The Studios@620 from 6-8 p.m. with Tombolo Books. The Studios@620 Artistic Director Bob Devin Jones and an ensemble cast will join, celebrating the upcoming 50th anniversary of the infamous uprising.

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John Oliver’s parody book among most ‘challenged’ works

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Not everyone was amused by the John Oliver send-up of a picture book by the wife and daughter of Vice President Mike Pence.

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” in which the Pence’s family bunny turns out to be gay, was among the books most objected to in 2018 at the country’s public libraries. The best-selling parody ranked No. 2 on the list of “challenged” books compiled by the American Library Association, with some complaining about its gay-themed content and political viewpoint.

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Florida school district: Gay bunnies’ book needed approval

By : wire report
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SANFORD, Fla. (AP) | A Florida school district says a teacher should have asked before reading a picture book about gay bunnies.

The Orlando Sentinel reports Seminole County Public Schools issued a report after parents complained teacher Tyler Bond read “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.” The title is a gay-themed spoof by HBO host John Oliver of a book by the wife and daughter of Vice President Mike Pence.

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Posthumous memoir by gay rights pioneer due in October

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | A posthumous memoir by gay rights pioneer Edie Windsor will be released in October.

Windsor’s “A Wild and Precious Life” will draw upon her uncompleted manuscript and other personal papers, St. Martin’s Press announced Feb 28. The book was finished by Joshua Lyon, with cooperation from her spouse, Judith Kasen-Windsor. “A Wild and Precious Life” will include everything from her childhood to her coming out as a lesbian to the 2013 Supreme Court ruling she helped bring about that led to same-sex marriage nationwide.

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Author writes of boy discovering he’s gay in deep South

By : wire report
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) | After service one Sunday, little Greg Howard wandered past one of the church ladies, who was confiding to another nearby.

“It would kill his mama,” the woman said, “if she knew he was funny.”

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Team that spoofed Pence book has new picture story

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | The creative team that brought you the best-selling parody of the Pence family rabbit has a new book coming.

Writer Jill Twiss and illustrator EG Keller are collaborating on “The Someone New,” HarperCollins Children’s Books announced Wednesday. Scheduled for June 4, the book is a parable about welcoming outsiders. It tells of a forest in which a chipmunk worries that the entrance of a snail will ruin the world he knows. The publisher will donate some proceeds to a charity aiding immigrant children.

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The LGBTQ impact on movies, music, television, sports and fashion in 2018

By : Jeremy Williams
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From groundbreaking television to record-setting events, this year in LGBTQ pop culture has been explosive. Legends were remembered, new icons were formed and history was made—one certain gay athlete even became America’s new sweetheart.

Here we have compiled just a snippet of the LGBTQ impact on movies, music, television, sports and fashion in 2018 with our annual LGBTQ Pop Culture, A-Z.

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