Tampa Pride kicks off fundraising with a Spooktacular Halloween party

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa Pride won’t be held until March 24 next year, but fundraising officially began with a bang and a boo on Oct. 19 at Hamburger Mary’s Brandon.

The event’s board, its sponsors and the Mary’s crew joined forces for the “Spooktacular Halloween Kick Off Party,” and Watermark was on hand to celebrate Tampa Pride 2018’s official launch. The audience was treated to a fantastic show hosted by Desireé DeMorney, with special performances by Chris Knolton and the Sanderson Sisters themselves: Daphne Ferraro, Kathryn Nevets and Chi Chi LaLique.

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Orlando gathers downtown to celebrate Come Out With Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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Lake Eola Park, and it’s surrounding streets, were packed Oct. 14 for Orlando’s annual Come Out With Pride parade and festival.

The big, colorful floats and LGBTQIA+ marchers took their turns proudly around the lake as thousands of community members and supporters cheered.

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Libby’s Legacy to celebrate a decade of Scooters 4 Hooters

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation celebrates 10 years of its breast cancer fundraising event, Scooters 4 Hooters, at Wall Street Plaza in downtown Orlando Oct. 21.

Libby’s Legacy was founded in 2007 by Robin Maynard-Harris in honor of her mother, Libby Maynard, who passed away due to Stage IV Breast Cancer. That same year Maynard-Harris launched what would become the organizations signature event, Scooters 4 Hooters.

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French model Ines Rau becomes first transgender playmate

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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French model Ines Rau is Playboy’s first transgender playmate.

Rau, 26, will be featured in the centerfold of Playboy’s November/December “Collector’s Edition” issue, the first issue since Hugh Hefner’s death in September.

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Justice Dept. to help in Iowa case of slain transgender teen

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has sent a federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with killing a transgender teenager last year, an unusual decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions even as he takes other steps to erode the rights of transgender people broadly.

The case involves Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, who is charged with killing 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson in Burlington, Iowa, in March 2016. Authorities have not disclosed a motive, but Johnson’s relatives say he may have been targeted because he identified as both male and female.

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Tony the Tiger, other Kellogg’s mascots go purple for GLAAD Spirit Day

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Kellogg’s mascots pledged purple for GLAAD’s seventh annual Spirit Day on Thursday, Oct. 19. According to GLAAD, Spirit Day “inspires millions around the world to wear purple or ‘go purple’ online in a unified stand against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth.”

Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, Ernie Keebler, Julius Pringles, Corny the Corn Flakes Mascot, and Snap, Crackle and Pop appear in the video to share their experiences with bullying by holding up signs.

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North Carolina deal would expand transgender protections

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor launched a two-part strategy Wednesday that could end protracted litigation over the state’s so-called bathroom bill and its replacement, while expanding LGBT protections lawmakers aren’t inclined to endorse.

Plaintiffs who had sued the state claiming discrimination asked a judge to approve a settlement with the governor that would ensure transgender people can use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity in facilities run by executive branch agencies that oversee the environment, transportation and Medicaid, among others.

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State Department spokesperson acknowledges Spirit Day

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Thursday acknowledged a campaign that seeks to combat bullying.

Nauert at the beginning of a press briefing told reporters that “today, along with many of my colleagues here at the State Department, including members of the LGBTI community, in association with GLIFAA (a group that represents LGBT and intersex Foreign Service members), we are — many of us are wearing purple today to celebrate Spirit Day.”

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Gays under consideration for presidential AIDS advisory panel

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Gay Republicans knowledgeable on AIDS issues and LGBT people involved in AIDS work have been among those contacted by a Trump administration official for a possible appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS known as PACHA, according sources familiar with the advisory body.

The outreach to potential LGBT appointees began shortly after President Trump issued an executive order on Sept. 29 extending the life of PACHA and 31 other presidential advisory committees for at least one more year.

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Ex-FBI official accused of stealing from Hawaii LGBT group

By : Wire Report
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HONOLULU (AP) – The nonprofit Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation has accused a former high-ranking FBI official of stealing more than $33,000 while he was the organization’s treasurer.

The nonprofit told police that between November 2016 and August 2017, 56-year-old Robert Kauffman wrote improper checks and made several unauthorized withdrawals from the foundation’s bank account, Hawaii News Now reported.

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The 41st All Hallows Ball brought out the creativity of Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The silver, scary and scantily-clad descended on the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) Oct. 14 for the 41st Annual All Hallows Ball, partying until 2:00 a.m.

With over 20,000 square feet to mingle, dance and drink, guests inspired by (or completely ignoring) the “Clara Futura” theme enjoyed music by local spin-master D.J. Reagan.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Lucas Wehle and Rachyl Carey

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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“It seemed the universe was intent upon us meeting,” says Rachyl Carey of her fiancé, Lucas. They met through Instagram, where Lucas was featured on a profile called Barbells and FTMs, which stands for “fine trans males.” Lucas told Rachyl she was pretty. Rachyl told Lucas she thought he was fine. It worked out.

Lucas says, “After a couple of days of conversing on Instagram, we learned that we had a few mutual friends, which was really random considering she was in the area – home from college for the summer – for the first time in seven years!” According to Lucas, there were probably a few times when the pair could have met otherwise, but they ended up coming together via social media.

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