The Last Page: David Dorman, Real estate broker / professional singer

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

This week, we check in with Orlando real estate broker and professional singer David Dorman.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Carlos Guillermo Smith and Jerick Mediavilla

By : Marianella Falbo
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“When we met and we first started flirting, in my mind I couldn’t accept that someone so sweet, so kind, and so handsome would actually take an interest in me that had NOTHING to do with politics,” says Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

Carlos met Jerick Mediavilla at The Venue in Orlando during an event supporting the Latinx community impacted by the Pulse shooting in 2016.

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“My mom advocated for me as a gay man, now it’s my turn to advocate for her”: Orlando man joins Walk to End Alzheimer’s for his mother

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Garden pinwheels advertising the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

ORLANDO | David Shaw came out to his parents in 2001. To his relief, his mother was loving and fiercely accepting of him as a gay man, changing her life to advocate for her son’s acceptance. Now Shaw says it is his turn.

Carol Shaw was a business manager at her Alabama town’s local church counseling clinic. After her coworkers found out about her son’s sexuality, they treated her differently, eventually driving her away from her job.

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Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf releases gun violence speech ahead of meeting with Congress

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida’s media relations manager and survivor of the Pulse shooting, will meet with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means to address the need for common sense gun legislation.

Wolf released the speech he intends to give to Congress to Out magazine ahead of the Sept. 19 hearing. In it he talks about the night of the shooting which left 49 killed and dozens more injured, losing his friends Drew Leinonen and Juan Guerrero that night to the shooter, and how his story is not a unique one in the U.S.

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Orlando native and out performer Michael James Scott to reprise role of Genie in ‘Aladdin’ at Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Michael James Scott as the Genie in “Disney’s Aladdin” North American tour. (Photo by Deen van Meer, courtesy Dr. Phillips Center)

ORLANDO | The hit Broadway musical “Disney’s Aladdin” is coming to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Jan. 22-Feb. 9, 2020. It was announced Sept. 13 that Orlando native and out performer Michael James Scott will be performing as the Genie during the musical’s run in Central Florida.

Scott graduated from Dr. Phillips High School and has appeared in the Broadway productions of “The Book of Mormon,” “Something Rotten,” Hair,” “All Shook Up,” “The Pirate Queen,” “Elf,” “Mamma Mia” and “Tarzan,” as well as previously performed as the Genie in London’s West End and Australia, the latter of which won Scott a Helpmann Award—the Australian version of The Tony Award.

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Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida names 1st openly-gay chair

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: New PPSWCF chair Dr. Boyd Lindsley (R) with PPSWCF president and CEO Stephanie Fraim (L) and UCF professor Dr. Jennifer Sandoval at a Planned Parenthood event. (Photo courtesy PPSWCF)

ORLANDO | Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida (PPSWCF) elected Dr. Boyd Lindsley chair of its board of directors. The 23-member board is from a 22-county region of Florida, which includes Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples. Lindsley is the first openly gay man elected to the position.

Lindsley, who is the senior associate director for the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media, began volunteering with PPSWCF in 2011 and joined the board in 2013. He says he began volunteering after first utilizing Planned Parenthood’s services and being motivated by the work they do.

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onePULSE Foundation makes land purchase for future location of museum

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: The Pulse Interim Memorial. (from onePULSE Foundation’s Facebook)

ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation took its next step toward creating the National Pulse Memorial & Museum with a $3.5 million purchase of land near Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the organization announced in a press release Sept. 16.

Scheduled to open in 2022, the museum will honor the 49 victims of the 2016 Pulse shooting. The 1.75-acre parcel of land purchased is located at 438 W. Kaley St.

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Gabriell Rush

By : Jeremy Williams
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24 | Bisexual | She/Her/Hers

Gabriell experienced homelessness at the age of 20. She was involved in a domestic violence situation and even though she had nowhere to go she knew she couldn’t stay there.

“I was in a transitional housing program with another youth-related homeless group but I aged out when I turned 21,” Gabriell says. “By that time I wasn’t getting anymore services and I was not ready to be out on my own, I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have a stable job. I was dealing with depression, so someone told me to go to Zebra Coalition.”

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Brandon Scott Kiley

By : Jeremy Williams
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25 | Transgender Male | He/Him/His

Brandon found the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) at a point in his life when he needed it the most.

He was homeschooled by his parents and raised in the church. When he finally decided to ask about “the gay thing,” Brandon and his family’s path changed forever.

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Ian Siljestrom

By : Jeremy Williams
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27 | Gay | He/Him/His

Ian has made his way around Florida. Born in Cocoa Beach, he left for the University of Florida in Gainesville and then settled in Jacksonville where he was a science and health teacher for fifth graders.

“So I didn’t ever want to [work in the LGBTQ community]. It wasn’t ever of interest to me. I was all science everything. I studied sustainability in college. I intended to be an elementary school teacher to get my kid excited about science. And that’s what I did and that’s everything that drove me,” Ian says.

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Kristian “Kris” Aponto

By : Jeremy Williams
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19 | Transgender Male | He/Him/His

Kris has known two truths about himself since a very young age — that he wanted to join the Navy when he was older and that he was transgender.

“I was 14 when I came out,” Kris says. “My parents sat me down and asked if I was transgender.”

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Yasmin Flasterstein

By : Jeremy Williams
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25 | Bisexual | She/Her/Hers

Yasmin, who was born in Israel, came to Orlando to study psychology at the University of Central Florida. Her initial involvement in Orlando’s LGBTQ community came by working at Mental Health Association of Central Florida when they created the Orlando United Counseling program in response to the Pulse tragedy. That is also the time that she came out.

“I was inspired to come out by the overwhelming feeling of anger I had after Pulse that made me feel like I shouldn’t be ashamed,” she says. “I felt so much anger by what happened and then I self-reflected on that. It encouraged me to come out and be my authentic self.”

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