Tampa Pride has a Grand time in GaYbor

By : Jeremy Williams
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The streets of the Ybor City Historic District were filled with people spanning every spectrum of the rainbow for the third annual Tampa Pride celebration March 25.

From the street festival on 8th to the parade down 7th to the live entertainment that featured out-singing sensation Steve Grand; the crowds cheered, waved flags and showed Pride.

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Manatee Pride does Bradenton proud

By : Jake Stevens
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The fourth annual Manatee Pride had a huge turnout at the Bradenton Riverwalk March 18.

Hundreds of people celebrated under clear skies with dozens of vendors, food trucks and entertainment from Flamingo’s drag performers to a youth group singing Broadway hits.

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Many big restaurant chains give dirty money to right-wing, reactionary causes, We show you the places to eat hate-free!

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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Early last year, I found myself on a yacht off the coast of Isla Mujeres with a group of older adults far beyond my own socio-economic status.

The presidential primaries were ramping up and our evening was winding down – champagne had flowed freely and words came easier than they should have. One woman explained her voting strategy this way, no nuance, an open and shut case: “I vote with my wallet.”

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Sarasota Film Festival presents the 2017 LGBTQ film lineup

By : Krista Di Tucci
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This year’s LGBTQ film series at the 19th annual Sarasota Film Festival, March 31 – April 9, will consist of five feature films, six short films and an LGBTQ panel.

“I’m most excited about the collaboration between the Harvey Milk Festival and the Fabulous Independent Film Festival, as well as the strengthening of our relationship between them,” SFF Director of Education and Community Outreach Shakira Refos says. “We are keeping these relationships going and building on them as a result of the LGBTQ programming.”

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Polk County investigates bus driver over anti-LGBT comments after mother faces school board

By : Jeremy Williams
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HAINES CITY – The Polk County School Board is investigating a bus driver who is accused of making inappropriate comments and distributing religious material to an elementary school student who has same-sex parents.

Nathaly Encarnacion says that her son, a second-grader at Alta Vista Elementary, was told that his mothers would go to hell because they are gay by his school bus driver Violeta Jacobo on Feb. 8.

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Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber among final four choices to host 2018 NGLCC Convention

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce will know by mid-April if Tampa will play host to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 convention.

The annual gathering, which (if chosen) would takes place Aug. 7-10, 2018 in Tampa, is the world’s largest LGBTQ business development event and brings thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to the host city.

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Tampa Bay celebrates Watermark’s 2017 WAVE Awards at Flamingo Resort

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark celebrated with the Tampa Bay winners of the 2017 WAVE Awards at the Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg March 9.

The Flamingo Resort hosted the event in their new Blu Room Theatre with flowers designed by The Flower Centre of St. Petersburg. First place winners took home awards in beautiful frames courtesy of Tyrone’s Frame and Mirror.

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2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Jeremy Fetters

By : Jeremy Williams
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There are staples in every good, gay town – a big parade, caring organizations and a community bar where everybody knows your name. That bar in St. Petersburg is Enigma.

Enigma, voted Favorite Local LGBTQ Bar/Club and Favorite LGBTQ Happy Hour, was opened just before St. Pete Pride in 2014 by Ed Gonzalez who started his own bar after working many years at Georgie’s Alibi.

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2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Tyrone Frame & Mirror

By : Felicia Roopchand
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Tyrone Frame & Mirror is a bit of an institution when it comes to the WAVE awards. In fact, this frame and mirror shop has won for Favorite Local Framing Shop in Tampa Bay more times than any other.

“Well, I think this would be our eighth or ninth year winning so we’re thrilled with that,” shop owner Dan Fiorini says. “It’s really great that the community believes that our services and our dedication to the community warrant some kind of recognition and we think that’s just terrific.”

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2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: METRO Health, Wellness & Community Center

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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Celebrating its 25th year, METRO Health, Wellness & Community Center was named Tampa Bay’s Most Effective Local LGBTQ Organization.

“We’re very excited that this is our year,” says METRO CEO Lorraine Langlois, who has been with the organization for 22 years.

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2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Jeffrey Jew

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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Virginia native and renowned chef Jeffrey Jew has taken over Tampa Bay with his immense culinary skills and food industry knowledge, winning him a 2017 Wave Award for Favorite Local LGBTQ (Friendly) Chef Or Caterer.

“It’s quite an honor considering the history of the award and all the other nominees,” Jew said. “It feels amazing!”

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2017 WAVE Award winners – Tampa Bay

By : Jeremy Williams
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST
First: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman
Second: Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith
Third: Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY
First: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman
Second: U.S. Representative for District 14 Kathy Castor
Third: St. Pete Pride President Scion Provenzano

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