Tampa couple’s ‘Captain Marvel’ proposal goes viral

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa’s John Chambrone and fiance Richard Owen went viral Oct. 12 after getting engaged during an ACE Comic Con photo op in Illinois with “Captain Marvel” actress Brie Larson.

Chambrone, a longtime comic book fan, is the president of Bear Soup Tampa and entertainment chair for Tampa Pride. He and Owen, a CNA who will begin nursing school in the spring, met in May and saw Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” on their first official date.

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Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus ‘comes out’ with new name

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’ new name and logo. Photo courtesy the caucus.

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, formerly the LGBTA Democratic Caucus, unveiled their new name on Oct. 11 for National Coming Out Day.

The caucus has 19 statewide chapters throughout Florida. It represents members of the LGBTQ community to the Florida Democratic Party, which it’s currently doing at the party’s 2019 State Convention in Orlando Oct. 11-13.

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Watermark is hiring a Tampa Bay Advertising sales representative

By : Danny Garcia
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Share this story:

Watermark has been the premiere source for LGBTQ news across Tampa Bay and Central Florida for more than 25 years. Now we are expanding our Tampa Bay sales team.

You can be part of the team that brings the news to the LGBTQ community.

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LGBTQ youth lead Come OUT St. Pete project for SHINE Mural Festival

By : Tiffany Razzano
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ABOVE: LGBTQ youth from Metro Inclusive Health and volunteers finalize the first mural for the fifth annual SHINE Mural Festival on Sept. 28. Photo courtesy Chad Mize.

Since the inception of St. Petersburg’s SHINE Mural Festival in 2015, multimedia artist and gallery owner Chad Mize has incorporated a community project into the annual art event.

SHINE transforms the city’s streets by curating large-scale murals painted by renowned artists from across the globe, he says. “We bring international talent to the city to elevate the scene here. It puts us on the map.”

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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete celebrates annual festival, parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) celebrated its third annual festival and second annual parade in the Grand Central District on Oct. 5.

The festivities began simultaneously at 11 a.m., welcoming more than 20 parade entries flanked by proud participants enjoying 100 vendors. The route began at 20th St. and moved west on Central Ave to 30th.

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Debra Messing to headline CAN Community Health fundraiser

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Debra Messing will headline CAN Community Health’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala. Photo courtesy CAN’s Facebook page.

SARASOTA | CAN Community Health announced Oct. 7 that LGBTQ ally, actress and activist Debra Messing will headline the organization’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota on Feb. 22, 2020.

Messing is best known for her award-winning role on “Will & Grace,” NBC’s groundbreaking LGBTQ television series.  Its revival will end in 2020 with a third season, its eleventh overall.

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Judge strikes down Tampa’s conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Tampa Pride 2018. Photo by Russ Martin.

TAMPA | U.S. District Judge William Jung issued a ruling Oct. 4 striking down Tampa’s ban on the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy purports to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is widely opposed by prominent health associations including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association.

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The Last Page: Jimmy Biascan

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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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. Here, we check in with graphic designer and creative director Jimmy (not James, it’s Jimmy on his birth certificate) Biascan from Tampa Bay.

Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Rachel and Margaret Covello

By : Marianella Falbo
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“She offered to buy me a drink and Tito’s Vodka has forever changed our life journey,” says Rachel Covello.

Rachel was looking for a fresh start when she met Margaret Covello at Punky’s Bar. The two had connected on Facebook a few months prior and had even gone through their first argument, about politics.

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Kevin Beckner announces run for Hillsborough Clerk of Court

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Kevin Beckner announces his candidacy. Screenshot via Beckner’s campaign kickoff video.

TAMPA | Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has announced his candidacy for Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Beckner became the county’s first openly gay commissioner in 2008. He won re-election in 2012 and during his time in office was a staunch advocate for equality, championing the passage of the county’s comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance and more.

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LGBTQ Resource Center seeks coming out stories for project

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: The opening reception of the LGBTQ Resource Center’s “Transcending Gender” exhibit in Nov. 2018. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

Gulfport, Fla. | The LGBTQ Resource Center at the Gulfport Public Library is seeking your coming out stories on or before Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day 2019.

The organization “is embarking on a project to produce a book entitled ‘Coming Out in Gulfport … Our Stories,’” they shared Sept. 30. “We are currently seeking local residents who would be willing to share their coming out story on audio tape that we could then transcribe into a publication for our collection.”

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Come OUT St. Pete returns for third year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Come OUT St. Pete board members and grand marshals Brian Longstreth, Claire Elisan, Jim Woodfield, Cole Foust, Jayson Clancey, Chris Jones, Bill Kody and Chuck Henson at Metro’s LGBTQ Welcome Center Sept. 17. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) will hold its third annual outing Oct. 3-11 in the Grand Central District (GCD) and nearby neighborhoods to celebrate National Coming Out Day 2019.

COSP exists to advocate for community awareness and acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities. They do so with events that celebrate “coming out of the closet and into the world.”

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