St. Petersburg extends bullying protections to LGBTQ youth

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Mayor Rick Kriseman has extended the city’s anti-bullying policy in its youth programming to protect LGBTQ youth ahead of St Pete Pride 2019.

The City of St. Petersburg is committed to providing an environment for all youth that is safe, secure and free from harassment and bullying of any kind, officials shared June 21. The policy applies to any youth enrolled or participating in programs run or sponsored by the city.

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PHOTOS: St Pete Pride celebrates 2019 Stonewall Reception

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | St Pete Pride held its annual Stonewall Reception at the Museum of Fine Arts June 20, another fabulous gathering during its loudest and proudest year yet.

The must-attend evening was hosted by Miguel Fuller, Holly O’Connor and Scotty “The Body” of Hot 101.5’s “Miguel & Holly Show.” It honored this year’s grand marshals, sponsors and featured “The Art of Fashion,” also welcoming Mayor Rick Kriseman for a special announcement.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Bay Business Journal celebrates the Business of Pride 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Business Journal presented the 2019 Business of Pride awards at The Italian Club of Tampa June 20.

The annual awards, presented in partnership with the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce, recognize individuals and companies who work to advance LGBTQ equality in the workplace. Watermark Publishing Group was honored as an LGBTQ-owned company.

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PHOTOS: St Pete Pride 2019 kicks off at Sirata Beach Resort

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG |St Pete Pride 2019 officially kicked off at the Sirata Beach Resort June 19.

The organization promised “an event like no other during the weekend” ahead of the gathering and St Pete Pride delivered. Attendees proudly dined, danced and drank throughout the 13-acre getaway, which recently completed its $15 million renovation, enjoying its coastal design and sweeping views.

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St Pete Pride 2019: When and where to celebrate

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The 17th annual St Pete Pride, which sashays through the Sunshine City June 21-23, promises to be its loudest and proudest yet.

It follows last year’s successful Sweet 16, which welcomed 250,000 attendees over Pride weekend, around 15,000 shy of St. Petersburg’s entire estimated population. It was a feat that longtime LGBTQ ally and Pride supporter St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman welcomes yet again.

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Local leaders, Lisa Loeb strengthen St Pete Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“Florida’s largest Pride celebration belongs to everyone in St. Petersburg,” St Pete Pride President Chrys Bundy says ahead of the 17th annual St Pete Pride. It’s the result of year-round dedication from LGBTQ community members, advocates and allies.

That was evident with last year’s successful Sweet 16, which welcomed 250,000 attendees over Pride weekend—around 15,000 shy of St. Petersburg’s entire estimated population. It was a feat that longtime LGBTQ ally and Pride supporter St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman welcomes yet again.

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City of Largo raises Pride flag in historical first

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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LARGO, Fla. | Advocates and allies gathered June 18 at Largo City Hall to raise the Pride flag in recognition of Pride Month, a historical first for the city of over 82,000.

“Happy Pride Month, Largo! The City of Largo is committed to building an inclusive community that is diverse, and respects and values the perspectives of all individuals,” officials shared via social media ahead of the gathering. They subsequently welcomed supporters to join them for the ceremony to “create an inclusive, equitable and compassionate community.” 

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PHOTOS: Polk Pride rises up for fifth annual celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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LAKELAND, Fla. | Polk Pride held its fifth annual celebration at Munn Park June 15.

“We’re not Tampa and we’re not Orlando,” Polk Pride Executive Board Member Dustin Shay shared ahead of the gathering. “There’s still a heavy need in the Polk County area to provide a safe space and opportunities for activism and celebration.”

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PHOTOS: Tampa Bay Rays win Pride Night 2019

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ST. PETERSBURG | The Tampa Bay Rays triumphed over the Los Angeles Angels during the team’s annual Pride Night at Tropicana Field June 14.

A total of 21,598 Pride and sports enthusiasts attended the game, which began after Tampa Mayor Jane Castor threw the first pitch, Congressman Charlie Crist said a few words and fan favorite entertainer Jennifer Real sang the National Anthem. The Rays spent five innings behind at 4-0 before scoring five times in the sixth and adding four runs in the seventh, winning 9-4.

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St Pete Pride announces VASSY as replacement headliner

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | St Pete Pride has announced that VASSY will replace Rita Ora as the inaugural After Parade Concert headliner on Saturday, June 22.

VASSY is a multi-platinum, award-winning international recording artist and songwriter, St Pete Pride shared June 17. She replaces British pop singer Ora, whose cancellation was announced June 8.

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Broadway showcase to benefit Project No Labels

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TAMPA | Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will provide opening remarks June 22 during the 13th production of Life Amplified Connections, a Broadway-themed showcase benefiting Project No Labels (PNL) at Stageworks Theatre.

Life Amplified has tackled issues like human trafficking, bullying, PTSD and sexual violence to raise funds for nonprofits since 2013. The gathering is produced by the philanthropic side of marketing company WriteOne Creative Services and will feature 21 performers from throughout Tampa Bay. A number of community partners will showcase their services ahead of the event.

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Dining Out for Life 2019 raises over $47K for EPIC

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY| Dining Out for Life (DOFL) raised over $47,000 for Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) in the organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS during its 14th annual outing in April, the organizations have shared.

Founded in 1991, DOFL is an annual dining event that raises money for community-based organizations serving those impacted by HIV. To raise the funds, establishments donate a portion of their sales on a specific date to local organizations like EPIC. 

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