Queerly Beloved: Unlearning the Lies We’ve Been Told

By : Rev. Jakob Hero Shaw
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Years ago, in one of my seminary classes, someone posed the question, “Why do we trust people with our bodies who we wouldn’t trust with the keys to our car?” This was in a class on queer theology (yes, you find classes like that in seminaries, at least in the seminaries that are worth attending.)

The question was not an attack on queer life and it was not a critique of the sexual freedoms so many people in LGBTQ spaces enjoy. Instead, it questioned where in our lives we assign value and how we choose to protect our bodies, our possessions and our hearts.

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The Tender Activist: Building the Next President

By : Scottie Campbell
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I appear to be experiencing a bout of ennui. As we begin wading into the muck and mire of the presidential election cycle, I have wrapped myself in yellow plastic caution ribbon. Cautioning myself from falling into the pit that passes for discussion these days, and serving as a barrier to protect people from my own ire.

I prefer to term it ennui. It makes me seem like a troubled romantic, instead of how I feel below the surface: chicken shit.

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2019 Orlando Fringe Review: ‘Hombre’

By : Danny Garcia
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Ana Cuellar, the artistic director behind 2018’s Patron’s Pick (Pink) “Luna,” returns to Fringe with “Hombre.”

“Hombre,” with the use of modern dance, ballet and acrobatics, tells the story of love and how it can save humanity. Cuellar shows how love is seductive, intense, unrequited and even something we mourn as portrayed in the number dedicated to the victims of the Pulse tragedy.

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2019 Orlando Fringe Review: ‘The Complete History of Drag in a Few Mo-mo’

By : Danny Garcia
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LGBTQ history in the world isn’t told in mainstream media very often. There isn’t, at least widespread, a push in textbooks and history class to educate on the accomplishments of LGBTQ people. Many of the stories and events that shaped the community live on by being passed from one generation to another in the form of stories, jokes and backstage quips by our drag queens. David LeBarron captures this perfectly in his show “The Complete History of Drag in a Few Mo-mo.”

LeBarron jumps from narrator at the beginning of the show to Auntie, an experienced drag queen who’s time on this earth is limited.  In their dressing room of her local gay bar, Auntie guides the new girl — a neophyte drag queen — through queer history.

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2019 Orlando Fringe Review: ‘A Showgirls Musical’

By : Danny Garcia
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The team behind Fringe hits “ThanksKilling the Musical” and “S#IT!” are back to tackle one of cinema’s most over-the-top, so-bad-it’s-good cult classic films to come out of the 90’s — Paul Verhoeven’s “Showgirls.”

“A Showgirls Musical” follows the basic — we’ll say plot? — of the original film. Aspiring star Nomi (Played by Jillian Gizzi) hitchhikes her way into Sin City to make it big. She starts off as a stripper at the Cheetah and “works” her way to top headliner in what’s supposed to be one of Vegas’ premier shows.

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05.15.19 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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Change scares a lot of people. You get so comfortable with the way things are—whether they are ideal for you or not—and you figure why change it up? What if you make things worse? What if the payout isn’t what you thought it would be in the end?

I have always been a fan of change. I’ve rarely lived in the same place more than a few years, opting to pack up and change homes, roommates and, in some cases, entire states for a change of scenery. It’s why I always fit well in the military lifestyle, a lifestyle I would most likely still be a part of if not for that pesky “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” thing. No, I wasn’t discharged because I was gay but the hardship of hiding who I was and having to come up with inventive, new ways to explain to my commander why my “roommate” accompanied me to all work functions, family gatherings and annual vacations was more work than I wanted to put into a lie.

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05.15.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I despised many things as a child. Some were warranted—like corn, which remains my arch nemesis—but others not as much, like doing nothing on a Saturday. Of the many things that cultivated my childhood angst, however, one in particular stands out: Easter.

I didn’t hate the holiday. There wasn’t much to hate in my family because we rarely did anything for it; gatherings were reserved for “major holidays” like Thanksgiving or Christmas. I wasn’t even aware families congregated for Easter until I was in college, and I was still surprised this year when Publix was closed for the day.

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Mama Bearings: Leap of Faith?

By : Sylvie Griffiths
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PQ: I fully understand that the world might not love my child because he identifies as a transgender male. It is sad, enraging and a terrible truth.

I’ve had an “it’s complicated” relationship status with organized religion since I was a child. My mother converted to Judaism, the religion my father’s family raised him within, and on Friday nights and many holidays, took us to synagogue. We were far from orthodox and we celebrated Christmas with my maternal grandparents annually. I also frequently attended Catholic church when spending Saturday nights at my best friend’s home growing up. Overall, I would say I’ve flirted with religion but never fully committed.

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Trans of Thought: Cisgender Fatigue

By : Melody Maia Monet
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PQ: “I love being both gay and trans—and I hate being confrontational—but it is obvious to me we have a transphobia problem within our community.”

In the early 90s, I came home from college during a break and went to a party with some of my former high school classmates. One of them told me of his experience as a cadet at the U.S. Naval Academy that had severely soured him on Jane Fonda. Apparently, it had become the practice of the academy to blast audio of Ms. Fonda over loudspeakers as the cadets were put through their paces during physical training. In short order, every cadet began to associate physical stress with the sound of her voice, and not surprisingly, also grew to hate her.

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05.02.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Nobody likes to be called ignorant, but we all are. I certainly am. I’m ignorant when it comes to Venezuelan politics, cooking Indian cuisine and the quantum mechanics of time travel. I just saw an article this morning that suggested the present and the future exist simultaneously and now I have a headache. I can’t even discern how there is still only one Marty McFly and how he always finds the DeLorean.

It’s okay to be ignorant, but somewhere along the way people decided being called ignorant meant that you were stupid or dumb—instead of just simply lacking knowledge of something. Some years ago I was hanging out with my brothers, drinking beer around a fire pit and listening to old country music; a favorite pastime for the Claggett boys. One of my brothers, a genuinely nice person who tends to lean to the right with his political views, started talking about the Affordable Healthcare Act. Yes, family + holidays+ alcohol + politics = disaster.

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St Pete Pride 2019 welcomes Lisa Loeb, Rita Ora

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | St Pete Pride announced April 24 that entertainers Lisa Loeb and Rita Ora will headline concerts for the organization’s 17th annual celebration in June.

Loeb is a singer-songwriter who began her career with the platinum-selling hit “Stay (I Missed You)” from “Reality Bites.” Other singles include “Do You Sleep” and “Let’s Forget about It,” which she’s sure to perform as she headlines the organization’s SP2 Concert June 21 from 7-10 p.m.

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Hope & Help bumps gala to 2020, launching new event to honor donors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hope & Help had a successful event with the AIDS Walk Orlando thanks to all of the people who opened their pockets and donated what they could, and for that they want to say thank you with a celebration.

Hope & Help’s community developmental director Joshua Myers says that the nonprofit will be pushing its annual gala, typically held in September, to next year and instead this October will hold an invite only event called Hope & Help Society.

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