02.08.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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Love is in the air. Even the most cynical of us who publicly curse the day of St. Valentine, I’m sure feel a bit of warmth when no one is looking. Valentine’s Day was always a happy day in our family, a day of celebration. After all, it was the day Daddy proposed to Mama, and every year since then he brings her flowers and a box of chocolates.

Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. No, wait. She didn’t. That was Forrest Gump’s Mama. My Mama had some good advice, though. Never go to bed angry, never be afraid to say I love you and if you ever want to meet a good man always start at the gay bar. After all, that is where she met Daddy.

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02.08.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I don’t know which genius opted to name a size of children’s blue jeans “husky,” but I do know that in the fourth grade I had to wear them. It does wonders for a kid’s self-esteem.

It was the year that my parents and I moved, resulting in a new elementary school mid-year for my husky-clad self. In hindsight, it was the best move my parents could’ve made for our family. At the time, however, I drowned my sorrows in Snapple—likely resulting in an even huskier pair of jeans by the end of the year.

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Central Florida’s Overheard: The “Gay, Gay, Gay” trivia rounds are coming to an end

By : Anonymous
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The answer is: The End of an Era.

Question: What is Doug Ba’aser leaving Hamburger Mary’s TRIVIA Night?

You read that right. After nine and half years of pop culture, current events and some crazy shenanigans, the one and only Doug Ba’aser is bringing his Hamburger Mary’s Trivia Night to an end at the end of this month.

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Central Florida’s Overheard: Riding off into the sunset

By : Anonymous
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Sometimes after a sheriff has wrestled all the varmints in town and saved the day, they have no other option but to hop on their horse and head west to find more towns who need a hero. So is the tale of Orange County’s first openly transgender sheriff deputy Rebecca Riley Storozuk.

She broke the news on Facebook saying she has accepted a job with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Read all about it

By : Anonymous
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The Gulfport Public Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center will hold its inaugural Readout: Books for Lesbians event Feb. 16-18.

The event will begin with a Friday night reception, feature readings, book sales, signings and a keynote speech from author Elizabeth Sims on Saturday. It will conclude on Sunday with workshops and a panel discussion for registered participants.

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Wonderful World of Wanzie: By all means – LET’S GO TO WAR!

By : Michael Wanzie
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Much of what I have to say here I’ve said before, from many podiums and in many written diatribes.It bears repeating. Especially with all that is happening presently, including the recent unseemly situation where the Christian right was willing to send Roy Moore—a probable pedophile—to Washington. Why? Because he insisted he would put God above country and Christianity back into government while exposing his hatred of homosexuals and his fervent goal to reverse our advances and disenfranchise us by every possible means. Yes, my “viewpoint” has to do with a “war” for which I have become an advocate.

It is an egregious waste of the people’s time and money when elected officials engage in arguing matters of law and government policy by referencing the Bible and invoking the name of Jesus or God. Heed the words of our founding fathers and the cherished documents that established this nation, which so clearly set forth the framework for how our government is meant to function: “…shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That is crystal clear. There is no room for argument or debate. An absolute mandate for every legislative body in this county is that they “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Period!

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Keeping It Real: The Reality of Growing Up LGBTQIA+ Today

By : Nathan Bruemmer
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What’s it like growing up LGBTQIA+ in 2018? It depends on whom you ask and where you live. The general perception from generation to generation is that youth have it better, but for this generation of LGBTQIA+ youth, even before the change in administration, it is a much more complicated answer.

The progress of social equality has been impressive over the last decade or two. Today we live in country with marriage equality, more resources, more support and fewer challenges than in the past. However, not all Florida communities have embraced this progress. Even communities with a progressive citizenry may not have progressive city councils, county commissions, school boards or school board policies. 

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The Tender Activist: You’re Not Responsible Enough to Have a Gun

By : Scottie Campbell
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In the aftermath of the June 12, 2016, shooting here in Orlando, my dad and I had a discussion about guns.

Like all of our discussions on that topic, nobody was swayed. I certainly didn’t help things when I had a knee-jerk reaction to a “the gun doesn’t kill people” bon mot he lobbed at me. Fresh off hearing Rick Scott regurgitate an impotent cliché for the national media about the Second Amendment itself not killing everyone, I snapped.

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Central Florida Overheard: Patty passed up

By : Anonymous
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Over the Jan. 20 and 21 weekend across the country, women and men joined together to march on the one year anniversary of the original Women’s March held the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

The Orlando march was on Sunday, Jan. 21, at Lake Eola. The peaceful demonstration featured several speakers, but one prominent member of the LGBTQ community and a female elected official seems to have not been invited.

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Central Florida Overheard: Tymisha slays as ‘Josephine!’

By : Anonymous
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Local entertainer, Tymisha Harris, often seen performing alongside Blue for VarieTEASE and various burlesque performances at The Venue, recently slayed Mama Ru (RuPaul to those who don’t know).

Josephine! began as a pet project for Orlando Fringe’s Michael Marinaccio and Harris in late 2015. They were later joined by the musical genius Tod Kimbro who helped to refine what they started. Josephine! is a musical telling of the life of bisexual performer Josephine Baker, portrayed in the show by Harris.

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Tampa Bay Overheard: The SMART Ride raises $830,245

By : Anonymous
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The SMART Ride, the only HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country of its size to donate 100 percent of funds raised to AIDS/HIV research, has completed its 14th year. Locally, the ride benefits charities like Metro Wellness & Community Centers in Tampa Bay.

The two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West was originally scheduled for November 2017, but Hurricane Irma forced organizers to delay the event after she ripped through the Florida Keys.

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