Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Gaga for Tampa, GLAAD for the Times and Bolts Pride

By : Anonymous
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Mother Monster is Gaga for Tampa

Anyone who saw Lady Gaga’s Halftime Show at the Super Bowl (and with more than 100 million people tuning in, it’s likely most of you did) saw the goddess that is Mother Monster put on one of the hottest shows to ever take the field.

Moments after her performance – filled with drones, Gaga’s biggest hits and a dive from the top of the stadium – the Poker Faced diva announced the dates for her next world tour, supporting her fifth studio album, Joanne.

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Op-Ed: Orlando Democratic Chair Wes Hodge on privilege and patriotism in the face of the new administration

By : Wes Hodge
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wes-hodgeIt’s clear that life in the U.S. is changing at a rapid pace. With pen strokes, centuries of policy and progress are being erased. No longer is America the country open to the world’s huddled masses. A land made up almost entirely of immigrants has suddenly slammed the door shut! Communities which have struggled for decades to gain recognition and equality are almost immediately having them stripped away.

This is a new America. No longer are we the land of the free and the home of the brave. But as described in a dark inauguration speech, “from this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first.” Donald Trump, listen to me loud and clear, this is NOT my America.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Southern heads south and The Big Easy heads to Universal

By : Anonymous
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Southern Nights goes down

South that is. On January 24, co-owners to Southern Nights Orlando announced they would be opening a Southern Nights Fort Lauderdale.

Originally opening more than three decades ago as one of Central Florida’s favorite gar nightclubs, the location on Bumby Avenue has gone through many makeovers and name changes from Southern Nights to RBarr to the NEW Southern Nights then Revolution, eventually re-opening as RBarr, but didn’t sit too well with locals.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Queer cities and pageant Queens

By : Anonymous
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Queer Bay

St. Petersburg and Tampa were named among the “Queerest Cities in America 2017” by The Advocate. What makes them so queer you may ask? Well lucky for you The Advocate gave the criteria they looked at to decide; everything from how many lesbian bars and Trans Pride parades the town has to how many theaters were showing Moonlight and hosting the music group Pwr Bttm.

Tampa came in at number 19, called Florida’s more “cosmopolitan” city (The Advocate hasn’t decided if Tampa is a Carrie or Samantha yet). According to The Advocate, this is where the young people flock to getting their education vibe on at the University of South Florida and Tampa University. They also mentioned the non-stop party of the GaYBOR district.

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High Fidelity: Silent no more

By : Miguel Fuller
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MiguelFuller_MugOK. I’m going to be honest with you. I had a road map for what I was going to write about for this column. I literally finished the first draft. For the past two weeks I’ve been watching people rip into each other on social media about all sorts of issues: The election and President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks: the battle for St. Pete Pride and where the parade will be held; and, of course, friends’ relationship drama. My heart was hurting for everyone.

I was going to write about having empathy for those around you. Listen. Understand. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, then decide how you want to proceed. You know what? I’m done. Here’s why.

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Trans of Thought: Bathroom issues

By : Melody Maia Monet
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MaiaMonet_MugIn early April 2011, a few months after I arrived in Florida, I was able to legally change my name and landed a job at a local theme park with my new identity. For the first time in my life, I was also assigned the female locker room.

I still vividly remember the anxiety I felt upon entering this inner sanctum of femininity. Back then I had not yet had gender confirmation surgery (GCS) and was frightened at what could happen if I was inadvertently found out. I took care to be as discreet as possible by changing into my uniform bottoms in toilet stalls and choosing individual showers in remote corners to avoid any prying eyes.

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1.26.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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If there was any great takeaway – beyond awe and admiration – from the millions of women and the people who love them marching and rallying Jan. 21 in Washington D.C., Orlando, St. Petersburg – and the state, nation and world – it was that we’re more alike than we think.

Arm in arm with those marching for equal pay and for reproductive rights were people from the Black Lives Matter movement, the Latinx movement, various environmental causes and, of course, those of us draped in rainbows hoping that our LGBTQ victories will not be tossed aside by a president with only money (and unmentionables) on his mind.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Safety last

By : Staff Report
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Protesting Marco
Everybody already knows about Sen. Marco Rubio’s absence of affinity for the LGBTQ community, his general towing of the party line, his teeter-totter take on immigration and his (alleged) past of defrauding taxpayers via his party when he was in the Florida Legislature. Everybody also already knows that he ran for president this one time and he lost. He also was noticeably absent from many votes in his previous senatorial stint. It’s easy to get bored when your laundry list gets long, but Rubio remains a bit of a bore, regardless of any of those terms. Somebody shake him and wake him up!

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Orlando’s Overheard: Outloud Not Out

By : Staff Report
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Outloud not Out
After the passing of David Jeremiah Zedonek, also known as Justice to many of his friends/fans, the future of the WPRK radio and podcast show he created Outloud Orlando: The Homo Happy Hour was uncertain.
A pet project for many years, David brought an attempt to be a shock-jock frat-boy to the local radio show. It was recently announced on the Facebook page there would be “The NEW Outloud Orlando.” The show will continue on WPRK 91.5 FM starting in late January on Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m., streaming live on gayradioshow.com.

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Editor’s Desk: Feeling down, looking up. This is us now.

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

It’s so easy to get down in times like these. You may not see it coming, but then, there you are rolling off a cliff into the abyss of misspent memories and into that gurgling pool of anxiety. You don’t know what’s next, but you do know that it probably won’t be good, just because. Just because.

This isn’t an attempt to stifle anyone’s New Year’s affectations for 2016’s knock-em-down, kick-em-hard disappointments going away, but more of a knowing glance. We’re seeing things we’ve never seen before – well, we always have been seeing new things (it’s nature), but these things seem to hurt more.

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Words to Live By: Decisions

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick_ClaggettDecisions rarely come easy. Sit in the car with my roommate and I while we try to figure out lunch on the weekend, or hang out on our couch while we sift through every movie, unable to decide which one to watch.
The bigger the decision, the more agonizing it is for me. When I was 15 years old, I struggled with being gay. I used to look in the mirror every night before bed lecturing myself on how being gay was a sin, telling myself I would wake up in the morning and be normal. Every morning I would wake with disappointment. Nothing had changed. This went on for at least a year until I decided to accept who I am. As I decided to gradually let others in, life started to get better for me.

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12.29.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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“These are the days of the open hand; they will not be the last.”

It was Christmas Day around 3 p.m. My husband Tony and I were moonage daydreaming to the sounds of David Bowie via a box set Who Can I Be Now that was his key present this year – that and some ridiculous kitchen appliance madness and a headlamp for his actual head – and we were in a great mood. I mean, the ashes to ashes had fermented into an amazement and appreciation nearly a year after Blackstar, nearly a year after Bowie’s death. Lazarus, indeed.

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