Trans of Thought: Transphobia

By : Melody Maia Monet
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Hello, I’m a transgender woman and I am mentally unstable. My well being is propped up on a razor’s edge by hormones, complicated and expensive medical procedures, as well as therapy.

I am a ticking time bomb and cannot be trusted around your children, women in the ladies’ room, or to do my job in combat situations. I suffer from a mental illness that deludes me into thinking I am a woman, but in actuality I am the sick byproduct of a patriarchy compelled to undermine female power and invade their spaces. I entrap straight men into committing unwitting homosexual acts and trick lesbians into sex with men. I am a deceiver and counterfeit with the intent of forcing the world to reject common sense views on gender and sexual identity. The only positive aspect of my existence is that I am part of a group so small that my rights as a human being can be conveniently disregarded by society based on the slimmest of suspicions, but without any basis in proven fact.

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The Other Side of Life: All That Freedom, And a Bag of Chips (eh?)

By : Jason Leclerc
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“We don’t need two bags of chips,” I scowled, “but, I reckon they’ll keep.” Who was I to turn down a Publix BOGO sack of Ruffles. I expected full well that they’d be devoured in time for the next week’s grocery trip; all we had to do was pay full price for the first bag.

We started with the All-American Classics then scoured the shelf for the gimmicky “get-one.” Four curious eyes zeroed in on the maple leaf-decorated ‘All-Dressed’ flavor. Since our autumn visit to Toronto, we were open to things that our northern-nation neighbors had to offer. We joked, right there in the snack aisle, about poutines-as-fake-nachos. We laughed about how a kilometer was only two-thirds of a mile and how a loonie was only three-fourths of a dollar. Even their easy-on-the-eyes leader is a scaled-down version of our own odd, party-sized POTUS.

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8.10.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I never understood sports as a child. I played baseball from tee-ball to high school, but always under the shadow of much more talented siblings. When it came time to pick the all-star teams at the end of each season their names were at the top of the list, whereas mine wasn’t on it at all. “Sorry Ricky. We only have room for 13, but if we could add one more player you would be on the team,” was a familiar sentiment I received when the team rosters were announced.

I don’t begrudge them their spot on the top of the heap. They earned it. My brother Jimmy, as I called him back then, was a superstar. To say we didn’t have a lot of money growing up would be a gross understatement. Our extracurricular activities were whatever we could find to do at the park or whatever mischief we could get into. Someone from the Braes Bayou Little League saw Jimmy throwing rocks in a park when he was nine years old and demanded he join the league. They paid his entry fee and bought him a glove. Thus began my family’s love affair with the sport.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Hey Mr. Carter, the gangs getting back together!

By : Anonymous
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GEORGIE’S ALIBI: THE REUNION

Georgie’s Alibi, a staple in the St. Petersburg LGBTQ community for fifteen years, closed its doors for the last time in September 2015. Now, a grassroots reunion has materialized nearly two years later.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the rumors are true and Georgie’s Alibi St. Petersburg will cease operations,” the bar’s Facebook page abruptly announced in 2015, just over a week before its scheduled closure. (Employees found out not long before.) “The real estate and an adjoining parcel have been sold to a developer who plans on building new housing units… Technology and a greater acceptance of alternative lifestyles have impacted the viability of gay venues throughout the country, and The Alibi was not immune to this phenomena.”

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Orlando’s Overheard: Love, honor and remember

By : Anonymous
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Love is Love

Earlier this year we mentioned that MegaCon Orlando —the Southeast’s largest comics, sci-fi and gaming event —in conjunction with comic book writer Marc Andreyko of DC Comics hosted the “Love is Love” fundraiser in honor of the victims from the Pulse tragedy.

Andreyko, you may recall, was the project organizer for the graphic novel Love Is Love, the oversize comic containing tributes to the victims of Pulse and celebrating the LGBTQ community.

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Ladyfingers: Crazy cat lady

By : Sabrina Ambra
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In light of the recent news that Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc., is filing for IPO after being backed by Ashton Kutcher (oh, you didn’t hear?), I have decided to come up with a chicken noodle recipe of my own. Happiness, inspiration and hope are great and all, but gloom, reality and pessimism have the potential to be so much funnier.

Also, the thought of the Chicken Soup roundtable reading my story while huffin’ and puffin’, and/or dry-heaving makes me giggle like the adorable little troll I am. Plus, double-plus for the millennials, they would never let me say “fuck” in there. As far as I’m concerned, the most valuable lessons that life will teach you involve the word “fuck” in some form or another.  So with that, I present to you: Chicken Soup for the Asshole: You’ve Cat to be Kitten Me.  

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The Wonderful World of Wanzie: President Pants on Fire

By : Michael Wanzie
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Where is even one Republican in Congress with the spine, conscience and courage to stand up and say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore?”

Apparently they don’t yet exist.

The Wall Street Journal has called for the Trump regime to immediately engage in “radical transparency” as the only means by which they might save themselves from the heavy weight and potentially dire consequences of the Russia probe. This would be sound advice if, and only if, Donald Jr. and the Trump administration had nothing to hide.

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7.27.17 Founder’s Forum: Remembering Billy Manes

By : Tom Dyer
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Tom Dyer Watermark gay

Billy Manes wore sweaters on the hottest summer days, often with a scarf and beret. He was quirky in that and so many other ways.

With his gangly body and loose-limbed walk, and that shock of peroxide blonde hair, he was like an elfin Muppet. Strange in a stylish and wonderfully appealing way. Disarmingly honest. Transparently vulnerable. Self-effacing to a fault. But also passionate and courageous when moved by injustice.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Alliance honored, Outloud’s new host and more

By : Anonymous
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One Orlando Alliance honored

On July 15th, Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs honored the One Orlando Alliance with the 2017 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award, the first time the county gave the award to a group.

The One Orlando Alliance is made up of over 40 local service organizations, including Watermark, and serves as a vital support system to strengthen the community in the wake of the Pulse tragedy.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: New show, new leader

By : Anonymous
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A groundbreaking series in our own backyard

As the sun rises over the city of Tampa Bay, the audience is introduced to a group of ambitious and motivated black, lesbian women attempting to change the face of television.

Earlier this week LaJoi Media debuted the premiere episode of My Beautiful Pain, a YouTube series about the relationships and careers within a group of entrepreneurial lesbians of color determined to make it as the “first black LGBT network.”

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07.12.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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One day at a time. That’s what they tell me. It’s one of the most useful tools in sobriety, especially in the beginning.

I stopped drinking on October 1, 2015. It was nine days before the annual Come Out With Pride celebration at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando and I was nervous. How was someone like me, someone who would binge drink at every opportunity, going to make it through this major weekend-long event at only nine days sober? The answer: 24 hours at a time.

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High Fidelity: It’s dating again

By : Miguel Fuller
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My name is Miguel Fuller. I am 31 years old and I don’t know a damn thing about dating. Do they still make the “For Dummies” books? If so, I need the How to date when you are in your 30s and are severely awkward for Dummies book.

So here I am, six months out of the longest relationship I’ve had and I have been on more dates in that time than all the dates counted together in my 20’s. So what’s wrong? Why am I not connecting? Why do I feel so awkward? Maybe you’ve been down this path of self-discovery and have worked out the kinks of your personality.

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