Metro Wellness, CAN Community Health open Clearwater Health Center

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Rose Addison, Vilma M. Vega, Priya Rajkumar and Caroline White-Smith open Metro and CAN’s Clearwater location Aug. 30. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

Metro Wellness & Community Centers and CAN Community Health leadership gathered Aug. 30 to introduce the community to their Clearwater Health Center and its team.

“I’m the Medical Director at this office and I’m really blessed to be here and to be able to provide care,” Dr. Vilma M. Vega shared at the opening. “I am blessed to see this. We’re here for all patients, whether insured or not insured; they are all treated exactly the same.”

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Balance Tampa Bay’s Avant Garde raises over $16K for EPIC

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Balance Tampa Bay’s fourth annual masquerade was held Aug. 4. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

LGBTA volunteer organization Balance Tampa Bay announced Aug. 31 that its fourth annual masquerade ball raised $16,000 for Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

“On behalf of Balance Tampa Bay’s Executive Board, Committee Members, and EPIC, we would like to thank you for your support of Avant Garde, our 4th Annual Masquerade at the Armature Works,” masquerade Event Chair Ryan Young shared with attendees. “Because of your support and generous sponsorship, Balance Tampa Bay was able to raise over $16,000 to deliver to EPIC to help them continue to change the everyday lives of HIV/AIDS impacted clients.”

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Tampa’s All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball spooks with 42nd annual theme

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The haunting not-for-profit All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball, billed as one of Tampa’s longest-standing traditions, has revealed the theme for its 42nd annual gathering. Guests will kick off Halloween Oct. 27 with “Scary Movie Night.”

“Cinematic themes of terror and fright / Cast yourself as that bump in the night,” the freshly-mailed invitations read. “Roles to consider, an excess for audition / Classic or current, witch, ghost or mortician. / Go campy or grotesque, any scene in between / It’s SCARY MOVIE NIGHT, the prequel to Halloween!”

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New Port Richey’s Wena’s Nightclub & Showbar permanently closes

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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New Port Richey LGBTQ hotspot Wena’s Nightclub & ShowbAR announced Aug. 12 that it would close its doors for the final time that evening.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that tonight will be the last night Wena’s is open,” the bar shared via social media. “Our appreciation goes out to each and everyone of you who has visited us during the past few months and provided your support. Come out tonight and join us for a final night of fun, festivities and a great show.”

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St. Petersburg social group G2H2 shares new name and outlook

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The St. Petersburg social networking group G2H2 (Gay Guy Happy Hour) has announced its new name.

“During a long hiatus, we’ve decided to permanently change our name from G2H2,” the group shared Aug. 19. Moving forward they will be known as C2Q, short for “Cheers-2-Queers,” a name they feel is more inclusive toward St. Petersburg’s LGBTQ+ community.

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LGBTQ-themed ‘Somewhere Between’ among selected shows featured in Winter Park Playhouse’s Florida Festival of New Musicals

By : Jeremy Brener
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Winter Park Playhouse has prided itself on bringing the best in small, intimate musical theater to Central Florida for more than 15 years. Last year, the playhouse launched a brand new musical festival to help bring light to some up-and-coming musicals from across the country, and after a wildly popular opening, it’s back. Winter Park Playhouse will host six developmental musicals looking to expand its audience in the second annual Florida Festival of New Musicals Aug. 23-26.

Roy Alan, the founder of Winter Park Playhouse and the Florida Festival of New Musicals, wanted to give new shows the platform to be seen by other theater directors across Florida and the rest of the United States. Alan was looking for an opportunity to showcase more light-hearted, smaller shows that would fit the stage of the Winter Park Playhouse while also giving them the chance to be seen in front of an audience that otherwise may not have had that opportunity.

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PHOTOS: Kesha and Macklemore hold a Tampa Bay adventure

By : Rick Claggett
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TAMPA | LGBTQ friendly artists Kesha and Macklemore ended their two-month tour in Tampa Bay Aug. 5. “The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore” played to a packed house at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre with both artists giving shout outs to their LGBTQ fans.

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USF announces second annual Pride Night

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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University of South Florida (USF) football will hold the second annual USF Pride Night Sept. 1.

The Bulls will face competitor Elon at Raymond James Stadium at 6 p.m. for the outing, with Pride Night seats on the 50 yard line. “It’s critically important right now, especially in the political arena that we’re in, that we do all we can to support all of our communities,” Director of Internal Operations for the Bulls Club Todd St. John-Fulton says. “I feel like our community is coming under attack constantly, so it’s incredibly important to raise visibility.”

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Tampa Bay Overheard: Help Wanted

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ABOVE: King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church. Photo courtesy of King of Peace’s Facebook page.

“Pillar of St. Petersburg” Robert (Bob) Pope is seeking a few good men and women to help Tampa Bay’s elderly LGBTQ community and allies.

Pope will host a brainstorming session about the issue at the King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church, located at 3150 5th Avenue N. in St. Petersburg. The meeting will be held in the church’s music suite July 25 at 7 p.m.

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Tampa Bay Overheard: G, I Wonder…

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Tampa Bay’s social media sphere was all abuzz July 3 with a cryptic tease of “G St. Pete,” a new bar heading to St. Petersburg.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s reminiscent of Ybor’s G. Bar, which closed and reopened as Southern Nights Tampa just over three years ago. Several of the Ybor bar scene’s mainstays have also shared the tease personally, prompting further speculation about the similarities to the now-defunct Ybor hotspot.

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Central Florida Overheard: A Powerful Community

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It’s always good to have friends in high places, and based on Orlando Magazine’s 2018 list, the LGBTQ community not only has some good friends, they also have some pretty powerful ones too.

Orlando Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful of 2018” issue was released recently and it was no surprise one of the community’s best buds, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer topped the list in Government and Politics.

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Central Florida Overheard: Old School Gaymes

By : Anonymous
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ABOVE: Brandon Goode, Danny Wynn, Max Eiss and Kitana Geminion on stage for The Dating Game at Joysticks Arcade Lounge & Retro Bar’s “Gayme Nights” in Orlando July 1. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

You don’t have to look much further than TV shows like “Stranger Things” and “The Goldbergs,” movies like “Ready Player One” or any faction of pop culture to know that all things 80s and 90s have made a huge comeback.

The neon colors, the vinyl records, Throwback Thursdays; it is all about kickin’ it old school.

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