Orlando’s Overheard: A review of Orange County and a preview of Orlando Fringe

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Hand in Hand

On April 7, Orange County Mayor, Teresa Jacobs hosted the State of the County address at the Orlando Eye on International Drive.

During her address, Mayor Jacobs paid tribute to the Pulse tragedy by addressing the massacre and sharing a video. In her own words, Mayor Jacobs said, “The world watched as we mourned and rallied with the common goal of supporting our LGBTQ and Latinx communities and all of those affected. Through our response to the greatest attack we’ve ever withstood, the greatest loss we’ve ever suffered, we learned something incredible about ourselves: We know that our culture of collaboration has allowed us to accomplish so much – but we [also] discovered that it is our culture of compassion that makes Orlando such an incredible place to live.”

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: The doctor will see you now

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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has just named four hospitals in the Tampa Bay Area as Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality, obtaining perfect scores on an index evaluating their commitment to policies and practices that are inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer patients, visitors and employees.

St. Petersburg General Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center, VA Bay Pines Healthcare System and VA James A. Haley Veterans Hospital were the four that were named.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Ash in the House, battle of the bands and armbands for a cause

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Ash you like it

The Parliament House’s Rainbow Café has made a recent and well known acquisition.

The locally celebrated chef from Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey, Ashley Nickell is their new chef.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: The Flamingo turns 8 and Tampa Pride celebrates 3

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The Bronze Age

Time to wrap a lovely present and get ready to flock to the Flamingo Resort as it is celebrating its eight-year anniversary. I believe an eight-year anniversary gets either pottery or something bronze, so maybe cover singer-turned-politician Clay Aiken in some bronzer as a possible gift to the party? Just an idea.

Anyway, Flamingo’s Eight-Year Anniversary dinner happens April 6 and includes a three course meal (will you be having the chicken or the steak? And what meal wouldn’t be complete with some cheesecake… thank you for being a friend) and a meet and greet with the amazing and talented Flamingo cast, as well as a special performance by Iman. The dinner is just the opening act to a night of celebration which includes “a little burlesque and a little drag, all in one night” with performances by Mayven Missbehavin and Ashlee T. Bangx.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Hate crime in Hollywood, Aloha Alauna and old school fundraising

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RPDR’s Trinity attacked!

In “Trump’s America,” it’s always a tough call when there’s an assault on anyone in the LGBTQ community to not assume it’s a hate crime, but this time in L.A., the hate seems pretty clear.

The incident was reported as a late night attack on March 16 in West Hollywood. The victims of this crime included photographer Jason King and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 cast members Valentina and Orlando’s very own Trinity Taylor.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Arson at the bathhouse and a conversion therapy ban at City Hall

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In the heat of the night

The Ybor Resort & Spa in Tampa has had a rough time lately. The private men’s club and bathhouse was closed down earlier this year after being sold by owner Vincent R. Pawlowski Esq.

Pawlowski wrote in an email that he sold the property due to “tremendous heat from the city” and that they could have “stayed open another four to five years,” but he had an “opportunity to sell the property for a nice profit.” Bathhouses were a popular hotspot back in the day, but today, with everybody online, they just aren’t the hangouts they once were. “Why pay money to hang out at a place when you can dial up a menu on your computer and have sex delivered via social media? In short, Tampa didn’t want the drugs and sex associated with this type of business. Tampa gets what Tampa wants,” Pawlowski wrote.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Guy says hi, Cirque says bye and Orlando stands together

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Guy Fieri takes a full 7

Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fame has been in Orlando a lot lately. With the re-launch of the updated Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs featuring Guy’s food and a taping at local eateries, Guy sightings were everywhere, hard to miss that spiked bleach job.

He was recently spotted at the LGBTQ owned Se7enbites; we’re told he was there taping a segment for his show. No word yet as to when the show will appear.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: St. Pete Pride Grand Marshal nominees and Equality Florida’s record-breaking fundraising

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St. Pete Pride makes decision on move, Grand Marshal finalists

St. Pete Pride announced March 2 via Facebook that the annual parade will move to the downtown area, but will keep the street festival in the Grand Central District. The new parade route begin’s at Albert Whitted Park and proceeds along Bayshore Drive to Vinoy Park. The compromise will allow St. Pete Pride to keep that city funding.

The night before St. Pete Pride met with the city to discuss parades and festivals, they announced the finalists for Pride’s Grand Marshals.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Pro Bowl, scholarship and Spirits

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Label Makers

The NFL Pro Bowl came and conquered Orlando back in January. Football fans from all over flocked to Camping World Stadium to tailgate and watch the games. Places like Stonewall and Parliament House, which is are a short hop, skip and a jump from the stadium saw many pre-gaming at their bars.

Despite the misconception that gays and sports don’t necessarily mix, that wasn’t the case for the Pro Bowl. Especially for local real estate agents Kase Elders and Jeremy Conner who attended the game and now have become the subject of the Ad Council and NFL’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign which feature the two friends kissing. At the forty second mark of the video, the Kiss-Cam makes its way around the stadium and it focuses on Jeremy Conner and a young lady to his side (Kase’s hand resting on Jeremy’s knee); the camera has a heart image framing Jeremy and the young lady. At that point, Kase turns to Jeremy and the two go in for a big kiss, Kase placing his hand on Jeremy’s neck and the stadium goes wild for this touchdown!

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Mary’s, Monet and Marshals

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That Mary sure does get around

The glitz and glam are heading to Brandon with the opening of a new Hamburger Mary’s restaurant on Town Center Blvd. The new drag stop is set to announce its opening date in the upcoming weeks.

Employee interviews took place on Feb. 14 and 15 and the finishing touches are underway. Before you know it, crowds will be strutting into this new location for fabulous food and a drag queen extravaganza. The building is painted a bright shade of purple showcasing its flamboyant roots and nightclub vibe. This marks the seventh Florida location, and the fourth opened by Mary’s King of Queens, Kurt King. Events will be posted soon so don’t forget to keep an eye out for Drag Queen Bingo and MaryOke! Karaoke nights. Will Hamburger Mary’s be the new LGBT hotspot in Brandon?

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Orlando Overheard: Space Coast bar closure, RuPaul’s local queen and a Bingo break

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The Ultra Lounge is done 

A streak of sad news for the LGBTQ nightlife in the Space Coast: Not long after The Cold Keg burned down late last year, the Ultra Lounge at the historic Cocoa Village recently announced they had shut their doors for good after nearly 10 years.

The Ultra Lounge was a small hole-in-the-wall bar that packed a lot of punch for its small size.In fact, it was another home to Orlando’s Ginger Minj pre- and post-Drag Race. 

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

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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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