Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Twyla and Pamela Avellino of Daytona Beach, Florida

By : Marianella Falbo
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Twyla and Pamela Avellino’s story started with friendship and trust. The couple met through the local BDSM community in Daytona Beach, which at the time was being run by Twyla, when Pamela moved to Florida in 2004.

“We became friends immediately and when a situation arose among the group, Pamela was the first person to point me to the proper legal advice to know how to handle it. Our friendship blossomed after that,” Twyla says.

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Hope & Help bumps gala to 2020, launching new event to honor donors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hope & Help had a successful event with the AIDS Walk Orlando thanks to all of the people who opened their pockets and donated what they could, and for that they want to say thank you with a celebration.

Hope & Help’s community developmental director Joshua Myers says that the nonprofit will be pushing its annual gala, typically held in September, to next year and instead this October will hold an invite only event called Hope & Help Society.

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LGBTQ cops in Central Florida are ready to talk GOALs

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ABOVE: GOALcfl’s founding board members. (Photo courtesy GOALcfl.com)

ORLANDO | The Gay Officer Action League (GOAL), a fraternal civil rights organization providing a safe place for active and retired LGBTQ law enforcement officers, got its start in New York in 1982.

Since then GOAL has opened several other chapters in the U.S. with the most recent one kicking off in Orlando on Jan. 26. GOALcfl, as it is called for short, is now one of four chapters that branched from the original GOALnyc.

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Ready, Sette, Go!: Se7enBites owners have location for new Orlando restaurant

By : Jeremy Williams
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Back in October, we told you about Se7enBites owner Trina Gregory-Propst and wife Va Propst announcing their new Italian restaurant, Sette.

At the time no location was “Sette” for the new eatery but that has now changed as Trina and Va announced earlier this month that they will “Sette” up shop at the corner of N. Orange Ave. and Virginia Dr.

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Equality Florida’s Michael Thomas Farmer announces departure

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Michael Thomas Farmer speaks at the Equality Florida Greater Orlando Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art earlier this month. Photo by Meghan Sweeney

ORLANDO | Equality Florida is losing one of its star players. Statewide Deputy Development Director Michael Thomas Farmer announced via Facebook that he will be leaving the statewide equality organization on Nov. 30.

“When I started working at Equality Florida nearly 10 years ago, I never could have imagined where I, and we, would be today,” Farmer wrote. “It’s been the honor of my life to have been part of the leadership team at Equality Florida. Although at times the work was daunting, trying and challenging, the rewards of the work far outweighed any of the cons.”

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Historic Downtown Kissimmee points the way to the LGBT+ Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida opened its second location in Kissimmee over the summer and while the reception at its ribbon cutting on Aug. 15 was overwhelmingly positive, many were curious how a more conservative city would respond to having an LGBT+ Center.

Well to steal a phrase from The LGBT+ Center’s Executive Director George Wallace, “Kissimmee has welcomed The Center with open arms.”

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Se7enBites owner announces new restaurant in downtown Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in Orlando who didn’t have local eatery Se7enBites at or near the top of their list for the best place to eat in town.

The comfort foods and delicious baked goods make it THE place for breakfast, brunch and lunch; but alas we have been on our own for dinnertime … until now. Well, until next year.

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Central Florida Overheard: A Powerful Community

By : Anonymous
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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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06.28.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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Growing up there were a lot of things I wanted to do with my life. I remember my mom telling me stories about when I was a kid telling her I was going to be the President of the United States. Well that didn’t happen, and at this point I don’t think I would want that office.

I developed a passion for writing not long after that. When I was a young teen that passion for writing turned into a passion for journalism after I saw the movie “All The President’s Men” on HBO. If I couldn’t be President, maybe I could be one of the guys who brought one down.

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Central Florida Overheard: Who run the world?

By : anonymous
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ABOVE: President of the Barber Fund and owner of The Venue, Blue Star.

Orlando Magazine has named its Women of the Year in Central Florida and a couple of familiar names popped up on that list. “They are educators, mentors, counselors, fund-raisers, business owners and managers of organizations that help those in need. But most of all they are leaders, who step forward to help keep our community strong,” says Orlando Magazine of its 23 individual selections.

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Central Florida Overheard: Quilt of memories

By : anonymous
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The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a massive quilt started in the 1980s by LGBTQ activist Cleve Jones to bring awareness to how bad the AIDS pandemic really was. Each panel was personalized for someone who lost their battle with the disease. It is meant to honor the dead and bring healing to the person’s loved ones.

This year, the Orlando VA Medical Center is raising awareness for HIV/AIDS and letting the community know the fight is still not over by creating a local quilt to be displayed later this year. “We are going to unveil the quilt on Worlds AIDS Day,” says Freda Johnson, a social worker with the VA’s Infectious Disease Team. “Then it will be displayed at the various VA locations around Central Florida.”

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