Rainbow Housing Coalition launches LGBTQ needs assessment

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The Rainbow Housing Coalition of Pinellas, committed to developing and providing affordable housing for the disadvantaged, is seeking responses to an online LGBTQ+ Housing Needs Assessment.

“LGBTQ+ people and disabled persons are challenged by the search for welcoming and inclusive housing options,” the organization has shared. “These individuals face discrimination and even abuse when looking for retirement communities, assisted living and/or long-term care options. We aim to enhance the overall quality of life for LGBTQ people by connecting them with safe and friendly housing.”

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‘Paris is Burning’ viewing benefits St. Petersburg VFW

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The LGBTQ-owned and operated Bambu the Eco Salon is hosting a two-part experience to educate, entertain and raise money for St. Petersburg’s VFW Post No. 39 beginning June 7.

The salon will present the 1990 documentary “Paris is Burning” at 7 p.m. The must-see film chronicles New York City’s 1980s ball culture and the African American, Latino and LGBTQ communities involved in its rise. During a brief intermission, performers will provide a history of the ball scene and demonstrate fabulous and fierce voguing techniques. 

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St Pete Pride 2019 welcomes Lisa Loeb, Rita Ora

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | St Pete Pride announced April 24 that entertainers Lisa Loeb and Rita Ora will headline concerts for the organization’s 17th annual celebration in June.

Loeb is a singer-songwriter who began her career with the platinum-selling hit “Stay (I Missed You)” from “Reality Bites.” Other singles include “Do You Sleep” and “Let’s Forget about It,” which she’s sure to perform as she headlines the organization’s SP2 Concert June 21 from 7-10 p.m.

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The Other Side of Life: Jane Castor and American Exceptionalism

By : Jason Leclerc
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LGBTQ is not a qualification. Woman is not a qualification.

These are genetic characteristics, inscribed on a human’s chromosomes at conception (or, in a religio-metaphysical sense, since the conception of the heavens).

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‘Sunday School’ exhibit examines religion, social climate

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | John Gascot—Tampa Bay WAVE Award winner for Favorite Local Artist—has announced “Sunday School,” a new exhibit opening April 5 that explores his views on religion.

“As a gay Latino man, I don’t have much positive to say about organized religion or the current administration,” Gascot says. “Creating these pieces has been a fun productive way to let out some of that steam.”

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St. Pete Pride seeks 2019 grand marshal nominations

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St Pete Pride is now accepting grand marshal nominations for the organization’s 17th annual celebration, currently scheduled for June 21-23.

“In 2014 we introduced Community Grand Marshals, allowing the community to vote on who they felt should be the St Pete Pride Grand Marshals,” the organization’s website reads.

“St Pete Pride is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Community Grand Marshals,” it continues. “Tell us your story about your local hero, activist or hidden gem. Let us know who we should recognize with the honor of St Pete Pride Grand Marshal.”

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Gulfport welcomes readers, writers to ReadOut 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT, Fla. | The second annual Gulfport ReadOut—three days of events held primarily at the Gulfport Public Library for LGBTQ readers, writers and their allies—will take place Feb. 15-17.

Festivities begin Feb. 15 with “An Afternoon of Romance,” bringing together lesbian romance authors for afternoon tea ahead of a reception. They continue Feb. 16 with a full day of events beginning at 10 a.m., where keynote speaker and workshop leader Leslea Newman—author of 70 books including “A Letter to Harvey Milk,” “A Song for Matthew Shepard” and “Heather Has Two Mommies”—will present “It Takes a Village to Raise a Writer and Activist.”

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Straz Center announces ‘Hamilton’ ticket lottery for Tampa run

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Producer Jeffrey Seller and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts announced Jan. 31 that a digital lottery for “Hamilton” tickets will begin in conjunction with the popular production’s opening night in Tampa Feb. 12.

The musical details the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War. It features a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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PFLAG Tampa paves the way for love in Ybor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People John and Nancy Desmond – community activists known for their work with Tampa Pride, PFLAG and more – have long shared their support for the LGBTQ community throughout Tampa Bay.

On most weekends, the duo can be seen on 7th Ave. in Ybor City proclaiming that support and love, pro-LGBTQ signs in hand across from religious protesters. Now, even if they can’t make it, the protesters will be greeted from below with a paver reading “I love my gay son, PFLAG.”

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Tampa Bay LGBTQ sports leagues hold inaugural winter event

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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LGBTQ athletes and supporters from across Tampa Bay will hold the inaugural winter Tampa Bay LGBTQ+ Sports Day at Enigma Jan. 13.

Presented in partnership with Tampa and St Pete Pride, the gathering seeks to raise awareness about LGBTQ athletic opportunities throughout Tampa Bay. It follows the creation of an area marketing group focused on LGBTQ sports, spearheaded by Suncoast Softball League (SSL) Producer and Tampa Pride LGBTQ+ Sports Liaison Gerre Reynolds as well as fellow SSL Hall of Fame player Andrew Cohen.

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Watermark’s 2019 WAVEs – Tampa Bay/Sarasota nomination round

By : Watermark Staff
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Welcome to 2019! Fresh off the historic blue wave that swept progressives into political offices in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and across the country; we bring you a wave of our own … the purple WAVE!!!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs for short, recognize the best in Tampa Bay and Sarasota’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

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St Pete Pride announces new leadership

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Following its successful 16th year, St Pete Pride announced Nov. 19 that the organization’s board president, vice president and secretary would transition and that its treasurer had been re-elected.

“St Pete Pride voted in new leadership, including three newly-elected officers from various backgrounds,” the organization shared, highlighting Chrys Bundy-Brennan’s election as president. Bundy-Brennan follows Scion Crowder’s four-year term which oversaw St Pete Pride’s largest period of growth.

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