The Other Side of Life: Join or Die

By : Jason Leclerc
Comments: 0

Dear Self,

If 2017 was the worst year of your life, bookended by incomprehensible tweets about Inauguration crowd sizes and climate change, I invite you to look beyond your cynical hysteria and forward to 2018.

I invite you to reflect on the future in light of history’s—recent and less so—actualities. Whether you want to attribute the actuality of Trump’s inertia to lack of vision, to political ineptitude or to strategic design, most of the doomsday scenarios predicted by a combination of #NeverTrump Conservative purists and #NotMyPresident activists still remain in the realm of circumstantial allegation.

Continue Reading >>

Sweet Divinity: A new year, a new me!

By : Divine Grace
Comments: 0

Hello, Dearest Darlings!

Good news! As 2017 came screeching to an end like a locomotive driven by an orangutan with glaucoma and a history of substance abuse issues, I took stock of my life.

Some around the global world were popping champagne and exchanging kisses. Mariah Carey made her annual attempt at hitting whistle notes during another frigid wintertime performance. This year, rather than braving the blustery December Times Square air dressed in a nude leotard, she was swaddled in an open Muppet skin coat. Her own exposed meat puppets were warmed by a cozy diamond necklace and an evening gown that made the top half of her body look like a can of biscuit dough that had been forgotten in the trunk of her car. The blame for her need to sing at a register lower than a baritone in a barbershop quartet this year was awarded to the denial of her request for a piping hot cup of Orange Pekoe, instead of blaming her incessant desire to dress as if her breasts are attempting to escape through a rhinestone chain link fence. But me? What was I doing, you ask?

Continue Reading >>

Lady Fingers: Bye 2017!

By : Sabrina Ambra
Comments: 0

Welp, we’re almost there, folks. Soon enough we’ll all be able to put this bizarre and “tryin’-ass” year behind us. It has been a doozie for just about everyone I know, but we survived. I have been tested, I’ve met new limits, I’ve stopped myself from drop-kicking many morons and I have a new cat.

Alongside the shitty, I have had the honor to not only witness but also be a part of incredible movements. I walked with thousands as history was made and stuck a big middle finger up to everyone who tried to make me feel anything less than my worth.

Continue Reading >>

The Other Side of Life: Our Sunday Problem

By : Jason Leclerc
Comments: 0

It’s no accident that this new generation of American national populists looks to a time when America was better. During few instances in the history of mankind has a confluence of institutions come together with such force as in post-WWII America.

GIs returned, buoyed by the pride of defeating evil in the world. They made babies and industries; they sterilized myths about the ideals they fought for. The middle class expanded along with waistlines and wallets. They built malls and suburbs and mega-churches and gas-guzzling automobiles. Americans raced across the continent to sightsee, they spread across the globe to protect democracy and they zoomed into space. They built a binary world: America and everybody else.

Continue Reading >>

The Wonderful World of Wanzie: A Questionable Year

By : Michael Wanzie
Comments: 0

Since this is to be my final column of 2017, I’ve decided to look back over the year in the form of questions. I’ll begin back at the top of year: January 20, 2017—a day that will live in infamy.

So this guy, with his hand on the Bible, freely admitted that he routinely kissed women uninvited and pressed toward them in inappropriate ways. He boasted that when one is a star, as is he, he can get away with doing anything he wants to woman. He proclaimed that he grabs women by the pussy. In response to his admission of serial sexual assaults on women, Billy Bush stupidly laughed. How is it Billy Bush lost his job but that guy becomes president of the United States of America?

Continue Reading >>

Fit to Print: When flattery turns into harassment

By : Steve Blanchard
Comments: 0

I don’t follow pop culture. I’m so out of the loop that if I watch any show with “celebrity” or “stars” in the title, I’m asking my friends who’s who in the lineup of famous faces.

But there is one celebrity name in the headlines that caught my attention: Kevin Spacey.

Continue Reading >>

The Wonderful World of Wanzie: Thanksgiving is a fraud!

By : Michael Wanzie
Comments: 0

As I flip over the hardware-store calendar to November and see that big-busted gal sitting on her John Deere in her daisy dukes…oh who I am kidding. My calendar’s November picture is of a group of Catholic nuns in full-on black & white habits playing ice hockey, but I digress. As we stumble from the bar into the month of November our thoughts unavoidably turn to “The Holidays.”

November is the month of our annual fraudulent celebration feast commemorating the “First Thanksgiving,” which by now we should all know did not take place anywhere near Plymouth Rock. The actual, fact-checked-and-proven, “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated a full 50 years prior to the Massachusetts gathering by Catholic colonists who were following Spanish explorer Don Pedro Melendez de Aviles. As far as commemorating the first Thanksgiving goes we don’t even get the month right! Records indicate Melendez first spotted what is now Florida on August 28, 1565. When he finally guided his 800 Catholic pals ashore on September 8, he declared the spot would hence forth be known as “St. Augustine” in honor of the saint on whose feast day Melendez had first glimpsed the Florida shoreline through his spyglass.

Continue Reading >>

The Other Side of Life: The Other Hands, The Other We

By : Jason Leclerc
Comments: 0

Hands, it seems, are the new eyes: tools for feeling our way through the many ways we see our America.

Given the flurry of historical reassessments we are currently experiencing, I find that many of my conservative friends are torn between seeing and feeling, between their commitment to their ideals and their short termer’s allegiance with political expediency.

Continue Reading >>

High Fidelity: Beyond the summer of single

By : Miguel Fuller
Comments: 0

“To my neurotic friends, calm down and take a breath. When you go on a date, treat it like you are having drinks and cheese sticks with your best friends.”

Well my friends, cheese sticks happened. That quote was from a column this summer where I was giving you, the reader, and myself tips on dating. The last column I wrote I talked about my summer of single and how I learned so much about myself. Apparently, life has a way of opening itself up and making magic happen. Yes, I’m about to get super corny.

Continue Reading >>

Ladyfingers: Spine-chilling buzz kill

By : Sabrina Ambra
Comments: 0

‘Tis the season for scary stories, I hear. Somewhere between the “Dr. Feltersnatch” OBGYN costume and the human skull beer funnel is the timeless Halloween tradition of inducing panic through the telling of horrifying tales.

They are passed down from generation to generation and then, at some point, from generation to Internet where they will live forever alongside funny cat videos and 2 Girls, 1 Cup. It’s like the circle of life, but with scat. That being said, I think there’s no better time than now to hunker down and write my very own frightening tale. And by write, I mean type “www.WikiHow.com” into the address bar. I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention that my address bar auto-filled the page for WikiHow: To Get Down From a Bad High (long story, short: Molly from Manhattan is NOT your friend).

Continue Reading >>

The Tender Activist: King & Queens

By : Scottie Campbell
Comments: 0

Mom would tell it like she told all of her best stories, barely getting the words out through her laughter and sometimes joyful tears. She and Dad had been to see Carrie. Someone in their party grabbed someone’s arm just prior to Carrie’s hand reaching out of the grave causing that first someone to scream, which made the audience scream, all before the scream Brian De Palma intended but, not to worry, they all screamed then, too.

So I might have connected who the author was when I bought my first Stephen King book when I was 11, but I’m fairly certain it was the cover that drew me in. A silver front with a faceless boy’s head floating on it. The store was B. Dalton Bookstore in the Marquette Mall. That small mall and the McDonald’s down the street were our family’s touchstones to civilization while stationed in the frigid Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Can I tell you about the smell of that book? I cannot, because it smelled like nothing else. The scent of those dull, off-white, pulp pages can only be described in intangibles: raw potential and adventure; that whole store smelled that way.

Continue Reading >>

Positive Living: What is family?

By : Greg Stemm
Comments: 0

Share this story:

I am honored to be the chairman of the new Equality Florida Family Values Potluck Picnic on Sunday, October 15 from 2 to 6 pm at Pavilion Seven on Gulfport Beach. The event is on the last day of Come Out St. Pete, our big new LGBTQ celebration in the Sunshine City that not only coincides with National Coming Out Day on October 11, but also is running in collaboration with the Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival that week.

Working on this event has me thinking about my own coming out experience and how that traumatic event for me contributed to my own perspectives about family. While I was sitting in the heat and the dark in the six-day power outage after Irma, I had a lot of time to think about things. I asked myself the question…what does family mean to a 56-year-old single only child with a slightly homophobic 82-year-old father in Ohio and very little else in the way of blood kin, living the life of a Quaker gay activist in St. Petersburg, Florida?

Continue Reading >>