09.20.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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Video games have changed a lot since I was young. They have always been an expensive gift for most kids, so when we (“we” being me and my siblings) were gifted our Nintendo, Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo on the various Christmases throughout the late 80s and 90s, they were always a “family gift.”

This process made me feel bad for my sister, who among her three brothers, was the only girl in the house growing up and was not much of a gamer. But being the only girl in the house, she also got her own room and I had to share one with my two brothers. So sorry sis — you win some, you lose some.

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09.20.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Thanks to the wonders of Facebook’s “On This Day,” a feature which allows users to grin or grimace at their social media posts from yesteryear, I recently discovered I’ve been living in Florida for 11 years.

For whatever reason, I still tell folks I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio when they ask. They tend to figure out that I’m from the North when I correctly describe Diet Coke as “pop,” but I suppose I should really start telling my Lyft drivers that I’m from St. Pete. I put too much thought into small talk, which is probably why I’m so bad at it.

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Gov. Baker to address national Republican LGBT organization

By : wire report
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BOSTON (AP)| Gov. Charlie Baker is set to address the nation’s largest Republican LGBT organization.

The Massachusetts Republican will deliver the keynote address Oct. 2 at the Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Dinner in Washington.

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‘Sesame Street’ wants to clarify: Bert and Ernie aren’t gay

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | The producers of “Sesame Street” want you to know that Bert and Ernie are not, in fact, gay.

Sesame Workshop tweeted Tuesday that the characters are best friends and have many human traits but “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.” In a follow-up tweet, it says “Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance .”

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Grindr looks to end discrimination, bullying on app with new initiative Kindr

By : Melanie Ararat
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Grindr, the social networking and dating app for gay men, launched an anti-discrimination, anti-bullying initiative as a part of the app called Kindr Sept. 18.

Kindr was announced in July in a video posted to Grindr’s Instagram with audio of men talking about sexual racism and different forms of discrimination.

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PHOTOS: TIGLFF launches 29th year in Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (TIGLFF) kicked off its 29th year with a launch party at The Vault Sept. 13.

“This year the TIGLFF board and staff have recommitted to making the festival for the community,” event co-chairs and board members Ed Lally and Rob Adkins shared ahead of the celebration. “The festival was founded for the community to come together, and while times have changed and access to LGBTQ+ film has expanded, the annual festival is still a time to view world-class cinema together with friends old and new.”

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Suncoast Softball League kicks off 26th year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Suncoast Softball League, organized in 1993 to promote a safe environment for gay men and women in the Tampa Bay area to play softball, kicked off its 26th year Sept. 16.

“It’s hard to believe! A small handful of us were here on opening day 26 years ago,” the organization shared via social media. “We never imagined how successful the league would become; what an impact in the community it would have; the people and critters we would help year after year.”

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Fifth black transgender woman murdered in Florida this year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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North Port, Fla. | North Port police are investigating the murder of Londonn Moore, 20, the fifth known black transgender homicide victim found in Florida this year.
Moore’s body was discovered Sept. 8, miles from her hometown of Port Charlotte in a remote area of Sarasota County’s North Port. Local outlets and law enforcement have repeatedly misgendered Moore and utilized her dead name, prompting criticism from community advocates.

Equality Florida and other national organizations released a call for urgent action Sept. 14, citing the 2018 Florida murders of Sasha Garden, Cathalina Christina James, Antash’a English and Celine Walker. Along with Moore, their deaths account for a quarter of all reported anti-transgender murders nationwide.

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GLSEN Tampa Bay announces third annual fundraiser

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Education network GLSEN Tampa Bay has announced that “Breaking the Silence,” its third annual fundraiser for Tampa Bay youth, will be held at Jackson’s Bistro in Downtown Tampa Sept. 29.

“GLSEN Tampa Bay’s mission is to create safe and affirming schools in Hillsborough County as every student, in every school, should be valued and treated with respect,” the organization’s announcement reads. “GLSEN believes that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.”

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Florida Orchestra conducts first Pride Weekend

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The Florida Orchestra (TFO) will hold its inaugural Pride Weekend across two performing arts centers Oct. 5-6.
TFO, which launches its 51st season Sept. 28, is Florida’s largest professional symphony orchestra. The organization performs nearly 100 concerts annually in and outside of its three main concert halls—Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

Pride Weekend will highlight “Bernstein’s Broadway,” honoring the centennial of American composer Leonard Bernstein’s birth. Its three performances, one at the Straz Center Oct. 5 and two at the Mahaffey Theater Oct. 6, will feature selections from “West Side Story,” “Candide,” “On the Town” and more.

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Pasco Pride holds inaugural festival, first in Pasco County

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. | Pasco Pride will make history Oct. 6 by holding its inaugural LGBTQ Pride festival at Sims Park in New Port Richey, the first in Pasco County.

“The goal of Pasco Pride is to connect, build and strengthen the LGBTQ+ community,” the organization’s mission statement reads. “We will foster communication, tolerance, education and mutual support among LGBTQ+ persons and the allied communities of Pasco County.”

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The Reformation Project hosts sixth national LGBTQ Inclusion Conference in downtown Orlando

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | LGBTQ Christians, theologians and allies will gather for worship and education on inclusion in the church at the Reformation Project’s sixth annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando Oct. 18-20.

The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, nonprofit Christian organization that works to promote the inclusion of LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups in the church. They focus on reforming the church’s teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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