Central Florida LGBTQ pioneer Joel Strack passes away at age 59

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Joel Strack at his celebration of life at Leu Gardens in Orlando June 23. (Photo by J.D. Casto)

ORLANDO | Joel Strack—an LGBTQ leader, activist and pioneer in Central Florida’s fight for equality— passed away in the early morning hours of July 15. He was 59.

Strack was instrumental in launching what would become known as Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom, helped create Orlando’s first Pride parade and assisted in founding both the Orlando Gay Chorus and the Gay and Lesbian History Museum.

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Issue 26.14: Reading Rainbows

By : Dylan Todd
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Reading Rainbows – Drag Queen Story Hours enchant Central Florida and Tampa Bay, “Newsies” comes to Osceola Arts, and Tampa hosts statewide LGBTA Caucus, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Netanyahu condemns his minister’s remarks on LGBTQ conversion therapy

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Benjamin Nentanyahu talks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during a 2011 interview. (Photo by IsraelinUSA, courtesy of Flickr)

JERUSALEM (AP) | Israel’s prime minister is condemning remarks by his education minister in favor of “conversion therapy,” a controversial psychotherapy technique that seeks to turn LGBTQ individuals into heterosexuals.

Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter that Rafi Peretz’s statements are unacceptable and “do not represent my government’s position.”

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‘Euphoria’ renewed for season two

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Hunter Schafer and Zendaya in ‘Euphoria.’ (Screenshot via YouTube)

HBO series “Euphoria” has been renewed for a second season.

“‘Euphoria’ creator Sam Levinson has built an incredible world with an extraordinary cast led by the supremely talented Zendaya,” Francesca Orsi, executive VP HBO Programming, said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “We are so grateful that he chose HBO as the home for this groundbreaking series. We look forward to following these complex characters as their journeys continue through the challenging world they inhabit.”

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DCEU gets first gay villain in ‘Birds of Prey’

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Ewan McGregor. (Screenshot via YouTube)

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU), the unofficial name used by fans for the Warner Bros./DC Comics’ cinematic universe, will see its first gay villain in Black Mask, portrayed by Ewan McGregor, in “Birds of Prey.”

“Birds of Prey” follows Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) after she splits from the Joker and joins Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) to fight off crime lord and primary villain, Black Mask.

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Puerto Rico governor under pressure to resign over homophobic, misogynistic comments

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the LGBT national media association
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ABOVE: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, center, talks about bills that would have banned so-called conversion therapy and protect religious freedom in the U.S. commonwealth during a press conference at his official residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on April 23, 2019. Rosselló is under pressure to resign after a private group chat in which he made homophobic and misogynistic comments became public. (Photo courtesy of Adlyn Torres/La Fortaleza)

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is under growing pressure to resign after homophobic and misogynistic comments he made in a private group chat became public.

The Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico published 889 pages of messages July 13 that Rosselló and several members of his administration had sent to each other on the messaging app Telegram.

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Gay square dancers add new spin to centuries-old dance style

By : wire report
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ABOVE: A 2014 gathering of the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs. Photo via the association’s Facebook page.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) | There wasn’t a crinoline in sight as 850 square dancers at the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs opened its annual convention last week in a Philadelphia hotel, bringing their best promenades and do-si-dos to a slightly sped-up version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Correction: There was one crinoline flouncing across the floor, a multi-tiered blue skirt with silver accents and a maroon corset, worn by Ward Lambert of Phoenix. “Certain things never go out of style,” said Lambert, 56, dark chest hair peeking over the fabric of his fitted bodice. “You just have to reinvent them.”

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Alabama deputy who made homophobic comments hired as officer

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Nigel Shelby, photo via Rocket City Pride’s Facebook page.

OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. (AP) | A former Alabama sheriff’s deputy who posted homophobic Facebook comments in response to the suicide of a bullied gay teenager now has a job with a different Alabama law enforcement agency.

Jeff Graves resigned as a Madison County sheriff’s deputy in May. His comments on the death of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby of Huntsville called the LGBTQ movement “fake.” He also said “society cannot and should not accept this behavior.”

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NYPD investigating defaced Megan Rapinoe posters as possible hate crime

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Megan Rapinoe at the World Cup. Photo courtesy Rapinoe’s Facebook page.

The New York Police Department is investigating vandalism of Megan Rapinoe World Cup posters as a possible hate crime.

CNN reports that eight posters featuring Rapinoe in her U.S. Women’s National Team jersey were discovered on Monday to be vandalized at the Bryant Park subway station in New York City. The vandalized posters had “homophobic and defamatory slurs along with the phrase ‘Screw this ho.’” One poster also called Rapinoe a “shemale.”

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Halsey calls someone a ‘whiny little baby’ for saying she’s using LGBTQ community for marketing

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Halsey called social media user a “whiny baby” after the person claimed Halsey used a rainbow flag at her show for a “marketing strategy.”

The bisexual singer posted photos from her concert in São Paulo, Brazil which showed her holding a rainbow flag.

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‘Fuller House’ star Juan Pablo Di Pace comes out as gay

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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“Fuller House” star Juan Pablo Di Pace has come out as gay.

Di Pace, who hails from Argentina and was raised Catholic, opened up about his sexuality during a Ted Talk at a TedX event. The talk, titled “The Story of Your Life,” was recorded in March and recently uploaded to YouTube.

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‘Pose’ star Angelica Ross joins ‘American Horror Story’

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Angelica Ross as Candy on “Pose.” Screenshot via YouTube.

“Pose” star Angelica Ross is headed to another Ryan Murphy project, “American Horror Story: 1984.”

The actress who portrays Candy on “Pose” made the announcement on Instagram following her character’s departure on the show. Ross’ casting is a milestone as it makes her the first transgender actress to land two series regular roles.

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