Central Florida-based web series to feature four local trans leaders

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | “Unapologetically Trans,” a new web series filmed in Central Florida and featuring four local transgender community leaders, was announced via social media on May 11.

Jordyn Victoria Laos, Holly Gramm, Ashley Figueroa and Nikole Parker will host the series “about life through trans eyes while in the pursuit of happiness.” The show will feature candid conversations with community members and allies about various topics.

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onePULSE Foundation’s Barbara Poma discusses the future of the Pulse memorial and museum

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Barbara Poma speaks during the two-year mark of the Pulse tragedy at the interim memorial. Photo by Maia Monet

ORLANDO | The onePULSE foundation announced March 25 that it is launching an international design competition challenging architects from around the world to create a unique and iconic National Pulse Memorial and Museum.

While the look of the final project will be left to the winning design team, the competition does layout three key elements that will be a part of the finished product: a memorial, a museum and pedestrian pathway known as “Survivors Walk.”

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Hard Rock partners with onePULSE Foundation for Taylor Dayne’s Velvet Sessions

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando’s Velvet Sessions lobby concert will not only feature Grammy-nominated singer Taylor Dayne—who is responsible for 80s hits “Tell It to My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back” and “Prove Your Love”—on March 29, but will also benefit onePULSE Foundation.

A dollar from every ticket sold, along with all proceeds raised by the event’s silent auction, will go to onePULSE Foundation as they work towards building a Pulse museum and memorial honoring the 49 angels lost at the Pulse tragedy.

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Come Out With Pride announces intent to host WorldPride during Pulse 10-year mark

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced in a press conference at The Venue Jan. 23 that they plan to bid to host WorldPride in Central Florida in 2026.

InterPride, an international organization that ties Pride together globally, brings WorldPride to major cities across the globe every two to six years. This year WorldPride will take place in New York City to coincide with the 50-year mark of the Stonewall riots. Several members from the COWP board will be in attendance at the event this June.

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onePULSE Foundation awarded up to $10 million for museum

By : Melanie Ararat
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ORLANDO | The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) awarded the onePULSE Foundation up to $10 million in hotel-tax revenues  on Oct. 30 to help it acquire land and create designs for its proposed Pulse museum.

The present members at the BCC meeting unanimously approved the funding and the onePULSE Foundation was met with the support of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the Tourism Development Council and the Application Review Committee.

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Two Spirit announces $25,000 donation to OnePulse Foundation toward permanent memorial

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | Two Spirit Health Services announced Oct. 16 it will be donating $25,000 to the OnePulse Foundation to support the development of a permanent memorial site where the Pulse nightclub tragedy occurred on June 12, 2016.

Two Spirit is a nonprofit organization providing mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, transgender health and related services to the LGBTQ community. Two Spirit’s mission is to provide a “one- stop shop” health center where LGBTQ individuals can obtain expert healthcare by providers comprised of LGBTQ professionals and allies.

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08.09.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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“Guys in Orlando suck!” “The gay community in Orlando is so transient.” I heard these phrases way too often in the early 2000s, but I never bought into that way of thinking.

I moved to Central Florida in 1986. This was back in the days when the 408 was just two lanes each way, The Winter Park Village was an enclosed Mall and Ronnie’s was serving the Mogambo Extravaganza (a sixth grade ice cream lover’s dream dessert). I didn’t know it at the time, but I was on track to meet some amazing people with incredible stories to tell, and who would disprove the notion that Orlando was not a strong LGBTQ community.

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Point Foundation to honor Barbara Poma at National Leadership Dinner

By : Colton Adkins
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ORLANDO | Point Foundation will present its Leadership Award to Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse, at its 2018 National Leadership Dinner in Lake Buena Vista on July 27.

Since the Pulse shooting, Poma has been serving as the executive director of the onePULSE Foundation. onePULSE has worked with the Central Florida community to establish a permanent Pulse memorial and to give scholarships to the LGBTQ community.

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PHOTOS: Mayors Dyer and Jacobs declare June 12 Orlando United Day at Pulse ceremony

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hundreds gathered at the Pulse memorial June 12 to honor and remember the 49 lives lost just two years ago within the nightclub at the memorial’s location.

The crowd watched performances from the Orlando Gay Chorus, Blue Star, the Orlando Philharmonic and more.

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PHOTOS: UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality hosts Florida LGBT-Allies Summit

By : Maia Monet
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The 7th annual Florida LGBT-Allies Diversity Summit was held this past Friday at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality. Companies from across the state sent representatives to attend panels on “LGBT Equality and Civil Rights” as well as “Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace.”

The morning began with a panel on “Allyship: Voices of the LGBTQ Community” made up of George Wallace the Executive Director of the LGBT+ Center Orlando, Jennifer Walls the Senior Vice President/Area Sales Director for Lee Hecht Harrison, Marco Antonio Quiroga the Program Director for the Contigo Fund, and Kellie Parkin the Executive Director of MBA Orlando – LGBT Chamber of Commerce answering questions on the challenges and benefits of LGBTQ visibility at work. As noted by Parkin, it is estimated that 50% of employees are still in the closet and need support. Walls added that there are still large companies with annual revenue of $100M+ who believe that they do not have LGBTQ employees.

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“O-Town Voices”

By : Maia Monet
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First performed at the Orlando Fringe in 2017, “O-Town Voices” is a play comprised of stories, interviews and speeches from Orlando, and across the globe, collected during the weeks and months following the Pulse attack. “O-Town Voices” was created and directed by David Lee and features 18 local theater veterans, Pulse owner Barbara Poma, Pulse survivor Neema Bahrami and the Orlando Gay Chorus. Tickets and event details are available at onePULSEFoundation.org/Events.

Two years later many groups, individuals will honor and remember those affected by the Pulse tragedy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE:  The Pulse memorial will be one of several locations with events June 12.

ORLANDO | It’s been nearly two years since our community woke to the news that a gunman entered one of our LGBTQ nightclubs in downtown Orlando on Latin Night with a semi-automatic rifle and handgun. 49 patrons were killed and another 53 injured while they danced, drank and celebrated with friends and family.

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