‘Sweet Dreams’ raises $71K for Bliss CARES

By : Jeremy Williams
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Bliss CARES had a successful night at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Orlando on July 13 with its inaugural “Sweet Dreams: Dancing for TRANSitional Housing” fundraiser.

The event — which partnered 11 amateur dancers, all LGBTQ community leaders in Central Florida, with professional dancers for a night of fast-paced, fancy footwork — raised $71,344, which will go towards creating semi-permanent housing for the transgender and gender nonconforming communities where they can have access to health services, life skills and career counseling to prepare them to live on their own in their own safe space.

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Bliss CARES partners community leaders with professional dancers to raise money for transgender housing

By : Jeremy Williams
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Bliss CARES, a nonprofit healthcare organization in Central Florida, has created a new dance competition to help raise money for transgender emergency housing.

“Sweet Dreams: Dancing for TRANSitional Housing” will partner 11 amateur dancers, all LGBTQ community leaders in Central Florida, with professional dancers for a night of fast-paced, fancy footwork at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Orlando on July 13.

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Orlando’s Big LGBTQ Weekend still has something for everyone

By : Jeremy Williams
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The newly created KindRED Pride Foundation is bringing some of the weekend’s most anticipated events, but the kickoff weekend to Orlando’s big Pride Month is packed full of some returning favorites and big surprises.

Just as with the last several years, RED Shirt Pride Days has a designated Disney theme park for each day from May 30-June 2.

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PHOTOS: Orlando recognizes Jazell Barbie Royale with city proclamation

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized the current Miss International Queen Jazell Barbie Royale with a proclamation to the city declaring it “Jazell Barbie Royale Day” in the city of Orlando on April 11.

Dyer and Royale were joined on the steps of City Hall by City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Parliament House Entertainment Director Darcel Stevens, Orlando Police Captain Jim Young, Bliss CARES Medical Director Dr. Roberto Ortiz and many of Royale’s family, friends, fans and supporters.

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One Orlando Alliance to host community discussion on LGBTQ homelessness

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | The One Orlando Alliance is hosting a Central Florida-based discussion on the topic of LGBTQ youth homelessness at the Holden Heights Community Center in Orlando on April 11.

The discussion panel will consist of representatives from Alliance member organizations Bliss Cares, Equality Florida and Zebra Coalition; and will be moderated by Homeless Services Network of Central Florida Deputy Director Brian Postlewait.

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Parliament House’s Jazell Barbie Royale crowned Miss International Queen

By : Jeremy Williams
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Jazell Barbie Royale—a performer at Parliament House in Orlando—was crowned Miss International Queen on March 8. Kanwara Kaewjin from Thailand and Yaya from China were named first and second runner-up, respectively.

The Miss International Queen Pageant is a worldwide beauty pageant for transgender women held every year in Pattaya City, Thailand.

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Equality Florida brings transgender workplace training to Orlando

By : Melanie Ararat
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ABOVE: Gina Duncan speaking at an Equality Florida event at Orlando City Hall in 2015. Photo by Dana Ng

ORLANDO | Equality Florida will host the organization’s Transgender Dynamics in the Workplace workshop at the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 16.

The workshop includes a panel discussion with corporate leaders, as well as an appearance from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. The event looks to educate attendees on transgender workplace issues and concerns, as well as offer ways to improve policies and protocols for transgender employees.

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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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Bliss CARES announces new program to assist hardship patients

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO l Bliss CARES announced a new eligibility card program to help patients experiencing financial hardships or individuals without insurance.

The eligibility card will allow the holder access to free healthcare services related to HIV, Hepatitis and STDs for one year. Services will include clinic visits, lab tests, mental health care counseling, vaccines, co-pays, medicine and care management.

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Bliss CARES recognizes transgender individuals at TRANSaction’s Celebration of Success

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Bliss CARES recognized nearly 30 transgender individuals for the TRANSaction “Celebration of Success” at the Parliament House’s Footlight Theater Oct. 11.

Bliss Cares is a nonprofit dedicated to saving lives by treating and preventing the spread of HIV, Hepatitis and STDs. Bliss’ TRANSaction program, a six-part instructional series, assists the transgender community in providing education on a variety of topics such as safety, discrimination, medical, name changes and more.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Ginger Minj gets married and Irma comes to the City Beautiful

By : Anonymous
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Disney’s newest Princess

At the New York 2017 RuPaul’s Drag-Con, fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race were treated to an unexpected surprise.

Soon after a make-up panel—where Central Florida’s Ginger Minj (Josh Eads) gave 8-year old internet drag sensation Lactatia a make-over—Ginger asked Lactatia “I’ve done your make up and your wig, can you do something for me? Do you want to be my flower girl?” Then Ginger announced she was getting married today.

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Addressing mental health concerns within the minority LGBTQ community

By : Samuel Johnson
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“Mental health is not a lack of willpower. Mental health is not being inflicted by the Devil. Mental health isn’t about not being strong enough to cope with life.” This is the opinion of psychiatrist Dr. Z. (She has requested that her name remain anonymous).

Dr. Z is a Hillsborough National Alliance on Mental Illness board member and has both clinical knowledge as well as the mental health delivery system. Untreated mental health, as she views it, is a serious public health issue; “Not in the contagious sense of the word. I can’t catch depression from someone else. I can’t catch schizophrenia from someone else. I can’t catch bipolar [disorder] from someone else. But how I’m feeling does impact others. For example, social ails like homelessness, like prison populations, where a lot of that has to do with untreated mental illness; society at large is impacted by the way we that we approach the treatment of mental health.”

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