Orlando Pride clears debt, awards grants

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – We can officially close the books on Come Out With Pride 2015.

The treasury report was finalized last week and Michael Thomas, COWP’s finance director, says the event made $90,000 total, with $70,000 going to pay off debt created by the 2014 Orlando Pride event. Of the remaining $20,000, $15,000 will be used as seed money to pay deposits and other expenses ahead of COWP 2016. The final $5,000 will be distributed in grants via the Pride Gives Back program.

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Viewpoint: The Tender Activist, Reclaim Your Vote

By : Scottie Campbell
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scottie campbell“I like Bernie Sanders,” said my friend across the patio of his Winter Park condo, where we gathered with longtime friends. His soft, kind voice did little to cushion the rest of his opinion: “But he’s unelectable.”

Unelectable. The word shot into my ear, easily cutting through the still Florida-muggy September night air. Three beers in, there was the slight danger of my reaction landing disproportionate to the moment, but I managed, “The only way to change that is to vote for him.”

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4th annual Volusia Pride set to be biggest yet

By : Ciara Varone
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East Central Florida’s LGBT community will gather Oct. 24 at shade-covered Old Fort Park in New Smyrna Beach for the fourth annual Volusia Pride.

“It gets bigger and better every year,” says Cindy Casey, who has volunteered at Volusia Pride since its inception and is serving as the 2015 chairperson. “There’s a lot to celebrate as we continue to grow.”

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Good grief! Dog Sees God opens this weekend at the Parliament House Footlight Theatre

By : Billy Manes
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11071541_10152839620662084_4056673105284209103_nIn our nostalgic haste to drink Drano and do other things to chainsaws this week in covering the local production of Heathers the Musical, we were apparently remiss in not mentioning that an incredibly talented crew of local theater folks are opening a month-long run (nearly!) of the lauded 2004 SoHo Fringe parody of Charles M. Schulz’s Charlie Brown clique – none involved were named Heather – THIS VERY WEEKEND. Kangagirl Productions hero Margaret Nolan tells us that the production, which is directed by local fave David Lee, won’t veer too far from the original script (that’s why they call them scripts), but will bring its own nuances in staging, design, etc.

Though we could swim around in the glittering psychological details of the ambush makeovers of Mr. Brown and Lucy and Linus and Schroeder and (sniff) Snoopy – here’s a hint: they’re all filthy, except the (copyright mandated) replacement for Pig Pen, who has turned his dustball into an internalized conundrum and become a homophobe – but we’ll leave that to the characters and their requisite staged surprises. Really looking forward to this one, if only for the kissing booths and Red Barons. Here’s the info:

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Out and About at the Central Florida Fair

By : Jake Stevens
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LGBT individuals and families headed to the Central Florida Fairgrounds March 3 for the first-ever Out and About night at the Central Florida Fair!

Many took advantage of a special offer – bring the Fair’s Watermark ad to the door and get in free.

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COWP asks creditors for patience as MBA continues to investigate alleged fraud

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando Come Out With Pride organizers are asking creditors for some time and patience when it comes to repayment.

In a letter sent Jan. 20, COWP’s finance director, Michael Thomas, acknowledges that while Orlando’s pride event gets bigger every year, last year was its “least profitable year.”

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Spooky Empire May 2014

By : Patrick O'Connor
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Monsters, ghosts and ghouls took over The Doubletree by Hilton at Universal Studios May 30 – June 1 for Spooky Empire May-Hem 2014.

The horror convention draws cos-players and fear fans alike to mingle with celebrities and check out all the exhibits and booths. 

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Manatee Pride makes big debut with 1,500 in attendance

By : Steve Blanchard
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Jack Newton looked around Bradenton Riverwalk March 22 and was amazed. Not only by the size of the inaugural Manatee Pride, but the age range of those attending.

“I never knew there was such a community here,” Newton said as he browsed vendor booths. “I’m stunned, really. I would have never imagined all of this could happen here.”

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Manatee Pride makes big debut with 1,500 in attendance

By : Steve Blanchard
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Bradenton – Jack Newton looked around Bradenton Riverwalk March 22 and was amazed. Not only by the size of the inaugural Manatee Pride, but the age range of those attending.

“I never knew there was such a community here,” Newton said as he browsed vendor booths. “I’m stunned, really. I would have never imagined all of this could happen here.”

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Sarasota Pride brings more than 5,000 to its fourth outdoor festival

By : Steve Blanchard
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Sarasota – The LGBT community of Sarasota was out in full force to celebrate its annual Pride festival on Oct. 19. Estimates put more than 5,000 people trickling through J.D. Hamel Park throughout the day, while live music and guest speakers kept the crowds engaged from the stage for six hours.

“The best thing about Sarasota Pride is that it’s ours,” said Jamie Moore, a Sarasota resident who attended the festival with her two young boys. “St. Pete Pride is great. Come Out With Pride is fantastic. But this festival, right here, is all ours and we should be proud to have it!”

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Knight Pride 2013 at UCF

By : AlejandPate
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Orlando – Nearly 100 University of Central Florida (UCF) students gathered near the Reflecting Pond on campus for UCF’s first-ever Pride event.

Students manning booths representing various activist groups mingled with attendees while a DJ spun dance hits and other students danced while clad in rainbow flags and painted colorful pro-LGBT signs.

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MLK march: King’s “dream” is not done

By : Wire Report
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Washington (AP) – Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall on Aug. 24, commemorating the 50th anniversary of King’s famous speech and pledging that his dream includes equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled.

The event was an homage to a generation of activists that endured fire hoses, police abuse and indignities to demand equality for African Americans. But there was a strong theme of unfinished business.

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