PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete celebrates annual festival, parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) celebrated its third annual festival and second annual parade in the Grand Central District on Oct. 5.

The festivities began simultaneously at 11 a.m., welcoming more than 20 parade entries flanked by proud participants enjoying 100 vendors. The route began at 20th St. and moved west on Central Ave to 30th.

Continue Reading >>

Come OUT St. Pete announces 2019 parade grand marshals

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0
ABOVE: (L-R) Come OUT St. Pete representatives and grand marshals Brian Longstreth, Claire Elisan, Jim Woodfield, Cole Foust, Jayson Clancey, Chris Jones, Bill Kody and Chuck Henson at Metro’s LGBTQ Welcome Center Sept. 17. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

Representatives from Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) gathered at Metro’s LGBTQ Welcome Center Sept. 17 to announce their first ever grand marshals for the organization’s upcoming parade.

Three grand marshals were chosen for the celebration: Cole Foust, Metro Inclusive Health’s LGBTQ Division Manager; Claire Elisan, CEO of the nonprofit Project No Labels and Chuck Henson, longtime Spectrum News 9 traffic expert and news anchor. Each grand marshal is intrinsically tied to their support of Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community.

Continue Reading >>

Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Bye Bye Bri

By : anonymous
Comments: 0

Multiple WAVE Award-winning realtor and community advocate Brian Longstreth has announced a change in ownership for St. Petersburg’s Your Neighborhood Realty.

“Change in the Neighborhood! After 19 years as the Broker-Owner of Your Neighborhood Realty, it’s time to pass the reigns to Julie Apted-Longstreth,” Longstreth shared via social media in early March. “Julie and husband Jim are taking over with the opening of Your Neighborhood Realty Associates, Inc. in the same location at 2440 Central Avenue.”

Continue Reading >>

2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – TAMPA BAY

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Nadine Smith, Equality Florida CEO

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Joanna Garcia Parkin, ESQ., St. Petersburg attorney

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

Continue Reading >>

St. Pete Pride votes to hold 2018’s street festival in Grand Central District

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

St. Petersburg | St. Pete Pride has voted to hold 2018’s street festival in the Grand Central District following a presentation made to the Grand Central District Association (GCDA) in which they reviewed the cost analysis of holding the Pride staple downtown.

Of the six-person vote, which was held Jan. 9, five voted in favor of holding the event in the Grand Central District, while one meeting attendee abstained. It was held just four days after interim Executive Director Luke Blankenship gathered with the GCDA in the name of “dialogue and transparency,” he says.

Continue Reading >>

As St. Petersburg celebrates Coming Out and LGBTQ film, a new Pride emerges

By : Samuel Johnson
Comments: 0

Two Bay Area LGBTQ festivals are joining forces this October. The Tampa-based Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is collaborating with the nascent St. Petersburg Come OUT St. Pete. The former has been a staple on the LGBTQ calendar for 28 years; and the latter is in its first year. Although 2017 marks the COSP inauguration, the apex of the celebration falls on Oct. 11: National Coming Out Day which honors the anniversary celebration of the National March on Washington D.C. for Lesbian and Gay Rights 29 years ago. For those of you wondering what gift is appropriate for each anniversary, here is the traditional gift suggestion: Orchids for 28 years and furniture for 29 years.

The partnership between the established TIGLFF and the newborn COSP is rooted in a palette of shared core values: celebration, reflection and education. But most of all it’s a good fit for the twin cities on the Bay.

Continue Reading >>

As St. Pete Pride celebrates its 15th Anniversary, we look back on how it all got started

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

It may surprise a lot of people outside of the Tampa Bay area, but St. Pete Pride is the largest Pride celebration in the state of Florida. They obtained that title in 2006 and continued to grow, welcoming more than 100,000 people in St. Petersburg the last weekend of June in 2012, then nearly a quarter of a million in 2015.

This year, St. Pete Pride continues to grow and expand with Pride splitting the parade from the street festival in the Grand Central District and moving the route to downtown St. Petersburg along Bayshore Drive. More than a dozen events will be happening in the days and weeks leading up to Pride weekend, this year happening June 23-25, and more people than ever before are expected to attend these events all over Pinellas County.

Continue Reading >>

Metro Gala honors Longstreth and others

By : Adam T. McLaughlin
Comments: 0

2ST. PETERSBURG – The replica high school gymnasium dance floor and metal bleachers were filled with what looked like cast members plucked from the set of Grease, as the 4th Annual Metro Wellness Gala kicked off Sept. 10. The Gala was a benefit to raise funding for programs at Metro and to recognize community partners.

Metro was established in 1993 with programs designed to meet the needs of and provide support to the LGBT community. Various programs are offered through Metro for seniors, youth, transgender and the LGBT community as a whole.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s 15 Most Remarkable People of 2015

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

Every year, Watermark chooses stand-outs from the LGBT community – remarkable individuals who made a mark in the past year, whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

For 2015, we took nominations from readers and selected the 15 Most Remarkable People of 2015: seven from the Central Florida area, and eight from Tampa Bay. See our selections and read their exceptional stories:

Continue Reading >>

GoFundMe started for Georgie’s Alibi employees

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

St. Petersburg, Fla. – The news of Georgie’s Alibi closing spread quickly through the community after Watermark broke the story Sept. 9. Many took to social media to share stories of the LGBT watering hole and to ask what this means for the gay bar scene in St. Pete.

Along with the many events and charities Georgie’s sponsored and helped with over the years, the establishment was the workplace for more than 50 people who, once the doors close, will be out a job.

Continue Reading >>

Metro to move on plans for an LGBT Welcome Center

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Metro Wellness and Community Centers has some landscape-changing plans for 2013 – literally.

In it’s 20th year, the organization will open a mixed-use space next to it’s Thrift & Gift retail center at 2235 Central Avenue. Soon, the vacant lot will be the new home of a bungalow-style house located a block away.

Through a donation by GSC of St. Pete, LLC, the house was granted to Metro.

“By moving the house, not only are we able to build on our partnership within the Grand Central District and the local community, but we’re able to save this beautiful historic bungalow which exemplifies so much of this district and neighboring Historic Kenwood,” said Lorraine Langlois, CEO of Metro Wellness & Community Centers.

According to local realtor Brian Longstreth, who is also a board member of the Grand Central District Association, the move has been in the works for years.

“It’s always exciting when something we’ve been talking about for several years in the community comes to fruition,” said Longstreth. “Everything seemed to fall into place. A historic home about to be torn down, the desire for Grand Central to have a 1st floor office on Central Avenue, the need for a LGBT welcome center in the area. The fact that it all happens in a saved 1920’s bungalow makes it even more special, and it only happened with the cooperation of many partners.”

Longstreth, along with his brother Jim, an agent at Your Neighborhood Realty, have helped facilitate this project with Metro and the GCDA.

This idea has been in the back of Langlois’ mind for years as well. Langlois, who helped start Metropolitan Charities 20 years ago, has always seen the need for a bigger presence on Central Avenue and the importance of a vibrant welcoming space for LGBT visitors to the Tampa Bay area as the community continues to grow.

“We are so excited to partner with our friends in the Grand Central District to make this happen,” said Langlois. “The space will serve as a welcoming hub for visitors and residents alike – providing resources for the LGBT and allied communities and expand on our mission to enhance the quality of life for those in our area.”

Metro hopes to have the house moved and in place by mid- to late-February, with plans to open the Welcome Center in the Grand Central District to the public as early as March. The building will serve as a visitor’s welcome center, community resource center and will provide office space for the Grand Central District as well as additional programming and event space. “There’s so much potential in this gorgeous bungalow,” said Langlois. “I can’t wait to see it grow into the vibrancy that already exists along Central Avenue.”

Metro’s Welcome Center in the Grand Central District will also have sponsorship and naming opportunities available for rooms along with the house itself

Metro Wellness and Community Centers currently has offices and LGBT Community Centers in St. Petersburg, Ybor City and New Port