Tampa VA’s pride program spotlights aging LGBTQ vets

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital will hold its annual pride event June 27 to highlight the intricacies of caring for aging LGBTQ veterans.

The event is organized by the hospital’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion in conjunction with its LGBTQSA special emphasis program. According to the hospital, the latter exists “to identify and address barriers, stereotypes and other related issues in the workplace,” to “foster allies, increase awareness of health care issues” and to “advocate for a caring, respectful and welcoming environment for our LGBT veterans, family members and employees.”

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Darden Rice, St. Petersburg City Council Chair

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“When I first ran in 2005, I was openly, unapologetically attacked for being gay,” Darden Rice, the first out candidate for public office in Pinellas County recalls. “But today… more and more, the public sees our issues as everyday issues that any American faces.”

That’s in part because of candidates and public officials like Rice. In November of this year, after a successful term in which she served as St. Petersburg’s City Council Chair, she garnered 72.64 percent of the vote to win her bid for re-election. That’s an impressive 41,914 votes to her opponent’s 15,786.

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Study: Cancer care lacking for LGB patients

By : Staff Reports from the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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BOSTON — LGB people tend to report poorer experiences as cancer patients than straights, Medical Xpress reports.

Conducting a secondary analysis of a 2013 U.K. National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, Richard Neal of the University of Leeds, a U.K. school, found that LGB respondents reported poorer care, less involvement in treatment decision making and the suitability of information resources, Medical Xpress reports.

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Fire alarm, protests disrupt ex-pharma exec Shkreli’s talk

By : Wire Report
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP)- A fire alarm rang out moments before indicted former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was to speak at Harvard University, briefly delaying an appearance that also was disrupted by student protests.

The former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who was widely criticized for hiking up the price of a drug used by AIDS and cancer patients to fight parasitic infections, was invited by the Harvard Financial Analysts Club to discuss investing at the Wednesday night event. But a few minutes before it began, someone pulled a fire alarm and police evacuated the building.

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2nd Annual William J. Jett Men’s Health Challenge

By : Jamie Hyman
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The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) recently launched an Office of Men’s Health. The Office of Men’s Health was developed to educate and support better health outcomes for all men and boys age 12 and older in Seminole County, Florida.

Heart disease, hypertension, prostate cancer, substance abuse, suicide, and incarceration are priority areas of focus for the Office of Men’s Health. In 2014, nineteen percent of all deaths in Seminole County males were attributed to prostate cancer. According to Florida CHARTS, the Seminole County suicide mortality rate is currently twenty-one percent in males and five percent in women. White men have higher rates of suicide than any other ethnic group in Seminole County.

The 2nd Annual William J. Jett Men’s Health Challenge will take place on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in DOH-Seminole’s Auditorium, located at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford, Florida 32773. The free event will highlight Seminole County’s commitment to improve health outcomes for males. Visit http://whoozin.com/U3V-UGN-MQHP to RSVP and for more information.

Round-up of questions potential Supreme Court Justices have been asked

By : Wire Report
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(AP) – White House lawyers are scouring a life’s worth of information about President Barack Obama’s potential picks to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court – and not all of it is about the law.

Prospective justices are put through the nation’s most thorough background check, an invasive process in which nothing is off-limits. After all, a surprise dredged up later could scuttle confirmation. So candidates’ taxes, writings, childhood, business dealings, medical history and yes, love lives, are all scrutinized for potential red flags.

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LGBT charity raises enough money to buy out anti-gay church

By : Staff Report
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Harlem, New York – The Ali Forney Center met a $200,000 fundraising goal in less than two weeks.

Donations poured in following news that vocally anti-gay Atlah Worldwide Missionary Church will face foreclosure auction on Feb 24. The charity quickly expressed interest in buying the building.

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Screened Out – Deadpool

By : Stephen Miller
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Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams

We knew we were in for something twisted. In early promos last year, Deadpool said, “Crime’s the disease; meet the cure! Okay, maybe not the cure, but more like a topical ointment to reduce the swelling and itch.”

The film Deadpool delivers! (I’ll even use the rare exclamation point.) It’s likely to fill current addicts to the brim with sick, bubbly joy, as it adds a few more adherents. This gory, action-packed flick punches home the perversion – clearly a niche missing from the current pantheon of noble comic book films.

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Wedding Bells at Watermark: Stephen Gibson and Rob Johnson

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Rob Johnson and Stephen GibsonStephen Gibson, 45, who oversees vacation rentals and entertains as “Stephane Blair,” and Rob Johnson, 54, who is a graphic designer by trade, met online toward the end of 2007. Stephen noticed they had a lot in common,so he decided to message Rob.

“I got this message and email, and it said it was this guy from Florida,” Rob says. “And I was like ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to meet anybody from out of town.’ He and I started talking, and it got to the point where we would send messages back and forth online all the time, then we started talking on the phone and then we started talking on the phone every day.”

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The fight for medical marijuana started with the gay community, and it may end in Florida this year

By : Billy Manes
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It wouldn’t be a white Christmas in Florida in 2015; it never is. But you could argue that a green Christmas came in the form of a unanimous ruling in mid-December by the Florida Supreme Court that refined language to the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Backed by mega-attorney John Morgan and his millions of dollars, along with political organization United for Care (formerly People United for Medical Marijuana), the bill received a solid 58 percent approval from a low-turnout midterm electorate, meaning 3.4 million Floridians voted in favor of the amendment, even in a state that is hostile to progressive causes. The state requires a 60 percent vote to pass a constitutional amendment.

“I’mmmmmmmmmmbaaaaaaaaaack,” Morgan told the Miami Herald earlier this month. He’s back, only with $4 million less in his back account.

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Rock legend Melissa Etheridge talks about the importance of legalizing marijuana and starting her own label

By : Jeremy Williams
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Melissa Etheridge has been a very public face to many groups who needed a voice. She showed young girls that a woman can rock as hard, if not harder, than the good ol’ boys of the music industry. She proved that being openly gay was not an instant death sentence to a career in music. She exclaimed, “I am more than a disease!” (she was so inspiring that India.Arie penned her hit song “I Am Not My Hair” about Etheridge after seeing her perform at the 2005 Grammy Awards bald from chemotherapy) after a cancer diagnosis, and her following treatment that brought her back stronger and healthier than ever.

Now, after nearly 25 years in the public eye, Etheridge has taken up another cause: legalizing cannabis.

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1.28.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

Where were you while we were getting high?

By virtue of political plate tectonics and the mahogany-and-starched-shirt drudgery of a state legislative cycle in full swing during a presidential election year, you wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that the earth is actually moving under your feet right now. Nope, not vertigo. Nah, you aren’t drunk (maybe?). High? Hopefully!

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