Many organizations offer confidential HIV testing and most can offer results within 15-20 minutes with the rapid test. Many are free, some charge. But there is no excuse for not knowing your status, especially with resources at your fingertips.
See a list of easy-access testing in our coverage area after the jump.
Favorite local politician/activist
1. Patty Sheehan, Orlando city commissioner
2. Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor
3. Randy Ross
4. Joe Saunders, State Representative
Greatest straight ally to the local LGBT community
1. Linda Stewart, State Representative
2. Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor
3. Jack and Margo Dixon
Orlando When organizers of the outrageous, lavish black tie gala known as the Headdress Ball found out their 2013 event would be pushed to October 26, they took advantage of the delay.
In its 24th year, they are combining Halloween and Las Vegas, for the largest Masquerade Ball held in Central Florida.
Orlando The numbers are still coming in, but Timothy Vargas, president of The GLBT Center of Central Florida (The Center) board of directors, said it looks like its 2nd annual Black and White Gala doubled the fundraising totals of the inaugural event.
Last year’s Gala raised about $17,000, and Vargas said he’s “extremely satisfied” and organizers worked to “dress up the event a little more than last year.”
There is no doubt the state of Florida is losing out on millions of dollars by refusing to legalize same sex marriage. So far, 13 states in the nation have seen economic gains by opening their doors to the LGBT community, and more are on the way.
But that hasn’t stopped Central Florida’s progressive wedding vendors from getting a head start. They have come together in support of marriage equality to form The Wedding Alliance, an organization to increase awareness of the economic and social benefits of gay marriage.
In June, a team of IKEA Orlando co-workers installed $10,000 worth of IKEA products and in-kind donations at The Zebra Coalition House, which provides a full continuum of services to the growing number of LGBT+ youth, ages 13 to 24, in Central Florida. The Zebra Coalition was named one of 38 charitable organizations across the county that was awarded $10,000 each in IKEA products, services and in-kind donations through the Life Improvement Challenge campaign.
The items included storage, seating, a grill, towels and robes and decor.
On June 26, 2013, our world changed forever. The highest legal authority in the nation declared that anti-gay bigotry is “obnoxious” to the Constitution, and cannot be tolerated. The President of the United States cheered, and declared a “victory for democracy.”
I previously wrote a preview of the two huge gay rights cases being decided by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) this summer, United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Orlando is in the running to host the 2018 Gay Games, an Olympic-style event to promote and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Though the destination won’t be announced until 2014, the group promoting the destination, Orlando 2018, has teamed up with uOwn Real Estate, to provide a 3D map of the various sports complexes, parks and hospitality venues in Orlando for Gay Games’ decision makers. You can view the map here http://orlando2018.go3dexpansion.com/. You will need the Google Earth plugin, otherwise you will default to the regular 2D map.
Orlando Lawyer Barry L. Miller has established a foundation to promote arts education, according to Mark Brewer, President/CEO of the Community Foundation of Central Florida.
The Barry L. Miller Foundation for Arts and Education will identify grant opportunities, provide financial support for scholarships and quality programming to individuals, artists, students, educational institutions, community groups, theatre companies and other artistic endeavors.
Here are your distinguished nominees for Metropolitan Business Association’s 2013 Pride in Business Awards:
Small Business of the Year
Watermark Media, Inc.
New Business of the Year
Author Scott Vedder
Orlando Fit Body Camp
Law Office of Ashley Filimon
Businessman of the Year
Russ Fowler (Fields Auto Group)
Ted Maines (Ted Maines Interiors)
Jon Shehan (Metro City Realty)
Dr. David Baker Hargrove (BHC Assessment & Consulting)
Businesswoman of the Year
Diana Cox (Florida Bank of Commerce)
Sam Rennels (Watermark Media)
Joann Polley (Infinite Ideas & Designs)
Lu Mueller-Kaul (Balance Massage)
Non-Profit of the Year
Employee Services Management Association of Central Florida
Hope and Help of Central Florida, Inc.
Corporate Ally of the Year
Hilton Grand Vacations
Debbie Simmons Community Award
Award recipients will be announced on April 26, at the Pride in Business Awards Gala at the Double Tree Downtown Orlando, featuring keynote speaker Joe Solmonese.
Visit the MBA’s website for information and tickets!
The fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race started with fourteen queens—five hailing from Central Florida—and as of March 11, we’re down to seven.
“We’re no longer just drag queens,” Jinkx Monsoon said during a tearful ending of the March 11 airing. “We’re now seven sister queens.”
On an otherwise mundane Monday night, we caught up with Roxxxy and her Roxxxstars at her weekly RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party at Pulse.
“It’s surreal,” Andrews says of watching herself on-screen each week. “I feel like I’ve been PhotoShopped into the scenes.”
Already at the halfway point in the season, we’re now down to three Central Florida queens. Serena Cha Cha from Tallahassee was the first to “sashay away.” Then, we saw the giggly with a bite, Jade Jolie from Gainesville sent packing.
The three remaining Florida natives include: Detox, originally from St. Petersburg, who now performs in Los Angeles; former Watermark cover girl, Flamingo Resort star, Miss Gay America 2010 and Alyssa Edwards nemesis, Coco Montrese; and former Miss Continental Plus, Pulse Nightclub headliner and member of Team Ro-Tox, Roxxxy Andrews.
If RuPaul’s Drag Race her-story repeats itself, looking at Drag Races past might allow us to see if the remaining Florida queens’ stats will win them the title of “America's Next Drag Superstar.”
1. The queen who wins the most challenges wins the season.
While ultimately, RuPaul is going to choose who RuPaul chooses, BeBe Zahara Benet, Tyra Sanchez and Sharon Needles all won the most challenges in their seasons. The only exception to that rule involves Raja and Manila Luzon, who tied for number of challenges won.
This season, nobody has yet to win two challenges, making it anybody’s game. That also makes this season unique—it’s never taken this long for a queen to win two challenges. Sharon and Alexis Mateo did it by the third competition episode, and Tyra did it by episode five. Of the remaining queens, Alaska is the only one yet to win a challenge; everybody else has one win.
2. No team captain has ever won her season.
BeBe, Tyra, Raja, and Sharon were never team captains. While being a team captain isn’t directly damning to your chances of winning, RPDR has a high sashay-rate for its captains.
Through seasons one through five, there have been a total of 12 team challenges. In four of them, the captain was eliminated.
Being a captain doesn’t necessarily hurt your chances of winning, but captaining a team hasn’t deemed statistically favorable to your chances of surviving the challenge, either. Now that we’re past the “Snatch Game” challenge, team challenges have concluded. Of the remaining Season Five queens, Roxxxy is the only one who has never served as a captain.
3. In the last two seasons, the winner of the first challenge won the season.
This is more coincidence than indicator, but interesting nonetheless. Raja and Sharon both won the first challenge of their respective seasons; and while Morgan McMichaels won the first challenge of season two, Tyra was a high-scorer, too.
With that said, Roxxxy won the first challenge of season five.
4. Unless you’re gunning for Top Three, nobody survives their third lip-synch.
While many excellent queens have survived two “Lip-Synch For Your Lives” (Raven, Sahara, Shangela, Delta, Jiggly, Milan), each of those queens was eliminated on her third lip synch. The only two queens to survive their third lip synchs were Jujubee and Alexis Mateo, both while moving from Top Four to Top Three.
Of the remaining season five queens, Coco has already survived two lip synchs, so it doesn’t bode well for her. Detox has survived one.
5. So, who’s winning season five?
We’re laying down our prediction now. Based on the win/high/safe/low stats, from the critiques they’re getting, and from the gut, we’re looking at a top three showdown between Detox, Jinkx and Roxxxy—with Alyssa close behind.
As Alaska said in the last episode, “It’s open season.”
The second half of this season is when we’ll get to really know and choose who we love among the final competitors. We’re going to watch these seven queens really reveal their claws and alliances divide—as already proven this last week, when Alaska separated herself from Team Ro-Laska-Tox. Roxxxy has also gone from being the quiet one and taken off her sequin gloves and started opening up and even throwing some shade.
And who isn’t tiring of the seemingly faux feud between Alyssa and Coco? Can I get an Amen?
To quote RuPaul herself, “I can’t wait to see how this turns out.”
What: RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 5
When: Mondays, 9 p.m., LOGO