Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus holds summer conference in Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill, Vice President Nik Harris, Secretary Dave Cutler and Treasurer Adam Sabin. Photo courtesy Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus’ Facebook page.

TAMPA | LGBTQ community activists, allies, elected officials and more will gather in Tampa July 19-21 for “Defining and Defending our LGBTQ Future,” the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus’ summer conference.

The caucus represents the LGBTQ community to Florida’s Democratic Party. The organization has nearly 20 statewide chapters—including Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Pinellas and Sarasota counties—all of which will be represented at the conference. Leaders advise the organization’s strength lies in its size and their local chapters, whose individual members stand up for equality statewide.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Bay Rays win Pride Night 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The Tampa Bay Rays triumphed over the Los Angeles Angels during the team’s annual Pride Night at Tropicana Field June 14.

A total of 21,598 Pride and sports enthusiasts attended the game, which began after Tampa Mayor Jane Castor threw the first pitch, Congressman Charlie Crist said a few words and fan favorite entertainer Jennifer Real sang the National Anthem. The Rays spent five innings behind at 4-0 before scoring five times in the sixth and adding four runs in the seventh, winning 9-4.

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Gulfport Public Library, LGBTQ Resource Center celebrate Pride, national honor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT, Fla. | The Gulfport Public Library has received the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums ahead of the LGBTQ Resource Center’s month of Pride programming.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced Gulfport Public Library as one of 10 recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service May 7. The winners were chosen from 30 nationwide finalists for addressing unique issues and challenges confronting communities through their services. Programming provided by the LGBTQ Resource Center, housed in the library and established as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in April, was singled out for recognition.

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2018 Midterm election LGBTQ Voters’ Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Electing ally candidates is critical. That’s why Watermark reached out to 154 men and women running for political office across Central Florida and Tampa Bay to ask five questions focusing on LGBTQ equality.

You’ll find the abbreviated answers of 33 respondents below: 24 Democrats, one Republican, one Libertarian and seven without a party affiliation. While the first question was open-ended, the subsequent four were yes or no and some candidates opted to elaborate.

To read Watermark’s full coverage about the equality-focused organizations, candidates and voters hoping to turn the tide Nov. 6, click here.

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11.1.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I have a terrible sense of humor. I’ve written about this before and how I credit my father for just how bad it is. Dad jokes are the best, and the worse they are the harder I laugh.

Here’s an example: I have an insane love of ice cream, so much so that my trainer and my scale yell at me about it all the time. St. Pete has this wonderful little shop that sells mini-doughnuts basking in a tower of ice cream. Every time we drive by it, my partner says, “We can get mini-doughnuts.” To which I reply, “How many?” Then I laugh like I’ve never heard it before. I don’t mind laughing alone.

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MSNBC’s Joy Reid can’t prove hackers wrote ‘hurtful’ homophobic posts

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC’s Joy Reid, under fire for homophobic language in old blog posts, apologized Saturday for any past comments that belittled or mocked the LGBTQ community and says she hasn’t been able to verify her claim that her account was hacked.

Reid opened her weekend show “AM Joy” by acknowledging has said “dumb” and “hurtful” things in the past. “The person I am now is not the person I was then,” she said.

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MSNBC’s Reid says homophobic posts were result of hack

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC’s Joy Reid insists that homophobic language in one of her old blog posts is the work of a computer hacker and her security expert said Wednesday they have a strong suspicion of who did it, although he would not name the suspect.

The bizarre tale involving the news network’s rising star is a technical who-dun-it that not everyone believes, given that Reid had admitted in December to similar anti-gay language in the same forum and had apologized for it. A gay rights organization has subsequently backed away from its plans to give an award to Reid, host of the “AM Joy” weekend shows on the cable news network.

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MSNBC host Joy Reid apologizes for ‘tone deaf’ homophobic blog posts

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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MSNBC host Joy Reid has apologized for old homophobic blog posts made on her now defunct blog, the Reid Report.

The posts, published between 2007 and 2009, mocked former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist by referring to him as “Miss Charlie” and accusing the conservative Republican of being a closeted gay man.

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We look at St. Petersburg’s (partisan) non-partisan primary mayoral race between Baker and Kriseman

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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On August 29, St. Petersburg could choose its next mayor. According to the Pinellas County supervisor of elections, 169,770 residents of the city will be eligible to vote in the upcoming primary election, meaning that 169,770 residents of the Sunshine City will have one of three choices that day.

First, to elect the next mayor. Second, to send two candidates to a run-off election in November, should no one receive 50 percent plus one of the vote. Or third, to stay home and let every other eligible voter decide on their behalf.

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Pride Marches On: St. Pete Pride celebrates diversity in the ‘Burg with a year of firsts

By : Jeremy Williams
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ST. PETERSBURG – After all the controversy over the changes St. Pete Pride brought this year, it all seemed to be put aside for Pride weekend as thousands gathered along Bayshore Drive for the city’s first Pride parade downtown.

The Pride parade, the largest in the state, began with the first ever TransPride March along the parade route. More than 500 participants walked, starting from the end of the official parade route at Albert Whitted Park to the parade’s starting point at Vinoy Park, as watchers waved trans flags and shouted support to those walking.

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Kriseman raises the Pride flag at City Hall and Crist recognizes Pride in House

By : Jeremy Williams
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For the fourth year in a row, St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman sent the rainbow Pride flag up the flagpole in front of City Hall June 22, bringing in start of St. Pete Pride weekend.

This is the fourth year in a row that Kriseman has acknowledged the LGBTQ community of St. Pete with this ceremony.

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Crist comes to Metro: The U.S. Congressman and former Florida governor eyes expansion, promises political strength

By : Samuel Johnson
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(James Keane (L) speaks with Charlie Crist about the Metro expansion in St. Petersburg. Photo by Samuel Johnson.)

ST. PETERSBURG – Charlie Crist came back to his Tampa Bay roost May 30 to survey one of the area’s biggest LGBTQ success stories and to tackle an uncertain healthcare climate.

Crist, U.S. Representative for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, was given a tour of Metro Health and Wellness’ flagship facility in the city. After all, the 13th district includes a large swath of St. Petersburg where the facility resides. Metro Health and Wellness is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a $5.2 million dollar expansion and renovation. This bay area success is a one-stop location in Tampa Bay for primary care, HIV prevention and treatment, behavioral care, therapy and much more.

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