The Wonderful World of Wanzie: What’s behind door number 3?

By : Michael Wanzie
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“Remember, if it doesn’t say Amana it’s NOT a Radar Range!”

How clearly I remember that advertising slogan from my youth. That tag line was always touted whenever the new-fangled contraption would be awarded to winning contestants on TV’s “Let’s Make A Deal” or “Truth or Consequences.”

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LGBT dance group joins street-blocking climate protests

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Climate activists gather in Farragut Square in Northwest D.C. Sept. 23, 2019. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

A contingent of about 150 people associated with WERK for Peace, which describes itself as a queer and trans group that uses dance as a form of protest for social justice, joined over 1,000 others in blocking streets during D.C.’s morning rush hour on Monday to draw attention to what they call the worldwide climate crisis.

D.C. police said they made 26 arrests in locations throughout the city as climate activists carried out a “Shut Down D.C.” non-violent civil disobedience protest by standing or sitting across more than a dozen streets beginning about 7 a.m.

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Bahamas LGBTI activists contribute to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Boats swept ashore in the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, photo public domain.

LGBTI activists in the Bahamas have joined efforts to help victims of Hurricane Dorian in their country.

Alexus D’Marco, executive director of the D’Marco Organization, on Friday told the Washington Blade her organization is providing support to people who are now living in shelters in the Bahamian capital of Nassau and assessing the specific needs they may have. D’Marco and her colleagues are also tracking missing people and reporting them to Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency.

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The Other Side of Life: Independence Day

By : Jason Leclerc
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As holidays go, Independence Day is my favorite of the secular American celebrations. Other holidays, equally important in their own ways, like Veterans Day and Memorial Day are patriotic derivatives: without a nation, we wouldn’t have the heroes to honor.

Without that Declaration on July 4, 1776, we wouldn’t have a nation. Situated perfectly in the middle of the year, bookending Yuletides, we as a people are reminded that, like long summer days, the sun doesn’t want to set on our celebration of independence. America is not merely a “City on a hill” but, as Ronald Reagan reminded us, “shining” so: a beacon of hope to the world.

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Senate confirms anti-LGBTQ Jim Bridenstine as NASA chief

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump’s pick to head NASA was confirmed on Thursday in the U.S. Senate despite opposition from lawmakers and LGBTQ groups who opposed him on the basis of his anti-LGBTQ record.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), who has served as a three-term member of Congress representing Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district in the U.S. House, was confirmed as administrator of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration by a party-line vote of 50-49.

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The White House web page has removed LGBT rights, climate change and other civil rights issues just like that

By : Billy Manes
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See that up there? That’s a bit of history you might want to remember as the “president” forgets all of the unheard voices he heralded today in his flimsy, divisive inaugural speech. The White House page has now changed to reflect our making-great-of-America-again present, removing progressive issues – indeed, issues about your actual being – from its website. Happy Jan. 20! You’ve been erased. Bye, Felicia.

Oh, and also. Climate change. You’re gone, too. Civil rights? Meh, who cares? Find you on the wayback machine. Doomsday’s here. Take a breath. Let’s get to fighting.

Oscar speeches look more like presidential debate at 88th Academy Awards

By : Jeremy Williams
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Oscar night is often filled with award shocks and surprises and the 88th Academy Awards did not disappoint as Sam Smith becomes the first openly gay man to win an Oscar. Well, okay so he wasn’t, but he wasn’t sure about it so he said it anyways.

Sam Smith was among the winners considered an upset by Oscar experts. The winner of the Best Original Song for “Writing’s on the Wall” from the James Bond film Spectre was as shocked as the rest of the viewing world when his name was called instead of Lady Gaga and Diane Warren for the emotional song “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground, a documentary about campus rape in the United States.

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Screened Out – 45 Years

By : Stephen Miller
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Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay

45 Years is currently running in Tampa; it will open at Enzian Theater in Maitland Feb. 26.

What makes a marriage last? There are thousands of answers, meaning there are none.

After all this time, a 70-year-old wife still has doubts about her husband’s old flames, their past decisions, and her own self-esteem. It shakes her to her core the same week she plans for a big party. 45 Years is a devastatingly intimate portrayal of a long-term marriage in crisis.

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Raising the Bar: How LGBT dance clubs and bars respond to history and look to the future

By : Stephen Miller
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Our LGBT bars and nightclubs: throughout history, they’ve served as more than mere entertainment and socialization. They’ve alternately provided protection, community, purpose, a meeting place for political activism, a defining character for subgroups, and even a disseminator of vital cultural and health information. Yet, just like every lasting institution, in order to survive and be relevant, bars and clubs have to change. They can capitalize on what they do well while transforming with the times.

“Let’s face it,” says Steve Watkins, owner of the newly renovated Stonewall Bar Orlando, “social media isn’t going away. It’s a part of the whole experience of going out – heck, of all of life, anymore.”

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Mr. Blue Sky: Rolling in the deep

By : Eric Rollings
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EricRollingsMug

Eric Rollings

Ten inches is a lot! This is one estimate on how much the sea level will rise in the next 15 years. Our coastal neighbors will be feeling brunt of this first; in fact Miami Beach and surrounding lower areas were seriously flooded this week. The summer of 2015 worldwide was the hottest ever on record and I could guess Central Florida added to this both in temperature and rainfall. Climate change is here – it’s not what is coming, it is what has arrived, and its threats have become promises.

Some years back a friend of mine asked, “Why do you care about the environment? You’re gay; it’s not like you’re going to have kids?” The fact is the LGBT community is concerned about the environment and we are having more and more couples creating families with children. The scary part is that we can’t leave it to our next generation to figure things out. We need to address the issues today, and we can do it sensibly. The LGBT community has proven itself time and again: When we come together, things change for the better. Our environment, which affects all of us, needs to be at the top of our list of goals,and here’s why. Property values: Areas that are more prone to flooding are required to carry expensive flood insurance and, as the frequency of flooding increases, it will be more difficult to sell homes in those areas. As we experienced in Tampa and Orlando this summer, you don’t have to live on the beach to feel the effects of what a more severe climate can bring to our neighborhoods. Water is life: Clean water for the LGBT community is as important as the African-American community as the Latin community – you get the point … everyone without exception.

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Houston says no to HRO, Kentucky elects anti-gay governor

By : Wire Report
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(AP) – Kentucky voters elected just the second Republican in four decades to hold the governor’s office Nov. 3, in a race that hinged largely on President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

The result was a potentially troubling sign for Democrats ahead of next year’s presidential election and represented a big win for the GOP as it continues to consolidate political power across the South. Democrats also were thumped in Virginia, where they made a costly push to win a majority in one chamber of the state Legislature.

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Uprisings!: The Republicans are talking at each other again. We’re liveblogging.

By : Billy Manes
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If there’s anything that we love about the public drawing and quartering of the Republican Party presidential bench during this frightful election cycle, it’s that there are tiers of candidates, that there is, indeed, a Varsity and a Junior Varsity contingent, and the lower down you get on the success scale, it doesn’t get any more absurd – it just stays absurd. Juniors are as good as seniors, a Santorum is as good as a blowjob and Lindsey Graham is still happening. Beyond the greenroom issues which made us fall out of our hot tub and into our home theater today, the real issue is whether any of the four folks being cut off constantly on CNBC in the not-ready-for-prime-time-let-me-try-to-get-a-word-in-edgewise. ”

We already have too many government mandates,” tiny man Bobby Jindal says. “FLAT TAX!” Oh, shut up. So, for now, we have Graham, George Pataki, Jindal and Santorum. Someone smells an orgy. No one smells a president. We’ll liveblog the serious ones (cough), later. For now, we’ll just waste our time and gawk.

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