LGBTQ youth lead Come OUT St. Pete project for SHINE Mural Festival

By : Tiffany Razzano
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ABOVE: LGBTQ youth from Metro Inclusive Health and volunteers finalize the first mural for the fifth annual SHINE Mural Festival on Sept. 28. Photo courtesy Chad Mize.

Since the inception of St. Petersburg’s SHINE Mural Festival in 2015, multimedia artist and gallery owner Chad Mize has incorporated a community project into the annual art event.

SHINE transforms the city’s streets by curating large-scale murals painted by renowned artists from across the globe, he says. “We bring international talent to the city to elevate the scene here. It puts us on the map.”

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Come OUT St. Pete returns for third year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Come OUT St. Pete board members 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.

ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) will hold its third annual outing Oct. 3-11 in the Grand Central District (GCD) and nearby neighborhoods to celebrate National Coming Out Day 2019.

COSP exists to advocate for community awareness and acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities. They do so with events that celebrate “coming out of the closet and into the world.”

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Come OUT St. Pete announces 2019 parade grand marshals

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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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.

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Matthew Shepard Foundation, MillerCoors, Metro partner for training

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: The “Stay Proud, Be Loud Happy Hour” roundtable discussion at Orlando’s Parliament House June 5, 2018. Photo courtesy MillerCoors.

TAMPA | The Matthew Shepard Foundation, MillerCoors and Metro Inclusive Health will hold a “Stay Proud, Be Loud Happy Hour” at American Social Tampa Aug. 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., an educational gathering designed to detail the importance of reporting hate crimes.

“Stay Proud, Be Loud” is a nationwide program that educates participants on ways to keep the LGBTQ community safe. It was launched in 2016 by the Matthew Shepard Foundation—dedicated to replacing hate with compassion—and brewery MillerCoors, longtime partners who connect with organizations like Metro Inclusive Health to provide local resources to area attendees.

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Metro Inclusive Health, The Dru Project to present ‘Stonewall to Pulse’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health and The Dru Project will present “Stonewall to Pulse: A Community Discussion” June 26, an inter-generational event featuring panelists who have experienced LGBTQ milestones firsthand.

The presentation “brings together individuals who experienced some of the most significant events, movements and moments in LGBTQ+ history,” the organizations announced June 1, “including the Stonewall Riots, Pulse Massacre, participation in ACT UP AIDS activism and the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard.”

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PHOTOS: St Pete Pride hosts Taste of Pride 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Food, drink and art enthusiasts gathered March 2 at the historic Coliseum for St Pete Pride’s annual Taste of Pride.

Celebrants were treated to sweet and savory samplings from nearly 20 of Tampa Bay’s favorite restaurants, breweries, catering companies. Taste participants included Dr. BBQ, Flamingo Resort, Iberian Rooster, Old Key West Bar & Grill, Orange Blossom Catering, Punky’s Bar & Grill and The Queenshead and more.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Cole Foust

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Share this story:

AGE: 24

HOMETOWN: Brandon, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: Gay, Transgender Male

PRONOUNS: He/Him/His

SIGN: Leo

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PHOTOS: Watermark’s Swipe Right Party Tampa Bay 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Watermark celebrated love and the release of our second annual Most Eligible Singles issue with our latest Tampa Bay Swipe Right Party held at G St Pete Feb. 7.

The LGBTQ singles mixer featured several of Tampa Bay’s most eligible singles with light bites provided by Iberian Rooster. Attendees were given bracelets representing if they were looking or taken, with blue indicating they were looking for individuals who identify as male, purple for individuals who identify as female and yellow for individuals who identify as non-binary. Orange represented those who were taken and celebrants were free to wear as many as they felt appropriately expressed themselves. Check out some of our photos below.

Photos by Dylan Todd, Russ Martin.

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Metro, James Haley VA, CAN hold second annual Trans Fashion Expo

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Metro Wellness and Community Centers, CAN Community Health and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital will present the second annual Trans Fashion Expo at Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Tampa Nov. 17 from 12 – 6 p.m.

LGBTQ+ veterans, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are invited to step into the inclusive space for the free event. They’ll learn about available resources from local community leaders, advocates and vendors as they participate in raffles and select clothing from a full, professional boutique of attire in a safe and affirming venue.

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City of Tampa hosts LGBTQ youth forum

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Community advocates will gather for an interactive and educational forum Sept. 12 at the Barksdale Adult Activity Center to spotlight the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ youth.

The forum is hosted by Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Youth Leadership Council, a city program which allows local teenagers to develop leadership skills and apply them through service projects and workshops. To participate in the council, students must apply and have successfully completed one year in the Mayor’s Youth Corps. The latter program empowers youth to make community service a life-long commitment.

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