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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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete celebrates annual festival, parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) celebrated its third annual festival and second annual parade in the Grand Central District on Oct. 5.

The festivities began simultaneously at 11 a.m., welcoming more than 20 parade entries flanked by proud participants enjoying 100 vendors. The route began at 20th St. and moved west on Central Ave to 30th.

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Issue: 26.20: Planet Pride

By : Dylan Todd
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Come Out With Pride goes eco-friendly for 2019 festival and parade at Lake Eola, LGBA marches into Orlando for annual conference, Come OUT St. Pete returns for third outing, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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The Last Page: Jimmy Biascan

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay. Here, we check in with graphic designer and creative director Jimmy (not James, it’s Jimmy on his birth certificate) Biascan from Tampa Bay.

Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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10.03.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In 2016, Evan Minton was scheduled to receive a surgeon-approved hysterectomy at a faith-based hospital in California. After disclosing his transgender status, they canceled the procedure.

Minton filed a lawsuit claiming that his civil rights had been violated, which the courts dismissed. He appealed the ruling and his suit was revived in late September.

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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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Competitive ball to benefit St. Petersburg VFW

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Miranda Colette, Joyce Smiley, J.P. Pittit, Joyce Lockhart, Chris Kiss, Duane Cook and Lady V. plan the upcoming Elemental Ball at the VFW Sept. 12.

ST. PETERSBURG | Bambu the Eco Salon will host The Elemental Ball on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m., a competitive fundraiser for Come Out St. Pete (COSP) benefiting the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post No. 39.

The VFW was founded in 1899 to assist veterans who served in wars on foreign soil or in hostile waters. Post No. 39 was formed in 1919 on the corner of Central Ave. and 26th St. in the 8,000 square feet, two-story structure housing it today.

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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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‘Paris is Burning’ viewing benefits St. Petersburg VFW

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The LGBTQ-owned and operated Bambu the Eco Salon is hosting a two-part experience to educate, entertain and raise money for St. Petersburg’s VFW Post No. 39 beginning June 7.

The salon will present the 1990 documentary “Paris is Burning” at 7 p.m. The must-see film chronicles New York City’s 1980s ball culture and the African American, Latino and LGBTQ communities involved in its rise. During a brief intermission, performers will provide a history of the ball scene and demonstrate fabulous and fierce voguing techniques. 

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Metro Wellness and Community Centers relaunches LGBTQ Welcome Center

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Community leaders and advocates gathered at Metro Wellness and Community Centers’ LGBTQ Welcome Center to officially relaunch the organization’s LGBTQ safe haven Oct. 6.

The welcome center, a renovated home located in the Grand Central District, has served Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community since its opening in 2014. Through its weekly programming, the majority of which Metro Wellness provides at no cost, it offers a gathering space for LGBTQ community members of all ages.

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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete steps out for inaugural parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) held its inaugural parade in the Grand Central District during its second annual celebration Oct. 6.

The parade began at 10 a.m., heading west on Central Ave. from 22nd St. to 31st St. “Bringing a parade back to Grand Central is definitely something the community has voiced for some time,” COSP Co-Chair Jimmy Biascan shared ahead of the event. “It’s really cool to be able to give them what they want.”

COSP did exactly that – and Watermark was on hand to help celebrate. Check out some of our photos below.

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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete celebrates second annual festival

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) held its second annual street festival in the Grand Central District following its inaugural parade Oct. 6.

Beginning at 12 p.m., vendors shared their goods and services with festival fans across the district. Entertainers also captivated audiences at The Garage, Pom Pom’s, Steep Station, Numex Chile, Right Around the Corner, The Queens Head, URBAN Comfort, Punky’s Bar and Grill, Dog Bar and Old Key West Bar & Grill.

At 1 p.m., community leaders and supporters joined together to celebrate the reopening of Metro Wellness and Community Centers’ LGBTQ Welcome Center. “It was our goal to create a safe place for those looking to build a network of friends or find access to LGBTQ-friendly resources,” Lorraine Langlois, CEO of Metro, shared ahead of the ceremony. “Whether someone is just coming out or in a new city looking to make friends, we want St. Petersburg to have a resource for all.”

Watermark was on hand to celebrate – you can check out some of our photos below.

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