Orlando gathers downtown to celebrate Come Out With Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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Lake Eola Park, and it’s surrounding streets, were packed Oct. 14 for Orlando’s annual Come Out With Pride parade and festival.

The big, colorful floats and LGBTQIA+ marchers took their turns proudly around the lake as thousands of community members and supporters cheered.

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Come Out With Pride’s Launch Party kicks off a weekend of Pride

By : Danny Garcia
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Come Out with Pride’s Launch Party kicked off Orlando’s Pride festivities Oct. 12 with a full house at the Veranda in Thorton Park.

Cocktails were served by the staff of The Hammered Lamb and entertainment was provided by some talented local flavor. Emceed by Addison Taylor, the night saw performances from local drag entertainers April Fresh and Bridgette Galore; a musical act by the cast of the upcoming cast of “Debbie Does Dallas”; Gay Bar Star Janine Klein and a trippy dance by the one and only Weego.

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Come Out With Pride wants you to keep dancing, but also to keep involved

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pride is a word that once carried a negative connotation. One of the original seven deadly sins, it was seen as something shameful and immoral. In the years after the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, the word Pride was taken up as sign of honor, respect and loyalty by the LGBTQ community.

Pride became how we stood up for ourselves and celebrated who we are. Nearly 20 years later we celebrated the first National Coming Out Day Oct. 11, 1988. Pride was applied to something everyone in the community had to do no matter which letter you identified with in the LGBTQ spectrum. The significance of that day was to mark the one year anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

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Issue 24.19: Taking Action

By : Jake Stevens
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Come Out With Pride wants you to keep dancing, but also to keep involved, Andy Cohen talks about his AC2 tour through Tampa with Anderson Cooper, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Come Out With Pride 2017 Guide

By : Jake Stevens
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Your guide to all of the great stuff happening with Come Out With Pride 2017. #KeepDancingOrlando.

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Come Out With Pride announces 2017 theme

By : Rick Claggett
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride announced the theme for the 2017 Orlando Pride celebration in a statement Aug. 15.

The theme, “#KeepDancingOrlando,” is a continuation from last year’s rallying cry “Celebrate, Honor, Heal” when the community came together for Pride just four months after Pulse, the worst mass shooting in modern American history.

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Orlando’s Metropolitan Business Association receives award from National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

By : Billy Manes
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“Even though we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, most of the rest of the community doesn’t know that we exist,” Metropolitan Business Association executive director Kellie Parkin says.

That may not be exactly true. For more than two decades, the organization has been bridging ideological and business-oriented gaps between small and large businesses alike, finding common threads for economic growth within those operations while projecting an inviting atmosphere that surpasses just tolerance across the Greater Orlando region.

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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Trans of thought: Invisible

By : Melody Maia Monet
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MaiaMonet_MugI was recently asked to speak at my alma mater on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Princeton’s LGBT Center. I had been recommended by the outgoing director of the center as a visible transgender alumnus possibly willing to appear. Given how invisible I was on campus back then, I found the irony striking. After being reassured that such a story would be valuable and worth hearing, I reflected on my journey, and I realized there was a common thread of erasure running throughout.

During my teen years, before the Internet, I did not have the resources to recognize my gender identity issues. My misconception of trans women, as informed by the mainstream coverage of the day, was so stereotypically straight and hyper-feminine, that a burgeoning lesbian like myself, who couldn’t have cared less about playing with my sister’s Barbie dolls, found little commonality. In my mind back then, I was not possible.

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Orlando’s Overheard: The masses came out for Pride, new Mojoman and Fringe exit

By : Anonymous
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We’re coming out

After being rescheduled from October 8 to November 12 due to Hurricane Matthew, Orlando proved that despite the move, Pride came out in full force! The Orlando Police Department estimated that over 150,000 people showed up for the parade.

The entire parade lasted nearly two hours on the new expanded route which included parts of Orange Avenue. The festival completely encompassed the entire area of Lake Eola Park, which included bars, outdoor entertainment, vendors and a kid’s zone.

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11.17.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

I fell off the float. I missed a step, as I always do at Come Out With Pride’s extravagant parade, and I landed on my ass: shaken, stirred, embarrassed. To be fair, floats are difficult travel devices anyway and, well, I’m a little top heavy on the hair side, so I fell.

The reason I bring this up is to illuminate the exhaustion and joy many of us felt after parading in front of over 150,000 people in Orlando’s largest Pride yet, the humiliation of an election that is showing signs of rolling back all of our hard-won rights (even if certain Trumps with two mouths promise otherwise), the lasting sting of a June massacre at Pulse.

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Orlando packed Lake Eola for Come Out With Pride

By : Watermark Staff
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After having to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew from Oct. 8 to Nov. 12, Orlando proved that no matter when they celebrate they can come out with Pride in full force.

The Orlando Police Department say an estimated 150,000 people showed up for the parade. The entire parade lasted nearly two hours on the new expanded route which included parts of Orange Avenue. The festival completely encompassed the entire area of Lake Eola Park, which included bars, outdoor entertainment, vendors and a kid’s zone.

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