The Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival turns 30

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Police officers and protesters far outnumbered patrons during the inaugural Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (TIGLFF) in 1990.

It was the result of animus and interest surrounding one of the earliest publicized LGBTQ gatherings in downtown Tampa. While details surrounding TIGLFF’s founding are scarce, early accounts advise leaders from the Tampa Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, Bay Area Human Rights Coalition and Tampa Bay Business Guild formed the festival for two purposes.

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Pasco Pride expands in second year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Supporters flood Sims Park for the inaugural Pasco Pride Oct. 6, 2018. Photo courtesy Pasco Pride.

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. | The second annual Pasco Pride will be held Sept. 29-Oct. 6, expanding from a one-day festival to unite Pasco County’s growing LGBTQ community.

Pasco Pride made history with its inaugural outing in 2018, becoming the first LGBTQ Pride festival held in the county. The organization has since dedicated itself to fostering communication, tolerance, education and mutual support between the area’s LGBTQ advocates and allies.

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Historian David K. Johnson follows ‘The Lavender Scare’ with ‘Buying Gay’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The history of the LGBTQ community has largely been erased from our educational institutions, historian David K. Johnson says. It’s one of the many byproducts of decades of stigma and intolerance that he attempts to remedy as a professor at the University of South Florida (USF).

His courses explore politics, culture, gender and sexuality in the U.S., mostly post-World War II. “Even in my standard history classes, whenever the topic of homosexuality comes up, students are riveted because they aren’t familiar with it from other history classes,” he explains. “I like to show how the issues of gender and sexuality have been central to American history for quite some time.”

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08.08.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I was young, probably around 12 or 13, but I vividly remember the first death I helped cause. They say you never forget your first.

I was in middle school and likely clad in a pair of husky jeans, the free whale necklace that came with the “Free Willy 2” VHS and a “Batman and Robin” tee beneath my Starter Jacket. Clutched against my side was the thickest Trapper Keeper a family like mine could afford, something I rarely let out of my sight during school hours because it protected two of my dearest possessions.

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Documentary ‘The Lavender Scare’ exposes America’s witch hunt for “the homosexual”

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Donald Trump has repeatedly called the multiple investigations into his campaign’s ties to the Russian government “the greatest witch hunt in political history.”

While there are multiple examples proving the president is incorrect, chief among them is the “lavender scare,” Senator Joseph McCarthy’s parallel to the “Red Scare” which insisted that Communists had infiltrated the government in the 1950s.

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