To gain full LGBTQ equality we must first address discrimination within our own community

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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Grocery shopping is seen as a chore for most, so it is crucial to identify the products you want to buy quickly as you walk down the supermarket aisle. Because of this the consistency of the shapes, colors, sizes and textures of products will make your life easier. Ask any marketing aficionado how successful a specific female-shaped bottle of maple syrup is, and how sweet it makes your morning pancakes.

The branding of objects has seen benefits throughout our history, from defining the artistic movements throughout the ages like the Renaissance, the baroque period or Pop art to understanding the difference between a rose and a tulip. This differentiation can be a life or death situation when diagnosing an ailment which requires specific treatment and care. Labels are useful, because when we talk about objects, it is key to discriminate between what speaks to you and what does not. The discriminatory nature of our brains allows us to make sense of our physical worlds, and in that context, deciding when to stop searching for additional information and commit to a choice becomes an organic chore.

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Watch: Michelle Obama tells Ellen how she tried to escape the White House to celebrate same-sex marriage

By : Melanie Ararat
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Michelle Obama promoted her new autobiographical memoir “Becoming” on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Nov. 15. During the interview, the former first lady recalled a story from her book about the night she tried to escape the White House with her daughter Malia to celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

The night of June 26, 2015, the White House was lit with the colors of the LGBTQ Pride flag and people were gathered outside the White House to celebrate, which Mrs. Obama was notified of and tried to take part in.

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DeLand Pride Block Party

By : Jeremy Williams
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Our annual DeLand Pride Block Party was first held in the fall of 2016 to celebrate LGBT History Month. Attendance was expected to be around 200 to 250 but we far surpassed those initial estimates. That first year, attendance was estimated at around 750 people. The following year’s Block Party involved a new location and an expansion of services including free onsite HIV testing, flu shots, community outreach from a variety of nonprofits, health and counselling services, and many other amazing vendors and entertainment. This year DeLand Pride is very excited to be expanding our Block Party once again. This year’s festival will be held on October 20th from 2pm to 7pm and will span the entire western block of Indiana Ave in the heart of Downtown DeLand. In addition to expanding on previous year’s vendors and outreach programs, this year we will be adding a Pet Zone, Kids Zone, Teen Outreach Area, and a Health and Wellness Area.

LGBTQ History Museum at The LGBT+ Center Reception

By : Meghan Sweeney
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The LGBT+ Center Orlando (The Center) recently underwent a full renovation and has dedicated wall space for a permanent LGBTQ history installation. The exhibit will be managed by the LGBTQ History Museum of Central Florida. There will be a rotating display each quarter of the year. The first display, “The History of Orlando’s LGBT+ Center”, will be a retrospect of the 40-year history of The Center.

SEX ED

By : Alex Storer
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Everyone remembers when they had “the talk,” but, as many of you know, that is only part of your sexual education. We all know, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage,”  but there is so much more to it than that. SEX ED helps to fill in the holes (pun intended) and tells the remarkably normal story of a midwestern girl coming into her own while using Disney parody songs to help her along the way. From her first kiss to her first fraternity party, Ipema takes you through her sexual education where she found answers in the most unexpected places. Kerry Ipema enlists the help of Fringe God TJ Dawe to dramaturge her production, the two just finished an 11 week tour of the US with One Woman Sex and the City, a show they co-wrote – Dawe directed and Ipema starred. It was Dawe who introduced Ipema to the Fringe circuit and she is thrilled to come Orlando, to debut her new show, SEX ED! For Mature audiences.

8.27.16 FRAT HOUSE at Southern Nights Tampa

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#SwankSaturdays Presents: FRAT HOUSE
Calling all pledges to the first frat party of the fall semester!

NO COVER before 10pm 21+ (18+ Welcomed)

Hosted by Roxxxy Andrews, Jade Embers, and Angelica Sanchez

$2 Wells till 11pm
$5 Three Olives, Fireball, Jungle Juice
$3 Bud Light
$7 Grey Goose

DJ JB Burgos

Seal

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GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter Seal makes his way to Clearwater for his Ruth Eckerd Hall debut! Seal explores love and all of its implications, idiosyncrasies and intricacies on his seventh full-length album, 7 which saw him reunited with producer Trevor Horn for their first collection of original material since 2003. Seal goes right to the heart of the club with Life On The Dancefloor, which pairs a syncopated house beat wrapped in horns with a massive hook. Everything culminates on Love. Pairing his voice with just a piano, it’s his most vulnerable and vital moment as he declares. Seal’s inimitable voice was first heard on Adamski’s 1991 smash Killer. Another huge hit Crazy arrived shortly after as Seal went on to achieve global acclaim with his debut album. Songs such as the legendary Kiss From a Rose would turn him into a superstar. Don’t miss Seal only at Ruth Eckerd Hall!

Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Lissette Reyes and Karen González

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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WeddingBells“She’s very adventurous. She loves trying new things and just being herself and just being out there,” Lissette says about Karen. “She taught me that you just have to live life to the fullest and enjoy every day and not to be afraid of trying new things. If you fail, that’s the just a part of the whole business of being alive.”

Lissette Reyes and Karen González met through a mutual friend. Lissette went to Miami to visit her friend. Karen was staying with her at that time, and that’s how they met – at a party at her friend’s house. Lissette said that from there they just hit it off and the rest was history.

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Positive Message: Bob Poe wants to put a face on HIV in Congress.

By : Tom Dyer
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We all have labels. They define how others see us, and also how we see ourselves. For Bob Poe, they include husband, father, gay man, politico, entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, success. He’s now prepared to share one more: HIV-positive.

The addition is consequential. Poe is running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives in Florida’s 10th District. If successful, he would be the first openly HIV-positive person elected to Congress; a handsome, healthy, winning face of HIV to be reckoned with every time funding is threatened. He’s just the second HIV-positive person to run, and the first with a real chance of winning.

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Watermark Wedding Bells: Juli Textor and Julie Milford

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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WB_TextorMilford“Everything about her, that is who I want to be with,” Julie Milford says. “I just knew that if we ever had an opportunity to be together one day that it would be forever – everything just seemed absolutely perfect.”

Juli Textor, an executive assistant, and Julie Milford, a creative director, met through mutual friends. They knew of each other, and they were finally introduced, and from that point forward, they had their eyes on each other. When they first met, the timing wasn’t ideal, but then everything just fell into place.

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Meet the first openly transgender White House staffer

By : Jamie Hyman
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History in the making! President Obama appointed Raffi Freedman-Gurspan as the White House LGBT liaison, making her the first transgender person to fulfill that role.

Freedman-Gusrpan is a long-time advocate who has been Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel since August of 2015. Here are five things to know about her:

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2016 WAVE Awards Spotlight: St. Pete mayor Rick Kriseman

By : Jeremy Williams
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Advocates for LGBT rights are important regardless of where they are or what field they work in, but they are needed even more in positions of political office, especially in a time when the legislative year brings dozens of anti-gay bills offered up on the state and local levels. In the Bay area, one of the most vocal advocates we have is St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Kriseman was elected mayor of St. Petersburg in 2013 and has shown that he is a mayor for all the residents in the city. He is especially concerned with the needs and concerns of those groups who are traditionally disenfranchised because of sex, race, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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