The Center Orlando to become home for permanent LGBTQ history exhibit

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc. and LGBTQ History Museum of Central Florida are partnering up to install a permanent LGBTQ history exhibit in The Center Orlando, which has undergone a new renovation.

The collaboration’s mission is to “promote and empower the LGBT community and its allies through information, education, advocacy and support.”

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The Center Orlando hosts annual Celebrity Bartending fundraiser

By : Christen Kelley
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ORLANDO | Local celebrities will go head-to-head in a competition for tips during The LGBT+ Center Orlando’s sixth annual Celebrity Bartending night at SAVOY Orlando Sept. 11.

LGBTQ and ally politicians, journalists, entertainers and more will be making drinks for attendees from 6 p.m. to midnight. All proceeds will benefit The Center for services such as STI testing and LGBT+ education and outreach in Central Florida.

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PHOTOS: The Center Kissimmee holds its grand opening and ribbon cutting

By : Jeremy Williams
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. | Politicians, media, local leaders and community members all gathered at the new LGBT+ Center in Kissimmee for the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 15.

George Wallace, executive director of The Center, welcomed guests before introducing a string of political leaders — State Rep. John Cortes, Congressman Darren Soto and Osceola County Commissioner Cheryl Grieb — who all expressed gratitude for The Center coming to Kissimmee. Grieb also presented The Center with a proclamation from the county. 

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The Center Orlando and Zebra Coalition will expand partnership to new Kissimmee Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando and Zebra Coalition announced Aug. 8 that they will expand their collaborative services to the brand new LGBT Center location in Kissimmee.

The program expansion —made possible by grant support from both the Contigo Fund and Orlando Health — will include youth mental health counseling support, as well as youth and parent support groups facilitated by a Zebra Coalition mental health counselor.

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The Center Orlando to bring LGBTQ children’s books to the community

By : Colton Adkins
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando is expanding again, and this expansion is bringing in something for the kids.

George Wallace, The Center’s executive director, says the new expansion will include a children’s library complete with LGBTQ children’s books and youth novels. A children’s library will be added into the new Center coming to Kissimmee as well.

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The LGBT+ Center names new expansion after Orlando City Foundation

By : Colton Adkins
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando announced a collaboration with Orlando City Foundation, who donated funds to help the Center expand its current building with a catering area, June 15.

The Center’s plans to expand, according to Executive Director George Wallace, will include a renovated second floor and an extended section to the building where HIV/AIDS testing will take place.

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The Center’s communications director Terry DeCarlo announces his resignation

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Terry DeCarlo, The LGBT+ Center Orlando’s chief communications director, announced via Facebook June 11 that he would be resigning from his position at The Center just one day before the two-year mark of the Pulse tragedy.

“It is with a heavy heart that I report to you this morning that I have resigned my position at the LGBT Center Orlando,”DeCarlo wrote. “I hope during my tenure at the agency, going through a complete facility overhaul to give Orlando a nice place to call home and then helping lead the community through one of the darkest times in history that I made you proud.”

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PHOTOS: UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality hosts Florida LGBT-Allies Summit

By : Maia Monet
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The 7th annual Florida LGBT-Allies Diversity Summit was held this past Friday at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality. Companies from across the state sent representatives to attend panels on “LGBT Equality and Civil Rights” as well as “Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace.”

The morning began with a panel on “Allyship: Voices of the LGBTQ Community” made up of George Wallace the Executive Director of the LGBT+ Center Orlando, Jennifer Walls the Senior Vice President/Area Sales Director for Lee Hecht Harrison, Marco Antonio Quiroga the Program Director for the Contigo Fund, and Kellie Parkin the Executive Director of MBA Orlando – LGBT Chamber of Commerce answering questions on the challenges and benefits of LGBTQ visibility at work. As noted by Parkin, it is estimated that 50% of employees are still in the closet and need support. Walls added that there are still large companies with annual revenue of $100M+ who believe that they do not have LGBTQ employees.

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Central Florida Overheard: Fringe Forever

By : anonymous
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The Orlando International Fringe Festival wrapped another hugely successful year with an awards celebration and party on the Fringe lawn at Loch Haven Park this past Memorial Day.

Fringe had well over 100 sold out performances during the course of the 13-day festival, they announced. Then Watermark took the stage to present our readers’ choice 2018 Splash Awards. The big winner of the night was AJ Prats’ “PeeVira’s ScareVan Singalong: Disney Addicktion” which won both Favorite LGBTQ Show and Favorite LGBTQ Lead Performer for Prats.

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George Wallace awarded highest honor at the Orlando Fringe’s 2018 Fabby Awards

By : Layla Ferris
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Former Orlando Fringe Executive Director George Wallace was awarded the highest honor at the Orlando Fringe’s 2018 Fabby Awards.

Wallace was given the Terry Olson Lifetime Achievement Award during the festival’s closing ceremonies and 2018 Fabby Awards. The ceremonies were held on May 28 at the Outdoor Stage in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park.

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AIDS Healthcare Foundation awards The Center $25K grant for Kissimmee location

By : Layla Ferris
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ORLANDO | AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has awarded a $25,000 grant to the LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc. (The Center) that will go toward opening The Center’s second location in Kissimmee.

AHF, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, is the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care. It provides advanced medicine and advocacy to more than 900,000 people in 39 countries.

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Watermark’s 5 Questions for a Fringe Regular

By : Watermark Staff
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Orlando Fringe is in full swing and from what we have seen so far this is one of the best year of shows we have ever seen.

But any Fringe veteran will tell you that the shows are only part of the experience. You have the food, the drinks, the parties and of course chilling on the Fringe lawn and making some new friends.

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