The Tender Activist: Harry Potter & the Dark Art of Othering

By : Scottie Campbell
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I was in a planning meeting for a Harry Potter-focused event and the lead of the meeting thought it would be a fun idea to go around the table and introduce ourselves and say what house we’re in. At this point, I had only managed to get through one chapter of the first book, I had seen the movies and ridden the Orlando rides, but I had not chosen a house (or let a talking hat do it for me) nor did I care. So when it was my turn, my answer to the house question was: “I am none of that.”

You would have thought my nose had fallen off and I had revealed myself to be He Who Must Not Be Named himself. Every drop of oxygen was sucked out of the room and I was immediately transported back to middle school when I had decided to try-out for basketball without knowing how to actually play basketball. How all my friends and classmates appeared to intuitively know how to play is still a mystery to me. I’m confident Mister Rogers would have been proud of me for trying, but as I was dribbling toward the coach, and could clearly see in his eyes that I didn’t know what I was doing, I wanted to be anywhere else. Six feet under would have been a welcome relief.

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High Fidelity: Dumbledore and Decisions

By : Miguel Fuller
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There’s a scene in one of the “Harry Potter” books where the character’s mentor Professor Dumbledore spars with a bad guy, releasing magic from his powerful wand to block out evil forces. Even though I grew up in a religious household where my grandmother wanted nothing to do with the books because they were witchcraft in her eyes—and that’s the devil. I always read that scene and thought about her.

She was always a powerful but quiet force of nature who knew exactly what was going on. When she spoke, people listened. People moved. That was the grandmother I knew while growing up.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Ruth George and Liz Lopez

By : Tiffany Razzano
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For Liz Lopez, networking is a way of life. The Keystone Mastermind Alliance co-founder and CEO loves to connect with new people.

That’s why when Arizona native Ruth George moved to St. Petersburg in Sept. 2011 and joined the Good Old Girl Network, a meet-up group geared toward professional lesbians, she was the first to reach out to her. “Naturally, I’m the welcome wagon,” Lopez says.

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Orlando artist Nick Smith turns literary classics into original works of art

By : Jeremy Williams
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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away known as Orlando, an artist by the name of Nick Smith was rediscovering his love of art and began creating original pieces based on classic novels and popular stories.

“I’ve been drawing since I was a wee little lad,” Smith says. “I actually started tracing, that’s one of the things I always tell people, learn how to trace when you’re young so you get an idea of shapes and figures.”

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High Fidelity: Communication is Key

By : Miguel Fuller
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I promise you that this isn’t something I’m making up. In fact, I wish I had my phone ready while talking to a friend the other day so I could record them asking this question that made me giggle so much. My friend said, “You and your boyfriend seem to have such a great relationship, how do you get that and how do you keep it?”

I thought this was funny for a couple of reasons. First, over the past three years in this very column, I have documented the crumbling of one relationship, I have detailed my journey in dating and truly finding myself and I’ve discussed figuring out what I wanted in life. Now I’ve been in a relationship for almost two years. So trying to sum up three years of work, communication and false starts is not easy.

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Jude Law defends Dumbledore not being ‘explicitly’ gay in ‘Fantastic Beasts’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Jude Law, who will portray a young Albus Dumbledore in the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” defended the controversial decision to not make Dumbledore “explicitly” gay in the film.

In 2007, Rowling revealed that Dumbledore is gay and had romantic feelings for his friend Grindelwald when he was younger. As the “Fantastic Beasts” series includes a young Dumbledore and Grindelwald some fans were excited to see gay representation in the film. However, director David Yates shared that Dumbledore’s sexuality would not be “explicitly” addressed. The announcement caused an outcry in the fandom.

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Jude Law cast as young Dumbledore in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ sequel

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Jude Law will play a young Albus Dumbledore in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sequel, according to Variety.

Set in the 1920s, the film will show Dumbledore as the professor of transfiguration before he became Hogwarts headmaster and mentor to Harry Potter. Johnny Depp will also appear in the “Harry Potter” prequel as the villainous Grindelwald, Dumbledore’s childhood friend and first love.

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