11.27.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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My husband and I recently marked three years of marriage, which is as strange to type as it was to celebrate. Not because I didn’t think we’d make it, I looked forward to our decades to come long before our wedding day, but because I’ve lost my perception of time.

A number of factors have contributed to my inability to understand the calendar year, Tampa Bay Bureau Chief among them operating in Watermark’s two-week press cycle, but I mostly attribute it to living in Florida. Even though I moved here more than a decade ago, I have yet to adjust to the lack of proper seasons; time flies when you’re having sun.

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Klobuchar: Woman with Buttigieg’s record would miss debate

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” (Screenshot from CNN)

CHICAGO (AP) | The 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign drew a record six female candidates to the field. But with just less than three months until voting starts, only one has risen to the top tier.

Is it sexism or just politics?

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Sweet Divinity: The Cost of Paying Attention

By : Divine Grace
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Hello, Dolls!

Every day. Every. Single. Day. Every day and each morning brings with it some sort of fresh new Hell. Every sunrise is greeted by the orange Goblin King and some dementia-laden tweet from the First Toilet at five o’ clock in the morning. Who’s the Emperor mad at today? Bette Midler? Maybe it’s John Legend. Perhaps he’s pulling a classic from the stacks and “crooked Hillary” will reprise her role as the Disney Witch trying to demolish the castle he’s building out of a deck of cards.

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Trump brings up global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality at UN

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a surprise move, President Donald Trump included in his speech before the United Nations on Sept. 24 his administration’s global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in the more than 70 countries where it remains illegal.

“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality,” Trump said. “And we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail and execute people based upon sexual orientation.”

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Michael G. Batista

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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28 | Gay | He/Him/His

Florida’s 13th congressional district covers Pinellas County from Clearwater through St. Petersburg.

Nearly 730,000 Floridians call the area home, as does St Pete Pride—Florida’s largest LGBTQ Pride celebration and one of the largest in the country. It’s no surprise then that Rep. Charlie Crist, an LGBTQ ally who represents the district, sought out Michael G. Batista.

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Babs Siperstein, pioneering N.J. trans activist, dies at 76

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Barbra “Babs” Siperstein, a transgender Democratic activist in New Jersey who’s credited with taking a lead role in pushing a pro-trans state birth certificate law for her state, died over the weekend at age 76, according to local media reports.

Siperstein died days after the law went into effect on Feb. 1. The “Babs Siperstein Law” allows individuals in New Jersey to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without proof of surgery and offer a gender-neutral option. The law was signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

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Gay mayor, veteran Pete Buttigieg signals entry into 2020 fray

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Pete Buttigieg, a combat veteran and mayor of South Bend, Ind., has signaled he plans to throw his name into the pool of 2020 presidential candidates, raising the possibility of a Millennial and an openly gay candidate joining the growing Democratic field.

Buttigieg announced in a video Jan. 23 he’s forming an exploratory committee for a 2020 bid, which is considered the first step in running for president.

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Ellen DeGeneres makes list of most admired women in world

By : Jeremy Williams
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The queen of daytime talk, Ellen DeGeneres is among the 10 most admired women in the world according to Gallup.

The annual poll, released Dec. 27, asks Americans to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today whom they admire most. DeGeneres, who came in eighth, is the only LGBTQ person to appear on either of the lists for 2018.

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LGBT advocates outraged over Trump’s deference to Putin

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: U.S. President Donald Trump faced criticism after his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin (Screen capture via YouTube)

The news conference that followed President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki led to jaw-dropping reactions across the globe, including from LGBT advocates and observers who say it had a negative impact on LGBT rights despite Trump’s backpedaling days later.

Trump on Monday appeared alongside Putin at a news conference and sided with the Russian leader over the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies and the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, which led to U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians who implemented the plan.

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Tom Gallagher, U.S. Foreign Service officer, dies at 77

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Tom Gallagher, who became the first known U.S. Foreign Service officer to come out as gay in 1975 and who switched careers to become a social worker before returning to the Foreign Service in 1994, died July 8 in his hometown of Tinton Falls, N.J. from complications associated with a bacterial infection. He was 77.

In a write-up of his life and career that he prepared shortly before his passing and in an earlier interview published in the online publication Slate, he said he decided to disclose his sexual orientation at a 1975 conference in Washington, D.C., organized by the then Gay Activists Alliance called Gays and the Federal Government.

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Trump’s gay nominee Ric Grenell confirmed as ambassador to Germany

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate confirmed Richard Grenell on Thursday as U.S. ambassador to Germany, making him the most high-profile openly gay appointee in the Trump administration.

Grenell — who has faced Democratic opposition for months over mean tweets he made about the appearance of women and other comments downplaying the significance of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election — was confirmed by a largely party line vote of 56-42.

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Pelosi, HRC on opposite sides over re-election of anti-LGBT Democrat

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A coalition is seeking to unseat anti-LGBT Democrat Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), but he has support from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Washington Blade photo of Pelosi by Michael Key; photo of Lipinski public domain.

The nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group is spearheading a $1.3 million effort to unseat from Congress a nearly extinct animal — an anti-LGBT Democrat — in an upcoming primary, but that effort runs contrary to the position of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

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