Debra Messing to headline CAN Community Health fundraiser

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Debra Messing will headline CAN Community Health’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala. Photo courtesy CAN’s Facebook page.

SARASOTA | CAN Community Health announced Oct. 7 that LGBTQ ally, actress and activist Debra Messing will headline the organization’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota on Feb. 22, 2020.

Messing is best known for her award-winning role on “Will & Grace,” NBC’s groundbreaking LGBTQ television series.  Its revival will end in 2020 with a third season, its eleventh overall.

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2020 hopefuls highlight Medicare for All, PrEP in plans to combat HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE, L-R: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, Ind.) Washington Blade file photos by Michael Key.

The reinvigoration of the White House Office of HIV/AIDS, access to generic PrEP and the award of cash gifts for HIV/AIDS innovations as opposed to U.S. patents were just three ideas 2020 hopefuls articulated in responses to a survey conducted by HIV/AIDS advocacy groups.

The candidates expressed those ideas in a survey conducted by AIDS United, which composed its questions in conjunction with a coalition of HIV/AIDS groups and made the responses public Monday.

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Gay ‘Elm Street’ actor takes charge of his narrative in new doc

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mark Patton in ‘Scream, Queen.’ (Photo courtesy The End Productions)

When Mark Patton landed his first leading role in a major motion picture, he believed his dream of becoming a movie star was coming true.

That motion picture was 1985’s “A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge,” and instead of being launched, his career was destroyed.

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Trump administration: HIV status used to justify family separation at border

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) questions Chief Brian Hastings.

As President Trump continues to praise his administration’s plan to beat the HIV epidemic by 2030, a top Trump administration official says an immigrant’s HIV status is enough to justify family separation at the border.

Brian Hastings, chief of Customs & Border Patrol, made the remarks during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing Thursday under questioning from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

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Man convicted of hate crime for threatening to kill gay man

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Scott Wayne Smith’s booking photo from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) | A 47-year-old man has been convicted of the hate crime of second-degree intimidation for threatening to kill a gay man in southwest Portland.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Scott Wayne Smith changed his plea on April 2 to no contest as his trial was scheduled to start.

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Univ. of Louisville LGBT health center hires new director

By : wire report
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) | A New York health care specialist has been hired to lead The LGBT Center at the University of Louisville’s Health Sciences Center.

A release from the university says Blaz Bush brings a skill set attuned to the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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Hope & Help ditches the headdress for its annual gala

By : Melanie Ararat
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ABOVE: Hope & Help’s Headdress Ball from 2017. Photo by J.D. Casto

ORLANDO | After 28 years as the Headdress Ball, Hope & Help has changed the name of its signature event to the Hope & Help Gala.

The 29th annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser will be at the Rosen Centre Hotel on International Dr. in Orlando Sept. 8, and it will not solely focus on HIV/AIDS prevention.

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The Last Page with Michael Wanzie

By : Rick Claggett
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What kind of writing do you do for Watermark?

Viewpoints, often political but almost always humorous.

What is the name of your Viewpoint Column?

The Wonderful World of Wanzie

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Cuba activists push for same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A torrential downpour was passing over the Cuban capital on May 11 when Violeta Cardoso and her partner of 32 years, Isabel Pacheco, arrived at a coffee shop in the Vedado neighborhood.

The women soon began to speak passionately about LGBTI-specific issues with Juana Mora and Lidia Romero of Acepto, a group that advocates for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Cuba. It was sweltering inside the coffee shop because of a power outage, but the women nevertheless spoke with each other for more than an hour as they drank iced tea and coffee.

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Trump supporter holds up homophobic sign in front of College Park man’s house

By : Colton Adkins
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ORLANDO | A Trump supporter laughed as local College Park resident Fernando Sosa recorded him sitting outside of Sosa’s home with a homophobic and racist sign July 9.

In the video, the man — identified as Matt Sherman — is holding up a sign that says, “A gay Asian with AIDS who hates America + fireworks lives here!” on one side and, “A butt hurt Trump hater lives here, who’s the keyboard warrior now?” on the other.

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Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph honored for HIV/AIDS advocacy

By : Wire report
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) | Actress, singer and producer Sheryl Lee Ralph is a triple threat in the entertainment industry but was honored during this weekend’s Essence Festival for something entirely different — her activism.

Ralph was honored Sunday as part of McDonald’s 365Black Awards, receiving the program’s advocacy award for her work fighting against HIV and AIDS.

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PHOTOS: AIDS Healthcare Foundation opens new St. Pete healthcare center

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) opened its newest healthcare center June 25 in St. Petersburg to combat Florida’s growing HIV/AIDS epidemic.

AHF hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate their St. Petersburg expansion, where AHF Tampa Bay Medical Director Dr. Jeanette Cancel was joined at the podium by AHF President Michael Weinstein, Southern Bureau Chief Michael Kahane and other AHF leadership. St. Petersburg Police Department LGBT liaison Markus Hughee, city LGBTQ liaison Jim Nixon, Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth T. Welch and other community leaders also spoke, thanking AHF for their commitment to St. Petersburg.

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