University of Miami moves forward with clinic to aid transgender people

By : Felicia Roopchand
Comments: 0

(Image from Med.Miami.edu.)

MIAMI – The University of Miami recently opened a LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health. This will be one of the first in the southeastern region of the United States. This innovated clinic will provide a number of services to the LGBTQ community including comprehensive gender affirmation procedures.

“Gender affirmation surgery is major surgery that needs to be performed in a hospital setting rather than an ambulatory setting,” said Dr. Christopher Salgado, a gender affirming surgeon, professor of surgery, and editor of Gender Affirmation: Medical and Surgical Perspectives, according to a press release from the hospital.

Continue Reading >>

Designer Armando “Mondo” Guerra talks being on ‘Project Runway,’ coming out as HIV-positive and representing Dining Out For Life

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Denver designer Armando “Mondo” Guerra first made a splash with TV audiences in the eighth season of Lifetime’s Project Runway. Guerra not only wowed with his stylish designs but  also with his openness and honesty as he revealed he was HIV-positive on the show.

Guerra gained recognition on Project Runway opening up opportunities to come back and win the first season of Project Runway All-Stars, have his collection sold at Neiman Marcus and to be a mentor to aspiring designers on Tim Gunn’s spinoff series, Project Runway: Under the Gunn; but no other title gives him more pride than that of spokesperson for the Dining Out For Life, the annual dining fundraiser event to raise money for HIV/AIDS service organizations.

Continue Reading >>

Dining Out For Life supports Tampa Bay HIV/AIDS efforts

By : Felicia Roopchand
Comments: 0

TAMPA BAY – Dining Out For Life is a charity event both your stomach and your wallet can get behind. In cities all across the world on April 27, selected restaurants will be participating in the event by donating at least 25 percent of their proceeds from that day to the licensed HIV/AIDS service agency in their city. In exchange for their financial support, restaurants are listed in a citywide marketing campaign in an effort to increase customer traffic. The Tampa Bay area will be among the various cities included.

“You know, Gulfport kind of comes in with a vengeance. All the restaurants in Gulfport participate and we’ve got a couple of new restaurants coming on over towards the Tampa side. I think we’re going to have a really good year.” said Joy Winheim, executive director of Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

Continue Reading >>

METRO Health, Wellness & Community celebrates 25 years

By : Alexis Vilaboy
Comments: 0

ST. PETERSBURG – Twenty-five years ago, the beginning of what is now METRO Health, Wellness & Community began in the upstairs 16-foot by 12-foot space of King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church with the mission to help those affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS in the early days of the disease’s discovery.

“I’ve been here, it’ll be 24 years,” recalls CEO Lorraine Langlois. “It’s so gratifying to see some really good people moving up and taking hold; I’m very pleased about that. My role now is really kind of mentoring and making sure the ship’s going where we need it to be.”

Continue Reading >>

Gay candidate launches bid for Texas congressional seat

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

A gay HIV/AIDS activist has launched a bid for a Texas congressional seat currently held by a 16-term Republican member of Congress who recently gained notoriety for instructing a constituent to “shut up” during a town hall meeting.

Currently the compliance officer at Prism Health North Texas, the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS service organization in the area, John W. Duncan declared in a statement Monday his intention to seek the Democratic nomination to run for the seat representing Texas’ 6th congressional district.

Continue Reading >>

Words To Live By: Courage

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

Rick_ClaggettBy the time I was in the ninth grade I accepted the fact I was a homosexual. I wasn’t out or proud.  I was scared. I had done my time with self-loathing and trying to talk myself into being normal. My knowledge of the homosexual world revolved around what I’d picked up from TV, church, family and friends. Homosexuals were sinners, gross deviants who were to be laughed at and avoided. Although I didn’t feel that described me, I came to terms with it. After all, I thought boys were cute.

Toward the end of my freshman year of high school, I was given a glimmer of hope that maybe I wasn’t such a terrible person. I had a teacher who decided to stray from the normal health-class curriculum by sharing her story of homosexuals. She started the lesson off by referring to the community as gay. A student quickly asked if she meant homosexuals. She answered yes, but said they preferred to be called “gay” because their lives were about whom they love and not necessarily about with whom they have sex, a pretty ballsy move for a Southern teacher in 1990. She went on to describe gay people as normal. This was a first for me. I remember living next to a gay couple when I was in elementary school. Plenty of words were used to describe them, but normal wasn’t one of them.

Continue Reading >>

New doc honors owner of legendary gay bar

By : Brian T. Carney of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

Share this story:

The title character in “Jewel’s Catch One” is Jewel Thais-Williams and “Catch One” is the Catch One Disco, the world-famous club she ran from 1973-2015.

During the economic downturn in 1972, Jewel started to look for a recession-proof business opportunity. She noticed that the bar across the street from her failing dress shop was for sale. Although she faced serious obstacles (her lack of bartending experience, an all-white male clientele and a California law that banned women from tending bar), Jewel raised the money she needed to buy the club.

Continue Reading >>

As sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, the battle for LGBTQ sex ed in schools is more important than ever

By : Samuel Johnson
Comments: 0

Another tale of twin cities is encapsulated in twin counties, both nestled on the Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg occupies the southern borders of the bay and Tampa hugs the northern shoreline; Pinellas County and Hillsborough County respectfully.

Like most twin cities, these twin counties are dealing with some of the same civic and social challenges: shared infrastructure or shared natural resources or even shifting residential patterns. Another aspect that these twin counties share is the startling rates of sexually risky behavior among their youth, which manifests itself in high rates of sexual infections and diseases.

Continue Reading >>

Gay men fight HIV/AIDS, taboos in Guatemalan town

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

Share this story:

(Top photo) David Meneses, left, speaks with Bryan López in El Tejar, Guatemala on Feb. 2, 2017.

EL TEJAR, Guatemala — The two volcanoes that rise from the countryside surrounding El Tejar, a town that is slightly more than an hour west of Guatemala City on the Pan-American Highway, were clearly visible on Thursday afternoon.

Children were riding their bicycles through a small park in the center of El Tejar as venders sold food and other items on the street. Bryan López, a 27-year-old nurse who lives in the nearby city of Chimaltenango, was talking about his efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Continue Reading >>

Heavenly Grace: Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson closed an important chapter in 2016

By : Krista DiTucci
Comments: 0

Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson has served as vigilant civil rights activist and a voice for the LGBTQ community through her 44 years of ministry with the Metropolitan Community Church. Throughout her career, she has fought for LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, HIV/AIDS awareness, racial injustice and climate change.

Rev. Wilson, who hails from Long Island, says she knew she wanted to be involved in ministry since she was 13 years old. She moved to Sarasota in 2001 to serve as Church of the Trinity MCC pastor, became the MCC Global Moderator in 2005 and retired this year. Rev. Wilson says her longest pastoring career was in Los Angeles from 1986 to 2000 during the worst years of AIDS.

Continue Reading >>

Issue 23.24: That was then, this is now

By : Jake Stevens
Comments: 0

World AIDS Day reminds of what was and what can never be again, The B-52s, The Contigo Fund, post-election hate crimes in Tampa Bay, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

Continue Reading >>

12.1.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 1

Billy Manes

We have a lot to live up to. Thirty-five years ago, a snowball of desperation mixed with activism – with more than a dash of medical data and personal tragedy – drove the LGBTQ community down the mythic mountain of seemingly inevitable, plague-like demise; in 1988, the first World AIDS Day was held. This week, we still memorialize the disease which has taken so many of our friends and our family.

After decades of a growing sexual revolution, of which the gay community was at least a tangential part, the “gay cancer,” or “GRID,” or “HIV/AIDS” rose out of the headlines, into our faces, and, eventually permeated our culture and the bodies that populate it. Did we sit down and shut up? No. We marched in streets, arms locked, and shut down businesses, trying to learn what even doctors didn’t yet know: How to Survive a Plague. The book of that name by David France – which follows in the wake of the award-winning documentary and was just released in hardcover – dives even deeper into the unthinkable depths of what would come to define a generation of driven LGBTQ individuals.

Continue Reading >>