‘Rent’ announced as Fox’s next live musical

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Fox’s next live production event will be the Tony-winning musical, “Rent,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The rock musical, loosely based on the Italian opera “La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini, will be adapted for the small screen by executive producer Marc Platt (“La La Land,” “Wicked”) and the estate of the late “Rent” creator Jonathan Larson.

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Out of the Closet brings HIV/AIDS awareness and discount shopping together under one roof

By : Jeremy Williams
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ST. PETERSBURG – Out of the Closet, a thrift store with a twist which benefits the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, is opening a new location in St. Petersburg with a big grand opening celebration May 13.

Out of the Closet St. Pete is located at 3400 26th Ave. South and offers up designer clothes, furniture and housewares at a fraction of the cost.

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Goldie Hawn, Amy Schumer promise to ‘fight to the death’ for LGBT community

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer are passionate about being allies to the LGBT community.

Hawn, 71, and Schumer, 35, spoke to PrideSource about their commitment to LGBT issues while promoting their upcoming mother-daughter comedy, “Snatched.”

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University of Miami moves forward with clinic to aid transgender people

By : Felicia Roopchand
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(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.

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

By : Jeremy Williams
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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.

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Dining Out For Life supports Tampa Bay HIV/AIDS efforts

By : Felicia Roopchand
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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).

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METRO Health, Wellness & Community celebrates 25 years

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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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.”

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Gay candidate launches bid for Texas congressional seat

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

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Words To Live By: Courage

By : Rick Claggett
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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.

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New doc honors owner of legendary gay bar

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

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

By : Samuel Johnson
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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.

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Gay men fight HIV/AIDS, taboos in Guatemalan town

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

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