The Other Side of Life: Jane Castor and American Exceptionalism

By : Jason Leclerc
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LGBTQ is not a qualification. Woman is not a qualification.

These are genetic characteristics, inscribed on a human’s chromosomes at conception (or, in a religio-metaphysical sense, since the conception of the heavens).

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04.04.2019 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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“Never put it in writing,” my mom always says. “You can’t put middle class values on a lower class society,” my 12th grade English teacher taught me. My former boss and mentor often advised me not to speak in absolutes. Most recently, my sponsor tells me to “do the next right thing.”

This is all fantastic advice from important people to me, and I try to obey these words of wisdom in daily life. Oh, I fail. Sometimes I fail miserably. However, the idea is progress, not perfection.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Pride 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa Pride held its fifth annual celebration in the streets of historic Ybor City March 30, honoring milestones in the LGBTQ community.

The day began with the organization’s festival expo and community health fair, highlighting area vendors and artists while featuring a wide array of entertainment. Thousands of attendees subsequently gathered along 7th Ave. for Tampa Pride’s largest diversity parade yet, which welcomed over 100 parade entrants and was led by grand marshals Amy Demilo, James Encke, Pat Frank, Ja’Staria Infiniti, the Tampa Bay Pride Band, Tyler Reed and Nick Staszak.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Pride 2019 VIP Sponsor Party

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa Pride held its annual VIP Sponsor Party at the Florida Aquarium March 28.

The evening celebrated the organization’s partners, sponsors and supporters ahead of the fifth annual Pride weekend. It featured a tour of the aquarium, music by DJ Jayson Clancey and was hosted by FOX 13 anchor and former Tampa Pride grand marshal Russell Rhodes, who soon introduced the city’s outgoing Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

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Human Rights Campaign endorses Jane Castor for Tampa mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has endorsed Tampa mayoral candidate Jane Castor ahead of the city’s runoff election April 23.

HRC, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, gathered with supporters in Ybor Square March 28 to make the announcement. They were joined by the Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus—dedicated to electing progressive candidates—as well as Equality Florida Action PAC, the state’s largest political committee dedicated to electing pro-equality candidates. Each of the latter organizations previously endorsed Castor in the race.

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Jane Castor poised to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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As Tampa highlights its diversity with the fifth annual Tampa Pride March 30, Jane Castor—the celebration’s two-time grand marshal and arguably one of the city’s most stalwart servants—will continue her journey to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor.

Castor, who will face retired banker and philanthropist David Straz in Tampa’s runoff election April 23, is familiar with firsts. Ahead of her 31 years of service with the Tampa Police Department, which she began as a beat cop patrolling the city in 1983, she was elected the first female president of a Tampa Police Academy class.

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Issue 26.06: Tampa Proud

By : Jake Stevens
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Tampa Proud

Jane Castor posed to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor, Central Florida performer wins Miss International Queen 2019, Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County announces Pride Guild, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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The Other Side of Life: Lent and the Twin Abstentions

By : Jason Leclerc
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My fellow God-fearers, know that we are two days into the Lenten season, bookended by Mardi Gras and the Resurrection. Like Jesus fasted in the wilderness before launching his ministry, we are to give up something that sates us. Although my usual self-denial is metaphorized by 40 days without swearing or chocolate, I’m giving up on something much more gosh darn important and savory and much more central to who I am.

Abstention one: I’m giving up on defending Republicans. Abstention two: I’m taking a break from actively bashing Trump.

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Castor, Straz move to Tampa mayoral runoff election

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Jane Castor and David Straz will face one another in a runoff election to become Tampa’s next mayor, just over 20 percent of the city’s voters determined March 5.

Had any of the seven candidates for mayor obtained over 50 percent of the vote, Tampa would have avoided the April 23 runoff. According to unofficial returns from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Castor received 47.99 percent of the vote and nearly won the election outright. Straz, who received the second largest result, garnered 15.47 percent of the vote.

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PHOTOS: Equality Florida’s 2019 Tampa Gala

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Equality Florida held its annual Tampa Gala at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre Feb. 23, highlighting the organization’s fight for statewide equality.

The gathering featured live entertainment, silent and live auctions and honored community champions throughout the evening. John and Nancy Desmond received the 2019 Voice for Equality Award, Prin Ocea received the 2019 Youth Voice for Equality Award, the University of South Florida Office of Multicultural Affairs received the 2019 Partner in Equality Award and Gene Webster-English received the 2019 Community Service Award.  

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Equality Florida, LGBTQ Victory Fund endorse Castor for Tampa mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa mayoral candidate Jane Castor has received the endorsements of Equality Florida Action PAC and LGBTQ Victory Fund, the equality-focused organizations shared ahead of the city’s municipal election March 5.

Equality Florida Action PAC is Florida’s largest political committee dedicated to electing pro-equality candidates. LGBTQ Victory Fund is the only national organization focused on increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government, which would include Castor.

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We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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